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From the Principal

Dear Parents,

What makes us a Montessori School?

 As a Montessori school we follow the teachings of Dr. Maria Montessori (1870 – 1952). She was a medical doctor, a teacher, a philosopher, and an anthropologist.  Her progressive view of children was way beyond her time, and her writing is still very relevant today (Aubrey Hargis, CDIR, 2017)).  As part of our school improvement efforts we are examining Montessori best practices and reflecting on how we can continue to improve the fidelity of our Montessori approach.

 As I continue to learn further each day about being a Montessori school I am learning that Montessori is a verb, an action and not a thing (McTamaney 2005). Montessori cannot be named or labeled or identified but only acted out. What makes a Montessori program is that intangible, unnameable breath that loves unconditionally the children it its care, that accepts and propels without judgement, that seeks to find commonalities to unite rather than to separate. It is a peacefulness and a peace seeking that goes beyond school accreditation.

 Our Montessori approach includes:

  • Understanding that children of different ages have different needs and abilities. Our classroom have developmentally appropriate activities and expectations.
  • We observe our students and try to anticipate what the student will need next. We call this “follow the child.”
  • We believe that the environment is the best teacher, and we prepare our classrooms for rich experiences.
  • We model grace and courtesy (good manners), treating our students as we wish ourselves to be treated.
  • We recognize that all our students are unique individuals who are not likely to master the exact same concepts or have the same interests at the same time.
  • We do not use rewards and punishments to force children to comply with rules and ill behavior.We look for ways to develop a self –discipline with intrinsic rewards.
  • We believe that children learn best when they are free to move their bodies throughout the day.
  • We believe that the materials a student works with should be carefully chosen to support the current developmental stage.
  • We believe that education can change the world for the better. We are advocates for peace.The children themselves represent a “bright, new hope for mankind.”

 I am not listing all the ways that we approach being Montessori, but I think it is important to reflect on what we do and what we believe to continue that focus that has encouraged our students to love learning, acquire values, and develop the skills to live in harmony.

Renee A. Fiema

Our Peacemaker Promise

Let’s work together for peace

today and every day

Through all my actions,

all my thoughts

and everything I say!

Parents - please remember to follow our parking lot procedures. Follow this link for more information. 

The mission of Messmore Elementary School is to provide a Montessori environment that fosters self-motivated, responsible, life-long learners.
Messmore is hosting a Kindergarten Open House on March 15 at 7:00 p.m. for 4-year-old Montessori preschoolers. Utica Community Schools offers all-day Kindergarten at all elementary schools. Registration forms are available at Please bring completed registration forms with you. The open house will give parents the opportunity to learn about our kindergarten, meet teachers and building staff and complete the registration process.

Utica Community Schools is Michigan's second largest school district.   

Student achievement in the district outpaces all county, state and national averages. The district's graduation rate is 12 points higher than the state average and students and staff are regularly honored for excellence.

For more information on Utica Community Schools, please visit this link.