There is something special about the first day of school, a feel of anticipation and excitement. As adults, we cannot help remembering our first day back in school, or possibly attending school for the first time. From crying toddlers, to crying parents, to anxious teenagers who are not sure how they would fit in and make friends.
The uniqueness about St. Stephen’s Episcopal School is that it follows Montessori from 15 months to 6th grade and IMYC (International Middle Years Curriculum) in 7th and 8th grades. One of the principles in Montessori is multi-age grouping, in which case the students remain with the same teacher for three years. When the returning students arrive after the summer, they are already familiar with their classmates and teachers, which lowers the level of anxiety and increases the level of comfort. The same for the 7th and 8th grade students, they are with the same teachers for two years.
Separation is hard on parents, especially new toddler parents. They watch their children leave the carpool line with teachers they have known for a few days. It is a frightening feeling for some. And then, the amazing transformation happens in a couple of weeks. Toddlers say goodbye to their parents with a smile at the carpool line, parents are comfortable leaving their children with teachers they trust, and children are having the best time at St. Stephen’s.
With a few days of school under our belt, we look forward to students growing in a free and positive environment, learning to approach challenges with enthusiasm and finding true joy in acquiring knowledge.
“Our goal is not so much the imparting of knowledge as the unveiling and developing of spiritual energy.” Maria Montessori
Nahla Nasser - Principal