School Spotlight: Guidepost Montessori at Prosperity
Seven years later, we check in with the very first Guidepost Montessori, launched in Charlotte, North Carolina in 2016.
Guidepost Montessori at Prosperity, located in Charlotte, North Carolina, was the very first Guidepost Montessori school to open in 2016. Today, seven years later, the school stands out not only for its commitment to excellence and nurturing independence in the students that it serves, but also for its dedication to supporting parents in implementing the Montessori philosophy at home. Led by Kayla Brito, a Head of School who was a parent at the campus first, the school is a place where children flourish, and families are empowered to integrate Montessori principles into their homes and lives. Guidepost Montessori at Prosperity serves over 150 students from infants to 12 year olds.
A Leader Driven by a Parent’s Perspective
At the heart of Guidepost Montessori at Prosperity's leadership team is a leader who started her journey as a parent within the school community. After enrolling her own daughter, Kayla was so deeply inspired by the Montessori approach and the impact that she saw it having on her own child, that she joined the school's leadership team as an Administrative Director just six months later.
After serving in this role for a year, and then being promoted to Assistant Head of School, Kayla then spent time working on Guidepost’s central team, running the operations of our innovative Montessori at Home program. This program aims to extend Montessori principles into the home environment through either virtual school or homeschooling options, enabling parents to support their children's development and learning journey from anywhere in the world.
Now back at Prosperity as the Head of School, Kayla brings her unique blend of personal experience and professional expertise to the campus to create an exceptional learning environment for students and parents alike.
A Team of Exceptional Guides
Kayla says that a big part of what she enjoys most about her role at Guidepost at Prosperity is working with such a fantastic team. “We have such wonderful guides here,” explained Kayla. “While some are newer, many are tenured and have been with us since the school opened. We really do attract the best people with the best hearts.”
"When I first discovered Montessori, it was as if I was being called home and I fell completely head over heels in love with the Montessori way," explained Marsha Browning, the lead upper elementary guide at Guidepost at Prosperity who has been with the school for just over 5 years. "I'm inspired every day by my students. It's amazing to watch them grow and learn."
Carolina Mendez, a lead Spanish Immersion Children's House guide who has also been with the school for 5 years, feels especially inspired by the growth she sees in her children year-over-year. "The transformation of the child is amazing! And knowing that you were part of their life, guiding a young child is very rewarding."
The guides at Guidepost at Prosperity respect the innate curiosity of each child and nurture their intrinsic motivation to explore and learn at their own pace. With a deep understanding of child development, they offer personalized guidance, allowing children to take ownership of their education.
Fostering Independence: A Core Focus
Central to the Montessori approach is the emphasis on fostering independence in children. Guidepost Montessori at Prosperity takes this principle to heart and actively incorporates it into every aspect of the school's culture and curriculum.
“Our students are encouraged to take responsibility for their own learning journeys,” Kayla explained. "Every child is given the freedom to choose their activities and work at their own pace, which allows them to develop a deep sense of self-discipline and motivation."
Practical life skills are a critical part of the curriculum: younger children develop essential skills like learning how to clean and take care of their environment. Older children build upon this foundation by delving into more advanced life skills such as time management, leadership, and problem-solving, preparing them to confidently navigate challenges outside of the classroom.
Cindy, whose son has attended the school since he was 2 years old, has really appreciated how independent her son has become since joining the school community. "After attending for 2 months, Lucas was potty trained at 26 months," she shared. "He became very independent. His language skills skyrocketed. His classroom guides are kind, passionate about Montessori teaching and great at communications."
Supporting Parents as Partners in Education
At Guidepost Montessori at Prosperity, the commitment to fostering independence goes beyond the school walls. The team understands the fundamental role parents play in their children's development, and they actively work to support and partner with parents in their child’s education.
The school's newsletters are designed to empower parents with practical tips and insights on implementing Montessori principles at home. To provide a deeper understanding of the Montessori approach, the school also hosts Silent Journeys where parents can gain a firsthand experience of how their children engage with the materials in the classroom.
"It can be so much easier to do certain things for young children that they’re capable of doing for themselves,” explained Kayla. “But what do they learn from that? We encourage children to do things like get themselves ready to go home – grabbing their own items from their cubbies and putting on their own shoes. Our prepared environment allows the children to move freely and develop a sense of independence and responsibility. We really like to help parents think about how to incorporate these ideas in their own homes.” (For some tips on creating a prepared environment in your home, check out this post.)
Guidepost Montessori at Prosperity is a shining example of a school that not only embraces the Montessori approach but also prioritizes empowering parents to nurture their children's independence. With a committed Head of School, experienced guides, and a focus on fostering independence, the school is shaping the hearts and minds of its students while providing invaluable support to its families. To learn more about Guidepost Montessori at Prosperity, or to book a tour, visit the school’s webpage.