Kawartha Montessori School (KMS) is moving. Wait, what!? You heard that right! Thanks to an anonymous gift from a current KMS family, the school is now the proud new owner of 10 acres just east of Peterborough. The school is bringing new life to the old Woodview School property between Burnham and Lancaster Lines. It’s not often that you hear of a school picking up and moving, but that is exactly what this accredited Montessori school plans to do in the near future.
With the new property, the school will finally have a chance to expand its facilities to allow for more learning and community space. After over 30 years in operation, KMS is excited to set out on the next stage of the journey. Plans are already in the works looking ahead to an even brighter future for this long established school!
Before the big upgrade and move, however, they are hosting their annual Winter Open House on February 7th from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at 580 Cameron Street. To help highlight the school’s features and what one should expect entering a Montessori curriculum, staff will be joined by current parents and students to answer any and all questions.
These first-hand accounts will help to shed light on the student’s day to day activities which you will find quite different from the experience they would obtain from traditional elementary schooling. Part of the discussion during the Open House will focus on Montessori Accreditation. KMS is fully accredited, while other schools bearing the Montessori name are not.
The Montessori Method for education was created by an Italian physician named Maria Montessori in 1907. For over 100 years, students have benefited from this student-centred, evidence-based pedagogy (check out this blog post for the basics of Montessori).
Before her passing in the early 1950s, Maria decided against trademarking her groundbreaking method—thus it is now widely used by other schools that don’t follow its exact criteria and don't provide an authentic experience. Though some institutes might offer most of the criteria necessary to be deemed authentic, not all follow the criteria to the letter and are not able to be granted accreditation.
In Canada, Canadian Council of Montessori Administrators (CCMA) is the organization which grants accreditation to schools that have met the high standards for true Montessori. This accreditation can be seen as a form of quality control. Every 5 years, accredited schools must go through the rigorous process again—which is as thorough as it gets.
When looking for options for your child, it is important to ask as many questions as you can about what to expect from the school. Accreditation is a good place to start. Understanding the philosophy and values of the school as a community is also important. Try to find out as much as possible to determine if a school is the right fit for your family. For more information on what Montessori Accreditation is all about, click here.
There is criteria for fully-accredited Montessori schools (from the CCMA website). An Accredited Member shall meet the following criteria:
1. Each classroom has one teacher who holds an age-appropriate diploma from an AMI or MACTE accredited teacher training institute or any other teacher training programme that may be recognized by the CCMA.
2. Each classroom has a full range of Montessori materials as recommended by CCMA, which offers the broad curriculum to allow for sequential learning.
3. Have multi-age grouping in each classroom (3-6, 6-9, 9-12 etc.) which supports the concept that learning is a social process.
4. Have a long uninterrupted work cycle which allows for the development of focus, concentration, and engagement.
5. Have a policy of admitting children to the programme at the appropriate age level consistent with Montessori principles and sensitive periods for learning.
6. Programmes for children 3-6 years of age, require attendance five days per week for consistency in learning.
7. Agree to abide by the CCMA Code of Ethics.
8. Have successfully completed the Accreditation process which includes a comprehensive review of policies, standards, and practices of the school by a CCMA Accreditation team.
9. Is licensed by the appropriate Provincial Licensing Authority.
10. Meets the relevant Building, Health, Safety, and Fire codes and carry appropriate insurance.
11. Is guided by the educational philosophy of Dr. Maria Montessori.
To find out more about Kawartha Montessori School and to register for the February 7th Open House, check out the contact information below:
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