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  • 1. Compass Montessori School Observations towards Determining Best Practices regarding Secondary Montessori Education in a Public School Environment
  • 2.
    • Within the public school context, Montessori schools can limit themselves based on:
      • State Standardized testing
      • Required seat hours
      • Available facilities
      • Enrollment (Lottery) and
      • legal admission requirements
    Obstacles to Engagement – Limits within the Public System
  • 3. To Create Authentic Montessori Secondary Schools
    • We Must…
      • Get rid of any artificial limitations
      • Proactively and concretely demonstrate the success of our programs
      • Deeply understand the foundational philosophical aspects of the Montessori Method
  • 4. Public School Concerns
    • Did your school meet AYP (NCLB Standard)?
    • Can you demonstrate academic growth for each student?
    • Do you have a strong graduation rate / low drop out rate?
    • Are your other health indicators strong – low discipline, good attendance, full enrollment, low teacher turnover.
  • 5. Creating a Successful Framework “Freedom within Limits”
    • Determine Montessori Outcomes for graduating seniors
    • Insure Outcomes meet all aspects of the Montessori syllabus – Self Expression, Psychic Development, Preparation for Adult Life
    • Determine Montessori based sub-plane benchmarks necessary to meet these Outcomes
    • Create Montessori compatible assessment to assist in determining if benchmarks are met.
  • 6. Compass Montessori Student Outcomes
    • At the end of every three-year cycle of development, each student at Compass Montessori will have met the following outcomes at their appropriate academic, social and emotional level:
    • Outcome One
    • Is an experienced thoughtful writer and reader, adjusts use of spoken,
    • written, and visual language, to respond to the needs of society, to acquire new information and for personal fulfillment.
    • Outcome Two
    • Has developed a mathematical mind: experienced use of the power of mathematical thinking in problem solving and paradigm formation.
    • Outcome Three
    • Is competent and knowledgeable in life sciences, physical sciences and advancing technology.
  • 7.
    • Outcome Four
    • Is economics literate and an ethical entrepreneur
    • Outcome Five
    • Is effective and capable of expressing ideas, contributing to a community of inquiry, actively listening and collaborating
    • Outcome Six
    • Is locally and globally aware, well worldly traveled in fact or through reading of human encounters; historical minded and historically literate about human history and the human condition.
    • Outcome Seven
    • Is physically active, a participant in activities that create mental / physical challenges that foster whole person development.
    • Outcome Eight
    • Is a developing artist, song writer, poet, musician, actor, etc through practice, experience in, appreciation for and understanding of the arts.
    • Outcome Nine
    • Is aware and knowledgeable of self-construction and actualization; has an immense sense of humor and an ingenious love of learning.
  • 8. Meeting our Montessori Outcomes while addressing Public School Concerns
    • We need to proactively and concretely demonstrate that students are learning through Montessori outcomes based Education.
      • Consistent Montessori compatible assessments that are tied to outcomes and benchmarks
        • Rubric based
        • Focused on mastery learning
      • Data extracted from State standardized tests that concretely demonstrate academic growth
      • Data proactively presented around enrollment, discipline, teacher retention and financial health.
  • 9. Foundational Musts to Foster Meaningful Student Engagement in a Montessori Program
    • A culture that holds high expectations regarding behavior and academics
    • A minimum of 75% students with previous Montessori education
    • A minimum of 75% Montessori trained staff (we really want to say 100%)
  • 10. Observed Best Practices (in other words we learned the hard way)
    • Schedule must be based on Montessori philosophy, not on minutes or seat hours.
  • 11. Schedule Continued
    • Schedule
      • Farm School requires minimal transition both with regards to physical space and adult guidance (this does not mean limiting freedom of movement).
        • Multiple transitions result in lack of ownership, gaps in consistency, non-prepared environment.
        • Multiple guides result in lack of deepening relationships which are the root of our program.
        • Eight week units create strong adult relationships while giving students access to a variety of adults and their expertise within this community.
  • 12. Compass Farm School Schedule Friday Monday through Thursday Creative Expressions Humanities / Occupations 12:30 – 2:30 Lunch Lunch 11:30 12:30 Creative Expressions Humanities / Occupations 9:40 – 11:30 Community Meeting Morning Meeting 7:45 – 8:00 Check-In Advisement Check-In 2:30 – 2:40 Math Spanish CMP / IMP Math Spanish 8:00 – 9:40
  • 13. Schedule Continued
    • High School
      • Students in this sub-plane have the ability to work, concentrate, and achieve high expectations with minimal adult structure but high adult support. They crave long periods of uninterrupted work time.
      • We have created a schedule that is similar to the upper elementary environment. It allows students to work independently, attend lessons and get the adult support they need. Due to strong up front cultural work regarding high expectations, our students are thriving in this environment.
  • 14. Compass Montessori High School Schedule Elective Classes Elective Classes A.W.O.L Elective Classes Elective Classes 12:35-1:35 1:40-2:40 Lunch Lunch A.W.O.L Lunch Lunch 11:40-12:30 Core Class Lessons & Work Core Class Lessons & Work Community Meeting Advising O ften other follow up meetings: SIP, Intl. Trip, ACT Prep, etc. Core Class Lessons & Work Core Class Lessons & Work 7:45-11:40 Friday Thursday Wednesday Tuesday Monday
  • 15. Best Practices Cont.
    • Montessori compatible assessment that assess mastery, often rubric based and that are easy for the reader to determine what benchmarks have been mastered.
    • Working and Mastery Portfolios that are organized by outcome and are developmentally appropriate so that students truly understand and own their portfolios.
  • 16. Best Practices Continued
    • Consistency is a baseline requirement for the farm school and the high school
      • Adults must have agreement on school norms and cultures and how these will be enforced. Again, high high expectations.
      • These norms must be explicitly stated in the adult community; we can not assume that we hold the same norms. It is vital to have these written down and regularly and openly discussed.
  • 17. Best Practices Cont.
    • Teachers must hold themselves and each other to high, high standards of behavior and commitment towards authentic Montessori education. This requires a deepening capacity towards the self-reflection required to evolve emotionally and spiritually in the same manner we are requiring the students to grow. We must hold ourselves as accountable in every way as we hold the students.
  • 18. What is Possible?
    • A farm school program in the public school environment
      • Our students work on the farm everyday.
      • Our students have long blocks of uninterrupted work time.
      • Our students manage their accountability through portfolios (we are working to evolve this)
      • Our students create a strong, healthy relationship with at least one adult within the community
  • 19. Micro-Economy – Selling Salsa and Other Products Produced from the Farm
  • 20. Harvesting
  • 21. What is Possible
    • Our High School mornings are one long block of uninterrupted work time with teachers giving lessons that students schedule themselves in to. Our students are deeply engaged in their work. We are a high performing, highly rated high school. Last year we were voted a 5280 Top Denver School
  • 22. High School Students in Flow
  • 23. High School Creating Community
  • 24. High School Small Group Lesson
  • 25. Limitations = Obstacles
    • What are the obstacles that prevent meaningful engagement within the environment?
    • Why do these obstacles exist?
    • How can they be removed?
  • 26. Your school’s success in creating Secondary Public Montessori Education that is based on sound Montessori philosophy and principles is not just good for your school – it is good for the entire public Montessori movement.