Learning From Home Overview

Staying Together While Physically Distancing

Sunny Hollow Montessori has been engaged in learning from home since March 16, 2020. During this unprecedented time of off-site learning, our aim is to create a Montessori-based framework that serves our students, while supporting parents as they  adapt to different daily routines and learn to balance care for their children with their own work.

Replicating what happens in our classrooms is not something we can achieve. Our goal is to work in collaboration with families to keep alive the culture of learning that is unique to Montessori and provide families with support and activities that match the developmental needs and characteristics of each child in our community. It is important to us that the children’s activity during this time be enjoyable, thoughtful, challenging, and rewarding, as much as possible.

Guiding Learning

The Montessori method is all about the process. While completion of work is important (especially for older students), it is our approach that makes all the difference. Learning is most effective when it is within a greater context. When we connect subjects and concepts, we establish meaning which fuels motivation in students.

Above all, we want children to feel connected to their learning, not simply to “complete assignments” while at home.

Learning together with a sense of exploration, curiosity and discovery results in deeper and more meaningful experiences for children. This instills a great sense of ownership and responsibility for the child.

It is important to us that we maintain a feeling of connectedness through this process. We keep communication open between teachers and parents in a variety of ways to support children’s learning and also support families who are balancing their own work alongside their children’s growth and development.

Social Connection

Sunny Hollow Montessori is a strong, vibrant community of children, families, and staff—who now are unable to see each other in person. How are we staying together?

Each level is offering online connections in ways that meet the developmental needs of children, first and foremost.

  • Casa guides offer short language, practical life, math, or science lessons or sharing sessions for small groups of preschool and kindergarten children. It’s an opportunity for children to see each other and their beloved teachers. 
  • Elementary guides do daily read-alouds and small group lessons and meetings. They also meet with students one-on-on throughout the week. They encourage children to collaborate on projects to ensure student social needs are being met.
  • Junior High students start each day with a community meeting and work on projects with each other throughout the day. 

At all levels, guides are also meeting online with individual parents for check-ins through the week.

In addition, we are offering parent and family connections through online parent coffees by classroom, our Sunny Hollow 2020 Virtual Gala and After-Party, our annual Plant Sale (with curbside pickup), Bike to Anywhere Day on May 15 (post photos to Instagram #sunnyhollowmontessori), and sharing photos of our home learning through our Sunny Hollow Community Facebook group (for current and alumni families).

We will stay together while being physically distant!

Toddlers

Our children ages 16-33 months are getting daily activities that support parents in developing children’s fine and gross motor skills and language development. 

Learn more here.

Casa (Ages 2.5 to 6)

Casa-aged children thrive in environments that promote repetition, routine and the mastery of purposeful movement, so our Casa guides are providing activities and resources to help parents provide these at home. Our Casa children are staying connected to their Sunny Hollow teachers and classmates in a variety of ways.

Learn more here.

Lower Elementary

For students grades 1 to 3, our learning-from-home approach is to help children engage in work that is based on their interests and also helps them learn in a wide variety of subject areas. Examples may include projects, journals, creative writing, geometry constructions, and practical life at home.

Learn more here.

Upper Elementary

Students in grades 4 to 6 find creative ways to follow their interests, strengthen skills in all subject areas, and collaborate with each other. 

Learn  more here.

Junior High

Our 7th graders are not just pioneers of our inaugural Junior High class, they are pioneering adolescent learning from home with the enthusiastic support of their teachers.

Learn more here.

Learning Support

Our Student Support Services team provides academic, social and emotional support to students with diagnosed or assumed learning disabilities.

Learn more here.

Letters from Leadership

April 28, 2020, Letter from Sandy Wirth, Interim Head of School

Each day the Sunny Hollow staff and I meet virtually. It’s an important part of us staying connected as a team. We always start with stories from the “classrooms”: successes, uplifting news, and things that our beloved students share. It’s time that we value as a group and a reminder of the physical energy and life your children normally fill the halls and classrooms—and our lives—with. We truly miss their presence.

The transition to virtual learning has been a significant change and challenge for all of us – each of us meeting these challenges from a different starting point. Through it all, I am grateful for the grace and courtesy with which students, families, faculty and staff have met the challenge. We take great joy in guiding learning for students through virtual and non-traditional platforms. Equally important, we are thankful for these opportunities to connect during the time apart—and your continued trust and support.

I’m writing to you today to update you on the future—uncertain as it might be at the moment—and our plans moving forward…. Read full letter here.

Links to Previous Communications Coming Soon

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Are you still enrolling new students for fall?

Yes. We are accepting applications for the 2020-2021 school year on a “space available” basis. More information here.

When will Sunny Hollow open for on-site learning?

We are not sure, but we are developing plans and scenarios to consider summer options for families. We are following state and national guidelines as we make our plans. We will let families know as soon as we can.

Learning from Home Handbook

Offering On-Site and Distance Learning Options from 16 Months Through Junior High

Sunny Hollow Montessori will open in September for on-site learning, with an individualized distance learning option available. For more information on our distance learning program, please click here.

We are still accepting applications for the 2020-2021 school year on a “space available” basis. Inquire today!