Laramie Montessori School is a charter school within Albany County School District #1. A charter school is a public school that operates largely independent of the District’s administrative structure, although it receives state funds and must follow state and federal law for public schools. Since LMS is a public school, it is tuition free for all students in Albany County, and it has no religious or political orientation. LMS is part of the District and operates with ACSD#1 oversight, but it uses a different curriculum, has a separate budget, and has an independent governance system. LMS’s operating guidelines are laid out in Wyoming’s Charter School Act (Wyoming Statutes 21-3-301 through 21-3-401), and in the five-year charter signed with the District. A copy of the charter, contract, and bylaws are available for review in the LMS main office.
August 26th, 2013 we opened for our third year of operation with 75 students and 5 classrooms (1 Kindergarten - 2 Lower Elementary [1st through 3rd grade] - 2 Upper Ellementary [4th through 6th grade].
August 25th, 2011 School opens with 51 students
- Summer 2011 Staff is hired
- April 2011 Lottery process implemented and first placements in the school offered.
- February 2011 LMCO obtains approval from the ACSD#1 School Board to open a public charter school.
- October 2010 LMCO is granted $377,000 through the Federal School’s Program Grant
– Began process of writing a charter with a nine-member board
– They begin disseminating information, assessing interest, networking with the community and searching for a site.
- August 2008 Laramie Montessori Community Organization (LMCO) is formed.
- Sept. 2007 Parents begin talking about creating a Montessori elementary school in Laramie.
Laramie Montessori School Board of Trustees:
Allison Gernant, Chair
Colleen Weber, Vice Chair
Shay Howlin, Treasurer
Mark Bittner, Member at Large
Sarah Ramsey Walters, Secretary
Christina Allen: School Director
Craig Allen: Operations Manager
What is Montessori?
The Montessori curriculum was developed over 100 years ago by Dr. Maria Montessori, a medical doctor, scientist and educator in Italy. She based her educational method on scientific observations of children learning. Guided by her observations and the work of other acclaimed psychologists and educational theorists, Dr. Montessori designed scientifically and developmentally appropriate learning materials and methods which enable children to choose activities that satisfy their individual academic interests and needs.
The theories and materials developed by Dr. Maria Montessori are now supported by the latest brain research, psychological studies and educational practices.
How does it work?
Montessori educators have been trained to focus on how children learn and to adapt that knowledge to each class and for each child.
The structure of the curriculum and teaching method lends itself to different learning styles and intelligences.
Children are introduced to materials (hands-on manipulatives) and involved in learning using the various learning styles and are encouraged to learn and express themselves through the various intelligences.
While many educational settings are trying to adapt their structures to implement these developments, Montessorians have been using them as part of the educational structure for over 100 years.
Dr. Montessori recognized that the only valid impulse to learning is self-motivation of the child. Children are free to learn by choice rather than forced by adults. This doesn’t mean they are free to do whatever they want, but that within limits imposed upon them by the physical environment, the curriculum and respect for others, they are able to choose work that interests them.
Author Daniel Pink focused on motivation in his book, Drive, showing how timed settings and reward based systems actually inhibit problem solving skills and creativity.
In an atmosphere where children are not timed or rewarded with grades, the Montessori method can and does provide an ideal setting to develop internal motivation and drive.
Top 5 Skills/Knowledge Wanted by 21st Century Employers:
· Verbal Communication Skills
· Strong Work Ethic
-2011 Job Outlook Survey of National Association of Colleges and Employers
Framework for 21st Century Learning:
In addition to the 3 Rs:
· Critical Thinking & Problem Solving
· Communication & Collaboration
· Creativity & Innovation
· Information Media & Technology Skills
· Life & Career Skills
- Partnership for 21st Century Skills
Characteristics of Montessori Schools:
• Internationally accepted sequence of curriculum to meet the developmental needs of children
• Prepared Environment
• Materials naturally meet the needs of various learning styles
• Integration of all subjects
• Process-Oriented Curriculum leads to Mastery
• Respect of Self, Others, Environment
• Internalize Self-Control/Self-Discipline through re-direction, self-awareness and “Grace & Courtesy” (respect)
• Intrinsic Motivation is evident
• Peer Teaching and Collaboration
• Uninterrupted Work Cycles
• Visit the School – Call 742-2554