1. Excellence through Modern Montessori
Research indicates having inspired, knowledgeable teachers correlates with quality student experiences. At Chiaravalle, we use the same approach to adult learning as we do with our students. Professional development is a balance of individual, programmatic, and organizational priorities. This year, highlights of professional growth included one-on-one Montessori teacher coaching, Montessori Teacher training programs, Mindful Schools, and an expanded partnership with the Teachers’ College Writing Project at Columbia University in New York. This summer, we will send faculty to national SEED training to build upon our current practices and enhance racial literacy and equity.
2. Infrastructure and Technology
Enhancing infrastructure and technology have been significant efforts this year. Highlights include: online enrollment and tuition management systems, a new accounting system, and expanded educational technology that is responsive to student imagination. The Da Vinci studio is often at the epicenter of the student experience that supports Elementary through Middle School project ideas like student filmmaking or creating a light up scoreboard for a basketball court diorama. Increased after school technology offerings help align K-8 purposeful technology instruction with our high-touch/low tech Montessori learning environments.
Around us, we’ve witnessed significant, rapid, societal and environmental change. This has provided our older students with the opportunity to become more informed, analytical thinkers, and positive change-agents. Chiaravalle students live our mission of “enacting change for a better world.” Elementary and Middle School students have invested over 120 hours in and outside of school to research, plan, and support causes they care about. Examples of their compassion and drive include intergenerational visits to the Mather Senior Center, neighborhood clean ups, and a national student “March for Our Lives” walkout co-organized with other local schools.
Montessori education teaches children about the human family and how to be responsible for ourselves, others, and the Earth. This year, the faculty Equity and Justice committee updated and refined our Anti-bias Education Curriculum teachers’ guide. This instructional document aligns Montessori curriculum and promotes inclusive, accurate exploration of history and peoples. Modules integrate components of identity, diversity, equity and justice, and action for each developmental stage.
4. Community Enhancement
Did you know “it takes students 43 hours and adults 94 hours to turn acquaintances into casual friends?” (Hall, 2018) Creating a supportive, warm, and welcoming community is a priority. Enhanced new family mentoring programs and increased touchpoints, CFA events, and plentiful opportunities for multi-age interaction in places like the Learning Garden are meant to strengthen school culture and community.
Communicating student progress is an ongoing area of focus and improvement. Several classrooms have piloted web-based record keeping and progress reporting tools. A second product pilot will launch in 2018-19 to help identify the most effective tool for teachers and families. With your honest and constructive feedback, we will endeavor to adopt a progress report platform that delivers informative and engaging insights into your student’s learning experience.
As always, we are honored to part of your family’s lives.
Scenes from 2017-18