Developing a sense of community – with all of the challenges, responsibilities, joys and its preparation for life--is an essential part of our Montessori program. Our school community includes not only students and teachers, but also parents. Parental support and involvement is vital to the success of your student and our program.
Our rigorous college prep program begins in the seventh grade and continues through twelfth grade. Projects that require long range planning, group interactions, research and demonstrations to gain and share knowledge are integral parts of our Montessori school.
OUR PROGRAM’S HISTORY
In order to meet increased demand for Montessori junior high and high school classrooms, CPS planned a second Montessori high school program. In fall of 2005, our program began with two 7th grade classes in the basement of Dater Montessori in Westwood, and was planned to expand by one grade level each subsequent year until the program was a full 7-12 school.
In August 2007, with the program including grades 7-9, it was moved to a swing space in the old Jacobs Center and was officially christened Westside Montessori High School.
In January of 2011, our school’s Local School Decision-Making Committee voted to reflect the heritage of our school’s planned permanent home in Westwood by renaming our school James N. Gamble Montessori High School. James N. Gamble was a Westwood native and renowned businessman, inventor, and philanthropist.
Students voted to choose the Gator as our official mascot, and picked green, purple, and black as our school colors. Gamble’s first graduating class was the Class of 2011.
WE WILL BE MOVING
We are scheduled to move to our permanent home in Westwood in August 2013.
WHAT TO EXPECT—AN OVERVIEW
• Statement of Commitment signed each year by student and parent, agreeing to abide by our core values and fully participate in all aspects of our program
• College prep curriculum including nightly homework
• Community service requirements
• Curriculum-based field experiences
• Two extended Erdkinder experiences per year (see specifics below)
• Student-led conferences
• Parent involvement
• Sports & extra-curricular activities
• After-school homework help sessions
• Team-building initiatives
• Independent learning projects
• Montessori-trained teachers in core subjects
• Interdisciplinary themes guide curriculum development
• Informational and community-building presentations and events for students and families
• Fundraising opportunities (to assist with field experience and community fees)
JUNIOR HIGH INSTRUCTIONAL FORMAT
• Combined grades 7 & 8 classrooms
• Students organized into communities
• Approximately 50 students per community
• 2 core subject teachers and 1 instructional assistant per community
• Weekly community meetings
• Yearly fall camping trip
• Year-end culminating trip (7th Grade leadership camp; 8th grade marine biology study)
HIGH SCHOOL INSTRUCTIONAL FORMAT
• Senior high communities by grade
• Grade level specific instruction
• All core subjects taught at AA (honors) level
• Two-week Intersessions mid-semester (twice yearly)—fall intersession by grade level; spring intersession by choice
• Weekly Community Meetings & Advisory
• College Preparation: ACT, SAT, applications, resume building
• Post-Secondary Enrollment Options Program (PSEOP) available for students to earn free college credit (and complete high school graduation requirements) by taking classes at area colleges and universities
• Ongoing research with culminating Senior Project