About Us

Harborlight At A Glance

Harborlight Montessori offers a uniquely well-rounded, authentic Montessori education for children ages 4 months through 14 years. Founded in 1973 and nestled in the coastal city of Beverly, Massachusetts, Harborlight proudly graduates students representing over 35 cities and towns on the greater North Shore. 

Take a peak around the website, then come for a visit.

At A Glance

List of 7 items.

  • Authentic Montessori

    The world is finally catching on to something a woman named Dr. Maria Montessori designed more than 100 years ago. Today, Montessori is a household name, but the hallmarks are not always as well understood. Allow us to illustrate what makes for an authentic Montessori education:
    • The goal of Montessori education is to help each individual reach his/her full potential in all areas of life
    • The prepared environment sets the stage for the developmental curriculum to unfold at each level
    • Students are grouped in multi-age classrooms, where they spend a three-year cycle: ages 1-3; 3-6; 6-9; 9-12; 12-15
    • Teachers who are specifically educated (credentialed) apply the Montessori method in the classroom, using the didactic materials and lessons in an integrated, developmental approach
    • A full complement of Montessori materials, activities, and experiences are available within each classroom that are designed to foster intellectual, creative, physical and social independence
    • A schedule that allows large blocks of uninterrupted work time for problem solving, understanding the interconnections of ideas and creating new thought
    • Individual and small group learning allows for the child to become self-directed, responsible for their learning, and find a balance between personal mastery and participation in collaborative projects
    • Authentic performance assessment based on portfolios, student work samples, test scores, projects and applied learning outcomes
    • Students engaged in purposeful activity and learning for the sake of learning – about themselves, their world, and how they can make a difference
  • Community Values

    We believe that respect for each individual is the cornerstone of a safe, healthy community. While this is an essential part of the Montessori philosophy, we know that creating and maintaining a diverse and safe community requires an ongoing commitment; one that we fully embrace.

    We work to promote and sustain a school culture and climate that instills and imparts dignity and a sense of shared responsibility for the well-being of each other and that of our larger community. We ask that all Harborlight community members consistently conduct themselves in a manner that affirms and abides by these beliefs and principles of moral character:
    • Commitment: We will uphold Montessori's philosophy and guiding principles. We will be dedicated to our teaching, learning, parenting, and volunteering roles, and be responsible and accountable for our actions.
    • Cooperation: We will work to include others and put forth our best effort to help others do the same. We will work together to create harmony and a supportive atmosphere.
    • Communication: We will be clear, respectful, positive, and direct in all our communications. We will be open and responsive and polite to others.
    • Concern: We will be compassionate in our actions with others. We will embrace challenges and differences with understanding and appreciation.
    Harborlight Montessori does not discriminate on the basis of gender, gender identity and expression, race, religion, family structure, socioeconomic level, culture, age, sexual orientation, language, or learning style in the administration of its educational program, admissions or other School policies.
  • Multiage Classroom and the Three-Year Cycle

    Each classroom is a thriving social and learning community. In a multiage, interactive setting the students remain in the same classroom with their teachers for a full three-year cycle where they learn shared compassion, and respect for each other. These experiences reflect the natural groupings found in our neighborhoods and communities.

    Older children as well as those who are academically advanced benefit immeasurably from the multiage experience. All children are able to proceed in the curriculum when ready; often this is well beyond accomplishing the benchmarks for their typical age or grade. At times they reinforce lessons they have learned by sharing their knowledge with younger children, while the younger children observe the work of the older children and are motivated toward these future experiences. Without any sense of competition within the classroom, children are free to cooperate, invest in each other’s talents and pursuits, and creatively expand their own knowledge by setting personal goals and using internal motivation to meet them.

    The Three-Year Cycle allows for children to flourish at their own pace and affords the teachers the luxury of time. The luxury of three full academic years to nurture and guide the individual student to maximize their learning experience is invaluable.
  • Personalized Instruction

    Children are not equal in their capacity for academic learning. Where a universal, academic curriculum may aggravate those differences, Montessori takes a richer, more varied approach through the prepared learning environment. Our students are encouraged to find out what they are well-suited to do for themselves and to respect the wonderful differences in talent they see in their classmates. Each multi-age classroom respects the diversity of human needs and reflects the global-mindedness we intend to engender in our students. To this end, the Harborlight curriculum first instills a personal understanding of one’s identity and next the interconnectedness of all living things.

    Within the multiage classroom students are grouped by academic readiness and ability not merely by chronological age. Students work with peers at like academic levels while engaged in a Montessori education tailored to the talents, curiosity, and growth of each student.
  • Community Partners

    Exploring and utilizing the world outside the classroom walls is an integral process in the Montessori experience. Harborlight is thrilled to have formed some wonderful community partnerships with organizations such as Gloucester Stage Company, Maritime Gloucester, and Salem Sound Coastwatch to enhance the learning that is done on campus.

    Students participate in a variety of field trips each year. The Montessori classroom is purposefully limited in the planned classroom environment, where the key lessons are only the introduction and require additional exploration outside of the classroom. As students mature, there is an increased expectation for ‘going out’ experiences. As they pursue their learning in greater depth, they are given increased responsibility in the planning, research, and arrangement of the trips. These practical experiences not only connect content learning, but assist students in their development or organizational and communication skills.

    Examples of going out: a trip to a nearby coastline for tide pooling, a composting center for large-scale composting, service learning at a local food pantry, visiting the local bank to make a class-business profit deposit, overnight trips to science and nature schools, hiking the White Mountains or Appalachian Trails, and international school-exchange programs.
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

    Harborlight Montessori actively seeks qualified students, faculty, and staff to reflect the diverse backgrounds of our community. Harborlight strives to provide an enriching curriculum and educational experience for all students, recognizing that global teaching and learning helps form strong, positive self-concepts and develops respect for human differences. Harborlight’s curriculum and philosophy encourage understanding and respect for these differences while affirming the fundamental similarities of humankind. Our cooperative community protects and encourages the exploration of new concepts. It also honors and nurtures the curiosity of each child.

    All members of the Harborlight community are valued for their contributions, talents, and opinions. The philosophy, curriculum, and administration of our programs aim to create an inclusive learning environment with respect to economic background, gender, gender identity and expression, race, national and ethnic origin, cultural heritage, religion, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, and political beliefs. Harborlight integrates diversity and character education into each learning opportunity to empower students to actively approach each new experience with courtesy and acceptance.
  • History

    Harborlight Montessori had its beginnings as Harborlight, a pre-School in Beverly, in 1973. The founding head, Susan Egan, was Head of School until 2011. In 1989 a group of Harborlight parents and teachers formed Children’s Montessori School (CMS) in Ipswich. CMS eventually moved to Beverly and “Stoneridge” was added to its name. In 2012 the Schools reunited as Harborlight-Stoneridge, offering an exceptional education to children aged 4 months through 14 years from communities throughout the North Shore. Today, we are Harborlight Montessori – a school steeped in history and engaging our world every day.

About Harborlight

Harborlight Montessori is an independent, co-educational, day school for children from infant-toddler through grade 8 that is committed to innovative teaching and learning.