In 2010, St. Pius X School was named by Cardinal Edwin F. O’Brien, Archbishop Emeritus of Baltimore, as the first Catholic Montessori School in the Archdiocese of Baltimore – as well as in the state of Maryland. The school introduced its Primary Montessori program for children ages 3-4 in 2011, and in 2012 expanded it to include children ages 5-6. An Early Elementary Montessori program was introduced for ages 6-9 in 2013. Since that time, the Montessori Catholic program has replaced the traditional 1st, 2nd and 3rd grades at St. Pius X School.
In the spring of 2015, with school board approval, a decision was made to continue the Montessori Catholic program at St. Pius X School through 8th grade. Additional Montessori classes will be phased in over the next few years to replace the school’s traditional 4th through 8th grades, offering parents a unique and different program for their children that will better prepare them for independence and success.
Our partner in this process is Loyola University, Maryland. They are working with us to develop and introduce this new and exciting program. They are an ideal partner, as Loyola has one of the premier Montessori graduate programs in the country; and its Center for Montessori Education — Washington Montessori Institute — houses the oldest Association Montessori International (AMI)-accredited training center in North America.
Through this collaboration, we expect to provide an exceptional educational experience, one which helps the children develop socially, academically and spiritually.
A Unique Learning Experience
The Montessori method of teaching was developed in 1907 by Italian physician Dr. Maria Montessori to educate children at their own pace and encourage a love of learning, while focusing on all aspects of their development -- intellectual, social, emotional, physical and spiritual. A Montessori education fosters independence and responsibility, and it builds critical problem-solving skills. A Montessori education also develops self-motivated and self-disciplined behavior that supports a life-time of satisfaction and success.
A Proven Educational Approach
Montessori classes place children in three-year age groupings, which enable individual students to work at their own pace through the academic lessons as needed, while maintaining a collegial atmosphere of sharing projects and accomplishments with peers. The Montessori classes are Primary (ages 3-6), and Elementary (ages 6-9 and 9-12). A certified Montessori instructor, aided by a trained assistant, observes and presents new activities and lessons to children as they demonstrate their needs and readiness for learning.
In a Montessori program, the approach to instruction is centered on the activity of the child rather than focused on teacher presentations to passive listeners. Montessori students are more actively engaged in their own education, and this fosters curiosity and a lifetime love of learning, while building greater independence and self-discipline. Students gain stronger critical-thinking and problem-solving skills in the process, which better prepares them for high school and college
Catechesis of the Good Shepherd
The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is a Montessori-inspired religious education program that offers students opportunities for spiritual discovery at their own pace. They work directly with the key elements of the Catholic faith and are guided to build and strengthen their own spiritual foundation, while developing compassion for others.