An independent middle and high school based on Montessori principles
WHO: Belle Meade Montessori School
WHAT: S.T.E.A.M. Day Workshop
WHEN: Monday, February 17 at 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
WHERE: 353 FT Valley Road, Sperryville, VA 22740
WHY: You are invited to Belle Meade Montessori S.T.E.A.M. Day Workshop designing and building towers, performing earthquake tests, watching chemistry demonstrations and performing in adlib sketches. There will be activities focused on science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics for various age groups. Students need to bring a sack lunch and a water bottle. The workshop is free. Materials will be provided by Belle Meade.
For more information or to R.S.V.P., please contact John Glass at (540) 987-8970 or email@example.com.
Located in the foothills of the Shenandoah Mountains, Belle Meade provides an exceptional Montessori educational experience that includes individual responsibility as well as social and environmental consciousness through experiential learning.
On October 10, students had the opportunity to visit several Smithsonian Museums, including the National Museum of African Art and the Freer Gallery of Art. One group of students also visited with a legislative staff member of Rep Riggleman to learn about the government process and how they can share their ideas in meaningful ways.
Thank you to everyone who helped make the Farm Tour an enjoyable day and successful fundraiser—especially to everyone who gathered items, volunteered for chef cook-off, prepared food, participated in the auction and raffle, and worked at the many jobs that made the day go smoothly.
In addition to fund raising, Farm Tour provided the opportunity to introduce many new people to the Belle Meade Community. We are particularly grateful for the part that our students played in hosting the community and showing visitors their school.
The morning of October 21 was crisp and misty. Our students rushed out from morning circle to meet Maze and Raja, our two new horses.
While sweet and well-loved thus far in life, they know little of structure and manners and even less about being ridden.
So with the changing of seasons, riding students have become riding teachers and spent the last several weeks showing the girls how life will now be for them here at Belle Meade. There are few things more rewarding than teaching (and being taught by) a horse.
As their instructor, I am excited to share in this experience and allow the students to be present as the horses learn, grow, and make mistakes, just as they do!
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Beginning in the 2019-2020 school year, Belle Meade Montessori School will expand services to primary and elementary students. This expansion provides families an alternative option to public and charter schools in Rappahannock County and the surrounding areas and adds to the robust educational options already available to middle and high school students.
“We look forward to having new students and families grow with us through this expansion to primary- and elementary-level education,” says school owner Susan Hoffman. “Our students not only benefit from highly experienced teachers but also spend time with animals, gardens and nature. We are dedicated to providing children with hands-on learning experiences where students can work, play, grow and form lasting relationships.”
The primary level offers services for children ages 3-6. Young children spend the day developing their imaginations and spatial awareness. Physical activities are preferably held outdoors, and students engage in self-guided work. The classroom is a colorful, tactile experience where young minds engage in art, building and linguistic development. Students cultivate independence, coordination, responsibility and positive work habits.
The elementary level offers services for children ages 6-11. Older children spend the day developing their social skills and academic interests. Physical activities are preferably held outdoors, including swimming, hiking, field sports, gardening and animal husbandry. Short group instructions introduce students to academic concepts while still offering time to pursue personal interests with one-on-one guidance from teachers.
“Belle Meade has completely changed our son’s educational experience for the better,” says parent Kathryn Hughes. “Every day my son comes home from school excited to share what he learned and the projects he’s working on. He has gained so much confidence in his abilities.”
Belle Meade first opened its doors in 2007 to upper grades and received full accreditation in 2014. School owner Susan Hoffman has an A.B from Smith College, and Ed. M. Harvard, and an Ed. D. Johns Hopkins University. Head of school John Glass has a B.S. degree from Brigham Young University in Education and completed AMI/NAMTA Adolescent Orientation at Hershey, Ohio, in 2018.
The Belle Meade Physical Expression class facilitates self discovery. The goal for each student this year is to find an activity they enjoy and can do the rest of their lives. To help one of the students reach her goal of learning to ride a bike, we partnered with Community Bikes and recycle our old bikes and replace them with eight working ones.
Thanks to P.E. teacher Neil and parent volunteer Jason Arndt for taking several students to Community Bikes to learn how to repair and maintain our bikes.
Ski season starts in January. Students will receive five sessions at Massanutten on Thursday afternoons. Transportation will be provided, and students should bring plenty of food. The fee schedule for both skiing and snowboarding is $224 for slope-use tickets, equipment rentals and lessons, and $212 for slope-use tickets and lessons.
Please bring in a check made out to Massanutten Resorts (GERM) to cover the cost of skiing before break begins. Students should sign up for “with equipment rentals” or “without equipment rentals” if they will bring all their own gear, including skis or snowboard. Helmets are not included in rental fees. Students may rent helmets for $12 cash each time they ski or may purchase and bring their own. Helmets can be bought from various sources for around $30.
On Thursday ski days, we will return to the Sperryville schoolhouse at 6:45 p.m. The white van will arrive at Hackley’s around 7:05/10, and the school bus will return to Belle Meade around 7:05/10. When Skiing season begins, please let us know if you plan to pick up your student in Sperryville, at Hackley’s, or at school.
The Trimester Dinner was very eventful and lively! The high schoolers performed a mock Virginia Supreme Court case that showcased their study of American History. The middle schoolers also put on a performance of their Easter Readings Language Arts class with a shadow puppet theater of an ancient Chinese version of Cinderella.
This last trimester dinner was accompanied by Kimber and the band. They played a total of five songs. Their music ranged from classic rock to contemporary pop. The band consisted of Hannah and Lillie (vocals), Reilly (drums), Kimber (guitar/bass), and Gavin (guitar).
Everyone who attended brought food. The theme of the dinner was Greek as the middle schoolers are studying Eastern culture and history and wanted to have a dinner that related to what they were learning. The food that was brought was delicious and ranged from salad, tzatziki sauce, and gyros. We also had dessert, including cake, pie, ice cream, and baklava.
—Lilie and Morgan
Visitors are welcome on Monday and Friday
Call (540) 987-8970, email, or contact us to schedule.
BEST OF 2020 voting is now live. Please encourage your families, friends and neighbors to vote for Belle Meade Montessori School as well as Belle Meade Swim & Day Camp.
Go here to vote now. Every vote counts! Vote daily from Feb. 10-21.
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We recently received two new horses and have begun to train them. While Raja is still learning to stand still, Maze, is learning by leaps and bounds. When we first acquired these horses, they did not know how to carry a rider, respond to steering, or anything else that is required to ride them.
Since then, Lauren, with the aid of a few students, has taught Maze to carry a rider and what the steering signals mean, and we just had a huge breakthrough. Maze carried a rider and walked around the ring without Lauren leading her, only following the directions of the rider.
Another horse has been vastly improving lately as well. Johnny first came to us extremely overweight and not able to do much. While still chubby, he’s in better shape and we are beginning to jump him. He can now jump 2’9”, something his owner never thought he’d be able to do.
Left: Hannah practices jumping Johnny in the ring. (Photo by Venla)
Right: Maze carries a rider, Alyssa, unassisted for the first time. (Photo by Lauren)