The Montessori Curriculum
The academic program aligns with the Arizona State Academic Standards using the methods and learning materials unique to a Montessori education. The classrooms are fully equipped with Montessori materials and expand to include current trends in education. Built into the philosophy is the belief that education should be more than memorization, repetition, and standardized testing. The Montessori approach to whole child education allows your child to develop the critical-thinking skills and intellectual curiosity that fuels success in the classroom and beyond.
The Montessori Philosophy
Based on the teaching philosophy of Maria Montessori, Montessori de Santa Cruz strives to bring both academic and artistic enrichment to the lives of its students. Maria Montessori’s vision was for school to be a window to the ever-expanding universe. She saw children as explorers who would seek learning at every turn if given the freedom and an environment prepared especially to meet their individual developmental needs.
Character education begins with The Virtues Project™ which is a positive, holistic approach designed to bring out the best in children and help them develop a strong moral compass and a strong sense of self. It is based on the idea that virtues exist within individuals and simply need to be awakened. Each child learns to build upon his virtues. Faculty and staff members strive to learn and guide toward conflict resolution, peer mediation, responsibility, and clear communication at all levels.
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Our preschool is a traditional Montessori primary class made up of students ages 3-5 and includes Kindergarten. Children enjoy a morning work cycle of approximately 2.5 to 3 hours followed by a community circle time, outdoor classroom time, and a lunch period. For those who stay for a full day, an afternoon work cycle of 2.5 hours to deepen the Montessori experience. Kindergarten students are a part of an authentic Montessori primary classroom in an mixed-age group setting. Snacks are provided daily.
Lower Elementary is a dynamic multi-aged classroom for first, second, and third graders. The Montessori Lower Elementary curriculum inspires students to become independent learners who appreciate and understand their world. Integrated studies provide students with unique and age-appropriate materials that help them to become accountable for their use of time, for accuracy in their work and to evaluate their strengths and areas for growth.
Upper Elementary is a multi-aged classroom for fourth, fifth, and sixth graders. The Upper Elementary curriculum is designed to be responsive to the social, emotional, and academic needs of students ages 9 -12 years old. The classroom is a learning laboratory where children discover, explore, and expand their knowledge of academic subjects of major interest, and become their own person. Montessori Upper Elementary curriculum and instruction integrates Montessori with national and state curriculum standards. Subjects like science, literature, math and art are integrated. Small group and cooperative learning alternate with independent work time, and teach children how to work both individually and in groups while maintaining individuality
*New Program for the 2022-2023 School Year* The Middle School Program helps 7th and 8th graders develop real-world skills that they will need when they continue on their educational journey. We work with the students to develop their identity and their principles through an open, tolerant environment that encourages discussion and understanding as well as critical reflection and dialogue. Our aim across content areas is to help students develop their own learning goals and expectations for their work and performance. Students are encouraged to ask questions and seek their own answers. We blend curricular disciplines by using a problem-solving approach within individualized instruction.
At Montessori de Santa Cruz, the gardening program offers a unique environment that fosters our students’ academic, social, and emotional development. The students learn practical aspects of organic, sustainable gardening as well as enrichment in the sciences. Being aware and caring for our ecological surroundings is a core value that our students practice each day. As we gather in our outdoor classroom, we plan and nurture our vision of a welcoming, productive, and peaceful place. Students are also encouraged to use their creative and artistic talents to develop and implement community-building goals.
The Montessori de Santa Cruz music program goals are for the child to respond to music, perform music accurately, and eventually create music for the public, doing it so well to create, perform and promote cultural understanding and diversity through the love of music expression. Melody, rhythm, timbre, reading, writing, part work, and form make an exciting performance, while developing a singing voice, with a choice of violin, piano, guitar, and a student favorite ukulele.
Montessori de Santa Cruz is a participating member of School's Out, Make it Count! from the Arizona Center for After School Excellence. We signed a pledge to promote excellent out of school time programs in keeping with our Mission and Vision at MdSC. Our pledge is to Learn, Implement, Fine-Tune and Teach — LIFT! our programs to new heights of quality. Studies show that kids who participate in high-quality out of school time programs including tutoring reap benefits in academic, social, and physical well-being. MdSC offers an amazing array of out of school time enrichment programs because MdSC teachers and parent volunteers join hands to make it happen at a nominal cost to families. Our enrichment programs change every six weeks with exciting courses to meet the needs and interests of every age group.