School Spotlight: Battle Creek Montessori Academy

Battle Creek Montessori Academy Snapshot:

Students Served: 170
Grades Served: Preschool – 8th Grade
Year Established:  2013
Head of School: Jessica Eldridge

Board Members:

Mike Coykendall
Elizabeth Turner
Jennifer Beam
Angela Kreger
Odell Miller
Michael Lounds
Ray Yager


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Students at Battle Creek Montessori Academy (BCMA) are open to the world around them.

They learn in an environment suited for optimal growth through hands-on activities, Montessori guidance, and an open floor concept the promotes curiosity, expansion, and focus. BCMA is more than just a Montessori academy, it’s a community.

Building Community
Battle Creek Montessori Academy’s open concept means there are no doors to shut off the classrooms from one another! This environment creates community beyond the classroom. The staff are familiar with all students and parents, not just the children in their classroom. The students are able to work cooperatively with each other, across grades levels, through community services and reading buddies.

When families come to BCMA, they are comforted by the sense of belonging. That sense has a foundation of tradition, fostered by all at Battle Creek Montessori Academy. When walking through the doors of BCMA, there’s an excitement to be had by students, family, and staff that upholds the importance of learning while creating a sense of legacy. “I want BCMA to be that school where students say ‘I grew up at BCMA’, meaning they were here from start to finish, and truly grew as individuals, children, students, and community members” states Jessica Eldridge, Head of School.

At BCMA, the commitment the staff has to their children stretches beyond the school day. “They look for opportunities to inspire and motivate the children,” states Eldridge. “Staff connects to families through projects, after school events, and one-on-one communication. Their passion for children and Montessori creates our vibrant and full-of-energy community.”


[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=”20″]“I want BCMA to be that school where students say ‘I grew up at BCMA’, meaning they were here from start to finish, and truly grew as individuals, children, students, and community members” states Jessica Eldridge, Head of School. [/perfectpullquote]


How BCMA educators motivate their students to learn…

Madeline Fiore, Preschool and Kindergarten teacher at Battle Creek Montessori Academy

What keeps your students aiming for success in the classroom?

My students are motivated to aim for success because they know the expectations of the classroom. The work plans keep them motivated and on task as a visual representation of their progress. They like to show off work they have completed and hang it up for others to see.

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Natasha Northcutt – Grades 1-3 Assistant Teacher

Motivation is different for each child. I motivate my students by connecting what they are doing in the classroom to the real world. Often, students will ask why they need to do this work, and while the easy answer could be “because I said so”, that only creates hostility in the child. To create a peaceful and respectful environment, students need to have an understanding of why their work is important. The first step in motivating students is telling them why it’s important to do the work they are being asked to complete.

Katrinka MartinezGrades 6-8 Lead Teacher

Motivation for learning is key to being a great teacher. Students in my class are important to me. They know that and trust is built. The relationship I have with my students is one built of mutual respect and expectation. Motivation is the next piece of this relationship. Different students are motivated in different ways. Knowing each student, what makes them tick, and connecting with that is what works in the Manatee Room. We are not perfect in this endeavor, however we keep moving, learning, and experiencing the curriculum together. In the end, learning takes place. I not only want them to be motivated to learn in the classroom, but also in life. If we accomplish this, I consider it a success.

Deborah Hobbs – Grades 1-3 Lead Teacher

The individuals in our classroom community often provide the inspiration and motivation for each other to aim higher! Younger students see the exciting work of the older students and CAN’T WAIT to have those lessons! Students are also responsible for following a work plan that outlines what they are expected to accomplish on a weekly basis. Students reach out to me when they need help, but are responsible for being productive while waiting, and have a series of choices they can make to foster productive independence. They are encouraged, and feel free to ask for lessons. They always let me know when they are ready for a new challenge!