Greensboro Montessori School has announced two major changes that will launch in fall 2017: 1) The expansion of its middle school to include ninth grade and 2) The transition of sixth grade, previously a part of Greensboro Montessori’s middle school, to the School’s upper elementary division. Both changes will enable the School to more authentically deliver the Montessori experience for both students and faculty, a hallmark of which is three-year, multi-age groupings within each division.
The three-year groupings that will result—grades four, five and six in upper elementary and grades seven, eight and nine in middle school—are consistent with the pivotal three-year cycle first articulated by educator Dr. Maria Montessori (1870–1952) and later supported by the American Montessori Society, of which Greensboro Montessori is an accredited school member.
Montessori’s three-year cycle recognizes sensitive periods of growth and development shared among each age group. It also allows for skills and concepts to be introduced, explored and mastered through three consecutive and collaborative years of learning.
Commenting on the addition of ninth grade to Greensboro Montessori’s offerings, Associate Head of School Nancy Hofer said: “As researchers and educators increasingly refer to ninth grade as the make-or-break year of high school, Montessori methodology changes the conversation by positioning ninth grade as a capstone year in middle school. Young adolescence is a monumental time in the life of a child. Rather than lead every student down the same path, the Montessori philosophy empowers us to look at each student individually and develop a custom learning plan to unlock his or her full potential. Offering ninth grade to our students and their families is just another way Greensboro Montessori School supports this philosophy in both theory and practice.”
Richard A. Ungerer, the American Montessori Society’s Executive Director, added: “Greensboro Montessori School is one of only six AMS-accredited schools in North Carolina, and it is the only AMS-accredited school in the state’s Piedmont Triad region offering middle school. We are thrilled to see their commitment to the continued process of self-reflection and school improvement that is a critical part of what it means to be AMS-accredited. And by introducing these curriculum shifts, the School reaffirms its commitment to developing the whole child through the time-tested, research-based educational approach of Maria Montessori.”
Greensboro Montessori will graduate its first ninth grade class at the end of the 2017-18 school year. To inquire about enrollment at Greensboro Montessori, please contact Rhea Egbert, director of admission.
The GMS Community Association proudly presents a celebration of photography, childhood and community at the 2016 GMS Green & White Bash on Saturday, April 23 from 7-11pm.
[dt_sc_button type="type1" link="gms.org/shop/" size="medium" bgcolor="#81d742" textcolor="#ffffff" target="_blank" timeline_button="no"]Buy Tickets to the Bash[/dt_sc_button]
The GMS Gymnasium is transformed into the Greensboro's swankiest art gallery featuring photography by your child and other GMS students. Patronize the exhibit while you admire the incredible work produced for our "Through a Child's Eyes" fundraising exhibit.
Ticket prices start at $35 but we hope you'll take a peek at our fun combo packages, too! Are you more like Ansel Adams, Annie Leibovitz or Steve McCurry?
Proceeds from the 2016 Green & White Bash support the GMS Annual Fund which directly enhances student learning by funding classroom and campus projects that are personally initiated and driven by our faculty.
What fabulous gallery social would be complete without exquisite wines, savory fare and more shopping opportunities...
- Heavy hors d'oeuvres, Dessert and Dancing. Cash bar.
- Menu by local fave, Savory Street Catering
- Silent Auction featuring luxury items, unique experiences and, of course, artwork!
- Browse the on-line catalog and start bidding early. Highest on-line bid will be our starting bid at the event.
- Fun Photo Booth - snap some memories with friends, props and a sense of humor.
- Blind Wine Pull - $20 a ticket to take your chance at an elegant rosé or a daring cabernet
- Gift Giving Wall - surprise a teacher with a tangible wish list item for the classroom
- The evening begins with a festive performance by the crowd stopping GMS Middle School Music Ensemble and ends with you on the dance floor moving to your favorite DJ request.
Duncan Page graduated from Greensboro Montessori School in 2011 after 11 years as a GMS student. He attended high school at the Early College at Guilford and this fall enrolled in the NC State University program for electrical and computer engineering. Visit the Early College at Guilford homepage.
Duncan and two classmates from NC State were top performers in a recent global online programming contest known as IEEEXtreme, ranking 2nd in the U.S. and 24th in the world. IEEEXtreme is a global challenge in which teams of Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Student members compete in a 24-hour time span against each other to solve a set of programming problems. IEEE, the world's leading technical professional association for the advancement of technology, conducts the programming competition.
Click here to read more about the competition.
Duncan is the youngest three siblings all of whom are Montessori alumni. Duncan's older brother, Griffin, is a senior at NC State studying Computer Science, and his older sister, Courtney, completed her master's degree in Historical Archaeology from Eastern Carolina University and now works as the lab manager for Blackbeard's - Queen Anne's Revenge Shipwreck, which draws together some of the leading scientists around the nation to collaborate and use the latest techniques in the science or preservation. Duncan's parents, Judy and Brian Page, live in Greensboro.
In early August, GMS music teacher, Betsy Bevan, attended a week-long workshop titled “Music Makers Around the World” taught by a Musikgarten teacher trainer from New York. The workshop was held in Greensboro and people attended from as far away as California and Canada. It was a wonderful week of learning new songs, children’s dances to classical music, activities that teach young children about the world of music, music note reading and instrument playing. Betsy is now certified as a Musikgarten teacher.
The Musikgarten program uses the Montessori teaching style and is based on a combination of prominent music traditions such as Orff, Kodaly, Dalcroze, Ed Gordan, classical and folk music literature and studies in neuroscience about brain development by Dee Coulter.
"I found it to be a fun, active and in depth curriculum that suits Montessori education very well. I’m looking forward to presenting some new music material to my students!" said Betsy. This year she will facilitate a music class once a week in each toddler and primary classroom. The toddler music program is called Sing with Me, Dance with Me and Primary music class will use the Cycle of Seasons Musikgarten curriculum of singing, movement, song games, note reading and a variety of other activities which match with their class studies. Lower Elementary will be following the Home Place, Woodlands, Marshlands and world Musikgarten program and Upper Elementary will draw on the world music curriculum.
At Back to School night on August 17, our families celebrated the opening of two beautiful and newly renovated Lower Elementary classrooms with a ribbon cutting ceremony.
We had a tight window of time for the renovation this summer and wanted everything ready and in place for the children on the first day of school. Construction started the Monday after the last day of school in June. With everyone working together, the project came in on schedule and within budget. The new configuration showcases two large and airy classrooms that lead out to the gardens, have maximum natural light, brand new bathrooms and kitchenettes, and flexible floor plans for open circulation. We achieved our goal of using environmentally friendly materials in the construction, and selected fixtures and fittings with high standards for energy and water efficiency.
Thirteen current and former GMS students participated in the 2015 Summer Film Camp.
Their feature length film entitled Gestalt debuted at local movie theater RED Cinemas on Monday, July 27 at 7pm. Special thanks to the Kotis family, proprietors of RED Cinemas, for dedicating two of their theaters for the showing and then also opening a third to accommodate all of the guests. It was standing room only!!
The students, led by Middle School teacher, Jonathan McLean, spent four weeks learning all that basics needed to make a high quality film - script and screenplay writing, scoring a sound track, sound and video editing, pre- and post-production, location and studio shoots, etc.
Check out their film trailer below.
The GMS Board of Trustees made its top priority the complete renovation of the Lower Elementary wing this summer as the next stage of facilities modernization. This renovation ties to the development of a complete site master plan for our campus.
Since we had such a tight window of time and wanted everything ready and in place for the children on the first day of school, construction started the Monday after the last day of school in June.
With everyone working together, we are proud to report that we are on schedule and within budget and will be ready for Back to School Night on Monday, August 17.
The new configuration showcases two large and airy classrooms that lead out to the gardens, have maximum natural light, brand new bathrooms and kitchenettes, and flexible floor plans for open circulation. We achieved our goal of using environmentally friendly materials in the construction, and selected fixtures and fittings with high standards for energy and water efficiency. We can’t wait for you to see the finished product on August 17.
The Lower El renovation is clearly consistent with the goals of the Vision 2020 Strategic Plan. Funding for the project comes from Vision 2020 donations and capital reserves.Tuition is not funding these improvements to the campus.
This summer, two of our Middle School faculty, Deirdre Kearney and Jenny Kimmel, attended Montessori teacher training at the reknowned AMI Montessori Orientation to Adolescent Studies located in Huntsburg, OH on the campus of the Hershey Farm School.
Deirdre joined GMS in 2007 and teaches Humanities in the Middle School. Jenny joined our faculty as an intern with our gardening program in 2003. She is the director of the environmental education curriculum at GMS and oversees the GMS Land program in Oak Ridge.
The AMI Orientation to Adolescent Studies offers an overview of Dr. Montessori’s approach to adolescents within the whole framework of human development. By exploring Montessori theory in depth, the participants will come to understand the contribution of the third plane of development (12-18 years of age) as crucial to the development of the individual and will be significantly prepared to aid development during this important time of life.
An important part of the orientation is to experience the life of the adolescent: their studies, their practical work, their community life, their growing need for independence, and their need to work side-by-side with adults. Through time spent in the prepared environment of the farm, participants explore this need for independence and an awareness of human interdependence, both of which become concretely realized and internalized in Montessori adolescent communities that genuinely provide a “school of experience in the elements of social life.”
Land Program from The Greensboro Montessori School on Vimeo.The GMS Land Lab program was devised by a team of Montessori teachers in 2004 and is now in it's 10th year. Based on Maria Montessori's vision of the Erdkinder, early adolescent students travel to a wooded retreat in Oak Ridge, NC every six week to eight weeks for 3 nights and 4 days, camping with no electricity and transporting their water in jugs and bins on student-made "chariots" constructed from old bicycles and baby carriages.
At the land lab students spend their days in rotations linked to their school curriculum, based on Montessori's Great Lessons, studying the natural world, collecting data for a local river conservancy, re-creating experiences based in history from medieval trebuchets to Victorian letterboxes, and engaging in team problem-solving activities. The campers stay in shelters that were built by students from pvc pipe and corrugated metal based on the exoskeletons of insects and maintain their camp sites and outdoor community based on principles of a Just Community.
The video tells the story of how the land lab program originated and how it has evolved into an essential part of the middle school experience. All aspects of the program, including the structures on the Land are designed to be "temporary," with particular attention to sustainability, healthy eating and behavior, and volunteer participation of parents and adults in the school. The GMS Land Lab is one of the few Middle School outdoor experiential programs in the Southeast and is an integral part of the Middle School curriculum.