Welcome to our 2021 Virtual Open House
This year due to covid restrictions our teachers and staff have created a lovely video to give you an overall sense of our Montessori program and environment.
Please start with reading our 2020-2021 school year update from Amy Neron, Casa/Lower Elementary Montessori Educator, about our new Elementary program and the challenges that Perth Children’s House has dealt with this past year. Then click on the youtube video below to view our open house video.
After watching the video if you have any questions please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to answer them.
2020-2021 School year update
Perth Children’s House Montessori Elementary program has been a long time in the making. In March of 2020 it appeared that everything was aligning for the inaugural year to begin in September 2020. Then COVID hit, distance learning emerged, and it wasn’t clear if students would be returning to the classroom in September. A scary prospect for a new program. However, we took the leap, planned as best as we could for every scenario imaginable (and there were some we couldn’t imagine) and took the leap with 13 families on board.
As a parent run school there were a lot of volunteer hours accrued during the summer. Between the teacher, the board, and parent volunteers PCH Elementary took shape. One family donated a stone circle and created an amazing outdoor learning space and inside the classroom the grade 1 – 3 program came together.
The board developed a comprehensive Covid policy package and just like everyone we dealt with uncertainty, frequent changes to guidelines and requirements and the need to sort out what it all meant for us and how it applied to our situation.
Q1: How did the first half of the school year go with all the COVID protocols in place?
It was a tremendous amount of work. Once we had our screening and sanitizing procedures finalized, implementing them and starting up with students went very smoothly. Seeing the students’ faces in the space made it all worthwhile.
Q2: How did the kids handle learning (maybe explain the learning technique – via Zoom, or by whatever means you engaged them)
Students were very happy to be back in the classroom in September and adapted quickly to the necessary adjustments. From Sept-Dec, a typical Montessori three hour work period occurred each morning, and the afternoons involved a learning period and unstructured play outdoors (yes, even in the rain and snow!).
After the Christmas break, our program was delivered online for 2 weeks. Our amazing teacher designed and delivered an engaging online program that offered as close to a Montessori experience as possible. The Montessori program encourages the development of intrinsic motivation and love of learning – both of which proved invaluable for students while they learned remotely. Students met on Zoom twice a day as a class to maintain a routine and sense of connection, and one-on-one support was available every day to all of the students. Students were eager to get to work each morning and so much incredible learning happened!
Although distance learning was a huge success for PCH everyone was over the moon happy to get back to the classroom when in person learning resumed in January.
Q3: How many students did you have, and will you have more for the second half?
In our first semester, we had 13 students which was a great number to start with in our inaugural year. We have space in our program for additional students and will have openings in September as well. Interested families are encouraged to visit our website for more information and details on how to register.
Q4: What is the daily structure like?
Our Daily Structure begins with drop off and outdoor recess. Our Morning Classroom Session which involves independent classroom work/activities, projects, reading groups, studies in Language, Art, Math, Music, History, Geography(Physical/Cultural), Botany, Zoology, Science, Peace, and Cosmic Education – a cornerstone of Montessori education which gives students a clearer understanding of the structure of the natural world, and their connection to it.
Students are taught to initiate their own learning and are self led according to their interests. Ongoing presentations with the teacher guide them through the curriculum.
We dine together for lunch, often outdoors when the weather permits. Most of the afternoon is spent outside with Recess followed by learning in our Outdoor Classroom.
We have a wonderful after school program that is provided by parent volunteers offering a variety of programming e.g. skating, mindfulness meditation, nature hikes, physical education and games. Programming for after school changes depending on how long each session is offered by families.
Q5: Will anything change for the second part of the school year?
The PCH classroom and our distance learning program have been really lovely, even with the Covid challenges, our students are thriving and happy! This is a really special school and it offers so much to our Perth community.
Next semester we are prepared to either be here at our classroom in the brown shoe building or online as necessary. Whatever comes our way we will continue to move forward and we are excited for more learning, exploration and discovery!
Elementary Educator & PCH Supervisor
Perth Children House