New Toddler Program Promotes Independence

When you think about the skills you’d like your child to learn in preschool, global citizenship isn’t at the top of the list.

But according to Katie Toffey, Development Officer at Community Montessori School, perhaps it should be.

She’s not talking about international detente, but instead teaching children to be independent and responsible learners.

CMS has been developing those skills in children for 45 years, since it opened its doors in 1970.

And starting in August of 2015, Community Montessori will be teaching these skills to an even younger set of children, those ages 18 months to three years.

This new Toddler Program will offer classes Monday through Friday for either a half (8:15-11:45 a.m.) or full day (8:15 a.m.-3:15 p.m.).

Children should be stable walkers but don’t need to be toilet trained.

Under the guidance of an AMI-trained teacher and an assistant, children will interact in a space that is designed to meet their developmental needs while offering an experience in community life.

“Toddlers are very capable,” Toffey said. “And this is an exceptional program to develop their independence.”

Each day’s lessons will focus on topics of Practical Life, Language Development, Control of Movement, Music, Art and Self-Care.

This means that toddlers are learning practical tasks such as food preparation, gardening, table setting, toileting, hand washing and dressing themselves.

Each day follows a calm and unhurried pace that allows children to explore and learn in a comfortable and supportive environment.

This includes time for lunch, outdoor play, naptime for full day students, art, music, stories and nature activities.

This is a perfect accompaniment to Community Montessori School’s existing programs that serve children from age three through eighth grade.

“Montessori is so much more than an academic place,” Toffey said.

“What distinguishes Montessori children is that they develop a life-long love of learning.”

The overarching goals of the school are for children to learn independently, think creatively, work collaboratively and go out in the world and be good citizens.

Said Toffey: “There is not a grade for that, but boy, it matters!

“Offering a toddler program furthers our desire to offer a good start to all children”

Community Montessori School is housed in two locations: the Toddler Program, Primary Program and Lower Elementary (toddler through grade 3) is at 166 Crestwood Drive. Info: 277-4805.
The Upper Elementary and Middle School (grades 4-8) is at 725 Stone Road.
Info: 277-1169 or