Three Rivers Montessori School will offer an authentic Montessori education to families living in Elk River, surrounding communities, and those living within School District 728. Montessori Philosophy and environmentalism go hand-in hand, therefore the school will align its objectives with those of Elk River as a GGreen Step City since 2010, and with Audubon Center of the North Woods, to instill a connection and commitment to the environment through experiential learning.
Montessori supports a mastery learning model which affords students the opportunity to have experiences and work with materials at a pace that matches their learning. Under their watchful eye, the specially trained teachers present interesting and exciting lessons when each student demonstrates their ability to move on. A large part of the teacher’s work is student observation and documentation in order to tailor challenge and guidance to the individual students.
Montessori, more than 100 years old, is a scientifically designed and tested educational approach that capitalizes on the individual’s human drive to learn and the curiosity alive in each person. It recognizes and works with the fundamental human needs for autonomy and connection, offering specific types of freedom within a prepared educational environment, each consisting of three-year age spans.
The Montessori Method is focused on education for the whole being. We organize our work through building educational experiences for the head, heart and hands. This means that at every level we are cultivating curiosity and offering high quality academics (head), fostering healthy social/emotional interactions (heart), and providing work that is experiential and hands-on (hands).
Essential Montessori principles call for education that brings peace to the child’s inner world, peace in their community, and an education for peace (heart) to affect the larger world. The practice of anchoring academics in meaningful work integrates concept understanding and skill-building with whole body activity (head and hand components).
Each level of the school will need to articulate the intersection of their program with these three key principles as well as those of environmental sustainability. These principles will be the foundation of annual school-wide initiatives and evaluation, as well as an organizing structure that directs and informs goal setting for each teacher.
Our goal is to provide an Optimal Environment that allows our students to demonstrate their true nature as motivated, respectful, and considerate individuals. Each student will be immersed in the Montessori philosophy and practices of environmental sustainability within the school and in the community at large.
We aim to Empower Students by offering them small group, individualized, hands-on instruction or whatever type they need to encourage independent, self-driven, confident students and critical thinkers.
Our dream is to foster globally conscious and responsible students able to go forth and become Engaged Citizens of the world.
We will support, educate, and continue developing our students’ natural connection and responsibility to nature through our curriculum and by our role modeling on a daily basis. Our goal is for each student to further develop a sense of respect for our planet and understand the urgency of protecting our precious resources we often take for granted. Our school will consistently bring the outside environment in and bring the classroom and learning philosophy out in order to maximize learning and discovery. The intention is to eventually occupy or renovate a physical building to be designed to minimize the barrier between the inner and outer environments. We will accomplish this by designing large, airy, naturally lit classrooms with warm inviting colors. Each classroom will include an abundance of natural artwork, adopted classroom pets and a variety of plants.
A Montessori way of life assumes a strong, triangular bond between the parents, students, and the school. We must engage parents in this awesome, life changing work by inviting them to school for philosophical and curricular presentations, discussions, board meetings, or simply to gain their parental perspective. It is essential that these relationships be based on trust and be built not only between the students and educators, but among the parents as well. To affect real success and societal change, we must all work consistently together. We aspire to have a strong parent and community volunteer based program so everyone can participate and experience the difference that Three Rivers Montessori will make in their lives.
To enhance the richness of the fully-embodied Montessori curriculum, we are excited about the educational possibilities at our doorstep. Students will have access to city services such as the historical Grain Elevator and Oliver Kelley Farm, along with the city’s trend towards a sustainability focus and implementation of environmental technologies. The students at TRM will have many opportunities to serve their community, through volunteerism at CAER, Habitat for Humanity, at the local nursing homes and assisted living community of Guardian Angels, as well as participating in neighborhood beautification efforts. A curriculum and school culture rooted deeply in sustainability, nonviolence, acceptance and respect will help children develop the skills necessary for living a peaceful life of passionate advocacy in the 21st century.
Maria Montessori’s dream was to achieve world peace through the education of children. Students with many different needs, abilities, strengths, and challenges all come together here to live in an environment of respect, mutual admiration, acceptance, patience, and understanding. When students develop this confidence in themselves and a strong sense of well-being, they are able to make great strides in their academic achievement. We hope that students will leave TRM prepared to be leaders in our world, and more importantly, advocates for all of humanity.