VMS Montessori education has a deep commitment to the arts and cultural awareness and our community. Our arts curriculum works toward making meaningful connections with their classroom curricular work and the community around them.
Additional programs that enhance academic offerings include the following.
VMS has a deep commitment to the arts, cultural awareness, and our community. Our arts curriculum works toward making meaningful connections between the students’ classroom curricular work and the community around them.
Spanish is taught in both Elementary I and Elementary II and primary classrooms by faculty member, Cristina Dominguez, who has been teaching languages since 2011.
Drama is very effective in developing the whole child. At VMS, children learn how to work with others and learn teamwork when being part of a cast. In order to create an interesting scene or portray a realistic character, they need to tap into their inner well of creativity. Discovering their talent and abilities and putting them on stage is a fantastic way to build self-confidence.
Music enriches students’ lives and education and helps develop language and reasoning. At VMS, theater and music are taught by Joyce Maxner, who produces a play production incorporating music and teaching theatrical language and stage presence.
Additionally, violin is taught weekly by violinist, Rebecca Laird, who holds a Master of Music Degree from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University in Violin Performance and another in Musicology. Ms. Laird has played with orchestras, ensembles, and music festivals throughout the east coast.
Farm to School
Island Grown Schools is a farm-to-school program whose mission is to empower a new generation of children to make healthy eating choices, learn to grow food, and connect to local farms. VMS students design, plant, and harvest their own garden beds. The Island Grown Schools classroom curriculum supports the children’s learning by giving them an appreciation for the farming profession, building knowledge that everyone can grow food, making connections between healthy soil, healthy plants, and healthy people, and instilling a confidence to make healthy food choices.
VMS’ outdoor classroom allows student to immerse themselves in nature, ecology, teambuilding, and challenge, while also having fun and learning. Their outside activities enhance their classroom curriculum and teach them to appreciate and respect nature and their environment
Physical Education and Sports
Our physical education program includes, but is not limited to, tennis, yoga, capoeira, island hiking, swimming, and ice skating.
Our weekly Reading Buddies program is led by our elementary students. These students assume a tutor-like relationship with the primary (age 4-6) students. Aside from the academic focus, the partnership accentuates the development of social skills and community relationships between the two age groups.
Our students benefit greatly—both academically and emotionally—from volunteering their time to make the community and world a better place. Our students enjoy participating in community service giving projects, where they can see first-hand just how much their work can impact the MV community. Our elementary classroom typically supports the Vineyard Haven Public library in their fundraising efforts. VMS and the Vineyard Haven Public library have had a 15-year community service relationship.
Siblings of children already enrolled in the school and Montessori transfer students are given preference in enrolling.
Model Montessori United Nations
Model Montessori United Nations (MMUN) is an optional program for all students in grades 4-6. Through research, collaboration, role playing, and research paper and speech writing, students prepare for a three-day conference in NYC. Once in NYC, they debate, write, and vote on resolutions for sophisticated world issues. The children develop collegiality amongst other Montessori students from different schools forming a global support network.
VMS hosts LEtGO Your Mind each summer, which offers fun and enriching programs using LEGOs in the areas of simple machines and robotics, along with an introduction to stop animation. Using STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) principles, students become LEGO builders, creating machines based on a given weekly theme. LEtGO Your Mind Summer Programs are for students between the ages of 4 and 13 and are offered at VMS during the summer.
Student Skills Acquired During the Week
- Problem solving skills
- Planning skills
- Confidence building
- Data analysis
- Higher level thinking skills