Arbor’s School History
By 1996 the school had grown to include two upper elementary classes and so the administration decided to move forward with a middle school model. The building was renovated and expanded, and, in 1997, the Adolescent Program was started. 2014 marked the inauguration of our first toddler class. Arbor Montessori is one of only three schools in the metro area to provide a Montessori education from toddler through adolescence. Our new campus at 1434 Scott Blvd. in Decatur opened in August 2016. That campus houses two toddler classrooms and two primary classrooms.
Arbor serves 270 students. The school offers two toddler classes (ages 18 months to 3 years), four primary classes (ages 2.5 to 6 years), three lower elementary classes (ages 6 to 9 years), two upper elementary classes (ages 9 to 12 years), and one Adolescent Program (ages 12 to 14 years).
Maria Montessori was the first woman to graduate from the University of Rome’s school of medicine. Dr. Maria Montessori gained recognition for her work in math and the established sciences. She also pursued study in the newer disciplines of the day: anthropology and psychiatry. These two areas of interest would be of great value to her in her work as a physician and scientist.
Her approach to education was based on her observations as well as her belief that the education of children was the means to create a better society. She observed children around the world and found that the laws of development she had recognized in Italy were universal and inherent in children of all races and cultures. The Montessori approach to education continues to be respected and practiced internationally today.
To be a woman actively practicing medicine in the Italy of 1896 was a remarkable enough achievement to bring public acclaim and notoriety. Yet it was her gift of truly seeing, understanding, and respecting children that led to her greatest accomplishment: the development of a unique approach to the education of children. Her approach remains as powerful, inventive and child-responsive today as it was in 1907 when she opened her first school. In fact, the Montessori Method mirrors the 21st Century Learning Skills that are heralded now as the critical skills every child must have to succeed in today’s world.