Spruce Tree Montessori has begun the process for accreditation with the American Montessori Society (AMS) by registering as a ‘Full Member’ school. The AMS membership is a collaboration of teachers, administrators, schools, families, and others who prize Montessori education. As an AMS member school, Spruce Tree is a part of a movement to improve education for children around the globe, with representation at the United Nations and a strong advocacy voice in public policy affairs. The AMS accredits full member schools that undergo rigorous criteria for defining and maintaining the high standards set forth originally by Dr. Maria Montessori. Though the process can take up to three years to complete, Ms. Binkley is dedicated to ensuring the standards are implemented from the start and will work vigorously with the AMS through the process.
Components necessary for a program to be considered authentically Montessori include multi-age groupings that foster peer learning, uninterrupted blocks of work time, and guided choice of work activity. In addition, a full complement of specially designed Montessori learning materials should be meticulously arranged and available for use in an aesthetically pleasing environment.
Parents play an integral role in their child’s educational experience. Children enrolled at Spruce Tree Montessori will benefit from parental involvement in various ways. Parents will be expected to volunteer at the school, at school-sponsored events, or for the school through varying opportunities within the community for an equivalent minimum of six (6) hours during the school year.
Cultural programming will include educational holiday celebrations throughout the year. We believe that given the opportunity, children can learn tolerance and compassion for all people. The classroom historical and holiday celebrations will be optional; however, we encourage families to respectfully acknowledge the religious freedoms and beliefs of those in our school community and beyond.
Spruce Tree students go out into the community monthly. They will learn the meaning of philanthropy by being given opportunities to volunteer in our community through school projects and class field trips.
In order to respect the courageous history of our great country, students will learn the United States Pledge of Allegiance, but respectfully have the option to vocally participate. Newspaper articles, radio and TV news programming, and exposure to current events will provide lessons in citizenship. Occasionally, recorded and/or live television broadcasts will be a part of the educational programming. Historical events, cultural celebrations, national elections and top stories offer valuable world perspective and children at Spruce Tree will be exposed, in short intervals, to news as part of their learning experience.
Respect for self, others and the surrounding environment, both indoors and outside, will be part of the social experience at Spruce Tree. A few ways we’ll teach conservation and respect for the environment:
- Encourage filling water bottles with filtered tap water for daily use.
- Provide ceramic dishes for lunch and snack time.
- Provide cotton linens, rather than paper products, for general use.
- Utilize classroom recycle bins.
- Use eco-friendly cleaning products.
- Use lamps with energy-efficient bulbs.
- Encourage reuse of lunch bags and containers.
We use technological resources (computer and iPad) to supplement and enhance various topics of study and as student understanding of certain subjects allows. Students learn word processing and how to use online resources for research. They will be encouraged to read various media and do screen activities to enhance their learning experience.