Montessori Community School, an engaged educational partnership of children, parents, teachers and community, nurtures a child's love of learning and sense of social responsibility using the Montessori philosophy and curriculum to develop the intellectual, physical, spiritual, artistic and academic strengths inherent in each child.
At MCS the faculty and staff help students develop the qualities of perseverance, self-efficacy and a work ethic through a rigorous academic program, community service and independent learning. Blending the SC College-and-Career-Ready Standards with the Montessori methodology encourages collaboration and team work to enhance critical thinking, problem-solving and interpersonal skills. Students are provided many opportunities for choice and creativity, building student ownership of their learning during a three year cycle in each classroom.
Keys to the success of students in a Montessori environment begin in the Primary classroom when students develop the skills to become independent learners. By including independent work time during the school day, the students practice time-management, problem-solving and practical skills related to life and career success. These skills are demonstrated through work completion, cooperation, conflict mediation, sustained focus and self-regulation. Teachers use Montessori materials to foster intrinsic motivation and self-direction in students at this level.
As students progress to the Lower Elementary classroom, they develop a growing interest in socialization and are encouraged to learn both with peers and independently. Creativity and imagination are nurtured as a path to thinking and learning. The use of work plans, Montessori materials, and small group instruction provides an environment for students to meet and often exceed both Montessori milestones and grade level curriculum standards.
Students continue to the Upper Elementary classroom where they begin to transition from concrete thinking to abstract thinking. Students take charge of their own learning and dig deep into topics of interest through creative research projects. During these years, learning is promoted through increased collaborative work, the use of technology to create as well as research, and further development of critical thinking skills.
The final stage at MCS culminates in the Adolescent classroom for seventh and eighth grade students. The middle school program offers an environment for the adolescent to be an active, self-directed learner by practicing organization, prioritizing, time management, and communication skills. Students collaborate frequently in small group settings and engage in various project based activities and problem based learning. Students become vital members of the greater community through outings, service learning, and overnight field trips.
The impact of the programs and the work done by students shows in their academic performance. In 2018-2019, MCS received an overall rating of “Good” for the elementary grades and “Excellent” for the middle school grades. Both levels received ratings of “Excellent” in the areas of Academic Achievement and Student Engagement. In literacy specifically, the MCS community works toward the Charleston County School District goal of all students reading on grade level by 5th grade in 2027 in a number of ways: by using assessments and intervention at the pre-k level to identify and support student needs, by using multiple Tier 1, 2 and 3 strategies for reading with students at all grade levels, and by integrating teaching literacy into math, science and social studies content. To support students in other important areas, MCS has a strong visual arts program, Strings and Band at both elementary and middle school levels and a Girls Volleyball Team. Both Upper Elementary and Middle School classes have annual extended field trips (2-3 days) in addition to local excursions into the community. While many of these activities were curtailed or eliminated during COVID 19 restrictions, our community has begun to return to these important pieces of our Montessori core.
Montessori Community School embodies a community spirit and partnership among students, parents and faculty. A shared philosophy toward learning and a commitment to Montessori education has enabled us to have a common vision and a strong, positive school culture.
Kimberly Hay, Principal
Traci Lewis, SIC Chair