About MMCA

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Our Program

Maria Montessori Charter Academy (“MMCA”) is a tuition–free, non-profit Kindergarten – 8th grade public elementary school emphasizing the Montessori philosophy within the accountability and framework of the CA state standards.

The school was founded in 2000 by a group of parents who wanted to have Montessori education available for all children, not just those who could afford a private school.

With our program, we combine what we believe are the best aspects of the Montessori philosophy with traditional “public school” materials.

Our school emphasizes all of the traditional standards-based subjects – reading, spelling, language, math, etc., while also emphasizing a broader curriculum, including geography, botany, zoology, art, practical life, etc. In addition, we use standard-based report cards to give parents a more accurate reflection of their child’s comparative knowledge base.

To meet our students’ needs, we put nearly all of our resources into our classrooms. Some of the more unique features of our school include:

  • Two CA credentialed teachers (with Montessori training) per classroom
  • We have multi-aged classrooms with student to teacher ratios of 17:1 or less
  • Interactive, manipulative-based hands on learning environment
  • Lessons are given in small, ability-based groups
  • Individualized learning plans are developed for every student, backed by continuous assessment of student performance
  • MMCA’s 2012-2013 C.D.E. “School Accountability Report Card” (“SARC”) available here.
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Mission Statement

The mission of MMCA is to provide a Montessori-based educational environment which has the tools, programs, resources and support to enable students to become educated to high international academic standards and to develop themselves to their fullest capacity as competent, happy, productive individuals, family members, workers, and contributors to a better society and a peaceful world.

This is achieved through a heavy commitment from parents, teachers, community groups, the legislature and, most importantly, the individual child, and is grounded in a philosophy of trust in individuals to seek their own highest levels.

The attributes we strive to develop within our students include:

  • Academic Excellence
  • Artistic Expression
  • Moral Character
  • Practical Accomplishments
  • Conflict Resolution Skills
  • Compassion and Service to Others
  • Visionary Leadership
  • Exceptional Courtesy and Manners
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Montessori Philosophy

Montessori philosophy states that a child has an innate desire to learn and produce purposeful, meaningful work. While there are many interpretations as to what exactly a “Montessori education” is, the relatively universal goals of a Montessori education would be to:

  • Stimulate the child’s innate love of learning
  • Provide a nurturing, cooperative learning environment
  • Incorporate all the senses in the learning experience
  • Consider the whole child
  • Encourage respect for self, others, the environment, and all life
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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Maria Montessori Charter Academy?
Why do we want a charter Montessori school?
How is a charter school different from other public schools?
What grades does the school include?
How will the age groups be clustered at MMCA?
How will Special Education Students be included in the program at MMCA?

What is Maria Montessori Charter Academy?

MMCA is a public Montessori elementary school developed by parents and teachers for the South Placer County area. The goal of the program is to achieve academic excellence in an environment where students can become independent, enthusiastic, competent, life-long learners who are compassionate, tolerant, and socially responsible citizens.

Why do we want a charter Montessori school?  

Many parents would like their children who have attended Montessori pre-schools to continue with Montessori educational methodology and philosophy, yet some parents are unable to afford ongoing private tuition. Still others are dissatisfied with the educational experience they’re experiencing at a traditional public school and are looking for an alternative. The founders of the school believed that this exceptional educational program should be available to all students.

How is a charter school different from other public schools?

Charter Schools offer an important innovation in public education. They are performance-based public schools that are free of many of the complex regulations that often constrain innovation in traditional programs. In exchange for substantial freedom in governance, programming, staffing, and budgeting, the school is held to strict accountability for high student achievement.

What grades does the school include? 

The school serves children in grades K-8. The first year started with grades K-2 with classrooms being added in the following years as the enrollment grew. In addition, in Fall 2009 the school started a private Pre-K program as well.

Where is the school located?

Rocklin, CA. Rocklin is located in South Placer County, the fastest growing county in the state. 1850 Wildcat Blvd., Rocklin, CA 95765

When did the school open?

September 5, 2000. It “re-opened” as a new, independent charter school on July 1, 2008.

Who can attend Maria Montessori Charter Academy?

All California students are eligible for admissions regardless of race, gender or religious affiliation. Preference is given to enrolled students, siblings of enrolled students, students with Montessori experience and Rocklin residents. If oversubscribed, students will be admitted by a lottery system.

How much parental involvement is required?

A high correlation exists between parental involvement and student success in school and all parents are expected to participate as partners in the education of the child. The school will try to match each family to their strengths, interest, and abilities with the needs of the school. Each family will be expected to contribute 40 hours of volunteer time per family, per year and resources to help support the school’s success.

How may I enroll my child(ren) in this school?

Please go to our Enrollment page for specific enrollment information

Why do Montessori classes have more students than traditional classes? 

The Montessori classroom is designed to be a mini-community. The multi-age makeup of the group facilitates meaningful observation and exposure to advanced lessons, peer modeling, and the opportunity to solidify one’s understanding of the material by “tutoring” others. Experts in the implementation of Montessori programs indicate that each age group within the classroom should consist of 6-8 or more students to create a meaningful social group. Classes typically include a span of two to three years in age.

What kind of ratios will MMCA have in the classroom?

The average classroom is about 17:1; we have (2) Teachers per classroom, both California certificated and Montessori trained.

Won’t classrooms be chaotic or noisy with so many children?

Montessori classrooms are often a surprise to visitors. Students are concentrating intently on their work, speak in calm tones, and demonstrate respect for their peer’s need for space and focus. They move freely about the environment and often assist each other with their tasks. Children in the classroom typically work individually or in pairs or small work groups and the teacher provides lessons at the time of individual readiness. This “normalization” of the classroom occurs when the children begin to “work” seriously with the materials.

How is the layout of the classroom different from traditional classrooms?

Montessori classrooms have more square footage than traditional classrooms and much of the work, at the lower grades, occurs on small mats on the floor. As the children grow older, desks are more common. The space is broken up into smaller areas by the placement of low bookcases and other materials in the prepared environment that create an element of privacy yet permit the teacher to observe all areas of the room. Additionally, students will be excused to work on specific projects in the hall area and on the deck. These areas are visible from the classroom.

How will the age groups be clustered at MMCA? 

For the 2013-2014 school year, MMCA will have:

(1) pre-K Classroom
(2) K-1 Classrooms
(2) 2-3 Classroom
(2) 4-5Classroom
(1) 6th grade Classroom
(2) 7-8 Classroom

Space permitting, MMCA’s long term goal would be a configuration consisting of:

(2) pre-K Classrooms
(2) K-1 Classrooms
(2) 2-3 Classrooms
(2) 4-5 Classrooms
(1) 6th grade Classroom
(2) 7-8 Classrooms

How are Special Education Students included in the program at MMCA? 

Students who have pre-established IEP’s (Individual Education Plans) will have those plans evaluated by MMCA’s IEP Team to determine the appropriateness of our program for the student’s specific educational needs. If parents or a teacher believe that a child needs an evaluation for an IEP, the School District’s Special Education Staff will conduct an evaluation. The Placer County SELPA establishes appropriateness of a placement with two main criteria:

1. Children must be able to function within their age group with minor accommodations to the classroom program.

2. Inclusions must not materially alter the mission, vision or philosophy of the program offered.

MMCA welcomes children of diverse backgrounds and various levels of ability that are able to progress in an environment where independence, self-motivation, and freedom with responsibility is the foundation of the academic culture.

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