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MSD of Steuben County 
Early Learning Center at 
Carlin Park Elementary School

The MSD of Steuben County Early Learning Center uses the Montessori method which focuses on the natural stages of child development of children ages 3-6 by preparing an environment that cultivates a desire to learn.  

The state of Indiana does not provide funding to school districts for pre-school programs. This program is funded completely through student tuition. Tuition will be charged at a rate of $130 per week. We are currently seeking vouchers and scholarships for income-eligible families to cover or help with the cost of tuition.

Spaces are on a first-come, first-served basis. Please pre-register here to reserve your spot. (Please note, you will need to choose Carlin Park as your first choice school and choose PreSchool 4 Yr as the grade regardless of the child's age.) Families who live in the MSDSC school district will have priority access to openings until June 30. Any spaces open on July 1 will be made available to students outside the MSDSC district boundaries. Families outside MSDSC should still register now to reserve their spots on the waiting list should one become necessary. 

wood box of wooden letters     

              Call 260-665-2014 to schedule a tour or ask questions

About the Program

For the young child, learning is a process that involves all the senses. Dr. Maria Montessori created enticing materials for children to manipulate, and through their exploration, understand higher-level concepts, develop inner discipline and foster their natural curiosities. She discovered that given the proper amount of guidance and freedom, children develop a positive sense of self and their community.

Each classroom is staffed with an MSD of Steuben County teacher who is certified by the state and accredited by the American Montessori Society (or in the process of gaining such accreditation) and a Montessori-trained assistant.

The curriculum provides children with the materials they need for independent learning and exploration. The program is committed to the education of the whole child, allowing for physical, emotional, social, and academic growth.

The curriculum stresses the process of learning over standardized measurements, cooperation and community over competition, experience and application of knowledge over information-gathering and memorization, and structure over disorganization.

Research-based learning materials, a planned environment, and specially-trained staff are designed to ensure the overall development of each student.

The Montessori program is not a daycare. Once enrolled, your child is expected to follow regular school attendance policies. Daily attendance is expected as part of your child’s Montessori education. The program follows the MSD of Steuben County calendar. 

Hours of Operation:  8:10-2:45                     Before and after school care is available. 

Three-year-olds have the option of attending a half-day morning program dismissing at 10:40 AM. Transportation is not provided at the end of the half-day program.  

Montessori Curriculum

Goals For C
hildren 3 to 6 Years Old

The educational program for the Early Childhood level is distinguished by a core curriculum where each child acquires and applies a breadth of skills during a three-year learning cycle.

Well-planned lessons are presented in a carefully prepared educational environment filled with specifically designed, age-appropriate materials. The Montessori-trained teacher creates opportunities for individual children in a mixed-age community. The children learn and achieve at a rate that meets their particular needs and allows their talents to emerge.

The primary program encourages the young child to explore, cooperate, and attain academic and social independence. The acquired skills are intended to prepare each child not only for success at the next academic level but also for success in life.


Practical Life

Child pouring from pitcher, measuring, and sorting

Practical Life exercises instill skills in caring for oneself, for others, and for the environment. Activities include many of the tasks children see as part of the daily routine in their home as well as lessons in the social graces and courtesy. Through these tasks children develop muscular coordination, skills of independence and focus their attention in activity that promotes concentration and attention to details.


Sensorial exercises promote the development of the senses and the building of skills in discrimination.Blocks and puzzles Children develop cognitive skills by learning to order and classify their impressions through activities in touch, sight, taste, smell, listening, and exploring the physical properties of their environment.


Counting manipulatives

 Montessori math activities help children learn and understand abstract mathematical concepts through manipulating concrete materials. Children get a solid foundation in basic mathematics principles, preparing them for later abstract reasoning, and helping them to develop problem-solving capabilities.



Child tracing letter in sand with his finger

The Montessori activities build skills in sound discrimination, prepare the hand for writing, encourage the development of written expression, and lay a foundation of phonetic skills that prepare the child for reading.


Botany and Zoology

Leaf, tree, and flower puzzlesLessons in botany, classification and zoology expose the child to a wide scope of activities intended to promote interest and encourage reverence for living things.


Lessons in history expose the child to a wide scope of activities intended to promote interest and integrate a sense of time in their understanding of other subjects.


Montessori GeographyThrough sensory experience and the use of imaginative stories, children are introduced to both physical and political geography, using models of landforms, Montessori puzzle maps, and the flags of the world. Presentations focus on people who live on different continents and their food, music, clothing, traditions, holidays, customs, and housing.

MusicMontessori Music

Maria Montessori understood that music is one of the fundamental spiritual needs of humans. All children in a Montessori classroom learn to sing on pitch and carry a tune, and even, with the advanced lessons on the Montessori Bells, learn to read and write music. Starting simply, teachers give children the opportunity to participate in one of the great joys of life – listening to and making music.
    • District Office

      MSD of Steuben County
      400 South Martha St.
      Angola, IN 46703

      Tel: 260-665-2854
      Fax: 260-665-9155
      Dr. Matthew Widenhoefer, Superintendent
      Ann Rice, Assistant Superintendent
      Dr. Brandon Penrod, Business Manager
      Dr. Schauna Relue, Director of Curriculum and Instruction
      Chantell Manahan, Director of Technology

      High School

      Angola High School
      350 S. John McBride Ave.
      Angola, IN 46703

      Tel: 260-665-2186
      Athletics: 260-665-3780
      Fax: 260-665-7012
      Mr. Travis Heavin, Principal
      Mrs. Nancy Irwin, Asst. Principal
      Mr. Steve Lantz, Asst. Prin./Ath. Director
      Mrs. Mary Moore-Bowers, Dir. of Guidance

      Educational Opportunity Center
      403 S. Martha St.
      Angola, IN 46703

      Tel: 260-665-1360
      Fax: 260-668-7928
      Mr. Gary Puckett, Principal

      Middle School

      Angola Middle School
      1350 East Maumee St.
      Angola, IN 46703

      Tel: 260-665-9581
      Fax: 260-665-9583
      Mr. Ryan Bounds, Principal
      Mr. Ryan Stellhorn, Asst. Prin./Ath. Director
    • Elementary Schools

      Carlin Park Elementary
      800 N Williams St.
      Angola, IN 46703

      Tel: 260-665-2014
      Fax: 260-665-7053
      Mr. John Curtis, Principal

      Hendry Park Elementary
      805 South Washington St.
      Angola, IN 46703

      Tel: 260-665-3215
      Fax: 260-665-5584
      Mrs. Rosie Brandt, Principal

      Pleasant Lake Elementary
      P.O. Box 69
      1205 W. Main St.
      Pleasant Lake, IN  46779

      Tel: 260-475-5055
      Fax:  260-475-5673
      Mrs. Val Priller, Principal

      Ryan Park Elementary
      1000 South John McBride Ave.
      Angola, IN  46703

      Tel: 260-668-8873
      Fax:  260-668-8823
      Mrs. Amy Heavin, Principal


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