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2017 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Lewis & Clark Montessori Charter School

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Charter Schools, Education, Preschools, Primary & Elementary Schools

Mission: The mission of LCMCS is to foster healthy human development and a life-long love of learning in our community by providing a holistic approach to education.

Results: Using the Montessori Method of education, LCMCS helps students develop independent thought, resourceful problem solving skills, and prepares students to make positive contributions in our society. Critical to these outcomes is the development of the whole child: intellectually, socially, emotionally and physically. Montessori education prepares students for life.

Community Stories

38 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I feel very honored to be part of Lewis and Clark Montessori Charter School. It Is not just a work place for me, it is also my second home. Everyone is warm and welcoming all the time. The Montessori education is the best in the area with great teachers, administration and curriculum.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have had the honor to be employed at Lewis & Clark Montessori School for over seven years, holding a variety of positions in office management, head guide in primary class rooms and directing after school programs. In all of the roles I have witnessed the school "walk it's talk" as dedicated administrators and staff members focus on the development of each and every child holistically (3 years old through to 8th grade). The school and staff provide a safe and caring environment; offer special elective programs, exciting sports and after-school programming; farming and serving opportunities.
In addition, the school offers a fabulous, nutritious meal program for the enjoyment of our school community . The school is a vibrant member of the surrounding local communities; providing produce to seniors and has future plans in place for more outreach programs in addition to hosting events like the Annual Art Walk for community members to enjoy! There is so much to give kudos to! In closing, I am so thankful that my two grandsons attend here and are receiving the benefits of holistic development and gaining a love for lifetime learning!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I moved out to Oregon after completing my Montessori training, and was fortunate enough to get a job at LCMCS. I could not ask for a better school, nor community, to work for. Everyone has always been welcoming and helpful in every way they can be. Regardless of if you're on staff, a family enrolled in the school, a volunteer, or even one of the many community members in the Damascus area that work with us - everyone feels like one big team, working towards the same goal.

The school ranges from Primary/Kindergarten and goes all the way through Middle School; with each level excelling in their fields. I have seen many classrooms during my training and it is always a comfort to see ones running well. But the classrooms aren't the only part of this school. Electives and after school clubs blend into the curriculum in a way that helps meet the goal of Cosmic Education, while never taking away from the feeling of unity.

If there's ever anything you would want to know about the school, there's always someone around to greet you with a smile and - unless it's a busy transition time - answer your questions. I could not recommend this place more; be you an adult looking to work here, or a parent wanting a great school for your child.

Client Served

Rating: 5

It is rare to find organizations that pull out all the stops to bring reality to their dreams. I believe wholeheartedly in the dreams this school has, as well as their methods and plans. They are creating a reality I want to be a part of.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

My grandchildren have attended LCMCS for several years. The staff has been very understanding and flexible in accommodating for their unique learning needs. Academic expectations are high and social emotional skills are not ignored. The added experiences of class camping trips, electives, after school activities and community service add to the development of the whole child.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My grandson attends Lewis & Clark Montessori. This is the happiest I have seen him with regard to going to school. He talks all weekend about how excited he is to return on Monday. Every interaction I have had with the teachers and other staff have always been so positive and helpful. I highly recommend that you send your children to this school!

Client Served

Rating: 4

Love this place! Kind, caring staff who aim to teach the whole child not just to achieve high test scores. The middle school program is unique and engaging. Adolescents are treated like contributing members of the community.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I've been a parent at Lewis & Clark Montessori for over 7 years. This is also my 6th year as an employee of the school. My son started Montessori at just 2 1/2 year old. I was so amazed at how much a small child could accomplish. As one of the founding parents of Lewis & Clark, I am obviously a huge supporter. My son is now an 8th year in the Montessori Adolescent Corps. I'm confident the skills he has learned here are preparing him for high school, college and beyond. He wants to be a physisist and a pianist. No doubt, he is well on his way!
Mishawn Nelson
Parent
Office Manager

Client Served

Rating: 5

We were drawn to Lewis & Clark Montessori because it was different and we knew that our daughter would be able to get the one-on-one time with her Guides and that its long-term plan was to be K-8.

One of the giddiest days of my life was March of 2011 when I received a call from Lewis & Clark Montessori that our child was selected in the first Lottery Draw for the following school year.

Our child is now a 6th year in Upper Elementary, can navigate so many more things than we were able to do at her age and be a strong, but quiet, Leader among her peers and those younger. She absolutely loves it, is super excited about MAC ("Jr. High") which she will start next year and will be more than ready for the big pond in the Autumn of 2020 when she starts High School.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Lewis and Clark Montessori offers an exceptional educational model. Following the methods and theories of Maria Montessori, and making them work in a modern classroom.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I would have to disagree greatly with any comments regarding this school as less than superior. My child has been involved in a Montessori program since 18 months. These have all been highly-rated, AMI recognized private schools. Total, I have paid over $75k in tuition. Lewis and Clark is equal if not better than any of these.

In terms of fees, there is a small (less than $260) fee that is paid annually as a "resource fee" - families are not required to pay any additional monies or purchase long lists of supplies to begin the year. While I realize that not all families have the same household income, I am also personally aware that the staff are more than willing to work with any and all to accommodate payment, even if it's just $10 a month. Each of the teachers are highly educated and most have master's degrees.

The administrative staff is wonderful and very small in comparison for a school of almost 400 children and 40 staff. Prior to enrolling my child, I too was informed of a single year where a combination of issues, resulted in a deficit. This single incident has never been repeated and all prior and past years the school has worked with a completely balanced budget.

If you have the desire to expose your child to a true Montessori education at basically no cost - this will be an incredible experience for them to grow in a wonderful, supportive environment.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 2

Really disappointed in the education that my grandchildren received at this school. This is not a good option for gifted and talented children, as they just get lost in the large class sizes and the teachers are not always qualified. My grandkids are finally being challenged at a new school. Many kids are allowed to misbehave and bully and yet the school seems to spend more time trying to teach parents how to follow liberal causes, than on the basic discipline and order within its classrooms, which is a Montessori no-no. I also think that Lewis & Clark fails to accommodate children with special needs and many end up leaving. The school has faced many financial crises and my family got tired of being asked for money. Perhaps the school needs to spend less money on its exaggerated administration staff for a school of similar size and more on it's classroom staffing.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have had many opportunities to grow both professionally and personally as a staff member at LCMCS. The school not only provides a loving, safe place for students and families but also has a welcoming, tight-knit community of teachers and staff members. LCMCS has been a great non-profit organization to work for!

Donor

Rating: 5

As a mother, there are few things more important to me than the quality of my child's education and knowing that he is cared for and nurtured while he is at school and in someone's care other than my own. When I say "education," I mean more than academics (although academics are certainly important). I want an environment that nurtures the whole child and helps to shape children who are kind, respectful, self-reliant, and community-oriented citizens of the world. I want to know that when my son goes to school in the morning, he is looking forward to the day ahead, not dreading it, and that when he comes home, he will enjoy telling me all about the book he read that day or the seed he planted or his after-school yoga class... LCMCS inspires all of these qualities in children and so much more. I feel incredibly blessed that my son is able to attend such a wonderful school, run by extraordinary staff and teachers who genuinely care about the whole-person development of each individual student.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

The best part of this school is how caring and warm the staff are and therefore the children are warm and caring. My children thrive in this school and we are impressed with it everyday and grateful to have the opportunity to be a part of this community.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Lewis and Clark Montessori is the most impressive school I've had any experience with. Some of the things that stand out to me are: They use the real Montessori Method. They teach not only good education but how to be good citizens. The children there are so polite! The lunches are locally sourced and very nutritious--I have very high standards and I can feel good about what my child eats there. They have programs that serve the community. They have meaningful fields trips. There is a great sense of community in the school.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have two children who are current and past students of LCMCS. My daughter is a freshman in high school this year and I feel like the school has more than prepared her academically and socially for this transition to public high school.
My other daughter has been attending LCMCS since preschool and is currently in 4th grade. We love how her learning experience has been tailored to her specific strengths and weaknesses. We love the staff and feel like they are family.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

My grandchildren attend Lewis & Clark, and I can't imagine a more worthy organization for anyone's donation to education. The staff clearly love their work - and big work it is! - and the whole school hums with the joy of learning and being together. This is how a learning community should function, and, as a retired professional educator, I have rarely seen this level of care and attention to the important things in life. I actually love giving to their annual fund because I can see how well utilized all donations are.

Matthew72

Client Served

Rating: 5

Lewis and Clark provides an authentic Montessori experience in Damascus, Oregon. Both of my children have attended since Kindergarten. They have both benefited greatly from being in a Montessori environment. I am very thankful this public option is available for my children.

AlexEarl

Donor

Rating: 5

On the edge of the 'Silicon Forest,' surrounded by spectacular Pacific Northwest mountains, sits this one of a kind educational institution. Guided by visionary leadership, in partnership with a highly educated and seasoned staff and inspired students and parents, LCMCS creates a world-class Montessori experience.

Students are surrounded by and immersed in commitments to organic food and lunches; organic farming and local distribution, including participating in the local Farmers' Market; the environment; community engagement; a global perspective; student diversity; economic diversity; outdoor, music, and foreign language education; and enriching after school care and extra curricular activities. These commitments are forged from the principles of social entrepreneurship and innovation to generate broad positive returns for society.

All of these elements together converge into 'lightning in a bottle' to create a truly unique and holistic education that represents an ongoing evolution of the Montessori philosophy. With the rise of the information economy and globalization, the LCMCS experience is the education of the future. Countries with top-ranked education systems, like Finland, have taken notice and are incorporating many Montessori principles into their school curriculums.

Previous Stories
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Donor

Rating: 5

Lewis & Clark Montessori Public Charter School is both an inspiring and highly effective educational institution. It offers a rare combination of an authentic and heartfelt nonprofit mission with passionate staff, students, parents, and volunteers who conscientiously make it happen. This organization is also committed to offering an elite montessori education to multiple demographics at no cost. The school programs such as the organic school lunch options and the student farm and Damascus farmers market are innovative and set an example. This is an institution that is giving back to the present and future. Please consider supporting them today.

Review from Guidestar