Holy Trinity Montessori (HTM), Nashville’s only faith-based, non-profit Montessori school, is welcoming students to a new campus this fall.
Located near the Natchez Trace Parkway in the serene hills of the Bellevue area in West Nashville, Tennessee, Holy Trinity Montessori offers a unique and personal Montessori educational experience incorporating the three key values that are most important to us: peace, knowledge, and faith.
Before she opened the doors to Holy Trinity Montessori in 2009, Nashville native Kate Riley spent years developing her dream of a school that would incorporate the following elements: An authentic Montessori educational approach, a Christ-centered faith-based element, and a low tuition structure that would broaden the range of availability for local working families. As Kate’s dream developed and became a reality, these guiding concepts shaped the vision, values, mission, and culture of Holy Trinity Montessori. “After all my years of teaching and research, I firmly believe that children are best prepared to become positive, contributing members of society when we attend to their spiritual and moral development as well as their academic needs,” says Riley.
The Montessori Method
Holy Trinity Montessori ascribes to the belief that every child has the desire and capability to learn, and that the approach to learning is not one-size-fits-all. The Montessori Method can be beneficial to every child, which is why we are committed to educational philosophies of the late renowned physician and scientist Maria Montessori. The Montessori Method emphasizes independence, freedom within limits, respect for a child’s natural development, individuality, and the opportunity to master concepts at his or her own pace. We value a holistic approach to learning and incorporate many other aspects of life into our daily experience, such as gardening and cooking, art and music, outdoor play and exploring nature.
Highlights of the New Property
The new property includes 38 acres of pristine, undeveloped land, which features a village-based site plan including various structures to house multi-age classroom communities. In addition to the buildings, there are natural outdoor play areas, hiking trails for exploration, open fields for sports, a large organic garden that allows the children to work together to cultivate the land, and even accommodations for small animals such as chickens, goats, sheep, and llamas. Kate had a vision to see all of these elements working together to help the students learn about agriculture, sustainability, and the responsibility to care for animals. And for older students, how to develop and manage a business. The projects will involve the students and their families, as well as members of the surrounding community who can both contribute to and glean from the work.
The new campus accommodates up to 150 students ranging in age from infancy (6 months) through middle school. Since opening seven years ago, enrollment has been at 100% with a substantial and growing list of those waiting to become a part of the HTM community.
Catechesis of the Good Shepherd
At Holy Trinity Montessori, every aspect of a child’s development is important, including spiritual formation. We are proud to offer our students a Christian perspective in their Montessori journey. One way that we do this is through teaching the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, which allows children to explore conversations about the Christian faith in a safe and positive environment.
Children learn about the basic tenets of the Christian faith through a parable method in which they hear the stories about Jesus, His life, and His works. For our Lower Elementary students, we build upon this foundation and explore the beginnings of moral foundations, approaching questions such as, “What does it mean to love your enemies?”
As students mature, they are encouraged to cultivate a healthy spiritual life. One notable characteristic of the program is that it focuses on the foundational principles of Christianity, while encouraging families to expand more specifically on their personal beliefs and values. Holy Trinity Montessori stands alone as the only Christian Montessori School in Nashville.
Music and Art
We believe that consistent exposure to the arts can profoundly impact the development of each child, and therefore we place great value on instruction in Music and Art. Every week, our students celebrate music together in fun and engaging classes. These age-appropriate sessions offer exposure to different styles of music and incorporate instrument exploration, movement, and musical creativity. Students learn about music history and cultivate an appreciation for the way in which music shapes culture. Our talented Lower Elementary students collaborated to write our official school song, “Peace, Knowledge, and Faith,” in 2013.
In the same way, students are encouraged to explore their creativity in the visual arts while enjoying a variety of mediums and techniques. They also learn about famous artists and art history while developing an appreciation for art and an awareness of its importance. In addition to creating special works to take home, our young friends also contribute their artistic skills to create pieces that are sold at our special events throughout the year. Needless to say, these beautiful and special works are always enormously popular!
Embracing the Montessori Approach
Many have embraced the Montessori approach because it values the individual child and establishes a lifelong love for learning. Thoughtfully prepared environments encourage independence and motivate students to pursue their interests, fostering an innate sense of self-worth in each child as he or she masters concepts at his or her own pace. Thanks to the hands-on materials in every Montessori classroom, abstract ideas become concrete. For example, as a preschool-aged child is learning the alphabet, she doesn’t just learn to identify letters through rote memorization; she learns to recognize the sounds of the letter (auditory), she’ll use her finger to trace a sandpaper version of the letter (tactile), and she’ll associate these with the letter itself (visual). Because this method encompasses all forms of learning, every child is able to learn regardless of challenges, disabilities, and the like. Multi-age classrooms encourage collaboration, leadership, respect, courtesy, and grace. Music and the arts are highly valued and incorporated into campus life. Children spend a great deal of time outside in sunshine or rain, playing and exploring, tending the garden, and developing an appreciation for nature.
Providing an Exceptional Educational Experience
The school may be experiencing growth, but its values have never changed. They still champion the Montessori approach, believe children are stronger and more balanced when they are encouraged to grow spiritually, and profess that every child deserves the chance to experience the joy of learning. The Holy Trinity Montessori community is grateful for the opportunity to provide this unique educational experience for even more families in the Nashville area.
To learn more about Holy Trinity Montessori, please call us at 615-779-6309 or visit our website at www.holytrinitymontessori.org.
Kate Riley, Head of School
Kate holds a Bachelor of Science in Montessori Education from Xavier University and a Masters of Teaching in Special Education from Belmont University. She received her Montessori Elementary training through the North American Progressive Montessori Training Program, and completed the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Training Program, Levels I and II. Before opening HTM, Kate acquired over 13 years of teaching experience in both public and private schools, serving children ages 18 months through 9 years. Her most recent role was Adjunct Professor, Internship Coordinator and Field Consultant for the Montessori Teacher Education Program at Belmont University. She is a member of the National Association for the Education of the Young Child (NAEYC) as well as the American Montessori Society (AMS).
Kate and her husband Mike live in the Bellevue area with their two daughters, both of whom attend Holy Trinity Montessori.
To aide in the child’s intellectual, social, emotional, and spiritual development through the use of the Montessori method, including the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. To be a leader in the community of Montessori schools by a commitment to aid in the child’s spiritual development and the inherent value that comes with nurturing the child’s spirituality.
Our vision is to provide a learning environment that allows each student to develop a love for learning, not only in his or her own self-development, but also in his or her outside world. Each child is guided to discover his or her own unique path in becoming a peaceful, spiritual, and involved member of society. The goal of Holy Trinity Montessori is to maintain reasonable tuition for young families in this respect, a goal that can only be reached through the assistance and charitable giving of the school community, its extended family and friends.
Holy Trinity Montessori
525 Sneed Road | Nashville, TN 37221
615-779-6309 | www.holytrinitymontessori.org
PEACE – KNOWLEDGE – FAITH