The four eighth grade HPMS students came into the school at different times. Some have been with the school since it was first opened. Others came in when the school had become more developed. No matter when they came in, HPMS helped them discover their passions and grow as people. I am one of the eighth grade students. I have been in HPMS since first grade, and being a part of its community has given me the opportunities to shape who I am now.
When I first joined HPMS, I was instantly welcomed by a group of compassionate, hardworking teachers and warm, embracing students. Even from that age, HPMS was already building confidence and compassion in kids. We had research projects and presentations where we spoke in front of our class. Sometimes the older kids would read us passages from science or other topics and would help us answer questions about them. I feel that this helped to shape who I am because having those memories makes it more personal to me when we do things like that, since we are the older kids now. We have reading buddies and showcases to give the younger kids a sense of mentorship. To this day I love working with kids and others in my community, and these values came from HPMS.
HPMS also offers many hands-on resources for kids to learn practical life skills, learn concepts, and strengthen their creativity. When you are little, you get practical life works that kids learn from and enjoy doing! This happens a lot in HPMS, because the kids here love to learn. When you get a little bit older, you start doing works that help you visualize mathematical and scientific concepts and strengthen your understanding. Upon reaching middle school, you get to show your creativity through art, building, writing, science, math, and humanities based projects. The STEM program is a huge part of this, because the kids can create actual models of the ideas that they create, but each class offers many unique ways to express your individual thoughts.
Speaking of individuality, HPMS has a group of dedicated teachers who support the school’s philosophy of giving the students the independence and freedoms to grow into confident, kind, accepting people. They also support the interests of students and provide a safe, loving community to try other things out. That’s another reason HPMS is wonderful. The community is so closely knit that no one has to be afraid of judgement or ridicule from classmates if they want to try unique things.
My personal experience has consisted of all of these factors and so much more. My friends and teachers have been incredibly supportive of me and my goals, which are to be a writer and an activist. In a nutshell, HPMS is an amazing school, one built on compassion, confidence, independence, and student-driven passion. I feel especially lucky to have had the opportunity to be able to grow and live in this community.
–Aparna Packer will be in the first graduating cohort of 8th Graders at Hamilton Park Montessori School. When asked what she remembers from her early years at the school, she muses: “I remember when I was younger, I really liked the long chain work. That helped me with math facts and I remember it very clearly. I feel like it was more effective than plain memorization. It gave me a clearer visualization to work with. I also remember Ms. Kathy telling stories about farmers during geometry lessons to help explain certain concepts.”