Designing facilities


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Designing facilities

  1. 1. Designing Facilities for Montessori Schools Montessori Classroom Design By Tim Seldin Classrooms should provide enough Size of the Classroom Space: Wefloor space to comfortably accommodate strongly recommend that schools allowthe total number of children enrolled a minimum of 35 square feet per studentalong with the complete collection of enrolled, which complies with manyMontessori educational apparatus, jurisdictions in the United States.tables and shelving, and related activityareas, such as art. Ideally, the Foundation recommends a ratio of 50 square feet per student at Number of Students in a Class: the early childhood level, 75 square feetThe Montessori Foundation per student at the elementary level, andrecommends an ideal class size of 25 to 100 square feet per student at the30 students at the early childhood and secondary level.elementary level,representing a three-year age range(traditionally ages 3 to 6,6 to 9, 9 to 12, etc.).Naturallycircumstances, such asroom size, localregulations, or thechallenges faced in theearly years when a newclass is beingestablished, may leadschools to set up classeswith a smaller groupsize. Charlotte Montessori School, Charlotte, North Carolina Page 387 © 2001 The Montessori Foundation
  2. 2. Designing Facilities for Montessori Schools We recognize and anticipate that an appropriately sized kitchen,few schools will be able to attain this classroom library, science area/lab,ideal, with many factors coming into greenhouse, and art studio. A smallconsideration, most especially local woodshop or hobby workshop is alsoconditions and climate. For example, highly desirable.schools in crowded urban environmentsmay find it financially impractical tosecure larger facilities, and recognize For each class of 25 to 35 students,that their children and adults are we recommend the provision of a largeaccustomed to smaller amounts of 3 compartment sink for dish washing inpersonal space. In warmer climates, the kitchen, and within the classroom atschools may be able to take excellent least two individual bathrooms to allowadvantage of shaded and semi-shaded privacy. Avoid multi-stall restrooms.outdoor environments adjacent to eachclassroom. Ultimately the final test ishow well the children function within Traditionally Montessori classes aretheir environment. designed to create an uncluttered and beautiful homelike atmosphere. Spaces The need for a self-contained with an institutional feel are avoided ifEnvironment: Classrooms at the at all possible or their sterile look andPrimary and Elementary levels should feel is softened by a conscious use ofideally include within each environment design elements. Page 388 © 2001 The Montessori Foundation
  3. 3. Designing Facilities for Montessori Schools Access to the OutdoorEnvironment: Ideally, each class should Windows: Montessori classroomshave at least two walls facing the should have an abundance of naturaloutdoor environment, which again light brought in through an abundanceideally should be a natural setting of of attractive windows that can begardens, forest, or fields. At least one opened to allow the air to flow. Indoor should lead outside, allowing classes designed for younger children,children to freely go in and out to a windows should be selected that reachprepared outside environment. down to almost floor height or mounted lower to the floor to allow small The Children’s Garden: Ideally, children to see outside withouteach classroom should have a small and outdoor environmentenclosed by a picket fence or perhaps a Avoid Clutter and TraditionalMediterranean style garden wall. Again School Posters and Displays Theideally, the children should be able to go Montessori class is not supposed to lookoutside as they wish to work in the or feel like a classroom in the traditionalgarden, observe nature, paint, or work sense, but rather a comfortable andoutside. inviting home. We do not teach group Century House Montessori School, Tortola, British Virgin Islands Page 389 © 2001 The Montessori Foundation
  4. 4. Designing Facilities for Montessori Schoolsmany lessons in the first place, so we go a long way to making yourdon’t need to use blackboards or classroom feel like a Children’s House.bulletin boards as decorative elementson the walls. Floors: Traditionally Montessori Children’s Houses had wooden, tile, or A few more suggestions: stone floors because that was the norm in European and North American! Don’t try to add color to the room buildings at the time. Today wall to wall with eye catching educational carpet is so pervasive, that we tend to posters. see a normal pattern of a space divided! At all costs, don’t create a display of between carpeted space and a practical twenty five identical art projects life and art area that is tiled. It is! Avoid cartoon-like posters important that at least the area where! Never feel compelled to hang an the children work on their practical life alphabet up along the wall skills and art have a tile or other non- carpeted floor to avoid damaging the Instead select carefully chosen rug and to provide a hard surface as ahighly quality art reproductions or control of error (the little glass pitcheroriginal art and hang them around the should break, not bounce, if dropped).room at the children’s eye level. Even Avoid bland institutional looking tile orbetter, provide the children with mattes wall to wall carpet. Create the mostand frames and allow them to select and attractive and harmonious look and feeldisplay individual pieces of their art or that your budget and creativity in an attractive manner. Create Consider the possibility of woodenattractive areas for displaying floors or one of the new imitationindividual sculptures or projects. Take a wooden flooring materials. The look isfresh look at how art is displayed in a just what most of us dream aboutfine gallery or art museum. creating in our schools. Lighting: Fluorescent lights can Toxic Substances: When selectingcreate a harsh light. Soften the glare any paint, carpeting, or flooringwith the light from your windows and material, take care to avoid introducingby introducing several attractive floor or something into your indoortable lamps with shades. Just a little environment to which chemicallyincandescent light from some lamps can sensitive children and adults might react. Some carpets and paints give off Page 390 © 2001 The Montessori Foundation
  5. 5. Designing Facilities for Montessori Schoolschemicals that can be real, if not visible,environmental pollutants. Don’t allow your outdoor environment to look neglected. Keep Plants: Use as many large and small your buildings painted, equipment inplants in your environment as possible. good repair, and grounds carefullyLarge ferns, palms, and various tended.decorative but nontoxic plants help tosoften your environment, create a warm Find space somewhere for a facultycozy feeling, help keep your indoor air lounge. Teachers and administratorshealthy, and provide a host of practical should take pride in keeping it neat andlife activities. clean. Arrange for basic janitorial service to Many school offices need cleaning,every room on a daily basis: vacuuming, junk removal, and fancy little touches totile areas cleaned, bathrooms. make them comfortable for visitors and the school staff. Train your support staff to besensitive to the needs of a Montessori It takes a great deal of money orprogram. donated labor and materials to create and maintain a first-rate Montessori Throw out all of that junk from the and storage areas. Create orderout of what remains. Schools should be aggressive in getting parents to help fix things up: parent work parties, special projects, etc. Develop a written plan for educating your parents to the need to help. Page 391 © 2001 The Montessori Foundation
  6. 6. Designing Facilities for Montessori Schools Creating a Modern Campus With a Timeless Quality by Christopher Gallagher, Vice President Rampart Homes, Sarasota, Florida The Field School, Washington, DC “These principles are so much in sync with the Montessori principles. All of themembers of the community become active participants in an ongoing process.” — Lorna McGrath Assistant Headmaster New Gate School Page 392 © 2001 The Montessori Foundation
  7. 7. Designing Facilities for Montessori Schools What if it were possible to create a since the 1960s. The founder’s simple,school building or even an entire bucolic vision of a learning environmentcampus that was as wonderful and as gently intermingled with nature hasmemorable and as vibrantly alive as any been slowly disintegrated by theof the most traveled to, timeless demands of an ever growingdestinations of the world? And, what if population. In order to stem the tide,it were possible to do this in a way that New Gate has created a vision and ainvited the participation and process for guiding all future designinvolvement and tapped the creative and construction activity.powers of the entire school community? New Gate’s vision is of a lovingly Empowered with the idea of these cared for, nurturing campus with apossibilities becoming reality, the New timeless quality that is aesthetically,Gate School in Sarasota, Florida, has ecologically, and practically appropriateembarked on a great experiment based for its subtropical Florida setting. Just ason the award-winning research of important, however, is the uniquearchitect Christopher Alexander and his process that will deliver this of designers at the Center forEnvironmental Structure in Berkeley, The newly adopted planning processCalifornia. mandates that the users of any new or renovated spaces shall be the designers Countryside’s challenge is to set in of those spaces. The process assumesmotion a process of repair, renovation, that people have within themselves theredesign, and new construction that: power, wisdom, and insight to create beautiful spaces for themselves. The ▲ creates an ongoing, adaptable plan further requires that a shared set of plan of action for a quickly powerful design patters shall provide expanding ten-year-old campus; the framework for the expression of ▲ upholds a high standard of individual design ideas. exemplary design excellence; and ▲ accomplishes all of this through a This exciting new process is modeled method that is fundamentally on a plan described in a book by consistent with the Montessori Christopher Alexander called The philosophy. Oregon Experiment. The unique character of the plan is rooted in six During the course of the past couple “revolutionary” key principles.of years, rapid growth has brought thesame problem to New Gate that hasoccurred at countless college campuses Page 393 © 2001 The Montessori Foundation
  8. 8. Designing Facilities for Montessori Schools1. The Principle of Organic Order are very precise, very powerful descriptions of recurring spatial A cohesive whole campus develops configurations. In a process whichgradually, the product of countless favors design by user, the possibilitysmall individual projects. This principle exists that the resultant campus wouldsuggests that the school grows like a be a chaotic mix of individualgiant oak. When we plant the tiny seed, expression within the context of awe have a general idea of the character shared vision.of what the mature oak will look like.Along the way, an infinite variety of Most of the work of creating anfactors influence the shape and individual pattern language for thedimensions so that each oak is unique. school is already complete. Alexander’sThe character, however, holds true to second book, A Pattern Language, is usedthe vision inherent in the seed. as a model. The community’s task is to fill in the patterns appropriate to its2. The Principle of Participation particular site and setting. This principle states the 5. The Principle of Diagnosisfundamental concept that the users ofspaces shall be the designers of those Typical master plans show a colorfulspaces. Nobody else knows better the map of what a campus will look likesubtle, intricate issues so intuitively five, ten, or twenty years in the future.obvious to the user. This plan works very differently. The Design and Planning Committee3. The Principle of Piecemeal Growth prepares, on an annual basis, a set of conceptual drawings that outline which Annual construction budgets shall spaces are alive and healthy andbe weighted in favor of smaller projects. working according to the “patternThe idea here is that the community language.”consciously and practically establishes apriority system that does not allow the On the same drawings, the Committeeold part of the campus to deteriorate indicates where repair is needed inwhile each year’s construction budget is order to bring other spaces to life. Thespent on new buildings. diagnostic maps are used in conjunction with each new design proposal. Every4. The Principle of Patterns proposal must include a description of how it will work toward bringing the The community shall adopt a proposed spaces to life as described bymutually agreed upon set of planning the pattern language. The idea is thatguidelines called patterns. The patterns with each increment of new Page 394 © 2001 The Montessori Foundation
  9. 9. Designing Facilities for Montessori Schoolsconstruction, no matter how small, the most memorable spaces resides withincommunity is always working its way us, capable of being called forth totoward a comprehensive shared vision design our spaces today.of wholeness. The second awareness is that human6. The Principle of Coordination beings are affected by their environment, that places that are alive, The plan establishes a process by whole, and free will be settings in whichwhich the Design and Planning we can feel alive, whole, and free.Committee shall guide the steady flowof ongoing projects, initiated by the The same glorious sense of life thatusers, through the funding process draws us to walk along the crashingtoward completion. seashore or sit before a roaring fire is the force that draws us to the medieval In the timeless, picturesque European European village or the scenic Greekvillage, built over the course of island town. We feel alive, whole, andgenerations, a shared set of basic connected to the world around us infundamental design images and these places. The goal of the New Gateconstruction practices created the plan is to recreate this same quality — toframework that assured that each new create a setting where our children canproject built upon the past in a way that feel alive, whole, and free.worked toward completing the whole.During the course of the last 100 years, ➟➟➟➟➟our shared set of design values andimages have evaporated. This is the Christopher Gallagher, Vicereason we must create a new “pattern President of Rampart Homes inlanguage.” And, to the extent that our Sarasota, Florida, is an architect andproposed “pattern language” is alive, builder and the parent of two childrenwhole, beautiful, and nurturing, so shall at the New Gate our built environment. The last ten years of his practice have All of this work falls back on some incorporated and built upon thefundamental concepts about the nature research and writing in Christopherof men, women, and children. First is Alexander’s books, A Pattern Language,the assumption that the creative process The Timeless Way of Building, The Oregonis alive and well and waiting to be Experiment, A New Theory of Urbanrevealed in every individual and that Design, The Production of Homes, and Dasthe same spirit that created the world’s Linz Cafe. Page 395 © 2001 The Montessori Foundation
  10. 10. Designing Facilities for Montessori Schools Simple Steps to Transform or Create A Beautiful CampusBy Chris Gallagher 19. Divide the campus into "outdoor1. Keep your campus litter-free rooms"2. Sweep your drives and walks 20. Add gateways into each "outdoor3. Add fresh paint. Caulk open joints room" first 21. Build simple paths where children4. Clean windows and screens walk5. Weed landscape beds and trim plants 22. Invite birds and butterflies6. Simplify, Unify and Beauty your 23. Add indoor plants and fill vases signage. And please make it polite with cut flowers7. Add outdoor sculpture 24. Take everything off the walls except8. Add fountains meaningful, beautiful, framed9. Add a pond pictures and paintings.10. Simplify and unify your exterior building colors Chris Gallagher, Associate AIA is11. Provide benches to sit on in available for minor school design comfortable places. Use wood consulting projects and complete new benches campus master planning.12. Stain untreated wood.13. Add operable window shutters You may reach him at14. Upgrade to small paned windows The Center for Beautiful Places15. Plant trees 1715 Stickney Point Road, Sarasota,16. Grow climbing plants Florida 34231 941-926-751817. Grow potted plants in clay pots and wooden boxes If you would like a copy of his18. Create enclosed gardens and grow newsletter, send a note to the address vegetables, flowers & herbs above. Page 396 © 2001 The Montessori Foundation
  11. 11. Designing Facilities for Montessori Schools The Perfect Look For Your Montessori Classroom Building By Chris Gallagher At some time in your involvement someone is going to ask the mostwith your Montessori school you may dreaded of all questions, “Well, what dobe faced with the challenge of creating a we want our school to look like”?new classroom. You may even behanded the opportunity to participate in If the question is directed towardthe making or the re-making of an entire you, you will most probably get a mixedcampus. There will be much to do and up, queasy feeling in your mid-sectionhundreds of decisions to make. And, as a parade of ever more perplexingsomewhere during that process, questions come marching to the front. Page 397 © 2001 The Montessori Foundation
  12. 12. Designing Facilities for Montessori SchoolsYou think, “Oh no, how am I supposed what I have observed to be the simpleto know what it should look like? What principles for creating beautiful places.will your parents expect the school tolook like? And, what will be best for the SEEK NOT PERFECTIONchildren? You wonder what Maria hadto say about the look of a school? Sorry, I know I threw you off course a little with the title, but there is no Let’s spend some time together single perfect design, style, or look fortalking about what your Montessori your new school. It is no moreschool should look like. I will assume reasonable to expect that you can designthat, given that your buildings and a perfect building then to expect thatgrounds make up a very significant part you can lead a perfect life. Myof your prepared environment, and that suggestion is to search not for theyou have at this point witnessed the perfect design, but for the mostabsorptive nature of the young human common, simple, vernacular solution.beings in your care, you will want your Expect that your beautiful place maybuildings and grounds to be, well- even be a little awkward at times,beautiful. What you want, is to create a maybe even a little clumsy or funny.beautiful place. Think of the most beautiful places you have ever been. Building after building Now, before going any further I of simple repetitive elements mixed upmust share what I mean by a beautiful in all kinds of straight, crooked, andplace. We have no word in the English irregular ways. So, aim for wonderfullanguage that means the same thing as but don’t worry about perfection.the phrase, beautiful place. What I mean Remember the painter, Edgar Degas,by a beautiful place is a place that who in his search for beauty identifiedpossesses qualities that serve to “that hint of ugliness without whichenduringly comfort, delight, and nothing works.”ennoble us. Comfort, delight, andennoble us—enduringly; that’s what a SEEK NOT ORIGINALITYbeautiful place does. Throw off the weighty curse of The way that I would like to talk to originality as quickly as you can. Forgetyou about what a Montessori school about designing a building that looksshould look like is to share with you like a cube, a cone, a hexagon, or an inverted pink tower. Maria Montessori Page 398 © 2001 The Montessori Foundation
  13. 13. Designing Facilities for Montessori Schoolsdeveloped a method of teaching painting or a sculpture to sit and starechildren based on what works. She was at. It is a place where children’s livesnot in search of some new method for unfold.the sake of a new method. The best Inside, the vase of flowers, thequestion is not, “What can I do that will simple cloth curtains, the colorfulbe different,” but, “What can I do that materials, and the children themselveswill work”? My advice: observe what serve to complete and animate the and use it as a model, copy it, or Outside, it is the sky and the trees, theuse the parts that work and toss the rest. flower boxes, the gardens and fences, the trellises and climbing plants, and the The most “original” buildings of the joyful children who will complete thetwentieth century are, in many cases, image.the most difficult and costly to heat andcool, the most difficult and costly to So, keep it simple, do not completerepair, and the most difficult and costly the picture. The incompleteness helpsto add on to – and the roof probably to call forth the vase of flowers.leaks. SEEK COMFORT So don’t worry about being original.The fact that you have a unique site and Now let’s talk about the qualities wea unique building program will should be looking for in our buildingsguarantee your building is original and grounds. What are the things weenough. Besides, children don’t care can do in the design of a place that willabout being original; they simply are. serve to most comfort us and outGood advice for your building. children – mind, body, and spirit. Begin with the simple things, like aSEEK NOT COMPLETION comfortable place to sit under the shade of a tree and eat your lunch, or a Leave your building incomplete. comfortable chair or bench that is justWhat I mean by this is, do not expect the right height for your little legs; andyour physical building, all by itself, to oh, don’t forget the soft comfortablecomplete the picture. The building is a cushion. How about a comfortable,backdrop, a setting for the activities that easy-to-turn doorknob.will happen there. Building and activitycome together in the creation of a place. When trying to decide between twoThe building is not an object like a alternative solutions, ask yourself, Page 399 © 2001 The Montessori Foundation
  14. 14. Designing Facilities for Montessori Schools unique son or daughter of the spirit of the universe. Make your places worthy of their presence. This does not mean stiff and rigid and formal. Imagine that each of your noble guests is visiting you for a vacation. It is your responsibility to“Which will be more comfortable for the provide the settingchildren, for their hands, for their skin, that acknowledges their supremefor their sense of security and peace of importance as individuals, but in amind”. light-hearted, joyful way.SEEK DELIGHT SEEK LOVE What are the characteristics of a The ultimate test is this – does it feelplace, which most delight the human like love. Before you begin to evaluateanimal – especially the younger any particular aspect of your project,members of the species? We know that conjure the memory of love in yourchildren find delight in color, rhythm, heart. Remember your most vividand patterns of order. They love caves, experience of what it felt like to love orhiding places, and tunnels. They like be loved. Remember the feeling. Feel it.mud, sand and water so simply include Really feel it. Now, as you evaluatethese qualities and features. your design alternatives see which one feels more like this feeling. The singleSEEK ENNOBLEMENT final question is always, “What would love do here? Do not lose sight of who you arecreating your school for. Think of each Your understanding of thesechild as a divine prince or princess, a principles allows you to keep focused on what is ultimately important. Do not Page 400 © 2001 The Montessori Foundation
  15. 15. Designing Facilities for Montessori Schoolsallow yourself to be intimidated by parcel is 6 miles from interstate 75, astrange design concepts or quick talking route that defines the urban border ofarchitects that don’t make sense to you. Sarasota County.Remember – does it work? Our long-range plans are for 600 Now, having said all that, let’s take a children in a beautiful, rural setting withlook at the process that allowed us to room for farming, animals, and anarrive at an agreed upon look for the equestrian program.New Gate School in Sarasota. Here are So, as we began, what we were inour givens. A one hundred acre campus search of was a look, a style, or a designon apartiallywoodedsite in thesub-tropicallocation ofSouth WestFlorida.Theproperty isnow usedfor cattlegrazingand pinetree image that would embody the sevenfarming. There are wetlands, open principles in a simple, efficient, and costfields, a stream, tall pine trees and a effect way.dense canopy of very old oak trees. Ifyou stand on any one of the four Before I share with you our results;property lines of this rectangular piece there is one more factor that you shouldof land you will not see another consider. You need a vision for yourbuilding. One property line is adjacent place – a powerful, evocative,to state road 72, a two-lane road that enchanting image that will 1. Musterstretches across the peninsular of the resources of you and yourFlorida from west cost to east cost. Our Page 401 © 2001 The Montessori Foundation
  16. 16. Designing Facilities for Montessori Schoolscommunity of supporters. 2.Capturethe attention of your customers, the What ultimately captured ourfamilies who will enroll at your school. imaginations were the simple, one story,And most importantly, 3. Provide a white stucco, tile-roofed horse ranchesmemorable, positive, life-enhancing, of South America. Easily constructedplace that will form the backdrop for buildings, built of readily available localyour children’s lives. labor and materials, cool shady courtyards and colorful gardens, lush In our search for an image we talked sub-tropical plants and section afterof the great places of learning. We section of three- plank- high, paintedstudied the Greek Academy and Oxford horse rail fences along tree- lined drives.and Cambridge in England. We studiedthe early seats of education in America, Having described the big pictureplaces like Harvard, William & Mary, and answered the question of what ourand Jefferson’s University of Virginia. campus would look like, much remainsAs wonderful as the buildings on these to be done. Every detail down to thecampuses are we learned how walkways, window frames, andimportant the spaces between the doorknobs must be identified and testedbuildings can be. We leafed through against our seven principles.hundred of pages of photographs ofbeautiful buildings and places from Perhaps once in your lifetime youaround the world. will have an opportunity to create a Page 402 © 2001 The Montessori Foundation
  17. 17. Designing Facilities for Montessori Schoolsplace such as this. Do make it a Editor’s Note: Chris Gallagher is thebeautiful place. Create a place that will, director of The Center for Beautifulfor now and ever after, comfort, delight Places, a design, consulting and researchand ennoble the young men and women company located in Sarasota, Florida.placed in your care so that they will His two children have been enrolled atforever know that they are important, the New Gate School for six years. Hethey are loved, and that, they too, are served as board president for threebeautiful. years. Mr. Gallagher oversees the ongoing beautification of the New Gate School’s Ashton Road Campus and is the Master Planner for New Gate’s new 100-acre campus. Page 403 © 2001 The Montessori Foundation
  18. 18. THECENTERFORBEAUTIFULPLACES 1715 Stickney Point Road Suite C7, Sarasota, Florida 34231 941-926-7518Principles for Creating Beautiful Places 1. Seek Not Perfection 2. Seek Not Completion 3. Seek Not Originality 4. Seek Comfort 5. Seek Delight 6. Seek Ennoblement 7. Let the Feeling of Love Be Your TestPatterns for Creating Beautiful Places1. SITE PATTERNS 6. ROOF PATTERNS 101 Outdoor Room 101 Sloped Roof on Varying Wall Heights 102 Gate, Path, and Goal 102 Textured Roofing 103 Sunny Places/Shady Places 103 Chimney, Finials, and Spires 104 Protected View of Life 104 Cupolas, Dormers, and Domes 105 Connected Buildings 105 Rafter Tails and Brackets2. PLANT PATTERNS 7. COLUMN PATTERNS 101 Tree Canopy 101 Columns and Beams 102 Climbing Plants 102 Column, Capital & Base 103 Potted Plants 103 Colonnade 104 Enclosed Garden 104 Pilasters 105 Wall of Plants 105 Penmeter Columns3. FOUNDATION PATTERNS 8. DOOR PATTERNS 101 Building Base 101 Door Hood 102 Building Base Extension 102 Doorway Surround 103 Building Wall Extension 103 FrontDoor 104 Cascading Stairs 104 French Doors 105 Wall, Path, and Tree Line 105 Glass Doors and Solid Wood Doors4. FLOOR PLAN PATTERNS 9. WINDOW PATTERNS 101 FrontEntry 101 Small Paned Window 102 Main Building With Wings 102 Swinging Window 103 Interior Privacy 103 Low Window Sill 104 Comer Rooms 104 Operable Window Shutters 105 Connection to Outdoors 105 Prepared Window View 10. ROOM PATTERNS5. FACADE PATTERNS 101 Defined Rectangular Room 101 Top, Middle, & Bottom 102 Visible Doorway 102 Rhythmic Facade 103 Room Connections 103 Bays & Arches 104 Alcove 104 Gables & Parapets 105 Seat By A Window 105 Towers & Buttresses
  19. 19. 11. WALL PATTERNS 19. WATER PATTERNS 101 ThickWall 101 Bathing Place 102 Window Wall 102 ShoweringPlace 103 HalfWall 103 Swimming Pool 104 Wall Niche 104 Fountain 105 Textured Wall 105 Natural Water Feature12. CEILING PATTERNS 20. ORNAMENT PATTERNS 101 Varied Ceiling Heights 101 Connection Ornament 102 Beamed Ceiling 102 Gravity Ornament 103 Discontinuous Ceiling 103 Shadow Ornament 104 Wall to Ceiling Connection 104 Symbolic Ornament 105 Vaulted Ceiling 105 Repeating Shape Ornament13. FLOORING PATTERNS 21. COLOR PATTERNS 101 Varying Floor Heights 101 All White 102 Wood Floors 102 Monochrome 103 Stone Floors & Tile Floors 103 Raw Matenal Color 104 Sod & Gravel 104 Color With White Trim 105 Rugs & Carpets 105 White With Colorful Accents14. LIGHTING PATTERNS 22. HARDWARE PATTERNS 101 Balanced Daylight 101 Visually Appropriate Hardware 102 Sunlight Through Trees 102 Tactilly Engaging Hardware 103 Candle Light 103 Hand Crafted Hardware 104 Varying Light Levels 104 Durable Hardware 105 Task Lighting 105 Delightful to Maintain Hardware15. VENTILATION PATTERNS 23. FURNITURE PATTERNS 101 Operable Windows 101 Sitting Circle 102 Ceiling Fan 102 Tables & Chairs 103 Exhaust Flue & Make up Air 103 Built In Seats, Counters, & Shed 104 Non-toxic Materials 104 Variety of Sitting Places 105 Exhaust Fan 105 Simple Wood, Metal, & Wicker Furniture16. AROMA PATTERNS 101 Fresh Air 24. FABRIC PATTERNS 102 Garden Scents 101 Canvas Shades 103 Incense and Scented Candles 102 Window & Door Cloths 104 Potpourri 103 Table & Chair Cloths 105 Scented Food 104 Bed Cloths 105 Bath Cloths17. SOUND PATTERNS 101 Indoor Quiet 25. ACCESSORY PATTERNS 102 Water Sounds 101 Indoor Plants & Flowers In Vases 103 Wind Sounds 102 Family Photographs 104 Animal Sounds 103 Paintings, Drawings, & Sculpture 105 Soothing Music 104 Books 105 Mirrors18. THERMAL PATTERNS 101 Fireplace 26. MAINTENANCE PATTERNS 102 Place In the Sun 101 Litter-Free Ground 103 Soft Materials on Hard 102 Healthy Plants 104 Place By the Water 103 Fresh Coat of Paint 105 Place in the Shade 104 Swept Walks & Drives 105 Clean Windows & Doors
  20. 20. Designing Facilities for Montessori Schools Modular Buildings ByTim Seldin Need a new building at your school? the same size as a "double-wide" trailerOn a tight budget? Then you ought to unit. Each module is typically 14.5 feetconsider modulars! wide and 54 feet long. Each piece has outer walls along three sides, with one Modular buildings? Arent they long side open. Two modules fitthose really ugly trailers turned into together to produce a modular building"temporary" classrooms by public 29 feet wide and 54 feet long.schools all over the country? Well, yesand no! Want a bigger modular building? Simple! Just ask the factory to add in Modulars are typically built on top some more units with the 2 end walls inof a trailer frame. Traditionally they are Page 404 © 2001 The Montessori Foundation
  21. 21. Designing Facilities for Montessori Schoolsplace, but both long ends open. These cedar shingle siding, some matureunits can be placed in between the two bushes, a well planned deck, and aend modules to create addition interior modular building doesnt look half bad.spaces, each 29 feet wide by 54 feet long. At the Barrie School in Silver Spring,There is no limit to how many modules Maryland, we used modulars to give uscan be placed together. another 15,000 square feet of long-term The New Gate School, Sarasota, Florida Unfortunately, the result is usually a "temporary" structures for our upperfairly boring rectangular building with a school library, computer center, foreignflat roof. Modular buildings can be language, art, and music classes, alongmade more interesting by adding on a with some additional office space.mansard roof, bay widows, more But modular buildings dont have towindows, or a more interesting exterior be limited to rectangular boxes. In 1993finish. With top grade doors and the Countryside Montessori Schoolwindows, a nice mansard, and sheet (today known as the New Gate School) Page 405 © 2001 The Montessori Foundation
  22. 22. Designing Facilities for Montessori Schoolsin Sarasota, Florida, built an octagonal finishes. A typical rectangular modularcentral structure to house their library building will probably cost 25-30% ofand serve as a meeting area. To four of the finished cost of more than $100 athe eight walls they fit standard square foot common today in traditionalmodular classroom units. Three walls school construction.are used for glass entryways, which, Another distinct advantage iswith a central skylight, give the construction time. Modular buildingslibrary/commons room a light and airy are normally built inside a factory usinglook. One wall is used for bathrooms efficient assembly-line principles,and janitors closet. Large exterior construction is not dependent on gooddecking provides convenient outside weather. Depending on how back-workspace for the children in this warm ordered a modular supplier is at a givenweather climate. While this building is time, it is quite common for a project tostill inherently limited by its modular be finished and ready for delivery on-construction, it is much more attractive site within six-weeks from the date ofthan many school buildings. order.Altogether, this 6,000 square feetclassroom building cost Countryside Another plus is the minimaljust under $200,000, or approximately disruption to your building site from$33 a finished square foot. start to finish of the new construction. Modulars are set on steel reinforced concrete footings, which are not veryWhy would you want to consider difficult to prepare. Utility hookups aremodular construction? brought to the site. Then, when the modules are completed, they are driven Cost is the most obvious factor. At to your campus on their trailer bases$33 a square foot, Countryside spared and lifted up onto the footings by ano expense. Their custom designed portable crane. The entire process rarelycommons area and decking are takes more than a few days. Oncesomething that most schools have not assembled, the connecting walls andconsidered in modular construction. roofs are sealed, utilities connected, andAlso, Countryside, concerned about the the interiors finished off. Normally mosthealth impact of their interior of the interior work was done at theenvironment, took great pains to factory, with bathrooms, sinks, interiorcustomize their heating/cooling system, walls, carpeting, electrical outlets, andcarpeting, paints, and other interior Page 406 © 2001 The Montessori Foundation
  23. 23. Designing Facilities for Montessori Schoolssuch more or less complete on delivery you have a choice, definitely orderto your site. This can be a tremendous everything extra heavy duty, especiallyadvantage if you are building next to or the roofs and sub-floors.] Eventuallyclose to existing classrooms. Where you can expect leaks along the rooftraditional construction can take joints and other signs of wear and tearmonths, it is conceivably possible to from active day-to-day use. On the otherschedule the final assembly of your hand, lets define temporary. Manymodular structure over a weekend or temporary modular buildings have beenholiday. Future additions are equally in use for twenty, thirty years or more.simple and convenient. If your master No, they are not built to last downplan design provides for eventual through the ages, but if your school sexpansion to four classrooms, but you still young and working with a limitedonly need two at the beginning, you will budget, modulars may give yoube able to add the last two modules on adequate to excellent service for yourat any time with minimal disruption. first twenty years or so. Isnt that long enough to get you started? One final advantage to keep in mindis that while modular buildings are not If not, then you might want toall that easy nor inexpensive to move, consider one of the high end modularthey can be taken apart, moved, and set units. Built entirely of steel, concreteup in a new location. There is even a and brick, these units are definitely notmarket for used modular buildings. So your typical trailers! They arebuild them, use them until youre ready rectangular boxes built under roof in afor more expensive permanent factory at prices that are still below theconstruction, then sell them to a cost of traditional construction. Butworthwhile school that is just getting these modulars are built to last! Theygoing. have all the advantages of modulars in terms of speed of completion andAre there any disadvantages to convenience, but the cost savings maymodular construction? not justify the boxy look inherent in all present day modular construction. Modular buildings are most oftenmade of wood framing built up on a Keep in mind that you aresteel trailer bed. While the final result inherently limited by the size of yourdepends on the quality of the modular basic module. Your building will be asuppliers product, these are not maximum of 54 wide along one end andintended to be permanent buildings. [If Page 407 © 2001 The Montessori Foundation
  24. 24. Designing Facilities for Montessori Schoolsthe ceilings will be the standard height.If you want to add on a gym with 20foot high ceilings youll need to lookelsewhere. Any other disadvantages? Just one.How do you feel about your newbuildings arriving in a long line oftractor trailers? I wonder if theres sucha thing as modular building rustlers?Can you just imagine thieves drivingaway with your buildings in the night? Page 408 © 2001 The Montessori Foundation
  25. 25. Designing Facilities for Montessori Schools Facilities Planning Worksheets Abundance Balance and Beauty Clarity • Creativity • Confidence Ease • Freedom • Givingness • Growth Harmony • Joy • Life • Love • Order Peace • Power • Unity • Vitality • Wholeness • WisdomCircle the qualities that you would like to manifest in your school’s facilities.Summarizing, it is our goal to create a plan for the development of our school’s facilitiesthat will give our school community a sense of:________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________Describe the ideal campus to support your educational vision________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________Describe the limitations created by your present facilities______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Page 409 © 2001 The Montessori Foundation
  26. 26. Designing Facilities for Montessori SchoolsDescribe the ideal Montessori classroom for each level of your school________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________Describe your ideal outdoor environment________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________What spaces do you have for indoor play?________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________Where do you hold adult meetings? How appropriate are they?________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Page 410 © 2001 The Montessori Foundation
  27. 27. Designing Facilities for Montessori Schools Defining your Space NeedsHow many children would you like your new facility to accommodate? _____________How many square feet do you believe you will need in your new building? __________What is your budget? __________________________________________________________How will you be paying for your new facility? _______________________________Which of the follow types of spaces will your new facility need? Different types of space_______ self-contained classrooms_______ shared special purpose spaces_______ media centers_______ computer labs_______ science centers_______ a school museum_______ language labs_______ music and dance studios_______ art studios_______ gym and other physical education facilities Page 411 © 2001 The Montessori Foundation
  28. 28. Designing Facilities for Montessori Schools_______ large group spaces_______ theater_______ multi-purpose room_______ dining hall_______ a commons area_______ office space_______ reception areas_______ teacher work areas_______ small group meetings_______ tutoring rooms_______ conference rooms_______ board rooms_______ bathrooms_______ sinks_______ storage_______ classroom storage_______ central shared educational resources_______ janitorial supplies_______ maintenance tools and supplies_______ hazardous materials_______ nurse’s infirmary or area where sick children can be kept comfortable in isolation Page 412 © 2001 The Montessori Foundation
  29. 29. Designing Facilities for Montessori Schools_______ kitchen facilities_______ living facilities for residential students and staff_______ outdoor work spaces contiguous to the classrooms_______ outdoor play areas_______ greenhouses_______ gardens_______ entrances to the main street_______ drive ways through the campus_______ parking_______ footpaths/walkways_______ signage on campus_______ Telephone intercom system (in classrooms?)_______ Phone lines or cable modem access for the Internet?_______ Will your building be wired for satellite TV? Cable TV? Cable Modem? Computer Network? Page 413 © 2001 The Montessori Foundation
  30. 30. Designing Facilities for Montessori SchoolsHow will the spaces need to relate to each other?What functions need to be close to each other?What functions need to be kept far apart?Which spaces need easy access to doors where deliveries can be received?Which functions will tend to create considerable noise?Will anything on campus be potentially dangerous or toxic? How will it be secured?Will any functions tend to create unpleasant aromas?Existing buildings_______ Can they be used for your purposes?_______ Will your local government even allow you to use them as a school?_______ At what cost? Page 414 © 2001 The Montessori Foundation
  31. 31. Designing Facilities for Montessori SchoolsWill you be required to put in: _______ Fire escapes? _______ Metal doors? _______ Sprinkler systems? _______ Fire walls?How much will their limitations affect your program’s future?Are the rooms small, dark, and gloomy?Are bathrooms located where they’ll be needed?Is there any hazardous material on-site? Cost of removal? Page 415 © 2001 The Montessori Foundation
  32. 32. Designing Facilities for Montessori Schools Defining a Vision of Your Schools Future A Vision for the Future of New Gate In the pages that follow you will find a first draft of a vision of the educational centerthat we believe New Gate can become. We hope that it will both kindle your interest andstir up a few thoughts about education in general. Now the ball is your court asmembers of the New Gate community. This is simply a first draft, based partially on myprevious experience, and partially on the ideas that we are evolving together. I want toinvite your thoughts and suggestions. This school is rapidly becoming a dynamiccommunity, committed to world-class education of heart, mind, and body. Please feelfree to contact me personally by phone, in person, by e-mail, or in writing if I can answerany questions and when you are ready to offer your first input. We will work on thisvision together over the months ahead, much as the school did with my blueprint lastyear. Hopefully, before too long, we will have defined a vision far more refined than thisinitial draft. Introduction Learning the right answers will get you through school. Learning how to learn willget you through life! Our goal at New Gate is to lead our students to think, explore, andreflect back on what they have learned. We want active, self-disciplined minds, ratherthan students who memorize, feedback, and promptly forget. The basis of our approach is based on the simple observation that children learnmost effectively through direct experience and the process of investigation anddiscovery. No two students learn at the same pace, nor do they necessarily learn bestfrom the same methods. We believe that a fine school must be flexible and creative inaddressing each student as a unique individual. Before students can take advantage of a challenging education, they have to discovertheir innate abilities. They need to develop a strong sense of independence, self-confidence, and self-discipline. They must be willing to make and learn from countlessmistakes. Ideally, our sons and daughters will develop into people who are fascinated by theuniverse, and feel compelled to understand something of life’s secrets. Hopefully, theywill come to see that we all belong to the earth and to the family of Man. Our dream isthat they will live lives filled with quiet dignity and compassion for all of mankind. Wehope that their lives will leave a positive mark on the world. New Gate is designed to be a school where children can blossom! We seek to Page 416 © 2001 The Montessori Foundation
  33. 33. Designing Facilities for Montessori Schoolscultivate renaissance men and women who follow in the intellectual tradition of ThomasJefferson. Our goal is to nurture and stimulate the spontaneous curiosity within us frombirth. New Gate has been designed to not only to give students a fine education, but toprepare them for life. Granted, this lies beyond the scope of traditional education, but then New Gate is arather unusual school. Page 417 © 2001 The Montessori Foundation
  34. 34. Designing Facilities for Montessori SchoolsThe Proposed Expansion Of The New Gate School by the year 2000Student Population: An enrollment of somewhere between 350 To 600 studentsorganized into four divisionsThe Primary SchoolToddler class Age 2 to 3 20 studentsPrimary Classes Ages 3 to 6 120-150 students ages two and a half to sixThe Lower School Grades 1 to 3: 90-120 students ages six to nineThe Middle School Grades 4 to 6: 60-90 students ages nine to twelveThe Upper School Grades 7 & 8: 30-45 students ages twelve and thirteen Grades 9 -10 20-45 students ages fourteen and fifteen Grades 11 – 12 20-45 students ages sixteen and seventeen Page 418 © 2001 The Montessori Foundation
  35. 35. Designing Facilities for Montessori Schools Organizational elements The New Gate School The Ashton Road campus (Primary School ages 2-6) The Main Campus Lower School (Grades 1-3) Middle Scholl (Grades 4-6) Upper School (Grades 7-12)The New Gate Studio Program (After school and weekend programs for children) Summer at New Gate (Summer programs for children) The New Gate Parenting Center Parenting Resources • Educational Toys Parent Forums And Educational Programs “Infants, Moms And Dads” - New Parents Parenting Education Program The New Gate Center for Montessori Teacher Education Teacher Training Center Conference Center The Montessori Society of Sarasota Public Forums • Public Information Center Curriculum Lab And Professional Library • Book Store Speakers Bureau • Support For Educational Reform Page 419 © 2001 The Montessori Foundation
  36. 36. Designing Facilities for Montessori Schools A Tour of New Gate in the Year 2000 At New Gate, classes are organized dance, theater, second language study,to encompass a two or three-year age computer science, sports, fitness,span, which allows younger students to personal development, and careerexperience the daily stimulation of older interests.role models, who in turn blossom in theresponsibilities of leadership. Students A typical day’s school work isnot only learn “with” each other, but divided into “fundamentals” that have“from” each other. We find that most been assigned by the faculty and self-often the best tutor is a fellow student initiated projects and research selectedwho is just a bit older. by the student. Students work to complete their assignments at their own Working in one class for two or pace. Everything is completed with carethree years allows students to develop a and enthusiasm. Homework comes instrong sense of community with their the form of extensive independentclassmates and teachers. The age range reading and research and weeklyalso allows the especially gifted child intellectual challenges that studentsthe stimulation of intellectual peers, work on at home. There is awithout requiring that she skip a grade considerable expectation that studentsand feel emotionally out of place. and families will often work together, pursuing areas of intellectual interest, Teachers closely monitor their reading together, exploring ideas, takingstudents progress, keeping the level of trips to learn more first hand,challenge high. Because we know our interviewing experts, etc. As studentsstudents so well, our teachers can often reach the elementary years, they shoulduse their own interests to enrich the expect to continue their reading andcurriculum and provide alternate independent studies over the summer.avenues for accomplishment and Expectations for both creative writingsuccess. and the preparation of research reports will be fairly challenging. At the Primary, Lower, and MiddleSchool levels, students are typically Our system will have built infound scattered around the classroom, procedures to give students and parentsworking alone or with one or two ongoing feedback. The overall effectothers. They tend to become so involved will be to help students to learn how toin their work that visitors are pace themselves and take a great deal ofimmediately struck by the peaceful personal responsibility for their studies,atmosphere. It may take a moment to both of which are essential for laterspot the teachers within the success in college.environment. They will be foundworking with one or two children at a We encourage students to worktime, advising, presenting a new lesson, together collaboratively, and manyor quietly observing the class at work. assignments can only be accomplished through teamwork. Students constantly Our days are not divided into fixed share their interests and discoveriestime periods for each subject. Teachers with each other. The youngestcall students together for lessons experience the daily stimulation of theirindividually or in small groups as they older friends, and are naturally spurredare ready. In the afternoon, students on to be able to do what the big kids do.choose from a wonderful collection ofcourses and programs in art, music, Page 420 © 2001 The Montessori Foundation
  37. 37. Designing Facilities for Montessori SchoolsAt the Upper School (Grades 7 - 12), the years relationships grow strong,students will follow a laboratory friendship run deep. Surprisingly, thereapproach which will balance seminars, will be few if any cliques among Newtutorials, field study, internships, and Gates students. Older students whoindependent work. All students will enter the school in the upper grades findparticipate in on-going seminars, themselves warmly welcomed. Newdebates, lab work, and team projects. Gate is an international community inAs a school focused on teaching which students and teachers havestudents critical thinking skills, classes learned to collaborate on the process ofwill be set up to reflect a high level of education rather than compete.discussion and analysis. We will focusour teaching around both the great While New Gate is itself aissues of our time and those that men community apart from the outsideand women have been wrestling with world in which children can first beginthroughout history. to develop their unique talents, we are also consciously connected to the local, One of the best things about life as a national, and global communities. Ourstudent at New Gate will always be the goal is to lead each of our students toability to progress at your own pace. explore, understand, and grow into fullStudents can move on to take advanced and active membership in the adultcourses as soon as they are academically world.prepared for them, not simply whenthey reach a given grade level. Going to school in Sarasota offers marvelous possibilities. Naturally we You will often hear the word make extensive use of all the natural,community used to describe New Gate. academic, and arts resources foundIts used with good reason, for New Gate throughout the community. Fieldis an authentic community of studies will be an essential element inpeople—young and old—living and our curriculum.learning in peace and harmony. OverOur Facilities and Programs Our second campus (Grades 1-12) sits on a large site with mature trees, Together, New Gates two campuses fields, and ponds. It is hopefully locatedwill constitute a unique environment for less than five miles from our Ashtonlearning in today’s world. The students Road campus. Our facilities includeand families of each campus will spacious and comfortable learningfrequently use the facilities of the other environments, science labs, threefor all sorts of programs and activities. libraries, a fine arts centers, a computer facilities, a large fitness center with Our Ashton Road campus is home indoor pool, stables, athletic fields, andto our youngest students from ages two tennis courts.through five. The setting is a five acrefarm in the midst of suburbia. Our Surroundings have a great deal tobuildings are warm and comfortable. do with the creation of an atmosphere ofWe have retained a sense of being part learning. Our classrooms are ourof the natural environment, rather than student’s homes away from home—andclosing ourselves off from it. Our we strive to make them as attractive andfacilities include a young people’s comfortable as possible. They arelibrary, a small fitness center, an art and warm, colorful, carpeted rooms filledmusic studios, and a childrens farm. with plants, animals, art, music and books. Page 421 © 2001 The Montessori Foundation
  38. 38. Designing Facilities for Montessori Schools charts, fossils, historical artifacts, You will not find rows of desks in computers, scientific specimens andNew Gates classrooms. Instead, you apparatus, and animals that the childrendiscover seminar rooms, interest centers are raising.filled with intriguing learning materials,fascinating mathematical models, maps,Our Ashton Road Campus: The entrance into the school is floor is covered with oriental rugs.through an impressive gateway. The Despite the big bold awnings providingcampus is surrounded by a solid wall, shade, the large French doors andensuring the security of the children windows let in lots of natural light.within. The wall and gate are not heavy There are large green plants and flowersand imposing, but the cocoon within every where, give the room a light andwhich our children work a play in the airy feeling. There is a table filled withsafety of a prepared Mediterranean fruit in bowls made by the students. Agarden atmosphere. The look of the special blend of “New Gate” coffee andwall, gate and buildings is carefully herbal teas are served in mugsconsidered and striking. It might be the emblazoned with the school logo. Oursoft flowing lines of Bermudan large visitor’s bathrooms have a babyarchitecture or “Old Florida.” The changing station. Everywhere we turn,intention is not to look pretentious and there is evidence that someone haslarger than life, but small and absolutely given a great deal of thought to thisbeautiful. school. Our administrative offices include a The staff in the adjoiningwaiting area large enough to hold 20-30 Admissions office does nothing but trypeople comfortably. It looks like a large to help find the “perfect fit” betweenroom in a nicely designed home parents, child, and school. Our goal is to(perhaps you might imagine a room in find child who will blossom at Newthe Field Club) with large comfortable Gate and parents who profound harechairs, childrens art work matted and and support our mission and values.framed, large photographs of the The Admissions offices (at Ashton andchildren at work and play, and Kittys our second campus) have enough spaceportrait on the wall as Founder. The to meet with several families at once.receptionist’s desk is tasteful and There is a synergy that develops whendignified, not institutional. You are three or four families gather together ingreeted by our receptionist whose lilting one room; a subtle competitionFrench or soft British accent begin to regarding whos going to be the luckyconvey the message that this is an one to get center. He or she isextremely competent and charming, Beautiful covered walk ways gracewelcoming people and presenting an our paths to the classrooms and otheratmosphere of calm and warmth. buildings, student grown wild flowers sing while the banners and flags of The outer perimeter of the reception every nation wave gently in the coolarea is a place for entertaining children autumn breeze.who are visiting the school or waitingfor parents to pick them up. This istemporary transitional spot with booksand educational toys. The cool stone Page 422 © 2001 The Montessori Foundation
  39. 39. Designing Facilities for Montessori SchoolsA tour of a typical class room for French doors opening to the outside.children age 3-6 years. Our gardens include flower beds, vegetable gardens and fruit trees which New Gate follows the traditional are cared for by the children under theMontessori model of 25 to 30 children guidance of our staff horticulturalage three through five. Each class is led educator. Botany and observation of theby two fully certified Montessori natural world are strong elements in ourteachers. A third adult is a classroom classroom curriculum.aid who speaks a foreign language.During the day she speaks that Our classrooms are all lavishlylanguage only and presents a formal equipped with the complete Montessoriconversational and cultural second materials and educational resources andlanguage program.. Some classes run all equipment, particularly computers withday, from 7 am to 6 PM. In this class, CD-roms and video disk and tapefaculty members overlap, with one players. Classroom furniture isteacher arriving at 7 Am and leaving in beautifully built natural wood, and thethe afternoon, another arriving at noon entire room communicates care,and staying until six, and a third who attention, order, quality. Framed artstays for the normal school day. This prints hang on the walls. Indoor plantsoffers children who need to come in are everywhere, giving the room a trueearly and stay late the highest quality Florida room atmosphere. Theexperience. Our normal classes offer a classroom storage area is the size of afull day program from 9 am to 3 PM. large walk-in closet. In addition, theMany two year-old go home after lunch, campus has one master storage centerbut three year old normally stay all day. from which teachers can borrow ourBy age four, we ask all students to stay cultural artifacts like the Chineseall day, which is necessary to complete dragon, menorahs, draedels, Africantheir preparation for the Lower School masks, etc. Classrooms have private,at age six. encouraged at age two, child-size bathrooms and a full child-although half-days are permissible. We sized kitchen with dish washer andare selecting families looking for a full small clothes washer and model. When Montessori, a Cooking is taught in conjunction withchildrens house, takes root in the childs true nutritional education. Kids aremind and heart, they dont usually preparing snack and lunch in thewant to go home at half day because classroom and have bins of Cheerios,their school is providing them small pitchers of milk, toasters, fruit,intellectual and artistic intrigue. and a little sink to wash the tomatoes theyve grown. We have a library and Our Montessori classroom has at puppet theater in each classroom.least 50 sq. ft per child; between 1500 to2000 sq. feet of space, which is two to Adjacent to the rectangular shapedthree times larger than our present main classroom are four smaller workfacilities. We accomplished this when areas, with French doors connectingthe school moved the older children to a them to the main environment so thesecond campus by combining children are easily visible to the adults.classrooms in the exiting buildings andthrough some additional construction. In one alcove there is a smallThis expansive space has had a dramatic classroom art studio where children caneffect on the tone of the classes and the draw, paint, and work with clay orimpact of the physical environment is other media whenever they choose to dostriking. Classrooms have floor to so. Our curriculum includes art historyceiling windows, bay windows, window and art appreciation as well asseats, numerous plants and trees with sculpting, weaving, basketry, painting, Page 423 © 2001 The Montessori Foundation
  40. 40. Designing Facilities for Montessori Schoolsand other artistic mediums which are taught in a small shallow enclosedcorrelated with classroom studies. For teaching pool graduating from 2 to 3example, when studying Japan, children feet deep. Drown proofing classes aremay choose to make cherry blossoms, held, for a fee, for small children fromJapanese dolls, or handicrafts. (The the greater Sarasota community on theWaldorf school art curriculum offers the weekends and in the summer months.quality and an adaptable model in thisarea.) Another alcove is our classroom The Young Peoples’ Arts Center:carpentry area. Fully equipped with Our school is proud of its commitmentchild size tools, the children build and to music education. We specifically hirebang without disturbing the class; they teachers, aids and assistants who playare visible, but their work sounds are one or more of the common sing alongmuffled. The classroom rest area is instruments such as piano, guitar,another, larger, alcove where children dulcimer or auto harp. We have made acan go to rest, meditate or just be quiet. concentrated effort to make music aWhen children are napping, an adult large part of our childrens lives. Ascan darken this alcove and stays nearby. with art education, music is interrelated to the classroom curriculum; we teach, Our classroom and community for example, traditional Japanese songsanimals are kept in a final alcove, closed when studying Japan, and the childrenoff from the main room. Breeds of learn Thai dances when studyinganimals to which children with allergies Thailand. We have a trained chorus andare unlikely to be sensitive are selected, every child sings every day from oursuch as the Rex cats and bunnies, along school songbook which includes songswith fish, tadpoles, iguanas and other from our summer camp and traditionalappropriate animals. Instruction in songs about peace, love, family,proper animal care and feeding is community and world harmony. Ourincorporated in the curriculum. Each curriculum includes music appreciation,animal is child-friendly and selected for international cultural music, the lives oftheir stability in order to minimize any the great composers, the parts of therisk. orchestra, and how music is made. Our instrumental program and music theory Our after-school programming is a program is based on the work of Karlcontinuation of the Montessori day; not Orff utilizing specialized instrumentsday care, an enriched Montessori day made for little children. Childrensschool. theater and drama are available as well as classes for parents on teaching Fitness Center: Each campus has an children how to sing.indoor fitness center. The one on Ashtonroad is 80 by 40 ft. with a 15-20 ft ceiling This thoroughly preparedand a floor covered with rubber-like environment has been designed for thematerial. A running track is inset along safety, comfort and education of ourthe perimeter using a contrasting color. youngest children, enriching theirThe windows are plexi-glass, and the intellect, as well as their physical,exercise equipment is tailored to small spiritual, social, and emotional wellbodies. There is weight and exercise including: small exer-cycles,pulleys with sandbags, weightedbuckets to carry, etc. Drown proofing is Page 424 © 2001 The Montessori Foundation