Child in school

Frequently Asked Questions about Montessori Education

Why are Montessori classrooms multi-aged?

The multi-aged aspect is intentional and integral to the Montessori experience. Not only does it provide children with an environment which mirrors the real world, but it also allows children to both lead and follow. The multi-aged classroom blends academic, social and emotional contexts together for robust developmental benefits, builds stronger relationships with teachers over multiple years and allows children the freedom to learn at their own pace.

Are Montessori children successful later in life?

Montessori Research studies show that Montessori children are well prepared for later life academically, socially, and emotionally. In addition to scoring well on standardized tests, Montessori children are ranked above average on such criteria as following directions, turning in work on time, listening attentively, using basic skills, showing responsibility, asking provocative questions, showing enthusiasm for learning, and adapting to new situations

Are Montessori schools religious?

No. Montessori educates children without reference to religious denomination. As a result, our classrooms are extremely diverse, with representation from all peoples, cultures and religions.

Is Montessori a franchise? Who can open a Montessori school?

The term Montessori is not trademarked and anyone, regardless of training, experience or affiliation can open a “Montessori” school. It is essential that parents researching Montessori act as good consumers to ensure the authenticity of their chosen program.

Who accredits Montessori schools?

Dr. Montessori founded the Association Montessori Internationale in 1929 to preserve her legacy. AMI ensures that Montessori schools and teachers are both well-grounded in the basic principles of the method and ready to carry those principles forward in the modern educational world. AMI offers teacher training and conferences, approves the production of Montessori materials and books, and, through their AMI-USA branch office, accredits school

Since Montessori classrooms emphasize non-competitiveness, how are students adequately prepared for real-life competition later on?

Montessori classrooms emphasize competition with oneself: self-monitoring, self-correction, and a variety of other executive skills aimed at continuous improvement. Students typically become comfortable with their strengths and learn how to address their weaknesses. In older classes, students commonly participate in competitive activities with clear “winners” (auditions for limited opera roles, the annual spelling bee, etc.) in which students give their best performances while simultaneously encouraging peers to do the same. It is a healthy competition in which all contenders are content that they did their best in an environment with clear and consistent rules.

What is SCMS’s philosophy regarding standardized testing?

St. Croix Montessori students encounter their first standardized exam in the fourth grade. These exams are used to benchmark progress against a national average and our students take one test per year from fourth to sixth.

How do teachers know students are getting the assistance they need?

The combination of work choice and an expanding set of materials give students the responsibility to independently chart their time in the classroom. By not having the directive to keep all children moving to the same task at the same time, Montessori teachers utilize the opportunity to observe the classroom, move from child to child, provide assistance and present new materials when needed. By having daily interactions with every student, the teacher is fully aware of where each student is, and where they are headed on their developmental journey.

Outside of the academic school year, are there offerings of summer programming?

SCMS offers summer camp programming for Toddlers – third grade. Children in the Toddler Community will be experiencing days which are very similar to their days during the academic school year while students from Children’s House – third grade will experience an outdoor nature based environmental camp guided by weekly themes. Information about summer programming can be found on our Summer Camp page.

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177 Neal Avenue North
Stillwater, MN 55082

Phone: (651) 436-2603

Fax: (651) 436-1170