Children are human beings to whom respect is due, superior to us by reason of their innocence and of the greater possibilities of their future.

– Maria Montessori

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About Cleveland Montessori

Cleveland Montessori provides excellence in education to the children of Greater Cleveland by discovering and awakening children’s innate talents and abilities, and cultivating a lifetime love of learning and spirit of social responsibility. Cleveland Montessori is deeply committed to authentic Montessori principles and practices for optimizing child education and creative potential.

Enriched by the values of love, respect, justice and joy, and fostered by a diverse and wonderfully nurturing Montessori community, the school serves all children, regardless of race or creed, and is distinctly committed to enhancing the vitality of the Little Italy and University Circle communities.

WHY MONTESSORI?

Students will learn to think deeply and apply practical applications through their own research and expression.

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STAFF

Teachers at Cleveland Montessori are professionals with college degrees and Montessori (AMI or AMS) training.

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PARENT HANDBOOK

Provides an overview of the general policies & procedures related to the daily operations of the school

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Montessori School in Cultural Cleveland Setting

Located in the heart of Cleveland’s Little Italy, our school is based on the principles of Italian educator and physician, Dr. Maria Montessori. Our skilled Montessori-credentialed teachers act as guides — using Montessori classroom materials and our “urban classroom” as we engage in the life of the Little Italy neighborhood and the institutions of University Circle. Our students not only plan their own visits to area museums, they also design innovative philanthropic outreach to those in need, from our elderly neighbors to school children in India.

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“The peace and joy you have in your room is inspiring!”

– Grandmother of a lower elementary student

“The children really enjoy their classroom, for you can tell by their engagement within the class.”

– Aunt of a primary student

Introduction to Cleveland Montessori

Meet Our Staff

Tina Schneider

Executive Director/Primary Guide

Tina holds a B.S. in Education/Early Childhood Education from Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania…

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David Bartholow

Adolescent Guide

David Bartholow grew up in Fort Collins, CO, and moved east to attend Cornell University School of Engineering, where…

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Christian Evans

Primary/Elementary Support & Physical Education

Christian has been working at Cleveland Montessori for 2 years. Ever since he discovered the Montessori philosophy…

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Nicole George

Upper Elementary Guide

Nicole graduated from Lake Erie College with a B.A. in Education in 1999 and has been teaching in various settings…

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Melissa Gruden

Primary Guide

Melissa has a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education and an Early Childhood Credential in Montessori for…

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Diane Haughney

Adolescent Guide

Diane holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from The City University of New York, an M.A. in Spanish from Middlebury College…

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India Keller

Reading Intervention/Support

India received a Bachelor of Arts from Hiram College in 2012. As part of her previous career in local food…

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Kerrie Lodowski

Elementary Assistant

Kerrie earned a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from The University of Texas at Austin in 2006 then moved to Cleveland for…

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Mel Minich

Primary Assistant & Foreign Language Instructor

Yeon Hee Kim aka “Mel Minich” earned bachelor’s degrees in International Trade and Chinese Language and Literature…

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Mary Polk

Lower Elementary Guide

Mary received her AMI Montessori diploma to teach ages 6-12 years of age from the Montessori Institute of Milwaukee in 2002…

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Nolan Reed

Primary Guide

Nolan earned a B.M. in Music Performance from Columbus State University. Shortly after receiving the degree, in 2020, Nolan…

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Cheryl Serrano

Office Manager

Cheryl was born and raised in California and moved to Cleveland in October of 2006 seeking a change in environment…

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The Montessori Parent

Welcome!

Parents are important team members working toward the common goal of student success.

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Why Montessori?

MONTESSORI EDUCATION TRADITIONAL EDUCATION
Prepared environment with hands-on self-correcting materials Textbooks, pencil and paper, workbooks, etc.
Uninterrupted work cycles Set time periods for each student
Multi-age groupings with three-year age span Single-graded groupings
School meets needs of individual students Students expected to fit school mold
Students active participants with freedom to move around Students passively seated in desks
Process-focused progress reports Product-focused report cards
Student centered Teacher centered
Teacher is an observer and guides students Teach directs learning
Child sets pace – individualized Teacher sets pace – students move forward as a group
Emphasis on the concrete Emphasis on abstract
Students seek help from and provide help to each other Students seek help from teacher
Recognition of child development and sensitive periods in guiding each child Each child directed the same way
Most students’ work completed during the school day – Homework is purposeful Most students’ work completed at home after school hours
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