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Founder's Welcome

A child grows physically, emotionally, mentally, and most importantly, naturally.  To facilitate a child’s growth, he must be in an environment that encourages exploration, ingenuity and excitement.  Growth is something that is progressive but not necessarily in a neat predictable line.  There are times of mountain peaks of excitement and other quieter valleys for integration.  Understanding this cycle is fascinating to watch over a lifetime.  A single pink cube can hold much fascination and imagination all on its own in a Montessori primary class, but at some point becomes a sequence of weights and measures and eventually a mathematical equation.  Letters are initially symbols made tactile with sandpaper or assembled as a moveable alphabet to create sounds then words until a child squeals with delight:  “I can read!”  That same enthusiasm and sense of empowerment comes with digesting a difficult passage of Shakespeare:  “I understand!”  From realizing that a swing gives you flight to developing the coordination to shoot a bulls eye, we grow with confidence and assurance, and develop our innate ability to be our very best selves.

We, at Montessori, celebrate a child’s growing and create the needed environments for each stage of their development.  In this hectic age, providing “sacred space” for this development to take place is critical.



Karen Holt

Our Mission

Our mission is to nurture the whole child, physically, intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually, preparing students for academic excellence, lifelong learning and responsible, caring lives. Our Montessori-based curriculum teaches children to think and discover for themselves. The school is designed to help each student develop his/her unique talents and possibilities. Learning the right answers will get them through school, while learning how to learn will get them through life!

The basis of our approach is the simple observation that children learn most effectively through direct experience and discovery. We promote active learning using a hands-on approach. By following a well-established curricular framework which includes specific expectations for academic achievement at each level, the student is guided to meet his/her challenges with set goals, resulting in a sense of accomplishment and recognition.

Students develop best when a strong sense of independence, self-confidence, and imagination are cultivated, but MSA also emphasizes that the education our learners receive comes with a responsibility to help others within their immediate and extended communities. The possibility of changing the world for the better lies within all of us, and service needs to be an accepted part of our lives if we are to achieve this goal. 


Our History

In 1973 the Montessori School of Anderson was founded and taught its first group of fourteen preschoolers in basement rooms rented from a local church. Since then, we have become an incorporated nonprofit school and a leader in the Montessori educational philosophy on the national stage.

MSA, as our school has come to be called, believes that the desired result of education is to help children become responsible for their own learning by realizing what they need to learn, how they best can learn, and to embrace the responsibility that comes with this knowledge.

As word quickly spread of the caliber of our education, it soon became apparent MSA needed a facility of its own to accommodate its rate of growth. The very next year two acres of land on Sam McGee Road were purchased and construction soon began on our first classroom. As the initial group of students progressed, parents led the push to expand our programs to include infants and toddlers and elementary age pupils. That process continued until today we serve pupils from ages six weeks through high school. Our campus sits on eighteen acres and includes classrooms and support facilities, built by parents.


We are now a vital community of approximately 130 children and their families with a staff of more than thirty. We are proud to be one of only a handful of Montessori programs in the United States that serve infants through twelfth grade, and the premier and only private Montessori high school in South Carolina.

Our Values

Where We Stand: Our Fundamental Values and Beliefs as a School 1. Our Vision is to create, nurture, and sustain educational programs of excellence for our vital, growing community of students, families, staff, and the larger Anderson community. 2. Our Mission is to nurture the whole child, physically, intellectually, socially, emotionally, and spiritually. 3. Our program rests on four pillars: 3.1. The cultivation within our students of a passion for excellence in everything they do. 3.2. The development of a strongly held set of universal values, which include respect of self and others, honesty, integrity, responsibility, empathy, and a willingness to work out conflicts peacefully. 3.3. The development of an international understanding and the importance of environmental education. 3.4. And a lifelong commitment to give through service to others. 4. Educational Program 4.1. The Fundamental Nature of our School 4.1.1. The Montessori approach to learning is the educational framework of our program. 4.1.2. Our program is designed to keep alive the joy of learning today, prepare students for higher education tomorrow, and cultivate the passion for a future of lifelong learning. 4.1.3. Our goal is to inspire a passion for excellence. 4.1.4. We are committed to building character, teaching values, and modeling through example. 4.1.5. We are committed to diversity in gender, ethnic background, nationalities, religions. 4.1.6 While we strive to serve most students, we recognize there are certain academic and emotional challenges that we are unable to accommodate. 4.1.6. We are a community of students, educators, parents, and friends of the school who are committed to working together for the good of our own program as well as within our larger community. 4.1.7. Our goal is to create a “peaceable kingdom” where students, staff, and families learn to respect differences of opinions but who are also committed to becoming skilled at working out these conflicts peacefully. 4.2. The Montessori approach to learning is the educational framework of our program. 4.2.1. We use the Montessori approach, along with compatible curriculum from the non-Montessori educational community. 4.2.2. The nature of the child and the learning process: We affirm that education begins at birth and continues throughout life. While our emphasis is on our children, we are a center of support for all of us to continue learning and developing toward becoming whole and healthy individuals. We believe that wisdom can be cultivated. We believe that true wisdom is the ability to put one’s intelligence to work. In order to achieve this goal, self-esteem, human dignity, and emotional well-being, as well as the ability to communicate and cooperate effectively with others, must be valued at least as highly as academic and material success. We approach the learning process seeking to understand each person's uniqueness and guiding them individually as much as possible. We do not subscribe to the "Bell Curve" theory for measuring performance, and respectfully submit that the vast majority of people have the intelligence and natural ability required to learn everything they need to lead full, happy, and productive lives. We celebrate the natural diversity of human beings. Our ultimate goal is to inspire students who have not only gained knowledge but have learned how to learn, and also have an innate love of learning, a wide range of interests, and an openness to new ideas and possibilities. We affirm that genuine self-esteem is one ingredient for the full expression of a person's potential. We cultivate and model values along with grace and courtesy. We encourage students to learn from their mistakes. We nurture physical, intellectual, social, emotional, and spiritual growth. Physical: We seek to help our students discover, understand, and adopt the lifestyle habits most appropriate and beneficial for our bodies and minds. Intellectual: We cultivate intelligence leading to wisdom versus cultivating intellects who may score high on tests but lack the moral fiber to achieve wisdom. Social: We cultivate Grace and Courtesy from very school and recognize these skills are essential for being a member of community. these other characteristics will not be as useful to the community. Emotional: Emotions are complex and powerful and it is very important that we learn to feel them fully and without fear, identify them correctly in ourselves and others, respect them, and accept them. It is equally important, however, that we learn to harness their power and not let them control our lives unchecked. Spiritual: While we feel it is each person's task to develop his or her own understanding of the nature of the universe and the individual's place in it, we proceed on the premise that our world is a beautiful, positive, and loving place, a setting that provides the potential for each person to lead a full, free, joyful, and healthy life. While we do not teach religion, nor advocate any particular belief system, we encourage students to develop the spiritual side of their lives, and to stand in awe of the creation that surrounds us. Our educational approach is centered on the stages of human development. Developmental stages: Our faculty is actively involved in a continuous study of human development. This study includes keeping abreast of current theories on development, regular student observation, and a constant evaluation of the curriculum to ensure that it is appropriate for the developmental stages of our students. First Six Years Critical: We recognize that the first six years are the most critical. Individualization: We strive for individualized pacing and adaptation of the classroom program (when possible) to meet varied styles of learning and maturation rates. Our educational program is designed for flexibility in its methodology and use of resources. Academic expectations in an individualized approach: In designing this individualized program we follow an established curricular framework that includes the school's expectations for basic academic achievement at each level of the school. Active learning: We promote active rather than passive learning by, encouraging students to pursue studies in appropriate areas of their personal interests. using hands-on, (experiential) and group learning whenever possible rather than lecture and drill. guiding the student to a sense of accomplishment, closure and recognition of having reached a pre-established goal for learning (Self evaluation). The Passage to Abstraction: To facilitate this process, we consistently work from a very concrete level of experience to the abstract. To aid students in learning, we begin by giving them the "big picture" and work from this toward an increasing level of detail. This concept has created an upward spiraling curriculum in which skills and concepts are presented and reintroduced at increasing levels of complexity and abstraction over the years. External structure: As necessary we provide the child with sufficient external structure and support in a committed effort to ensure that their developmental needs are met. We do this in a manner that reflects our desire to move the child along a path from externalization to internalization and is consistent with the Montessori philosophy. We interpret the general principle of Montessori education, "follow the child" to refer to the importance of allowing the child to pursue areas of interest and/or curriculum extensions whenever possible. However if a child needs more direction at certain times or is not internally motivated in a given area, we feel it is our responsibility to acknowledge the personal preference but to still require that the necessary work be completed. Freedom with responsibility: We strive for a balance between individual freedom and community responsibility. We nurture curiosity and creativity. As educators we consciously work to encourage students to think creatively in their writing, problem solving, and research. Our program places great emphasis on the Fine Arts, both in the classroom environment and through the contributions of our specialists in the visual and performing arts. As is appropriate for each age group, we encourage students to become aware of the major social, political, economic, environmental, and ethical issues of our day, and, having carefully considered all sides, to take a responsible stand for themselves and to explore ways of making a positive personal contribution to society. We are constantly modeling and encouraging communication between all members of our community. We would like all community members to be versed in skills of active listening, negotiation, empathy for another person's position, and the ability to stand up for oneself and say no without guilt if someone is encroaching on their rights. 4.3. We are committed to diversity 4.3.1. We celebrate diversity in our community and acknowledge the unique contributions of all individuals, who enrich and inspire our personal growth. 4.3.2. We seek to develop a global perspective and international understanding, weaving international education through our curriculum at every age level: through an on-going program of international cultural education. through the exposure to modern foreign languages. through the study of physical, cultural, and economic geography. through correspondence, international travel, and student exchange programs with our sister Montessori schools around the world. by utilizing our international families as a tremendous teaching resource. 4.4. Montessori School of Anderson prepares students to have the choice to advance as far as they wish in the academic arena. 4.4.1. We want our students to be well trained in the basic academic disciplines, to fulfill their creative potential, and to gain satisfaction in their physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual development. 4.4.2. Academic standards: In all cases we set our expectations high, not asking individuals to do more than they are able, but consistently stressing at all levels the importance of careful work and pride in accomplishment. The goal is not solely in a quantity of work achieved but the satisfaction of work done well for its own sake. We carefully build a supportive environment for the “unhurried mind” to move steadily toward the pursuit of excellence. 4.4.3. Competition: We believe that it is neither necessary nor appropriate to create academic pressure and scholastic competition among students. We cultivate the ability to accept success with grace, mistakes with dignity, and resolve to build on that experience. We ensure the right to choose whether or not to participate in competitive activities, and we stress the principles of good sportsmanship. 4.4.4. Personal success: We consider it equally important that our community members be successful human beings who can establish healthy relationships and achieve happiness in their personal lives. We teach our students to pay attention to and respect feelings, both their own and those of others. We help them learn to solve conflicts effectively and fairly, and express their feelings in a healthy manner. Group dynamics and communication skills are stressed. 4.4.5. Academic success: We encourage skills that support independent and successful learning, critical thinking, cooperative projects, reflective reading, problem solving, library research, use of technology, techniques for effective study, test-taking strategies, and techniques for focusing attention. Language Arts and Literature: Naturally, we try to cultivate the joy of reading and writing. We recognize that we live in a time when the various languages of art, (visual, written, spoken, and musical) particularly through mass media, have a profound impact on our lives. We hope to encourage the child to be discerning of these influences. Research skills: Rather than having students memorize all facts mindlessly, we teach them to learn mindfully and develop great skill in the process of doing investigations and research using the library, internet, public records, and primary and secondary source materials. We also emphasize interviewing skills. We seek to have our students learn how to organize the information that they compile into increasingly sophisticated reports and presentations. As a result, textbooks will play a smaller role within our educational program. Mathematics: Our approach will be Unified Math: integrating topics in arithmetic, geometry, pre-algebra, statistics, logic, algebra, trigonometry, and calculus. Whenever possible, we will help students grasp the underlying concepts of math through the use of concrete apparatus and math textbooks at age appropriate levels. We will also encourage the application of mathematics to the real world. Science: We teach students not only scientific facts, but the process, history, and true nature of science through shared inquiry. Our curriculum will be consciously integrated, incorporating topics from botany, zoology, physical science, machines and technology, astronomy, geology, ecology, earth science, weather, and the health sciences. History: We develop a strong historical perspective through the study of prehistory and history, following the fundamental needs of humankind and the cultures, lifestyles and technology of the past. We cultivate an appreciation of family and community heritage. History sets the stage for integrated learning at every age level. Anthropology and Myth: We teach students the basic elements of anthropology, addressing the question of what makes us human, the nature of culture, and how cultures have attempted to explain or illuminate the great questions of life through story, myth, and cultural archetypes. Geography: We seek to develop a global perspective and international understanding, teaching world geography (physical, cultural, political, and economic). Major World Religions: We believe that our students should be familiar with the traditions and basic beliefs of the world's major religions. While we do not teach religion, nor advocate any particular belief system, we encourage students to develop the spiritual side of their lives (the ability to find peace within and acknowledge a higher mystery that is individually defined by the student and their family). The Visual and Performing Arts: Our program places great emphasis on the Fine Arts, both through the contributions of our music and art specialists and through classroom programs. Foreign Language: Our students will be introduced to foreign languages. Physical Education, Health, and Athletics: We want our students to understand, appreciate, and adopt a healthy lifestyle that includes exercise, proper diet, intelligent choices regarding personal health, and stress reduction. We believe that individual and competitive team sports make up an important element in reaching these goals. Civics and Law: We strongly believe that our students should understand how government works at the local, state, and federal levels, and the role that citizens can and should play in shaping consensus, advocating their point of view, and making informed decisions before they vote. They should also understand how the legal system works and have an informed working knowledge of and respect for the law. Our goal is to lead young men and women to keep informed about issues and to play an active and responsible role as citizens of our nation. Architecture: We believe that our students should understand the patterns of architecture found around us, how houses are constructed and designed, and develop an appreciation for the timeless beauty of well designed spaces. Economics: Our goal is for our students to understand the principles of economic freedom and to feel comfortable with financial and business matters. While money is not the most important thing in our lives, the stress that follows a lack of sufficient money to pay one's bills can have a negative impact on everything that is important. Whether or not they choose to run their own business, we want them to develop an entrepreneurial spirit. Peace Education: Human relations and conflict resolution skills, nonviolence, leadership training, cooperative teamwork skills, and communication skills are all important elements in nurturing our students. Peace education will be as vital an element of our curriculum as mathematics and science. 4.5. We prepare students for life. Our program provides a broad preparation for life, balancing academic excellence with the development of personal and practical life skills. 4.5.1.We cultivate and model values. Empowerment: We make a concerted effort to empower our students by helping them to learn how to make responsible choices for themselves, to recognize that they are assuming increasing control over their lives as they mature, and to discover how to make a difference in the world around them by positive efforts and contributions to others. Our goals for students are to be open-minded and compassionate, to gain a sense of themselves and others, and to understand and appreciate the diversity of the human spirit. In order to facilitate the development of independence and a sense of engagement with the community we strongly encourage participation in day-to-day classroom management, care of the environment and decision making. We seek to help each member see the value of commitment both to our own local community and to the global community. We expect our students will be responsible, critical, and caring members of a pluralistic world, and recognize that they have the power and resources to effect change as well as the self-esteem and confidence to pursue their goals. We respect the fundamental human needs, rights, and dignity of each person, no matter how young. We model and encourage certain values: kindness, honesty, warmth and openness, respect for each person's uniqueness, tolerance, cooperation, good sportsmanship, and nonviolence. 4.5.2.Discipline Ultimately we wish for every community member to be willing to accept full responsibility for their behavior, their attitudes and their experiences. Accepting this responsibility is the freedom to choose and create the type of person they wish to be, and the life they wish to lead. In keeping with the true meaning of the word discipline, which is to teach, we prefer to model and encourage appropriate, kind, and considerate ways to behave in various situations. School should be physically and emotionally safe. We endeavor to provide a school environment that will promote and protect the physical and emotional well being of our students and staff. Rather than focus on rules and the consequences for students of breaking them, we prefer to teach students beforehand appropriate, kind, and considerate ways to behave in given situations. We use positive reinforcement whenever possible to praise their progress, acknowledge their contributions, and strengthen character. As necessary, we cue and remind students of appropriate behaviors before they forget, and, when behavior is inappropriate and a gentle reminder isn't enough, we intervene and respectfully, but firmly, stop the behavior. We will never permit the use of corporal punishment. Our ultimate goal is to encourage self-discipline and self-motivation as the reasons for behavior rather than fear of external motivation. We do not label a child as "bad," but instead try to recognize the mistaken goals of the misbehavior. We try to find appropriate ways to encourage the individual. While we normally are successful with a very wide range of students, our educational approach may not be appropriate for every child or family. One of our greatest challenges is to be objective, compassionate, yet realistic in considering the needs of each child as a unique individual. When we are unable despite our best efforts to work with the child helping him meet appropriate behavioral expectations, we counsel the family to seek out another school setting in which the child can experience success. 4.6. Community Service 4.6.1. We seek to teach our students from an early age that the education they receive comes with the responsibility to help others within our immediate community and our extended community. We also teach them that the responsibility to change our world for the better lies with each of us, and that service needs to be an accepted part of everyone's life if we are to achieve this goal. We seek opportunities to perform community service in association with non-profit organizations in the community. 4.7. Practical Life skills 4.7.1. To facilitate and encourage a sense of independence, we deliberately teach a wide range of practical life skills appropriate to each child's level of development. We regard this as a vital element affecting the design of our entire curriculum. These practical life skills include the following: Eye-hand coordination and the use of simple tools. Grace and courtesy: appropriate ways to handle situations kindly. Practical economics: the value and use of money, including how to earn and manage spending money. Technology: the safe use of technology, such as more complex tools, telephones, computers, classroom audio-visual equipment, and household appliances. Computers: We use the computer as a necessary tool for learning, not only as an element of contemporary practical life, but also as an aid in the development of logical planning and problem solving. Communication: the appropriate use of the technology of personal and mass communication, from writing letters to using the telephone, using the word processor, preparing the newsletter, speaking before an audience, and designing audiovisual presentations. Care of one’s environment: how to clean and set tables, do dishes, cook, sew, iron, infant and child care and laundry. Health and Safety: the development of sound habits of safety, nutrition and hygiene, along with the acquisition of first-aid skills and as developmentally appropriate, CPR. 4.8. Our school teaches children to be at home in the world of nature. 4.8.1. We believe that being knowledgeable and appreciative of nature is basic to being a whole and healthy human being. 4.8.2. Strengthening our connection with nature and the environment is an integral part of the Montessori School of Anderson. 4.8.3. We seek to instill in our students, parents, and staff not only a reverence for the earth, but also a sense of stewardship for the environment. 4.8.4. We consciously work to foster in each person a strong sense of belonging to the “web of life”. We accomplish this goal through: Programs in outdoor education, and field biology at every age level in the school, using the natural setting of our campus and the wide variety of natural resources around us as a classroom out of doors. Programs in gardening and small animal care. Programs in camping, canoeing and field ecological studies in natural wilderness settings. We strongly encourage recycling and environmentally friendly packaging for lunches and all foods and products used in our community. 4.9. We strive to be a family-friendly school. 4.9.1. In establishing policies and procedures, we attempt to remain sensitive to the needs, desires, and factors that might add unnecessary stress and pressures onto our families. 4.9.2. Also, in establishing policies and procedures, along with setting the calendar of school events, we will attempt to avoid conflicting with the religious traditions and holy days of our families. We recognize that this at times may be virtually impossible considering our diversity, but at the very least every effort will be made to create a balanced and respectful approach to this issue. 4.9.3. From time to time, we will survey our families or hold special community meetings to explore how the school could be more family friendly. We will hold monthly community meetings involving staff, board members, and parents as equal participants. 4.9.4. We will maintain an open-door policy for observation of the classrooms. Families must check in at the office before proceeding to a classroom. 4.9.5. We encourage open communication of minor concerns from staff to families and from families to staff so that they remain minor. 5. Faculty 5.1. Our faculty is an integral part of our community. 5.1.1. We carefully identify the skills and knowledge, experience, educational philosophy, core values, interpersonal skills needed to be successful in each position at our school. 5.1.2. We take great care in our hiring process to find new members of our faculty and staff who bring the right mix of skills, knowledge, experience, values, and personality to succeed at our school. 5.1.3. We will clearly communicate to all members of the faculty and staff our expectations, personnel policies, and benefits and professional development opportunities that may be applicable to their positions. 5.1.4. In evaluating the school's programs and performance of each member of the faculty we will be as objective and positive as possible, encouraging individual initiative, self-evaluation, and continuous professional growth. 5.1.5. Our school does not discriminate in matters of admission or employment on the basis of race, religion, or ethnic background. We consciously teach children to accept, respect, and celebrate the rich cultural diversity of the global community. 5.1.6. We consciously follow fair and equal employment practices in hiring, assigning, promoting, and compensating both teaching and non-teaching staff members. We endeavor to employ persons solely on the basis of the factors necessary in the performance of the job and the operation of our school without discrimination on the basis of religious affiliation, race, national origin, gender, and any other factor on which discrimination is prohibited by the laws of the jurisdiction within which our school is located. 5.1.7. No official of our school will seek to induce a teacher who is under contract at another school to break that contract. [There is nothing deemed improper if a member of the teaching or administrative staff of one school independently approaches another school about possible employment.] 5.1.8. Our school will not offer employment to a member of the faculty or staff of another school without communicating with the administrator of the school at which he or she is presently employed or committed for the upcoming school year to request a frank evaluation of a candidate's qualifications. This information will be considered absolutely confidential. 5.1.9. Our school will take all reasonable and lawful precautions to maintain the confidentiality of records and information concerning teachers and other staff members who are applying for employment at another school, in accordance with the rights of the individual. 5.1.10. Any materials brought to school by a member of our faculty and staff, purchased with his or her own funds, shall remain his or her property. 5.1.11. It is mutually understood that any teacher-made educational materials produced by a member of the faculty and staff during the term of this agreement using school materials and supplies shall be considered the property of the school. However, faculty and staff members may use school materials to make a duplicate set of these materials for his or her own professional library. 5.1.12. Should a faculty member develop any new curricula, teaching techniques, teaching aids, or any other educational materials during the course of his or her employment with the school, he or she grants to the school a perpetual license to utilize said materials or ideas in its educational programs with both children and teacher training. 5.1.13. Any teaching aids, materials, or curricula developed by the school, as well as any mailing lists of the school's students and families, represent the proprietary property of the school. No member of the faculty and will be authorized to sell, transfer, assign, or disseminate said materials to a third person or a competitor of the school without first obtaining the administrator’s written approval. 5.1.14. Faculty with children in our program will receive a discount. 6. Facilities 6.1. We take pride in our facilities. 6.1.1. We will deliberately seek to create a campus of timeless beauty that communicates to our students that the buildings and grounds are expressions of our love and commitment to their education and success. 6.1.2. Our buildings and grounds will support the implementation of our educational program and institutional mission. 6.1.3. Buildings will be considered in terms of need, ideal space and configuration, and integration into the pattern language developed for our master plan. 6.1.4. We seek to have a campus large enough to include areas set aside for natural habitat, as well as areas set aside for extensive programs in horticultural education. 6.1.5. Environmental safety: The school will do everything in its power to keep the buildings and grounds free from toxic substances and environmental irritants. Whenever possible, pesticides and cleaning products will be found that are non-toxic and which do not induce allergic reactions in students or staff members. 6.1.6. The school will consciously follow safety procedures designed to protect students and staff. 7. Finances 7.1. As a Non-Profit organization our financial status is open to the school. We operate on a fiscally sound budget and are committed to fund financial aid. 7.1.1. Our school honors its financial commitments to parents, staff, vendors, and others. 7.1.2. We will operate on a balanced budget. 7.1.3. We will endeavor to set tuition on the basis of what it costs to do the job correctly. 7.1.4. We are committed to making this experience inclusive by pursuing funding sources and endowments to offer financial assistance for families who are unable to completely fund their child's education. We will set aside a portion of our fundraising income every year to support the school's financial aid program. 7.1.5. We will communicate accurate information about the financial state of the school in an annual report to the parent body. 7.1.6. We will endeavor to operate without depending on income from fundraising projects. 7.1.7. We expect all of our families, as members of our community, to honor their financial obligations to the school in a timely and responsible manner. We also expect our families to understand “fund-raising” and other “gift-giving” donations to be a natural part of an independent, nonprofit school system. 8. Recruitment and Admissions 8.1. Our primary goal in the recruitment and admissions process is to help each family and the school find the perfect match. 8.1.1. When we admit a new student, we are not simply bringing him or her into the school community. We are bringing the child, his parents, siblings, and extended family into the community. 8.1.2. In making admissions decisions, we will weigh many factors, placing the greatest emphasis on whether the family’s values and goals for their children's education are a close match with those of our school. 8.1.3. In making admissions decisions, we will give strong preference to families who are committed to keeping their children in the school and committed to our community through the elementary years. 8.1.4. The children we admit in the early years are encouraged to graduate from our school. Ideally it will be so much a part of each family's life that eventually the children of our graduates will attend our school as well. We want to be a family tradition. 8.1.5. In the admissions process, we consciously treat families with respect as partners in exploring whether or not we would be the perfect match for their child. 8.1.6. We will welcome prospective families and make it as easy as possible for them to learn about our school: We will hold scheduled visitation at least once a week and schedule individual tours during school hours. We will provide our new parents with names of ambassador parents. 8.1.7. Truth in Advertising: As a member of the International Montessori Council, we pledge to represent our school truthfully and accurately to the general public and internally to our family community. 8.1.8. We will promptly consult with parents should it ever become clear that a student is not benefiting from the school's program, or if the school is not the best program to meet his or her needs. The initial six-week trial is set up for both families and teachers to assess the match. 8.1.9. Our school recognizes each family's right to visit and consider other schools and to hold preliminary discussions regarding admission without feeling compelled to notify the school which their children presently attend. 8.1.10. While we welcome inquiries and interest in our school, we will never knowingly attempt to enroll a student who is presently enrolled in or committed to attend another Montessori program. 8.1.11. Before filing an application for admission, we ask that families advise their child’s present school and authorize in writing the release of their child's academic records and teacher recommendation upon our request. 9. Building Community 9.1. Our community is faculty, staff, administration, past and present families, students, and graduates. 9.1.1. We recognize that a Montessori school is more than a place of learning; it is a community of children and adults that has a significant impact on our students' capacity to learn, grow, create, develop, assimilate values, and relate peacefully and respectfully to other people and to the natural world. 9.1.2. We treat all students, families, teachers, and staff members with kindness, warmth, and respect. We believe that every member of our community has a fundamental right to be treated with respect, regardless of age or position. 9.1.3. We consciously work to build a constructive partnership between the family and school in support of each child's educational development. 9.1.4. Within reasonable guidelines established to ensure the integrity of our educational program and the privacy of other students, parents are welcome to visit the school to observe their child in class or to review his or her academic progress. 9.1.5. We place a primary emphasis on building relationships with families as early as possible in order to help them know that we recognize the uniqueness of their child. 9.1.6. We consider input from all of our community members in our decision-making processes in order to take into account the needs/wishes of our total community. 9.1.7. Parenting Center: We encourage parents to participate in programs that can help them to refine their parenting strategies. 9.1.8. Ambassador Families: We understand the special needs of new participants in the community and the necessity of a program to match new families with ones experienced in the community to provide support and information. 9.1.9. Adult Development Programs: We will periodically offer adult seminars on a variety of topics guided by community interest, in keeping with our commitment to a lifelong process of learning and personal growth. 9.1.10. Commitment to the Community: We expect all members of our community, students, parents, teachers, and support staff to be committed contributing members of the community, and to show support for the rules and regulations. 9.1.11 Class and Community Meetings: We will hold monthly class and community meetings to allow and encourage a free and open exchange of ideas and information 10. Administration 10.1. Our administration is focused on providing educational leadership. 10.1.1. The primary role of the administrator is to articulate the core values and vision, provide academic leadership, take leadership in the admissions and recruitment process, build community and reduce attrition among students and families, recruit and coach faculty members and staff, serve as the school's primary spokesperson to the larger community, and lead the process of internal self-evaluation and long-term planning. The Administrator will ensure consistency in and excellence from class to class, from level to level, and from one year to the next. When conflicts arise within the school, involving parents, staff members, students, or administrators, every attempt will be made to find the best and highest resolution of the issues under dispute that is most consistent with the school's fundamental values and is most oriented to a win-win model. 10.1.2. The administration of the school will ensure a smooth and timely flow of communication about important dates and information to parents, students, and staff. 10.1.3. The administration will follow a collegial model in working with faculty members and staff, inviting their input and participation whenever appropriate in important questions facing the school. 11. Governance 11.1.The governing body of the school is the Board of Trustees. 11.1.1. The Board of Trustees shall be comprised of men and women who share a deep sense of commitment to the school. In all matters, they consider the overall best interests of the school over their own interests or over the interests of any constituent group within the school community. 11.1.2. The primary responsibility of the Board of Trustees along with the core faculty is to establish, and from time to time reexamine, and if necessary refine, the institutional identity, mission, and core values and beliefs about education that define the nature of the school. 11.1.3. That mission, institutional identity, and core values and beliefs will be set down in writing in a working document called the "Blueprint." 11.1.4. Before voting on any motion made before the Board, the Board of Trustees will first consult the Blueprint to identify the underlying values and beliefs that would support whatever decision is made on the issue before the Board. 11.1.5. If the Blueprint does not address the issue, or if the Board and core faculty conclude that the Blueprint needs to be amended to more completely address the school's underlying values and beliefs, they (the Board and faculty) will come to mutual agreement before the Blueprint can be changed. 11.1.6. The minutes of the meetings of the Board will reflect not only the motions passed, but also the text of the underlying elements of the Blueprint. 11.1.7. Except when confidential matters are being considered board meetings are normally open. Except for confidential issues, the major actions of the board will be communicated to the school community. A concerned parent or staff member may request the opportunity to address his opinion to the board having first informed the administrator of his intent. 12. Fundraising 12.1.The goal of fundraising is to keep the cost of tuition down and to have the monies to offer financial aid. 12.1.1. Every gift given to our school will be a gift of love, generously offered in support of our mission. 12.1.2. The major fundraising will be focused on activities such as the Fall Fest, Spring Benefit, Golf Tournament, and Annual Fund. 12.1.3. While donations of funds, tangible goods, services, or real property are deeply appreciated, the school can never accept any gift that would require it to violate any of its core beliefs outlined in this document. 12.1.4. While individuals wishing to donate funds to the school are welcome to designate the use to which they may be used, it is up to the Board of Trustees to decide if they can be accepted. 12.1.5. Only the Board of Trustees can accept a gift of real property or tangible goods on behalf of the school that would potentially require the expenditure of funds to repair or maintain. 12.1.6. The Board of Trustees should be a key element in leading and promoting the school's fundraising efforts. 13. Supporting Activities: After school programs, summer programs, teacher training centers, parenting centers, food service, and transportation are supporting activities of the Montessori School Of Anderson. Blueprint for Our Montessori Program 5/12/99 6/24/99 7/27/99 8/12/99 1/05/00

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