"The Missoula International School is a nonprofit, independent school in Missoula, MT, offering a unique educational opportunity for Missoula families. We provide an engaging international curriculum taught primarily in Spanish for children between the ages of three and fourteen. Founded as a Spanish and French immersion preschool in 1995 housed in a private living room, we once served only a small group of preschoolers. We have since grown to serving 130 students in grades preschool through middle school. Eleven years ago we employed four part-time teachers. This year we have a faculty comprised of eighteen full and part-time teachers bringing over 60 years of combined professional teaching experience to the program.
At MIS, our extraordinary faculty focuses on the educational development of each child. The MIS educational program is designed to be developmentally appropriate and academically rigorous at each grade level. All of the programs offered by MIS --preschool, primary grades and middle school--share a common goal: to create strong minds and open hearts in our graduates. They also share small class sizes, highly skilled teachers and an educational setting that promotes human connectedness.
The heart of the Missoula International School is the collective vision that its teachers, staff, parents and students have for a better world. Each member of our school community participates in the delivery of our curriculum in a unique way, and we invite and encourage family participation at MIS
Excerpted from the preschool's website
"Beginning the day..... 8:45 - 9:00 a.m.
The 3/4 preschool class is MIS' youngest group. Therefore, it is a perfect time for little learners to begin their Spanish acquisition at MIS. When students arrive in the morning their teachers greet them with bright smiles and ¡Buenos Días! Following drop-off, the preschoolers begin their day with free play in the classroom. Colorful artwork and many Spanish words line the walls and reinforce the immersion experience for these young MIS students.
Círculo... Morning Circle... 9:00 - 9:30 a.m.
After a few minutes of play, they gather for morning círculo, or morning circle, where they learn new Spanish vocabulary and are introduced to the day's centros. The 3/4 preschoolers learn one new Spanish song each week (on average) in morning círculo. Círculo also is a place where the teachers read books that correspond with the main ideas they will cover that day in centros or centers.
Following círculo, the class shares a snack, and then splits into two groups: half-day students and full-day students. One group either goes to music or art (depending on the day) and the other goes to recess and centros. Both groups of preschoolers attend a speciality class, recess and centros during the day.
Centros... Learing Centers... 9:30 - 11:00 a.m.
Centros are the main focus of the preschool experience at MIS; they offer student-guided learning and choice. Centros also facilitate the PYP unit of inquiry. For example, the 3/4 class explored a unit on Professions this year. One parent visited the classroom and shared his experiences as a medical technician with the preschoolers. He even put a cast on one of the teachers! The preschoolers visited a local hospital to see the medical profession in action. One of the centros corresponds with the medical profession; it includes medical supplies and offers students an opportunity to learn through play. Another centro prepares students for a visit from a local fire crew as they make a giant fire engine in the classroom. Through centros preschoolers explore a particular unit in age-appropriate ways.
Midday and Afternoon..... 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
After centers, students have time for free play. Then they reunite for closing círculo in which we reflect on the day's lesson. At this time half day students say ¡Hasta luego! and fullday students go to lunch. After lunch they go to recess on MIS' preschool playground. In the afternoons, the group reads books and has naptime. The afternoon includes a lot more free play and is a time when students get more indepth time to explore the morning's lessons. The day ends with a final círculo after which everyone says ¡Hasta pronto! or, for the English speaker, see you later!
Excerpted from the preschool's website