When was Hershey Montessori School established?
Hershey Montessori School opened as an independent pre-school school in 1978. It grew through the levels of the developmental continuum from birth to 14 years of
age until expanding to a second campus in Huntsburg in the fall of 2000, adding ninth grade and boarding to form the Adolescent Community.
What is the governance and licensing affiliation of Hershey?
HMS is a non-profit 501(c)(3) school with a governing board composed of parents, educators and community representatives. It has a letter of charter by the Ohio Department of Education as an independent private school serving students through 9th grade. HMS is a member of AMI (Association Montessori Internationale) and OAIS (Ohio Association of Independent Schools).
Where are the Concord Campus students coming from?
Families come from the surrounding areas of Lake, Geauga, Ashtabula and Cuyahoga counties. Due to our proximity to State Route 44 and Interstate 90 we often serve families commuting to work in the Cleveland area.
Where are the Huntsburg Campus students coming from?
Roughly 50% of our Adolescent Community are day students who live in Lake and Geauga counties and may ride the Hershey school bus that commutes between both campuses. The boarding students have typically attended Montessori elementary programs in Ohio, across the U.S. and around the world. Students from Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, Korea, Germany and Sweden have attended as boarders in the Adolescent Community on the farm.
What about diversity?
Hershey Montessori values diversity and welcomes students without regard to race, color, creed or national origin. HMS dedicates its practices to the spirit of fostering community and respect for the uniqueness of each individual. We offer need-based financial aid toward supporting economic diversity within the community.
Does Hershey offer support services for children with special learning needs?
In addition to the Montessori approach to individual needs, the Concord Campus offers a full-time resource teacher and a part-time dyslexia reading tutor, a speech language therapist and a school counselor. Priority for meaningful intervention is offered for younger children under twelve years of age. The Huntsburg Campus offers a language coach and small class sizes that support the needs of different learning styles. Hershey Montessori supports continued professional development for teachers that includes understanding specific areas of learning differences and diagnosed disabilities. The school offers families a link to assessment and evaluation resources through local school districts as needed.
What does Hershey Montessori School offer parents?
Hershey Montessori strives to partner with parents and values the primary role of the parent as the child's steward and advocate. We foster parent engagement by providing opportunities for community-building and parent education about Montessori and child development. Beginning with our Parent Infant community and continuing through the Montessori Parent Education workshops, parents grow in understanding of their child's needs and how to best support their education.
How is achievement and assessment addressed at Hershey?
There are a variety of different forms of assessment:
Parents receive written progress reports which are narratives of the child's whole development as well as academic achievement two to three times per year.
- Teacher observation, built in controls-of-error and developing habits of self- assessment:
The Montessori guide works with the same students for three to four years and comes to know their strengths and abilities intimately. The majority of Montessori education is based upon the teacher's observation of the child's response and ability. Teachers keep careful track of student progress over the years with each child. Montessori students are shown strategies to self-assess the quality of their work. The "points of interest" and built in controls of error help the child to develop conscious self-assessment tools beginning around the age of three.
- Motivation and self-evaluation are prompted by the child's human tendency for self perfection. Children naturally check their own work, validating math calculations or verifying science data. Teachers observe the processes and outcomes of the students' work but this is not the primary motivation for the child's desire to accomplish a goal. Proponents of Montessori do not believe that grades are a useful or sustainable method of motivating children toward maximum effort. Rather, Montessori educators strive to ensure the child is motivated to repeat, to apply deep concentration and to sustain active engagement in the task. This is accomplished through:
- developmentally relevant material
- self-chosen work based on interest
- open ended scope and time available for study
- intellectual challenge based on the individual
- relevance of the work to a sense of self-within-community
- Other standard measures: (see About Hershey for more information about assessment) Students take a nationally-normed standardized achievement test in second grade and in fourth through eighth grades. These annual achievement tests are considered as one of many measures for student assessment and do not determine the content of the Montessori curriculum or approach.
Additionally, in ninth grade, teachers begin to offer letter grades for student work. This helps to introduce the student to the process and criteria that will likely be used for grading in their next school. Ninth grade students may also take Independent School Entrance Exams, PSATs, or ACTs, as entrance requirements for high schools.
Where do they go after Hershey?
The majority of our students remain at Hershey through ninth grade and enter high school as tenth graders in a variety of settings which include: the Montessori High School at University Circle other area independent, parochial and local public schools. Boarding students return to their home states or countries for high school or continue on to other boarding schools in the United States.
How do the graduates do?
Because Hershey students have been encouraged to develop their unique talents and interests, they go on to study in many different schools and pursue a wide variety of passions and career interests. These students are well prepared for any educational setting and thrive as they continue with their education. This includes independent, public, parochial and boarding schools in the Greater Cleveland Area, throughout the United States and abroad.
Our current alumni are engaged in pursuits such as medical research, photography, accounting, real estate, law, financial investment, education, computer technology and health care. Their pursuits are as varied and diverse as their individual development. They communicate with us with gratitude and enthusiasm for life. They are, in general, dedicated citizens of their communities.
See our Alumni page for more information.