Programs

The Lillian and Betty Ratner School offers programs for students ages 18 months through the 8th grade. We invite you to explore our program offerings, and visit the school to see our innovative learning environment in action.


MONTESSORI PRE-PRIMARY – THE RATNER WAY

Our Toddler and 3 – 6 Montessori Pre-Primary classrooms provide the full benefit of a traditional Montessori curriculum, led by certified, experienced Montessori teachers. The diversity and culture of The Lillian and Betty Ratner School shines through all of our preschool programs, allowing our youngest students to benefit from our global studies, music and Judaic Studies programs. The extended day and kindergarten curriculum incorporates additional expertise from our art, PE, music, Spanish, gardening and library teachers. Our enriched approach to Montessori encourages our students to grow as curious, confident learners.

At The Ratner School, we believe in utilizing authentic Montessori philosophy. In our classrooms, children are independent, curious, and excited about their learning. Every Pre-Primary classroom at Ratner has a Montessori trained Directress to facilitate a prepared environment. The environment in each of these classrooms is filled with beautiful, natural Montessori specific materials that cover every developmental and curricular area of the classroom. The environment appeals to all senses of the child and allows for explorative learning as well as creativity.

In keeping with the Montessori model, Ratner’s Pre-Primary classrooms are comprised of multiple ages, so that each child’s Pre-Primary environment includes peers spanning three years of age. Children remain with the same teacher throughout those three years creating an unmatchable teacher-child relationship. We are able to learn about each child individually and recognize strengths, needs and individual learning style during this three year span.

Multi-age grouping also builds a strong community within the classroom as the children have the ability to learn from each other and then become leaders of the group. Children develop self-discipline during their stay in one of our classrooms through the idea of freedom within limits. They are able to choose purposeful work at their individual developmental stage and work at their own pace. Montessori materials are made to be self correcting which empowers the child to master the material on their own, creating a sense of joy and excitement in learning.


PRIMARY AND MIDDLE SCHOOL: MONTESSORI-INFLUENCED TEACHING
The Lillian and Betty Ratner School’s Primary and Middle School educational programs are designed with the whole child in mind. Our approach offers a combination of individual, small and large group learning activities in a cohesive program that successfully prepares students academically and socially.

The Ratner Primary and Middle School Divisions honor key principles of Montessori Philosophy in the following ways:

AGE-BLENDED CLASSROOMS
Our age-blended classrooms provide a unique learning environment where students interact with peers across a wider age-range than would be possible in the traditional classroom. Second-year students naturally assume roles as guides and mentors to younger students, fostering intrinsic motivation as leaders as well as learners.

In this setting, teachers get to know each student in a very complete way, and are able to meet each student where he or she may be educationally.

EXPLORATION AND INQUISITIVENESS
After the content of any lesson is presented, the classroom is set up to awaken students’ curiosity, and students are motivated to explore the material in ways that appeal to their learning preferences and strengths. Ratner’s Primary and Middle School classrooms and curricula reflect a major commitment to moving students into this mode/realm of exploration.

TEACHING TO THE WHOLE CHILD
We understand that the social-emotional component of learning is as important as academic and intellectual development. In Ratner’s Primary and Middle School classrooms we emphasize how important it is for everyone in the classroom to demonstrate mutual respect and understanding, and to appreciate each person’s unique qualities. Our model for providing learning support gives structure and scaffolding to all students to understand how they learn, and what strategies they can use to be successful in all areas.