Elementary Program

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The Elementary Programs

Owl Babies at Play
The elementary program nurtures the sparks of curiosity, creativity, and intelligence in each child. 

A child's emerging powers of reasoning and imagination, aided by advanced learning techniques, lead them into abstract thinking during this period of development. 

For children aged 6 to 12 years of age, the Elementary Program (divided into Lower and Upper) offers far more than the usual goals of skill development and knowledge acquisition. Here, we cater to the development of the whole child by introducing a sense of stewardship and community into the curriculum. 

We teach children about the whole world, not just our world. 

The Montessori Elementary curriculum is carefully structured and sequenced. Teachers use an online tracking system. This allows teachers to maintain educational objectives of the course of study for each area or subject within the classroom, and keep a record of which skills each child has accomplished. Each student’s progress is recorded individually.

Lynn NguyenParent, Elementary Program

Coming to Sea Pines Montessori Academy has been a wonderful experience for my son. From 18 months to 3rd grade, not only did he learn a lot academically, but he grew as a person and as a friend as well. The teaching standards at SPMA is high, and all the teachers bring their personal touch and style to each class. The staff is very pleasant and respectful, not only to the adults but especially to the children who attend the school. It is a wonderful environment full of many areas of exploration, experimentation, and learning. It is amazing to watch him come home with new and exciting information and express his love of learning. Not only did he learn the "basics", math, language, reading, history, and science, he learned important skills relating to learning such as the importance of organization, prioritization, and responsibility.

He learned to work well both independently and within a group to be a strong leader. In addition, he has also benefited from many lessons on life, friendship, and compassion. He learned respect for himself, respect for his community, and respect for the world. He learned how to treat others with kindness and learned how to solve conflicts that arise between friends fairly and peacefully. While parents give their children roots and wings to grow into adulthood, SPMA provides an educational foundation children can build their future studies on. My son wakes up everyday looking forward to his day at school. I would definitely recommend this school to everyone. 

My son wakes up everyday looking forward to his day at school. I would definitely recommend this school to everyone. 

Because Montessori Elementary Programs do not compare students against an arbitrary standard or the performance of their classmates, familiar letter grades are not used. There is a year-end summary for each Elementary student. Student narratives, a written report of each child’s curriculum activities and progress, are sent home in February. Conferences are scheduled two times during the year for every family.

We are an accredited school, and credits transfer even though there is no "traditional" grading scale. ​

After-school extended care is available. ​

Athletics, music, arts, and daily fitness are important parts of the curriculum.

The Environment

School begins at 8:00am and ends at 3:00pm. In the elementary classroom, mornings are devoted to self-directed, independent learning and small group lessons. Children know what their teacher expects of them and, with self-discipline, return to their most recent lessons in progress. Teachers move about the room to assist and reinforce learning as students follow their natural pace of development.

Violin Lessons

Students may work independently, in collaboration with others, or be taught in small groups. Afternoons involve silent reading, classroom lessons in broad subject areas, and enrichment subjects.

Primary block seapinesmontessori.com

Lower Elementary Program

Ages 6 to 9 years

Our Lower Elementary Program is for first, second, and third graders. A multi-age classroom, the students work together and separately. 

At this age, the child's emerging powers of reasoning and imagination, aided by advanced learning techniques, lead them from concrete to abstract thinking.

Children begin to research their own questions. 

This research is not limited to the classroom, but also includes participation in field trips. 

The Lower Elementary Room is where we develop reading, writing, and math skills that become the stepping stones to the core curriculum of science, history, geography, literature, music, art, foreign language, physical education, and practical life lessons.

  • language
  • mathematics
  • science

Reading, Word Study, Spelling, Grammar, Literature, Handwriting, and Creative Writing

  • World
  • life skills
  • extracurriculars

Including Computer, Spanish, Music, Suzuki Violin & Piano, Art, Physical Education, Tennis and Golf

Homework begins at a light pace for students in the Elementary, with expectations growing progressively as students advance through the school. Homework allows students to practice and reinforce skills introduced in the classroom. It also aids in self-discipline through the process of completing assignments independently.

Students are expected to give homework their full and careful attention and to do assignments on their own.

Part of our objective is to have them learn how to assume this responsibility for themselves.

3rd Grade By The Numbers

Children are capable of so much more than traditional schools think.

3rd grade SPMA students perform at least two grade levels ahead in every subject. 

The grade levels SPMA 3rd graders perform at:

Oral Expression

Language Arts



SPMA provides the right social structure and academic supplies students need to thrive. We encourage hands on, communicative learning.
Sea Pines Montessori Academy students perform at least two grade levels ahead in every subject

What SPMA Families Are Saying

The Ringer FamilySPMA Parents

When we moved to Hilton Head Island we looked for a school to continue the Montessori education of our children. What we found at Sea Pines Montessori Academy was so much more than just a school! It’s a caring community that reaches beyond the classroom to truly become a family. The teachers have recognized and nurtured the individuality of each of our children to facilitate their development in the world. We couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome. Sea Pines Montessori Academy is another great part of living in Hilton Head!

Financial aid is readily available to families who qualify. Contact us, and let's work together to find the right school environment for your child! All inquiries are held in the strictest confidence. 

Upper Elementary Program

Ages 9 to 12 years

Upper Elementary students continue their studies from the Lower Elementary Classroom and build upon that concrete foundation. This is often referred to as a spiral curriculum and is based on the belief that children can understand complex subjects when the information is presented properly and revisited often. 

Concepts are revisited in more detailed studies, and students approach adolescence as motivated, confident and responsible learners. The environment encourages the cultivation of personalities, with each student experiencing a balance of social interaction, academic preparation, and a growing awareness of the world around them.  

The Upper Elementary Room is where an independent and self-reliant course of study is pursued. 

  • Language arts
  • Reading
  • word study

Students use the basic grammar and word study skills introduced in the early elementary level and continue with detailed studies of such concepts as homophones, antonyms, pronouns, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions, and interjections. Students not only identify parts of speech but symbolize the function in a sentence (similar to sentence diagramming.)

Chinese immersion Sea Pines Montessori Academy
  • creative writing
  • penmanship
  • spelling

Each student has an individualized spelling list each week with a quiz on Friday. This allows for each child to progress at the optimal pace. 

  • computer skills
  • mathematics
  • science

Students engage in detailed scientific study. Starting with the macroscopic study of the universe, they move sequentially to the microscopic study of cells. Students take an active role in study through participation in scientific experimentation utilizing the scientific method. Scientific studies include: Astronomy, Geology, Physics, Biology, and Chemistry.

  • cultural studies
  • life skills
  • sports

Exercise is crucial to a student's mental and physical well-being. Many of our students also play sports and participate in community organizations (soccer, ballet, and more). 

6th Grade By The Numbers

Students who continue their Montessori education perform at least two grade levels ahead in every subject. Oral expression (how they communicate) is off the charts. 

6th graders perform at the following grade levels:

Oral Expression

Language Arts



But it's not just about grades. Oral Expression skills are high due to the safe social community and open classroom format. As students progress to the Middle School Program, you can see that a Montessori education at the Elementary levels sets the groundwork for future success. 
Sea Pines Montessori Academy students perform at least two grade levels ahead in every subject

Sea Pines Montessori Academy provides a challenging upper elementary environment that utilizes both cooperative learning and independent study in a social atmosphere.

Financial aid is readily available to families who qualify. Contact us, and let's work together to find the right school environment for your child! All inquiries are held in the strictest confidence. 

What SPMA Families Are Saying

The Beller FamilyLower & Upper Elemtary Program

For our family, Sea Pines Montessori Academy has well exceeded all expectations of an institution for learning, nurturing, and overall child development. Our two daughters have attended SPMA for three years; they truly love going to school every day, and when I pick them up they regale me with funny, interesting, enjoyable stories about their day. The teachers have a remarkable way of addressing every child with respect and allowing each child to feel independent and proud of their accomplishments at school. We attribute our daughters' self-confidence and love of learning to the Montessori method, and particularly to the wonderful teachers at SPMA. Due to the class sizes, the teachers are also able to challenge each child academically in the most appropriate manner. We could not be happier with our experience.

Dedicated Teachers Make The Difference

Ashley Alcock - Sea Pines Montessori staff
Lower Elementary Teacher

Ashley Alcock is the Lower Elementary Teacher.

She is dedicated to guiding children to become respectful, responsible, and well-educated individuals that are inspired to help make the world a better place.


  • Bachelor of Science in Education
  • Certification in Early Childhood Education
  • Certification in ESL (English as a Second Language)
  • Elementary I Credential from Seacoast Center

Two of her passions that the children especially enjoy are Crafting and Singing. Ashley finds that crafting projects spur creativity and artwork, which makes learning hands-on and relevant – not to mention fun! She finds singing to be useful as a learning tool and helps to soothe the soul.

Carrie Comeau - Preprimary Teacher Sea Pines Montessori Academy
Upper Elementary Teacher

Ms. Comeau is an Upper Elementary Teacher and is dedicated to encouraging children to express their creativity through all avenues of learning.

She holds the following qualifications:

  • BA in Liberal Studies, with a Minor in Elementary Education, from Endicott College
  • Masters in Elementary Education from Quinnipiac Univeristy
  • 4th grade teaching experience (Riverview Charter School)
  • Taught Kindergarten at Ridgeland Elementary School
  • Taught Upper Elementary at Coastal Empire Montessori Charter School
  • Certified Montessori Elementary II teacher

With experience in both public and private schools systems, Ms. Comeau excels at guiding students through their work day.

She is also a registered yoga teacher who loves to bring yoga into SPMA!

Anne Hinley teacher sea pines hilton head private school
Lower Elementary Assistant Teacher

Ms. Hinely is the Lower Elementary Assistant Teacher. Anne is dedicated to fostering independence, confidence, compassion, and a love of learning within each child.

Her qualifications include:

  • Joined the staff of SPMA in 1996
  • Montessori Primary Certification (3-6 years), and worked in the Primary classrooms for 14 years
  • Between 2004 and 2007, Ms. Hinley served as an administrator in a church preschool

Ms. Hinely moved into the Lower Elementary Program to expand her knowledge and practice of the Montessori Method in 2013.

Anne has a passion for missions work, especially in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. She works there every summer with children at The Valentine Children’s Home, and serves on the board of The Valentine Project.

Priscilla Kelly teacher sea pines hilton head private school
Lower Elementary Lead Teacher

Ms. Kelly is the Lead Lower Elementary Teacher. Dedicated to providing a fun, learning environment, she works hard to be a good role model for her students.

Her qualifications include:

  • High School – Hilton Head Prep
  • Degree in Elementary Education, Belmont Abbey College
  • Lower Elementary Montessori Certification, SeaCoast Training Center

Priscilla is the Club Volleyball Coach for the Low Country Volleyball Club. She went to Nationals in 2013 and 2015 after winning the region.

Kalen Wolf Arts Educator at hilton head private school
Art Educator

Ms. Wolfe is the Art Educator at Sea Pines Montessori Academy. She is dedicated to helping students appreciate the creativity of others.

Kalen wants students to develop an appreciation and understanding of how Art reflects and impacts life and individuals. In addition to helping students create art, she teaches students to respond to art in a responsible, respectful manner.

Her qualifications include:

  • Bachelor of Fine Arts, Massachusetts College of Art
  • Master of Art, Phoenix University
  • Trained to help students answer the essential Questions of Artist: Envision, Correct, Observe, Expressive Spirit, Develop Craft, Stretch & Explore, Engage & Persist, and Reflect
  • Ongoing training in Professional Development, Arts Organization, Continuing Education, Art Workshops and Classes

Kalen is passionate about Art. She believes the arts help children learn to say what cannot be said and that the arts enable us to have experience we can have from no other source and through such experience discover what we are capable of feeling.

Dean St Hillaire
Guitar Instructor

Dean St. Hillaire is a music teacher at SPMA and dedicated to seeing more children involved in the arts.

Passionate about teaching music to kids, Dean is also a very successful local musician and works with some of the area’s top artists.  Dean teaches guitar instruction (individual and group) to the students.  Additionally, he helps with the school musical.

He is a graduate of Greenville Secondary School.

Katherine De Freitas Sea Pines Montessori Music Teacher
Suzuki Piano Teacher

Katherine G. De Freitas is the Music and Suzuki Piano Teacher at Sea Pines Montessori Academy. She is dedicated to enriching every child with a love and appreciation of music.

Her qualifications include:

  • Bachelor of Science in Organizational Communications, Minor in Music, Ohio University
  • Certified Music Together teacher
  • Certified Montessori Para-Professional
  • Suzuki Association of Americas (SAA) certified through Suzuki Piano Book

Katherine loves to sing, dance, and play all types of music. She enjoys the quality time with SPMA students and is passionate about teaching music.

With a child who attends SPMA and one who will as soon as she’s old enough, family and quality education are Katherine’s priorities.

Beth McCune Elementary Teacher Sea Pines Montessori
Lower Elementary Teacher

Beth McCune is a Lower Elementary Teacher and is dedicated to educating the whole child by helping each child gain independence, self-confidence, and an awareness of the importance of their role in a building a peaceful, cooperative community.


  • BA in Education, Major in Special Education, University of North Florida
  • Teaching certificate Special Education, K-12 (Varying Exceptionalities, Multi-Categorical)
  • Teaching certificate in ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages)
  • Montessori training for Lower Elementary (ages 6-9)

Beth enjoys spending time out in nature with her family, with a passion for the beach and kayaking local waters. She is passionate about sharing with her students the importance of preserving our island.

You can find Beth frequently researching new lesson ideas and ways to make learning more beautiful.

Margo Fletcher SPMA teacher
Upper Elementary Teacher

Ms. Fletcher is an Upper Elementary Teacher dedicated to teaching children to love learning.

Her qualifications include:

  • Upper Elementary Certified (ages 9-12) from the American Montessori Society
  • Lower Elementary Certified (ages 6-9) through Montessori Educational Programs International (MEPI)
  • Primary Certified (ages 3-6) through MEPI
  • Certified Montessori Model United Nations Coordinator
  • Bachelors Degree from Virginia Intermont College

Margo is passionate about animals, fitness, and photography. She enjoys teaching children about animal welfare and the important of exercise to stay healthy.

To experience everything Sea Pines Montessori Academy has to offer, request a tour now. 

Watch this short video to learn more about why a true Montessori environment is best for children.