Woodland Montessori School

Head of School's Welcome,

This is me in Montessori school in Mexico City in 1977. I wanted to write to you not as a Montessori alumni, guide, director or business owner but as a mother of three Montessori children.  I have gained an unexpected new outlook and greater love for Montessori, this time seen through the eyes of a parent. I remember loving Montessori as a child, I remember the works and how they smelled and felt; I can distinctly remember how I learned. As I went through my Montessori training I remember thinking, “Wow! Why doesn’t everyone learn this way? Would my experience in high school and college been different if I had had the opportunity to continue with Montessori after moving from Mexico when I was 7?” As a Guide I became passionate as I witnessed children from all walks of life not only learn, but love to learn. Watching them have those “ah ha” moments is still unforgettable. When my husband stepped in to be my assistant for a month he too fell in love with the Montessori theory and together we shared the dream of someday having our own school. We also dreamed that our future children could one day have this great opportunity to journey through this incredible part of their childhood in a Montessori environment.  In the past 11 years, I have been honored to share my passion and be part of your family’s lives and your children’s education.

I was nervous the first day of school just like you, thinking, “I’m their mom, I know them best. What if they need me, or what if they are “that kid” that the teachers don’t know what to do with?” As watched through the windows and eventually in the classroom I could barely hold back the tears.  It was amazing to see my children doing the works, putting them away, and carrying what they learned in the classroom home with them.   As I lie next to them at night and they ask questions about life cycles, why do humans do things, they are multiplying in their head, making chapter books, they quiz us on the sun, and the earth, they  read signs on the road, THEY READ!  They want to help cook and plant flowers and take care of their environment, “our home”.  They would rather read books and walk in nature than watch TV. They want to help and learn more, more, more!  So many connections, so much pride, and so much growth. As I have watched my kids walk out the door  and into the Elementary class to continue their next chapter in Montessori, I weep in my office, out of pride, out of the recognition of the velocity of life.  It is a wonderful world, but it has many challenges and hardships. I feel that my kids will be well prepared for life!  I am excited about their future I am honored and proud that I can give them this gift of education.  The Staff and I would be honored to have your family join Woodland and be part of your child's journey.

Jackie Morales-Shiffett

Head of School


Our Philosophy

Woodland is committed to Montessori pedagogy as a way to help children become functionally and intellectually independent; to nurturing a community steeped in trust and respect; to the stewardship of the environment through an experiential and global curriculum; and to creating a sanctuary for families and native flora and fauna where children can learn at a natural pace in healthy, sustainable surroundings.

The best schools are vibrant communities that inspire innovation, independence and freedom to teach and learn in ways that honor genuine human capabilities. Woodland is that kind of school. It is a place where children learn to adapt to a rapidly changing world. Does the world really needs more people who are good test takers, memorizers or compliant followers? In these complex times the world needs critical thinkers, entrepreneurs and creative problem solvers. Our community knows that education is something that human beings construct from their own experiences. We have made a bold choice to trust our children and celebrate childhood. Montessori prepares young people to develop empathy, intelligence and expertise. At Woodland the children care deeply, think intelligently and act responsibly. Woodland is not just a school. It is education for life.

Woodland Montessori School 1350 Peach Grove Av.

Harrisonburg VA, 22801 info@wmsh.org  540-432-6111