What is a charter school?
Charter schools are public schools that operate according to a five-year performance contract or “charter.” They are held accountable for students’ academic performance and specific goals set forth in their charter. Like all public schools, charter schools must meet state standards and the requirements of all state and federal laws regarding health, safety, civil rights and student assessment.
What is a Montessori school?
Montessori schools follow the ideas of Maria Montessori. She was one of the first woman to receive a medical degree in Italy, an anthropologist and a pioneer educator. Her educational ideas stem from her observations of how children learn in diverse cultures. What she discovered is that:
- Children are naturally motivated to learn.
- All children are different. They are interested in different things, they are different stages in their development, and they learn in different ways. Some learn best by listening, others by watching. Others learn by interacting with things around them: observing, touching, building things, moving things around, smelling and even tasting them! Some learn very quickly and others work slowly and deliberately until they master something.
On the basis of these observations, Dr. Montessori developed an approach to education in which teachers:
- Use children’s natural motivation to learn, and stimulate it
- Respect and value individual differences by preparing different learning activities for each child – activities that take into account the child’s individual needs, interests, and learning style
- Allow children to progress at their own pace, regardless of ability level or age
- Encourage children to help one another and collaborate
Today, Dr. Montessori’s findings influence teachers in schools throughout the world. In the United States alone, some 200 public schools and close to 5,000 private schools trust in the proven success of the Montessori approach. Maria Montessori was twice nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for her work with children.
What is a Montessori classroom like?
Montessori classrooms are attractive, bright, inviting spaces. Attractive learning materials that appeal to all the senses and stimulate logical thought and discovery are laid out on shelves around the room. Children work with these materials on their own or in collaboration with a friend. One teacher goes round the classroom observing and helping them as they work. A second teacher works with small groups of children to give them lessons on particular topics.
Is Montessori right for my child?
All children are welcome in Montessori classrooms. The Montessori approach works with all kinds of children and all kinds of learners, English language learners, and children with special needs.
How will the Montessori approach benefit my child?
Students in Montessori schools learn to be :
- respectful of others
- lovers of learning
- hard workers
- academically successful
- good readers
- good at math