Hancock County News

McCordsville's Geist Montessori Academy combines two facilities

Growing and thriving is exactly how Cindy Schuler describes Geist Montessori Academy.


And, after recently moving into a brand new facility those two words could be spot on, as Geist Montessori Academy recently opened its doors at a new location – 6058 W. 900 North, McCordsville.


“Bringing our two school families into one school home has been very exciting and unifying. There are now so many more opportunities since we are all in one building.  Montessori education is meant to be fluid, where children feel just as much a part of the whole community as they do in their own homes,” Schuler told Giant FM.


Schuler said with the new facility, which combined facilities in both Hamilton County and McCordsville, gives the opportunity to do more and better serve the school’s students and families.
“We now have opportunities for children in the upper elementary to come into the lower elementary classrooms to practice giving lessons to younger students and for the younger students to share their new learning with the older children.  This piece of their education allows them to become leaders and see themselves as something bigger than just themselves. Geist Montessori Academy is a growing and thriving school community that was outgrowing its former two smaller campuses.  Being able to have the space to accomplish our shared vision and goals has been satisfying and fulfilling, for we are truly Better Together,” Schuler told Giant FM.


For those not familiar, Montesorri focuses on a student’s concentration and independence, while providing a nurturing and caring community.


“The Montessori philosophy believes that all children are creative, capable, and inquisitive, and when given the freedom to choose their own learning activities, learning is real, relevant, and rewarding. This allows children to see all of the opportunities to explore and develop their inner passions, to truly be the very best that they can be,” Schuler said.


Schuler told Giant FM each child is valued for their unique gifts and talents, while providing a nurturing and caring community.


“Each child is valued for his/her unique gifts and talents and is given the opportunity to truly explore and develop his/her potential.  The Montessori philosophy is child-centered, individualized, and utilizes multi-sensory materials to deepen and enrich the learning experiences. This allows children to learn at their own level and at their own pace. Further, it encourages creativity and feeds children’s innate curiosity, which feeds their hunger for lifelong learning. The Montessori Method also exposes students to a wide variety of cultures and encourages children to broaden their thinking about the world. Parents, the natural environment, and the community are also an integral part of the Montessori Method. All of this enables children to see school as an extension of the home and the world, where learning is boundless and the support and inspiration is all around,” Schuler said.
And, the students are also very vocal with the education and facility, as was evidenced by the middle school students helping lay the foundation for the new facility.


“What an amazing accomplishment for our older students.  It is an absolute joy to announce that our very own middle schoolers truly helped lay the foundation for our new school.  One of the cornerstones of Montessori education is authentic learning experiences for the students. 

 

Empowering them to help be a part of the new campus was critical in ensuring that their voice and choice was heard. In addition, it allowed the physical space to better support their learning,” Schuler said.


Schuler said the middle school students were “instrumental in ascertaining that a retractable wall be placed between the two middle school classroom”."


“This allows the rooms to transform into a huge collaborative space.  In addition, lockers were not budgeted in the original building plans, so the students investigated the best type of lockers, based on the wall dimensions, the number of lockers needed, and their color and style preferences.  They applied their math and business skills to pitch their ideas, and ultimately their favorites were purchased.  They also used their business class funding to support the purchase and showed further ownership by crafting their own locker rules.  When students engage in real learning experiences, they are able to synthesize multiple skills, which allows the students to understand the value and impact of their knowledge. This is the effort of Montessori education, to involve children with the world around them, so that they can truly become lifelong learners,” Schuler told Giant FM.