We Foster the Natural Curiosity of Each Child Into a Lifelong Love of Learning and a Passion for Excellence
Blueprint for Our Montessori Program
Our Blueprint, or core values document, was completed approved by the Board of Trustees in July of 2007.
Characteristics of Professional Excellence
These characteristics guide our noble work with children and our ceaseless journey of professional growth and renewal.
History of the School
The Winston-Salem Montessori School has an interesting and complex history. The first Montessori school in Winston-Salem was founded in 1968 with 24 students. During the 1970s, two more Montessori schools opened: Forsyth Montessori and Reynolda Montessori (1973). In 1984, these schools merged and relocated to Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church on Bolton Street, with the new name of Montessori Children’s Center, Inc. In 1986, Southside Montessori closed, leaving Montessori Children’s Center the only Montessori school in Winston-Salem. Montessori Children’s Center moved to Old Vineyard Road in 1992, eventually housing two Toddler classrooms, five Children’s House classrooms and a combined Lower/Upper Elementary program. By the summer of 2006, the school changed its name to The Montessori School of Winston-Salem and moved to a new building designed by Montessori architect, Jim Dyck on Holder Road in Clemmons, North Carolina. The school currently houses 11 classrooms: 3 Toddler, 5 Children’s House, 2 Lower Elementary classrooms and 1 Upper Elementary classroom.
The Montessori Children’s Center, Inc. d/b/a The Winston-Salem Montessori School is a non-profit, tax exempt organization. It receives revenues from tuitions, fees, and donations. Fund-raising events provide significant assistance towards financing the School’s programs and growth. We are a full member of the American Montessori Society, meeting or exceeding the membership requirements.
During 2006-2007, our community engaged in a process of finalizing a core values document called the Blueprint and was approved by the Board of Trustees in the summer of 2007. This document is an important part of our community and is referred to regularly as the school continually strives to align itself more closely with these core values.
In 2008 WSM engaged in a contract with the Natural Learning Initiative (NC State’s College of Design) to design our outdoor environment master plan for our eight-acre campus. Each year we continue to realize this plan through the investment of school resources and support from parents, faculty and staff, and leadership from our Outdoor Play & Learning Environments (OPLE) Committee.
Our Eco-Commitment Committed to Leaving a Positive Ecological Footprint
At the Winston-Salem Montessori School, we are committed to leaving a positive ecological footprint and empowering our students to do so as well by nurturing their respect for, understanding of, and sense of responsibility to the environment.
In our increasingly urban, technological world, children can often feel isolated from the natural world, and Dr. Montessori believed that a child’s connection to his or her environment is critical to that child’s well-being. We utilize the natural setting of our campus to integrate everyday experiences with the natural world, from our outdoor classrooms, campus gardens and spaces for creative play to our integrated ecological curriculum.
Along with our student-led, school-wide recycling, composting and vermiculture programs, our integrated ecological curriculum can be seen as children plant, care for and harvest vegetables year round in our permaculture gardens. Through the use of these campus gardens and integrated gardening experiences, each child’s appreciation and understanding of the natural world is nurtured by involving them in the processes of planning and maintaining a sustainable, ecologically-friendly garden.
In 2008, the school completed a master site plan for our 8-acre campus with the collaborative support of the Natural Learning Initiative (NLI), a research and design assistance program through North Carolina State University dedicated to creating stimulating places for play, learning and environmental education. Each year we continue to realize this plan through the investment of school resources and support from parents, faculty and staff, and leadership from our Outdoor Play & Learning Environments (OPLE) Committee. In addition, The OPLE committee oversees our Seed-to-Table organic gardening and composting program, provides advisory support for faculty and coordinates our annual Fall and Spring Garden/Planting Days.
As we look ahead, we continually renew our commitment to the environment, both in our practices to reduce, reuse and recycle, and in our programs to inspire and empower our children to carry this legacy forward.