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Montessori's Academic Successes


Let me begin by sharing a little about our Montessori school. Our classrooms are very different from traditional classrooms. The Montessori classroom begins with a strong foundation of community, and a prepared environment. There are specific areas of the Montessori curriculum (math, geometry, language, cultural, sensorial, practical life) which are the basis for the learning that happens in the classroom. The learning is individualized and offers choice. Students have work plans that guide learning tasks and allow them to have a “balanced plate” during the week so that all areas of the curriculum are covered. There is a cadence to our classrooms called the 'work cycle'. Students select their work, complete their work, and put their work away while teachers are teaching small groups or individual students. Due to the different grade levels within one room, not many lessons are for the whole group. Maria Montessori School offers a unique method of learning that sparks the interest of the child. Students work at their own pace with lots of independence and choice throughout the school day.

Now to highlight our recent academic accomplishments. On the Illinois Assessment of Readiness (IAR), our overall proficiency in reading increased 11% from 2022 to 2023. Math also increased by 5%. In terms of growth, 52% of our students showed growth in reading and 58% demonstrated growth in math. Raising achievement in any school is an involved process; it requires all hands on deck, a shared focus, and a common desired outcome. This has been our work over the past few years: increase achievement and growth in literacy and math. This work has included the following: a narrowed focus on specific state standards in both math and English language arts, explicit teaching in foundational literacy skills, a common belief that basic math facts and fractions are foundational to math success, the use of shared common formative assessments to improve student learning, and one giant data tracker spreadsheet to monitor proficiency in math and literacy. Every child is being monitored by a team at Montessori, including classroom teachers, the MTSS team, administration, the interventionist, and tutors in an effort to improve learning for each student.

I must end with another mention of our strong community at Montessori. This supports student belonging and fosters close relationships between students, teachers, and families. Our students are happy to come to school and grow every day.

Candice Collins

It is my privilege to lead Maria Montessori School and the many talented staff and students here. My teaching career began in RPS 205 in 2001. I have been the proud principal of Maria Montessori School for 10 years. My goal is to continue to provide a supportive climate and culture at Montessori that is conducive to teaching and learning.