Endeavor Schools Launches Learning Labs to Provide an On-Campus Option for Elementary Students in Remote Learning Programs

With the uncertainty surrounding school openings this fall, families need stability and safety so their children can continue their education. For this reason, Endeavor Schools, a top education management and private school company, has created its new Learning Labs Program, which gives elementary students enrolled in remote learning programs an on-campus experience.

Through the Learning Labs Program, elementary students can focus on their work, socialize with peers, and receive teacher assistance throughout the day. They also enjoy the other benefits of being at school, including safe playgrounds for outdoor exercise, healthy food options for lunch, and much more. To keep students safe, Endeavor Schools has enacted a strict safety plan that was developed in coordination with the CDC and Johns Hopkins University.

These qualities are vital components of a well-rounded education, especially for young children. Endeavor Schools designed its Learning Labs to ensure remote learning students have all the educational opportunities they would have during in-person schooling.

“We want to ensure that children have an opportunity to enjoy a positive educational experience this fall,” said Endeavor Schools CEO, Ricardo Campo. “Our Learning Labs Program emphasizes our longstanding commitment to high-quality education while helping families restore normalcy to their lives.”

Experienced, Talented Educators

With more than 50 schools across the country and deep experience in teaching elementary school-age students, Endeavor’s Learning Labs provide a high-quality education program led by a talented team of educators, support staff and seasoned school leaders.

In addition to its talented instructors, high-quality learning materials, and beautiful campuses with a wide array of amenities, Endeavor Schools is also offering STEAM projects and other enrichment opportunities to students enrolled in its Learning Labs.

The combination of an on-campus experience and extracurricular activities make the Endeavor Schools Learning Labs a fantastic alternative for displaced students this fall.

Proven Safety Protocols

The Endeavor Schools Learning Labs will emphasize the school experience while maintaining maximum safety standards. The company’s safety plan has been implemented into each one of the company’s schools across the country. By exceeding safety standards recommended by federal and state governments, Endeavor Schools has the proven ability to protect its students and staff members.

Staff members have been thoroughly trained in the new safety procedures and have been practicing them for several months. Endeavor Schools never closed during the pandemic so that it could provide childcare and education to children of essential workers. The experience gained over the past several months has enabled the staff to gain valuable experience in safety measures, such as maintaining social distance in the classroom and sanitation practices necessary to reduce risk of viral transmission. The Endeavor Schools teaching staff has expertly adapted to the stringent but necessary conditions that are required in schools today.

“We realized early on that essential workers would be counting on us to help them with their childcare needs under new safety guidelines and our teachers stepped up to the task,” said Danielle Millman, the Chief Operations Officer at Endeavor Schools. “That experience has given our staff the ability to provide education to more students under the current circumstances and we are grateful for the opportunity to continue serving our communities.”

The Endeavor Schools Learning Labs Program began operations earlier this month at several of the company’s schools in Georgia, Florida, Ohio, Minnesota, and Texas. In September, the program will be offered at schools in Nevada, Oregon, and California, and potentially other markets.

For more information on this program, please visit: https://www.endeavorschools.com/learning-lab-programs/

Using Outdoor Learning to Maintain a Montessori Environment and Safe Classroom

With our new safety practices to ensure the health and well-being of our staff and students, maintaining a nurturing Montessori environment has created new challenges for our Montessori guides. But these new challenges have given way to new opportunities, such as embracing outdoor learning.

Kinderhouse Montessori in San Diego, CA is one of several Montessori schools in the Endeavor Schools family that has increased use of its outdoor spaces to utilize the natural fresh air and sunshine. Although Endeavor Schools has high-quality HVAC systems in each of its schools, the use of outdoor spaces can make it easier to do activities that enable social distancing. In addition, Kinderhouse’s Jing Zhu says her children experience a calming and stabilizing effect, which can be conducive for concentration and learning.

“The outdoor environment provides children with more natural and milder stimulation in a way the children probably won’t be over or under-stimulated,” Zhu said. “Children just love to be outside. Most of my toddlers are exhilarated when it is the time to be out.”

Outdoor learning is not a novel idea when it comes to a Montessori setting. In fact, Dr. Maria Montessori advocated for outdoor learning during the course of her research.

In The Discovery of the Child, Montessori wrote: “Let the children be free; encourage them; let them run outside when it is raining; let them remove their shoes when they find a puddle of water; and, when the grass of the meadows is damp with dew, let them run on it and trample it with their bare feet; let them rest peacefully when a tree invites them to sleep beneath its shade; let them shout and laugh when the sun wakes them in the morning as it wakes every living creature that divides its day between waking and sleeping.”

Dr. Amy Brereton, the Vice President of Academics at Endeavor Schools, said outdoor learning activities have been implemented throughout the Endeavor Schools network.

“We promote guided explorations in the natural world whenever possible,” Brereton said. “These explorations may be aimed at learning specific science content, such as plant and animal biology, geology, habitats, astronomy, physics, etc. Also, explorations could have more to do with geography (cartography, terrain, hydrology etc.) or sociology (animal social behaviors, outdoor occupations, community planning etc.).

Tinkering outdoors to learn STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) is another way Endeavor Schools utilizes the outdoors for learning.

“Tinkering involves providing children with a variety of loose part materials that they can use to build endless creations,” Brereton said. “Children have used planks and tubes to make ramps and pathways for balls or trucks (physics, engineering); cardboard or boards to make buildings (engineering, math); ropes, tarps and poles to make tents (engineering, math); and a variety of materials to craft simple machines (technology, math, engineering).”

She adds: “Most children do not consider their creations to be complete until they have taken the time to decorate them (art). These types of projects are well suited for the outdoors because the open space makes large scale creation possible.”

There are also the many benefits of unstructured outdoor activity outdoors, which gives children a chance to rest their minds and process all the material they have been soaking up in school and life.

“While schools across the country are choosing to shorten or eliminate recess, we are choosing to offer children more unstructured time outdoors,” Brereton said. “When children’s brains are working hard to master content, they need breaks. These breaks offer the brain time to file information.”

Pedagogists have done a great deal of research on the benefits of recess. These include increased focus; fewer behavioral issues; improved cognitive function; increased social and emotional growth; and improved physical health, such as stronger immune systems.

“A strong Montessori program supports children’s unstructured engagement with the outdoor environment in the form of recess or ‘brain breaks,’” Brereton said. “The younger the child, the more often they need such breaks.”

Recess is vital for the mental, as well as physical health, in a Montessori setting, according to Lee Lanou, the Director of Montessori Education at Endeavor Schools.

“Dr. Montessori knew, and research confirms, that movement is essential for the growth of a child’s intelligence,” Lanou said. “Movement in nature not only strengthens their muscles but also aids in the development of auditory discrimination, visual cues for depth perception, balance, coordination, agility, and it offers a rich variety of sensory stimuli for the young child’s absorbent mind.”

And most importantly, children experience more joy and happiness throughout the day then they have time outdoors.

When describing her children learning outside on a recent beautiful San Diego day at Kinderhouse Montessori, Zhu said: “Their faces are just glowing, their eyes are shining, and I feel like we are in love with the playground and each other.”

Anti-Bias Resources for the Endeavor Family

In the midst of two pandemics, COVID-19 and systematic racism, we need to ask what changes we are capable of making to bring about the world we want, and our children deserve. Below is a list of guidelines that we use to promote equality and tolerance in our schools.

One of the most powerful ways that we can support children’s appreciation of diversity and respect for differences is to walk the walk.

Many of us lead segregated lives without even being aware of it. Children as young as 6 months of age are aware of racial differences. Professor Kang Lee from the University of Toronto says that lack of exposure to racial diversity may cause racial bias in infants. Do you and your children have the opportunity to engage with a diverse group of friends and professionals in your community? Does the literature in your home include a diverse representation of experts, heroes and characters? Building book collections that celebrate diversity can be challenging due to the centuries of racial and gender inequality that have resulted in there being a lot more white and male protagonists in children’s literature than any other demographic. This said, there are so many new and wonderful books coming out (a list of titles can be found below). You can take inventory of the books in your home and seek to get a healthy balance of representation.

Talk about differences.

A child is never too young to talk about racial differences. Because many of us feel uncomfortable talking about race we opt to be ‘color silent’. In the absence of helpful conversations about race with trusting adults, children develop their own theories based on images and experiences that may be unhelpful. Instead, talk about race. Help children to understand why people look different and affirm the beauty and power of all races.

While children of any age can engage in conversations about racism, the conversation should be age appropriate.

Young children are very concrete in their processing of information. Talk about behavior that is hurtful versus helpful and do not give them more details or information than they
can handle. Concepts like murder are difficult for young children to understand, but they do understand the notion of ‘hurting someone’s body’ and doing and saying things that lead to sad and angry feelings. Older preschoolers and elementary age children are keenly aware of the bad feeling of something being unfair. Upper elementary children and adolescents are ready to deeply discuss the concepts of justice, equity and civil disobedience. All children, especially young children, need examples of what TO DO not just what not to do. Beverly Daniel Tatum encourages us to highlight the allies and resistors who confront racism.

Respond to incidents of prejudice by focusing on feelings and pushing back against stereotypes.

Incidents of prejudice can be powerful learning opportunities for children, including children who may be perpetuating stereotypes. Start by comforting the target of the bias, encouraging them to name their emotions. Then, reject the stereotype by offering counter examples (i.e. superheroes, princesses, Jedi, presidents and wizards can be people of any race).

The goal is for the children to develop their own sense of appreciation of diversity, to develop helpful strategies to advocate for others, to identify and speak against the hurting, belittling or marginalizing of others and seek to consistently strive to be aware of and confront their own biases.

A few links are offered below as resources in our quest to continue to educate our children, students, and ourselves and stand up for equity and social justice.

Resources for Talking about Race, Racism, and Racialized Violence with Kids: This document was compiled by the Center for Racial Justice in Education
Anti-racism Resources for White People: a large compilation of resources for white people and parents to deepen their work in anti-racism.
Teaching Tolerance: Teaching about race, racism, and police violence. Includes classroom resources such as: lessons, learning plans, tasks for children by grade level, teaching strategies, posters, readings, and films.
How You Can Be an Ally in the Fight for Social Justice: Activist DeRay Mckesson explains how we can all show up and stand up.
Social Justice Standards (K-12), Age-appropriate learning outcomes are divided into four domains: Identity, Diversity, Justice, and Action. Free to download the Standards.
JenCort.com: Jen Cort is a dynamic school consultant who “invites the elephants in the room to tea.” She works with teachers, school leaders, and students and focuses on diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice. (Blog, podcast, workshops, school consultations)
Anti-Bias Education Booklists: Selection of multi-cultural and social justice books for children, young adults, and educators
Guide for Selecting Anti-Bias Children’s Books: from Teaching for Change – Building Social Justice Starting in the Classroom
• Instagram @theconsciouskid

Resources for Educators of Young Children (birth through 3rd grade)

NAEYC Resources: Resources from the National Association for the Education of Young Children
Anti-Bias Education for Young Children and Ourselves book – excellent resource for Early Childhood educators
Interacting with Children and Youth on Issues of Diversity and Bias: The first few pages of this PDF from the Partnership Against Hate address how children develop attitudes about race in the first few years of life
Coping with Violence: Compilation of online resources for parents, teachers, and others working with young children.
Protecting Children from Extreme Screen Violence: Blog post about protecting children from screen violence
Becoming Upended: Teaching and Learning about Race and Racism with Young Children and Their Families: NAEYC article

Resources for Educators of 4th through 12th graders

Helping Students Make Sense of News Stories about Bias and Injustice: Resources from the Anti-Defamation League
Interacting with Children and Youth on Issues of Diversity and Bias: Great instructional PDF from the Partnership Against Hate
Array Now: Started by Ava DuVernay, director of Now They See Us, this is a compilation of African American independent films-an array of stories and voices.
A Collection of Resources for Teaching Social Justice: from Cult Pedagogy

Race-Equity Books for Toddler – High School

Toddler/Early Elementary (Baby-Pre-K-2nd Grade):

• A is for Activism by Innosanto Nagara
• Woke Baby by Mahogany L. Browne and Theodore Taylor III
• Counting on Community by Innosanto Nagara
• Brick by Brick by Giuliano Ferry
• Nursery Rhymes for Social Good: Alternative Poems for Future Activists by Holly
Elizabeth Olsen and Elie Galih
• An ABC of Equality by Chana Ginelle Ewing and Paulina Morgan
• Skin Again by Bell Hooks
• Shades of People by Shelley Rotner
• The Skin I’m In: A First Look at Racism by Pat Thomas
• The Colors of Us by Karen Katz
• The Skin You Live in by Michael Tyler
• We’re Different, We’re the Same by Bobbi Kates
• All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold
• Skin Like Mine by LaTishia M. Perry
• Antiracist Baby by Ibram X. Kendi
• Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena
• I am Enough by Grace Beyers
• I Believe I can by Grace Beyers
• Hey, Black Child! by Useni Eugene Perkins
• The Undefeated (Caldecott Medal Book) by Kwame Alexander
• Teach Your Dragon About Diversity: Train Your Dragon To Respect Diversity by
Steve Herman
• Hands Up! By Breana J. McDaniel
• Can I Touch Your Hair?: Poems of Race, Mistakes, and Friendship by Irene Latham
• A Kid’s Book About Racism by Jelani Memory
• Let the Children March by Monica Clark Robinson
• Separate is Never Equal by Duncan Tonatiuh
Elementary- (3rd Grade-5th Grade)
• Let’s Talk About Race by Julius Lester
• Not My Idea: A Book About Whiteness (Ordinary Terrible Things) by Anastasia
• Something Happened in Our Town: A Child’s Story About Racial Injustice by
Marianne Celano, PHD
• Our Future: How Kids Are Taking Action (How Kids Are Making a Difference) by
Janet Wilson
• We Are the Change: Words of Inspiration from Civil Rights Leaders (Books for Kid
Activists, Activism Book for Children) by Harry Belafonte
• Teach Your Dragon About Diversity: Train Your Dragon To Respect Diversity by
Steve Herman
• How to Make a Better World: For Every Kid Who Wants to Make a Difference by
Keilly Swift
• Kid Activists: True Tales of Childhood from Champions of Change (Kid
Legends) by Robin Stevenson and Allison Steinfeild
• I Know My Rights: A Children’s Guide to the Bill of Rights and Individual
Liberty by Rory Margraf
• Marley Dias Gets It Done: And So Can You! by Marley Dias
• Civil Rights Then and Now: A Timeline of the Fight for Equality in America by
Kristina Brooke Daniele
• When a Bully is a President: Truth and Creativity for Oppressive Times by Maya
• The Power Book: What is it? Who Has it? And Why? By Claire Saunders


• Watson’s Go to Birmingham by Christopher Paul Curtis
• Ghost Boy by Jewell Parker Rhodes
• For Black Girls Like Me by Mariama Lockington
• Clean Getaway by Nic Stone
• A Good Kind of Trouble by Lisa Moore Ramee
• Glory Be by Augusta Scattergood

Older Kids (Middle School-High School)


• Watson’s Go to Birmingham by Christopher Paul Curtis
• Monster by Walter Dean Meyers
• The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
• Ghost Boy by Jewell Parker Rhodes
• Watch Us Rise by Renee Watson and Ellen Hagan
• Dear Martin by Nic Stone
• Clean Getaway by Nic Stone
• A Good Kind of Trouble by Lisa Moore Ramee
• Betty Before X by Ilyasah Shabazz and Renee Watson
• Count Me In by Varsha Bajaj
• Crow by Barbara Wright
• Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine
• All American Boys by Jason Reynolds
• How it Went Down by Kekla Magoon
• I’m Not Dying with You Tonight by Gilly Segal and Kimberly Jones

Non Fiction

• Tell Me Who You Are by Winona Guo and Priya Vulchi
• Racial Profiling: Everyday Inequality by
• Rise Up: Ordinary Kids with Extraordinary Stories by Amanda Li
• Young Revolutionary: A Teen’s Guide to Activism by Chanice Lee
• This Book Is Anti-Racist: 20 Lessons on How to Wake Up, Take Action, and Do The
Work by Tiffany Jewell
• We Are the Change: Words of Inspiration from Civil Rights Leaders (Books for Kid
Activists, Activism Book for Children) by Harry Belafonte
• Black Enough: Stories of Being Young & Black in America by Ibi Zoboi, Tracey
Baptiste, et al.
• How I Resist: Activism and Hope for a New Generation by Maureen Johnson
• Girl Rising: Changing the World One Girl at a Time by Tanya Lee Stone
• You Are Mighty: A Guide to Changing the World by Caroline Paul
• Girls Resist!: A Guide to Activism, Leadership, and Starting a Revolution by
KaeLyn Rich
• Marley Dias Gets It Done: And So Can You! by Marley Dias
• Open Mic: Riffs on Life Between Cultures in Ten Voices Edited by Mitali Perkins

Graphic Novels

• March (Trilogy Slipcase Set) by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin
• New Kid by Jerry Craft
• I Am Alfonso Jones by Tony Medina
• Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans by Don Brown

After Growing Up Watching Children’s Television Shows, Endeavor Schools Teachers Now Make Their Own


Teachers across the Endeavor Schools network are creating dozens of videos each day to provide high-quality educational content for children doing remote learning. As our teachers engage with students online through live streams and pre-recorded videos, many of them have been thinking about the shows they watched as children, such as Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood and Sesame Street, when making their own videos.

When people started wearing masks on a regular basis to help stop the spread of coronavirus, Erin McFarland, a teacher at Step by Step Montessori in Edina, Minnesota, was worried her students would be confused and frightened by the rapid changes happening around them. And as a lifelong fan of Mr. Rogers, she decided to channel the legendary children’s television host and explain to them honestly and carefully about the importance of the masks and that they have no reason to fear them.

Sitting by herself at her school on a Sunday afternoon in early April, Erin turned on her camera, put on her mask, and, in a calm and clear voice, showed that the masks were not to be feared.

“See my eyes? I’m smiling behind the mask,” Erin says in the video.

Since creating that video, Erin, who is a Montessorian and brand-new to the world of remote learning, has since made dozens more videos for her students. Each time she makes them, she tries to incorporate what she liked about the man who created one of the most iconic children’s television shows in American history.

“I was one of those people who was raised on Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood,” Erin said. “Mr. Rogers just has this calmness about him. And he uses routine on his show, such as singing the song, changing into the cardigan, changing his shoes, and so on. Kids really love repetition, routine, and normalcy. So, incorporating that, as well as his laid-back demeanor, is something I’m trying to do.”

Recreating the Classroom Experience

Aiden Huckestein, a teacher at Creative Child Learning Center in Tallahassee, Florida, said watching Sesame Street as a child has influenced the videos she is making today.

“You can almost see the passion and excitement of what they’re talking about on Sesame Street and that can make kids feel the same way, which makes them more excited to learn,” Aiden said.

In addition to captivating a child’s attention, Huckestein said she learned a great deal about timing and interaction techniques from watching various children’s television shows. Like many teachers, she had not made videos for remote learning before the coronavirus pandemic. Watching children’s television shows helped her understand techniques like making eye contact and pausing briefly after asking a question to allow children to process and answer so they can participate in the lesson.

“Seeing how they did these little things enabled me to grasp those techniques quicker and improve my videos,” Huckestein said. “You try to recreate as much as possible the classroom experience and these are things you would do in person.”

Recreating the classroom experience is a top goal for Endeavor Schools teachers.

When Beth Hughes, a toddler teacher Prep Academy in Dublin, Ohio, was told that she must create multiple educational videos each day, she was not sure her technological skills were up to task.

“I don’t even really take selfies,” Hughes said with a laugh.

Nonetheless, she adapted quickly and was soon making several videos per day, including editing out mistakes. But by editing out mistakes, Hughes realized she was depriving students of an important life lesson: It is okay to make mistakes sometimes.

Learning to Solve Problems

“We all make mistakes. But if children don’t ever see teachers make mistakes, they will see their own mistakes as a big problem, rather than something they can resolve,” Hughes said.

In one video where Hughes gave a counting lesson using grapes, the round fruits would slightly roll of when she lifted the surface she was working on for the camera. But instead of discarding the video, Hughes use the opportunity to show students that all you had to do was put the grapes back where they belong and you still had the correct number in the appropriate slots.

“When I’m in a classroom, I can’t hide when I make a mistake. And when I do, children can see me fix it and find a solution. So why shouldn’t I do that while presenting a video?”

Hughes said her mother was careful not to let her children watch just anything on television. In fact, just about the only show she could watch as a small child was Mr. Rogers, who won her mother’s approval because of the slow, methodical approach he demonstrated on television.

Turns out, that’s something Hughes has striven for in her videos, as well, because working through and solving problems is a skill that she wants her students to develop.

“Looking, observing, and trying are things Mr. Rogers would do on his show in a way that let children process and understand new ideas,” Hughes said. “Making mistakes and learning how to work our way through is part of growing up for a child.”

In some ways, early children’s education shows like Mr. Rogers and Sesame Street were the pioneers of remote learning. And today’s children are being taught by teachers who grew up watching the first shows that provided children’s education via video.

However, a major difference is that Endeavor Schools teachers know their students personally and are providing new content each day and maintaining a special bond that will continue as soon as children can come back to the classroom.

“Having personal videos from the teachers is really beneficial and it extends the relationship,” said McFarland. “We are continuing our friendship over video.”

Helping Children Feel Connected to Classmates During Remote Learning

On a recent Monday morning at Carpe Diem Preschool in Southlake, Texas, parents came by with their children to pick up remote learning packets as children inside the school stood by a window and held signs that said, “Hello” and “We miss you.”

The children holding the signs were still attending school because their parents are essential workers. They hadn’t seen their fellow classmates in person for weeks because so many are doing remote learning and teachers wanted children to see each other and share a moment of happiness with them – a rare occurrence in this time of social distance due to coronavirus precautions.

“The children had a great time making the signs and it meant a lot to the parents and children outside when they saw them,” said Gerri Kelley, the school leader. “Being able to see each other and smile lets them know that they’re still together, even if they’re temporarily apart.”

As social distance has threatened to wither away bonds and friendships, this small interaction meant a great deal to the children on both sides of the window. That’s why our teachers throughout the Endeavor Schools family have been creating ways to keep children connected and ensure that their friendships stay intact.

Across the country at more than 50 schools within the Endeavor Schools family, teachers are coming up with a variety of creative ways to keep children connected to each other.

At Endeavor Montessori, an infant through upper elementary school in Dunwoody, Georgia, all students are learning at home. To create a sense of community, teachers created a yearbook for the students and sent it as a pdf to their parents. They also wrote the names of every student on paper hearts and taped them to the glass window of the school.

School Leader Sue Hansen said her staff wanted to see the students to see each other in the yearbook and later come by the school to see their names with others in the same window.

“We truly miss our children here at Endeavor Montessori even though we see them in the virtual classrooms and we know they miss each other very much,” Hansen said. “They say ‘hi’ to each other online but we know they want nothing more than to be at school. They all love learning the Montessori way, which is relationship teaching at its finest.”

At Silverlake Montessori in Cypress, Texas, teachers are engaging children at home in fun group activities online to mimic the feel of being inside their classroom.

During a recent remote classroom session, Silverline School Leader Nikki Handy had children “freeze dance,” a game in which children dance as music is played and then stop when the music is turned off. Haley acted as DJ, playing songs like The Gummy Bear Song and Shake it Off, and children danced away as they saw their friends on screen doing the same.

“Children were so thrilled to see their friends dancing on screen and they were able to participate to an unexpected level,” Haley said.

Even the Pledge of Allegiance has been made a part of the remote learning program at Silverline. Montessori School.

Students in school and at home each get a turn at being the designated “flag holder” as they hold up their homemade flags on screen as the rest of the children say the pledge in unison.

In addition to making children feel connected, Haley says these group activities help sharpen children’s active listening skills.

“The teachers are constantly looking for more ways to make the experience of remote learning more interactive,” Haley said.

As children at Endeavor Schools are staying connected, their parents have shown great appreciation for our teachers’ efforts.

“Though we are dealing with some very crazy times, I am so very blessed to have you all in my family’s life,” one parent recently wrote to the Carpe Diem staff in Southlake, Texas. “We hope our son is able to continue with Carpe Diem until he is too old to be there.”

At Endeavor Schools, we are doing all we can to make sure children receive a joyful education, whether they’re at home or in the classroom.

Endeavor Schools Stay Open to Serve Communities and Essential Workers

A student at Step by Step Montessori School in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota reads a book.

Many of our schools are staying open to provide childcare and education to families in their communities, including children of essential workers.

By adhering to strict company sanitation protocols, health and safety best practices, and following the CDC guidelines for schools, we are providing a safe and much-needed service to families across the country.

“I think it’s a great thing that we are able to stay open for those families,” said Amy Hill, the School Leader at Step by Step Montessori School in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota. “Parents know that we are here for their families and they’ve just been so appreciative and glad for that.”

In Minnesota, just like in many other states, many schools have been shut down and people are urged to stay at home. However, essential workers, including healthcare and food retail employees, must go into work and need a place to bring their children.

At Silverline Montessori School in Pearland, Texas, about half of the children’s parents are essential workers and the school has stayed open to take care of those families.

“I just think it’s wonderful that we’re able to do this,” Silverline School Leader Teresa Conn said. “It gives me have a sense of pride. There are people who really need all day childcare to take care of what they need to do and it’s truly great that we can help them.”

Keeping Schools Safe

Endeavor Schools has been at the forefront of school safety since the coronavirus pandemic began.

Danielle Millman, our Chief Operations Officer, has been in regular contact with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as state health agencies, to ensure each of our schools are following all state and federal guidelines.

“She has made sure we are provided all the services and information we need to protect our children and remain open,” Conn said.

This includes an array of procedures, including having school facilities thoroughly and professionally cleaned and sanitized each day, using electrostatic disinfecting, performing health screens and temperature checks  of each staff and student before they enter the building, and not allowing parents or any visitors inside, to name just a few.

Despite the extra measures, parents have been happy to know that their child’s safety is a priority at Endeavor Schools.

“Families are super appreciative of all the precautions we are taking,” said Chloe Murillos, the co-School Leader at Carpe Diem Preschool in Richardson, Texas. “And they’ve never once wavered in their trust of us. Even though they can’t come inside the building to see their child, they always know their child is being well taken care of.” 

Giving Children and Families a Sense of Community

Although many children are learning at home instead of the classroom, our schools are committed to maintaining children’s sense of community by keeping them in contact with their classmates.

In addition to keeping in regular contact with families about lesson plans and learning at home activities, our schools look for other ways to help children and families feel a sense of togetherness.

At Step By Step in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, children learning at home sent their teachers photos of themselves to be put on the classroom wall so children going to school can see them every day.

“We’re making sure to keep the children connected,” Hill said.

Our families have also taken it upon themselves to stay connected.

At Carpe Diem Preschool in Richardson, Texas, parents formed a group that provides a pizza lunch for the children every Monday.

“That’s parents supporting parents,” Murillos said.

These are difficult times, but at Endeavor Schools, our teachers are working hard to make sure that children have a safe space to be and learn.

“Every morning, our kids walk into their classroom with a smile on their face and they see a teacher smiling back,” Murillos said. “We’re dedicated to do whatever it takes to provide a service to our families and our community.”

How Endeavor Schools Quickly Created Virtual Classrooms for Thousands of Children

The coronavirus has forced millions of children around the country into an at-home, virtual learning environment. Under the guidance of its education experts, Endeavor Schools is offering students a rich and varied at-home curriculum, live and recorded online classes, and regularly scheduled one-on-one sessions with teachers for students and parents.

“Our goal is to do everything we can to create an effective, at-home learning environment that continues and advances the high-quality education students were receiving before the coronavirus school closures,” said Dr. Amy Brereton, the Vice President of Academics at Endeavor Schools.

Teachers across the Endeavor School network, which includes 53 schools in 12 states, are creating videos and hosting livestreams for student lessons. They create weekly lesson plans and follow-up with students and teachers throughout the week for personal instruction, work review, or just to answer questions students or teachers have.

In addition, teachers are also coordinating social time on Zoom so children can talk with their classmates, have a snack or eat lunch with each other. This offers children social time they might not get otherwise due to social distancing.

Unlike education at high school level and above, early childhood education isn’t commonly taught online. However, Endeavor Schools’ teachers and academic leaders have led a company-wide effort to create virtual classrooms that are effective and engaging for young children.

This effort includes the rapid creation of high-quality lesson plans, videos, and technical support for teachers to conduct online instruction. In addition, new schedules for lessons, weekly online parent-teacher conferences, as well as one-on-one instruction for students have all been created on short notice to ensure children do not miss out on their education.

One reason Endeavor Schools has been able to make the transition so quickly and effectively is because its teachers know their students well and understand what would be needed to transition to an at-home learning situation.

“It is truly remarkable that none of our teachers were trained to teach remotely, but when you love children, know them well, and understand their developmental needs, you can create something really beautiful that supports children in just the way they need,” said Lee Lanou, the Director of Montessori Education at Endeavor Schools.

Maintaining a Montessori Experience in a Virtual Classroom

Teachers at Foothills Montessori School in Henderson, Nevada greet children during an online class.

Montessori instruction normally relies on a hands-on, collaborative educational environment with limited screen time, which is difficult to maintain under the coronavirus circumstances. However, Endeavor Schools’ Montessori teachers have adjusted.

“We’re doing the best we can, and teachers are finding creative ways to make it fun,” said Karen Kolb and Kim Gallagher, the school leaders at Foothills Montessori School, where they serve 3 year olds through 8th graders in Henderson, Nevada.

One way to do that is by combining hands-on instruction with a virtual classroom.

Before schools closed around the country, Foothills Montessori School’s middle school class was supposed to dissect cow eyeballs to learn about anatomy and the nervous system. But instead of ditching the dissection, one Foothills Montessori School teacher sent the eyeballs to each student and conducted the dissection class online in real time. Students followed along and dissected at home.

Although a virtual classroom might normally go against Montessori ideals, the current situation might accommodate an important Montessori ideal, which is teaching children independence. Whether it’s a 3-year-old preparing a small meal for themselves or a 7th grader sticking to a strict study schedule without having to be reminded to do so, children are taking more responsibility for their education and, as a result, becoming more independent.

“Some parents have told me, ‘Oh my gosh. I can actually see my child becoming more independent by the day,’” Kolb said.

Supporting Parents and Educating Children

A teacher at Foothills Montessori talks to her students via video conferencing.

Many parents are experiencing additional stress in their lives due to the extra burdens caused by the coronavirus pandemic. That’s why Endeavor Schools is working to help alleviate some of that stress by providing a full-time education for children with a support network available for parents who have any questions about helping their child learn at home.

Teachers at Foothills Montessori School, and other schools within the Endeavor School family, make sure to maintain lines of communication with parents by scheduling conferences via Zoom, Facetime, or just over the phone. Kolb says one of the keys here is to be proactive and reach out to parents whenever possible to ensure that they know support is available and their children’s teachers are still there to help.

“We’re making sure we can make their life easier,” Kolb said.

Lee Lanou, the Director of Montessori Education at Endeavor Schools, points out that teachers are also doing what they can to prevent parents from feeling overwhelmed because that can add stress to children’s lives, too.

“This is a time of huge stresses for parents and children pick up on that,” Lanou said. “The last thing that we want to do is to add more stress on them during this time. We offer them a loose schedule that mimics what the child’s day might be like at school and offer them activities they can do within the course of a week. We encourage free play time and independent exploration for learning, as well.”

“Lots of self-care is important,” Kolb added. “Putting things and tasks on the list like taking a walk, getting outdoors, taking brain breaks. Both adults and children need them.”

“I think it’s important to remember that this is a health crisis, not an educational crisis,” Lanou said. “All of us – children, parents, and teachers – have been taken out of our elements. How children feel during this time is what will stick with them. We need to keep that in mind.”

Endeavor Schools Expands to Virginia with Acquisition of Kiddie Country

Endeavor Schools has expanded into Virginia with the acquisition of Kiddie Country Developmental Learning Center, one of the commonwealth’s top private schools for preschool and kindergarten education.

With the addition of Kiddie Country, Endeavor Schools now operates 51 schools in 12 states, where the company provides high-quality education to children and continues the legacy and relationships of local school owners to the communities they have served.

Located in Burke, Virginia, Kiddie Country Developmental Learning Center has been a staple of the suburban Fairfax community since its founding in 1979. The award-winning school offers full-time preschool and kindergarten programs, as well as before and after-school programs for children up to sixth grade.

“Kiddie Country built its stellar reputation through a steadfast dedication to early childhood education that has created excellent results for 40 years,” said Endeavor Schools CEO Ricardo Campo. “We look forward to working with the Kiddie Country staff to help maintain their excellent standards.”

Focused on the development of young children, the Kiddie Country curriculum draws from groundbreaking thought leaders like Jean Piaget, best known for his research on child cognitive development, as well as current research on how children learn. Their exploratory, hands-on approach to learning addresses five crucial developmental needs of the child: physical; emotional; social; creative; and intellectual.

This education method enables children to find an effective balance between joyful play and inspired inquiry that develops children’s intellectual curiosity, cognitive resilience, motor skills, and social character.

“Kiddie Country’s curriculum recognizes that the most effective way to educate children requires a respectful and joyful approach that harnesses children’s interests, celebrates their questions, and encourages their desire to understand the world around them,” said Dr. Amy Brereton, Endeavor Schools’ Vice President of Academics. “By addressing each of a child’s developmental needs through a multi-faceted approach, teachers give students a holistic education that builds knowledge, skills and a love for learning.”

With the acquisition of Kiddie Country, Endeavor Schools is continuing its rapid growth in the private school market. Last month, the company announced the acquisition of its 50th school and recently launched its employer-sponsored childcare and education services for large companies.

“As our company grows, so does our focus on providing the best educational services for children,” Campo said. “There’s nothing more important than caring for our children.”

From Student at Cambridge University to VP for Academics at Endeavor Schools, Dr. Amy Brereton Has Championed Working Mothers for Years

This year, St. Edmund’s College, one of Cambridge University’s 31 colleges, celebrated its 50th year of admitting women by honoring 50 St. Edmund’s women who have studied or taught at the college. One of those women is Dr. Amy Brereton, the Vice President for Academics at Endeavor Schools, who was recognized for her research exploring young children’s perspectives of school, how they evaluate their own progress as learners, and her work to improve support networks for working mothers at the university.

Dr. Brereton’s connections to Cambridge run deep. After graduating from Gordon College in Wenham, MA, she matriculated to Cambridge University in 2001 for graduate study in Educational Research, obtaining both an MPhil and a PhD. In addition to her studies, she was a Woman’s Officer at the university and promoted support networks and programs for female students balancing motherhood and scholarship.

‘Working mothers have the drive’

Dr. Brereton experienced what it was like to be a working mother at Cambridge University herself when she returned in 2010 for post-doctoral research and was five months pregnant with twins. Working on a research project with Dr. Lani Florian, a world class scholar who developed the concept of inclusive pedagogy, a method of teaching that promotes inclusivity to heighten academic achievement of all children in a learning community, Dr. Brereton had a simple list of priorities.

“Deliver babies, keep babies alive and collect data,” Brereton said.

But the simplicity was deceptive because the physical toll was great. Once her twins were born, it was not easy to care for two new babies while working on a demanding research project that required collecting data at preschools in England and Scotland, in addition to conducting literature reviews at the University Library. The physical toll caused Dr. Brereton to question whether she would be able to complete the academic work she traveled all the way to Britain to conduct. Sitting in Dr. Florian’s home, Dr. Brereton admitted her self-doubts.

“I don’t know if I can do this,” she said. “I’m only sleeping two to four hours a night. How am I ever going to give you the quality of work I want to give you?”

“The question is: ‘Do you want to do the work?’” the professor asked.

“Yes,” Brereton replied.

“Then I think you will find a way because I have found that working mothers have the drive and stamina to deliver excellent results,” Dr. Florian said.

At that point, it had only been 40 years since Cambridge University allowed women. But Dr. Florian pointed to the numerous examples of women who simultaneously succeeded in scholarship and motherhood. It was difficult, but they persevered and paved the way for future women.

“Many women in history gave up a lot, so that you wouldn’t have to sacrifice one for the other,” Dr. Florian said.

Looking back, Dr. Brereton said that moment in Dr. Florian’s home made a lasting impact.

“I realized I had a choice,” Dr. Brereton said. “With the right support, I could choose to work if I wanted to.”

Finding Balance at Endeavor Schools

After becoming a mother, Dr. Brereton became more efficient with her time.

“Prior to having children, I was able to work 12 hours straight and think about nothing but work, which I thought was a positive thing because long hours meant hard work,” she said. “The way I think about work now, as a mother, makes me work smarter.”

Brereton added: “I don’t work for the long spans of time like I used to, but I work smarter, which has made my work better. I’m more focused because I know that if I waste any time during work hours, it will come out of my family time later.”

Endeavor Schools manages 50 schools across the country, including approximately 1,500 teachers and teaching assistants. As the Vice President for Academics at Endeavor Schools, Brereton oversees the curricula for each of its schools. Managing a demanding career while raising a family can be challenging, but Dr. Brereton said Endeavor Schools has a company culture that supports working mothers.

A Supportive Work Environment for Women and Working Mothers

When Dr. Brereton was a Woman’s Officer at Cambridge University, she worked hard to build and expand programs that improve student quality of life for women. Knowing how important that work was left an impression on her, which is one reason she is proud of the work culture that Endeavor Schools has created.

Approximately 95 percent of Endeavor Schools’ employees are women and the company puts great effort into supporting women in the workplace, such as offering competitive pay, development programs and opportunities for advancement.

Danielle Millman, the Chief Operations Officer at Endeavor Schools, said the work of women should always be held in high esteem and compensated accordingly, especially in the education field.

“When it comes to early childhood education, women are the driving force.” Millman said. “We acknowledge the importance of women and hold them up as professionals and experts in education. We invest in our educators and want to ensure they are well cared for, compensated, continually developed, and given plenty of opportunities for advancement.”

In addition to having a 95 percent women workforce, 98 percent of leadership positions at individual schools, including Regional Directors, School Leaders and Assistant School Leaders, are held by women.

With her experiences as a Women’s Officer and working mother at Cambridge University shaping her outlook on workplace situations for women, Dr. Brereton said she couldn’t be prouder to work at Endeavor Schools.

“Endeavor Schools was founded in 2012 and already has a strong track record of equity in pay and leadership,” she said. “This company is solid proof that equity can be accomplished if the success of women is a priority. And at Endeavor Schools, women are a priority.”

Endeavor Schools Welcomes Leading California Montessori School

Endeavor Schools, a leading education management company, has expanded its presence in Southern California with the acquisition of Laguna Niguel Montessori Center, a staple of the local community for 25 years.

With Laguna Niguel, Endeavor adds its third school in California and continues to expand its presence on the West Coast. The acquisition continues Endeavor’s commitment to serving families via high-quality educational offerings.

“Our goal is to partner with educators that are dedicated to providing children with high-quality education programs and Laguna Niguel Montessori Center embodies that in every way,” said Endeavor Schools Founder and CEO Ricardo Campo. “We’re honored to have them join our family and to be a part of the wonderful Laguna Niguel community.”

Debbie McLane, the School Leader of Laguna Niguel since she founded the school in 1995, said she is looking forward to working with Endeavor to continue to provide the kind of unique and effective education that had made Laguna Niguel successful for so many years.

“After operating our Montessori school since 1995, it became clear that partnering with a larger entity could help us get to the next level and Endeavor Schools fits that bill,” McLane said. “Endeavor’s philosophy aligns perfectly with the mission we’ve always held close to our hearts, which is helping children joyously reach their maximum potential. Endeavor Schools has put into place a very impressive support system to benefit not only the students, but the educators as well. I’m looking forward to many years growing and developing our school.”

Serving children between the ages of 2 and lower elementary, Laguna Niguel has a team of experienced and certified Montessori teachers who expertly guide children on an educational journey that develops their coordination, concentration and independence. Inspired by the teachings of Dr. Maria Montessori, Laguna Niguel’s curriculum is focused on teaching children how to foster independent learning and to think critically about what they learn.

In addition to its stellar education program, Laguna Niguel offers a beautiful campus with large, colorful classrooms designed for multiage groups and classic Montessori materials to enhance student-focused learning to encourage students to become active seekers of knowledge.

Endeavor Schools operates two more Montessori schools in California: Kinderhouse Montessori School in San Diego and Montessori American School in Chula Vista. With the addition of Laguna Niguel, the Miami-based company now oversees 50 schools across 11 states.

About Endeavor Schools

Endeavor Schools is a leading education management company with a family of unique, well-established private schools that serve as pillars to their respective communities in a growing number of markets across the US. Each of the company’s schools subscribe to proven, research-based curricula that is delivered by seasoned educators and are encouraged to embrace their own uniqueness and tradition. Endeavor Schools supports academic excellence by providing robust tools and resources to help each school thrive.

Founded in 2012, Endeavor Schools is headquartered in Miami, Florida. For more information, visit http://www.endeavorschools.com and follow the company on LinkedIn.