“As Woodinville Montessori began its 26th year in 2008,” explains Head of School Mary Schneider, “we wanted to expand our ability to effectively tackle learning impasses—to identify student learning strengths, affinities, and challenges—and to help students understand how they learn. The new knowledge we gained through our All Kinds of Minds experience help us to meet that goal.”
What was founded in 1983 as a four-student early childhood class in Woodinville, Washington, has grown today to Woodinville Montessori School—an independent, coeducational day school serving a total of 265 toddler, early childhood, elementary, and junior high students.
“All Kinds of Minds is a perfect match for the Montessori approach, which is based on the notion that tailoring learning to the individual is the best way to facilitate the fullest intellectual, emotional, social, and spiritual development of each person,” adds Ms. Schneider.
With 82 percent of its teachers educated in All Kinds of Minds’ processes, the faculty at Woodinville Montessori School readily applies their knowledge of the neurodevelopmental framework to personalize learning. Identifying obstacles to learning they’ve observed in students, challenging previous assumptions, and crafting new strategies to circumvent apparent road blocks are part of the process. Student knowledge of the constructs is further developed by student-teaching events for parents.
Using All Kinds of Minds vernacular and methods has been instrumental in helping Woodinville Montessori meet its goal of developing a common language and system for addressing learning challenges. Faculty members have reframed their Learning Support Team’s student observation, reporting, and management procedures to mesh with All Kinds of Minds’ practices.
Woodinville Montessori Director of Elementary and Junior High Programs Nancy Kestek comments, “As a faculty we are committed to consistently focusing on strengths first and challenges second in every school dialogue about our learners. We are devoting staff in-service sessions to developing profiles of students and exploring the neurodevelopmental requirements of various subject areas and specific lessons to continuously implement the All Kinds of Minds Student Learning Partnership process.”