- Our Team
Founded in 2010, Lawrence Montessori School (LMS) offers children an authentic Montessori experience to include a superior academic program in addition to a variety of extra-curricular activities. Our school was designed with the child in mind to include large spacious classroom with attached outdoor environments and a beautiful park-like playscape which offers many opportunities to play with friends and enjoy enriching outdoor experiences.
Lawrence Montessori School offers children a unique learning experience in the most formative years of life. We provide each child with a “prepared environment” to lay the foundation for academic excellence, social grace, inner discipline and environmental awareness. The Montessori Method of education helps develop children who are courteous, self-confident, and have a positive attitude toward school, adults, and peers. We pride ourselves in providing an unparalleled educational environment to maximize the learning potential of each child. Individualized education in an authentic Montessori classroom encourages the development of the “whole child.”
We offer the following programs as described below: Infant, Toddler, Primary, Kindergarten.
The Nido Community (Infant Program)
Lawrence Montessori School offers a premier infant program in Lawrence. The Montessori Nido (“nest” in Italian) environment is a clean, bright, cozy, and safe environment designed specifically for infants three months of age up to one year old. Infancy is a time of accelerated physical and cognitive development and our teachers are careful to attend to the individual needs of each infant. Each child is lovingly cared for as our staff provides many opportunities throughout the day for motor, language, and cognitive development. Per state guidelines, all our teachers are safe sleep and pediatric CPR and first aid certified.
The toddler communities at Lawrence Montessori School cater to the physical, social, emotional, and cognitive needs of each child. Our toddler program consists of younger and older toddlers’ communities. The younger toddlers’ community welcomes children one year and walking to approximately eighteen months. Our older toddlers’ community welcomes children eighteen months to approximately three years of age. Our experienced teachers create unique learning environments in tune with the Montessori philosophy. They plan and prepare each classroom to ensure that the children get individualized attention according to their developmental readiness.
The primary focus of our toddler curriculum is independence, motor and language development, care of self and environment, and mastery in toilet learning. Toddlers have a natural desire to explore and adapt to the environment by imitation. They develop independence and self-control with purposeful movement using beautiful materials which readily lend themselves activity. They love to work with water and at LMS we provide many opportunities for them to explore activities with water which imitate their home environment.
Lawrence Montessori School offers a premier preschool program. The activities in a Montessori classroom are referred to as “work”. The child is working to build and perfect him/her-self using the environment as the means. Working in the present, rejoicing in it and repeating it – is the means by which perfecting begins inside the child. Each child is presented the material s/he is capable of mastering, which helps to develop self-esteem and makes the child proud of her/his accomplishments.
Our beautifully designed Montessori classrooms are geared to the child’s size, pace, abilities, and interests. Each child learns at her/his own pace and rhythm, which is why the multi-age classroom is so beneficial. Each classroom offers a wide variety of graded materials. As the child grows, these materials take them from one level of complexity to another. Most activities are done individually, so that the child can move at their own pace independently. The classrooms are designed with emphasis on the child’s innate need for movement. The use of materials involves walking, carrying, pouring, speaking and particularly the constant use of hands – the hand is the chief teacher of the child. All activity is guided by respect for the equipment, respect for the work of others, and respect for the teacher. Self-discipline is acquired through work.
The core of the Montessori curriculum is based on the activities of Practical Life, Sensorial, Mathematics, Language and Cultural Arts. Additionally, we also offer an extensive enrichment curriculum in addition to Montessori to ensure a well-rounded education.
These activities involve care of self, care of the indoor and outdoor environments, grace, and courtesy. The 3-year old child begins here with simple activities like pouring, spooning, sweeping etc., to develop eye-hand coordination, concentration, and lengthening the span of attention for more complex activities that follow.
These materials are used to train and refine the senses. Each material emphasizes one defining quality like color, shape, weight, texture, while minimizing or eliminating others. Hence the child is being indirectly prepared for later mathematical concepts.
The world of numbers is explored through the use of concrete material to assimilate the facts of arithmetic. First the concrete form is introduced to the child, then the abstract symbol. The form and the symbol are then placed together relating the concrete and the abstract. In a Montessori classroom there are many materials that can be used for adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing.
The language material includes objects and pictures to be named, labeled or matched to aid vocabulary development. Textured Sandpaper Letters help the child to learn sounds of the letters before the alphabetical names because it is the sounds he hears first. Writing or the construction of words almost always precedes reading, which follows quite naturally following the various word building exercises.
These include various activities in the study of geography using maps to learn about the world and the continents in detail. Activities about animals, plants, the solar system, and our environment are presented. Science experiments are performed indoors and outdoors. History is studied in the form of time-lines.
We welcome you to visit our beautiful campus so that we can share with you all of our unique offerings to ensure that your child has the very best childcare and educational experience in Lawrence.
In addition to our academically based Montessori program, we also offer a myriad of extracurricular activities to take care of the day care needs of professional parents who are seeking a high quality full-day childcare program.
The Lawrence Montessori School (LMS) Kindergarten curriculum is integrated so that children can understand the critical relationship among all aspects of life. Our curriculum covers mathematics, language, biology, botany, physical sciences, history, and geography as well as the arts – music, creative movement, and fine arts. During a typical work session in the classroom, the children are engaged in individualized work where they set their goals, manage time, and work on projects using a variety of resources in addition to the didactic Montessori materials. All subjects are seamlessly intertwined so the children are not taught subjects in isolation.
The kindergarten curriculum is designed to build upon the existing knowledge the child has acquired during the preceding years as a preschooler. Our Kindergartners know and understand the concept of linear counting up to 1000. Using the advanced Montessori materials, they begin learning arithmetic and the concepts of static and dynamic addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division into the thousands.
In the language arts, the children are already reading above grade level, and are challenged to write creatively; additionally, they are introduced to parts of speech and grammar. The Montessori classroom offers many opportunities for the students to expand their knowledge when they are motivated by spontaneous interest. Puzzle maps of the continents are designed to teach cultural and political geography. Finally, our students work with a variety of biology materials to gain a better understanding of botany and zoology.
Our Kindergarten class hums with motivated, focused activity. It is in the kindergarten year that your child will be “at the top of the class” in terms of seniority. The responsibility and pride children feel in this role gives a great sense of accomplishment. The multi-age experience offers many opportunities for five year-olds to help the younger children and to be competent role models. In addition to reinforcing their academic knowledge, this experience enhances their self-esteem and develops their self-confidence – two qualities which enable them to try new challenges.
We are proud of the academic achievements of our students and are confident that we have instilled in them a lifelong love of learning. The Montessori Method of education has prepared the children not only for academic success but has instilled in them civic and moral responsibility so that they are successful throughout their lives. We are very proud of our alumni as they continue to excel in their elementary, junior high and high school grades and their proud parents are certain that their preschool education set them on the path to success!
I grew up in Overland Park, KS the daughter of a professional drummer father and a homemaker mother. I received a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education at Peru State University in Nebraska. In 2013, I started my Education Profession as a 4th grade teacher in Blue Valley School district, where I was able to teach in the School District I and my children graduated from. Moreover, I am accredited in MEPI Montessori Education training and am a member of the American Montessori Society.
After attending a Montessori school when I was a child, I have always wanted to return to Montessori Education, and after teaching and wanting to change to administration, I got the best of both worlds when I became a director in 2015. My husband and I always loved the look and feel of Lawrence and when the opportunity to become the Director at Lawrence Montessori School presented itself in 2020, I quickly jumped at the opportunity.
I enjoy spending time with my husband Keith, three children Ricky, John, and Allison, plus my Westie, Schroeder. I love shopping and eating on Mass Street, driving around Clinton Lake, and attending different events around Lawrence. Outside of Lawrence, we go to the KC Ballet, KC Repertory Theater, and of course cheer for the KC Chiefs and KC Royals.
Originally from New Mexico, Vanessa, moved to Lawrence to attend Haskell Indian Nations University. There she ran cross-country and track, and in 2008 she graduated with her degree in Elementary Education. Vanessa taught for several years at Kickapoo Nation School on the Kickapoo Reservation in Horton, Kansas. Vanessa also has a master’s degree in Curriculum and Teacher Education from the University of Oregon and is currently pursuing a degree in Business Administration.
Vanessa has 10+ years of teaching experience with various age groups and this is her first role in an administrative position.
Vanessa enjoys running, hiking, and spending time with her family and pets.