How is this Montessori school free when other Montessori schools in San Antonio cost thousands of dollars a year?
Redbud Montessori For All will be a public charter school, which means we will receive funding from the government per child like a conventional public school. We will also be required to meeting federal and state accountability requirements, which means our children will take the STAAR assessment every year starting in third grade. By being a public charter school, we will have more autonomy to implement an authentic Montessori curriculum, and we will have more freedom with hiring and firing.
What is Redbud Montessori For All’s approach to standardized testing?
At Redbud Montessori For All, we believe that all children can reach their enormous potential academically, intellectually, socially, emotionally, creatively, and physically with the right environment and support. We believe that the STAAR test measures one small piece of our children’s potential, and that every child can demonstrate high levels of success on a test that measures basic proficiency. However, we do not believe in “teaching to the test” by resorting to “drill and kill” worksheets. Instead, we believe in preparing children to do well on the test by ensuring that every objective has a corresponding Montessori material, so that children learn everything in an authentic, meaningful way. Further, children will take two practice STAAR assessments throughout the year, so we can monitor and measure their progress objectively and help them feel relaxed on test day. We use standardized testing as an opportunity to prepare our children to feel comfortable and confident on future tests for college, such as the SAT, ACT, Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, etc.
I’ve heard that Montessori is about “following the child” and letting children “work at their own pace.” What if my child only wants to read all day and starts to fall behind in other subjects?
It is true that choice is an integral part of the Montessori method and for good reason! Researchers publish new articles all the time that talk about what a powerful motivator choice is. Our goal is to help children become internally motivated. We don’t want them to “perform” for the adults around them in order to get a reward. Learning how to make positive choice is one of the most important parts of growing up and being truly prepared for college, the ever-changing 21st century workplace, and life in our families and communities. Montessori classrooms provide daily opportunities to practice making choices with guidance from adults. It’s part of “freedom with responsibility.” Because children stay in the same classroom for three years, the teacher (“guide”) builds a strong relationship with each child and monitors their progress very closely. We use computer software to track their progress in each subject area, and we help children understand the importance of “exercising all the parts of your brain.” Although children have choice around which subject to work on first, whether to work alone or with a partner, where to work in the classroom, etc., they do not have the choice to avoid subjects entirely or to not work.
Where will the school be located?
We hope to create a diverse learning community, with children from different races, ethnicities, cultures, and socio-economic backgrounds. The exact location will depend on community support and land/building considerations. If you have specific suggestions, please contact us.