Verna Montessori School is a private, religious, child-centered school for children ages 3-14 of all faith backgrounds. It is administered by the Sisters of Charity of the Immaculate Conception of Ivrea and is located in a scenic rural area of Mount Pleasant in northern Fayette County. The school, founded in 1969, embodies the ideals of Mother Antonia Verna and Dr. Maria Montessori. Dr. Montessori is the creator of the “Montessori Method of Education.” The goal of this process of education is to help a child reach his or her full potential in all areas of life.
We begin our tour in Children’s House; the place designed to welcome a community of children, 3-6 years of age. The child-sized and child-centered prepared environment allow the young learner to work tirelessly, joyfully, and passionately with the material the child has freely chosen.
Here the children are in the first plane of development which lasts from birth to age six. During this stage of life, the children enjoy a wealth of sensorial explorations in order to gain control of their body and adapt to the world in which they live. The children engage in exercises of practical life, sensorial exercises, language and math.
The exercises of practical life give the child incentive for intelligent movement and for self-correction. Although an observer may have the impression of seeing children at play, they are doing meaningful work needed to gain coordination and perfection of movement.
The Montessori elementary program is usually offered in two separated prepared environments: the lower elementary and the upper elementary. The lower elementary welcomes children ages 6 to 9 years of age. In an effort to ignite the imagination of the children through a series of five fascinating stories, the guide presents the “Great Lessons” which tell how the world came to be, how life developed, how human beings came on the stage of life, how language developed, and how mathematics developed. These lessons offer the children a sense of wonder, admiration, and perspective about their cosmic task.
In Montessori we call the process of learning “Cosmic Education” through which children explore the interdependence of living things. The children’s study of the universe and its complexity leads to an education in which all subjects are naturally related one to another.
The upper elementary classroom includes children from 9 to 12 years of age. The children of this level continue to be characterized by a reasoning mind, a great imagination, and desire for social interaction.
To discover what the human mind and spirit can accomplish and to engage in this research together is the hallmark of this age. These children enjoy each other’s company and learn to work together like an extended family, completing complex tasks and building research skills. The purpose of their research is to answer their own questions. They are veritable detectives in the search of truth. The subjects weave in and out of each other. Studies come alive and complement each other through a host of hands-on projects and activities. The key word is interest. The magic word is wonder.
Our Middle School program, comprised of the 7th and 8th grade students, combines elements of the Montessori curriculum with traditional schooling. Rigorous courses of study in literature, geometry, algebra, science, history and foreign languages offer a smooth transition from a Montessori environment to a traditional high school setting.
Our school offers experiences of music, art, gym, library, and languages. Additional resources provided by Intermediate Unit #1 include a school counselor, reading and math specialist, and a speech and language teacher.
A much-utilized area, Verna Hall, is our multipurpose space. It is designed for many activities and special events during the year. It is here that the community gathers for our special school liturgies, our Christmas program, as well as our annual school play. This space also transitions into our lunchroom when the weather prohibits us from using our outdoor space for lunch as well as our gym during inclement weather.
Verna Montessori School is recognized by the Association Montessori Internationale. The association, founded by Maria Montessori, safeguards the Montessori principles and practices of education as an aid to life, advocating general recognition of the rights of all children.
Now that you have visited our school virtually, what is next? We hope that you will connect with us to schedule a personal tour or to ask any questions you may have. We look forward to hearing from you.