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Elementary

Offering Grades 1-5 

Small class size, individualized attention, and personalized instruction set us apart!

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Heritage Montessori Preschool & Kindergarten expanded to offer elementary grades in August, 2011.  We are pleased to announce that Heritage Montessori Elementary has moved to our new elementary campus at 1435 N. Downs St.

True to the Montessori approach, we have a lower elementary program hosting grades 1 through 3 and an upper elementary program currently hosting grades 4 & 5. Our small class sizes allow us to give each child individualized attention while developing a sense of community within the classroom. Extensive enrichment programs in Spanish, American Sign Language, art, yoga and gardening are essential elements of our holistic curriculum.

A Montessori program encourages collaborative learning in a multi-age classroom. Students can work individually or with other children as they move about the classroom pursuing completion of assigned tasks and self-initiated projects.

Leadership opportunities are rare for children in a single-grade classroom; such roles are often reserved for the teacher. The Montessori multi-age classroom affords children daily opportunities to teach a skill or share information with others.

Our caring teachers are well educated and Montessori trained and work closely with our wonderful community of families. We invite you to join our Montessori family! At Heritage Montessori Elementary our goal is to provide a positive and enriching educational experience for every child. Please contact us to discuss the benefits of our Montessori elementary program and whether it is a good fit for your child.

Frequently Asked Questions

 What grade levels are offered?

Our lower elementary school offers grades 1-3. Our upper elementary class offers grades 4 & 5.

 Why do you have multi-age classrooms?

Developmental stages in children are not dictated by age. Even among children who are the same age there can be vast differences in abilities and maturity. A child may need to read with the older children because he is advanced in that area, and yet he may need the company of younger children in social situations.

Having older children around challenges and inspires the younger children, and the older children have the opportunity to impart their knowledge to the younger ones. This not only contributes to their sense of self-worth and self-confidence, it also reinforces their knowledge.

In addition, the multi-age grouping allows teachers to work with students for more than one year. Teachers become familiar with individual needs and encourage children on their journey by introducing lessons and concepts at developmentally appropriate times.

 Will my child cover the same subject matter as in traditional education?

Yes. Our teachers have carefully reviewed California State Standards and are currently aligning with the Common Core Standards to ensure students cover the requirements plus much more.

As trained Montessori teachers, we look at the whole child, recognizing a variety of learning styles and allowing each child to develop at his own rate and in his own way. Montessori elementary students, depending on individual readiness, generally surpass the expectations of the state curriculum because the Montessori materials and the one-on-one attention allow them to progress at a rapid, yet thorough, pace. 

 What values do you teach as part of your program?

 

The love of learning is a core value of the Montessori philosophy. Children and teachers work together to develop guidelines to create an environment conducive to work and growth. Speaking and acting with kindness, integrity and respect is our top priority. The children are engaged in the process of developing internal discipline, insight and growth.

Some of the other values instilled are citizenship, responsibility, independence, cooperation, teamwork, tolerance for differences, peaceful resolution of conflicts, compassion and gratitude.

Developing core values creates a community where children acknowledge one another as more than just friends—they view one another and the class community as a Montessori family.

 Why is it important that children become self-directed?

Our students are learning to evaluate choices, make decisions and prioritize. They are learning to trust their own judgment and develop the ability to make wise choices. This will serve them well in their teenage years when they’ll need to handle peer pressure and temptations that often confront young people today. Our students learn to think independently rather than following group pressure. 

 How do you assess students' progress?

Student progress is measured in a variety of ways including careful observation, recording of daily work, demonstrated skills and understanding of the materials.

Each week, students complete a spelling, math facts and a math standards assessment. We use the results as tools to determine if a student needs a new lesson or more practice and not as a competition between children for grades. Our students become well prepared for any system that requires testing. They actually enjoy the assessment process as it allows them to recognize their success!

We administer the Iowa Test of Basic Standards (ITBS) to our 3rd year students.  This standardized test is yet another tool to help teachers and parents determine individual strengths and weaknesses as compared to the child’s age group nationally. Our goal is not only to prepare our students to perform at grade level, but also to achieve their highest potential. 

 Do you allow advanced children to “skip” grades?

We recognize California law (EC Section 48010) which requires a child entering first grade  to be six years old on or before September 1st. Giving children the time to develop in all areas is championed over skipping grades.

California State law supports Dr. Montessori’s teachings on the second plane of development, occurring from ages 6-12 years old.  Montessori believed that education was not necessarily about teaching in the traditional sense, but more about assisting in the psychological development of children. If we are to help children grow psychologically, we must acknowledge a developmentally appropriate environment. Academic, behavioral, emotional and social development are all equally important factors when entering first grade. Maturity that comes from having direct experiences in the preschool and Kindergarten environments plays an important role in settling into the lower elementary program.

The tendency in education is moving away from accelerating a child through grades if he or she is advanced. The Montessori philosophy has always taken the approach that time is an invaluable gift offered to the child freely and generously. The three year cycle in both the lower and upper elementary programs allow driven children to dive into research, create projects, develop leadership skills and work on social and emotional growth. The Montessori environment—whether preschool, kindergarten or elementary—offers opportunities for advanced work if a child shows readiness. In the same classroom, time allows the gift of an additional year, if necessary, for a child working toward mastery of the curriculum without assigning any labels or implying failure.

 What if at some point my child needs to transfer to a public school?

Montessori elementary students who later transfer to public schools often experience less difficulty than other children who transfer from one public school to another.

Montessori children who have developed a high degree of self-confidence, independence, and enthusiasm for the learning process are generally able to adapt quite easily to new environments. The self-discipline they have developed allows them to adjust to a teacher-directed class, and their sense of self-respect as well as community helps them make positive social choices.

 Who is the Montessori Method designed for?

The Montessori approach is designed to help all children reach their fullest potential at their own unique pace. The multi-age grouping allows each child to find his or her own pace without feeling “ahead” or “behind” in relation to peers. In the classroom with children of varying abilities and strengths, everyone learns from one another and everyone contributes.

A group of children diverse in academic ability, personality and social/emotional development makes for a rich community for all to learn and grow.

 How do I register my child?

Email, call or stop by Heritage Montessori School at 934 N. Heritage Dr. to complete enrollment paperwork.

Learn more about our Lower Elementary Curriculum…

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