Adolescent Coffee House at Deja Brew

On Wednesday, October 25, adolescent students were hosted by Deja Brew in Warrenton for their coffeehouse.  Each student chose a monologue, poem, song, or improvisational piece to perform individually.



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The Odyssey Trip to George Washington National Forest

The Odyssey Trip is a key component of the Montessori adolescent program academic and social experience.  The goal of the Odyssey Trip is to provide a rich educational experience for the students with a focus on learning and bonding.  The students focus on team-building, decision making, communication and cooperation skills, in a beautiful natural environment. These experiences provide the much-needed element of “bonding” as a community. The students live and work together for extended periods of time, which gives them the opportunity to forge strong working relationships with their peers.This year’s Odyssey trip got off to a slow start because we had to set up for the ducklings and chicks that were going to arrive while we were gone. We finally got on the road to The George Washington National Forest about 10 am. We arrived at the campsites around lunchtime. Ms. Janelle picked a campsite close to the bathroom and it smelled TERRIBLE! After we set up our camp we realized there was NO WAY we could stay there! So, we picked our tents and moved two slots down where the air was fresh and clean. While we were setting up our camp a cat appeared and lurked around our sight until Zoe fed it some pepperoni. Our new cat friend found us at our new site as well and just kept hanging around.

After lunch half of us went looking for the creek with Ms. Edel, while the rest continued to set up camp. We found a great swimming hole and we had swim races and contests.  The rest of the class joined us in the creek, and we had so much fun that afternoon. That night we made burgers and roasted marshmallows and s’mores over our campfire.

The next day some of us tried some fishing, and Ms. Lisa joined us in the morning. Some of us went on a 4-hour hike up the mountain with Ms. Janelle. We found a cool old cabin and a suspension bridge that led to a trail with historical markers about the days of the pig iron foundries in that area.

The cat who kept hanging around, became very friendly, but that is another story…

We had a great time and had a lot of fun!

-Janelle and Courtney

The Cat Story! (by Nora, 7th grade student)

The adolescent class of Mountainside Montessori School went on their Odyssey Camping Trip on September 14th. When they got there they started setting up the camp, and Rachael said, “Everyone be quiet”. There was a little kitten sitting right behind everyone. Everyone tried to get a little closer, but the cat kept on hissing and moving back into the bushes. Zoe suggested giving him food. The students gave the cat pepperoni for the first time, and he loved it. We also gave him tuna salad! That night he decided to stick around for dinner. For dinner he was served fresh hamburger, and then he ran into the forest. He came back later that evening while everyone was playing charades, and watched from a distance.


The next morning during breakfast the cat was practically falling on the kids. He became so friendly and began to really trust us. Abby suggested we take the cat home with us. After many discussions about the pros and cons of having a cat at school, the decision was unanimous! The cat was coming to the school as our new barn cat!

When the cat got to the school we immediately scheduled a vet visit at The Small Animal Clinic at Piedmont Equine. When we got to the clinic, the vet said he was the healthiest stray cat she had ever seen, and gave him all of his shots. She tried to listen to his heartbeat, but couldn’t because of how loud his purr was. He is so sweet and loves to be held and petted by people. Now he is living in the school barn, catching mice, and purring all the time.

George the cat is living a good life at Mountainside Montessori School and is loved by all!

Highlights from our 4H Show & Sale Weekend

The adolescent students, ten in all, raised hogs, lambs and goats, to participate in this livestock event. It is the culmination of many months of hard work. The students learn first hand how to raise an animal, including feeding and health maintenance, while keeping detailed records of cost, rates of gain, etc. They also have to go out and market the animals, inviting their buyers to bid on their animal at the live auction. I am so proud of these students for their hard work and commitment. They won many ribbons: Grand Champion, Reserve Champion, as well as many Blue and Red ribbons. Well done Mountainside Livestock club!



Adolescent Odyssey 2017 (by Courtney, 8th grade student)

Every year the Adolescent class goes on an Odyssey trip in the beginning of the year. The purpose of an Odyssey trip is so that we can bond as a class as the year begins and share time exploring sites and living together for a few days. This year our first day was rainy so we altered our plans and adjusted to the weather by spending it at the National Museum of the Marine Corps.  Many students have family members who served with the Marines at various times.The museum was incredibly informative and all had fun and learned a lot.

The following day we went camping at the Low Water Bridge Campground on the Shenandoah River in Bentonville, Virginia.  The camping part of our trip was two days and one night. On the way to our camp site we stopped at Harpers Ferry.  While we were in Harpers Ferry we went to all kinds of museums and stores. This is our class walking around Harpers Ferry.


We spent all day at Harper’s Ferry and once we were done seeing everything we drove up to the Shenandoah River to our campground.

The first thing we did was set up our tents and make a campfire and cook dinner.


Then we went down to the river and explored for a while.

We had dinner, played music and told crazy stories around the campfire. In the morning, we packed up, had breakfast and headed back to school via Skyline Drive.  We drove through the Shenandoah National Park.  We got out a few times to see the views and found a trail to go on a little hike. This is a rock that we climbed on our hike.

Here are some highlights from the Odyssey trip that the students had: Many students enjoyed the stories around the campground and got a lot out of Harpers Ferry and the historical town, shops, and stores.  A favorite store was the Old Time Candy Shop where everyone got to buy old fashioned candy and learn about its history.  Some people enjoyed wallowing in the river, exploring Skyline Drive, and looking at the views.

We had a great time on the trip and now everyone feels that we are closer as a class and grateful for being able to go on the Odyssey trip as many people do not have this opportunity.

Join Us for Our Open House!

Join us for our Open House on Saturday, August 19!

Welcome to Mountainside Montessori!

This is a test blog post.

Preparing a Rabbit Meal in the Adolescent Class

And now, for the eating part! (As a quick recap, the adolescent class raised the first litter of the rabbit operation and harvested two fryers in preparation to learn how to cook rabbit.) Most of the class had never tasted rabbit before, and after our experience with the care and harvest of the rabbits, the general consensus about trying rabbit was somewhere between “I’ll try it, but I might not like it,” and “No way.”

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Lab Science is Fun, Hands-On Science!

This post was written by Shannon Falli Lasser, one of our Mountainside parents. Shannon facilitated a cow eyeball dissection lab with the Elementary students.

“Is it going to explode on us when we cut into it?!” They asked the question with nervous excitement as we embarked on our dissection journey. “No,” I assured them, “it won’t exactly explode, but there will be plenty of vitreous humor to examine once it’s opened.” This question – and others that followed – made it clear that the children were very much engaged in the lesson at hand. All were eager to get down to the serious business of cow eyeball dissection! Read more

Horse Fundraiser at Copperfield Farm

At Mountainside, we have a unique mission: to support the natural spontaneous development of the child in a specially prepared environment. That mission includes programs in sustainable agriculture, and other programs that we know are needed to enrich the lives of our students, our families, and our community.

Just last year, our biggest fundraising event was a golf tournament. For the most part it was successful, but it never seemed to attract our families and friends as much as we had hoped. Starting a series of horse shows seemed like a better fit for Mountainside. Several of the staff and students rode; we had lots of friends in the equine world; and, simply put, Fauquier County is just full of horses and eager riders looking for some fun. It seemed like a natural thing to do. Read more