e enroll children from two through fourteen years of age. In our Children’s House, we offer programs for toddlers (three mornings, or four or five full days); preschoolers (five days per week, mornings or full days); and Kindergartners (five days per week, full days). Our Elementary and Middle School programs are in session five full days per week.
Our school is open from 7:30 AM to 5:30 PM during the school year. In addition to the school day programs, early bird, after school, vacation care and summer programs are available.
The Montessori curriculum is a comprehensive program built upon the science of human development, which informs what we teach and when.
Each Montessori classroom has a morning and afternoon “work cycle.” The work cycle includes time for independently chosen work, time to work with peers, time with a teacher in direct instruction, in small and in large groups. Large group lessons may be led by the classroom, music, or art teachers. All-School Assembly once a month and weekly group sings expand on our large group lessons to become community experiences. The morning work cycle incorporates indoor and outdoor play times. Snack is provided daily.
Midday activities include lunch, rest time for the younger children and kindergarten meeting time for children 5 years old on or before August 31st of any given year. Kindergarten meeting time includes quiet time with “read aloud” then direct instruction in the arts – music, art, and Spanish. Elementary midday programs also include D.E.A.R. (Drop Everything And Read) time as well as gym class and Community Meeting with our school social worker.
For the convenience of families who may need extended care, we offer the following programs during the school year. Information about our summer program can be found here.
Early Bird/After School
Early Bird is available from 8:00 AM until 8:45 AM (for toddlers), 7:30 AM until 8:30 (for Children’s House students) or 8:45 (for Elementary students). Early Bird is a relaxed time which give students the opportunity to connect with other students from throughout the school each morning before the school day begins. Early Bird is held outside, weather permitting.
After School is available from 3:00 (for Children’s House students) or 3:15 (for Elementary students) until 5:30 PM. After School gives children a chance to unwind through outdoor or indoor activities. A typical day in After School includes outdoor time (weather permitting), a snack, and relaxing indoor time. Parents can register their children for these programs by signing up in advance in the fall or on a drop-in basis (if space is available). Signing up in advance secures your child’s place in the program and offers you a significantly lower hourly rate for these services.
In October and March, teachers and parents meet for conferences. On conference days dismissal takes place at 11:30 (for Children’s House) or 11:45 (for Little Children’s House and Elementary). Parents sign up in advance for conferences, which take place between 12:30 and 4:00. MSN offers Conference Care from 11:30 to 5:00 on these days. Parents can register their child in advance for conference care from 11:30 to 3:00, with after school available until 4:00 or 5:00 PM; or they may sign up only for the length of their conference.
Need to work during school vacation weeks? The school offers mini-session programs from Tuesday through Friday of February and April vacation, and for a number of days during December vacation, the schedule depending on when the holidays fall. Mini-session runs from 8:30 AM to 3:00, 4:00 or 5:00 PM, and is staffed by the after school staff. Parents who sign up by the deadline are guaranteed a slot for mini-session provided there is sufficient enrollment to support the program.
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions – Plus! Video Answers to More FAQs
Are Montessori schools all work and no play?
Dr. Montessori realized that children’s play is their work—their effort to master their own bodies and environment—and out of respect she used the term “work” to describe all their classroom activities. Montessori students work hard, but they don’t experience it as drudgery; rather, it’s an expression of their natural curiosity and desire to learn.
(from the American Montessori Society website www.amshq.org)
What accreditations does the Montessori School of Northampton hold?
The Montessori School of Northampton is accredited, licensed and/or approved by the following organizations:
• Accredited by the American Montessori Society (AMS)
• Accredited by the Association of Independent Schools of New England (AISNE)
• Licensed by the Department of Early Education and Care (DEEC) (Children’s House)
• Approved by the Department of Education through the Northampton Public Schools (Elementary)
How do you keep track of what each child knows and when he or she is ready for the next lesson?
Each student has a section in the teacher’s observation binder in which we record our observations, anecdotes, and exactly which lesson each student has had. We keep track of how well s/he understood the initial presentation, the assigned follow-up work, when the follow-up work was completed, when mastery was achieved, and when s/he is scheduled for the next lesson in that particular curriculum area.
What is Peace Education?
Dr. Maria Montessori said, “All politics can do is help us out of war; establishing lasting peace is the work of education.” At our school the teachers and children explore the meaning and experience of peace in the hope that we can create a peaceful future and a reverence for all living things. We strive to maintain a classroom atmosphere that supports peaceful conflict resolution and positive self-esteem. The children learn to respect individual and group differences and celebrate the lives of important peacemakers. This work spotlights the importance of equal rights, the strength of the human spirit and the power of community.
What is the goal of a toddler education?
“If teaching is to be effective with young children, it must assist them to advance on the way to independence. It must initiate them into those kinds of activities which they can perform themselves and which keep them from being a burden to others because of their inabilities. We must help them to learn how to walk without assistance, to run, to go up and down the stairs, to pick up fallen objects, to dress and undress, to wash themselves, to express their needs in a way that is clearly understood, and to attempt to satisfy their desires through their own efforts. All this is part of an education for independence.” -Dr. Maria Montessori
How do I know which program will be right for my child?
Please apply. Through the interview process our Director of Admissions, with the support of our faculty at each level, will help you make the best determination.
How is Montessori different from other programs?
By what we teach when – from Dr. Montessori’s scientific observations of
children she discovered the sensitive periods which inform what gets taught at which period developmentally for children.
What is so special about multi-age classrooms?
- Several years in the same environment, often with many of the same peers and teachers, breeds ease in children – we know that a stressed brain is not a learning brain
- Repetition and deeper understanding of skills
- Continuous learning
- No labeling, less retention
- Mentoring, leadership
- Cooperative social interaction
- Cross-age learning
- Self-directed, autonomous learning
If you don’t do all lessons in groups like the other schools how do the kids get to all the lessons?
Short Answer: By not restricting students to only having lessons in large groups!
Montessori provides us with an educational plan to follow that matches lessons up to the best developmental stage at which to give the lesson. By allowing children to move through the plan at their own pace they do “get to everything” and have a chance to master each skill as they do it.
So basically, if it takes me longer than you to master addition, but I master alphabetical order more quickly than you do, we end up at the same place but each of us had the time to fully understand the concept before moving on. As we all know, skills build one upon another, so if I hadn’t had that extra time to master addition the skill I build on top of it (multiplication) is less stable.
Does Montessori really work beyond the preschool years?
Yes! Montessori works well with elementary-age and adolescent children for the very same reason it works so well with young children. By grounding the curriculum design and classroom experience at each level in what works developmentally at each age, we create a match between the lessons and the child. This match creates the optimum learning situation whether the child is 3 or 13. Visit our school and see for yourself how a Montessori program changes, grows, and develops across the child’s span of growth from toddler through adolescence.
–Dr. Maria Montessori
Our faculty is a group of mature and trained educators. The team is dedicated to cultivating an environment in which children will grow and learn in harmony. The Montessori method, based in the science of human development, provides an extensive and cohesive educational plan for your child. As a primary part of the Montessori philosophy, our teachers guide children while also nurturing each child’s interests and capabilities. The teachers meet each student on an individual level while sequentially following lessons as outlined in our curriculum. Our Montessori teachers are trained through the American Montessori Society or the Association Montessori Internationale. Both provide the teachers with comprehensive programs in developmental psychology, Montessori theory, and practical, hands-on classroom training, as well as observation and practice teaching under training center guidance. Here is what our teachers have to say:
“You find out what children are capable of when you visit a Montessori school.”
“I love watching a child approach an unfamiliar situation with confidence and the knowledge that s/he has the necessary skills, both academic and social, to handle it with grace and poise.”
“I love seeing children learn to trust themselves to make good decisions about their work choices.”
“The idea of giving young children autonomy, and freedom of choice is what attracted me to become a Montessori teacher; the peace and grace and courtesy curriculums are what I believe will guide the next generation to make the world a better place.”
“Montessori teachers strive to care for the social and emotional lives of their students.”
“I love watching a child gain a sense of pride in having made an independent decision about what he she needs as a learner–and having the confidence to express these needs.”
“We guide children with love and support to follow their natural, instinctive path. We help them focus and learn from the detail and teachings of the environment and each other, as we keep them close and adapt to their ever changing needs.”
“I love watching the classroom community come together to support one another, whether it’s encouraging a peer not to give up when doing a difficult work or the spontaneous applause given to a classmate who has just read the Morning Message for the first time.”
Websites to Visit:
Please visit our Montessori School of Northampton Vimeo Page
Youtube Short Videos:
Montessori Magazine at Local Libraries:
MSN has donated one year subscriptions of Tomorrow’s Child magazine to five area libraries. Visit the parenting sections at the following libraries to check out this great publication: Forbes, Lilly, Goodwin Memorial, Emily Williston and Meekins libraries.