Is Compass Montessori a public or private school?
Compass Montessori is a Jeffco Public charter school. Our Children's House Program (preschool) operates as a private preschool inside of our school, and tuition is charged for three & four-year old students. Kindergarten through 12th grade is free, like all other public schools.
How many students attend Compass Montessori?
We have about 700 students on our Golden and Wheat Ridge campuses from Children's House (Pre-K) through High School.
Children's House (this is preschool in Montessori, and includes three, four and five-year old children) has 250 students attending on both campuses.
Our Lower Elementary program, which includes 1st - 3rd grade includes about 150 students on both campuses.
Our Upper Elementary program, which includes 4th - 6th graders has about 150 additional student attending on both campuses.
Our Farm School (7th - 9th grader) has approximately 150 students attending on the Golden campus only.
Our High School (10th - 12th grade) has about 100 students attending on the Golden High School campus.
What is the typical class size for students at Compass Montessori?
On average our Children's House and Elementary classrooms have about 30 children in them, and two teachers.
Our Farm School offers three occupations with about 50 student in each, and three guides (teachers).
Our high school operates like a small liberal arts college, and students rotate through their work in small groups guided by their own intrinsic motivation in partnership with their guides and advisors.
What is the biggest difference between Montessori and traditional schools?
Montessori learning environments are dedicated to teaching students to be interdependent, to motivate from within themselves and are guided to a love of learning. Curriculum in a Montessori school, and at Compass Montessori is designed to meet the whole child where they are academically, socially and emotionally. Lessons are given to small groups, and they serve students by picking up where each individual child is leaving off (as opposed to one lesson for 30+ students).
Often, students work with movement, and complete their work on the floor by using rugs to designate their work space, or in small group work spaces. You can read more and watch a few reference videos in our Parent Education and The Difference pages on our website.
What does a typical day in a Montessori classroom look like?
Most Children's House (preschool) & Elementary classrooms begin with a morning work cycle. This is a time for new lessons, follow-ups to previous lessons, concentration, and work plan progress for each individual student. Lunch and recess follow work cycle, and an afternoon work cycle often comes next. Additionally, each week students attend PE and Music. It may also include reading time, art, more lessons and follow-ups, or interdependent work plan progress. The inspiration for each child and classroom often drives the activity, so the only thing typical about a day in one of these classrooms is that a child has likely led it. Teachers are there to guide students down the path of understanding their work, ideas and research on a deeper level, but the student feels the sense of accomplishment, which leads to a love of learning.
In Farm School, students work on Math, ELA (Language Arts), Science, Humanities and Social Studies in the morning. In the afternoon, they are committed to their Occupation work (Farm, Community & Kitchen or Store). Some days you'll see our Farm Occupation students preparing or harvesting the farm, and our Store Occupation students preparing for a farm stand for our community at Car Line. Our Community & Kitchen students may be planning for the lunch menu on the following day. The afternoons are also dedicated to our Farm School students' Self-Expressions (electives) such as foreign language, music, biking, skiing, sewing, videography and anything else a community member or student feels inspired to study or share with us.
At our Compass High School, you'll see students managing their own schedules, similar to the way students do at a small liberal arts college. They are guided by their advisors, and move from their community meetings to individual meetings with their advisors, to their classrooms, depending on their academic schedule that week. Throughout the week, they participate in programs such as AWOL or taking a course at Red Rocks Community College.
An essential part of the high school curriculum asks our students to engage in learning experiences outside of the school building. Therefore, on Wednesday afternoons our students leave the high school to participate in our Authentic World of Learning (AWOL) program. This program allows the students to have experiences outside of the high school environment by finding service opportunities throughout the community. Individually, students are asked to find an organization to participate in meaningful service during each semester of their high school career. It is a wonderful way to give back to our community, as well as receive experience in other environments, and high school students at Compass often arrive with a willingness to participate and contribute to their community in this way.
High School students do sometimes take lunch off-campus, and participate in clubs and athletic programs such as Ultimate Frisbee, Cross Country, Track and Mountain Biking.
You can read more about our programs HERE.