Zanetti Montessori Magnet School: Excellence in a Peaceful Environment
Mission • To provide an academically rigorous and integrated Montessori curriculum, aligned with the district standards and learning goals , based on peace education and global awareness that: • Engages students in joyful, engaging learning in a peaceful, safe environment of mutual respect. • Empowers students to be self-reflective, independent, life-long learners, prepared to be career orientated global thinkers, who realize their individual potential, lead meaningful lives and accept their responsibility of citizenship • Facilitates students to perform at levels of proficiency in meeting the outcomes of the Montessori Curriculum and state learning standards upon transitioning to high school • Holds high expectations of academic performance, integrity, respect for diversity and conduct • Encompasses 21st Century Skills addressing problem-solving, reasoning, communication and technology • Facilitates student understanding of their connection and contribution to their families, their community and the world, through a curriculum based on global awareness and social action, using the student and their world as the context • Increases student attendance and achievement through active engagement with all stakeholders • Focuses instructional leadership teams to guide school improvement through staff collaboration, curriculum development and data analysis • Sustains a collaborative learning community of dedicated, nurturing educators, committed families and self-motivated students DRAFT
Whole School Goal • Alfred G. Zanetti Montessori Magnet School’s goal for the 2009/2010 academic year is to improve student academic achievement through an integrated Montessori Curriculum aligned with district standards and learning goals. By the end of the academic year, 100% of students will demonstrate a minimum of one year of academic growth as shown on Montessori Assessments, Benchmark Assessments, District and Statewide Tests and where applicable, Key Math Assessments.
Famous Montessorian, Will Wright, author of Sim City et al . . . “Montessori taught me the joy of discovery. It showed me you could become interested in pretty complex theories, like Pythagorean theory, say, by playing with blocks. It’s all about learning on your terms, rather than a teacher explaining stuff to you. SimCity comes right out of Montessori – if you give people this model for building cities, they will abstract from it principles of urban design.” Will Wright “Will Wright flourished in the local Montessori school, with its emphasis on creativity, problem solving and self-motivation” John Seabrook The New Yorker, November 6, 2006
Our Aim is to Fulfill the Mission of Bringing Montessori to the Public Schools and its Diverse Population “The needs of mankind are universal. Our means of meeting them create the richness and diversity of the planet. The Montessori child should come to relish the texture of that diversity” Maria Montessori
Montessori Environment The Environment: Warm, inviting, ordered, structured, engaging, carefully designed to capture interest of students and promote independence No rows of desks Students choose where to sit (floor, desks, high and low tables, alone, groups, pairs) Mixed-grade students (Ex: Grades 1-3 in same room)
Montessori Pedagogy Instruction Teacher presentation happens mainly in small groups and individual Teacher teaches on the floor, child moves on to practice alone Teacher provides engaging extension activities to all presentations (lessons) that students can work on independently Teacher a facilitator of learning and a guide Assessment Ongoing observations, questioning and feedback Benchmarks for Curriculum Portfolios Montessori Standardized Tests
Step inside a Lower Elementary Morning Work Cycle Please see Zanetti Websitefor video snapshot of an E1 Workcycle Class Agenda Student Work List
The Curriculum Pre-K to Grade 5 Montessori Peace Education through Global Awareness Materials-based Integrated Social Studies, Math, Language, Science, putting the child in the context of the whole Grace and Courtesy Non-Violent Conflict Resolution Early exposure to and use of algebra and geometry in younger years Middle School Grade 6 to 8 Montessori Peace Education through Social Action CONTEXT: The Adolescent OVERARCHING QUESTION: How do I understand myself, the world and my place in it? OVERARCHING ACTION: How do I contribute? District initiatives woven in WEX writing, CAFÉ reading, Science Kits Alignment of Montessori Curriculum and Level Outcomes to State Learning Standards
What the Data Shows “Measure what you value”
General Student Achievement Trend Teachers complete training 82% classroom teachers leave because of contract, 19 new teachers begin Montessori Training Zanetti becomes Montessori
So, what was going on in 2004 and 2005? Zanetti in 5th year of Montessori Both Math and ELA AYP met All teachers Montessori Trained Team including a Math CPDT created Montessori materials to fill gaps in math curriculum (measurement, for example)
Students High academic achievement for 21st Century Success
ZANETTI MONTESSORI IS SPECIAL BECAUSE….. * Without desks, students and groups learn to get along with each other. * We are around the same people all the time so we are not as nervous to answer questions or ask for help. * Zanetti has taught us to think outside of the box when doing our work. * We learn about respect, responsibility, and caring for our environment. * At Zanetti we get second chances even when we do something wrong. * We are in different grades in the same class and this allows us to help each other. * Zanetti has taught us the importance of peace. * This school allows you to choose what you wish to learn more about. * We can concentrate and it is a great environment in which to learn. * We are very unique with our learning style. * The teachers are great and it is a good place if you want to learn new things every day. * We are free to hold our own opinions and encouraged to speak our minds. * You can make friends all over the school and because we are together for so many years we know that when we go our own ways we will still keep in touch. * We go on cool fieldtrips that help us learn about our world. * Our teachers care about us and we especially love those teachers who help us get through all the ups and downs. * Zanetti has helped us to learn new things and built our self-confidence so that we can be the best that we can be. 2007-2008 Zanetti Middle School Students
Student Achievement-prior to Magnet Grant (1999) • poor attendance • high mobility (75% in our last year before conversion to magnet) • lowest standardized test scores of over 30 district elementary schools • high suspension rates • rapidly increasing minority group isolation
Student Success-Years immediately following Magnet Grant • Attendance problems decreased • Population Diversified • Free/reduced lunch population decreased • Racial demographics reflected the City of Springfield not just the neighborhood • Behavior incidents decreased • Transience decreased
Past Year Student Successes Proficiency AYP Last Year Proficiency on MCAS increased in: - All 8th grade tests - 3rd, 4th, 6th,7th Math - 3rd, 4th ELA
% of Test Items Zanetti Aggregate outscored District Aggregate On last year’s 8th grade ELA test, Zanetti students outscored the District on 89% of the test items.
Staff Highly qualified and effective at all levels
Organizational Health InventoryStaff Perceptions Significant increase in cohesiveness, adaptability and innovation. Slight decrease in morale and resource utilization due to move. Goal Focus work is in progress: Feedback to Students.
Parents Assisting and Supporting Parents to help improve learning
Parent Perceptions Survey The 2009 Parent Survey revealed that of 150 surveys returned, over 90% of parents believe: • The school provides sufficient support for their child. • The school has an appropriate curriculum. • Their child’s progress is acceptable. • They are respected by the school. • They understand the difference between Montessori and Traditional classrooms. • Montessori Education allows their child to solve problems more peacefully, foster good work habits, and be more responsible, independent learners. Room for Improvement: • 22% of parents do not know their child’s schedule or subjects being taught. • 12% of parents do not know how to help their child with school work. • 17% of parents know how to encourage the Montessori values of independence, responsibility, integrity and cooperation at home with their child.
From Zanetti Parents • “I love the structure of the program, my children are stronger in reading and math.” • “My child takes responsibility for her learning and loves to be independent.” • “Teacher commitment and integrity of personal progress is appreciated.” • “Her motivation for school and routine in general has increased at Zanetti.” • “My son has learned how to problem solve, care and become a well-rounded individual.” • “The Montessori approach has accelerated my daughter’s learning.” • “My son is more independent now at home and has a lot of pride in himself.” • “Zanetti encourages citizenship and working at an individual pace.” • “My daughter works at her own pace and has varied learning experiences.” • “My daughter is an only child and has learned here how to do things herself.” • “Zanetti fosters community-minded students.” • “I see a better future for my child in Montessori.” • “My child has self-confidence and believes he can do anything he puts his mind to.” • “Zanetti has taught my daughter how to love learning.” • “Montessori increases my child’s maturity and social interaction skills.”
Administration Responsive, Effective and Accountable Leadership
Introduction of the SAM Project School Administration Management Initial findings show that principals spend too much time on Management Student achievement and teacher effectiveness increase with more Principal involvement with instruction SAM (Kate Berti) introduced to create systems for delegating responsibility based on staff readiness.
Initial One Week Inventory on Principal Time on Management Majority of management time spent on student discipline.
Initial One Week Inventory of Principal Time on Instruction Most frequent instructional time spent on planning/curriculum.
Improvement Areas “Measure what you value”
Modified from American Montessori Society http://www.amshq.org/schoolExtras/publicEssentials.html
Sustaining Montessori at Zanetti • Prior to Level 4 Announcement: • Considered Pilot School Status for: • Flexibility in Staff Allocations and Budget • Autonomy in Assessment and Curriculum • Current Needs: • Montessori-trained administration • Analysis of Montessori Alignment to District • Creation of Montessori Assessments • Close any Math gaps by creating Montessori materials • This year: Feedback to Students (Formative Assessment) • Next year: Comprehensive reading program focused on reading comprehension • Refocusing Middle School for Social Action: • Teachers to complete Montessori Training summer 2010 • Refining and Refocusing Curriculum for 2010/2011 to empower and engage students preparing students for their lives now, as leaders in the school and in the Community • Environment: Rethink space, create student-centered classrooms
Vision for the FutureIn five years, we hope to have For Zanetti: • A safe, clean, upgraded facility for the Montessori Program • Square footage required for effective Montessori Classroom OR Class size for elementary reduced to 20 in present classroom square footage and staff allocation adjusted for this • Science Lab room for Elementary Science • Rooms for Dance/Art/Music • State of the Art Library (planned for Summer 2010) In Springfield: • New building for Montessori Middle School • 180 kids in MS, 20 per class • Student body fed from Zanetti and Gerena
Zanetti Montessori Magnet School: Excellence in a Peaceful Environment