Our Montessori secondary school program strives to be more than just a college preparatory school, or a school to aid students in passing standardized tests. We strive to promote the development of our young people into healthy and productive adults.
Montessori teachers used both the writings of Maria Montessori as well as current educational research to create a secondary school program to meet the developmental needs of adolescents. This program is centered around our five core values of community, hard work, learning, peace, and respect.
"Education must aim at improving the individual in order to improve society."
By being a valued member of our school and classroom communities, the student learns to become a responsible member of society. We believe young people respond favorably to the mutual support and trusting relationships our communities provide.
These communities are further broken down into small teams of students for cooperative work projects. This provides the student with a sense of intimacy and helps develop communication skills.
Our classrooms recognize and respect the importance of creativity, diversity and flexibility. Lessons are designed to allow students to have more independence and responsibility for their learning.
Our program offers and encourages learning, independence, and responsibility outside of the classroom as well. Field studies offer students a chance to have new experiences and meet new challenges. A significant community service requirement helps students see beyond their own needs and concerns to those of the larger community.
Parents are an essential part of our program. Parents should participate in their child’s education by encouraging and monitoring work. Reviewing grades and assignments with students is a time for praise and positive problem solving. Clear goals and fair limits should be set.
This is an important time in your child’s life. Our school can help your child gain the knowledge and experience to succeed not only in future academic pursuits, but also in his or her life as a well-rounded citizen of the world.
Working Together to Promote Student Success and Achievement
At Gamble Montessori, the student, parent, and teacher must work together, with each fulfilling his or her responsibilities to ensure the success of the student within our program. The general responsibilities of each (teacher, student, and parent) are listed below. Any questions regarding these responsibilities should be clarified at the beginning of the school year.
Role of the Teacher
- Prepare curriculum that addresses CPS and Core Curriculum standards and fulfills our Montessori program focus
- Encourage the student to become an independent learner with the skills of organization, communication, and responsibility
- Schedule at least two conferences a year
- Regularly update PowerSchool and give midterm progress report of academic work to date
- Set clear expectations for behavior, academic rubrics and due dates
- Maintain a safe environment in which students have high expectations placed upon their work and behavior
Role of the Student
- Complete all class work and homework on a timely basis, participating in lunchtime or after-school homework help or study tables as needed
- Review PowerSchool and progress reports with parent(s)
- Take responsibility for actions, homework, and clear communication between teacher, parent and student
- Show respect in all personal interactions and relationships
- Be prepared for leading conferences with parent and teacher
- Work to earn money to contribute to payment of field experience fees, and be an active participant in all field experiences
Role of the Parent
- Review PowerSchool as well as progress reports with the student and help the student keep high standards for academic work
- Offer the student a quiet work space at home, and encourage participation in help sessions as needed
- Support staff in helping students find appropriate solutions to problems (mediation, problem solving, and anger management) rather than verbal or physical aggression
- Work with their student and teachers to find ways to afford field studies
- Take an active role in the program fundraising to keep the cost of the field studies to a minimum and support their child’s participation
- Attend parent meetings and student-led conferences
We believe that communication is vital to the success of each child in our program. Regular announcements and updates will be distributed via recorded phone messages, emails, and paper copies sent home with students. Personal phone calls, emails, and mailings will be used as needed. Additionally, each student will be given a student planner in which to keep all assignments and important dates. Parents should regularly review this planner to help guide the student on any difficult work and to be aware of what the student is learning and of important dates. Certain teachers may also distribute weekly checklists detailing the assignments and other important information for the week.
Parents are encouraged to use phone calls, emails, or written notes to contact teachers. Parents can also arrange a conference time with teachers as needed. Please remember that teachers are unable to take phone calls during class time, and calls will be directed to voice mail.
Parents should call the main office (363-2600) and the office can direct the call.
Twice a year, each student will lead a conference with his or her parent and teacher. The student must prepare to lead this conference with teacher guidance. The student-led conference can prove to be an invaluable tool for examining student progress.
Goals of the Student-Led Conference: the student will
- Share his/her work
- Self-evaluate their work and work habits, finding strengths and areas that are in need of improvement
- Engage in goal-setting and clarifying goals
The role of parent and teachers will be to support the student, ask clarifying questions as needed, and provide guidance if required.
Junior High students are required to perform 36 volunteer hours each year, while Senior High students are expected to perform a total of 50 hours each year. This is a graduation requirement at our school. Community service opportunities are offered occasionally at or through school; however, students must arrange most service work on their own.
Suggestions for finding service work include helping an elderly neighbor with yard work, assisting a local church or civic organization, or volunteering as a camp counselor or at special events (such as the Great American Clean-up or Paddlefest). You may not receive pay for service work, nor can the work be your regular chores or expected work as part of your family.
Field Experiences — Intersessions
Families that choose Gamble Montessori are not choosing a typical school. Rather, they have chosen a school that strives to carry out Maria Montessori’s vision for adolescents (or Erdkinder). As such, your family has chosen to participate in Gamble Montessori’s unique experiences beyond the classroom.
Each planned experience is an important part of the Cycle theme and curriculum lessons. Field experiences are linked closely to class work, and grades are given for the student’s participation, learning, and work on these experiences. Students must attend all field experiences
Each year students participate in two major field experiences. Junior high students participate in camping every fall, then in the spring, 7th grade students attend Leadership Camp, while 8th grade students take part in a culminating marine biology study in Florida. Senior high students attend two 2-week intersession courses each school year. Other one-day field experiences are also scheduled.
Most field experiences require fee payments, and some of these fees are substantial. Our foundation offers many fundraisers for families to raise money for fees. Students themselves should contribute meaningfully toward fee payments through participation in fundraisers.
PowerSchool & Progress Reports
Every student and parent is able to access the student’s assignments and grades through PowerSchool online. Parents and students should check PowerSchool regularly to monitor progress and note any missing assignments.
At midterm of each quarter, a progress report will be sent home for parents and students to review. It is the student’s responsibility to show this report to the parent. Parents should review this report with their student and assist in making plans to complete missing work, bring up low marks, and/or maintain high marks. End of quarter progress reports are mailed home to parents.
Parents should contact teachers with any questions or concerns. A meeting can be scheduled with parents, teachers and the student to accomplish any problem solving. A goal of our program is to assist the student in arriving at solutions to problems they experience, both academic and otherwise.
Gamble Montessori High School uses an A-F grading system. The following descriptors have been assigned to each letter grade.
A – Excellent work
B – Good work
C – Fair work
D – Work in danger of failing
F – Unsatisfactory, failing
For additional information on grades or grading, please see the individual teacher.