Charter Schools

  • What is a charter school?

    Charter schools are publicly funded and are not private schools. They are open to all students, are committed to improving public education, demonstrate a record of student achievement, and have specific educational missions and focuses.

    Charter schools are public schools created by a group of parents, teachers, or community leaders who see an educational need in their community and want to meet that need. To operate, charter founders must submit an application for approval by the State Charter School Board or the board of a school district. Like other public schools, charter schools serve students from kindergarten through 12th grade.

  • What is the purpose of a charter school?

    Charter schools offer parents and students additional choices about where students attend school and the school’s curricular emphasis. They allow educators freedom to try new strategies to inspire students and to experiment with innovative ways of educating students. Also, charter schools allow individuals and organizations outside of the traditional education system to create and run public schools.

  • Can anyone attend a charter school?

    Yes, like other public schools, charter schools must be open to every child regardless of race, religion, disability or academic ability. However, many charter schools have specific educational missions focusing on particular topics or students with particular needs. Also, charters have a cap on enrollment. The charter school will use a lottery process for the enrollment and registration of students.



  • Is MMA a public school or a charter school or a Montessori School?

    All three! We are first and foremost a public school funded through the State of Utah. As a public school, we do not charge tuition other than required school fees for secondary students. We are also required to teach to the state standards set by the State of Utah, as well as give State Assessments. As a Charter School, we are able to teach these things in a different way, such as the Montessori Method. MMA teachers are all licensed to teach in a Utah Public School and all of our teachers are either Montessori Certified or on a path to becoming Montessori Certified through an accredited 2 year Montessori Program.

  • What is Montessori?

    The Montessori Method was developed by Dr. Maria Montessori, one of the first female physicians in Italy. Her early specialty was in Psychiatry with special interest in Education. Her observations led her to question the current methods of teaching. Using scientific observation and experience gained from her earlier work with young children, in 1900 Maria designed learning materials and a classroom environment that fostered the children’s natural desire to learn and provided freedom for them to choose their own materials. The children in Maria’s programs thrived, exhibiting concentration, attention, and spontaneous self-discipline. Over a century later, Dr. Montessori is considered one of the 3 pillars of progressive education. The Montessori method focuses on developing the whole child, using hands-on materials, intrinsic motivation and practical life skills.

  • What is Normalization and why can’t I walk my child to class on the first day?

    During the first 6 weeks of school, MMA observes what is called Normalization where students become oriented to not only the school, but to the classroom. They learn how to use Montessori materials, practice grace and courtesy, and begin to develop self-direction and independence as well as a love of learning. It is important that your child be here at school as much as possible. Classroom observations from parents are also very limited during this time. Dr. Montessori's work revealed that certain characteristics develop and are refined within the normalized child: love of work; concentration; self-discipline; and sociability.

    The 1st day of school at a Montessori school looks a little different than other schools. Students are dropped off outside with their teacher and classmates. This immediately starts to create independence within the student as well as a community within their classroom. You are welcome to walk them over to their teachers and take pictures there. Not being able to walk them to class is usually more difficult for parents than it is for students.


Student Life

  • Do the children go outside everyday?

    We strongly believe that children need outside time. It is not only important for their physical development, but it is vital for their social, emotional and academic growth as well. It is important that your child be dressed for the weather, which in Utah can reflect all 4 seasons in a single afternoon. The only instances where we do not have recess is when it is colder than 15 degrees, visible lightning or days when the air quality is considered poor by the State. On those days the students will have indoor recess in our gym.

  • Why no homework?

    Montessori Schools do not typically assign daily homework. Dr. Montessori believed that if we do not dictate the work of the child in class, then it does not make sense to dictate the work they choose at home. Therefore, traditional homework is kept to a minimum. Montessorians feel that children spend all day in the classroom learning and need their afternoons and evenings to pursue their personal interests, interact with their families and relax. 

    • Instead, we encourage activities which constructively direct a child’s pursuits during home hours, while nurturing their interests and building family bonds. A fundamental truth permeates Montessori’s work: children are desperate to learn! In a Montessori class, children are motivated to discover why and how things work. Therefore, homework, in a Montessori sense, is work that the child does at home, as an extension of his or her educational exploration. This can include things like household chores. Having responsibilities at home can help language skills and increase cultural awareness.
    • Make math a part of your home environment such as having the child pair socks and count by twos; dividing a pizza into equal parts; measuring ingredients, shopping and making change. Things such as this gives the child a voice in family decisions will help a child’s confidence, perceptions of Math concepts as well as learning about their own economic geography. Reading with your child every day will result in quality time, confidence and language skills, while creating a love of reading.
    • Quality Education has been a very hot topic recently in our news and social media as well as in films and documentaries and yet the question remains: Will more homework raise academic achievement and test scores? Much has been said about overly programmed after-school schedules; too much homework that steals family time; and an approach to learning that emphasizes memorization and test scores over real understanding and critical thinking.
    • Please consider spending quality time with your children, inspiring their natural curiosity and love for learning. They are only children for a short time.

    MMA focuses more on home based projects than daily homework. Your teacher will give you more information on this as the year begins.

  • Why indoor shoes? Can’t my child just wear socks?

    Indoor shoes are important for many reasons, but a few key reasons are: 

    • Routine and stability. Mr. Rogers (a long time supporter of Montessori Education) once said “Children feel far more comfortable and secure when things happen predictably –with routines, rituals, and traditions. Those traditions, big or small, create anchors of stability, especially in rough seas." That is why Mr. Rogers did the same thing at the beginning and ending of every episode.
    • Transition- Just like removing their jacket, taking off their outside shoes and putting on their indoor shoes signal the transition from home to school and the children know it is time to learn.
    • Environment-Since our students spend so much time on the floor, indoor shoes help keep the environment clean and also cuts down on the noise in the classroom.

    Note: it is best to have some form of sole on the shoes in the event of an unplanned fire drill and they need to quickly exit the building. This is why socks are not acceptable. Things like a slipper with a sole, Crocs, Toms, or even a slip on Van style are all great choices.

  • Why snacks? We all get “hangry” right?

    Sometimes a student who is tired, feeling ill, or uncooperative can feel completely different after they have had a snack. 

    • Snacks are a very important part of the Montessori classroom beyond providing nourishment, it is actually part of the curriculum. Students take turns helping prepare the snack which is part of practical life.
    • Practical life is also taught after the student is finished eating, since Montessori uses breakable materials instead of disposable, students are required to wash their plate and restore any mess before another student can enjoy their snack.
    • Since snacks are self-serve and available throughout the day, students can choose when they feel like they need to eat, creating independence.

    We ask families to please take turns providing snacks for your students' classroom. Your teacher will send out a sign up list before school begins. It will also have guidelines to appropriate snack options.

    Snacks should never be the substitute for a healthy breakfast.