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
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!
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 MMS. Contributions to MMS, a 501(c)(3) organization are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.
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, firstname.lastname@example.org. Your sponsorship dollars support this important community-building effort.
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.
In the face of continuing school closures, MMS has created a toolkit for families thrust into homeschooling. “Together with Mountaineer Montessori: Share. Support. Thrive” is a road map for bringing education into the home. It includes practical advice for establishing a home learning environment, child development considerations, digital citizenship policies, and authentic, high-quality, curriculum–aligned Montessori activities to extend education beyond the classroom walls.
The toolkit was created by MMS faculty for parents of the 142 students ages 3-14 currently enrolled at the school, but the tips and strategies included can enhance learning at home for all children. Copies are available free of charge on the school website.
In addition to quality at-home academic lessons, the handbook places an emphasis on age-appropriate “practical life” activities that nurture intellectual, emotional and social development. These range from food preparation to tidying the home, from gardening to pet care.
Practical life activities provide a way for even the youngest children to contribute to family life. Inherent in these activities is the development of key executive functions: decision making, organization, problem-solving, impulse control, collaboration and communication. These skills form the foundation of a child’s academic learning. For example, sequencing is a pre-reading skill.
Practical life is engaging for children at all stages of development and tasks are designed according to their level of coordination and independence. Families can organize a job chart or list of family projects to help guide their children. Planning and gathering resources to complete the tasks is purposeful work. These ideas foster a sense of contribution, responsibility, shared experiences and satisfaction. As children get older, these activities lead naturally to volunteer experiences and beginnings of community work. For adolescents, many of these practical life experiences are the foundation of their sense of belonging and personal vision.
As part of our commitment to supporting families during this time of remote learning, MMS will present “Parenting Through a Pandemic-The Montessori Way,” an all-school MMS Parent University Zoom event and conversation on Tuesday, April 7, 6:30-8:00 p.m.
Katie Ibes, our curriculum consultant and coach, and Jenny Thompson, a long time Montessori teacher and parent educator, will share strategies to support executive function and Positive Discipline tips in this special program. Ample time will be available to address specific concerns you may have at this time. Please check your email and add this event to your calendar.
Katie holds a Montessori Elementary I & II AMS credential, and worked for seven years as an Montessori upper elementary directress in Minnesota and California. Starting in 2008, she spent four years working as a Montessori teacher trainer in St. Catherine University’s Center for Contemporary Montessori Programs, in St. Paul, Minnesota, where she was the instructor for upper elementary geography, history and biology curricula, as well as elementary art, and elementary literature and writing. In addition, she co-developed and co-instructed in the Montessori STEM Graduate Certificate Program. Since 2008, Katie has worked as a Montessori pedagogical consultant and STEAM consultant, as a Professional Certified Leadership Coach and Montessori pedagogical consultant for several schools across the country.
Jenny is a long-time Montessori teacher and parent educator. In addition to guiding children at the preschool, elementary, and Junior High levels, she has taught parent education workshops for 15 years and the Positive Discipline approach for the last three years. Jenny helps caregivers see their strengths and build on them to help solve common parenting struggles. Through the Positive Discipline approach, parents help children develop self-discipline, responsibility, cooperation, and problem-solving skills. Jenny is certified in Positive Discipline for the Montessori Classroom and Positive Discipline Parent Education. She has a B.A. in English, an M.F.A. in Creative Writing, an Association Montessori International primary teaching diploma (ages 3 to 6), and a Masters in Education.
In today’s MMM, Director Jennifer Carriger announces two new important resources for our school community.
“Parenting During a Pandemic the Montessori Way,” an all-school MMS Parent University Zoom event to be held on Tuesday, April 7, 6:30-8:00 p.m. Katie Ibes, our curriculum consultant and coach, and Jenny Thompson, a long time Montessori teacher and parent educator, will share strategies to support executive function and Positive Discipline tips in this special program. Ample time will be available to address specific concerns you may have at this time. Add to your calendar!
“Together with Mountaineer Montessori School: Share. Support. Thrive.” is a just-released toolkit prepared by our staff to guide and support Montessori at home. It includes practical advice for establishing a home learning environment, child development considerations, and authentic, high-quality, curriculum–aligned Montessori activities to extend education beyond the classroom walls. Copies are available free of charge on our website.
Over the past few weeks, we’ve learned that Montessori schools never “close” because Montessori is an aid to life and a way of life–much more than a building or even the beautiful manipulative materials found in the classroom
“What is really important is meeting children as they are and where they are and providing the support and inspiration they need to develop to their fullest potential, says Jennifer. These two new resources are designed to help all of us serve the child in the days ahead.
As always, we are grateful for your patience, support and understanding as we sustain our mission in face of our “new normal.”
Message from MMS Director Jennifer Carriger, March 31, 2020
Dear MMS families,
I am writing with an update in regard to the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on our school.
As you may know, Governor Justice has now extended the school building closures until April 20. Mountaineer Montessori School will continue our remote learning plan until that time. Here’s what that will look like, week by week:
March 30-April 3: remote learning for MMS
April 6-10: Spring Break (as scheduled)
April 13-17: remote learning for MMS
April 20: tentative date for reopening of school buildings, including MMS
The MMS faculty and staff have been in continuous communication with each other and with students/parents during this time of remote learning. We have also engaged with the broader Montessori community through our membership with the American Montessori Society. Everyone has been creatively and practically thinking of ways to connect and make learning meaningful in these unique and challenging times. The feedback I have received from families, teachers and staff is that we are all grateful and appreciative of each other. I am so amazed by the dedication of our staff as they have completely immersed themselves in learning what is needed to transition to remote learning. It’s been wonderful to see the photos you’ve shared of your children and to hear updates from you – please keep them coming!
Primary and Lower Elementary families should have received a link to sign up for a support/check-in phone call with your child’s lead guide. If you haven’t signed up yet, I encourage you to do so. The links are below:
Thank you for your patience with us as we are working daily to adjust to this mode of learning and connection. We will continue to keep you updated and are here for you if you need anything. Please don’t hesitate to reach out.
Postcard from Mountaineer Montessori, March 28, 2020
Mountaineer Montessori Message March 24, 2020
In today’s MMM. Director Jennifer Carriger shares why she is proud of and inspired by our amazing school community!
Mountaineer Montessori Message March 22, 2020
If you can’t share a hug, share a smile!
Mountaineer Montessori Message March 20, 2020
You’re on our minds and in our hearts!
Today’s Mountaineer Montessori Message is brought to you by our wonderful Primary team, who have a sweet and special message for our students and a preview of what’s to come on new online platform created just for our school community.
Starting Monday, March 23, MMS faculty and families can begin sharing lessons, activities and supporting each other on a new Facebook group created just for us.
The group will be closed/private and admission will be upon approval only. Criteria for adding members and ground rules for interaction are outlined on the group page. The page is an extension of our classroom and all communication should be guided by the Montessori peace philosophy.
Be kind and be peaceful.
This group was created to connect and support our community and is an extension of the MMS classroom, programming and school values. Please model the Montessori peace philosophy in your interactions.
MMS will not share your posts without permission. If you are comfortable sharing your photos or other content on our main page or elsewhere, please let us know by noting “Shareable.” In return, group members must agree not to share posts unless they are likewise noted.
Be creative, positive and fun!
Your photos, ideas and thoughts are welcome. Now more than ever, we need to connect, share and lift each other up!
No commercial posts or spam.
Please feel free to share tips on community or online resources, products and activities.of interest to our families. However, no direct sales posts are allowed.
This page is not the place for specific questions about individual assignments or details of school operations that can be answered by classroom teachers or administrators. Our staff is accessible and welcomes any questions you may have.
You’re on our mind and in our hearts….we look forward to connecting with our MMS Families and Faculty starting Monday. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact Jennifer, Beth or our teachers with any questions!
Mountaineer Montessori Message March 19, 2020
Director Message March 18, 2020
Dear MMS Parents,
Today, I write to you thinking about your children. The staff is here at school without them, and they are missed. Our teachers, assistant, and specialists have been working these past few days to begin setting up systems for providing continuity in the educational experience of our students, and they will continue to do so as long as schools remain closed.
We know this can be a confusing and challenging time for the children, as their (and your) lives have been significantly altered in the last week. I am sharing below a few links with parent resources about talking with young people about the coronavirus. I hope they can provide some helpful information as you adjust to our new circumstances.
Please note that our parent-teacher conferences will not take place this week. I apologize for any confusion as you may have received reminders from the signup service we use.
You should have received, by 10:00 AM today, information from your child’s classroom teacher(s) outlining learning from home lessons and guidance. If you have not received communication from your child’s teacher(s), please let me know right away so we can make sure they can connect with you. If you have specific questions about assignments, please email your child’s lead teacher. Each has reserved “office hours” so that they have time dedicated to responding to your questions and comments.
I will continue to keep in touch with you regularly. Please contact me anytime with questions. The lead teachers and I are checking email daily and are available and happy to arrange a phone call as well – we are here for you and the students.
Mountaineer Montessori Message March 17, 2020
Closure Announcement March 13, 2020
Dear MMS Parents,
Governor Justice has announced the decision to close all schools across the state, and Mountaineer Montessori School will comply out of civic duty, and to ensure your family’s health and safety to the best of our ability. As I write this email, the Governor’s orders do not include an end date for the school closures. This is a very difficult time of uncertainty for all of us.
We will continue with normal dismissal today and the Plus Program will operate until 5:30 today. Starting Monday, March 16, the school and Plus program will be closed. We are also postponing the following activities/events:
parent conferences (originally scheduled for March 19 and 20) will be rescheduled once school is back in session
the Middle School’s mystery dinner theater event (originally scheduled for March 21) will be rescheduled
our annual gala, “An Epic Evening”(originally scheduled for March 28) will be held on May 30
after-school lessons (guitar, ukulele) will be rescheduled once school is back in session
we will continue to monitor this ever-evolving situation and make decisions about other events as we learn more
Our MMS faculty and staff are working hard to prepare, and we will continue to support you as much as possible while we are closed. We will meet this afternoon and next week to plan for delivery of learning activities for your children to engage with at home. Our goal is to help provide structure for the days at home and to ensure that students are making adequate progress toward curriculum outcomes, particularly our older students who are preparing for the transition to middle school and high school. Expect to hear more details about home learning activities by Wednesday, 3/18. This is one of the measures we are taking to stay in contact, in a meaningful way, while we are forced to exercise social distancing out of extreme caution. We want your children to know how much we value them as students and to support them while we are unable to do so in person. We are going to miss our work with you and your children. We care deeply about your health and safety, and hope that each of you has all the resources that you will need during this time.
The Board of Directors and I are committed to making sure we are up and running as soon our current situation permits. We will be ready when that occurs and will let you know as soon as possible. In the meanwhile, we will stay in touch with regular communication, and be here to answer your questions and help you in any way possible.
Please reach out to me anytime by email, email@example.com, or by calling the school phone, 304-342-7870. I will continue to check email and phone messages regularly and encourage you to ask questions as they arise.
PLEASE NOTE THAT THE EVENT BELOW HAS BEEN POSTPONED
Mountaineer Montessori Middle School will present “The Indigo Diamond Thief,” a family-friendly mystery dinner theatre event on Saturday, March 21, 5:30-7 p.m., atthe First Presbyterian Church of South Charleston. 508 2nd Avenue.
Guests will enjoy a tasty spaghetti dinner while participating in an interactive drama to solve a diamond heist. Vegan options will be available.This original production is conceived, written and staged entirely by MMMS students.
Admission is $15 for guests 12 and up; $8 children 5-11; and free for children 4 and under.
Space is limited. Please follow this link to make a reservation.
Mountaineer Montessori is joining with schools around the world in celebrating the child-centered approach to education that has been transforming lives for more than a century during Montessori Education Week, February 23-29, 2020. As part of the celebration, we are are sharing the Montessori story with our community, including this op-ed by MMS Director Jennifer Carriger. Please watch for it in your local papers!
Knowledge is the currency of the 21st century.
MMS alumna Carly Thaw revisits her magical years in our classrooms with this lovely drawing.
Rapid transitions in technology and increasing globalization present new and continuing challenges for the students of today. 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.
As New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman explained, “It will be vital to have more of the ‘right’ education than less…. The winners won’t just be those with more IQ. It will also be those with more PQ (passion quotient) and CQ (curiosity quotient) to leverage all the new digital tools to not just find a job, but to invent one or reinvent one, and to not just learn but to relearn for a lifetime.”
Fortunately, a blueprint for education that meets the needs of a changing world already exists — in Montessori schools, where many “new” education reforms and innovations have been successfully implemented for more than a century.
The Montessori program is a powerful 21st-century aligned model that develops the competencies demanded in the information age. Montessori educates the whole person, fostering independence, curiosity, critical thinking and a love of learning, preparing students to be engaged, productive and successful global citizens.
The Montessori method is named for Maria Montessori, one of the first female physicians in Italy and a pioneer in child development. Montessori developed a holistic system for teaching children from infancy through adulthood based upon her research that she described as “scientific pedagogy.”
From the founding of the “Casa dei Bambini” in Rome in 1907, Montessori has stood the test of time. Today, there are an estimated 20,000 Montessori schools around the world, including 4,500 in the United States. Honoring its roots serving the working poor of Rome, 450 free, public Montessori schools, located primarily in low-income, racially diverse communities, have opened in the United States in the past two decades. South Carolina is home to the largest number of public Montessori schools in the country.
Research confirms the advantages of Montessori in both private and public settings. A three-year study of public Montessori schools in Hartford, Connecticut, found that Montessori children rated higher in academic achievement, social cognition, mastery orientation and school enjoyment than students in traditional classrooms. Even more important, the study found that Montessori closed the achievement gap between low income and more advantaged children. In South Carolina, a five-year study found that public Montessori students outperformed on standardized tests as well as in measures of emotional development and maturity.
Montessori works because it is embedded in the science of learning, not passing education fads. Dr. Stephen Hughes, a past president of the American Academy of Pediatric Neuropsychology, calls Montessori the original “brain-based” education because it is based on scientific principles of human development.
Montessori observed that children are “wired to learn” and believed that the purpose of education was to empower each child’s unique potentialities. As she explained, “free the child’s potential and you transform him into the world.”
The Montessori system is engineered around the cognitive, social, emotional and physical needs of students at each stage of their development. When these needs are met, Dr. Montessori said children can “explode into learning”—a phenomenon I am honored to witness every day within the classrooms at my school.
In Montessori schools, children learn in multi-age groupings with research-based, hands-on materials during extended, uninterrupted work cycles. Subjects are not studied in isolation, but in a cross-disciplinary approach that provides context and deep understanding. Learning happens in classrooms and throughout the community, state and even outside the United States. Students work at their own pace and are freed to take their education as far as they can—learning without limits.
Some of America’s most innovative companies, such as Amazon, Google and Wikipedia were founded by Montessori students. “I think it was part … of being self-motivated, questioning what’s going on in the world and doing things a little bit differently,” says Larry Page of Google.
Montessori schools are increasingly being recognized as assets to their communities, because they are preparing the next generation of business leaders, innovators, community builders and engaged citizens.
Montessori schools, public and private, are a strong draw to families seeking communities with high quality education options. At Mountaineer Montessori School, it is not uncommon for a family to travel across the country to tour our school before accepting a job in Charleston.
Founded in 1976, Mountaineer Montessori is West Virginia’s original and largest Montessori school. Now into our fifth decade, we’ve served more than 1,000 Charleston children, with 142 students, ages three to eighth grade currently enrolled at campuses in the University of Charleston and South Hills neighborhoods. In honor of Montessori Education Week, Feb. 23-29, we proudly join with schools around the world in opening our doors, literally and figuratively, as a resource for rethinking education to benefit all children in all schools and to strengthen our communities today — and tomorrow.
To sign up for a tour to experience the Montessori difference yourself, or for more information, please visit our website: www.mountaineermontessori.org.
Mountaineer Montessori Middle School students invite you to join them for a delicious breakfast on Saturday, February 8, from 8-11 a.m. at Cafe 804, located at the MMMS Unity Church campus at 804 Myrtle Road.
Cafe 804 is a pop up restaurant offering a variety of breakfast favorites–including eggs, pancakes, turkey bacon, oatmeal and more–made with natural, organic, locally sourced products by our students. Ellen’s Homemade Ice Cream milkshakes, an MMMS tradition, will also be for sale.
It’s a wonderful opportunity to enjoy a delicious breakfast, get together with friends, and support our Middle School micro economy work. Our students have been working hard on all aspects of the event, from planning, to marketing, to shopping, to cooking, to serving. They look forward to welcoming you to their special restaurant next Saturday.
Due to limited seating availability, admission is by reservation. Spaces are already filling up.
Please make your reservations online ASAP through this link.
Re-enrollment is underway for the 2020-21 school year at Mountaineer Montessori School!
Current MMS families must complete the online re-enrollment process by February 15, 2020. Please follow the directions as outlined in the enrollment communication distributed to all parents. A 5 percent tuition deposit must be paid upon enrollment submission. Please contact Director Jennifer Carriger if this is a concern for you. Please note that applications for new siblings attending MMS next year must be also submitted by February 15.
After February 15, we will offer remaining any classroom spaces to new families. Because space is limited in ALL CLASSES, if we do not receive your materials in by February 15, we cannot guarantee that your child will have a place at MMS next year.
Financial aid applications are due by March 30. If you plan to apply, please contact Jennifer Carriger (firstname.lastname@example.org or Beth George email@example.com) for a link to the online application. Notification of awards will be sent in writing by April 25. If your financial aid award is not sufficient to meet your needs, your tuition deposit will be refunded to you.
New families interested in enrollment should begin the admissions process by signing up for a tour at their very earliest convenience. Classes fill quickly.
We look forward to welcoming new and returning families MMS for our 44th year of excellence and innovation in education!
MMS faculty member Alasha Al-Qudwah will be offering a 12-week music course in ukulele (Lower Elementary through Middle School) and guitar (Upper Elementary and Middle School) on Tuesdays, from January 28-April 28. The registration deadline is January 26. Students must provide their own instrument.
Within these sessions, students will learn how to play songs while singing, learn how to read music, learn a vocabulary of chords, learn basic music theory, and learn strumming techniques at a pace designed for first time players. In addition, students will learn the quality experience of performing in an ensemble which teaches awareness of players around them, the ability to match the tempo and pitch of others, and learning how to follow and lead with one another. These life skills translate to many other situations.
The fee is $250/student, payble through FAST.
Please see the attached letter for complete details:
What if there were no limits to what you could learn?
That’s what every day is like at Mountaineer Montessori!
Our out-of-the-box, out-of-the-classroom approach to education empowers the unlimited potential in each child and creates an inspired future for our students, community and world.
“An Epic Evening,” the 2020 MMS Annual Spring Gala, will provide critical funding to help us meet the growing demand for superior academic options in our community and sustain our 43-year tradition of excellence and innovation in education. This uplifting event will be held Saturday, May 30, 2020, 7:00-10:00 p.m., at the Woman’s Club of Charleston.
We invite our friends to join us to:
Celebrate epic education
Applaud MMS programs and faculty
Bid on amazing class art projects and an extensive array of exciting prizes
Enjoy entertainment by Vinyl Village & Minor Swing and delicious hors d’oeuvres and cocktails
Mingle with friends old and new
Lift up the next generation of community builders, innovators, entrepreneurial thinkers, problem solvers and creators
Your support will help:
Continue to grow our financial aid fund-nearly $50,000/year to Charleston families
Support teacher training and appreciation
Fund an activity bus and facilities growth/improvements
At MMS, potential is empowered and the future is inspired. With your support, we can continue to elevate education and our community in the year ahead.
With your help, there’s no limit to what we can do!
Ticket and sponsorship information:
Sponsorships start at $250 / individual tickets are $85 per person through February 29. For details, please see our online event platform.
MMS is proud to present an eight week “Parenting with Positive Discipline” workshop series starting Tuesday, January 7, 2020.
The program will be facilitated by Susie Newhouse, a certified Positive Discipline Parent Educator and AMS certified early childhood guide.
Positive discipline is a time-honored approach for helping children develop a sense of belonging and contribution, responsibility, respect for self and others and problem-solving skills. PD teaches important social and life skills in a manner that is deeply respectful and encouraging for both children and adults (including parents, teachers, childcare providers, youth workers, and others).
Recent research tells us that children are “hardwired” from birth to connect with others, and that children who feel a sense of connection to their community, family and school are less likely to misbehave. To be successful, contributing members of their community, children must learn necessary social and life skills. Positive Discipline is based on the understanding that discipline must be taught and that discipline also teaches.
When : Tuesdays from 5:30-7:00 p.m.
January 7, 14, 21, 28
February 4, 11, 25
Where: Mountaineer Montessori School – Upper Elementary I classroom
Cost: $100 per individual or $120 for two family members**
Registration includes :
* Copy of “Positive Discipline”
* Positive Discipline Workbook and Positive Discipline Parenting Tool Cards
To register: Call or email MMS Assistant Director Beth George at 304-342-7870 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Facilitated by: Susie Newhouse,
Parenting with Positive Discipline certified presenter
Childcare available : $10/child per evening, 5:30-7:00 p.m.
You may bring dinner for your child to eat in Plus.
** We have funds available to offer a discounted fee to families in need. Please contact Jennifer or Beth to apply.