Every child has special strengths and talents that he or she is encouraged to develop to the fullest. This encourages excellence in given areas and develops confidence that will carry over to other disciplines.
Each individual also has some areas that need to be strengthened. We study input such as standardized scores, past experiences, and various diagnostics. After an informal assessment, we collaborate with students and parents to formulate individualized work plans that encourage steady progress.
Our curriculum encourages critical thinking in all disciplines. As opposed to rote memorization and mechanical approach toward skills, children explore underlying concepts. Educational materials, ranging from texts to software, are selected with this emphasis on critical thinking and problem solving as a criterion.
Interest is the best motivator. This interest is cultivated through special materials and through thoughtful teacher presentations. More importantly, it grows through the realization of progress and accomplishments. A feeling of belonging is nurtured through ownership of the environment and student input into goal setting and individualized work plans.
Self-esteem is a natural outgrowth of this sense of belonging and feeling of accomplishment. Self-esteem is further enhanced when the student with a strong background and sense of independence enters subsequent educational settings.
Curriculum includes critical reading, conceptually-based math, and verbal and written communication skills. In addition, science and social studies are addressed in great depth and augmented with field trips, guest speakers, and real-life applications.
The curriculum encompasses a mixture of individualized assignments and small group lessons and projects. Students without a Montessori background are eased into individualized, self-directed assignments on a gradual basis.
A before/after school and summer activity center operates under the same philosophy as the Montessori School of Downtown Elementary School. Activities encourage active participation, creativity, and socialization. Examples include art, logos, games, crafts, cooking, journalism, computer applications, physical activities, and field trips. An added feature is a supervised study hall for Montessori students as well as public school students enrolled in the after school program.