Over the years, children graduating from Mel-O-Dee Montessori have enrolled in both public and private elementary schools throughout the Los Angeles area. Their high level of academic achievement and mature approach to learning has earned Mel-O-Dee a reputation for emphasizing rigorous educational standards in an innovative setting.
As a Montessori school, we offer mixed-age classes, known as Pre-Primary, for the children 2 1/2 to 6 years old. We believe that children in multi-age classrooms learn from interacting and observing one another. Children can explore the same materials at different levels. The younger children achieve higher cognitive and social skills by being with the older children, and the older children are able to reinforce what they know by teaching the younger children. This creates a greater sense of community, which supports the social development of all our students.
We offer full and half day programs from Monday through Friday with a full array of instructional and enrichment activities and playtime, a hot lunch and snacks (during the school year) and supplemental after school classes in soccer, yoga, dance and music.
At Mel-O-Dee, we believe that:
- Children have within them a natural urge to explore and discover the world around them.
- Children find joy in learning when they are actively engaged in the learning process.
- Children learn best in an environment of mutual respect. This is one that provides opportunities for cognitive, social, emotional, moral and physical growth.
- Children internalize concepts and skills at their own pace.
- Children learn best when competencies are fostered through repetitive, successful experiences, and failures are de-emphasized.
- Children need opportunities to make choices, thereby fostering independence, self-esteem and self-discipline.
- Developmental needs of children are universal and transcend cultural differences.
"Our goal at Mel-O-Dee is to provide the finest early childhood education possible for preschool and kindergarten children from 18 months through 6 years of age. It is our intent to create a loving, nurturing school environment where children can develop emotionally, socially, intellectually, and physically. We welcome all students regardless of race, color, national origin, religion or gender."
- Peggy Keelaghan
Mel-o-Dee Montessori has it's origins as a single-building facility established in 1964 with an enrollment of fewer than 20 students.
The school was purchased 10 years later by Peggy Keelaghan, a Montessori educator with many years of experience in early education. Miss Peggy began integrating the Montessori methods into the curriculum, and as the school's enrollment grew to over 80 students, she and her staff of Montessori-trained teachers established a curriculum based solely on Montessori principles.
In 1984, the school acquired the property next door and expanded into a second building to accommodate the growing enrollment.
Miss Peggy retired in 2007, but her work lives on with the many long-term staff members who continue the tradition of providing students with the foundations for outstanding academic achievement.
Mel-O-Dee celebrates our 50th anniversary in 2014 and is consistently recognized as one of the best preschools in west Los Angeles.