East Cooper Montessori Charter School offers 4 Upper Elementary environments. Each classroom has an approximate 1:12 educator/student ratio. As a public charter school. each lead teacher is South Carolina certified, as well as Montessori trained in the area which they teach. In addition, ECMCS also provides inclusive Gifted & Talented Programming. Therefore, each lead teacher is Gifted & Talented Endorsed by the State of South Carolina Board of Education.
When students reach Upper Elementary, they are seeking increased independence and expanding their imaginative thinking. Our Upper Elementary classrooms continue to foster these qualities in each individual child while maintaining rigorous academics, students continue developing in responsibility, respectfulness, and resourcefulness.
Our faculty comprises traditionally trained teachers with SC state certifications, as well as additional Montessori and Gifted and Talented certifications and endorsements.
Characteristics of the Upper Elementary classroom include:
• Self-paced academic work-cycle
• Student input in the learning process
• Collaborative projects and performances
• Regular community meetings
• Individual responsibilities for caring for the environment
• Standardized testing to monitor academic progress
As in all our classes, Upper Elementary students further their academic pursuits in a traditional Montessori prepared environment. Hands-on materials for math, algebra, geometry, language, science, history, geography, and practical life are all included on the shelves of this environment. Global cultures are highlighted throughout this 3-year cycle in order to expand the students’ awareness of their place in history. Peace projects and service learning are also an integral part of the ECMCS curriculum.
In addition to field trips to environmentally and culturally significant destinations in and around Charleston, students in the Upper Elementary classrooms participate in annual overnight excursions as a unified group. A different trip is taken in each year of the 3-year cycle. These trips are selected by the teachers to provide hands-on learning experiences that encourage teamwork and community building. While each different trip meets and exceeds academic standards, the true value in these trips is in the bonding of the Upper Elementary students as a whole. Students return from these trips with a stronger sense of self, closer relationships with others, and enhanced school pride.
The culminating experience for the Upper Elementary student is the Montessori Model United Nations (MMUN) program. Sixth grade students are encouraged to participate in the MMUN as an opportunity for independent research, debate, and exploration of humanitarian and global issues. After months of preparation at school, MMUN students travel to New York in the spring as model UN ambassadors of their assigned countries. There they interact with hundreds of other Montessori students from around the world to debate international issues, prepare draft resolutions, resolve conflicts, and navigate UN Rules of Procedure.