Laying the Montessori Foundation

The three, four, and five-year-olds arriving at Ancona each morning enter a carefully crafted Montessori learning environment where they will grow academically, socially, and individually. The ample, open spaces of our child-centered Montessori preprimary classrooms:

  • invite children to follow their innate desire to learn with intriguing materials that stretch their imaginations
  • offer appropriate challenges and
  • engage them, individually or in small groups, in sustained exploration.

Long uninterrupted blocks of time allow children the freedom to choose activities, to establish a community of learners with their peers, and to benefit from the direction and guidance of teachers and assistants who design, document, and sustain the learning process. More on Montessori from the American Montessori Society >

Montessori Overview
The Montessori method, developed by Dr. Maria Montessori, is a child-centered educational approach that supports the natural development of children. Montessori views the child as one who is naturally eager for knowledge and capable of initiating learning in a supportive, thoughtfully prepared environment. It is an approach that values the human spirit and the development of the whole child—physical, social, emotional, and cognitive.

Ancona adheres to Maria Montessori’s belief that children are naturally motivated, active learners who build their own understandings of the world as they interact with their environment. Our classrooms encourage children’s active explorations of carefully prepared materials and empower children through choice and freedom to take charge of their own learning.

Over the years, Ancona’s Montessori program has evolved, adding the insights and understandings of constructivism—that children learn by constructing meaning from their lived experiences—and of progressivism—that an education for a democratic society must be child-centered, that is, led by the child’s interests, and grounded in authentic experiences—to the Montessori foundation.

The Child-Centered Environment Develops Young Learners
In the course of their Preprimary years in our Montessori classrooms, many Ancona students become readers and writers, while others lay the foundation for reading and writing through multi-sensory activities in a setting saturated with oral and written language. Science and social studies activities are integrated throughout the day. Concrete materials allow Preprimary students to construct their understanding of math concepts and internalize a sense of order and number. Group problem solving within real-world contexts promotes rich math conversations as well as meaningful communication through words and images.

Building Social Skills Through Community
The multi-age classroom is a catalyst for the development of social skills that will last a lifetime. When students of different ages and levels of experience interact, everyone benefits: the youngest can look to their older peers for guidance, and the older students can learn by leading.

Our Preschool and Kindergarten Day
The Preprimary Montessori program consists of multi-age classrooms where three, four, and five year olds learn together. All students participate in the morning Montessori work time. At noon, three and four year olds (preschool) either head home for the day or continue their day of Montessori enrichment. The afternoon for three and four year olds includes lunch (prepared at home), recess, naps, and a Montessori work period. Kindergarteners continue their day in the afternoon with more discipline-specific academic work in math, reading, and writing. They also travel to other classrooms to learn Spanish and participate in Library, Music, and P.E. These work periods prepare them for the demands of first grade and our elementary program.

Supporting young learners
Ancona teachers, along with our experienced Student Support Team, work collaboratively to ensure that young learners are developing physically, emotionally, and cognitively. Knowing that every child’s development is individual and complex, our Montessori curriculum is designed to challenge students according to their personal development. Informal screenings and observations are conducted as early as three years old to inform teachers when supports are needed. Learn more about our Student Support Team here.


Half Day:

8:05 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
7:15 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. (Half Day plus Preprimary Before School)
Half Day is for 3 and 4 years olds (P3 and P4) only. School Day Option gives P3 and P4 students the opportunity to extend school to a full school day (from 12 – 3:00 p.m.) up to 5 days/week. 

School Day:

8:05 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
7:15 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. (School Day plus Preprimary Before School)
7:15 a.m. – 5:45 p.m. (School Day plus Preprimary Before School and Preprimary After School)