Welcome to Portage Collaborative Montessori School

Meet our Staff


Meet the dedicated team of faculty & staff at Portage Collaborative Montessori School.

Our Mission

Why Choose Montessori
The mission of Portage Collaborative Montessori School is to promote respect and empower students to learn through independent and cooperative experiences. PCMS is a public alternative school serving over 200 students from the five districts in the Stark County Comprehensive Collaborative (Canton City, Lake Local, North Canton City, Plain Local, and Jackson Local). The Montessori approach is one that values the human spirit and the development of the whole child – physical, social, emotional and cognitive.
Multi-age groupings are a hallmark of the Montessori classroom. In this environment, younger students can learn from older students while older students reinforce their learning by teaching concepts they have already mastered. This style help students better adapt to real-world situations where individuals work and socialize with people of all ages and dispositions.


About Portage Collaborative Montessori School

Program Benefits & Information

Montessori Schools differ from traditional schools as students stay with one teacher for three years in a mixed age class. The children spend most of their time working in small cooperative groups, mastering the curriculum. There are many more hands-on materials in the classroom than you might find elsewhere, and the children have free access to them on the shelves. The curriculum is individualized to each child’s ability and performance level. Looking deeper, the school is different because the main emphasis is on the social development of the child. The primary goal is for the child to become an independent learner who treats others with kindness and who acts responsibly in all situations.

Montessori teachers are trained to act as facilitators in the classroom. Their role is to stimulate the student’s enthusiasm for learning and to guide it, without interfering with the child’s natural desire to teach his or herself. Each child works through their own individual cycle of activities, and learns to truly understand according to their own unique needs and capabilities.

Three, four, and five year-old preschool and kindergarten students attend mixed-age classes daily for a three-hour morning or a three-hour afternoon session. There are 24 children in a class with one teacher and one classroom assistant. Kindergarten students attend free, as in any other public school. There is a tuition fee for three and four year-olds.

In the Preschool/Kindergarten program, much emphasis is placed on the development of the child’s personal responsibility and independence in the classroom. This applies to using materials and to showing respect for the people in the environment, both staff and students. Children choose their own materials from open shelves filled with self-correcting materials and work at their own pace. Over time, the children develop a learning community in which they are able to work for extended periods of time in deep concentration with few interruptions.

Math Work at Montessori School

In the lower elementary class, first, second, and third grade students work together in small groups and individually to complete their work. Some work is specifically assigned by the teacher for a child or group of children, other work is chosen freely from the shelves according to the child’s interests and abilities. At any one time, there will be many different activities going on, and most children will be using manipulative materials along with paper and pencil. Most lessons are given to small groups of children at a special lesson table. At times, the whole class gathers for a group lesson or activity. The children are responsible for budgeting their time to complete their assigned work and chosen work according to the class guidelines. While working, the children talk quietly and move about the classroom as needed to accomplish their goals. Older children help to guide younger children and provide positive role models. 


In the upper elementary class, fourth, fifth, and sixth grade students work together. As in lower elementary, the children individually and in small groups, move about and talk quietly as they work. Although there are still many manipulative materials, these older children spend much more time researching in books, writing, and creating project presentations. Science and social studies, in particular, are studied through independent research. The teacher may give a brief introduction to a topic, then the children seek out information from a variety of resources in the classroom, the library, and on the computer. Budgeting time wisely and working independently are crucial skills put into use continuously as deadlines for both chosen and assigned work may extend over days or even weeks. As in Montessori classrooms at all levels, a warm community feeling is fostered as the older children provide positive role models and guidance to the younger children.


The middle school class at PCMS is a unique blend of Montessori philosophy and traditional academia. It is intended to be a two-year bridge between the Montessori elementary years and formal high school education.

The middle school year is divided into four thematic cycles. These cycles are each approximately six weeks long, and they integrate the given theme into all of the disciplines of study. Since it is a two-year program, seventh and eighth graders work both cooperatively and collaboratively during Natural World (the Sciences) and Social World (the Humanities). Grammar and vocabulary studies are separated into two courses (one for each grade level), while mathematics is grouped based upon individual readiness and mastery. Types of activities target all of the learning modalities, and they are balanced among individual, small group, and class projects, lessons, and/or activities. Additionally, there is a great emphasis on individual student accountability, organization, and responsibility for work while also fostering the development of a community within the classroom and the need to mutually respect, support, and honor one another.




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Please call 330.966.1912 with questions!