Who was Maria Montessori?
Maria Montessori was an Italian physician born in 1870. Working with children in the slums of Rome, Montessori observed the children in her care scientifically and determined even very young children were capable of great concentration and order. Departing from a teacher-centric mode of education, Montessori set up her classroom environment to allow children to choose their own work and have freedom of movement. Montessori created specific materials that children were able to manipulate and complete independently. Spreading her theory throughout Europe, Asia, and the United States, Montessori was a frequent lecturer and author. She advocated for the education of children with disabilities and championed the idea that children could develop self-discipline within the prepared environment of the classroom.
How does a Montessori school differ from a traditional school?
Montessori entails both a unique curriculum
and a different philosophy. As a school accredited by the Montessori Schools of Maryland as well as The Maryland State Department of Education, our classrooms have Montessori materials and primary teachers have their Montessori credentials that are recognized and accepted by the Maryland State Board of Education.
Every morning, students have work-time, where they have the freedom to manipulate Montessori materials and receive lessons from a teacher individually or in small groups. Children are encouraged to be sensorial learners, develop independence and concentration, and have the freedom to move around their classrooms. Montessori children leave the classroom feeling empowered and confident.
What’s a typical day like?
In both our toddler and primary classrooms, the day is a balance of structure and play. The most significant part of the day is work-time, when children work with Montessori materials and receive lessons. The rest of the day includes nap time, indoor and outdoor play, lunch and snacks, music, art, Spanish or yoga, and a variety of afternoon activities. Many days also involve cooking and gardening.
Is it a religious program?
There are many types of Montessori schools. Some are public, some are private, some are secular, and some are religious. Our schools are private and secular.
What’s the history of your school?
We are the first private Montessori school in Baltimore City and the first to be certified by both the Maryland State Department of Education and the Montessori Schools of Maryland. We are also certified by the Office of Child Care.
The original Baltimore Montessori was founded in 2006 in a Fells Point rowhouse with two classrooms. Outgrowing that space, we moved to 1001 S. Potomac Street in August 2011. In a beautiful 1899 church building, the school features stained glass windows, original pillars and arches, and large airy classrooms. This Canton location now houses three thriving toddler classrooms and three primary classrooms. Children have large indoor and outdoor play areas and garden beds to use for planting vegetables.
Our Locust Point location opened in 2008 in a historical school building from the 1930s. With high tin ceilings, wood floors, long hallways, and large, bright classrooms, the space is a perfect fit for four toddler classrooms and three primary classrooms. Not only does the school have a large garden near its front door, there are separate indoor and outdoor toddler and primary play spaces.
What’s your mission statement?
Our mission is to nurture, empower, and protect little children in our care through the Montessori method of education. We develop children to be confident and independent thinkers in their formative years and help groom them toward becoming dynamic citizens of the world.
Do you offer part-time programs?
Children benefit from the structure and predictability of a full-time program, so we do not offer part-time schedules. The routine of a full-time program helps even our youngest children adjust to school.
At what age do you accept children?
We admit children between the ages of 18 months and 6 years.
How much is tuition? How do we pay?
Parents pay tuition on the first of the month and have convenient drop boxes for checks at both school locations. Many parents also opt for online bill-pay, and checks are mailed to the school directly each month.
What are your school hours?
At our Canton location, operating hours are 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.
At our Locust Point location, operating hours are from 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Do children learn a language?
They do! Both our toddler children and primary-aged children learn Spanish through songs, games, and engaging activities. Our Spanish teachers are fluent in both English and Spanish, and are full-time members of our staff.
As a convenience to parents, we offer complimentary morning and afternoon snacks at both schools.
At our Locust Point location, a full service kitchen allows for hot lunches to be purchased for an additional fee.
What are your requirements for teachers?
Our faculty is comprised of Montessori Directresses and Teacher Assistants. Montessori Directresses have the required Montessori credentials and also complete state and federal background checks and physical examinations. Our Teacher Assistants fulfill all state requirements in Child Development certifications and complete state and federal background checks and physical examinations.
All staff members genuinely love our children and work as a team to help children flourish and learn. Our staff is well-versed in our emergency procedures. With safety in mind, we require that all staff members (including Spanish Language teachers) are fluent in English so they are able to assist and instruct children, especially in an emergency.
Do you have a summer program?
We do! During the months of July and August, our summer program is in full swing. Each week has a different theme, with experiments, visitors, cooking activities, water days, and special art projects complementing Montessori work-time. Please see our events page for other exciting school events.
What are your school’s special events?
Please see our events page.
How do children adjust to mainstream schools?
Our schools have proven track records of high academic standards. Whether children enter public or private schools, they are well-prepared in all academic areas. Some families choose for their children to continue to go to school in a Montessori setting. Other families opt for traditional schools, knowing that the concentration and self-control Montessori children develop will allow them to adapt to different classroom environments.