Montessori may come to Mid-Mo next fall

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JEFFERSON CITY - Mid-Missouri could be gaining its second, fully-accredited Montessori school.

Tonight Woodland Montessori will put forward its request to Jefferson City’s Planning and Zoning Commission to rezone more than three acres of rural space for the facility.

Applicant for the space Melissa Steck has dreamed of opening her very own Montessori school for years.

“I’m ready; I’m very excited. This opportunity has come about and I feel like it’s the perfect location and a perfect spot. It’s beautiful, easy accessibility, close to the highway but kind of sits back so it’s a hidden treasure out here.”

An existing building on the property will be turned into the school. The classroom will hold 24 students ages three to six.

Steck says the type of learning at a Montessori school prepares kids early on. Instead of handing children worksheets to complete, she says they use hands-on activities to teach children real-world tasks and problem solving.

“There’s a lot of practical life skills, such as tying, food preparation, pouring, washing a table...all of those things that lead to independence for the child. In sensorial, it’s more didactic materials; they are classifying things with the outside world,” she said.

Maria Montessori started the learning school in the 1800’s. Today the curriculum and teaching materials are the same with practical life, sensory learning, mathematics and language curriculum.

Students also taught cultural studies, cursive writing, reading, and sentence analysis. Steck says with mathematics, the children are taught basic numbers and even fractions and decimals.

“It’s a great environment for all children to have and to learn and not only get a head start on learning but preparation for life in general.”

She plans to hire a teaching assistant in the classroom and add to the property outdoors as well.

“We’re planning on putting in a circle drive so it’s safer for children drop-off and pick-up so that parents are not backing out, they are pulling through,” Steck said. She also says they hope to add a playground area and plant some trees.

“This has been a long-term dream of mine. I actually started a business plan five years ago and have been looking for the perfect place to start and when I found this, I knew it was the right one.”