Spreading Our Wings Gala to soar on May 18




At Mountaineer Montessori School, children are free to fly!

Our child-centered approach to education fosters learning without limits, offering students the time, space and encouragement to go as far and as high as they can.

Since our school’s founding in 1976, we’ve given wings to an estimated 1,000 children, freeing them to discover their passions, fulfill their unique potential and create stronger communities and a promising future.

“Spreading Our Wings,” our annual spring fundraiser, will be held Saturday, May 18, 7:00-10:00 p.m., at the Charleston Woman’s Club.  Buy tickets now


This very special evening will benefit our financial aid, teacher appreciation and specialty programming funds.

We invite our friends to join us as we:

  • Celebrate education that elevates
  • Applaud MMS programs and faculty
  • Bid on amazing class art projects and an array of exciting silent auction prizes Bid online now
  • Enjoy music, dancing, wine/beer, hors d’oeuvres…and more!
  • Mingle with old friends and new
  • Lift up the next generation of business and community leaders, innovators and creators, dreamers and doers

Great night for a great cause!

DJ Mark Davis loves helping people celebrate good times with music, bringing 25 years of musical performance and decades of collecting the best music of every genre to our annual spring event. Mark and Vinyl Village will get you — and keep you — on the dance floor all night long. Surprise appearances by well known musicians and performers are also planned!






Going, going, gone!


A highlight of SPREADING OUR WINGS will be an exciting auction of amazing class art projects and other works of art created by individual students as well as an extensive silent auction featuring an amazing array of vacation and entertainment certificates, fashion and beauty prizes, children’s packages..and more. Take home a one-of-a-kind masterpiece and support education that elevates!

Bid online now!

Text MMS Wings 52181

Auction donation information

Donation receipt













MMS is pleased to offer a wide range of exclusive education investment opportunities to our SPREADING OUR WINGS partners. We invite you to make a splash with a unique themed sponsorship…. bluebird to finch! Your partnership in this high-profile, unique event will showcase your commitment to West Virginia’s children to thousands throughout our region through a sustained marketing campaign and provide critical support to MMSContributions to MMS, a 501(c)(3) organization are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.

Complete sponsorship information is available on our online giving platform or here:

Spreading Our Wings Sponsorship Menu

Spreading Our Wings Sponsor RSVP Form


Spreading Our Wings Auction Letter


















Individual reservations start at $85 per person and include a tax-deductible contribution to MMS. Your reservation includes admission to the most uplifting party of the year, live music, beer/wine and heavy hors d’oeuvres, creative entertainment…. and affirms your support of our mission, faculty and students.  MMS will maintain a guest list and no individual tickets will be mailed.

Because it’s important for our entire school community to join in the celebration, a limited number of free and reduced price reservations will be available. For more information, please contact MMS Director Jennifer Carriger, jcarriger@mountaineermontessori.org.  Your sponsorship dollars support this important community-building effort.

Early bird prices end on April 30, 2019….make your online reservation or complete this form today: Spreading Our Wings RSVP Form



Education that elevates

Mountaineer Montessori serves 140 students ages 3-14 in Charleston, West Virginia — the heart of Appalachia.  Our mission is to elevate our students and region with forward-thinking, 21st century-aligned education that nurtures tomorrow’s problem solvers, creators, entrepreneurs and community builders…a new generation that will lead the way to a brighter tomorrow and a better world.

MMS is a community-based non-profit organization created to unlock the potential of West Virginia’s children through the scientifically-based, time-tested, child centered approach to education pioneered by Dr. Maria Montessori. We receive no government funding. Our operations are funded solely by tuition, foundation and business partnerships, and personal donations.

Community support helps keep our program accessible to the growing number of families seeking access to high-quality alternatives to one-size-fits-all schools. Enrollment has grown 83 percent over the past five years and we are currently unable to enroll all applicants due to space and financial constraints.

SPREADING OUR WINGS provides critical funding for financial aid, teacher training and classroom materials and programs, and help us continue to grow a world-class education option in our region.


Celebrating friends, fun and friendship with MMS!














































Play for the Playground: MMS Race for Education 2021


The excitement is building as students plan what they will do for the MMS Race for Education, an all-school virtual fundraiser to be held March 20-21.

They’re looking forward to running, biking, rollerblading, kayaking and paddle boarding to help raise funds for outdoor learning and play environments at our new Staunton Avenue campus.

How will YOU Play for the Playground? The possibilities are endless!

We counting on everyone to play their way to reach our $15,000 goal.

All you have to do is:

  • Sign up on funrun.com
  • Share with family and friends on social media, texts and email
  • Get a move on for 60 minutes over March 20-21
  • Wear your “M” shirt and post your photos on the Play for the Playground FB event page.
  • Want to support the new outdoor environment with a check? No problem. Just leave your donation with Beth in the main office and note “Race for Education” in the memo line.
  • Enjoy fun rewards! Every student who reaches the $150 individual goal will receive an M metal water bottle. Classes with 100% participation will enjoy an Ellen’s Ice Cream celebration!

Help make our field of dreams a reality!





Located at the former St. Agnes School, 4801 Staunton Avenue, SE, our new consolidated campus (starting 2021-22) features several acres of lush green space, athletic fields, outdoor classroom areas and playground equipment. Play for the Playground will help MMS undertake safety enhancements and equipment and aesthetic improvements to make it “Montessori-ready” for all students in the fall.


MMS Newsletter April 2021

MMS Newsletter April 2021

Campessori 2021 to be held June 21-July 30

Mountaineer Montessori’s signature summer program returns for 2021, with six weeks of awesome to be presented at our new consolidated campus at 4801 Staunton Avenue (former St. Agnes School). Campessori will run June 21-July 30.

Sessions, led by trained MMS faculty with both camp and classroom experience, include specialty and theme week events, with tracks for both primary- and elementary-age children.  

This year’s summer program has been planned to meet health and safety guidelines while remaining true to our school mission. Space will be limited. Registration will open March 15. For more information, contact Campessori Director Alasha Al-Qudwah: aal-qudwah@mountaineermontessori.org.

MMS Newsletter February 2021

The  February 2021 edition of the “M” news is out. Please be sure to read for important updates, upcoming events and other school announcements. 

Text mmsworld to 76278-MMS 2020 Annual Appeal


Text mmsworld to 76278


Peace. Kindness. Creativity. Critical thinking. Leadership. Responsibility. Community. 

These are just a few of the values that the world needs now–and which are at the heart of our mission at Mountaineer Montessori School. 

Founded in 1976, MMS is West Virginia’s original and largest Montessori school, offering a world-class, child-centered educational experience to 145 students ages 3-14 right here in the heart of Appalachia. 

“What the World Needs Now,” the 2020 Annual Appeal, provides essential funding to help us meet the growing demand for high quality academic options in our community and inspire the next generation of innovative thinkers, problem solvers, community builders and visionary leaders.

Your gift will help our school: 

  • Fund facilities upgrades and safety enhancements for all students
  • Benefit our teacher appreciation and training funds and support ongoing curriculum alignment through the AMS Pathways to Continuous School Improvement process.
  • Continue to increase community access through financial aid. 


The goal of this year’s campaign is $25,000. We plan for 100 percent school participation to reach this goal. Every gift of every size matters and makes a difference!


Thanks to your generous contributions to 2019 fundraising, MMS:

  • Expanded to a second facility at the former St. Agnes School to create enlarged, safe learning environments and support future growth.
  • Sponsored out of state AMS training for two teachers, provided professional development and support for remote learning, and worked with national consultants to guide our curriculum alignment initiatives.
  • Provided nearly $50,000 in tuition support and financial assistance to local families.

At MMS, potential is empowered and the future is inspired. With your support, we can continue to elevate education and our community by nurturing what the world needs now.


Please text mmsworld to 76278 or give here today!

Fundraising FAQ 2020


2020 Annual Appeal Ambassadors

We invite you to meet the 2020 Annual Appeal Ambassadors and learn what the epic MMS experience means to our students, families, alumni and staff.



“We get a lot of peace of mind knowing that we are providing the best education for our family that is not only teaching them information, but helping them be curious, creative and respectful… for us, kindness and leadership are particularly important. We want our children to be kind to others and the environment and to help through positive leadership.” 

Enybe Diaz and Brandon Merritt, with Lucia (Lower Elementary), Oliver (Primary) and Sammy 


See more from the Merritt family




“What makes MMS special is that everybody doesn’t have to learn the same thing at he same time. I get to learn at my own pace and work with physical materials instead of worksheets. Working with other students helps accomplish things faster and helps me to understand things better… What I like best is the kindness of the students, teachers and administrators.”

Christopher Hicks, Upper Elementary student  

See more from Christopher





“As an educator, I appreciate the high level of focus on professional development and am excited to be in a community where my learning and growth is also important… MMS offers opportunities for students to explore their musical and artistic interests in specialized classes as well as through integration in the general classroom. Creative expression is truly a part of the culture at MMS.

Emily Christian, Upper Elementary I Lead Guide

See more from Emily







“We appreciate the family atmosphere and love our children receive from every single person at Montessori. They are respected and treated like equals and taught to respect others the same… We have observed our children learn responsibility early with their work environment. their daily chores. and peers… As they grow, we see it move from the classroom to each community they are a part of.”

Melissa Wilbur and Richard, Rowan (Upper Elementary) and Macie (Lower Elementary) Wilbur

See more from the Wilburs 






Critical thinking

“At MMS, I was encouraged to pursue wide ranging academic interests and follow my intellectual curiosities. I learned how to draw connections and identify points of intersection.  Time and again, I returned to the well of that connection-drawing that I developed through the Montessori experience… the critical thinking skills I honed at MMS have left a lasting impact on my academic and professional pursuits. It was the academic freedom at MMS that permitted me to forge my own process of critical assessment.” 

Max Gottlieb, MMS alumnus, attorney; BA, Georgetown University, J.D. Washington and Lee School of Law. 

See more from Max Gottlieb



Please text mmsworld to 76278 or give here today!


The 2020 MMS Annual Appeal theme was inspired by this whimsical painting, “What a Wonderful World,” created by MMS Middle School students in partnership with Charly Hamilton. 








Back to school announcements and updates

MMS Back Together Handbook 8-7-2020


Mountaineer Montessori Message February 8, 2021

The second half of the school year always goes by quickly at MMS!

Although it seems as if we just returned to school, planning is well underway for spring and for next year. Please take a few minutes for this important update from MMS Director Jennifer Carriger, which will help you prepare for the months ahead and for exciting changes in 2021-22.



Mountaineer Montessori Message January 18, 2021

In today’s MMM, Director Jennifer Carriger shares important updates and instructions as we return to in-classroom learning on Tuesday, January 19.



Mountaineer Montessori Message January 7, 2021

Thank you for your supporting your child during this week of remote learning for all students.  

Shortly after our decision to shift to remote learning for this week, Kanawha County’s COVID numbers placed the county in the “red” designation on the DHHR COVID map. Our current school policy states that once Kanawha County turns red on the COVID color map, we will not resume in-person learning until the county has been ‘orange’ for five consecutive days.  Based on this week’s numbers, it appears unlikely that we will be able to open our campuses for in-person learning next week under this policy.

So, at this point, we plan for another week of remote learning for next week, January 11-15.  You will receive additional communication from your child’s teachers regarding the remote lesson schedule and other details for next week.  

If you are currently using our emergency care program, and you plan to continue, you do not need to contact the school.  If your plans have changed, or if you are now in need of emergency care for next week, please email Jennifer Carriger (jcarriger@mountaineermontessori.org) by Saturday, January 9, at 12:00 noon.  She will send an email to all emergency care families on Sunday, January 10, by 12:00 noon.

The MMS Board of Directors will meet on Monday, January 11 to review our current COVID policies and determine how we will operate moving forward in light of the Governor’s announcement that the color map will no longer apply to elementary and middle schools. An update will be sent to all families following that meeting.

We continue to emphasize the importance of strict adherence to safety protocols to help keep your families and our community safe.  Wearing masks, maintaining social distancing, hand washing and limiting exposure to those outside your immediate household are essential, and are the only ways to contain the virus until vaccines become widely available.

We are so grateful for your continuing patience, flexibility and support.  

Take care and stay safe,


Mountaineer Montessori Message November 24, 2020

As we head into Thanksgiving break, MMS Director Jennifer Carriger shares several important announcements regarding upcoming events, the What the World Needs Now Annual Appeal, and other school news. Please watch today’s Mountaineer Montessori Message to stay up to date… and have a safe and meaningful Thanksgiving with your families!


We are so grateful for your diligence and commitment to the safety of your family and your community–we’ll need to continue that same high level of care to keep everyone healthy and our school open in the days and weeks ahead!

CDC Holiday Guidelines


MMS Announcement November 16, 2020

In response to Governor Justice’s announcement regarding Thanksgiving school closures and the upcoming holiday season, the MMS Board has updated certain policies and procedures. Please follow this link for more information and stay safe!



Mountaineer Montessori Message October 9, 2020

It’s great to be back at school after our time of remote learning.

From the time the “new normal” began over six months ago, our Board and staff have been dedicated to providing a high quality, safe Montessori education experience to your child, and have worked tirelessly to keep our students on campus as much as we can. We’ve explored every option to provide face to face learning and will continue that focus in the weeks and months ahead.

Last week, MMS participated in a school-wide testing event last week as a step toward re-opening under an Executive Order by Governor Justice. I want to thank all of our families and staff for participating in the testing on short notice and am pleased to report that all of our tests came back negative! We are so grateful for your diligence and commitment to safety for your family and your community. We’ll need to continue that same high level of care to keep it that way. Please continue to wear masks, limit exposure to those outside your household, restrict travel and maintain social distancing… it’s essential to keeping your family healthy and our school open.

As previously reported, MMS has implemented extraordinary measures to create safe learning environments for our students. These include:

  • Expanding to a second campus on Staunton Avenue, which doubles classroom sizes for all students and provides for physical distancing
  • Creating individual work areas
  • Providing sinks in every classroom
  • Adding new furniture and additional materials in classrooms to avoid contamination
  • Securing additional screens for windows and doors to provide natural ventilation and air circulation.
  • Implementing HVAC and other air quality improvements, including HEPA filters in all classrooms.

Thank you again for your support… it’s wonderful to see your children back on campus!



Mountaineer Montessori Message September 7, 2020


After months of being apart and countless hours of hard work, the big day is almost here!

We are thrilled to welcome our students back to school tomorrow. Some things may look and feel a little different, but who we are and what we can do together never changes.

Please take a few minutes to watch this important welcome back message from members of our school community. They share the excitement and gratitude we all feel for the opportunity to come together for our 44th year of excellence and innovation in education.

We can’t wait to see you tomorrow.

Welcome back!


MMS to continue operations as a child care center, offer remote learning on September 8, 2020

A new school year starts in just a few days. We have been working toward this important moment for many months. Our preparations have been as grand as expanding to a second campus to the small, yet important, adjustments that will help individual classrooms run smoothly and safely.

Our summer camp preparations, back to school nights, participation in numerous trainings and professional development seminars, and staff workdays have given us the time and experience necessary to adapt to our new classroom environments and safety procedures. Everyone at MMS is absolutely committed to a safe, strong and successful school year.

Our 2020-21 plan is outlined in our Back Together  handbook, which was released a month ago. It is available on our website, and we encourage all parents to review this critical information once again before Tuesday.

As you may be aware, the West Virginia Department of Education has adopted a color code system to determine how and when schools in each county may operate. West Virginia’s school re-entry is guided by metrics developed by the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (WVDHHR).  Based on a four-color system – green, yellow, orange and red – each county is assigned a color based on the prevalence of COVID-19 within its borders.

Read the entire announcement



MMS Newsletter August 2020 

Be sure to read the latest issue of the school newsletter for critical back to school information, staff announcements and calendar updates.


Mountaineer  Montessori Message August 18, 2020


A safe and healthy school year depends on what we all do today.

As we prepare our buildings and classrooms for students, it’s also time to prepare ourselves and our families.

The MMS “Back Together” handbook outlines some of the measures families are expected to take in the weeks up to and during the year ahead.  (Please refer to the handbook and details below.)

Getting familiar with and practicing new arrival procedures in one activity your family can begin today. In today’s Mountaineer Montessori Message, the Hicks family demonstrates what arrival will look like starting on September 8. Please watch this video with your students (more than once!) and rehearse your new morning routine.

Creating and maintaining a healthy campus environment will require the commitment and participation of our entire school community—students, teachers and families. 

MMS will adhere to strict safeguards on campus and we emphasize a comparable level of diligence by our families outside of school. Individual decisions can affect our entire school community, some of whom are essential health care workers, have pre-existing medical conditions, or are elderly. We implore families to follow CDC guidelines and exercise responsible judgment about interactions, travel, and other activity with public health ramifications. Staying healthy is one of the best ways we can model the Montessori peace philosophy at this time.

Thank you for helping us get our new year off to a healthy start!

Please print and save this daily health screening chart:

MMS School Check in Covid Chart












Back to school volunteer opportunities

“The child should live in an environment of beauty.” Maria Montessori

At MMS the environment is the “third teacher” in the classroom, and we have always been proud of our beautiful learning spaces. This year, we are asking your help to sustain this tradition by taking part in the preparation of  our buildings and classrooms for back to school. As announced, MMS is implementing major facilities changes at all levels that necessitate improvements, moves and enhancements.

Right now, we are looking for volunteers to move furniture, clear out classrooms, and paint some spaces at the Staunton Avenue campus. This is a great opportunity to get a sneak peek at our new facility!

Please note that these volunteer opportunities are for ADULTS ONLY. MMS cannot provide childcare, and for safety reasons, cannot accommodate children on the premises at this time.

Volunteer shifts start Monday, August 10. Please take a moment to look at the openings on the Google form, and sign up there. We will need firm commitments for planning purposes. We greatly appreciate your help!

Next week, additional volunteer slots will open for work needed at both campuses and for all class levels, Primary, Lower Elementary, Upper Elementary and Middle School.

This post will be updated with that information.

Thanks in advance for helping your school get off to a beautiful start to the new year!



Mountaineer Montessori Message August 7, 2020



Back to school is always a time of great anticipation for students, teachers and parents. The beginning of this school year will be even more momentous and meaningful for all of us.

MMS has dedicated the past months to creating the foundation for a safe, strong and successful year ahead.

The extraordinary investments we have made in facilities enhancements, as well as new protocols and policies, to support learning in a new dynamic are outlined in “Back Together,” our back to school handbook.

Among the major changes is the expansion to a second campus, which will double classroom space for all students. Students will work in small groups that are effectively half of our traditional class size.

While things may be different, we know they can still be amazing for your child and we are absolutely determined to provide a wonderful educational experience for your family.

Our plans are centered on in-classroom, on-campus learning, five days a week, for all students. It is imperative that families read this entire plan carefully as soon as possible.

MMS Jennifer Carriger will be calling every MMS family individually in the days ahead for a personalized, one-on-one back to school session.These calls will be an opportunity for you to review the plan together and for you to ask questions.

Embracing obstacles as opportunities requires us to stretch beyond our comfort zones. But if any community can do it well, it’s ours.

Montessori education nurtures the very skills that our school – and our world – need now more than ever: problem solving, imagination, innovation, resiliency, flexibility, creativity and empathy. If you’re a part of our community, we know you already have these qualities inside of you.

Many of our new procedures were introduced during Campessori, the MMS summer program. The most surprising observation from these nine weeks was that there were few surprises. Children transitioned well and thrived within the restructured Campessori, giving us confidence, insight and the equivalent of a full school quarter (nine weeks) of experience for roll out in the upcoming school year.

As Maria Montessori said, “follow the child.”

“Back Together” is a living document. We will expand, revise and update this handbook to meet changing conditions and new directives, as well as to provide further guidance as required. Now, more than ever, your patience and partnership will be essential for a successful year.

Founded in 1976, MMS has built a proud tradition of excellence and innovation in education, continually evolving and growing to elevate our programs and community. If the past is any indication, and with your support, we have every confidence that we will continue to raise the bar in the year ahead.

Welcome back!


MMS Back Together Handbook 8-7-2020


Mountaineer Montessori Message August 3, 2020

MMS has adjusted our 2020-2021 school calendar based on the new September 8 start date ordered by Governor Justice. In order to keep 180 instructional days for students, we have extended the last day of school to June 11 and  re-configured our school breaks.

We are planning for staggered start days, with a few changes this year due to new safety protocols and procedures.

Our first three days of school (September 8-10) will be half-days, with early dismissal each of those days. We will start full days on September 11, with our noon-2:50 p.m. Plus Program for three- and four-year-olds beginning then as well. 

We plan to phase in after-school Plus on October 1, once we have had time to adjust to new routines and procedures.

The revised 2020-2021 calendar highlights are available here. All dates are subject to revision, and we will inform you right away if changes are needed. Thank you for your support and patience.

Please note that we will hold parent conferences in late October/early November and again in March. Conferences will be held via Zoom over the course of several afternoons. School will not be closed on conference days. We still plan to provide Parent Education sessions throughout the year – those plans are still in process. We will send more details once school starts.

Arrival times:

  • Primary and Lower Elementary (308 20th Street) – 7:50-8:15 a.m.
  • Upper Elementary and Middle School (4801 Staunton Avenue) – 8:10-8:30 a.m.

Dismissal times:

  • Primary Morning Friends – 11:50 a,m.-12:10 p.m.
  • Primary and Lower Elementary – 2:50-3:15 p.m.
  • Upper Elementary and Middle School – 3:10-3:30 p.m.



Summer program lays foundation for a strong school year

Planning, preparing for and presenting our Campessori summer program has given MMS a three month head start on implementing enhanced safety procedures and lays the foundation for a strong back to school in September.

We’ve gained invaluable insight, hands on experience, and practical feedback from our students, families and teachers over the summer, which will guide our new procedures and policies moving forward. The children have transitioned well to this year’s Campessori structure and response from families has been so positive that our summer program was extended for a total of nine weeks (Elementary)/eight weeks (Primary).

As announced on Monday, MMS is doubling classroom space for all students and staff by housing Upper Elementary and Middle School classes at the St. Agnes School in Kanawha City. We are thrilled to provide expanded learning environments to meet social distancing guidelines this year and accommodate our growing school enrollment and programs in the years ahead.

Expanding our learning environments was central to the MMS 2020-21 Re-entry Plan. Now that the critical facilities issues have been addressed, our Re-entry Task Force will convene next week to finalize policy and protocol recommendations. We are grateful for your continuing support and honored to have your family as part of our school community. Please know we are fully committed to offering a safe, strong, and successful educational experience to all students in the year ahead!


Mountaineer Montessori Message July 27, 2020

MMS is pleased announce our expansion to the St. Agnes School in Kanawha City for 2020-21 school year.

Beginning in September, Upper Elementary and Middle School classes will be housed at the St. Agnes campus at 4801 Staunton Avenue, SE, in Kanawha City. This move will enable MMS to double classroom space for all students, both at the new campus and the main MMS building at 308 20th Street, SE, in the year ahead. MMS plans an eventual relocation of all students to the St. Agnes facility.

Securing additional space to provide social distancing for students and staff has been a top priority for the MMS Re-entry Task Force.  The split campus for 2020-21 will create twice the space for our school, giving all children and teachers ample area for learning. Beyond the immediate school year, the St. Agnes facility will also enable MMS to accommodate continued enrollment growth, which has increased more than 80 percent in the past 10 years. We expect 144 students in 2020-21.

The St. Agnes School, which was open for more than 90 years, also includes many attractive amenities that support the Montessori curriculum, including two acres of greenspace, a gymnasium, and a commercial kitchen. MMS is entering into a long-term lease for the school building and grounds.

“We are honored to continue the long tradition of excellence in education established at St. Agnes,” said MMS Director Jennifer Carriger. “This wonderful facility aligns with the priorities outlined in our strategic plan, helps us serve a growing number of families in our community, and answers our immediate concerns for social distancing and safety.”

Work will be underway soon at the St. Agnes facility to ready expanded Upper Elementary and Middle School classrooms. Classrooms will also be rearranged and/or reassigned at the current building to allow for doubling of space. Now that expanded facilities have been secured, our Re-entry Task Force will reconvene to finalize procedures regarding arrival, dismissal, administration of the Plus Program and other back to school issues.

MMS administration and Board of Directors also continue their efforts prepare for a safe, strong and successful school year. Additional safety protocols and policies will be finalized in coming weeks.

We are thrilled to share this good news with you, which follows many years of hard work seeking additional space for our growing school community and meets challenges arising from COVID-19.

Please continue to watch for important updates is the days and weeks ahead. As always, we appreciate your support and encouragement and look forward to seeing you in September. 

Feedback may be directed to Jennifer at jcarriger@mountaineermontessori.org


Mountaineer Montessori Message July 21, 2020

A top priority of the MMS Re-entry Task Force and Board of Directors has been securing expanded space to meet CDC guidelines and enable social distancing for our students and staff.

We are pleased to announce that additional classrooms have been identified in Kanawha City to house selected levels for the 2020-21 school year.

This expansion will essentially double the learning space available for each MMS student in the year ahead. The board is finalizing arrangements and details will be shared as soon as they are available. 

You can learn more from Director Jennifer Carriger in today’s Mountaineer Montessori Message, which also includes important calendar and Campessori announcements.  

We are grateful for the dedication and commitment of MMS administration, board and task force members and thrilled to share this positive news. We are also thankful for the support, encouragement and patience of our school community as we continue our work towards a safe, strong and successful school year together!



Mountaineer Montessori Message July 13, 2020


Updated back to school plans for the 2020-21 school year are being shared with MMS families today by Director Jennifer Carriger. The working plan was developed by the MMS Re-entry Task Force, composed of parents, teachers, administration and board members, and approved by the full Board of Directors on July 10. (As a reminder, the first day of school has been pushed back to September 8 in response to an order by Governor Justice.)

In a video presentation, Jennifer walks us through the planning process and what learning will look like at our school under various scenarios (DRAFT MMS Back to School Scenarios 7-13-20), with the goal of in-person learning for as many students as possible for as many days as possible while meeting all guidelines from the CDC, Kanawha-Charleston Health Department and the WV DHHR.

“Without safety, nothing else can be achieved,” Jennifer notes. 

The MMS plan is based–and all decisions have and will be made–to align with four guiding principles:

  • Safety
  • Montessori learning
  • Family partnerships
  • Constant and ongoing monitoring

The presentation offers a look at:

  • How MMS is working towards safe re-opening
  • What is planned
  • What parents can expect
  • How we will work together to succeed

Parents are encouraged to take notes as they watch this presentation and forward any questions or input to Jennifer  (jcarriger@mountaineermontessori.org) at your earliest convenience. Your feedback will be forwarded to the task force and help MMS further refine and adjust the plan in the weeks ahead. Please look for updates from Jennifer and MMS as we continue our hard work to lay the foundation for safe and strong year together!



Back to school update, July 10, 2020

Dear MMS families,

As you may be aware, Governor Justice has extended his emergency declaration order closing schools up to September 8, 2020.  The order impacts both public and private schools.

Our Re-Entry Task force has prepared a scenario-based planning document that was reviewed and approved by the MMS Board of Directors today.  We are also working to finalize a new school calendar for the 2020-2021 school year that reflects a new start date of September 8.  

You will receive more details by Monday, including a video presentation describing our planning steps and our school re-entry plan.  In the video, I will go through each part of the re-entry plan to help you get a clear sense of how re-entry will occur and what modifications will be made to the school’s physical space, procedures and protocols in order to keep our school community safe.  

Many thanks to the Board of Directors, the Re-Entry Task force, and all of you for your continued support of our MMS community. 

Take care and stay safe,





Mountaineer Montessori Message July 3, 2020


MMS Director Jennifer Carriger is back with an update on the status of back to school planning at MMS.

The Re-entry Task Force has had its initial meeting and is moving forward apace to develop a road map for a safe year together at our school. Thanks to the many parents who participated in the Re-entry Survey distributed in June. Your responses provided valuable insight and ideas for the year ahead.

The task force has divided its work in to six main areas of focus:

  • Communication
  • Policy and Calendar
  • Facilities and Supplies
  • Health and Wellness
  • Education and Training
  • Gatherings, Visitors and Events

By the end of today, all of the subcommittees will have met to develop a plan of action for their area of responsibility. Their recommendations will be incorporated into a school-wide Re-entry Plan that will be reviewed by the Board of Directors. The goal is to distribute this plan to our community in two-three weeks.

The Re-entry Plan will be built on three pillars:

  • Being together as a school community
  • Keeping our students, families, faculty and staff safe
  • Continuing to deliver a high-quality Montessori education to our students

The MMS task force, Board and staff continue to participate in professional development and online training; closely monitor developments; and research and gather recommendations and guidance from public health, education and medical organizations.

As with our remote learning updates, a page on our website will be dedicated to re-entry information. The link will found under the “What’s New” box on the home page.

Campessori, our summer program, is in full swing. We are delighted to offer this opportunity to our families, which provides wonderful, in-person enrichment activities to your children and offers helpful insight and practice for August.

Please watch for updates on steps you can take to help prepare your child and family for back to school as well as announcements on the Re-entry Plan.

Thank you again for your support and patience. As always, if you have any questions or suggestions, please contact Jennifer at jcarriger@mounaineermontessori.org.

Stay safe and have a happy Fourth of July!  We look forward to being together with you in the new school year. 


Mountaineer Montessori Message June 19, 2020



It has been a year that we all will remember. We are so proud of the students, teachers and families who sustained the learning, creativity and discovery in the face of the unknown over the past months. We ended the year on very strong and positive footing, and are deeply grateful for each and every one of you!

The spirit of Mountaineer Montessori was kept bright with remote learning and parent education as well as the signature events and traditions that are part of the MMS experience. Thank you to all who helped make the fourth annual MMMS Talent Show , 21 st Tie Dye Day, Eighth Year Graduation, and our Virtually Epic Spring Gala successful. And could there have been a better way to wrap up the year under any circumstances than the end of year parade? It was wonderful to see your bright faces pass in front of the school for nearly two hours in the rain!

Campessori 2020 is off to a great start this week! Our school yard and classrooms ring with the joyful sounds of “happy campers.” There are still a few spaces available in selected weeks… please contact Alasha Al-Qudwah aal-qudwah@mountaineermontessori.org if you would like to register your child.


Planning for 2020-21

Preparations for the new school year are underway. Our top priority is the safety and well-being of our students, staff, and families. As we pursue every possible avenue that will allow us to carry out our school’s mission while adhering to safety and health guidelines and recommendations, we want to hear your thoughts and suggestions. Please take a minute to complete a short survey and return it by Tuesday, June 23 . Your feedback is important.

Back to school survey

So far, 2020-21 planning has included participation in multiple meetings, phone conferences, webinars, and discussion groups with the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department, the WV Department of Health and Human Resources, American Montessori Society consultants and member schools, and the National Association of Independent Schools. We are also monitoring announcements from Governor Justice, the state department of education, and Kanawha County Schools.

We are creating a re-entry task force in order to prepare the start of the school year, which is scheduled for August 17. The re-entry task force will include representatives from our MMS staff (administration and guides), representatives from the Board of Directors, and representatives from the parent community. We will continue to consult with the Health Department, DHHR, WVDE, Kanawha County Schools, American Montessori Society, and other outside agencies and consultants as well.

If you are interested in joining the re-entry task force, please email Jennifer at  jcarriger@mountaineermontessori.org  by Tuesday, June 23. Task force meetings will take place via Zoom on Tuesdays from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.. The first meeting will be held on Tuesday, June 30 . We will meet more often as needed.

All parents, please take a moment to answer the following questions that will help us get this important work started. We ask that you complete the survey by Tuesday, June 23.


Back to school survey

Thank you!



Seven weeks of awesome-MMS Campessori returns for 2020

UPDATE: Campessori 2020 has been extended through August 14 for elementary students and August 7 for primary friends. For more information, contact Alasha Al-Qudwah: aal-qudwah@mountaineermontessori.org.


Mountaineer Montessori presents experiential learning opportunities on campus and in the community during summer breaks. Sessions, led by trained MMS faculty with both camp and classroom experience, include specialty and theme week events, with tracks for both primary- and elementary-age children. 

MMS will again offer seven weeks of awesome with our 2020 Campessori program, running June 15-August 1.

This year’s summer program has been planned to meet current health and safety guidelines while remaining true to our school mission. For more information, contact Campessori Director Alasha Al-Qudwah: aal-qudwah@mountaineermontessori.org. 


Virtual enrollment tours/admissions sessions underway

MMS 2020-21 Prospective Parent Tours Scheduled

2020-21 Back to school information

MMS Back Together Handbook 8-7-2020


 Virtual school tours and private Zoom admissions sessions for the 2020-21 school year at Mountaineer Montessori school are underway. 

Private, 45-minute Zoom sessions with MMS Director Jennifer Carriger will be held from 9:00-9:45 a.m. on the following Wednesdays:

September 30

October 7, 14, 21, 28

November 4, 11, 18


To begin the admissions process, we invite you to:

  • Watch the two videos below for a virtual tour of our classrooms and facilities and get an overview of our curriculum and programs.
  • Explore this website for information on our school philosophy and historybasics of the Montessori approach to education education; a look at our programs for each level as well as arts and enrichment activities; to meet our faculty; and see other items of interest to prospective parents.
  • Complete this online form to request more information or schedule a Zoom admissions session.
  • Please note and save the Zoom link and log in information:


    Meeting ID: 940 1442 1447

    Password: MMSinfo


Mountaineer Montessori Enrollment Part I: Virtual Tour


MMS Enrollment Part II: Overview of Programs and Curriculum

Tomorrow begins today!

Virtual tours for the 2020-21 school year at Mountaineer Montessori School have been scheduled.

Families interested in enrolling a student in Primary (ages 3-6),  Elementary (ages 6-12) or Middle School (ages 12-14) classes next year are invited to reserve their space at one of the following upcoming tours:

Classes fill up quickly and MMS has maintained a waiting list for the past several years. Future MMS families are encouraged to begin the admissions process at their earliest convenience.

MMS serves more than 140 children ages 3-14 in a fully implemented Montessori environment, offering an expansive academic and arts curriculum, along with an extensive after-school program, summer camps, foreign language, chess, robotics, individual learning support, cross country and other enrichment activities. Founded in 1976, MMS is the original and largest Montessori school in West Virginia, and offers the first Montessori Middle School program in the state. MMS is an AMS Pathways to Continuous School Improvement school and the only full member of the America Montessori Society in West Virginia. All lead teachers train at programs certified by the Association Montessori Internationale or the American Montessori Society.  Financial is available.

MMS considers all children for admission based upon their readiness for school, potential for success in a Montessori classroom and our enrollment capacity. MMS is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, creed, religion or ethnic or national origin in its admission policy.


Students create PSA on healthy lifestyles

Upper Elementary II students put their nutritional science studies into action this spring with a public service announcement on healthy lifestyles. Students were initially assigned to create a PSA at home to communicate what they learned about healthy eating and the importance of staying active. After learning about the assignment, Abbey Fiorelli, a classroom parent and Creative Director at Digital Relativity, volunteered to create a professional video with the class. Abbey and Jason Adams, also from Digital Relativity, worked with the class on the content and concept, which developed into a parody music video to the tune of “Old Town Road.” The students had three songwriting sessions to create lyrics using their knowledge from the nutritional science lessons. It all came together during a fun video shoot at the Clay Center with the students and Jason. Congratulations to everyone involved in this fun and memorable project!


MMS to reunite, end year with peace parade


WHAT: Peace Parade and End of School Celebration

WHEN: Friday, June 5, 2020, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

WHERE: Mountaineer Montessori School, 308 20th Street, SE, Charleston

Mountaineer Montessori School will end its school year tomorrow, Friday, June 5, with a drive through peace parade. The parade will proceed down 20th Street in front the school’s main building.

The event will be the first time students and teachers will see each other in person since mandated school closures in March. Teachers are planning surprises for students to end the year on an uplifting note. 

In response to nationwide unrest, the event will also be a visible demonstration of the Montessori peace philosophy and the school’s commitment to respect, justice and safety for all peopleFamilies have been encouraged to make signs and decorate their cars with messages and signs of love, kindness and unity for the community as a whole.

“As we wind down a momentous year with much-deserved celebrations, we must also look around and understand that we are part of a larger world,” said MMS Director Jennifer Carriger. See statement of Montessori and racial justice.

As Maria Montessori explained, “We shall walk together on this path of life, for all things are part of the universe, and are connected with each other to form one whole unity.

“At MMS, we are connected to each other, to our community and to our fellow men and women everywhere,” Carriger said. “Our school is built upon a deep respect for the individual dignity of every person and an understanding that our connections as humans are indivisible.”

“As Montessorians, we help create a better world through the child. We can’t think of a better way to end the school year than with this uplifting lesson in unity. Our parade is intended to put Montessori peace philosophy into action and demonstrate our commitment to justice, respect and safety for our community and all people everywhere.”

Founded in 1976, Mountaineer Montessori is West Virginia’s original and largest Montessori school serving children ages 3-14 at campuses in Kanawha City and South Hills.


NOTE: Media covering this event are required to follow social distancing guidelines. Camera crews are requested to position themselves on the south side of 20th Street or on Frontage Road to ensure safety. MMS representatives will be available for on or off camera interviews  For details, contact JoEllen Zacks, 312/622-3008 (cell-text), marketing@mountaineermontessori.org or MMS Director Jennifer Carriger, jcarriger@mountaineermontessori.org.