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Ava Wanas Montessori School

7590 College Rd.
Sykesville, MD 21784

(410) 970-6181


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Ava Wanas Montessori School, located off Route 32, offers Montessori education for children ages 2 to 5 years. Before and after school care is offered as well as a summer camp that maintains regular school hours for working parents. The school hosts and participates in a variety of community events including its annual Garden Party, Harvest Festival, and Go-Local Fair. In September 2009, Ava Wanas Montessori School initiated an MSDE-approved kindergarten program. Monthly tuition varies depending on the age of the child, the number of days attended per week, and the number of hours attended per day. Costs range from a minimum of $335 to a maximum of $927 per month. Healthy and homemade lunches are served daily at no additional charge. Drop-in care is available to the school's part time students at an hourly rate of $8. Call to schedule an observation.

Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based, Montessori

From the Director:

Our teachers strive to provide our students with a quality Montessori education in a stimulating, child-centered, and culturally diverse environment that fosters academic, social, and emotional development as a preparation for entry into society and ultimately adulthood. Our two classrooms are mixed-age which encourages the older students to be patient and empathetic. The children play outdoors in almost all weather conditions and gain an appreciation for the natural world through our organic vegetable garden, chattering hens, and Monarch butterfly waystation. We believe that free play is one of the most important aspects of a child's social, educational, and spiritual development.

Curriculum & Teaching Approach

Learning Philosophy & Tools

  Play- based mostly teacher led not formally in curriculum conducive environment
Language       more

More Information

  • Tracing paper and other writing instruments
  • A well-stocked bookcase
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense more

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  • Puzzles
Time & space more

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  • Calendars and clocks
  • Parquetry blocks, pegboards, and mosaic toys
  • Maps
  • Building blocks
Sci. reasoning/physical world more

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  • A place for science activities such as growing plants
  • Pets for children to watch and care for
Music more

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  • Musical instruments
Visual arts more

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  • Materials such as paint, ink, paintbrushes, crayons, markers, chalk, paper, etc.
  • Art work on the walls
Physical activity more

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  • A playground with climbing equipment
  • Bean bags, balls, and other objects that children can throw, kick, and play
  • Enough room for children to move around and play and a suitable indoor alternative to the outdoor playground on rainy days
  • Sandboxes and/or water stations for play
Other subjects taught Practical Life (care of the person, care of the indoor and outdoor environment, grace and courtesy, movement exercises) Sensorial (variation in dimensions, visual sense, tactile sense, auditory sense, gustatory sense, stereognostic sense)

From the Director:

The greatest sign of success for a teacher is to be able to say, "The children are now working as if I did not exist. ― Maria Montessori

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

It is not enough for the teacher to love the child. She must first love and understand the universe. She must prepare herself, and truly work at it.

-Maria Montessori

Day in the Life

General School Mission

We cannot know the consequences of suppressing a child's spontaneity when he is just beginning to be active. We may even suffocate life itself. That humanity which is revealed in all its intellectual splendor during the sweet and tender age of childhood should be respected with a kind of religious veneration. It is like the sun which appears at dawn or a flower just beginning to bloom. Education cannot be effective unless it helps a child to open up himself to life.

-Maria Montessori

A Typical Day

We open at 7am. Before-care students arrive betwen then and 8:30. They are able to quietly finish eating breakfast and play with their friends in the classroom, while the teachers prepare for the day.

At 8:30 our school day children arrive. Circle-time begins at approximately 8:40-8:45 and class follows. At about 10:30 we begin cleaning up and getting ready to go outside. The teachers use this transition to sing, dance, and tell stories to the children.

From 11-12, the children have free play outside. They come in at 12:00 to eat a homemade lunch together. Around 1:00, the younger children nap and the older children take part in the afternoon preschool and kindergarten program.

From 3-6 our after care students eat snack and play outside.

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

We offer schedules that are flexible to your needs and the needs of your socially active child. It's important to give children the opportunity to develop realtionships with his or her peers. Our school provides a warm, nurturing, and home-like environment to fulfill this need while respecting the desires of a home-schooling family.

Parents Say They are Encouraged to:

  • Fundraise
  • Are able to visit the school anytime we want
  • Go on field trips
  • Volunteer in the classroom
  • Receive newsletters

Modes of Communication

  • Notes
  • Phone Calls
  • Voice Mail
  • Email
  • Special Meetings


Separation is Handled through:

  • Pre-entry meetings with parents at school

Handling Separation: From the Director

We aim to make transitions as comfortable for the child as possible. Because of the nature of our classroom, our staff is able to give extra attention to those children who need it. We hold the child, guide him around the classroom, and introduce him to other children. It's not unusual for a new student to cry at drop-off and we understand this is challenging for new parents too. We allow parents to stay with their child in the classroom for a period of time, but recommend this amount of time decreases steadily over the first week or two. We've found that the quicker the transition, the easier it is for the child to adapt comfortably to their new environment.