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Clanmore Montessori School
Clanmore Montessori School
2463 Lakeshore Road East
Oakville, Ontario, L6J 1M7
Contact name:
Elaine Delsnyder

Phone number:
(905) 337-8283×
Clanmore Montessori School

Clanmore Montessori School

2463 Lakeshore Road East, Oakville, Ontario, L6J 1M7

Grades (Gender):
Preschool to 8 (Coed)
$7,425 to 17,700/year
Main Language:
Avg. Class Size:
Day: 145 (Gr. PS - 8)

get more information Get more information

Contact Name:
Elaine Delsnyder

Phone Number:

School Address
2463 Lakeshore Road East, Oakville, Ontario, L6J 1M7

About this school:

Located in southeast Oakville, bordering the city of Mississauga and a local conservation area, Clanmore Montessori School is housed in a beautifully restored historic building with a modern, innovative addition. Providing a top-quality authentic Montessori program, our highly qualified, caring staff support each child by fostering individual potential and encouraging academic and social growth. We offer Montessori Programming from Toddler to Middle School. CCMA accredited. Day Nursery Licensed.

Upcoming Events Next event: January 23, 2016

upcoming events
  • January 23, 2016Open House
    Clanmore Montessori School, 2463 Lakeshore Road East, Oakville, Ontario
    Join us Saturday, January 23 from 10:00 am - 02:00 pm

    Come for a tour of Clanmore Montessori School. See our classrooms, meet our staff, and have your questions answered.

  • February 26, 2016Application Packages Due: Current Families
    Clanmore Montessori School, 2463 Lakeshore Road East, Oakville, Ontario
    Register by Friday, February 26 from 04:00 pm

    Dealine for return of application packages for currently registered families in order to secure a spot for the next academic year.

Principal's Message


Grace Kidney, Principal and Co-Owner

Clanmore Montessori School sprang from a dream, a vision, a desire for a wonderful learning environment for children. In 1997 we opened our doors, and have since grown to a full spectrum Montessori school meeting the needs of children from toddler through to the middle school years. I am tremendously proud of our knowledgeable and wonderfully gifted teachers and the work that all the staff does to maintain Clanmore's highly personal and welcoming atmosphere. Over the years we have found that this unique atmosphere unites our families resulting in our whole community supporting the children as they grow to realize their potential. A potential which is astounding when it is left to freely develop.

Clanmore, which means big family in Gaelic, is a truly unique place. I welcome you to visit any time to see for yourself.



Curriculum Montessori

Primary Curriculum: Montessori
Particularly popular in the younger grades (preschool to elementary), but sometimes available all the way up to high school, Montessori schools offer an alternative vision to the standard lesson format of most classrooms. Lessons are highly decentralized: children typically work individually (though sometimes with others) on specialized "Montessori materials" -- without interference from the teacher. The materials are self-correcting and teach the student something about the subject at hand. The method's goal is to develop children's innate desire to learn, while freeing up time for teachers to help children individually, as needed.

What school says: Clanmore's programming is based on the philosophy of Maria Montessori, who advocated for an approach to children consistent with their natural development and their fundamental desire to learn. It is our mission to offer individual attention to the development of the whole child, always with respect for the rights, dignity and integrity of each. The program, classrooms and experiences are carefully prepared in accordance with the specific needs emerging at each stage of human development. Independence and freedom of choice, within the boundaries of developmentally appropriate activities, foster intellectual, social and physical growth, along with the emergence of self-esteem, personal dignity and mutual respect. The children become confident learners, channelling curiosity into exploration and experimentation.

  • Montessori offered:

    Program = offered
    Montessori toddler
    Middle School
    High School

  • Pedagogies and subject courses

  • Mathematics Equal Balance

      These math programs feature an equal balance of “Traditional” and “Discovery” methods.
      Learn about the different mathematics approaches  

    • What school says: The Montessori math curriculum moves from concrete to abstract, from experiential to formula.

    • Textbooks and supplementary materials: Montessori has a comprehensive set of purposefully designed math materials commencing at the Casa (preschool) level.

    • Calculator policy: Calculators are seen as tools which can be used at the discretion of the teaching staff, provided such use does not allow students to bypass understanding of the concept(s) being explored. (middle school) Occasional use is at the discretion of the teacher or based on individual need. (upper elementary)

    Early Reading Phonics-intensive

      Systematic-phonics programs teach young children to read by helping them to recognize and sound out the letters and syllables of words. Students are then led to blend these sounds together to sound out and recognize the whole word. While other reading programs might touch on phonetics (either incidentally or on a “when needed” basis), systematic phonics teaches phonics in a specific sequence, and uses extensive repetition and direct instruction to help readers associate specific letter patterns with their associated sounds.
      Learn about the different early reading approaches  

    • What school says: A continuum approach moving from sound awareness, phonetic sound symbol association, reading of phonetic words, introduction of constant blends (phonograms) and words which contain them, irregular word introduction, supported by lots of reading practice.

    • DIBELS Testing: This school periodically uses DIBELS testing to assess reading progress.

    • What school says: [school has not provided this information]

    Writing Process approach

      The process approach to teaching beginner writing aims to get students writing “real things” as much as possible and as soon as possible. The goal is to create the right environmental conditions to encourage a love of writing and a motivation to write well. With children invested in the writing process -- through assignments children find meaningful -- students are then given feedback on how they can improve.
      Learn about the different writing approaches  

    • What school says: There is a focus on the development of the mind and the development of the hand simultaneously. Fine motor control is developed, and sandpaper cursive letters are traced with the fingers. Progression then follows from chalkboards to paper. Children are encouraged to write content which is meaningful to them, and grammatical concepts are initially introduced and developed in a concrete, hands-on format resulting in an abstract understanding.

    Science Inquiry

      Inquiry-based science emphasizes teaching science as a way of thinking or practice, and therefore tries to get students “doing” science as much as possible -- and not just “learning” it. Students still learn foundational scientific ideas and content (and build on this knowledge progressively); however, relative to expository science instruction, inquiry-based programs have students spend more time developing and executing their own experiments (empirical and theoretical). Students are frequently challenged to develop critical and scientific-thinking skills by developing their own well-reasoned hypothesis and finding ways to test those hypotheses. Projects and experiments are emphasized over textbook learning. Skills are emphasized over breadth of knowledge.
      Learn about the different science approaches  

    • Teaching approach: As with most of our subject areas, our approach to science is rooted in experiential, hands-on opportunities, many of which are cross-disciplinary. At the preschool level biology, zoology and botany are covered, while the elementary programs add opportunities for the study of chemistry, weather science, anatomy and life science, among others. Middle school students might study bacteria for example, as part of the process of canning produce that they have grown themselves for sale in the small business they run (cross-disciplinary, science and micro-economy).

    • Topics covered in curriculum:

      Subject = offered
    • Treatment of evolution:

      Evolution as consensus theory
      Evolution as one of many equally viable theories
      Evolution is not taught

    Literature Equal Balance

      These literature programs draw in equal measure from “Traditional” and “Social Justice” programs.
      Learn about the different literature approaches  

    • What school says: The seeds of a love of literature are planted by exposure to a wide variety of all literary genres. Shared enquiry is a component of the curriculum encompassing interpretative reading and Socratic seminar.

    Social Studies Core Knowledge

      Usually focused on teaching history and geography at an early age, the core knowledge approach uses story, drama, reading, and discussion to teach about significant people, places, and events. Breadth of content and knowledge is emphasized. The curriculum is often organized according to the underlying logic of the content: history might be taught sequentially, for example (as students move through the grades).
      Learn about the different social studies approaches  

    • What school says: Clanmore adopts an methodology whereby all subjects are approached in an inter-related manner, for example math would also encompass history (the history of numbers, the importance of math to early civilizations etc.)

    Humanities and Social Sciences Equal Balance

      These programs represent an equal balance between the perennialist and pragmatic approach to teaching the humanities and social sciences.
      Learn about the different humanities and social sciences approaches  

    • What school says: [school has not provided this information]

    Foreign Languages Equal Balance

      These programs feature an equal blend of the audio-lingual and communicative styles of language instruction.
      Learn about the different foreign languages approaches  

    • What school says: We use the AIM method of French instruction. Gestures, stories and music are used. The expansion of vocabulary and development of grammar concepts are supported within the safe and predictable context of a story that becomes deeply embedded in the students' minds. Through story-telling and drama, students learn words and phrases which enable them to engage in authentic discourse.

    • Languages Offered: • French

    Fine Arts Creative

      Creative arts programs are studio-driven. While historical works and movements may still be taught to add context to the program, students mainly engage in making art (visual, musical, theatrical, etc). The goal is use the actual practice of art to help educate students’ emotions, cognition, and ethos.
      Learn about the different fine arts approaches  

    • Program offers:

      Subject = offered
      Visual Arts
    • Visual studio philosophy:

    • What school says: Development of understanding that almost any material can be an art medium. Familiarity with various artists past and present. Still life, portraiture, and abstract drawing; collage, print-making, sculpture, textiles and crafts. The development of art techniques and introduction to design elements (colour, line, shape, form, space and texture). Concentration on the principles of art/design: space, rhythm, balance, variety, emphasis, repetition and unity. Using the Musikgarten program to enhance the Montessori music program, the children are presented with and develop the 5 basic components of music education: movement, listening, vocal work, playing of instruments and notation.

    Computers and Technology Light integration

      Computers are used in the classroom from time to time, but integrating technology into everything students do is not a dominant focus. Digital literacy is understood to be a legitimate skill in the 21st century, but not one that should distract from teaching the subject at hand, or more fundamental skills and literacies. The idea is today’s students, being “digital natives”, are likely exposed to computers and new media enough outside the classroom: the role of the school, rather, should be to develop competencies that may otherwise get missed.
      Learn about the different computers and technology approaches  

    • What school says: The use of technology appears in the Upper Elementary curriculum and continues into Middle School as students are introduced to the use of computers as tools to enhance their work. Focus on keyboarding, word processing, network, internet and safety precautions.

    • Program covers:

      Subject = offered
      Computer science
      Web design

    Physical Education
    • What school says: The goals of the physical education program are to enhance physical growth and development, to develop physical skills and to nurture confidence in the child's own abilities and interactions with others. In order to achieve these goals, emphasis is placed on safety, fairness, rules and proper sporting behaviour. Physical education activities are always geared towards specific skills development and are age appropriate. Areas include physical fitness, health, movement and collaborative sport/games.

    • school's approach to sex-ed: The Upper Elementary children (grades 4-6) are introduced to issues surrounding puberty. Middle School students cover sex education under the guidance of a healthcare professional. In all instances, the topics covered are age appropriate and parents are informed of the timing and content of such instruction.

    Religious Education
    • What school says: [school has not provided this information]

    Preschool/K Curriculum Montessori

    • Play-based
    • Montessori
    • Waldorf
    • Reggio Emilia
    • Academic

    Montessori programs aimed at preschool and Kindergarten- aged children allow young learners to choose which “tasks” or activities interest them. These tasks centre around special Montessori puzzles -- the essential features of these puzzles being they contain a “right answer” and allow for self-correction. A strong emphasis is therefore placed on learning being concrete and rooted in practical experience, along with children developing a sense of self-sufficiency and confidence. Specially trained teachers act as guides, introducing children to progressively more difficult materials when appropriate. A Montessori classroom is typically very calm and orderly, with children working alone or, sometimes, in small groups.

    What school says: At Clanmore you will find in our Preschool (Toddler and Casa enironments): -responsive programming -purposeful activity -positive encouragement -intellectual, social, physical and emotional development -a sense of belonging

    Curriculum Pace Student-paced

    • Standard-enriched
    • Accelerated
    • Student-paced

    The main curriculum pace is non-standardized and is HIGHLY responsive to the pacing of individual students, (via differentiated instruction, differentiated assessment, etc). In theory, some students outpace the default/normalized curriculum, while others spend periods "behind schedule" if they need the extra time.

    What school says: [school has not provided this information]

    Flexible pacing:

    Flexible pacing style = offered
    Subject-streaming (tracking)
    Multi-age classrooms as standard
    Ability-grouping (in-class) as common
    Frequent use of cyber-learning (at-their-own-pace)
    Regular guided independent study opportunities
    Differentiated assessment

    What school says about flexible pacing: Montessori classrooms by definition use flexible pacing. The multi-year age mix in each environment helps to ensure that each student moves at his/her own pace in each area of development. Content is interest driven, but each child is exposed to basic underlying concepts inherent in the exercises and materials.

    Academic Culture Supportive

    • Rigorous
    • Supportive

    A school with a “supportive” academic culture focuses more on process than short-term outcomes: academic performance is a welcomed side-benefit, but not the driving focus. This does not mean the school lacks standards, or has low expectations for its students: a school can have a supportive academic culture and still light the fire of ambition in its students. It does mean, however, the school provides a less intensive culture than schools with a “rigorous” academic classification, and is focused more simply on instilling a love of learning and life-long curiosity.

    What school says: The expectation is that each student work to his/her full potential. Academic performance should reflect student capabilities as a consequence of internal and intrinsic motivation. Clear standards and expectations are outlined for students generally and may be adapted to suit the needs of individual students.

    Developmental Priorities Balanced

    Primary Developmental Priority: Balanced
    Equal attention is paid to a balance of priorities: intellectual, emotional, social, and physical.

    What school says: We aim to support the developing child to work to his/her full potential, whatever that potential may be. More generally, we encourage our students to develop social awareness and community responsiveness.

    Special Needs Support High


    school provides a high degree of support for special needs students.

    • Academic Support:

      Support Type = offered
      Learning strategy and study counselling; habit formation
      Extra support and minor accommodations for children experiencing subclinical difficulties
    • Mild but clinically diagnosed ADHD

      Support Type = offered
      Extra support
    • What school says: After careful observation, a psycho-education assessment may be suggested and a personal education plan is implemented based on the recommendations in the assessment. Students' strengths, challenges and learning style are addressed. For applicants with diagnosed difficulties, the nature of the learning disability as it applies to the particular student will indicate if our program can meet that student's needs.

    • Support for moderate-to-severe special needs:

      Special needs
      ADHD (moderate to severe)
      Learning disabilities
      Dyslexia (Language-Based Learning Disability)
      Auditory Processing Disorder (APD)
      Language Processing Disorder
      Nonverbal Learning Disorders (NLD)
      Visual Perceptual/Visual Motor Deficit
      Asperger's Syndrome
      Down syndrome
      Intellectual disability
      Behavioral and Emotional
      Troubled behaviour / troubled teens
      Clinical Depression
      Suicidal thoughts
      Drug and alcohol abuse
      Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)
      Dyspraxia (Developmental Coordination Disorder)
      Cystic Fibrosis
      Multiple physical
    • Forms of support delivery:

      Support Type = offered
      A regular class with indirect support
      A regular class with resource assistance
      A regular class with withdrawal assistance
      A special education class with partial integration
      A full-time special education class
    • Additional Support:

      Support Type = offered
      Social skills programs
      Occupational therapy
    • Summary: We do not offer remedial/therapeutic support. Students are not withdrawn from the the classroom environments, however teaching staff is offered informal support and guidance to be able to implement the accommodations and modifications as outlined in any personal education plan. For a few students, a resource teacher works within the classroom to deliver one on one instruction on a limited schedule.

    • What school says: After careful observation, a psycho-education assessment may be suggested and a personal education plan is implemented based on the recommendations in the assessment. Students' strengths, challenges and learning style are addressed. For applicants with diagnosed difficulties, the nature of the learning disability as it applies to the particular student will indicate if our program can meet that student's needs.

    Gifted Learner Support Moderate


    school offers gifted learner support in the form of inclusive practices -- special, custom arrangements made for advanced learners (who otherwise remain in the regular classroom).

    Inclusive practices:

    Practice = offered
    Custom subject enrichment (special arrangement)
    Custom curriculum compacting (special arrangement)
    Guided independent study (custom gifted arrangement)
    Cyber-learning opportunities (custom gifted arrangement)
    Formalized peer coaching opportunities (specifically for gifted learners to coach others)

    What school says: Gifted students are welcome to advance at their own pace and individualized support is provided based on interests and need. Multi-age learning environments allow for accelerated pacing to be easily accommodated and customized to the particular needs of each student.

    Homework Policy

    In grade 8, Clanmore Montessori School students perform an average of 45 mins of homework per night.

    Nightly Homework
    school0 mins0 mins0 mins0 mins0 mins0 mins0 mins0 mins0 mins0 mins45 mins45 mins
    Site Average1 mins6 mins7 mins11 mins17 mins20 mins29 mins35 mins40 mins46 mins60 mins65 mins

    Report Card Policy

    How assessments are delivered across the grades:

    Prose (narrative)-based feedback1 to 8
    Parent-teacher meetingsPreschool to 8


    What school says:
    • Innovative co-curricular cooking program
    • On-site piano lessons offered
    • Halton Inter-school Chess for Charity Tournament Gold Medalists

    • Sports OfferedCompetitiveRecreational
      Ice Hockey
      Track & Field
    • Clubs Offered
      Chess Club
      Community Service
      Outdoor Education

    Tuition & Financial Aid





    Discount TypeEnrollment TypeAmount
    Full payment all students5%

    Need-based financial aid

    School has not provided this information.

    Merit based Scholarships

    School has not provided this information.


    Total enrollment 145
    Average enrollment per grade12
    Gender (grades)Preschool to 8 (Coed)
    Boarding offeredNo

    Student distribution: We do not have this data for Clanmore Montessori School




    Admissions Assessments:

    Assessment = requiredGrades
    InterviewNursery/Toddler - 8
    SSAT (out of province)
    Entrance Exam(s)

    Application Deadlines:

    Day students:

    What Clanmore Montessori School says:

    Please contact the school to make arrangements for a personalized tour with one of our Tour and Intake Team Representatives.


    Acceptance Rate:


    Type of student Clanmore Montessori School is looking for: Students from families who suscribe to the Montessori approach to education and who are able to handle the expectations made of them as a result of the way the program is structured.

    Student Entry Points

    Student TypePSJKSKK12345678
    Day Acceptance
    (Acceptance rate)

    Stories & Testimonials


    A Parent's Perspective 2

    A typical day for our children includes walks in the woods to explore and be inspired by nature, a social curriculum that takes into consideration the interconnected needs of everyone, and uninterrupted cycles of time to engage in in-depth study of areas of interest...Every time our children have their curiosity sparked by something they saw in the newspaper or noticed outside in nature, before you know it their teachers have pulled out a piece of Montessori material to support their investigation of it.  Montessori lessons come as one-on-one experiences, and as the children grow older, their need for social connection and intellectual stimulation comes together in small group lessons, carefully chosen in their timing and difficulty by the teacher.  Once concepts are set into motion, the children have long periods of time that stretch into days or even weeks, whatever is needed, to explore and achieve mastery of a concept.  The materials used in the lessons are endlessly appealing….One particular example was demonstration by our daughter of the algebraic equation a2+2ab+b2=(a+b)2.  This was done with something call a “hundred square”, a flat square of one hundred connected beads, and two elastic bands that divided the square in such a way that it visually demonstrated the equation. One of my epiphanies was seeing the area of a triangle being calculated by; using two triangles put together to make a rectangle, multiplying two sides of the rectangle, and dividing it by two.  Remember “area = base x height  2” ?  For the first time in my life I understood why it was done that way.

    A Parent's Perspective

    Fostering A Love of Learning at Clanmore Montessori School

    by: Michael Goldstein

    Like all good sceptics, my mother taught me that you can’t have your cake, and eat it too. So you can imagine how surprised I was to discover a school that understands not only the need to master the “academics” and the “advanced learning”, but also the vital importance of creating self confident, joyful, creative young learners with a love of learning that surpasses all expectations. And you can’t help notice that all their grade six graduates have gone to their first choice of middle school.

    The school operates from a beautifully renovated historic Lakeshore building adjoining Joshua’s Creek Conservation Area in Oakville. The main entrance leads into the heart of the school, where despite the constant activity of both the teachers and children, you can’t help but notice how calm everything is. The children seem self-propelled. When you peek into the classrooms you won’t find a teacher standing before their students dictating the work of the day. It’s clear that the children know what they need to do and move independently throughout the space. The teachers are seen, quietly sitting with small groups of children, doing their work to motivate the young minds through a sophisticated and purposeful methodology that encourages children to search for their own solutions – a process which the child innately craves. They want to learn, they yearn to be capable. Clanmore believes it is their duty to create the environment that fosters this drive.

    Like anything that runs this seamlessly, there is a tendency to underestimate the importance of Clanmore’s recipe for success: the vision, dedication, hard work and years of training that creates this type of environment. To start, the brilliant teachings of Maria Montessori a visionary in the field of child development and a champion of children. Montessori understood the awesome potential of the young mind and developed teaching tools to support and nurture that growth.   The other ingredient, which makes Clanmore unique is the calibre of the teachers led by Grace Kidney, a thought leader and visionary in the field of elementary education. Ms. Kidney and her staff share the belief that before a child can learn they must feel safe from ridicule and safe from judgment.  They believe, as Montessori did, that it is the duty of the teacher to be the advocate for the child and to provide the children with a fertile landscape which allows for the discovery and nurturing of self. With their keen comprehension of child development the teachers know that children learn at different rates and by various methods. Ms. Kidney believes that the teacher’s traditional role as the judge or scorekeeper of a child often leaves the child with feelings of low self-esteem and inadequacy.  A clear failure, not of the child, but of the teacher.

    Clanmore understands the vital importance of balance in the developing mind of a child. A sanctuary of free time allows a child to immerse him or her self in a rich imaginary world; a world which allows for crucial mind development that is intricately linked with the creative process, problem solving and higher thought. So many of the stresses of school life don’t exist at Clanmore. All this leads to a joyful sort of learning that surpasses all expectations as seen in the self possessed, capable and intelligent young adults that graduate from the school. There is the realization that the feeling of calm which immediately strikes you when you enter the school is created by something that is right and working and in the end, represents learning at its best. ...


    Quotes from our students, teachers and parents as to why Clanmore should be your school of choice.

    Said by a parent after reading the staff bios:  “… I was bowled over by the qualifications of the Clanmore teachers.  Such a richness, a wealth of expertise for my children.”

    “Families of like-minded people have found a place to come together in which their children’s childhood is cherished and nurtured.”

    “Hands down the best private school in Oakville!”

    “It is right what they say: Clanmore is the best little school in town.”

    “We are here to prepare for life.”         

    “There is great communication between staff and parents.”

    “The teachers plan great curriculum meetings.”

    “Results show that not only does Clanmore’s system work, but that 100% of the children graduating from Clanmore have gone on to Grade 7 at the school of their first choice.”

    “Clanmore attracts high calibre teachers who demonstrate extraordinary commitment… it seems impossible that there could be another group of teachers anywhere who are all so consistently wonderful.”

    “The solid learning and day-to-day evaluation by Clanmore teachers ensures that students are 100% ready for Grade 7.”

    “…Clanmore’s excellent time management skills which lead to a great life skill….”

    “The “do your best” rather than “be the best” attitude at Clanmore … is an essential life skill …”

    “I see so much beautiful high quality work from the children – totally unmotivated by grades.  It’s amazing!”

    “My children have blossomed at Clanmore.”

    “There are only two things I needed, one was roots, one was wings, now I have both – thank you.”

    “Clanmore taught me to never give up and do the best you can at all your work.”

    “Clanmore has given me self-confidence.”

    “Proper manners and sensitivity towards others are modelled, expected and achieved.

    “Clanmore has given me a joy of learning.  Clanmore has been more than just a school to me, it’s been a second home.”

    “Class meetings are nice because they make people feel included.  They also make us feel happy because we’re fixing our problems.”

    “Here at Clanmore we are not only taught academic lessons, we are taught to love and respect ourselves.”

    “At Clanmore we give it a try and we finish what we start.”

    “Clanmore rocks!”

    “At Clanmore my children are cherished.  Teachers are genuinely interested in them and treat them with respect and trust.”

    “Clanmore prepared me to be an independent leader.  I know how to take the initiative.”

    “Clanmore has met so many different needs for each of my children.”

    “Clanmore is a beautiful school with wonderful teachers.”

    “I have learned many things at Clanmore … you can only respect yourself once you respect others, and you have to be a friend to have a friend.”

    “Clanmore is not just a school – it’s a community.”

    “Clanmore is definitely the best Montessori School in Oakville.” ...

    A Graduate's Perspective

    I come back to visit Clanmore often. Every time I come back I have the feeling that I’m coming home. There is no sense of intrusion or outgrowth, which I have felt palpably on the three times I have returned to my high school campus since June. I don’t have to wear a “visitor” sticker or sign in at the front desk. All I have to do is walk in the front door, remove my outdoor shoes, and walk into the classroom. Immediately, I feel the Clanmore magic welcome me back. You see, that magic I just mentioned--it’s still there. The colours are still bright, the hugs are still warm and plentiful, and the energy is rich and vibrant. The magic is there, in the past, the present, in the future, transcending time. Occasionally, when I mention I’ve recently visited, someone asks me if everything feels very small. I know what they mean. The sense that your teachers really are only regular size fully human beings—or even small! The sense that the classroom is less bright, the chairs less inviting, the enormous tomes you thought you could never finish are shockingly thin. Yes. I know what they mean; but I have never experienced that at Clanmore, and I know the magic is responsible. This is not to say there haven’t been changes. Now, a feature of rainy-day recesses includes a disco dance party in the basement. I can indignantly say that I never got to do that! I never did Girls on the Run, had the chance to arrange flowers weekly, or do the AIM French program. The French program, actually, is a great example of how Clanmore has got it right. I live in Montreal. I took grade 12 and AP French in grade 11 at Appleby. It galls me to say it, but—those children speak with more fluency and confidence than I do. I, who spent 12 years in school learning French, who wrote essays and practiced tenses and memorized exceptions, am paralyzed when it comes to speaking French, because I’m afraid to get it wrong. Because I was tested and marked on my ability to speak. Because my fear of failure—a failure defined by some teacher who I didn’t even like—that fear inhibited my learning. And so now this AIM program which I never did, which exemplifies the Montessori ideals, has made Clanmore even better than it was when I attended. Please don’t misunderstand me, Clanmore was still way ahead of the game when it came to education, even without AIM. I have brought the restitution theory to all my places of work and learning. Everyone treats it as an inspired idea. My residence rules at McGill were based on mutual respect, which someone argued is not a word understood by 18 year olds. I replied that I had learned that concept when I was seven. I struggled through grade 10 algebra until my teacher took some extra time with me, and used a Montessori material from the casa classroom called the trinomial cube. I never got a question wrong, after that. I flew through grade 11 biology, studying plant and animal anatomy, as well as the five kingdoms. I barely had to study. I knew it already. I had learned at Clanmore. There is so much that I learned from Clanmore. It’s a magic place, with a community which you can’t find anywhere else. I’ve attended other highly thought-of academic institutions. It might impress those that care about names. Let me tell you—they’re not special. They’re just that—institutions. They aren’t the same. I’ll tell you why. The magic. The magic, is the love. The love of learning, the love of teaching, the love for each other. The commitment and passion which is drawn from that love. The dedication to the development of the whole child, Clanmore means “big family,” and who could ask for anything more? Mary Morris ...


    • The Canadian Council of Montessori Administrators (CCMA) Associations
    • Oakville Independent Schools (OIS) Associations

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    Contact Name
    Elaine Delsnyder

    Phone Number:
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