Some Interesting Things About Us

Springs East Overview


At Springs East Montessori School, we focus on the education of the whole child. Learning the right answers will get you through school; learning how to learn will get you through life. At Springs East, we emphasize teaching not correcting. Children learn to try, and risk making mistakes, without being constantly corrected; it is a natural way of learning something new. In the preschool age group, learning how to organize serves as the basis of learning how to think. An organized environment reinforces how to organize one’s work. An organized workspace leads to a productive work period and thus to an organized mind. In the Kindergarten and Elementary years, our approach is to teach students to think and reason, not merely to memorize, feedback, and forget. The Montessori approach developed from Maria Montessori’s observations that children learn most effectively through direct experience and the process of investigation and discovery. No two students learn at the same pace, nor do they necessarily have the same learning styles. Montessori is flexible and innovative in creating learning materials that will address each student’s learning style. To prepare students for a challenging education, they need to develop a strong sense of independence and self-discipline and they need to discover their innate abilities. We are a school where children can blossom! We seek to inspire a passion for excellence and to instill joy in learning through nurturing curiosity, creativity, and imagination.




Learning How To Learn


Young children are naturally curious, want to be active, and want to work with everything they can get their hands on. They absorb language from their surroundings and want to know the names of things they see. When we provide them with intriguing learning materials and a challenging atmosphere, children spontaneously explore the materials and how they work. All children learn through hands-on experience, more so than by listening to their teachers’ explanations. They need opportunities to learn through discovery and touching the materials. Through guided lessons, they build knowledge and then are given opportunities to practice, to acquire new skills, and expand their understanding. Our teachers lead children to discover answers for themselves through a deep understanding of the concept. Learning becomes its own reward, and each success fuels a desire to discover even more. Students are encouraged to research ideas that interest them, analyze what they have found, and come to their own conclusions. Our goal is to lead students to think for themselves and become actively engaged in the learning process. Students learn from the mistakes they make and they learn it is okay to make mistakes. Few things in life come easily the first time; success can be found through trial and error without developing a sense of failure. Success in school is directly tied to the degree that children believe in themselves as capable and independent human beings. Young children often say: “I want to do it myself!” As we allow students to develop independence and self-confidence, we also set a pattern for a lifetime of good work habits and a sense of responsibility. Grace and courtesy are vital life skills that children develop through interacting with others and the modeling of those they encounter. Practice comes in real life interactions so that new situations can be handled with confidence as they become independent. We encourage our students to treat everyone with dignity and respect. As a close-knit community, students at Springs East Montessori School experience an atmosphere of warmth, safety and mutual trust. They learn to speak politely to friends and to clean up after themselves.




Education Is A Partnership


The heart of any good school is its faculty. Each teacher has been chosen with great care. Our teachers radiate warmth, professional insight, skill and dedication. They share a common philosophy and are united in their approach to teaching. In each of our classes there is a Montessori certified teacher. Associate teachers are chosen because of special talents and qualities that enhance the educational program. All teachers continue their professional growth through ongoing studies and educational symposia. Our goal is to build a strong partnership with families as we work with your children and create a positive atmosphere for learning, sharing and growing. Parents are encouraged to participate in our in-school field trips and holiday celebrations throughout the year.




An Environment for Learning


A Montessori classroom is commonly referred to as a prepared environment. This name reflects the care and attention that is given to creating a learning environment that will pique their curiosity and reinforce the children’s independence and intellectual development. Our Classrooms are our student’s homes away from home -- and we strive to make them as attractive as possible. Springs East classrooms tend to fascinate both children and their parents. They are bright, warm, and inviting; they are filled with appealing learning materials, fascinating art, maps, charts, fossils, and historical artifacts. These elements entice the children to inquire and seek to learn more about the world around them – both in the classroom, and at home. Our classrooms are set up to facilitate student interaction and stimulate collaborative learning. Typically, students can be found scattered around the classroom, working alone or in small groups. They tend to become so focused in their work that visitors are immediately struck by the sense of calmness and peace. It may take a moment to spot the teachers within the environment. They will be found working with one or two children at a time. They may be advising, presenting a new lesson, or quietly observing the class at work.




The World of Tomorrow


In the past, when mankind’s body of knowledge was relatively fixed and limited, the most efficient education consisted of lecture, drill and memorization. In an era of technological revolution and social change, the foundation of a good education is learning how to learn. Our course of study focuses on the education of the whole child – mind, body, and spirit. Our students learn how to think clearly, do their own research, express themselves well in writing and speech, and to put their knowledge to practical application. At Springs East, lessons are introduced simply and concretely in the early years. The focus is on building the child’s vocabulary and base of knowledge and helping them acquire and refine the motor skills that enable more detailed work in later years. Lessons with the same materials may be reintroduced in the following years, extending a child’s understanding to increasing degrees of abstraction and complexity. Our Elementary Program is an integrated thematic approach that ties the separate disciplines of curriculum together into studies of the physical universe, the world of nature, and the human experience. This integrated approach is one of Springs East’s strengths and makes our course of study innovative. As an example, when our students study world history, they read world literature, study the arts, history, clothing, culture and social issues of that time period. Although we offer a warm, supportive academic atmosphere, we set a high level of expectation for the quality of thought, work, and mastery of content. Since our founding in 1967, Springs East Montessori School has already produced five decades of graduates who have found success and are recognized for their character, leadership, and academic achievements.




Developing A Mathematical Mind


In Montessori we use hands-on learning materials that make abstract concepts clear and concrete. Students can literally see and explore what is going on. Our approach to learning mathematics is based on the research of Dr. Maria Montessori. It offers a clear and logical strategy for helping students both understand and develop a sound foundation in mathematics and geometry. As an example, consider the very basis of Mathematics: the decimal system -- units, tens, hundreds, and thousands. Since quantities larger than twenty rarely have any meaning to a young child, Dr. Montessori reasoned that we should present this abstract concept graphically. Children cannot normally conceive of the size of one hundred, thousand, or million; much less the idea that one thousand is equal to ten hundreds or one hundred tens. Montessori overcame this obstacle by developing a concrete representation of the decimal system. Single one-centimeter beads represent units; a unit of ten is made up on a bar of ten beads strung together; hundreds are squares made up of ten-bars; and thousands are cubes made up of ten hundred-squares. Together, they form a visually and intellectually impressive tool for learning. Very young children can form large numbers. “Please bring me three thousands, five hundreds, six tens and one unit.” From this foundation, all of the operations in Mathematics, such as the addition of quantities into thousands, become clear and concrete allowing the child to internalize a clear image of how the process works. Montessori mathematics climbs in sophistication through the higher levels. It includes a careful study of the practical application of mathematics in everyday life, such as measurement, handling finances, making economic comparisons, or in gathering data and statistical analyses. Practical economics is another important element in our curriculum. One of our early lessons for the young child is recognition and value of pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, and dollars. At age six students learn to recognize the value of a dollar, and how to make change, and what a dollar can buy.




Language and Literature


The process of learning how to read should be as simple as learning how to speak. We begin by placing our youngest students in classes in which the older students are already reading. All children want to “do what the big kids can do,” and as the intriguing work that absorbs the older students involves reading, there is a natural lure for the young child. The process of learning to read and write at Springs East comes naturally and begins with a child’s first interest. He begins by learning the phonetic sounds of the alphabet, using his growing knowledge to read and write increasingly complex words and sentences. Mastery of basic skills normally develops so smoothly that students tend to exhibit a sudden “explosion into spelling and reading,” which leaves our young students, not to mention their families, beaming with pride. Once our young students have made their first breakthroughs into reading, they tend to proceed rapidly. There is typically a quick jump from reading and writing single words to sentences and stories. We begin to teach the functions of grammar and sentence structure to students as young as first grade, just as they are first learning to put words together to express themselves. This leads them to master these vital skills during a time in their lives when it is a delight. Before long, they learn to write naturally and well. During the Elementary years, we increasingly focus on the development of research and composition skills. Our students write every day, learning to organize increasingly complex ideas and information into well-written stories, poems, reports, plays and student publications. Finally, and most importantly, the key to our language arts curriculum is the quality of the things we give our children to read. From an early age, children are given first-rate children’s books and fascinating works on science, history, geography, and the arts. Literary studies continue every year thereafter keeping them engaged and excited.




History and Geography Come Alive!


We are all members of the human family. Our roots lie in the distant past, and history is the story of our common heritage. Without a strong sense of history, we cannot begin to know who we are as individuals today. We instill in our students a global perspective. With this goal in mind, we teach history and world cultures from age three through graduation.

  • Our youngest students work with specially designed maps and begin to learn the name of the world’s continents and countries.
  • Physical geography begins in Kindergarten with the study of the rivers, lakes, deserts, and mountain ranges of The United States.
  • In first grade we continue with the study of the formation of the Earth, the emergence of the oceans, atmosphere and the evolution of life. We learn about the world’s rivers, lakes, deserts, mountain ranges and natural resources.
International studies begin for the younger children learning about the different children of our world and the studies continue through all grades. The curriculum integrates art, music, dance, cooking, geography, literature and science.
  • The children learn to try and enjoy authentic food from all over the world. They learn the traditional folk songs and dances.
  • We celebrate all national holidays and a wide range of holidays that reflect America’s ethnic diversity.
  • In Elementary classes, the older students begin to study world cultures in greater depth: the customs, government, industry, the arts, history and dress.
Keep in mind that our students go to school and grow up with children from diverse cultural backgrounds. They learn to treasure the richness of their own cultural heritage, and those of their friends.




Hands On Science


Science is an integral element of our curriculum. Among other things, it represents a way of life: a clear, thinking approach. We want them to observe, analyze, experiment and predict possible outcomes. We want our students to be fascinated by the universe. Our program is designed to cultivate our students’ curiosity and determination to discover. They learn how to observe, patiently analyze, and work at each problem.

  • The very young child at Springs East is enthralled with seeing the constellations and learning their names. They do so with a sense of eager curiosity and wonder.
  • They eagerly engage in field trips and experiments, and look forward to observing the outcomes.
  • With encouragement and a solid foundation, even young children are ready and anxious to investigate their world, to wonder at the interdependence of living things, to explore the ways in which the physical universe works, and to project how it came to be.
  • The scope of our elementary science curriculum allows us to guide students to discover and learn scientific facts and processes.
  • Our curriculum includes, but is not limited to, topics from botany, zoology, physical science, machines, and technology, astronomy, geology, ecology, earth science, weather, and the medical sciences.
  • Our campus includes a natural wildlife habit -- an ideal laboratory for first-hand nature study.
In winter, the children study the wildlife of the forest. They look for animal tracks and learn how animals protect themselves from the winter cold. As spring approaches, they love to see and discover the first bud or crocus poking out of the dormant earth. In spring and fall, students hike through the woods looking for wild flowers. They look forward to seeing how many different kinds of birds they can spot. And spotting an occasional wild turkey or white-tailed deer, leaves a memory for a lifetime.




Exposing Children to the Arts Through In-House Field Trips


Field trips take place within the school and include numerous high-quality artistic performances as well as themed educational programs. Early exposure to the arts is an important element of our curriculum. In Montessori, the Arts are integrated within the curriculum and are modes of exploring and expanding lessons that have been introduced in science, history, geography, English, and mathematics. Our music program focuses on different music forms, rhythms and a variety of seasonal songs and movement activities.




Physical Education and Health


Our physical education program emphasizes enjoyable participation in physical activity. The program helps students develop the knowledge, attitudes, motor skills, and confidence needed to maintain physically active and healthy lifestyles. Nina Mishchenko, winner of two Olympic gold medals, designed our physical education curriculum. In the Moscow Olympics, she received a gold medal as a synchronized swimmer. In the Seoul Olympics, she received a gold medal as a fencing coach. Nina played a key role in developing the physical education curriculum at Springs East, and conducted our teacher training seminars in how to help children become physically fit for life. Health education emphasizes proper nutrition and eating habits. The younger children focus on the basic concepts of learning the food groups and the difference between eating “fun foods” and “growing foods”. The older children study healthy eating and learn why they should “eat well.” Older children also learn to respect “drugs” and medications and know they have no place in recreation. Esteem building and character building is an integral part of the Montessori Curriculum and a key factor in helping children adapt and maintain positive and healthy lifestyles.




What Makes Springs East Special?


We begin with a deep respect for the child as a unique individual. We work from a deep concern form his or her social and emotional development, because there is far more to education than mastering facts.

  • Springs East Montessori School is a warm and supportive community of students, teachers, and parents. You can’t get lost in the crowd!
  • We consciously teach our students to be kind and respectful.
  • Our classrooms are bright and exciting environments for learning.
  • At Springs East, our goal is to develop students who really understand their schoolwork.
  • Our students learn through hands-on experience, investigation and research. They become actively engaged in their studies.
  • Springs East is consciously designed to recognize and address different learning styles, helping students learn more effectively.
  • Our students develop self-discipline and an internal sense of purpose and motivation. After graduation, they find that these values really pay off later in life.
  • Springs East Montessori School is an international school. Both our curriculum and student body reflect a global perspective.
  • We instill within our students a love for the natural world. Outdoor education is an essential part of every student’s life at Springs East.
  • Springs East students are not afraid of making mistakes; they see them as natural steps in the learning process. Our motto is to teach teaching not correcting.
  • Our aim us to make each child feel special. Through warmth and encouragement, a child builds confidence as he recognizes that learning gets easier with practice.




Admission


Obviously, no school can be all things to all people, nor can it be right for every child. The goal of our admissions process is to ensure a good match between your family’s values and objectives for your children and those of our school. Springs East Montessori School is a school that holds values rare in today’s world. We are looking for families with similar goals who are seeking a school that reflects their values and philosophy. We work closely with parents as an extension of the home. We invite you to visit and see our program in action. We hold Open Houses throughout the year. Call our office to let us know when you would like to visit. Pre-school, Kindergarten and Elementary students visit the school with their parents as part of the admissions process. We receive most applications between October and March 1st. Late applications and applications for mid-year admissions are considered as space is available. We consider each application as it is received; we develop a waiting list when all spaces have been filled for the current year. Springs East Montessori School admits and works with students without regard to race, religion, national or ethnic origin or physical abilities. 5 Day Programs | Ages 2 – 5 years Preschool / Kindergarten: AM Session (8:45 – 11:45) or PM Session (12:45 – 3:30) or Full Day (8:45 – 3:30) 3 Day Program | Preschool Ages 2 & 3 AM Session (8:45-11:45) or PM Session (12:30-3:30) Extended Care Programs: Before School Begins at 7:30 AM and After School Ends at 6:00 PM




Springs East Founding History


Springs East Montessori School was founded in 1967 by Ann Griesdorn, a visionary teacher who believes that the essence of true teaching is to inspire the young mind through the joy of finding success in the learning process. -- Ann Weil Griesdorn is the second youngest in a family of eight children born and raised in Cincinnati. Growing up in such a large family, she was fortunate to be exposed to and experience a wide array of interests and passions. Among the most coveted family interest was a devotion to the Arts. The large family environment gave Ann a profound respect and curiosity for each individual’s unique growth and development. This curiosity later grew into a passion for understanding how each child learns and perceives the world in his or her unique way. After attending Edgecliff College, today Xavier University, and during her undergraduate years, Ann went to New York and graduated from one of the first Montessori training programs in the United States. This program was instructed by Mario Montessori, Maria Montessori’s son. While in her Montessori training program, Mario encouraged Miss Ann to follow her passion to develop new and unique learning materials for children. After completion of her course work, Miss Ann then worked at the Washington Montessori Institute to help design and develop materials that were to be used in classrooms across the country. She now trains Montessori teachers internationally. Miss Ann later returned to Cincinnati to found Springs East Montessori School and attended additional post-graduate course work in early childhood education at Xavier University. The school has continued to grow over the past four decades into a warm, loving community of students, families, and teachers, committed to giving their children a world-class education.




Extended Day Programs


Our extended day programs have been designed to support two-career families. We offer before and after school programs running from 7:30 am until school starts at 8:45 am, and from the end of the school day until 6:00 pm. The before and after school program is conducted by our Montessori trained staff. The program includes active sports and games, arts and crafts, and outdoor play. We also offer summer camps that continue the Montessori learning activities as well as incorporating more outdoor learning and fun games.