West Side Montessori is a family-oriented educational community engaging and inspiring children to discover their potential within an environment promoting mutual respect, social responsibility, natural curiosity, and a love of learning.
Ideally, each child has the same teachers for multiple years. This gives teachers the opportunity to truly know and understand each child and determine how to both entice and engage children in the learning process. Montessori educators carefully prepare their classroom environments to allow each child to construct his/her own learning. The children gain confidence over time, unlocking their potential and setting them on a path of discovery for life.
The school engages families in the learning process for each child. Expectations for parent involvement and responsibilities are detailed in the School/Parent Partnership Agreement that each family signs annually. Parents observe, volunteer, attend parent education programs and child development classes, and receive regular communication via the online weekly newsletter and blog posts. WSM, in conjunction with the Parents’ Association Coordinating Committee (PACC), provides numerous opportunities for involvement in special events and programs. Teachers and parents often communicate via email or telephone.
At West Side Montessori the “prepared environment” includes a culture of mutual respect that encourages children to take responsibility for their own behavior and learning, including taking appropriate risks. Children are empowered to make choices and decisions, practice leadership, and engage in the world beyond our walls. The balance of freedom and responsibility practiced at West Side Montessori sets our students on the path to seek and love learning.
West Side Montessori adheres to the philosophy and methods developed by Dr. Maria Montessori, an Italian physician and educator (1870 – 1952). Early in the 20th century, Dr. Montessori envisioned a radically different approach to education, an approach grounded in close and insightful observations of children. She understood that children can construct knowledge, particularly within a meaningful context.
West Side Montessori provides highly organized classroom learning environments that give children countless opportunities to move, make choices, and take charge of their own learning. For example, very young children are sorting and categorizing their world and are very sensitive to order in their lives. The Montessori classroom environment and materials are designed to aid the young child in the development of his or her sense of order.
Montessori philosophy and curriculum promote an understanding and appreciation for the interconnectedness of all that exists and a consequent social policy that teaches we are stewards of the earth. Social outreach and community improvement service projects are an integral part of the curriculum. Cooperation and collaboration are cornerstones of the learning environment. Students work together, learn from one another, and support each other in a non-competitive atmosphere.
We believe that each child is unique and capable. We believe in nurturing the whole child by creating a community where the heart of the child is as important as challenging the intellect. We believe that the community of the child, parent, and educator is the foundation of the school's success.