September 7, 2018
“If you build it, they will come.”
(famous quote from the 1989 film: Field of Dreams)
From renting space in Holy Trinity Lutheran Church to owning a sprawling 20 acre campus…
From 600 square feet to 22,000 square feet of classroom space…
From one class of 3-6 year olds to sixteen classes of 6 weeks to 18 year olds…
From 14 children to approximately 200-250 children…
From born-and-raised Anderson families to an international community of families and faculty…
How does that happen?
It happens over a 45-year period.
It happened when a small, dedicated group of families TRUSTED that this new thing called “Mon-tess-ory” was actually something different, exciting, and well worth the time and energy they were going to have to devote to trying to understand it -- then go to the banks to fund it.
It happened when families were willing to pay a whopping $40 a month (remember 1973) for a five-day-a-week preschool program.
It happened when the first Montessori-certified teacher was willing to earn a mere $6,000 a year and live in a cement house not too far from the school.
It happened when families of those pioneers signed their names on bank notes for the first 4,000 square foot classroom that was erected on Sam McGee Road -- way, way out in the country.
It happened when one of those fathers, who was a contractor, simply charged for the materials but donated all the labor to build that first building. And each of the by then 24 families painted walls, plowed the fields, ran off the skunks, and planted grass on that first two acres.
It happened when happy families wanted to see what would happen if their children had more Montessori in their elementary years. It happened when those families were willing to put up the next shoe box building to accommodate the expanding program and were willing to trust, again, the concept of the “one-room schoolhouse” of first through sixth graders, that it was not only viable but consistent with Montessori philosophy.
It happened again as more families enrolled their children AND had more babies. They wanted a safe, and by now trusted, familiar place to have these infants and toddlers begin their Montessori journey. And so, the next building was erected… built by parents, painted by parents, landscaped by parents, and appreciated by parents.
Several years passed, and a good many German, French, and Japanese families moved into Anderson due to new industries, such as Bosch, Afco, Milliken, etc. They understood the quality of a Montessori education because of its European roots, and the programs expanded again to accommodate a more international community.
Next the time came for understanding the specific needs of the young adolescent. There were no Anderson programs that could speak to those needs. Families got together and decided it was time to build the next level. Banks were contacted, families vouched for the program, loans were made, and the next series of classrooms were erected. Yes, families were part of that, too. Walls were painted, skunks were run off the new acres, and trees were planted.
In 2006, the final question was raised: “If these young people look like this at the age of 14, after 10-14 years of a Montessori education, what might they be like if they had four more years of a Montessori-style high school?” Starting out at Anderson University, a troop of pioneering parents and students took that trusting last step once more. Classrooms were finally added back on campus (built by a family), and the first Montessori School of Anderson graduating class of 2011 took to the aisles of Grace Episcopal Church for their high school diplomas.
Montessori School of Anderson is truly an example of “build it and they will come.” However, no one, absolutely no one, could have anticipated the journey nor seen the complete vision. It was not a “field of dreams” all prettily laid out. It was more step-by-step, brick-by-brick, age-by-age, and, most importantly, driven by parent desires and hard work.
Montessori School of Anderson, a 6 week through 18 year old school, has happened. Families working together over 45 years… nothing is stronger than that. #MSATogether
Karen Holt, Founder
Dates to Remember
September 11 - Toddler One pot luck dinner
September 17-28 - MAP testing 2nd-9th GradeSeptember 18 - Toddler Two pot luck dinner
September 20 - Upper Elementary Field Trip to Paris Mountain State Park
September 25 - Toddler Three pot luck dinner
October 1-5 - Yearbook portraits -- class schedules will be announced soon
October 12 - Early dismissal, see note below
*Note: Toddler parents please be sure to check out the sign-up forms attached to your child's classroom door for your class' potluck dinner.
*Note: October 12 is an early dismissal day for Professional Development for teachers. All programs closed. No extended day or childcare will be available.
The Early Release schedule for Oct. 12 will be as follows:
Infant/Toddler dismissal---11:30 a.m.
Primary dismissal------------11:30 a.m.
Lower el dismissal-----------11:45 a.m.
Upper el dismissal-----------12:00 noon
Middle School dismissal---12:00 noon
High School dismissal-------12:00 noon
High School Ropes Course
The high school students performed a series of team building exercises to learn the value of working together before ascending into the treetops.
That's What Friends Are For
Students encouraged each other throughout the course.
These students await their turn to travel down the zip line.
Celebrating Maria Montessori on Her Birthday
Walk Around the Sun
Primary Celebrates Maria Montessori
Exploring the Solar System
Middle School Wednesday Lunch
Students plan the menu and keep a watchful eye on the budget.
Two middle school students prepare cucumbers.
Students carefully prepare breakfast for their peers and teachers.
SAFETY ALERT: Please note that Montessori School of Anderson only has ONE entrance located near the Main Office. Please use this entrance at all times and do not enter the campus at the middle exit. Please alert friends and family who may be visiting campus of this safety message.
Safety: I am currently conducting tests on the Montessori School of Anderson's Reverse Notification system. The information that you provided on your data sheet is what was imported into the system. Should your student's information change, please notify the Main Office so the information can be updated. The Reverse Notification system will only be utilized and activated for emergency situations or school closures.
Healthy kids are more likely to become healthy adults. Be a role model and help your kids make safe and healthy choices every day.
Buckle up every age, every seat, every trip.
Put on a helmet during outdoor activities, including riding bikes and skating.
Promote a healthy diet.
Proper amounts of sleep help academic success.
Put on sunscreen and avoid indoor tanning.
Brush and floss teeth with fluoride to help prevent tooth decay.
Wash hands with clear running water and apply soap. Rub hands for at least 20 seconds, then rinse.
Get a flu vaccine. Everyone needs a flu vaccine – every flu season.
Be active with your kids. Children and adolescents need a total of 60 minutes of physical activity every day.
Be smoke-free, and protect your children from second hand smoke.
Be a healthy role model. Show your child what it means to be healthy.
With healthy regards,
Susanna Merriman, RN