Our mission is to provide an education based on Montessori and Child Development Methods for children from birth through kindergarten in a carefully prepared nurturing environment which aids in the development of each child’s unique individual potential in all areas of life; so as to prepare the child not just for school but for life.
Our organization is Montessori Association of Covina. It is a private, non-profit corporation for education serving infants through grade school. We opened our first school in 1982. The organization has dedicated itself under the vision of its founders to offer an authentic education based on the Montessori and Child Development methods of teaching.
In addition to our Montessori curriculum we have diversified our program to expand your child’s learning experience by adding learning centers that also follow the principals and practices of “Early Childhood Education” and “Child Development”, both of which are popular methods of early development preparation and teaching in our culture.
You might observe that our classrooms have a low 1:8 teacher/child ratio. In our Montessori classrooms emphasis is given to the three R’s: Reading, Writing and Arithmetic. We use the Desired Results multi-component monitoring tool to both monitor and establish a set of Program Standards for our preschool programs. We use the Early Childhood Environmental Rating Scale (ECERS) to measure the quality and integrity of our indoor and outdoor environments and to determine if they work in conjunction with our curriculum and lesson plans to maintain measureable standards. In addition, we’ve developed our own internal monitoring system to ensure that all children experience the most diverse and balanced learning environment we can offer in which freedom to choose and develop independently is paramount and one-on-one teacher/child interaction is equally valued. This is a proven system which helps them to acquire the skills needed to face their future challenges in grade school and beyond with confidence. Dr. Maria Montessori believed that confidence comes from the acquisition of knowledge and skills. We have three parent conferences per year to keep parents informed on their children’s progress and two annual parent education events to educate the community about our program services, our methods of teaching and unique environment. Finally, we conduct a year-end comprehensive review of our program in the key areas mentioned above to identify and implement improvements to any gaps that are found.
At Montessori Association of Covina we only hire staff we believe are dedicated to our mission, the Montessori Method, children and families and our uniquely combined program mentioned above. Therefore, we may hire teachers who have qualifications in both methods of teaching. If they do not have formal Montessori training we offer our own in-house training done by a group of staff members who possess Montessori diplomas from accredited training institutions. For example, our Program Directors have bachelor’s degrees in education, child development or related field. They also have Montessori training. Most of our site supervisors have bachelor’s degrees and Montessori training. The minimum requirement for a site supervisor is an AA degree in a child development-related field with a minimum of twenty-four units in Early Childhood Education or Child Development fields (ECE or CD). They are also required to have their site supervisor permits issued by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC). This is an independent accrediting organization funded by the California Department of Education which issues permits for applicants in the Child Development industry based on a set of educational course credits and teaching experience. Our lead teachers have Teacher’s Permits issued by the (CCTC) and some have Montessori training diplomas or credentials, and our assistant teachers have either an Assistant Teacher’s permit or Associates Teacher’s permit issued by the CCTC. Our program directors, equally, possess their Program Director’s permits issued by the CCTC.
Our senior program director, Elizabeth Gallion, has a wealth of knowledge and experience in both management and teaching in preschool programs through upper elementary. She possesses a M.A. degree in Education and several elementary school teaching credentials. She also possesses a Program Director’s permit issued by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. She has taught in elementary classrooms for many years and has an equal amount of experience in child development programs throughout Los Angeles. However, her specialty is in management. She is visionary and a truly dedicated member of our management team. She works hard every day to ensure that our programs remain dedicated to our mission, at the forefront of our industry and offer one of the finest early childhood education programs available anywhere.
We are proud and glad to have her as a leader in our organization and trust her dedication, vision, knowledge and intelligence to make wise decisions and steer our programs in the right direction. We trust that she’ll always remain true to our philosophy and program goals and objectives. At present, she is also our site supervisor at McKinley Montessori Academy.
Please refer your questions to her and she will be glad to know your concerns and answer your questions with the best of her ability.
Keeping our Mission in mind and always at the forefront of our planning our teachers work mindfully to achieve the goals we have set for our children by following prescribed objectives and benchmarks to ensure they have the success we desire. The following are our goals:
- Helping children develop a positive attitude toward school
Most of the learning activities are individualized: For example, each child engages in a learning task that particularly appeals to him because he finds the activities geared to his needs and level of readiness. Consequently, he works at his own rate of development, repeating the task as often as he likes, thus experiencing a series of successful achievement. In this manner, he builds a positive attitude toward learning itself.
- Helping each child develop self-confidence
In the Montessori school, tasks are designed so that each new step is built upon what the child has already mastered, thus removing the negative experience of frequent failure. A carefully planned series of successes builds upon inner confidence in the child assuring him that he can learn by himself. These confidence-building activities likewise contribute to the child’s healthy emotional development.
- Assisting each child in building a habit of concentration
Effective learning presupposes the ability to listen carefully and to attend to what is said or demonstrated. Through a series of absorbing experiences, the child forms habits of extended attention, thus increasing his ability to concentrate.
- Fostering an abiding curiosity
In a rapidly changing society, we will all be students at some time in our lives. A deep, persistent and abiding curiosity is a prerequisite for creative learning. By providing the child with opportunities to discover qualities, dimensions, and relationships amidst a rich variety of stimulating learning situations, curiosity is developed and an essential element in creative learning has been established.
- Developing habits of initiative, persistence and perseverance
By surrounding the child with appealing materials and learning activities geared to his inner needs, he becomes accustomed to engaging in activities on his own. Gradually, this results in a habit of initiative – an essential quality in leadership. “Ground rules” call for completing a task once begun and gradually results in a habit of persistence and perseverance for replacing materials after the task is accomplished. This “completion” gradually results in a habit of persistence and perseverance.
- Fostering inner security and sense of order in the child
Through a well ordered, enriched but simplified environment, the child’s need for order and security is intensely satisfied. This is noticed in the calming effect of the environment and on the child. Since every item in the Montessori classroom has a place, and the ground rules call for everything in its place, the child’s inner need for…