History of St. James
Marie Mosely and Father Fleener began St. James Montessori School in the summer of 1968. There were 54 children ranging in age from 2½ to 4. Marie laid the foundation for the school, and even after her retirement in 1987 and passing in 2007, remains a driving force in each classroom.
“The Montessori Method of education, developed by Dr. Maria Montessori, is a child-centered educational approach based on scientific observations of children from birth to adulthood. Dr. Montessori’s Method has been time tested, with over 100 years of success in diverse cultures throughout the world. It is a view of the child as one, who is naturally eager for knowledge and capable of initiating learning in a supportive, thoughtfully prepared, learning environment. It is an approach that values the human spirit and the development of the whole child—physical, social, emotional, cognitive.” American Montessori Society
St. James Episcopal School provides a unique Christian Montessori environment for the children to grow and learn. All our children are introduced to Christianity through our Montessori curriculum as sharing God’s love is an integral part of our peaceful community. The Toddler children participate in daily prayer and Bible stories played out on felt boards, while the Primary children attend Chapel twice a week and celebrate monthly Eucharist.
We adhere to the multi-age classrooms, grouping children from 18 months to three years together in our Toddler program, and children three to six years together in our Primary program. Our classrooms are rich in Montessori materials and drenched in natural light that streams through our many windows. Classrooms are prepared to encourage independence, freedom within limits, and a sense of order. The child, through their own choice of work, travels through the curriculum at their own pace and in their own way. The teacher guides and nurtures the child along their journey, tracking their progress for parents to review. We also believe strongly in the child’s ability to learn through their exposure to nature. We fill that need through our Children’s Garden and our vast outdoor natural playground.
“And so we discovered that education is not something which the teacher does, but that it is a natural process which develops spontaneously in the human being. It is not acquired by listening to words, but in virtue of experiences in which the child acts on his environment. The teacher’s task is not to talk, but to prepare and arrange a series of motives for cultural activity in a special environment made for the child.” -Maria Montessori, The Absorbent Mind