“Educating children to become an informed, committed, and difference-making generation.”
Milwaukee Montessori School is a private, independent day school that is an educational community inspired by the values of Dr. Maria Montessori. We seek students of diverse cultural, racial, religious, and economic backgrounds. We offer these students a rich and rigorous Montessori curriculum designed to stimulate creative inquiry, intellectual achievement, and independent thinking in a world increasingly without borders. We encourage these students to test themselves in athletics, to give expression to their artistic abilities, and to learn the role of artistic expression in human society. We cultivate in all members of our community high personal expectations and integrity, and an understanding of why stewardship of the natural world matters and why service to others enhances life. Above all we seek to be a school that nurtures a child’s natural tendency toward self construction.
MILWAUKEE MONTESSORI SCHOOL’S OBJECTIVES
- To teach the importance of personal responsibility and mutual respect.
- To encourage a high skill level in academic, artistic, and athletic pursuits.
- To provide an accessible education thus supporting a diverse student body.
- To ensure all students an equitable education through individualized instruction.
- To engender responsible citizenship through community service and environmental stewardship.
OUR MISSION IN ACTION
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A PORTRAIT OF AN MMS GRADUATE
Our graduates overwhelmingly share five notable distinctions:
- They value and manage time effectively.
- They are skilled in the creative use of technology.
- They effectively self-advocate.
- They take ethical action on behalf of others.
- They appreciate and utilize critical feedback for future development.
Before graduating, each student demonstrates proficiency by:
- Reading a passage of Spanish text and orally answering questions about its key points;
- Testing into higher-level Spanish for matriculation in high school using the STAMP measurement (STAndards-based Measurement of Proficiency).
- Writing a persuasive opinion piece on a matter of public importance.
- Giving a 3- to 5-minute speech on an issue of personal importance.
- Producing a series of original works of visual art using a range of media.
- Composing and performing an original piece of music 1 - 3 minutes in length.
- Using game theory to program a playable educational game with original art and music.
- Engaging in a variety of documented and verified leadership roles.
- Debating a historical event using cultural perspectives held during the event’s time period.
- Drawing correct conclusion(s) upon a review of visual statistical information.
- Describing a specific example of how he or she contributed to overcoming an obstacle while operating on a team so the team could succeed in its task.
- Demonstrating a commitment to sustainability with evidence of prior practices and future goals.
- Planning and executing a research project with properly cited, relevant sources.
- Meeting the benchmarks of fitness set forth by the President’s Council on Physical Fitness.
- Participating in a team athletic endeavor.
As a young doctor working with impoverished children in the slums of Rome at the turn of the 20th century, Dr. Maria Montessori (1870-1952) found them terribly isolated both socially and intellectually. Many lacked basic skills needed for schooling, such as knowing how to sequence objects from small to large, control small and large muscles to sit at a table or use a pencil, attend to basic hygiene such as washing hands, or use basic skills of civility such as greeting with a handshake. She knew that to help her students, she would need to engage them and begin with the basics.
Montessori had small chairs and tables built for her students – a novel idea at the time. She designed and made beautiful teaching materials out of colorful wood and other natural materials to capture her students’ interest and help them begin to build intellectual concepts from simple to complex. She noted that her students uniformly possessed motivation and curiosity that, when given the opportunity and materials, began to blossom. Honoring children’s unique interests and allowing them to work at their own paces was crucial to their success.
With her method, children written off by society began to not only meet educational standards, but also exceed them. Montessori’s students developed manners and skills that allowed them to enter a world of work and society previously unavailable to them. As a physician, she painstakingly recorded her trials and results, and by so doing, developed one of the only scientifically proven educational methods to date.
At Milwaukee Montessori School, we follow the path forged by Dr. Montessori. We pay close attention to every student’s growth and development, and it is the primary job of our teachers to provide the optimal challenges at the optimal moments based on our students’ interests, skills, and individual needs. As was true over 100 years ago, we find that when physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional needs are met, students glow with excitement and an enthusiastic drive to play, work, learn, and create.
The high level of academic achievement so characteristic of Milwaukee Montessori School is a natural outcome of experience in a supportive environment. The Montessori Method is a model that serves the needs of children at all levels as they live and learn in a natural, mixed-age group very much like the society they will live in as adults.
After years of expression mainly in pre-schools, the Montessori philosophy is finally being used as originally intended, as a method of seeing children as they really are and of creating learning environments that foster the fulfillment of their highest potential - spiritual, emotional, physical, and intellectual - as members of a family, community, and larger world.
Read Monica Van Aken Ed.D., our Head of School’s dissertation to better understand the evolution and importance of the Montessori Method.
Hildegard Solzbacher and a small group of committed parents founded Milwaukee Montessori School in 1961. The School began with one classroom of children ages 3-6, and was housed in space rented from Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Milwaukee. The School quickly outgrew its space in the church basement, and within two years of its founding moved to an empty public school building at 4610 West State Street, along with the 65 children enrolled in its programs.
The School’s continued success and enrollment growth created the need for yet more space. In 1980, the elementary levels moved to a separate location at St. Rose School on 31st and Clybourn. Having independent campuses was not desirable and in 1996, the building Milwaukee Montessori School now inhabits, a prior church school, was purchased. In the fall of 1998, the doors opened after a major redesign project. The architects won numerous awards for innovation and the School’s redesign was featured for a second time in the June 2000 issue of Architecture Magazine, and later in November received the Mayor’s Design Award for 2000.
Today, with more than 400 students, Milwaukee Montessori School is one of the oldest and largest independent Montessori schools in the United States. Numerous student and faculty awards, recognition as a “school of the future” by the National Association of Independent Schools, accreditation by the Independent Schools Association of the Central States, and the ongoing success of our graduates serve as a testament the vision of the School’s founders and the foresight of our current leaders.