As we wrap up this school year, we are also working hard to set the stage and prepare for the next school year. We are carefully reviewing our school data to help set goals and priorities that are specific to our changing needs. We have also reviewed our parent, staff, and student surveys taking input from all to determine ways that we can improve our school learning community. Through our analysis, we have heard parents and teachers express a desire to increase the amount of time students spend engaged in Montessori instructional strategies and practices. With increased demands of the Dearborn Educational Curriculum, our parents and teachers have voiced concerns that we are getting further and further from the Montessori principles our school was founded on. Having split grade classrooms, which is also a Montessori philosophy, requires each teacher to be responsible for twice as much science, math and social studies curriculum in the school day. This leaves substantially less time to make use of Montessori strategies and manipulatives. This year, our kindergarten and first grade classes separated into single grade classrooms. They were able to incorporate more Montessori philosophy and strategies on a daily basis and achievement was strong. Using common math periods, students were still able to advance beyond grade level when appropriate. Next year, we a considering using this single grade format with increased Montessori practices throughout all grade levels.
In addition, we are considering a transition from a technology enrichment class to a Science Enrichment since use of technology is built into our daily practices in the classroom. Through this class we hope to introduce some science and technology concepts for students that might ignite interest into the district’s STEM program.
Before making the ultimate decision, we would like to hear from you. Please click here to take a moment to answer these two important questions.