Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Charter School?

Charter schools are public schools funded by the same per pupil funds that traditional schools receive. Charter schools are privately run and operate with freedom from many regulations. Charter schools are accountable to their sponsor to produce positive academic results while adhering to their charter contract. May Sands Montessori School was established as a charter school in 1998.

Who was Maria Montessori?

Born in Italy in 1870, Montessori was an anthropologist, pioneer educator, and the first woman to receive a medical degree in Italy. The first Montessori school, Casa dei Bambini, opened in Rome over 100 years ago in 1907. Montessori based her educational ideas on her observation of children in diverse cultures. She discovered that there are universal principles of human behavior in all cultures around the world. She made it her life’s work to transform adult beliefs about children and their education. Maria Montessori was twice nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for her work with children.

What makes Montessori different?

Montessori classrooms are bright, inviting multi-age learning communities. Students develop independence and self-discipline, and are free to move about in a child-centered learning environment.

The Montessori teacher is both a guide and observer who prepares the learning environment. It is customary for the teacher to work with small groups of children, rather than present to the whole class at once. The teacher acts as the link between the child and the environment by demonstrating the Montessori didactic materials and observing the child’s interaction within the lesson.

The Montessori materials are naturally appealing, and have been designed to stimulate logical thought while investigating specific concepts. Students are able to manipulate and explore these concrete learning apparatus as often as needed to achieve understanding.

Is Montessori right for my child?

Montessori educational methods work with all kinds of learners: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. Individual developmental rates and types of intelligence are recognized and respected. The student who will be most successful in the Montessori classroom typically possesses the following traits:

  • Is intrinsically motivated
  • Exhibits self-control
  • Is able to work independently and complete a task
  • Loves learning and has broad interests

How does Montessori address Gifted Students?

The Montessori program is inherently suited for the gifted learner. The curriculum is open- ended and presents many opportunities for problem solving and critical thinking. Learning is self-paced, allowing students to advance independently of their peers. Long blocks of learning time allow for in-depth study.

Our school serves gifted students using a consultant model. A Gifted Education specialist works with classroom guides to plan, implement, and monitor instructional alternatives for each individual student. Goals are accomplished in the regular classroom.

What is Peace Education?

Dr. Montessori proposed that we could ensure world peace by producing children who are independent, secure, and at peace with themselves. She was a powerful peace advocate in Europe who focused on children as the future world leaders.

In the Montessori classroom, cooperation is encouraged, rather than competition. There is an attitude of respect for self, others, and the environment that is modeled by the teacher. Students are actively taught the skills of peacemaking and conflict resolution. Classrooms usually have a “peace corner” for personal reflection or for resolving disagreements between students.

Do you have a lunch program?

May Sands Montessori School participates in the Monroe County School District lunch program. Alternatively students are welcome to bring a lunch in a labeled lunch box – refrigeration and re-heating is not available, so we recommend that your child’s lunch is packed in an insulated lunch bag.

Are there field trips?

Classes take field trips throughout the school year. These are designed to enhance a particular aspect of study or to take advantage of a community event. Our program also promotes enriching community experiences, involving students who are interested in offering their support to our community.  These experiences provide intrinsic reward as well as a unique learning experience.

Famous People who were Montessori Educated

Yes, there are a number of famous people who attended Montessori schools including:

  • Jacqueline Kennedy
  • Julia Child
  • Jeff Bezos (Amazon.com founder)
  • Anne Frank
  • Prince William & Prince Harry of Great Britain
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez ( acclaimed novelist)
  • Sergey Brin & Larry Page (co-founders of Google.com)
  • T. Berry Brazelton (pediatrician & author)
  • Sean “P. Diddy” Combs
  • Peter Drucker (management guru)