Thank you for your interest in Von Wedel Montessori School! We are delighted that you are thinking about applying and hope that you have had the chance to visit our quaint campus and experience some of the magic that makes Von Wedel so special.
Von Wedel Montessori School is alive with a dedicated, highly-trained faculty and an inquisitive and talented student body. Our Montessori curriculum allows extensive opportunity for hands-on exploration of the environment and continually seeks to expand each student’s world view. We seek to empower our students as young learners poised to become responsible global citizens and encourage everyone to contribute his or her imagination, curiosity, and special talents to the entire Von Wedel community.
Von Wedel’s core academic program is rigorous and challenging, with a strong emphasis on developing intellectually curious and open-minded young people. We teach with a commitment to deep understanding rather than rote learning, and believe that each of our students has the potential to soar to the greatest of heights.
As a school, we at Von Wedel Montessori look forward to serving your family’s educational needs in the years to come and to making you the newest part of our ever-growing community. Our teachers and administrators are always available to answer any questions you may have about student – and family – life here at school, and we encourage you to get comfortable and ask away.
Von Wedel Montessori School
Von Wedel School’s mission is to foster the growth, well-being, and intellectual development of young children through gentle guidance, free exploration, open discovery, and the use of multifaceted didactic materials. We strive for our students to become self-sufficient individuals, independent thinkers, and acute observers who are empowered to adapt to their many unique and changing environments.
Von Wedel School believes that learning follows a sequential process that is to be experienced within, and according to, each individual child. It is every student’s right to have a positive, nurturing, safe, and secure school setting, and the educator’s responsibility to carefully plan and prepare an environment rich with challenges and opportunities for exploration that are designed to help students grow, mature, and progress under guided and watchful eyes.
Von Wedel School is committed to providing challenging and enriching educational experiences to its students and excellent customer service to their families. This is what we do and why we exist. By focusing on our students, gaining the trust of our families, and being a responsible member of our community, we endeavor to create an atmosphere that fosters academic achievement, that provides meaningful work for our employees, and that creates something of lasting value to society through the impact we have on the many lives we touch.
We – as a school – honor four core values that have come to define the Von Wedel experience:
Integrity is at the heart of everything we do. We are honest, ethical, and upfront. Trust is the foundation upon which we build our relationships with our students, their families, our community, and each other.
Respect governs our every action. We understand the critical importance of respecting everyone we encounter in and around the School campus and champion diversity, embrace individuality, and listen carefully when others speak.
We hold ourselves to the highest of performance standards and aspire to excellence in all that we do. As a school, we stress high standards of academic achievement, prize dedication and innovation, and support the teamwork it takes to further our collective success. As professionals, we never stop asking ourselves how we can improve on the educational experience we provide to our students and families, and we always endeavor to better ourselves and our School.
We take responsibility for our actions as individuals, as educators, and as a school. All of us at Von Wedel School work together, support one another, and never let our students, their families, or our coworkers down.
We believe that great schools are known for what they do, not what they say, and invite you to judge for yourself. Join us on a journey together; our core values will always guide the way.
Von Wedel Montessori School is happy to be unique. Part of what makes us so special is our underlying – and unwavering – commitment to ten (10) guiding principles that help to distinguish us as among South Florida’s finest schools. Von Wedel can be identified by:
1. A Rigorous Instruction Program with a Clear Focus and High Expectations
We believe that a school’s education program should provide equal access to all and enable every student to master challenging content, skills, and learning strategies. At Von Wedel, Clear Focus and High Expectations are – for faculty and students alike – two of the program’s defining tenets. These beliefs are shared among the entire school community to encourage the whole to strive to ensure the success of every member. Clear focus and high expectations are the foundation upon which our program’s ethos was born.
2. A Personalized, Differentiated Learning Environment characterized by Achievement and Success
School faculty are intimately familiarized with each student’s learning style, social and family conditions, strengths, aspirations, and needs. Each of our students enjoys strong relationships with other students and a close, continuous relationship with one or more adults in the school community. Through personalization, we focus on each individual student’s respective achievement and success above simply collective gains. No child is ever kept from soaring, and none are ever left behind.
3. Focused Leadership
Our school’s Leadership is focused on student achievement; improving and enhancing school culture, teaching, and learning; and effective collaboration across and among school leaders, teachers, parents, students, and local partners. We demonstrate and inspire an unwavering commitment to fulfilling the school’s mission among all members of the school community and make informed decisions, implement innovative solutions, and take smart risks along the way.
4. Meaningful Student Assessment (and Self-Assessment)
Assessment and the measurement of learning outcomes occurs continuously with a variety of opportunities for students to demonstrate that they meet content and performance standards and can apply their learning. This helps to identify not only the school’s collective progress, but, even more importantly, each individual’s achievement and gains toward specific, tailored goals. The School communicates this progress to families and analyzes the results to help inform and extend each child’s goal setting.
All the while, Von Wedel Montessori School simultaneously engages in a dynamic process of self-assessment, reflection, and innovation that meets changing student needs and guides future development.
5. Parent Education, Parent/Caregiver Interaction and Collaboration, and Community Partnership and Participation
Von Wedel Montessori School integrates families, and the community itself, into school life. Our campuses exist as partnerships driven by parent demand, and cultivated by the School community, in which parents and caregivers not only communicate and share information and strategies pertaining to an individual child’s gains, but also have voice and power to shape the school’s future development.
This partnership extends to collaboration with outside organizations that strengthen the School’s ability to serve the academic and developmental needs of its many students. This interaction enables Von Wedel to keep in touch with wider community and professional networks and helps us to capitalize on opportunities and resources that support student success.
6. The ‘Familial’ or ‘Neighborhood’ Feel Arising from a Small Total School Population Comprised of Mixed-age Classrooms
Classrooms and schools should be places that offer students a sense of belonging and purpose, and where they feel connected to the whole. Von Wedel embraces this idea by fostering an educational environment defined by interaction between students: a style of interaction very reminiscent of, and grounded in, concepts of the family.
In our standard mixed-age environments, there are certain members of the classroom who fill the role of the bigger brothers and sisters, some who take on the role of traditional middle siblings, and others yet who enter as the classroom’s younger brothers and sisters. Each of our students is tied to every other student; each has definite and different responsibilities to the whole; and each plays an important role in the ensuing atmosphere of cooperation and support which has come to define Montessori at Von Wedel.
We tap into children’s natural understanding of relationships and, through the wide span of abilities and aptitudes the children share, create a school culture where differences are celebrated and where students need not feel self-conscious for their performance. Everyone works at his or her own level, and none are ‘behind’ or ‘ahead’ of the rest.
At Von Wedel, our students, teachers, families, and even administrators come together to form a web of personal relationships that make school a true extension of the home, and a place that is comfortable, safe, and overwhelmingly conducive to exploration, experimentation, learning, and growth.
7. Caring, Compassionate, and Progressive Montessori Teachers
Teachers at Von Wedel go beyond simply concerning themselves with ‘conveying’ information to a child, and instead position themselves as guides who help facilitate and share in learning and growth experiences – be they academic, ethical, moral, or social. Our Teachers’ concerns extend beyond marks or scores on a piece of paper to encompass the whole child, and they skillfully create and shape environments whose purpose is to support that child’s growth and development into adolescence.
Our teachers focus on and acknowledge multiple areas, forms, and modes of student success; they embrace a range of measurement tools; and they encourage the use of innovative learning methods to increase learning opportunities for all students.
8. Student Responsibility, Accountability, and Empowerment within the Academic Framework
Responsibility, Accountability, and Empowerment are not simply ‘adult’ concepts and should begin being stressed in youth. Even at the preschool level, Von Wedel students learn that they have certain and very definite responsibilities to themselves, their friends, their classroom, their school, all the way to their world, and are held accountable for fulfilling those responsibilities. Our students understand that they will make decisions – and mistakes – as part of their learning.
Our students also understand that their educational program is not a fixed, static thing, but rather something they can help to shape – albeit within limits. They are empowered to make decisions that affect their daily experience and are guided to making better and better choices until such time that they can be relied on – by parents, teachers, and friends – to exercise a degree of academic independence.
9. Meaningful Contexts for Learning, Challenges to Develop Critical Reasoning, Openness to Encourage Creativity, and Opportunities to Facilitate Service and Commitment
Von Wedel students are provided an environment rich with practical and real-world experiences through which they develop and apply personal and life skills. Whether organizing a school talent show, running the classroom’s after-school lemonade stand, or collecting canned goods or old toys for donation during the Holiday season, students are continuously given the ability to apply concepts from their classroom learning and integrate them across life’s experiences.
(A lemonade stand, for example, involves everything from mathematical operations, to use of money, to planning and organizational skills, to social concepts such as charity if the revenues are to be used as part of a class service project.)
10. An Emphasis on Collaboration, Peer Guidance, Problem Solving, and Goal Setting According to Developmental Readiness
School and classroom life should embrace ideals of cooperation and collaboration toward the attainment of both personal and collective goals, with students involving themselves in not only their own, individual program, but with their friends’ and classmates’ programs as well.
As students move from their Primary to Elementary years, they will be encouraged by teachers to learn to establish realistic goals for themselves, again both individually and for the group, and to take the steps necessary to meeting those goals. More and more, teachers will seek to step back, fading almost even out of sight, as independent thinkers and doers emerge to engage themselves and each other.
At Von Wedel, success is when the classroom appears to run itself, without any central compelling force beyond the air of energy and enthusiasm that ties the group together.
Von Wedel Montessori School is committed to providing a learning and working environment free from unlawful discrimination and harassment and to fostering a nurturing and vibrant community founded upon the fundamental dignity and worth of all its members.
Consistent with this commitment, and with all applicable laws, it is the School’s policy to not tolerate unlawful discrimination or harassment in any form and to provide those who feel that they are victims of discrimination with mechanisms for seeking redress.
Also consistent with this commitment, Von Wedel School prohibits any form of discrimination against any person on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, gender, pregnancy, age, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, marital status, status as a victim of domestic violence, citizenship or immigration status, creed, genetic predisposition or carrier status, unemployment status, partnership status, military status, or any other applicable legally protected status in the administration of its admissions policies, educational program, and/or employment practices.
This policy governs the conduct of all Von Wedel School students, families, faculty, staff, and visitors that occurs on the School’s campuses or in-connection with School-sponsored programs. This policy also governs conduct by Von Wedel School students, faculty, staff, and visitors that creates, contributes to, or continues a hostile educational or work environment for a member or members of the School community.