Mary Kern founded the San Luis Obispo Montessori Children’s School in 1983 at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church with six students, ages three to six. During the first year, enrollment expanded to include a grand total of fifteen children! Eventually, the enrollment expanded to its maximum of 25 while still at the St. Stephen’s location, and in the spring of 1991 the owners of an existing Montessori school in San Luis Obispo approached Mary to see if she was interested in purchasing their school. To make a long story short, she was, and the two schools blended that summer. We retained some families from the old location, some from the new and welcomed some families brand new to Montessori. The school accommodated children ages three through nine. We added more teachers, kept the extended care program that existed at the new location, and we were on our way.
In Spring of 1997 we saw a real need to expand our school to encompass Upper Elementary students aged nine to twelve years. We started the program in our extended care room with four students coming up from the lower elementary and seven other students who wanted to continue their Montessori education here.
By the end of that year it was clear that the Upper Elementary was an integral part of our school that we could not live without, but we definitely needed more space. We looked around our community and after much deliberation we purchased the building we were leasing and added on a classroom, a library and offices.
Montessori Children’s School Today
Currently, we have both full day and half day Primary classes for children ages three through six, a smaller class with 15 children and a larger one with 30 children. We also have a lower elementary class for children ages six through nine and an upper elementary class for children ages nine through twelve. Each of these classes has approximately 20 students.
We enjoy the many diverse aspects of our school from younger to older children, the stability of our teachers, the support of our parents and the drive to always improve what we do here. We strive to instill passion for learning and excellence in all we do and are proud of the community we have created.
Philosophy and Purpose
The mission of the Montessori Children’s School is: to inspire a passion for excellence in all of the children and adults who are a part of its community, to nurture the curiosity, creativity and imagination born within each of us and to awaken the human spirit of every child.
Our program rests on four main pillars:
- The cultivation within our students and staff of a passion for excellence in everything they do, both inside and outside the school.
- The development of a strongly held set of universal values, which include self respect, respect for others, honesty, integrity, responsibility, empathy, compassion, kindness, peacefulness, a sense of concern for others, warmth and love of community.
- The development of a global perspective and sense of international understanding.
- Lifelong commitments to give something back through service to others.
Dr. Maria Montessori believed that no human being is educated by another person. He must do it himself or it will never be done. A truly educated individual continues learning long after the years and hours she spends in the classroom because she is motivated from within by a natural curiosity and love for knowledge. Dr. Montessori felt, therefore, that the goal of early childhood education would not be to fill the child with facts from a pre-selected course of studies, but rather to cultivate his own natural desire to learn.
The purpose then, of our school is to meet this objective. This is done in two ways: first, by allowing each child to experience the excitement of learning by her own choice rather than by being forced, and second, by helping him to perfect all his natural tools for learning so that his ability will be at a maximum in future learning situations. The Montessori materials have this dual long-range purpose in addition to their immediate purpose of giving specific information to the child.
The curriculum of the school includes exposure to all of the traditionally incorporated areas such as mathematics, sciences, reading and writing. Most importantly, though, there will be an emphasis on those qualities needed to become self-motivated, independent, self-disciplined and a fulfilled individual.