At PCM, we focus heavily on family and community engagement to bolster student outcomes. Our academic calendar provides ample opportunity for family involvement, community building, and showcasing of student work. Here you will find a snapshot of our proposed annual calendar and daily schedule.
Dr. Montessori’s research, supported by current research, reveals that children benefit from extended blocks of uninterrupted work time. This allows concentration skills to be built and allows processing and problem solving to occur at a pace that fits students’ needs. To this end best practices in Montessori support having two blocks of uninterrupted work time during the day: a 3-hour morning block and a 2-3 hour afternoon block. In order to offer this schedule and ensure that there is ample time for teacher professional development and collaboration so teachers have the tools necessary to meet student needs and adequate time to reflect and plan using student data, PCM provides an extended day and school year.
As a parent it is worth noting at this point that the school day of a Montessori child looks very different that a traditional school day. Visit Montessori In Action to see examples. With more choice over when and how they engage in work, the option to work at the pace that fits their needs, flexible seating and opportunities to work collaboratively with display of responsibility, students are more energized at the end of a Montessori school day.
Daily Calendar (K-6th)
Below you will find our draft daily schedule for Kindergarten through 6th grade. You will also get a glimpse of our proposed schedule when we expand to offer 7th - 9th grade (our Adolescent Community Program).
PCM features a half-day Wednesday collaboration schedule. The second half of each Wednesday, teachers participate in collaboration, data examination, and/or professional development. The YMCA, supported by PCM staff, will ensure students are engaged for a full school day as not to disrupt families work week schedules. PCM will cover the school day cost of this support. the Afternoon Finale extended care option will be offered as normal per YMCA rates.
Addressing the Length of a 'K' Day
PCM's kindergarten (K) classrooms maintain a ratio of approximately 15 students to 1 Guide accompanied by 1 full-time Classroom Assistant/Interventionist. A K learner's day at PCM looks different from a traditional school day, with more opportunities for outside play and activities, a pace more in line with individual learner needs, more opportunities for movement, an option to rest/nap in the afternoon, and an educational environment that considers individual student interests. Learners in a Montessori environment, even at this young age level, are often less fatigued at the end of the school day because their day is paced for their needs and interests.
For a snapshot of a K learner's day check out this "Day in the life of a PCM K student".
For visual examples of what this early environment looks like explore these short videos.
Daily Calendar (7th-9th)
7th - 9th grade students are all grouped in the same classroom but their coursework is differentiated based on competency achieved. Appropriately trained teachers in core subject areas supported by classroom volunteers and assistants guide students.
Extracurricular & Enrichment Options
In Years 1 and 2, PCM will not offer PCM-run extracurricular activities. The YMCA-run after-care program will offer many opportunities for extracurricular and enrichment activities. Additionally, we will disseminate an up-to-date list of options in our community for parents to reference, if they choose. In subsequent years, we may add extracurricular activities which will be driven by student interests and staff availability.
When PCM does begin to offer extracurricular activities, a school member will participate in these activities, but the program may be led by an approved volunteer parent or community member. These programs will only be initiated if sufficient interest is shown, staff and volunteers are available, and funding can be allocated.
PCM has participated in preliminary meetings with Pullman School District (PSD) Superintendent Dr. Bob Maxwell, and Assistant Principal of Athletics and Activities Mr. Chris Franklin, to discuss PCM student participation in Lincoln Middle School (LMS) and Pullman High School (PHS) sports. PSD is willing and able to take on student athletes from PCM when they reach the appropriate age. If a PCM student is outside of PSD, they will be required to participate with the school district they live in. PCM will serve as liaison for these relationships to aid in student registration and navigation of district policies and procedures.
The school day will offer a variety of enrichment options. This is one other reason we love Gladish! The fact that it is a community and cultural center also aligns with our mission and vision and will allow us to take advantage of wraparound services and enrichment activities that are available within the building. As we hire staff and build out our asset map of local community contractors we will add more specifics about our enrichment options.