‘Education and the teenage brain’ session to be held May 2

Adolescence is a time of profound intellectual, social, emotional and physical transition. Teenagers think and act in different and unique ways. Those who study brain development describe the teen years as “a period of vulnerabilities and opportunities.”

At the same time that children are changing, the world around them is being transformed. Rapid transitions in technology and increasing globalization present new and continuing challenges for today’s students. Innovation, critical thinking and collaboration are the skills that will separate young people who are prepared for increasingly complex life and work environments in the 21st century and those who are not.

To help parents understand and prepare for this pivotal stage in their child’s development, Mountaineer Montessori School will present a special session on “Education and the Teenage Brain” with guest speaker David Kahn on Tuesday, May 2, 7:00 p.m. at South Ruffner Presbyterian Church, 300 20th Street. Kahn is one the world’s preeminent adolescent education consultants, working with schools around the world to design research-driven, developmentally-based middle and high school programs.

Kahn will discuss what the growing body of research on adolescents tells us about how to best educate teens and prepare them intellectually, socially and emotionally for the challenges of a changing world and share his own perspective training educators and advising schools around the world. He is the executive director of the North American Montessori Teachers Association (NAMTA).

MMS Co-Directors Suzanne Sanders and Jennifer Carriger consult with David Kahn (the grandfather of international Montessori) at AMI Whole School Management Training.

Kahn was part of the team that advised MMS on the development of our middle school component in 2014 and will be meeting with teachers, students and parents during his three days in Charleston next week.

Kahn has been called the “grandfather of international Montessori,” but his lessons can apply to all education settings, and the information he shares will be helpful to every parent.

The program is free and open to the public, but advance registration is requested. To RSVP, please contact Beth George at bgeorge@mountaineermontessori.org.

Standardized testing week at MMS

Lower Elementary students learn about test taking procedures to prepare for standardized testing.

As the end of the year rapidly approaches, it is once again time for standardized testing at Mountaineer Montessori School. Though not a part of the standard Montessori curriculum, standardized tests are approached as a practical life skill in states that require them. Our own state of West Virginia, for example, mandates testing for our students in grades 1-8.

At MMS, students participate in the Stanford Achievement Test, a nationally-normed test that is more comprehensive than most state assessments.

The formality of standardized tests can seem a little strange to children, so it is important to prepare them for success. Students have been participating in practice testing and learning test taking procedures and strategies to help get them ready for the week ahead.

Please make sure the children are here promptly at 8:00 a.m., as testing cannot begin until all students are present. Also, make sure they are well rested and come to school having had a good breakfast. The children will test in small groups by their grade level. All students will be given ample time to finish the test, with breaks for rest and snacks.


Assessing student progress in a Montessori environment


Standardized testing is just one form of ​assessment at Mountaineer Montessori, though this type of testing may seem the most familiar due to its emphasis in conventional schooling. We are dedicated to a whole-child approach, and observe the academic development of the child, while also assessing social, emotional, and developmental progress. The core of our assessment is daily teacher observation, interaction, and record-keeping. This daily assessment is shared with parents throughout the year.

Lower Elementary students complete sample questions to get ready for standardized testing week.

In addition to daily teacher observations and interactions, the staff of Mountaineer Montessori School uses the following methods and tools to create an ongoing record of student progress:

* using materials with control of error, where mastery can be confirmed by checking answers independently

* maintaining portfolios of student work

* gathering essays and writing samples

* observing and providing feedback for individual and small group projects

* viewing student research projects and oral presentations

* checking test responses to teacher or student-made tests

* performing frequent screening tests and monitoring progress (i.e., DIBELS)

* evaluating results of the Stanford Achievement Test, 10th Edition


Most students approach the test in a joyful manner, and enjoy the interaction. For any who have anxiety over testing, we reassure the children by reminding them that standardized tests are a tool for making our own instruction more effective, and are aimed at evaluating a group of students, rather than a single child. The answers that they give, even the mistakes, help us spot areas that need further instruction.


And as a reminder, the best test preparation is a good night’s sleep and healthy breakfast!

A Morning at Mountaineer Montessori-Now enrolling

Take a peek at a morning inside one of our beautiful primary classrooms….where a lifetime of learning gets a joyful start!

Enrollment is now underway for the 2017-18 school year at Mountaineer Montessori School. We offer a world class academic and arts curriculum fosters learning without limits for students ages 3-14. Our total education experience nurtures the world child, supporting intellectual, social and emotional development and guiding children to reach their fullest potential. MMS is the longest established and largest Montessori school in West Virginia, serving an estimated 1,000 students since our founding in 1976. We invite your family to join ours as we begin our fifth decade of excellence and innovation in education.  A limited number of slots are available for the upcoming school year.

Please call 304/342-7870 to schedule a tour and interview to learn more about Montessori education and our special school community.

Admissions procedure

Financial aid


MMS Best. Summer. Ever. is back

Mountaineer Montessori’s incredible summer programming returns this year, offering six weeks of awesome for students ages three through middle school. Sessions will run June 12-30 and July 10-28. All classes will be led by MMS faculty, with special visits by guest artists and specialists.

“Summer to Grow On” will provide creative opportunities for children ages 3-6 from 8:00 a.m. to noon daily.

“Arts and Sciences” will offer a wealth of experiential learning options for rising first- through eighth-year students. Sessions will run 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Our Plus Program will be available to all campers to 5:30 p.m. each day.

Activities include: art, cooking, farm to table, chemistry, robotics, Spanish, chess, drama, knitting and fiber arts, sports…and more!




Summer to Grow On (half day): $175 per week, $900 for all six sessions

Arts and Sciences (full day): $200 per week, $1,000 for all six sessions

Rates will increase 20 percent starting May 1. Sibling discounts are available.

Please see our 2017 Summer Camp guide for details: MMS Summer Program 2017



WV Tim Tebow Law Upate



Did you know that 31 states allow access to public school sports and other extra curricular activities to independent and home school students?

A parent-led movement is underway in West Virginia to provide equal access to children in our state.

Below is an update from Dr. Heather Clawges, a Lewisburg physician and mother who is spearheading this effort.

Please follow this link to learn more and find out how to get involved.

You can reach Dr. Clawges at: wvtimtebowbill@gmail.com

For more information, see our previous post: MMS tracks Tim Tebow law



Update from Heather Clawges, 2-13-17:

Senate bill 6 has been introduced on February 8, 2017.  It is very similar to last year’s bill.  It is well written and inclusive of both home schooled and private schooled children. Senate Bill 6 2017

House bill 2196 has been introduced on February 8, 2017.  It is basically a revision to the WVSSAC rules allowing home schooled students to participate in sports and band.  This bill does not include private school students. HB 2196 2017

Both bills need to be heard in the Education Committee first.  I feel strongly that this bill should include all children and am therefore encouraging everyone to work on Senate Bill 6.

The best place to start is to contact the Senate Education Committee chair:

Senator Kenny Mann and ask him to put this on the agenda for vote.

Contact information: kenny.mann@wvsenate.gov

Capitol Phone: (304) 357-7849  Home Phone: (304) 646-6089

It is also important is to contact other Senate Education Committee Members (please see attached list of members). The vice-chair is Senator Karnes, who is a home schooling parent.

Senate Education Committee 2017


You can follow the progression of the bill at www.legis.state.wv.us  under Bill Status.  Just type in number of the bill (without letters).


Please let me know if there is a day you would like to meet at the Capitol.  It would be great to try to contact some of these legislators in person.

Thanks and spread the word!


Paint the Town with Mountaineer Montessori on May 20

Saturday, May 20, 2017

7:00-10:00 p.m.

Columbia Gas Building

Create the future at the brightest night of the year!




Montessori education in living color. Alive. Bright. Real.

For 40 years, Mountaineer Montessori School has brought learning to life, offering a hands-on, real world, world-class education that inspires children to discover and become who they were meant to be. At MMS, we are creating the next generation of innovators, problem-solvers and engaged citizens, equipped with a love of learning, self-confidence and responsible leadership to meet the challenges of a changing world.

Celebrate education in living color!

On May 20, 2017, MMS will celebrate our colorful tradition of education in living color and honor three special teachers and guest artists who have enriched our students’ educational experience through integrated arts programming for a combined 75 years:

Barrie Kaufman

Nancy Johnston

Charly Hamilton

All current and former MMS parents, current and former teachers, alumni, artists and community partners are invited to this very special celebration!












Arts and Academics

Creating chemical models from gumdrops!

At MMS, the arts are embedded throughout our curriculum, offering exceptional opportunities for students to explore and develop deep understanding of science, history, literature, math and other subjects, as well as develop cultural literacy, creative thinking and confidence.

MMS serves 125 children ages 3-14, and is the largest, oldest and most recognized Montessori school in the state. Corporate, foundation and philanthropic investment in our mission enables us to serve our community’s growing demand for superior education options.

“Making is not just a ‘nice’ activity. It connects, transforms and empowers. If we want a world full of  innovative, entrepreneurial thinkers, we need to enable and sustain ‘making’ from a very young age.” Paula Briggs, AcessArt





The brightest night of the year!

PAINT THE TOWN is a major Mountaineer Montessori fundraiser, benefiting our Teacher Appreciation, specialty programming and financial aid funds. We invite our friends to join us as we:

  • Celebrate the arts and their contributions to academic achievement
  • Explore our creative sides through artistic fun for grown-ups
  • Honor creative MMS programs and faculty
  • Shop the Silent and Live Auctions….all proceeds will benefit the MMS Teacher Appreciation Fund
  • Enjoy live music, dancing, wine/beer, hors d’oeuvres…and more!
  • Mingle with old friends and new
  • Color the world of the next generation of business and community leaders, innovators and creators, dreamers and doers



Make a splash….be a sponsor!

MMS is pleased to offer a wide range of exclusive education investment opportunities to our PAINT THE TOWN partners. We invite you to make a splash with a unique, art-themed sponsorship…da Vinci to Kandinsky! 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 MMS.

MMS Paint the Town Sponsorship Menu


Contributions to MMS, a 501(c)(3) organization are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.

Please go here for sponsorship information.

Good vibes!

Jazz/blues guitarist Steven Himes will get the party started, serending guests during the reception and silent auction. The Voodoo Katz will close out the night, bringing high energy fun and their signature funk.

Party and Paint

PAINT THE TOWN guests can bring out their inner artist at a “Party and Paint” station offering creative fun for grown-ups (similar to Uncork & Create). Take home a one-of-a-kind party favor and colorful memento of the evening!









Individual reservations start at $75 per person and include a tax-deductible contribution to MMS. Your reservation includes admission to the brightest 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, 2017….make your reservation today!




Montessori Masterpieces

Add a Monet, Renoir, Seurat, Diego Rivera or Winslow Homer to your collection! Each year, MMS students contribute to our spring fundraiser through class art projects. This year, students are recreating seven famous works of art through a unique and exciting collaboration with local photographers and artists. You won’t want to miss this opportunity to own your own “Montessori Masterpiece” featuring faces from our school community….they’ll go on the block at a one-of-a-kind art auction!









Live and silent auction

Support MMS teachers by shopping the PAINT THE TOWN silent auction. All live and silent auction proceeds will benefit the MMS Teacher Appreciation Fund. The auction will showcase an incredible array of dining and entertainment packages, fashion and beauty items, jewelry, sports memorabilia, art and home accents…and more.  Bring your checkbook and pick up the perfect gift for graduation, wedding or shower…or treat yourself.

Make a donation:MMS In Kind Donation Receipt









Fun, friendship and fundraising with MMS

Faces and friends from our 2016 spring fundraiser, “Masquerade”……



2017-18 enrollment underway


Enrollment for the 2017-2018 school year is now underway for current Mountaineer Montessori School families. This will mark our fifth decade of excellence and innovation in education!


Deadline: February 28, 2017

MMS anticipates continued enrollment growth and program expansion at all levels. Current families must turn in deposits and signed letters of intent by February 28. After that date, placement of your student cannot be guaranteed. Last year, there were more applicants than space available at some age levels, making it vitally important that enrollment packets be completed and submitted by this deadline. Please be sure to include siblings not currently enrolled in your letter of intent and deposit.

Remaining paperwork will be completed during the summer months (emergency contacts, immunization records, transportation information etc.).

After February 28, we will offer remaining classroom spaces to new families.  If you do not have your materials in by February 28, we cannot guarantee that your child will have a place next year.


Financial aid

The online financial aid application process will open February 1, and applications must be completed by March 30.   Notification of awards will be sent in writing by April 20. If your financial aid award is not sufficient to meet your needs, your tuition deposit will be refunded to you.

Please see the Financial Aid page of the MMS website or call the office at 304/342-7870 if you have any questions about this process.


Enrollment for new students and transfers will open on March 1. Please see our website for admissions procedures and/or call the MMS office at 304/342-7870 to schedule an interview if you have not already done so.

We look forward to guiding your children in our authentic Montessori environment and nurturing their curiosity, independence and love of learning for another exciting year….at MMS, children discover and become who they were meant to be!



MMS proud to be AMS full member school


Mountaineer Montessori School is proud to be a full member of the American Montessori Society.

Full level membership requires that all classroom lead teachers hold Montessori credentials for the level(s) they are teaching. The credential must be issued by a teacher education program accredited by the Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (MACTE).

The American Montessori Society (AMS) is the foremost advocate for quality Montessori education, setting the professional standards that inform Montessori education as practiced in AMS-accredited schools and taught in AMS-affiliated teacher education programs.
A not-for-profit organization based in New York City, with nearly 13,000 members worldwide, AMS is also a hub of all things Montessori: an information center for its members, the media, and the public; a voice in the public policy arena; and a mobilizing force for the global Montessori community, through support services, research, and professional development events.


Everything that Montessori is NOT

Sometimes the easiest way to understand what Montessori is is by seeing what it is NOT. Enjoy!



Parents experience Montessori through the eyes of a child

Practical life in Primary I.

Impressive. Peaceful. Inspiring. Zen. Focused. Interesting. Enlightening. Challenging. Enjoyable. Progressive. Happy. Engaging.

These are among the words MMS parents and friends chose to describe their impressions of our classrooms at a special “Montessori Journey and Discovery Experience” presented on Saturday, January 7. For a few hours, adults were allowed to go back in time and see and interact with our unique Montessori learning environments–primary, lower elementary, upper elementary and middle school–through the eyes of a child.

Immersed in the peace and beauty of our classrooms, the time flew by as parents were absorbed with a rich selection of materials, books and special exhibits designed to give them a child’s perspective on the Montessori method and deeper understanding of what their students do at school.





Discovering the Montessori magic


Lower elementary language materials.

The Montessori Journey and Discovery began with an exploration of the classroom environment through the lens of quiet observation, gathering first impressions as a child may have done in his or her first hours at school. Taking in the sensory richness and detail of the Montessori classrooms, adults experienced the sense of order and sequence which so elegantly engages the children who work within these walls.

Following the silent observation, parents actively engaged with some Montessori lessons and materials at each level… discovering the qualities that are so magical for children.

The event wrapped up with a discussion, as parents, friends and teachers joined together to share reflections and observations.

We are grateful for our guides and staff who designed such an impactful event and the many, many parents and friends who came along for the journey.

At MMS, we are a community of learners. The “Montessori Journey and Discovery Experience” is just one of the many events and opportunities available to parents and the public to gain deeper understanding of Montessori education, parenting and our school. Please watch for updates on future parent education activities.


Primary classroom

A lower elementary classroom.

Upper elementary classroom

Exploring middle school materials.

Visualizing atomic structure of copper on Bohr model.

Lower elementary geometry materials.

Primary math materials.

Geography work.

Map work.

Primary I sensorial area.

Sharing observations in Lower Elementary I.