Spreading our wings: Montes-SOARING into a new year at MMS

At Mountaineer Montessori School, we’re spreading our wings!

Our time-tested, 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 contribute to creating a better world.

MMS Annual Report 2017-18

“Spreading Our Wings,” the 2017-18 Annual Report, highlights how our school community “Montes-soared” over the past year, and helped us reach several major milestones, including:


  • Expansion of our early childhood program into a third Primary classroom. Total school enrollment has nearly doubled in the past seven years, reflecting a strong and growing interest in our world class education options at all levels.


  • Realignment and enhancement of our math curriculum, primary through middle school, through the AMS Pathways to Continuous School Improvement program. MMS is the only full member school of the American Montessori Society and the only AMS Pathways school in West Virginia.


  • Major upgrades and enhancements of our main building on 20th Street, including new windows, new air conditioning systems, refinished flooring, new furniture and outdoor environment improvements.


We invite you to learn more in our annual report and join with as we enter a fifth decade of education that elevates. Working together, the sky’s the limit!


Montessori Math Journey to be held Saturday, November. 3

Experience the rare opportunity to learn through the eyes of a child on Saturday, November 3, as Mountaineer Montessori School presents a Math Journey and Discovery for parents, educators and interested community members.

Visit our beautiful classrooms, interact with Montessori materials….primary through middle school…and for a few hours, be the child!

We’re proud to showcase our comprehensive math curriculum, which was aligned and enhanced after working with nationally-recognized pedagogical consultants to incorporate best practices from the country’s premier Montessori schools, reflect latest research on brain science and support children the way each learns best. It’s part of our participation in the AMS Pathways to Continuous School Improvement program and our 42-year mission to offer the best educational experience for your child.

All lead teachers, primary through middle school, worked with Montessori consultant Katie Ibes on this important curriculum project. In the year ahead, they will analyze and align our geometry curriculum.

MMS is the only AMS Pathways school and only AMS full member school in West Virginia.

Don’t miss this exclusive opportunity to touch, see and feel the Montessori magic. Whether you’re an experienced MMS parent or just curious about what Montessori is all about, you will see math in a whole new light, witness the power of the Montessori hands-on approach to math …and wish you were a child all over again!

The Montessori Journey and Discovery agenda includes:

  • 10:00 am: Journey through Montessori Math introduction
  • 10:20 am: Primary Journey
  • 10:55 am: Lower Elementary Journey
  • 11:35 am: Upper Elementary Journey
  • 12:10 pm: Drive to Middle School
  • 12:30 pm: Middle School Journey, including Math Seminar
  • 1:15 pm: Lunch and Journey discussion with Katie Ibes and MMS faculty
  • 2:30 pm: Closing

Space is limited for this special event. Please call or email Beth George at 304.342.787 or bgeorge@mountaineermontessori.org to reserve your spot.


Middle School breakfast returns with Cafe 804 on Oct. 27

Mountaineer Montessori Middle School students will present their newest project, Cafe 804, on Saturday, October 27, from 8:00-11:00 a.m. at MMS 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 on October 27.

Due to limited seating availability, admission is by reservation. Spaces are already filling up.

Please make your reservations online ASAP through this link.



Away We Go! Race for Education to be held October 18

MMS will be participating in the Race for Education this year on Thursday, October 18. This year’s run will be an uplifting celebration of Montessori Education on the lawn of the University of Charleston!

A kick-off packet will be sent home with your child next week! Please take a moment to read through the information so you will know what we will ask from you to help make this event a success. We look forward to having a fun and healthy activity that will also raise money for educational materials and financial aid.

The Race for Education is an all-school event. Parents, grandparents and friends are invited to support and attend. Please for information on volunteer opportunities and other details.

Our fundraising goal for the Race for Education is $12,500.

If we reach our goal, the funds raised will provide:

  • Montessori materials for Primary, including new puzzle maps and zoology and botany materials, as well as a new shed for outdoor environment storage.
  • hardwood floor refinishing and new, locally-made shelves for both Lower Elementary classrooms.
  • reference materials and technology upgrades for Upper Elementary.
  • atlases, maps, and other reference materials for the Middle School.
  • funds for three financial aid awards at 30 percent of tuition apiece (approximately $7,400 total).

We look forward to seeing you at the Race for Education – Away We Go!

M gear orders due August 31

It’s time to get your “M” on!

Orders for our singular “M” t-shirts and accessories are due on Friday, August 31.

Based on a design of our school sign by Charly Hamilton and students and design by Mark Wolfe Photographic, M gear gives you the chance to wear a work of art and celebrate our school in living color!

In response to your requests, our M gear line continues to expand and includes child and adult size shirts and hoodies, shirts and tanks for women, men’s tanks, fleece pullovers, Nike golf shirts, tote bags, drawstring bags and magnetic car decals. We are proud to partner with a local businessTgraphics, to produce our line of MMS gear.

For more information, please email Kristie Simmons at ksimmons@mountaineermontessori.org. Order forms may be dropped off at morning car line, mailed to the school, or sent to Beth’s office.



MMS Volunteer/Board Survey 2018-19

Want to make a difference for your child, your school and your community?

Be a part of a dynamic parent community that is helping create a world class education experience for our students–today and tomorrow.

Whether you can help out for a few hours or the entire year, your participation will be valued, honored and have an impact.

Please take two minutes to take a very short survey to let us know how you can help. We are seeking volunteers for a variety of committees and activities, classroom parents, and new members of the MMS Board of Directors. The survey also offers opportunities to share your ideas and suggestions for the school.

We are hitting the ground running this year as our school continues to raise the bar for education in West Virginia and experiences strong and growing interest in high quality education options.

Please complete the short survey by Tuesday, August 28, so we can all get to work right away creating the best year ever for your child and our school.

Thank you for being part of a community that has been remaking education since 1976. And we’ve only just begun!


2019-20 MMS Prospective Parent Tours Scheduled

Tomorrow begins today!

Tours for the 2019-20 school year at Mountaineer Montessori School have been scheduled.

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

  • November 5
  • November 26
  • January 10
  • January 14
  • January 17
  • January 24
  • February 4
  • February 14
  • February 28
  • March 7
  • March 23
  • April 11
  • April 24 (1:00-2:00)
  • April 25
  • May 8 (1:00-2:00)
  • May 9
  • May 15 (1:00-2:00)
  • May 16
  • May 23

All tours begin at the MMS main school, 308 20th Street. The tours provide an overview of Montessori education, information on MMS admissions procedures and policies, and the opportunity to observe classrooms in action.

New families interested in enrolling a student in our Middle School program (grades 7-8) should contact MMS Director Jennifer Carriger directly at jcarriger@mountaineermontessori.org.

TOURS ARE FOR PARENTS ONLY. Space is limited to three slots (three couples).

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.

To request a tour, please complete this online form.

MMS serves 140 children ages 3-14 in a fully implemented Montessori environment, offering a rich academic and arts curriculum, along with an extensive after-school program, summer camps, computer classes, foreign language, chess, robotics, individual learning support, cross country and other enrichment activities. Founded in 1976, MMS is the largest and longest-established Montessori school in West Virginia, and offers the only 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. 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.

2018-19 MMS Special Events Calendar-Save the Date

At Mountaineer Montessori, education goes beyond the classroom and involves the whole family. Throughout the year, many special events and activities are held to extend our academic programming and nurture a strong school community. Below is a description of some of our major events and a preliminary schedule for the upcoming year. We encourage you to update your calendars and prepare for another wonderful year at MMS!

(Important: Please watch for updates and announcements for individual classroom events. Events noted with an asterisk* indicate opportunities for volunteers.)

MMS Parent University: Parent University events are important programs designed to help parents gain insight about the Montessori approach to education, meet with faculty, learn more about your student’s lessons and daily activities and connect with parents and others in our school community. Attendance is encouraged and expected. Parent U events are planned for the following dates (watch for updates and see the website for details ):


  • Montessori 101:
  • August 16
  • September 5
  • September 12
  • additional programs TBA


  • New Student Orientation:
  • August 16 (Middle School-ALL students)
  • August 17 (Primary and Elementary)


  • Back to School Nights:
  • August 28( Primary and Middle School)
  • August 30 (Lower and Upper Elementary)


  • Parent Education:
  • November 3 (all school);
  • January 8 (Primary and Middle School);
  • January 10 (Lower and Upper Elementary);
  • March 5 (Primary and Middle School);
  • March 7 (Lower and Upper Elementary);
  • May 14 (Primary and Middle School);
  • May 16 (Lower and Upper Elementary)


Ice Cream Social: Start the year on a sweet note by connecting with families, friends and faculty at our annual back-to-school social featuring Ellen’s Ice Cream. August 23.

Annual Meeting and Report to the Community*:  This event is the official annual meeting of MMS, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Election of board members, introduction of staff, and an update on our school and a look ahead at the upcoming year are included on the agenda. All MMS families and interested community members are invited. September 17.

Race for Education* : MMS holds a fun run/fitness event in alternating years to raise money for our school. All students, Primary through Middle School, take part. Parents, relatives and friends are invited to sponsor a student. A race is tentatively planned for the fall of 2018, date TBA.

Book Fair and Bake Sale*:   Held the first week of December, this event features books and gift items from Taylor Books and baked goods from MMS families.

Winter and Spring Concerts:   Our Winter Concert showcases all students, Primary through Middle School, in a musical celebration of the season (December 21). Strings students, vocal ensembles and instrumental groups are featured in the Spring Concert (selected students in Lower Elementary through Middle School; date TBA).

 Annual Appeal*: The Annual Appeal, one of two major fundraisers of the year, features students, alumni and families who share their MMS story with the community. Proceeds provide critical support for financial aid, programs and teacher appreciation. We plan for 100 percent participation to reach our yearly goal. November-January .

Montessori Meet-Ups* : Meet-Ups are fun opportunities to connect at family-friendly social activities throughout the community.

Race to Eliminate Racism* : MMS practices the Montessori peace philosophy through many classroom and school wide community service activities. Among these events is the YWCA Race to Eliminate Racism, which we are proud to sponsor. All MMS families and friends are encouraged to participate. April 27.

Spring Gala*: Our spring event is an uplifting evening featuring cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, auctions and great music. An annual highlight is a live auction of class art projects. The gala is a major MMS fundraiser and offers unique sponsorship opportunities.  May 18.

End of Year Picnic*: The last day of school wraps up with a wonderful picnic at the Kanawha State Forest. Families, faculty, alumni and friends are invited. Please bring a dish to share. June 7.

FestivALL*: As part of our public service commitment, MMS helps our community become a work of art during FestivALL each June , including participating in the Art Parade and Children’s Art Fair. All MMS families are encouraged to take part.

Middle School events : Our seventh- and eighth-year students present events for the entire school community as part of their micro economy studies. Past activities have included the Montessori Farmstand, Parents Night Out, Pancake Breakfast; Spaghetti Dinner and Talent Show. Please watch for updates on this year’s small business events.

Class plays: Elementary classes often stage dramatic presentations in the spring. Watch for updates from your child’s teacher.

Field trips*: Off campus learning is an important part of the MMS experience. Field trips are typically planned in the fall and spring for Elementary and Middle School students. Please see your child’s teacher for details.

Eighth Year Graduation : A very special event honoring our eighth-year students is held in May.

REMINDER: The above events listing is not exhaustive and additional activities and/or schedule changes may be announced. Please watch your email and social media for updates and opportunities for volunteer involvement. 


MMS launches Parent University with ‘Montessori 101’


Children won’t be the only ones heading back to the classrooms this fall at Mountaineer Montessori School.

Moms and dads will also be students this year as MMS launches a new program, “MMS Parent University,” to provide expanded opportunities for its school community and the public to learn about Montessori education, child development, parenting and other issues of interest to parents and educators.

Montessori educates the “whole child,” and part of that involves educating the whole family.

“Parent education and involvement is an important component of our total education experience”, says MMS Director Jennifer Carriger. “The Montessori approach differs from traditional education in many key areas, and giving parents insight into the philosophy and method can help them apply Montessori principles at home and optimize their child’s success in the classroom,” she said.

The first three MMS Parent U classes will be devoted to “Montessori 101,” and will cover the following:

  • “What is Montessori Education?,” Thursday, August 16, 5:30-6:30 p.m. Topics include the four planes of development and basic human tendencies and characteristics.
  • “Freedom Within Limits,” Wednesday, September 5, 5:30-6:30 p.m.
  • The Individual Within the Community” and “At Home with Montessori,” Wednesday, September 12, 5:30-6:30 p.m.


Jennifer Carriger
MMS Director

Becca Moore
Lower Elementary
Lead Guide

Susie Newhouse
Plus Program Guide
Positive Discipline Educator









Faculty for the first three sessions will be:

  • Jennifer Carriger, MMS Director, AMS certified Montessori Administrator.
  • Becca Moore, MMS Lower Elementary II Lead Guide, AMI certified Elementary (ages 6-12) Educator.
  • Susie Newhouse, MMS Plus Guide, AMS certified Early Childhood Educator and certified Positive Discipline Parent Educator.

In addition to Montessori education, future Parent U programs will cover topics such as positive discipline, nutrition and technology/social media and children.

The first three MMS Parent U programs will be limited to current MMS families.  Programs open to the public and educators are planned for later this fall and spring 2019.

MMS Parent U will be held in the Upper Elementary classrooms. Childcare and dinner will be available for students through our Plus Program for a fee.  At this time, Plus will be available for current MMS students only.

Space is limited and priority will be given to new MMS parents.

All families new to MMS this year should plan to attend.

To RSVP, please contact Beth George, bgeorge@mountaineermontessori.org with your name and number of adults/children attending.


“Mountaineer Montessori isn’t just your child’s school—it’s your school too,” says Carriger.

“We are excited to present Parent U as Mountaineer Montessori continues to experience growth and expansion.”

When parents become engaged in our school through Parent U, volunteering, Board service or other avenues, it not only benefits their own child but strengthens our entire educational community and positions us to meet the growing interest for world class education options in our area.  Parents should watch their email for upcoming announcements about new opportunities to get involved with MMS Committees and the Board of Directors in the year ahead.




MMS teachers first in nation trained for Wilson Reading, 4th edition

MMS faculty members were in the first group of educators nationwide to be trained for the Wilson Reading System, 4th Edition. Five teachers from our school (Alasha Al-Qudwah, Jennifer Carriger, Lindy Hoeft, Kathryn Rhoads and Darlene Spangler) completed the three day Wilson training on July 16-18, which was hosted The Appalachian Reading Center at the South Charleston campus of Marshall University. The program was led by Lori Josephson, an educational consultant and teacher trainer.

Wilson is a multi-sensory, research-based reading and spelling program based on Orton-Gillingham that supports students and adults with dyslexia and other learning differences. By participating in ongoing professional development opportunities, MMS faculty learn from and connect with national experts and peers and bring the latest research and best practices back to our classrooms. Thank you, teachers, for your dedication and commitment to providing a world class learning experience to our students!