Adam Attends the Arbor Montessori School in Georgia, USA

3 May 2023
Arbor 1 Arbor Montessori School 4 Arbor Montessori School 2
“It was wonderful to feel the same sense of community and cooperation in the Arbor Montessori Adolescent Program that we are seeking to develop in our program.”
Adam Scotney, Principal

I recently spent two days at Arbor Montessori School in Atlanta, Georgia. Arbor Montessori School has been established for over 50 years offering authentic Montessori programs for Toddler, 3-6, 6-9, 9-12 and an Adolescent program which includes Years 7 & 8. The Adolescent program at Arbor has been running for about 25 years and is well established.

The staff at Arbor Montessori are generally AMI trained, and the school felt very similar to Northside in many ways. All the classroom environments across the school looked similar and the classrooms were very calm.

While moving across the school, I spent a good deal of time in the Adolescent Program. It was wonderful to feel the same sense of community and cooperation in the Arbor Montessori Adolescent Program that we are seeking to develop in our program. It is clear from the routines and activities that their program has been in operation for decades rather than years.

Nonetheless, I am encouraged to speak with the David, the program Coordinator and hear that our program is very much on the right track. At Arbor the students are very involved in project work and ‘micro economies’ or ‘occupations’, they undertake a lot of community cooking, and students undertake curriculum work in a variety of ways to demonstrate their learning.

It really is a lovely way for students to learn and their depth of knowledge was clear through the presentations that I listened to from the Arbor students.

My second day at Arbor Montessori School was very different to the first. About 4 – 5 times throughout the year the Adolescent Program hold a ‘Coffee Corner and Market Day’ stall for the whole school community. This is an initiative that has been occurring in the Adolescent Program at Arbor for many, many years.

There are a number of ‘legacy’ type events that occur at the school, and while the students are free to change some aspects of these events, the students enjoy the process of these days and it has stayed largely the same for many years. Events such as this in the program are also opportunities for the  Adolescent Program at Arbor raise money from these events. The students use this money to support future initiatives as well as charitable activities decided by the whole group.

The Day prior to the Coffee Corner and Market Day the whole classroom is transformed into the Coffee Shop. This time there was a St Patricks Day theme which was the coming weekend. The  students hung a curtain to separate the kitchen area from the coffee shop, students move furniture, set table cloths, table decorations, and vacuum the entire space. Meanwhile the students in the kitchen are making a variety of  foods such as Burritos x 150, a mixture of scone x 200 and setting up the tea and coffee making equipment. Student’s practical work is also on sale such as chopping boards, soaps and candles that the students have made.

It was lovely to see the students at Arbor working cooperatively, supporting each others roles and also taking directions from those charged with the responsibility of running certain aspects of the event.

The opportunities for students in a program such as this are endless.

While our Adolescent Program at Northside has only been in operation for a couple of years, we have seen our students engage in Micro Economies such as Planet Pens, and begin to take small steps in developing a program that will provide these types of opportunities within our program for many, many years.