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The Montessori School of Denver was established in 1964 by a small group of dedicated parents committed to providing Montessori education in Denver. Since then, MSD has expanded to meet the demands for quality education for its students. We currently serve over 330 students, Toddler through 8th grade, and offer a wide variety of educational opportunities year-round.
MSD is the first Montessori school in Colorado to be accredited by both the American Montessori Society (AMS) and the Association of Colorado Independent Schools (ACIS). MSD is also a member of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS).
The Board of Trustees is the governing and policy-making body of the school. The Board is composed of parents of children who are currently enrolled in the school or alumni students, faculty representatives, and community members.
The Head of School is responsible for all aspects of the school and is the school's representative both locally and nationally. MSD is very proud of its faculty members who are selected from among the finest educators in the country. The head teachers have all received their training from a variety of Montessori teaching training centers affiliated with AMS and hold at least a Bachelor of Arts or Sciences degree.
We are proud to report the following accomplishments in the 2013-2014 school year:
• We have successfully raised the capital to support an exciting expansion of our campus in Denver. We have added a Middle School to our offerings (7th grade in 2013 and 8th grade in 2014), as well as expanded our Toddler Program to include 42 students. These new facilities will allow us to: 1) expand our school to serve more students through a larger Toddler program and a new Middle School, and 2) improve indoor and outdoor learning spaces for all students; and 3) offer parent education and teacher training to the greater Denver community.
• Indoor construction and renovation components of the project include a one-story classroom building for up to 42 Toddler students; a Science and Innovation Tower, new classroom space for our Upper Elementary and Middle School programs; and an Arts and Athletics Center that includes a gymnasium, climbing wall, theatre and performing arts space, commons area, art barn and teaching kitchen. New playgrounds for all ages, an athletics field, an urban farm and a student-designed tree house are all major outdoor improvements. We have carefully analyzed construction materials, and whenever possible, we are using low VOC-emitting, recycled and sustainable materials, including pouring a gym floor made from recycled tires.
• Sustained enrollment and continued to provide excellence in programming, and advanced our role as a nationally recognized model school for Montessori and independent school education;
• We secured a patent for our Mosquito Spring Net that our students designed to protect young children from malaria;
• We partnered with Penny Harvest, a program of the Young Philanthropist Society. The Penny Harvest is a student-run program that allows kids to not only raise the funds but also to determine how the funds will be distributed. A council of students from our Lower and Upper Elementary classrooms managed the program from start to finish; organizing the classrooms, collecting the pennies, interviewing nonprofit organizations, and ultimately disbursing $2,400 to five worthy causes.
Executive Director Statement
Welcome to Montessori School of Denver!
Founded 50 years ago, Montessori School of Denver serves over 330 students ages Toddler through 8th grade. We were the first Montessori school in Colorado to be accredited by both the American Montessori Society and the Association of Colorado Independent Schools, and we continue to be a model for other Montessori schools locally and nationally. Our students don't just learn facts and figures - they learn how to learn - and they leave us ready to succeed in a world that demands them to think creatively and work collaboratively.
MSD is completing an exciting multi-million dollar expansion of our campus in south Denver. Our new facilities allow us to: 1) expand our school to serve more students through a larger Toddler program and a new Middle School; and 2) improve indoor and outdoor learning spaces for all students; and 3) offer parent education and teacher training to the greater Denver community. Indoor construction and renovation components of the project include a one-story classroom building for up to 42 Toddler students; a Science and Innovation Tower; new classroom space for our Upper Elementary and Middle School programs; and an Arts and Athletics Center that includes a gymnasium, climbing wall, theater performing arts space and, commons area, art barn and teaching kitchen. New playgrounds for all ages, an athletics field, an urban farm and a student-designed tree house will be the major outdoor improvements. We have carefully analyzed construction materials and whenever possible we are using low VOC-emitting, recycled and sustainable materials, including pouring a gym floor made from recycled tires.
Two of our capital project's most exciting opportunities for impact are the new Toddler Village and Middle School. Creating the Toddler facility from scratch is an incredible opportunity to design a physical space that aligns with best practices in early childhood education, and to serve as a model for forward-thinking excellence in educating our youngest learners. MSD's Middle School will be one of only three Montessori middle schools in Denver and one of only a handful in the state of Colorado. The Montessori model for middle school students makes the community our classroom. Students take part in internships, apprenticeships and community service learning opportunities. Core academics are highly integrated with other subject areas including the arts and sports - keeping middle school brains fully engaged with work that involves creative problem-solving, inventive thinking, and collaboration.
A second point of impact I find so exciting is that our new facility will enable MSD to play a more prominent role in Denver's vibrant education community. With a host of diverse independent schools and one of the fastest growing urban public school districts in the country, Denver is hotbed for educational innovation right now. We believe that MSD is at the forefront of this innovation. MSD is recognized as one of the city's top private elementary schools and an excellent teacher training facility, but until now we have not had the physical infrastructure to share our expertise with the public and Denver's broader educational community.
As you may know, the Montessori philosophy is founded on the belief that children are born with native intelligence and each learns in his/her own way at an individual pace. MSD teaches students how to gather information from a variety of sources, synthesize it, and then collaborate to determine what is most useful. What a student learns at MSD translates into a lifetime of applicable learning as evidenced by such projects as the patented Mosquito Spring Net Project-an idea conceived by MSD students to combat malaria. By employing the timeless Montessori principles of creativity, innovation, and independent thinking, MSD effectively readies their students for a global workplace.
MSD students move on to flourish in a wide range of independent, traditional public, parochial, charter and magnet high school environments throughout Denver. Most importantly, decades of alumni stories show that MSD is creating self-aware, generous, independent, young people who grow up to lead successful lives, advocating for themselves and others to make our world a better place.
We hope this gives you a look inside this special school we call MSD. Please call and stop by for a visit or learn more at www.montessoridenver.org!
Stephanie Pax Flanigan
Head of School
The support from our community, as it relates to the Capital Campaign, has been nothing short of remarkable. Our community believed in the project from the beginning and their support never wavered. We are proud to unveil our transformed campus in the fall of 2014 as a testament to the fortitude, generosity, and perseverance of our entire community, including our Board of Trustees, current parents, alumni, grandparents, students, faculty and staff and friends of MSD.
Although the Capital Campaign has been an important focus this year, we continue to rely on the support of our Annual Fund to provide the necessary funding for additional operating expenses, new technology in the classroom, and professional development for our faculty and staff to continue to provide the quality education our parents have come to expect.
This past year, we had record-breaking financial support for the professional development of our faculty and staff from our parent community. We believe that the educational enrichment of our faculty and staff is vital to delivering the quality education our community is accustomed to---and obviously our parents agree!
We are proud to report that 100% of our faculty and staff participated in professional development workshops and seminars. These included some of the following: the Montessori Applied to Children at Risk (MACAR), Responsive Classroom, Orton-Gillingham Basic Training, the National Association of Independent Schools, and the American Montessori Society.
Board Chair/President Statement
As the Chair of the Board of Trustees, I am honored to stand on the shoulders of the many trustees that have come before me to make MSD what it is today. I am especially privileged to work alongside our Head of School, Stephanie Flanigan, and our current Board members during such a transformational time in our school's history.
This year, we expanded our campus to over six acres; adding not only a new Middle School to our offerings, but also increasing our toddler student capacity to 42 with the addition of our Toddler Village. We also added an Arts and Athletics Center that will enhance the good work that we do at every program level, as well as a Welcome Center so that our community can meet and learn more about who we are.
As an overview, here's what we completed in two years:
• The new Upper Elementary/Middle School-with a new Science and Innovation Tower-opened its doors in August 2013;
• Our new Arts and Athletics Center with a theatre and performing arts area, a climbing wall, a teaching kitchen, art barn, and full-size gym opened in May 2014;
• Our new Toddler Village and Welcome Center was completed in August 2014;
• Exciting new outdoor spaces will also be added including new playgrounds, an urban farm, an athletics field and a student-designed tree house.
We're proud of what we've been able to accomplish this year, and we're looking forward to the 2014-2015 school year where we will now turn our attention to the following initiatives:
• Developing a new strategic plan;
• Analyzing the school's optimal enrollment structure;
• Planning facilities programming to have a greater reach into the greater Denver community, and;
• Integrating curriculum and "doing good" under the all school theme of Vision.
As we celebrated our 50th anniversary this year, I had the time to reflect on the triumphs and challenges of this past year, and I know now that we persevered because our community---Trustees, parents, students, grandparents, alumni, faculty and staff, and friends of the school- believes in what we do here every day.
Chair, Board of Trustees
Montessori School of Denver