Montessori expanding enrollment

Montessori Lab School additions make way for more students this August

Photo courtesy of | Xavier’s Montessori Lab School is expanding. These changes, including the addition of a middle school and an new elementary classroom, will increase the number of spots for students. 

The Xavier University Montessori Lab School (XUMLS) is expanding to include a middle school and an additional elementary classroom beginning in August.

As an international leader in Montessori education, the XUMLS’s middle school will consist of a seventh and eighth grade classroom, as well as an additional Lower Elementary Montessori classroom for first through third grade.

Previously, XUMLS had two classrooms for 3-to-6-year-olds but only one classroom for 6-to-9-year-olds. Because of the limited available spots, a lottery system determined which students could continue their education at the lab school.

Provost Dr. Melissa Baummann, Dean of the College of Professional Sciences Dr. Paul Gore and Director of the Montessori Institute Dr. Lesley Roth created the proposal for an additional classroom for students ages 6 to 9. Its approval means that the lottery system will be removed.

Rosemary Quaranta, the principal of the lab school, said the faculty is “elated” about the expansion. The middle school wi ll allow children to continue their Montessori education until high school.

Montessori education was pioneered by Maria Montessori and is based on education of the whole child. There are four basic aspects of a child that Montessori education seeks to develop social/emotional development, physical development, cognitive development and self-development.

Self-development can also be described as executive functioning, where responsibility, collaboration and independence are fostered in an interactive learning environment.

At every age, teachers seek to reinforce these basic needs through the materials utilized in the classroom.

Montessori education focuses on using “didactic materials” to connect information to students’ long-term memory and understanding of concepts. Quaranta emphasized the importance of these materials in helping students move from the concrete to the abstract.

Teachers at XUMLS act as guides between the child and the materials, but the materials serve as the teachers as well.

According to Quaranta, the hands-on approach to learning in a “prepared environment” is the “key to deep understanding.”

Through repetition of material, students are able to deepen their learning. The core values of the Montessori Institute include trust, reflection, investigation, inspiration and service.

Teachers integrate these ideals by connecting disciplines and initiating community outreach. Quaranta said that through an integrated and multi-layered curriculum, teachers hope to enable students to be “active seekers of knowledge” not isolated in a classroom but as part of a larger community.

The XUMLS functions as a lab school during the day but also hosts multiple departments besides Montessori Education. The Montessori Institute allows for observations, internships and field experiences for a wide range of disciplines.

In addition, the school’s classrooms are used for adult education classes.

Not only is the XUMLS an international leader in Montessori education, but Cincinnati is also a leader in offering Montessori public schools, including elementary, junior high and high schools.

According to Quaranta, this “rich history of providing authentic Montessori education” is tied to the XUMLS commitment to “educate and transform.”

By: Alex Ackerman ~Guest Writer~