“One test of the correctness of educational procedure is the happiness of the child.”
Clanmore Montessori School sprang from a dream, a vision, a desire for a wonderful learning environment for children. Grace Kidney, Elaine Delsnyder and Cathy Sustronk, who began their work together as teaching colleagues in the 1980’s, were the dreamers. They had a vision of a strong, supportive school where happy children, whose developmental imperatives were being met, would be happy learners. Dr. Maria Montessori’s approach to children and their education fulfilled this vision; theirs therefore had to be a Montessori School.
As Cathy and Grace’s children began to grow into the grade school or elementary years, it became evident that there was a lack of schools where the needs of the elementary child were sufficiently taken into consideration. It became even more imperative to them that they start an authentic Montessori school offering a full-spectrum program.
Grace, Elaine and Cathy prepared a beautiful, aesthetically pleasing environment, found exceptional teachers and drew up a comprehensive Montessori curriculum. In September 1997, a small group of dedicated families united to create the Clanmore community and Clanmore Montessori School was launched in St. Jude’s Church in Oakville.
The following year Clanmore moved premises to a beautiful, turn-of-the-century farm house, which had been owned since 1904 by the Wilson family. Ernest Wilson tells us that his father, Isaac, would be delighted to know that the old family home on the edge of Joshua’s Creek Conservation Area is now a school.
In the summer of 1999, the building was extended to house three additional classrooms, and the following year, the Upper Elementary community for 9-12 year olds was established as a distinct sub-group from the Lower Elementary community for 6-9 year olds. The Elementary Program was now a full spectrum program for 6-12 year olds to complement the existing Preschool Program for children from 18 months – 6 years.
In 2013 the farm house was again expanded. The architecturally unique, modern addition, which takes its design inspiration from the traditional Ontario barn, has the largest green roof in Oakville. The expansion was needed to accommodate the growing school and in particular to allow for the addition of a leading-edge Montessori Middle School program for 12-15 year olds.
Clanmore’s unique strength lies in its commitment to a deeply personalized approach to each child and each family, supported by knowledgeable and gifted teachers and staff. The families of Clanmore have never wavered in their commitment to the school and they continue to support Clanmore in many and varied ways. Clanmore’s highly personal atmosphere serves to unite families; the whole community supports the children as they grow to realize their unique potential.
Our job at Clanmore is to prepare the children for life, and independence is at the centre of this preparation. The Clanmore logo has always expressed love and support for the child in achieving this independence.
In 2012, Clanmore completed 15 years of providing high-quality education to hundreds of children, yet our hopes and dreams continued to grow. We added an Adolescent or Middle School program to our school of Toddler, Casa and Elementary communities, in order to take the children further along the path of independence as espoused by the remarkable philosophy and methodology proposed by Dr. Maria Montessori.
Our redesigned logo reflects this growth. It now stands upright. The larger gold nugget represents the older child joining the adults (at home and at school and represented in green) in nurturing and mentoring the younger children (smaller gold nugget) within the “prepared environment” of Clanmore.
In addition to the redesigned logo, we have now added an iconic image for each of the three main levels of the school.
At the Preschool level (Toddler and Casa communities), we are using the Montessori binomial cube, representing the sophistication of the developing mind and its capacity to internalize complicated concepts.
The Elementary level (Lower and Upper Elementary communities) is symbolized by pencil shavings, which represent the child’s capacity for movement and the use of ‘tools’ which extend the human capacity.
At the Middle School level (Adolescent community), a photograph of planet earth speaks to the outward-looking nature of the educational process, the understanding of interrelatedness of humans and their world and the excitement of the adolescent venturing out to make the world a better place.