Fountain Hills Charter School
Public Montessori School
Rooted in the teachings of Dr. Maria Montessori, the FHCS Public Montessori School incorporates a variety of proven, compatible methodologies. Maria Montessori is regarded as one of the most brilliant and original thinkers of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. An Italian educator and Doctor of Medicine, she worked in the fields of psychiatry, hygiene, pedagogy, and anthropology. She revolutionized modern educational thought by stressing freedom of expression, self-education, and sensorial training.
The learning theories, materials, and strategies of the Montessori approach emphasize the child's ability to select appropriate learning materials from those provided by the teacher, and to move at his/her own pace. Teachers act as preservers, guides, and facilitators planning learning activities that address the children's individual needs, ability levels, and learning styles. The Montessori curriculum flows in a smooth progression from the younger preschool age group, to the elementary age child, and on through secondary education. The curriculum and curriculum materials are adapted to developmental sensitive periods that are known to exist for children.
Elements of Montessori
Life skills will be used to develop positive lifelong habits including integrity, caring, common sense, curiosity, problem-solving, a sense of humor, friendship, initiative, perseverance, responsibility, effort, organization, flexibility.
The Absence of Threat
In order for learning to take place, all students must feel both physically and emotionally safe. Classroom guidelines therefore require treating others with respect. Physical abuse and emotional abuse are unacceptable and a violation of classroom protocol. The classroom must be a brain compatible learning environment where students are able to work without pressure or fear.
Immerse students in "being-there" experiences. The most potent experience is one of actually being in the real-world environment. The least potent is the use of an abstract, symbolic source. The classroom environment should emphasize real-world experiences. It should not be the intent of the school to teach the children about the world by removing them from it. Teachers must give priority to first-hand sources including 'being there' experiences where the student is physically gleaning information in the real world environment. Immersion experiences should fully simulate the real world environment, and include the use of many real world indicators for certain aspects of instruction, curriculum, classroom management, administration, and performance.
Regular attendance is construed as an indication of student attitude and commitment to education. It also reflects the level of commitment on the part of the family as a whole to the educational program at the school. Our program is also designed to serve families who are willing to make an exceptional effort toward the education of their children and who share the values and aspirations for their children that are expressed in the mission statement, goals, and student outcomes of this charter. Such families will be our partners in the education of their children and we expect them to communicate and educate their children at home in a way that reinforces our approach at school.
Michael Bashaw (Charter Author /Authorized State Agent)