Frequently Asked Questions
What is Montessori anyway?
Maria Montessori was an educator in the early 1900s. She studied how children learn and advanced many new ways to utilize child-directed learning. She developed many of her own materials that allow children to explore and make sense of concepts in an active learning environment. Over a hundred years later, many of her findings have been confirmed and are supported by the latest research of cognitive learning specialists around the world. Children learn in mixed-age classrooms, generally in 3-year groups (3 – 6 year olds; 1st – 3rd grade, etc.). Through this arrangement, children learn from their older peers and learn to take ownership and develop leadership within their creative environment.
Isn’t Montessori just for young kids?
Not at all. Many people know most about Montessori schools for young children, as that is a common age for Montessori schools. Montessori is a wonderful approach and amazingly successful for those ages! However, hands on and active learning continues to be a critical element for children far beyond their 5th year. In fact, Montessori approaches are credited with inspiring the creativity of many current CEOs. Look at the comments of employers today; what they desire are creative, independently motivated thinkers. Therefore, colleges now often list flexible programs with independent learning projects. The Hillsboro School offers this experience to students while they are still in high school.
Why isn’t Hillsboro accredited? Is that a problem for my child going to college or another school?
First and foremost, this is not a problem at all for your child’s advancement to college. We have directly spoken to admissions officers at colleges ranging from large publics like the University of Alabama and Auburn to small private colleges like Rhodes to large privates like Harvard and Yale, and all said the same thing – they have no problem with it whatsoever. They know, as we do, that a new school cannot be accredited for the first three years of existence anyway. We are working through that probationary window and will focus on accreditation in our third year.
What about testing? Will the Hillsboro School prepare students for high stakes tests?
Students at The Hillsboro School are high achievers. While we do not focus on testing or “teaching to the test,” standardized test taking skills and strategies is one genre of learning that we teach our students. We want our students to succeed in all areas. High students take a class entitled “College Preparation” and part of this curriculum is focused on improving their standardized test taking skills.
What about cost? Are there any scholarships available?
While every attempt is made to keep out tuition as low as possible, the Hillsboro School is dedicated to keeping our classes small to ensure very close learning relationships between teachers and students. We have been able to provide a small number of scholarships; they are extremely competitive and only on an as available basis. However, we have had several parents either donate their time or arrange to share their talents with the school and reduce their tuition at the same time. Parents or specialists have helped offer courses on computer programming, debate, gardening, sewing, art, etc. So if you have a skill you would be willing to share, speak to our Business Director, Connie Edwards, and she will work with you to see if there is a way to help with tuition.