The MMS curriculum is enriched and extended through professionally-led art, computer, music, learning support services, physical education and Spanish classes and our after school program.
Art is an essential element to the Montessori integrated approach to learning and extends the academic curriculum through creative expression. Under the direction of art teacher specialist Sarah Galaska and classroom teachers, students communicate and express themselves visually in a variety of forms. Students take considerable pride and enjoyment in their work, showcasing their creations at at the FestivALL Art-for-All Juried Student Art Fair and contributing class art projects to our annual gala auction.
Computers and technology
Students are introduced to technology starting in their first year of elementary education, where they learn keyboarding, research skills and use of various applications to support their learning. Technology-related after-school activities are offered based upon interest and scheduling. Beth George, a Montessori-trained educator and full-time MMS staff member, leads our computer programs.
Robotics lessons offered through NASA were added in 2017. These activities are integrated into the lower and upper elementary and middle school programs and led by faculty who have completed NASA IV & V robotics teacher training. Robotics is also available during our summer camp series.
Learning support and tutoring
Montessori education meets children where they are. In addition to daily progress assessments by classroom teachers, detailed bi-annual parent/student reports and annual standardized testing, all MMS students receive three private academic screenings a year to align their educational path with their individual needs and interests. Experienced specialists with advanced training work with students on a one-on-one basis to provide additional support and/or tutoring as needed. Our Learning Support Team is headed by MMS Director Jennifer Carriger, co-founder of the Appalachian Reading Center and the WV Learning Disabilities Association Teacher of the Year.
Music and performing arts
The MMS music program extends the academic curriculum, helping students children develop language, memory, math, social and emotional skills as well as build a lifetime appreciation of the arts. In addition to vocal and instrumental performance opportunities, students are introduced to music history, theory and styles in weekly classes. Music faculty members include Karen Morris, a certified Kindermusik and Orff method music instructor, Bernard DiGregorio, principal violist with the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra, and Ron Sowell, music director of Mountain Stage (artist-in-residence). Students participate in class instruction in Kindermusik, vocal, recorders and Orff instruments, and small-group and private strings and piano lessons are also available. Concerts and recitals provide a showcase for students to communicate through vocal and instrumental music, drama, dance and movement.
For more information about music at MMS, please follow this link.
Physical education, sports and movement
Physical activity is integral to a Montessori education. Primary students enjoy activity in our beautiful campus outdoor environment with older children developing strength and coordination on and off campus. Sixth-year and middle school students are eligible to participate in the MMS Cross Country team, which competes against other Kanawha County Middle Schools.
Students at all levels are introduced to Spanish. Twice weekly classes led by native Spanish speaker Maria Kershner-Leon help students develop second language skills and broaden their global awareness. Maria is a Montessori-trained educator and a full-time member of the MMS faculty. In recognition of our strong foreign language program, Spanish classes at the middle school level may be eligible for high school credit.
After School Enrichment
In addition to our Montessori-based Plus Program, an exciting menu of after-school activities, including art, cross country, Chess Team, computer coding, Destination Imagination, drama, ski club and yoga is available to MMS students. Programs are led by MMS faculty, parents and community experts.
For more information about after school opportunities at MMS, please follow this link.