Nurturing respect for self, others and the environment ... through academic excellence, global perspective, and environmental awareness
Believing children to be the most valuable natural resource on Earth and the best hope for the realization of our vision, WEM offers a fully prepared, authentic Montessori environment in which each child can grow in his or her own time and way toward their greatest potential; mentally, emotionally, socially, creatively and spiritually.
Our vision is a world in which each individual has respect for self, others and the environment.
Our mission is to nurture in each child a respect for self, others and the environment through academic excellence, global perspective and environmental awareness utilizing the philosophy, methods, and materials advocated by Dr. Maria Montessori.
- Develop in each child a respect for self as a unique individual having a vital role to play in the overall scheme of life on Earth.
- Develop in each child a respect for others, an appreciation for the similarities as well as the differences that exist among the people of the world.
- Develop in each child a respect for the environment all people share and an awareness of the need to preserve and protect it for all living things.
- Nurture in each child the basic, universal human values of truth, right action, peace, love, and non-violence.
HOW WEM ACHIEVES THESE GOALS:
- Developing respect for self through academic excellence: This begins at WEM with a prepared Montessori classroom that lends itself to student success; a clean, organized environment that includes the five fundamental areas of the Montessori Early Childhood level and a full array of Montessori materials and learning activities in the elementary classrooms.
- Global perspective by developing respect for others: WEM is fortunate to be centralized in an economically and culturally diverse community. Adhering to our mission to develop in each child a respect for others through an appreciation for the similarities as well as the differences that exist among the people of the world occurs naturally in the classroom setting. This is enriched by both the Montessori curriculum and the parent volunteers who share aspects of their cultures with the students.
- Respect for the environment through environmental awareness: The Whole Earth campus provides a unique environment that offers student programs in stream-keeping, horticulture and alternative energy. Establishing the goals of nurturing respect for self, others and the environment at the formation of the school in 1986, the search was on for a site that would allow students to develop an appreciation for the environment through a daily experience with nature. In 1989, the school moved to its present location in Bothell, a campus with a stream, wooded area and garden.
To accomplish our goals and endeavor on our mission toward our vision, we look to the words and practices of Dr. Maria Montessori. She described a philosophy and methodology based on the natural development of children and how the brains learns within a specially prepared environment for the child. Administrators, faculty and staff of Whole Earth are committed to practicing the philosophy and using the methods of Maria Montessori in the truest form, not giving in to the demands from those who want the program to be primarily about academic acceleration. We choose to honor Montessori’s words: “Present a challenge with which the child can cope.”
How can we best serve the child? What is in the best interest of the child? These are the guiding questions we ask ourselves as we seek to provide maximum opportunity for each child to be successful.
The mission of the school is reviewed each year at the annual Board of Directors meeting. Meetings of faculty and staff at the beginning of each new year review the vision, mission and goals of the school. Throughout the school year, we find that it is helpful to remind ourselves of the mission whenever challenges present themselves. It is reminding ourselves of our mission that gave us the patience and strength to work through both the initial process to move the school to its present site as well as the process to obtain a conditional use permit revision and build our new, green building.