The MSSA campus is situated on the north side of San Antonio on a 24-acre piece of land that provides a scenic buffer to the hustle and bustle of the city. Located at the beginning of the Texas Hill Country, the school sits in a thicket of juniper, ash, and live oak trees with a wide variety of flora and fauna to observe. There are opportunities for students across levels to learn to work with the natural environment by studying native plants and growing herbs, flowers, and vegetables in garden beds. Each classroom in the main building is equipped with large windows that span the length of each outside wall, filling the spaces with natural light and a view of the changing weather and seasons throughout the year.
The school spans from Primary to Middle School. There are five Primary classes capped at 24 students to one teacher and one assistant each, four Lower Elementary classes with one teacher and one assistant each, three Upper Elementary classes with one teacher and one assistant each, and a Middle School class with four teachers, each with their own classroom and a shared common area. The classrooms are arranged and furnished according to Montessori principles and curriculum and places a strong emphasis on students’ ownership of the classroom. Students follow their sensitivities and interests, and teachers maintain academic rigor by using the student’s natural learning processes. These elements help sustain a highly motivated and peacefully engaged student body.
A sense of ease and calm permeates the campus, and the students’ works are displayed with reverence throughout the buildings. The corridor leading to the library has a regular rotation of student artwork, the library has walls dedicated to displaying student work on a sundry of topics ranging from Dia de los Muertos to banned books to Native American tribes, and the Lower and Upper Elementary classrooms upstairs display current research along the walls. Middle School students can be found throughout campus filming projects, interviewing younger students for the yearbook, and rehearsing performances that range in subject from Shakespeare to sketch comedy.
The school offers many opportunities for after school and special topic classes, and the community is showing an increased interest in enrollment for these special programs. Subjects for after school programs range from martial arts and athletics to art, drama, dance, and sewing classes.
“Thanks to the Montessori philosophy, our daughter moves from concrete to abstract thought with quick agility and her ability to weave together ideas is both a surprise and delight to my husband and myself. The most frequent observation we hear from our friends and family is that our precocious four year old concentrates for extremely long stretches of time as she truly immerses herself in whatever project she is doing.”