“The greatest thing about Santa Cruz Montessori, for me, is all the great friends I made while I was there. The environment allows you to develop great relationships with people.”—SCM Alum
Ages 6 to 12 years/Grades 1 to 6
“Everything invented by man, physical or mental, is the fruit of someone’s imagination, and when we propose to introduce the universe to the child, what but imagination can be of use to us?”—Maria Montessori
Our Lower Elementary classrooms (named “Adobe,” “Evergreen,” and “Sequoia”) and Upper Elementary classrooms (named “Cypress” and “Junior”) provide an environment for children to continue to develop their reasoning, imaginative minds. Our teachers guide elementary students as they contemplate all aspects of the world around them, the universe, and their responsibilities as part of a society.
The Elementary classrooms provide a wide variety of carefully designed Montessori materials to bring the children into contact with practical and concrete means of exploring and mastering a rich curriculum. Students study the interdependence of life; the development of civilization, language, and culture; and their roles as contributors to and stewards of life on Earth.
The elementary program provides a developmentally based and integrated approach to the child’s studies, which include:
Language — Speaking, self-expression, writing, grammar, and reading.
Art and music— Expression, individual, and group projects.
Mathematics — Montessori manipulatives for arithmetic, geometry, and algebra,
Science — Biology, chemistry, geology, geography, physics, astronomy.
History — Study of the development of human cultures within a framework of the fundamental needs of humans. All of these are available every day.
Specialty teachers work with the children on a weekly basis in the areas of Spanish and French, art, music, and physical education. Students study drama and participate in a play each year.
Students in Santa Cruz Montessori Elementary classes have many different opportunities to experience the world outside their classroom. Part of the child’s learning environment is the greater community, and a “going out,” or short trip in small groups, which is planned by the students themselves as an extension of their study, is common in the elementary classes. A going out might be a trip to the library or to the local museum, or it might be a community service project.
Each of the classes also has at least one camping trip each year, where children can explore the outdoors, challenge themselves in new ways, and work together as a community. In addition, the Upper Elementary classes attend a four-day outdoor environmental workshop in the fall and a week-long trip in the spring. Other outings during the year include class trips to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Tech Museum, the O’Neill Sea Odyssey, and local cultural events.
In class, students are allowed to pursue a project in depth without interruption, under the guidance of the teachers who keep careful records on each child’s progress and needs. Multi-age groupings at the elementary level enhance social development, learning, and a sense of belonging.
Lower Elementary – Ages 6 to 9/Grades 1 to 3
The Adobe, Evergreen and Sequoia classes have 2 teachers with approximately 25 students.
Upper Elementary – Ages 9 to 12/Grades 4 to 6
The Cypress and Junior classes each have two teachers with up to 32 students.
Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Santa Cruz Montessori’s upper elementary class (grades 4 to 6) took a trip to Yosemite in 2007. This is an eight minute slideshow documenting their adventures in the giant sequoia groves, Yosemite Valley, Nevada and Vernal Falls, and Yosemite Falls.