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“The crises we are witnessing is not one of those that make the passage from one era to another, it can only be compared with the opening of a new Biological or Geological period, when new beings come upon the scene, more evolved and more perfect, while upon the earth are realized conditions of life, which had never existed before.” Dr. Maria Montessori, Peace and Education (1932)
The events that unfolded over the last year brought a heightened awareness of the social injustice and inequity that has plagued our nation’s history and profoundly affected fellow citizens.
Dr. Montessori, and many other scientists, demonstrated that an education that removes the obstacles for healthy development, and that allows the student’s innate energies for good to develop in accordance with their natural capacity, will reveal a “new child” who is intellectually independent and emotionally drawn to contribute to moral and social conditions of their environments.
That is why this year’s whole school professional development day centered on social-emotional development that included emotional intelligence and communication skills, as well as social leadership capacities and abilities. We learned about Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) from specialists with Cleveland consulting firm Sage and Maven.
A number of staff as well as some Upper School students also took the opportunity to dive deeper into learning about Restorative Justice with specialist Tarek Maassarani. Maassarani’s work on the science of peace, on both the national and international level, includes organizations such as Restorative DC and Communities in Transition.
Several topics were covered in the two half-day sessions, including Privilege, LGBTQ language, how we create our identity, the difference between explicit and implicit bias, the difference between “not racist” versus “anti-racist,” the different types of racism, and restorative practices.
Hershey staff deepened their understanding of how to create practices and environments that strengthen community inclusion and connection so that our students will learn even more about community responsibility and leadership.
“It is this conviction that imbues us with hope that education may be the most effective instrument to attain the union of all humanity. To this end, education must channel the powerful creative energies of the child toward an ultimate spiritual independence, utilizing to its utmost (their) miraculous capacity for adaptation, according to an ideal of altruism and love.” – Dr. Maria Montessori, Citizen of the Word, San Remo Lectures, Montessori-Pierson Publishing Co. (1949)
A DEIB circle (a.k.a. “committee”) has also been formed to help further progress in this area. The circle is made up of staff and Upper school students who select consultants and trainers, meet and attend workshops, webinars, and trainings for the purpose of sharing and advancing DEIB work and initiatives at Hershey Montessori School.
“There was a group of seven students who participated in the 3-hour workshop, which focused on being actively affirming and inclusive of all identities,” said Lucy McNees, a senior at Hershey.
She and two other Upper School students, sophomore Kylie Golden-Appleton and senior Cecilia Carney, lead an antiracism initiative and meet with the DEIB circle biweekly to discuss the school’s efforts and goals.
“In this way, we can move forward with the whole community on the same page,” says McNees.
As a staff and whole school, Hershey will continue to ensure it has healthy, prepared environments that allow for personal reflection and deep dialogue about our personal contribution to growth in DEIB.
Self-awareness and growing in social emotional intelligence as a community can be wonderfully restorative and inclusive. It is important that Hershey maintains an environment where all feel safe, represented, heard and valued.
Watch for a Hershey DEIB resource webpage to come in the near future.
We are thrilled to be able to bring our boarding students back home to Hershey this fall!
Hershey staff and administration are finalizing the residential design, facilities use, and remaining COVID-19 contingency plans for the fall.
Much progress is being made to mitigate and reduce infection numbers here in our region and across the United States.
We will be sharing more information as details are finalized.
Returning and/or new families who are interested in registering for this fall may contact the school at 440-636-6290 or email email@example.com.
We enthusiastically welcome you back home to Hershey. Our Huntsburg campus eagerly awaits your return!
Earlier this school year, Tania Bertolone, Hershey’s Middle School Director at our Huntsburg campus sought outside specialists for the purpose of broadening exposure to the arts for our Middle School students. In her search, Bertolone connected with Jeannie Fleming-Gifford, Executive Director at Fairmount Center for the Arts.
At Tania’s direction, Hershey hired two of Fairmount’s artists to serve as specialists for Middle School students to enhance Hershey’s Creative Expression curriculum.
Liliana Garlisi, who serves as Fairmount’s Piano faculty, meets weekly with Hershey students, inspiring, connecting and providing opportunities for them to learn, grow and express themselves through music.
Brigitte Fiorille, who serves as Fairmount’s Art Director and Ceramics faculty, also meets with students to work with them in the ceramics studio at Hershey’s Huntsburg campus. Both women have brought the students great inspiration and expertise in their crafts.
“Creative Expression is a core component of our Middle School curriculum and we are intentional about supporting and connecting with our community,” Bertolone said. What I found with Fairmount Center for the Arts was a perfect alignment for us and our students. They bring professionalism and expertise to every class and every project. Our students are engaged and are learning so much.”
Fairmount generally conducts its programs at its facility in Novelty, Ohio, but this partnership has been ideal in that they were willing to travel to the school campus each week.
Fairmount Center for the Arts has many hands-on forms of expression from dance, to art, music, and theater. They offer several different activities like camps, workshops, and even fitness classes. We are so grateful to have such a fantastic organization in our community for our students to experience and enjoy. They also offer classes to the community in a COVID-safe environment. You can view and register for a variety of offerings on their website. Learn more about Fairmount Center for the Arts by visiting their website at www.fairmountcenter.org/.
Hershey Montessori School is excited to begin offering Shadow Days again at the Middle and Upper School campus.
The Shadow Day opportunity allows prospective students to experience Hershey’s campus, culture, and curriculum in a personal way. Shadow students are also able to ask peers relevant questions that equip them to make an informed decision about their education journey.
Precautions have been taken to modify Shadow Days to ensure adherence to all recommended health and safety measures. Shadowing students will be able to safely and authentically experience what being a student at Hershey Montessori School is like.
Hershey’s Middle and Upper School campus is located at 11530 Madison Road in Huntsburg, Ohio.
Interested families may contact the Huntsburg campus Administration and Admissions Manager, Robyn Dill, to schedule a Shadow Day for their child. Phone 440-636-6290 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to request more information.
We look forward to meeting you!
Hershey Montessori School open houses are scheduled through May 2021.
Registration is required.
OPEN HOUSE DATES
- March 20th | 1:00 – 3:00 pm
- April 17th | 1:00 – 3:00 pm
- May 15th | 1:00 – 3:00 pm
- March 20th | 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
- April 17th | 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
What Is an Open House?
An Open Houses is a set time for prospective parents and students to visit our school campus to learn more about Hershey Montessori School’s curriculum and culture. The Open House is structured to provide a better understanding of what a school has to offer. There are numerous benefits of attending these school open houses, many of which cannot be achieved by simply browsing a school’s website. Not only do open houses allow you to see the campus, but they also provide valuable insight into the programs and culture of each school.
What Are the Benefits of Attending an Open House?
Prospective families and students benefit greatly by attending a Hershey Montessori School Open House. There is only so much that can be learned from literature, browsing a website and its videos, or even peer reviews. An in-person visit provides greater understanding through physical experience.
When participating in a school Open House event:
- You have face-to-face dialogue with school personnel and sometimes students.
- You experience authentic classroom settings.
- You learn more about the curriculum and will be able to differentiate between Hershey Montessori School and other schools.
- You will gain a clearer understanding of the school’s values and its approach to education.
- You will learn what outcomes can be expected from our Montessori education model.
- You learn how the school communicates with you about your child’s educational progress.
- You will get a feel for the culture of the school.
- You will learn things that help you in your decision-making process.
- You are given the opportunity to ask questions.
- You will meet some really nice people! 🙂
What to Expect
Upon arrival, and in keeping with current CDC guidelines, we will take your temperature (a temperature of 100⁰F or greater will result in a reschedule of your visit) and provide you with hand sanitizer. Face-coverings and physical distancing when interacting with others will be required.
You will be given a tour of the school building(s) and see our Montessori classrooms as well as our outdoor space that provides much-needed, stress-reducing connections to nature. A presentation will be given as well as time for questions and answers.
Hershey students develop into confident, articulate leaders. Hershey Montessori School is known worldwide as a leader of Montessori education.
Attending a Hershey Montessori School Open House will inform and equip you to make the best decision for your child’s education. It will also allow you to visualize your child in the school setting and determine if it is a good fit. The feeling you get from being on campus will be an important indicator of whether the school is a good choice for your child and family. Ask questions, be open-minded, and trust your parental instincts.
Hershey Montessori School is being recognized by You Me Montessori in a multi-part series of articles that document our school history and accomplishments. The founders of the organization are from South Africa and the United Kingdom. All currently work in Kuwait in the education field. Their website viewers are from around the world. You can read these articles by clicking on the series title below, or follow our Facebook page to see each article as it is published.
We extend our gratitude to Leon Caesar and his team for their interest in Hershey Montessori School and for their work in sharing Montessori with viewers around the globe.
Stay tuned for more in this series!
You can learn more about Hershey Montessori here on our website
Hershey Montessori’s Upper School students recently held an Election Conference as part of their Humanities project. The conference brought students and experts together, virtually, to discuss issues around elections, specifically, reforming the election process and governance.
The students, led by Hershey guides John Buzzard and Jennifer Snead, connected with several adult experts, including Diane Silver from FairVote, an organization that champions electoral reforms to give voters greater choice, a stronger voice, and a representative democracy that works for all Americans; Cyndi Lucas of Citizen Congress, an app that lets users send their views to federal representatives and vote on bills, nominations, and questions introduced in Congress; Drez Jennings, a writer and expert on politics and media; and a former student of Buzzard, Sara Abdul-Rahim, Associate Director of Development at Georgetown University.
Students from Oak Farm Montessori in Indiana, Montessori School of Winston-Salem in North Carolina, and Beacon Academy in Illinois joined Hershey students and these professionals to discuss several areas of interest. Topics included election reform, ranked-choice voting, immigrant voting, felon disenfranchisement and vote by mail.
The conference was a collaborative effort that brought forth several issues that students were able to give voice to and engage in a critical thinking process that allowed them to express their ideas and concerns over the election process and governance.
Students were afforded the opportunity to give presentations that were followed by a question and answer session. A student action panel made up of students from all the schools also discussed how to take action and get their voices heard – a conversation that was facilitated by expert Cyndi Lucas and by Hershey student Kylie Golden-Appleton.
“We were thrilled with the turnout of students from other schools and the passion that they brought. The student action panel allowed the students to connect around their political ideas, and to find a community of young people eager to take political action. It felt like a way to take one of our responses to the COVID pandemic – working virtually – and make it a strength,” said Buzzard.
Hershey is pleased to provide students with experiential education opportunities that provide real-life skills and insights.
Both the students and experts gained better insight into these important, relevant topics and what our next generation of voters can do to improve them.
Hershey Montessori School has good news to celebrate. ISACS, the Independent Schools Association of the Central States, has approved Hershey as a provisional member, which is the first step towards becoming an ISACS-accredited school. Hershey’s Steering Committee, which began its work in early 2019, is pleased to share this information with the Hershey community.
The Benefits of ISACS Membership
(From the ISACS website)
With Provisional Membership approval, Hershey may now begin the process for full accreditation that involves preparation of the self-study report and accreditation visit. Getting to this stage required submission of our Provisional Membership Application (PMA). The PMA provides ISACS with an assessment of an organization that ensures it currently complies with the standards for full ISACS membership. The PMA required Hershey to provide documented evidence of compliance across 52 standards for membership, including our current policies and practices; mission, philosophy, and goals; school community; programs and activities, student services; governance and administration, personnel; and residential programs. We submitted our PMA in February of this year, which was reviewed and approved by the ISACS board in May.
The impetus to pursue ISACS accreditation came from the growing needs of our school. When Hershey’s Upper School was added five years ago, our community became keenly aware that resources and support provided to independent schools by ISACS would support our plans for continued growth. Our leadership then surveyed teachers, staff, and board members for input on the decision to begin the accreditation process. Together, we concluded that membership in ISACS would be of great benefit to our school and community.
Hershey’s ISACS Steering Committee includes Paula Leigh-Doyle, Laurie Ewert-Krocker, Tania Bertolone, Jennifer Finan, Valerie Raines, and Saren Peetz.
We look forward to the added value this organization will bring to our community.
To learn more about Hershey Montessori, visit our about page here
We warmly invite you to be our guest and take this opportunity to learn about our Adolescent program and curriculum from our staff and students, as well as take a guided tour of our campus.
Join us for a Saturday Open House on October 17, 2020 from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm.
Gain a greater understanding of Montessori education, how Hershey Montessori emphasizes the connection between school and family, school and student, and student and family, and learn why Hershey students love school.
Hershey Montessori School is dedicated to keeping the health and safety of both our school community and those interested in learning more about Hershey. Our Open House will be split into 2 registration times and pre-registration is required.
In keeping with CDC guidelines, upon arrival, visitors will be asked to take their temperature (a temperature of 99.9 or greater will result in having to exit the premises and reschedule for another time), use hand sanitizer, wear a face-covering/mask, and keep physically distanced when interacting with others.
If you have questions about the event, please do not hesitate to contact Hershey Montessori School’s Office at 440-357-0918 or email@example.com.
An Open House for our Birth – 6th grade campus is also being held on October 18th from 1 pm – 3 pm.
Staff eager to welcome new and returning students to campus
Much of Hershey Montessori School’s staff and faculty spent the summer redesigning their campuses, classrooms, and education platforms. Their goal has been to ensure Hershey’s high-quality programs continue to serve students, staff, and families’ needs, while still maintaining an authentic Montessori approach.
Hershey is slated to reopen both campuses later this month with a redesigned face-to-face learning experience for all students. An enhanced remote learning option is also being offered to adolescent students. The on-campus designs are centered around small cohorts of students and implementing all recommended health practices, while enhancing the experience by availing of as much education in our outdoor environments as possible.
“The aspects we learned from last spring’s unexpected launching of remote learning created the opportunity to greatly enhance our remote learning experience,” said Head of School, Paula Leigh-Doyle. “Significant purchases of new technologies will allow for greater engagement and a more interactive experience for our students.”
The school recently released its Healthy Reopening Family Manual that provides insight to its plans and protocols for each educational level of the school. The manual also outlines health and safety protocols and various measures that have been implemented to ensure the well-being of Hershey students, staff and community. The highly-detailed plan is the result of collective input from faculty, staff, students, and parents through surveys and feedback, as well as the collaboration of Hershey’s Contingency Planning Team. The manual, already on it’s second edition, will evolve as new information and recommendations are brought to light.
Ohio’s governor is set to provide additional school guidelines on August 13th. Hershey will make an announcement to its school community on August 14th regarding any changes or additional information that needs to be communicated based on the outcome of the governor’s press conference.
We recognize the the state of uncertainty that we all have endured since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many families are still seeking school options. Hershey is still accepting applications for fall enrollment. We are prepared, and we are excited to safely welcome new and returning students this fall!