Oak Knoll Montessori School Celebrates Its Fall Festival

Celebrating the New Semester

In one of its first few events since the world shut down in the Covid-19 Pandemic, Oak Knoll Montessori school recently held its annual fall festival. The long-awaited event drew more than 200 parents and children to the Altadena campus.

The Oak Knoll K-8 school is a Montessori school, as Head of School Kira Donnelly explained.

“We use the Montessori pedagogy, which means that we are basing our work in the classroom on the work of Dr. Maria Montessori,” said Donnelly.

“It’s a lot of hands-on work,” Donnelly continued. “It’s about understanding the concepts physically before you have to abstract them intellectually. And it’s about practical skills, social and emotional skills where where you know how to exist in the world. So it’s not just can you do your math facts, but can you have a conversation and you lead a discussion and be part of that.”

Officially, the schools mission is, “Using fully implemented Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) principles, Oak Knoll Montessori School educates on every level: academic, emotional, and social. We provide an innovative and rich environment that nurtures independence, personal responsibility, and a deep-rooted love of learning”

Adolescent guide and long time Montessori teacher Jimmy Recinos would agree. As he said on Saturday, “I think that my favorite part of teaching here is the collaboration with students. So it’s not a place where as instructors or as teachers, it’s solely your responsibility to oversee each and every task the student does.

“Actually,” he said, “It’s a place where, should you have an idea, or should you be inspired, should you want to include as many people as you can, the students are experts in that process.

“They’re experts in coming up with ideas, whether it’s a fortune telling booth or a bake sale, or some other creative possibilities where they can showcase their talents and skills,” he continued. “By far, that’s my favorite part. They guide a lot of the learning, and so we do collaborative work together rather than simply instructive work.”

The school campus is also expanding, noted Donnelly.

“We’re expanding our early childhood campus right now,” she said, “And we plan to expand our elementary campus in the next couple of years. So it’s a great place to be.”

Oak Knoll Montessori operates two campuses: the Lake Campus at 1200 N. Lake Ave, Pasadena, CA 91104 and the Loma Alta Campus at 3544 Canon Blvd, Altadena, CA 91001. For more information, visit https://www.oakknollmontessorischool.org/ or email admissions@oaknollmontessorischoo.org.






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