August 03, 2015
Our son is in the All Year Montessori program at the Ancona School, and he--and we!--could not be happier with the experience. While we had no prior connection to Ancona (nor were we very familiar with the Montessori approach), we have found it to be such a wonderful and welcoming community, and a perfect fit for our family. The AYM program features a dual Spanish/English curriculum, which was a stand-out feature for us. The teachers are absolutely amazing at identifying each child's strengths and helping them develop at an individualized pace. They have shown such warm enthusiasm for my son's interests and have nurtured his curiosity for learning about the world around him. Whether learning about the solar system, our city's architecture, or African dance, the teachers work WITH the students to develop creative projects that inspire a holistic understanding of the material, often taking advantage of the city's rich resources for real world experiences. Whatever the lesson, I appreciate that the emphasis is about intellectual exploration and true understanding, not memorizing for a test. Beyond the classroom, I have also found the staff to be exceptionally kind, professional, and connected to the students and families. The parents, too, are involved and invested in the school, yet without the sharp competitive edge that sometimes exists in private school environments. Parents are not doing assignments on behalf of their children here, much to my relief. To touch on the broader mission of the school, Ancona encourages its students to be independent problem solvers who are respectful and responsible members of their community. In addition to the academics, students are shown how to be kind to one another, and how to work together to solve problems, and how to appreciate diversity in its many forms. I am always impressed that even the youngest children here will look adults in the eye and speak to them with confidence. In sum, this is the educational experience I wish I would have had as a child (a somewhat anxious, high achiever who felt constrained by an exam-driven curriculum). I am so glad we found Ancona, and I look forward to many more years of joyful learning for my son.
- submitted by a parent