Program Overview:

“ Our principal concern must be to educate humanity-the human beings of all nations-in order to guide it toward seeking common goals.” Maria Montessori, Education and Peace

Beginning in Kindergarten and throughout the Elementary years, children look beyond themselves and search to find their place in the greater community. Montessori philosophy addresses that quest in the Cosmic Education curriculum, that starts with an understanding of the Universe we live in, and then focuses inward to develop an appreciation of the intricacies of the world around us.

Elementary students strive to grasp the cultural norms within their community and to develop a sense of right and wrong. This is why, at Monarch Montessori, there is a great emphasis on the development of the whole child and creating a better world through our peace curriculum.

Our students need to be prepared to face an ever-expanding global world. At our school, we equip the students with a love of learning and a strong sense of independence and leadership, while developing superior abilities in the academic skills needed to succeed.

Our Lead teachers are highly trained Montessorians, with years of teaching experience. Our assistant teachers are more than just assistants. They are an important part of the Elementary team, and they all have valuable skills that enhance our classrooms. The Specials teachers bring with them an ability to enhance the students’ worlds beyond the academic, teaching them the importance of physical education, the arts, literacy, and technology while respecting the Montessori philosophy that is the basis of our school. Our interventionists are an experienced team that supports the many needs of our diverse community, to bring out the best in all students.

Monarch Montessori is a community of learners dedicated to the development of independent thinkers and leaders, who have a well-established sense of what their role is in the world and how they can make a difference, and who are prepared academically to succeed.

 

Dual Language Path:

Starting in the 2019-20 school year, Monarch will begin a dual language path in Kindergarten. Click here to learn more.

 

Mixed Age Groupings:

Maria Montessori very deliberately created her classrooms to include mixed age groupings. She identified the ages 6-9 years old and 9-12 years old as different planes of development with unique needs. At Monarch, we have lower elementary (1-3rd grade) and upper elementary (4th and 5th grade) classrooms, along with kindergarten classrooms. There are many benefits to having a range of ages together. Older children can be role models and mentors to the younger students. Advanced students are not confined to a specific grade level curriculum and struggling students need not feel uncomfortable because such a variety of academic levels co-exist. Students are usually able to remain in a classroom for consecutive years, deepening the bonds between teachers and students. When a child has progressed from one of the younger grades to the oldest grade, they are able to develop leadership skills and a sense of achievement. A quick glance at one of our rooms will demonstrate how successful multi-age classrooms really are.

 

Daily Schedule:

Our school day begins with daily drop off between 8:10-8:25 Students have a chance to greet members of the community, and have some free time, before the start of the school day. When students arrive in their classrooms, they are offered a breakfast provided at no cost. The class time begins with this breakfast routine and a chance for teachers to check in with the group. Academics begin by 8:45 and individual schedules vary by classroom. Throughout the school day, students have an extended period of work time, an opportunity for lunch and recess, and a daily Special. The day wraps up at 3:30 and pick up begins at 3:40. After school care is provided by the Champions Program, whose hours are from 7:00 am to 8:10 and then from 4:00-6:00, every day. Tutoring is also available for those who need extra academic support.

 

Curriculum:

Montessori curriculum is the cornerstone of our program at Monarch Montessori. Classrooms are well equipped with unique, hands-on materials, many created by Maria Montessori herself, to develop a deep understanding of concepts in all areas. “Works” are arranged on shelves within the classrooms, so that students have access to a wide variety of opportunities throughout the day. Students are able to choose where to complete their work, and they utilize not only individual desks, but also group tables, rugs on the floor, and standing desks. The teachers, or “guides” present lessons in large groups, small groups, and individually. The students are free to work independently, choosing from their work plans. Along with these extended times of individualized work, all students receive a 90 minute literacy block daily to fortify the most important skills of reading and writing. Students have access to Chromebooks, with Upper Elementary students utilizing one on one technology for their work. Peace curriculum and community building are included in the daily experience and are considered a crucial part of the day at Monarch Montessori.

Look at a short excerpt of a Montessori classroom.

Interventions:

Every child is an individual with specific needs, so there is a wide range of supports for students at Monarch Montessori.

  • English Language Acquisition(ELA) – Since one of the strengths of our school is diversity, we have a large population of students who are bilingual and whose families speak another language in their home. These students are part of our ELA program. They have a 45 minute block of English Language Development (ELD), every day in small groups, to maximize opportunities to increase vocabulary and comprehension, and practice oral language. Our ELA team uses a curriculum called EL Achieve that has an interactive and fun approach to learning. The students LOVE coming to the ELD block!
  • Reading Interventions –  All of our students practice weekly on a reading program called IStation. This is an individualized, online experience that evaluates students’ reading levels monthly and then offers them lessons to support areas of weakness and enhance areas of strength. Students who fall more than a year behind in literacy skills are placed on a READ Plan and are provided with additional weekly supports from our Reading Specialist. In ability leveled small groups, students work on their literacy skills, which are the building blocks of all academic growth.
  • Multitiered system of supports (MTSS)– When a teacher struggles to understand the needs of a particular child, that teacher meets with the MTSS committee to receive ideas and support. The MTSS committee is coordinated by the Interventionist Lead and consists of a variety of educators and the school director, all who have a vast knowledge of classroom interventions. Ideas are shared and a plan to monitor progress is developed, so teachers are prepared to face the challenge.
  • Special Education– If interventions have been tried over an extended period of time, and struggles still exist, a student may be evaluated further and placed on an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). Whether a child comes to our school with an IEP in place, or it is deemed appropriate to develop a new IEP, that child will receive support from our Special Education (SPED) team. This team will either work with the child by pushing into the classroom to assist the child, or by pulling the child out to work with our specialists on an individual or small group basis.
  • Gifted and Talented– Students who are performing way above their peers in academics or a specific area of ability may be designated as gifted and talented and, at that time of designation, will receive an Advanced Learning Plan (ALP). This identification process can take a long period of time, as a Body of Evidence is collected. If a child demonstrates a high level of achievement (95% or above) on a variety of statewide testing scenarios, then that child is entered into our Talent Pool, while further points of identification are collected. A Montessori classroom, with its mixed ability levels, provides many opportunities for a child to work above grade level. Our GT teacher creates chances for GT/Talent pool students to work on special projects to challenge themselves. Monarch is connected to the Denver Public Schools GT department, that provides opportunities beyond the school for GT students.