toddler, preschool, kindergarten,
1st – 8th grade
relationships: Very young children
are determined to master new things. Mountaintop faculty members, known as
guides, guard that inner drive to learn in each child in several ways:
· - The guides and other
adults here treat students of ALL ages with a level of respect that is uncommon
in their young lives.
· - We encourage students
to become ever more independent and responsible for themselves.
· - We convey clear
expectations that each student work to his or her potential and contribute to
the classroom community.
· - The guides are careful
to avoid rewards and punishments which deflate the value children place upon
their own work.
We keep students’ zest
for learning alive and well right through elementary and middle school.
classrooms: Among the most important things that guides do is to create
classroom conditions in which students will thrive and learn. Our classrooms
are simple, beautiful, clean and orderly spaces. They are furnished to suit the
characteristics and needs of a specific age group. In these specially crafted
spaces, students can be independent. They gain confidence as they consider
options, make decisions, and follow steps in a series to see things through to
completion. We apply the same level of effort to setting up outdoor spaces for
exploration of the natural world and studios for visual and performing arts as
we do in the Montessori classrooms where our students learn math, language,
science and history.
materials: Montessori learning materials are unsurpassed in their
combination of function and form. Their striking good looks draw students in
and their thoughtful designs make complex concepts accessible to young minds.
As students reach the upper levels of our program, their work in a wide variety
of disciplines is supported by technology and textbooks as well as the low-tech
materials required for hands-on learning in science, art and music.
time: Our students’ schedules include long blocks of time to engage in
work that is satisfying to them. A portion of their time in the classroom in
spent receiving lessons from their guides on work that is new to them. During
the time during which they are not in such lessons, they are free to choose
from within a range of familiar materials that are interesting and suitable for
them and to work with those materials without interruptions. By following their
interests in their early years they experience concentration and flow. From
this foundation they build stamina for planning, progressing toward goals, and
collaborating with peers in elementary and middle school. Lunch and outdoor
play are important elements of the day for which ample time is provided at each
of the age levels we serve. Creative expression studio time is likewise
scheduled generously to provide satisfying experiences in these areas of
importance to students.
campus: Our 10-acre campus is a green island
conveniently located on Pantops that is certified as a cooperative sanctuary
with Audubon International and the National Wildlife Federation. Mountaintop’s expansive Big Garden is
home to a wide variety of fruits and veggies for students to tend, harvest and
enjoy. The adjacent chicken coop provides eggs, a place to recycle kitchen
scraps, and just plain fun. The 850 square foot geodesic
Growing Dome has beds for growing produce as well as a 2300 gallon aquaculture