Welcome to the 2019-20 school year!
Over the past several years we the staff of Cottage School have committed to building an educational program based on the philosophy of Dr. Maria Montessori. As part of her studies, Dr. Montessori found that environment was a key factor in the behaviors exhibited by children. She believed that the educational environment should be deliberately prepared and that children would learn from their experiences and discoveries.Inspired by the Montessori philosophy, the mission of Cottage is to guide and empower each child to think critically while becoming an intrinsically motivated, 21st century learner who understands their responsibility within the diverse planet, through the delivery of personalized instruction, in a child-centered environment supported by a nurturing community. As such, the staff of Cottage School has adopted a vision of providing an environment of learning that honors each individual child's goals and dreams, in a diverse community that nurtures growth, respects students, and supports families. As the only Montessori school in the San Juan Unified School District, we are proud of our success in creating a unique learning environment for our young scholars and in creating a community culture that is evident to anyone who visits our campus. Our work in establishing an environment that is both positive and supportive of all students is especially evident based on the level of student engagement in their own learning and the lack of disciplinary incidents.Montessori Education at Cottage School is fully established throughout the grade levels served on campus and all of our teachers hold both California teaching credentials as well as credentials from either the American or International Montessori Society. We serve students from 4 to 6 years old in Early Childhood (Transitional Kindergarten and Kindergarten), Lower Elementary (1st, 2nd, 3rd grade) and Upper Elementary (4th, 5th grade) classes. We are proud of our peaceful learning community.This year we will be working with National Center for Montessori in the Public Sector, a nationally recognized Montessori organization, to evaluate our current program and make any refinements to ensure that we are providing all of our students the best quality educational experiences. Our goals and targets for this year continue to focus on community culture and the enhancement of academic achievement with many staff members having continued their training over the summer to ensure that we continue to correlating the Montessori philosophy of education with Common Core State Standards, strengthening our partnerships with families and community, and integrating through all a climate that is described by a few simple words…Show Grace. Act Responsibly. Build Peace.We welcome parent and community participation in building an environment where all of our children succeed and there are opportunities to support our children through our Parent Teacher Association, parent committees such as our English Learner Advisory Committee, and our School Site Council, as well as through various volunteer opportunities throughout the year.Our PTA will be hosting a membership drive during our Back to School Nights:TK/Kindergarten: September 5Lower Elementary Grades 1-3: August 28Upper Elementary Grades 4-5: September 4This year we will also be hosting Family education events the first Friday of each month. Topic areas will include information about Montessori education as well as upcoming events such as parent conferences, report cards, testing, etc.We look forward to seeing everyone again and hope you have had a great summer!Arthur A. Estrada Jr.Arthur A. Estrada Jr., Ed.D.Principal