Programs at Hawk Meadow

Regular school hours at Hawk Meadow Montessori School are 9 a.m. to noon for half-day students, and 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. for full-day students. We offer a wide variety of schedules to fit your family’s needs and interests.

Students enrolled in all programs at Hawk Meadow are also able to attend before and after-care at the school. The before-school program runs from 7:00 a.m. to 9 a.m.., and the after-school program begins at dismissal time (3:30 p.m.) and lasts until 6 p.m.

Hawk Meadow Montessori School offers the following programs:

Toddler (18 months to 3 years)

toddlerThe toddler program at Hawk Meadow Montessori School, designed for children ages 18 months through three years, is led by Sadi Eddy and Seema Lal.

With toddler-aged children, we work to encourage development in the areas of independence, concentration, social skills, self-esteem and language. Children at this age are in a sensitive period for language, and are blossoming into new words, sentence construction and ways of expressing their wants and needs. We create an environment that is language-rich and full of opportunities for the children to be empowered by doing for themselves, whether it be by washing a dish, using the toilet independently or learning to button a coat.

We give the children the language and the negotiating tools necessary to make themselves understood, and to navigate the social world that they are beginning to discover and appreciate at this age. In a Montessori toddler environment, a child is given the time and the guidance to master the skills that will give him or her confidence at home and out in the world.

Primary (3- to 6-year-olds)

Hawk Meadow Montessori School has two Primary classrooms. Primary A is led by Emily Katz, Kat Jump, and Peg Strickler. Primary B is led by Sabrina Lewis, Carol Daubman and Celine Sahulka.

primaryThe primary program in a Montessori school is designed for three- to six-year-olds. Many of the three- year-olds are experiencing school for the first time, and they receive guidance and care from both the teachers and their older peers. The second-year students help the first-year students acclimate to the environment and are working toward kindergarten, and the third-year students (kindergartners) take great pride in their duties as role models and leaders of the classroom.

As in the toddler program, all of the materials and furniture are child-sized so that the children are able to do for themselves without asking for assistance, which in turn increases their self-esteem. In addition, the Montessori materials (called “work”) are self-correcting, so the child does not have to look to an adult or peer to know if she was successful. The teachers observe each child at work, and give review or alternate lessons if a child is having difficulty.

At the primary level, each material is designed to increase the child’s sense of order, coordination, concentration and independence. In primary, as in all levels of Montessori, the curriculum materials progress from simple to complex, and from concrete to abstract.

Elementary (6- to 12-year-olds)

The elementary students are divided into Lower Elementary (Grades 1-3) and Upper Elementary (Grades 4-6). Our Lower Elementary class is led by Kathie McGee and Tina LaMora. Our Upper Elementary class is led by Joyce Ryan and Sheba Kapur.

At the elementary level, the independence that has been introduced and cultivated at the toddler and primary levels is truly put to the test. At this point, the children are capable of a great deal of independent work, and are encouraged to choose work responsibly and cover multiple areas of the curriculum on a daily basis. The elementary classroom is a place for individual, independent, uninterrupted study with a wide variety of teaching materials designed to challenge the student to discover and think for him or herself. As always, the teachers observe and monitor the progress of each child in the classroom to make sure he or she is working to potential and receiving new lessons when ready.


At the elementary level, numerous all-day field trips and outdoor explorations are incorporated into the learning and growing process. During the winter, the children travel to Ski Butternut every Friday to spend the day receiving instruction in skiing and snowboarding, practicing their newfound skills, and communing with fellow students, teachers and parent chaperons. During the fall and spring, the elementary students take part in other physical activities, including tennis, golf and hiking.

They are also encouraged to take part in opportunities for outreach in the community, including singing with local seniors (Music for Life), and to develop ideas for charity fundraisers and community-building activities. Social awareness on local and global levels are fostered through our history curriculum and our participation in the Montessori Model United Nations simulation in New York.

Middle School

The Montessori Middle School Program (Grade 7-9) at Hawk Meadow Montessori School is led by Lisa Kilmer and Jody Caffaro. It is designed to produce adults who are equipped with the confidence in themselves and actual skills to live in the real world. The agriculturally based classroom they are immersed in is a challenging academic program which includes creating and managing a business, caring for animals and tending crops, building a strong community, making connections to the land and committing to real work of the world. Academic connections are made across the disciplines using texts, various forms of literature and primary source documents. Field trips and community service opportunities enrich student learning and ingrain a sense participation and responsibility for our world.