Learning Support

Special Services, Screening, Evaluation

If parents have concerns about their child’s development in any area (e.g., speech, language, motor, sensory processing, and/or academic skills - as well as physical, emotional or social development), they should contact the Learning Support Team(LST) for assistance. No question or concern is too small!

The LST includes a learning support teacher, school psychologist, your child’s teacher, and you! We are dedicated to providing your child with specialized academic assistance and social/emotional support here at CMS. Our services complement the educational concepts taught in Montessori classrooms by providing small group instruction in a variety of areas.

Learning Support Team

List of 1 members.

We have a primary goal of teaching strategies to students to support their self-directed learning and social/emotional well-being, as well as helping you understand your child’s learning style and behavior.

About The Program

In September, 2012, the Learning Support Team (LST), formally the Learning Center, was first implemented as a new way to provide students with extra academic, social, or emotional/behavioral assistance. Services offered by the Learning Support Team, including individual and small group tutoring, social skill groups, 1:1 counseling or consultation to parents about child development.  The Learning Support Team works closely with faculty and staff to support the students throughout their school day. Learning Support Team services are a cost-included service and the team is available at any time throughout the school year.

If a CMS parent has concerns about their child’s development or learning, they should contact our Director of Learning Support Services and School Psychologist, Martha Bestebreurtje, PhD. Currently the following services are offered. This list may expand to meet the needs of our students.

List of 4 items.

  • Assessment

    When you or your child’s teacher has questions or concerns about any aspect of her/his functioning at school – learning, behavior, attention skills, social skills, anxiety, etc. – the option of requesting a consultation is available through the Learning Support Team. With parental permission, the learning specialist or school psychologist will observe your child during school at a time that makes the most sense given the specific questions/concerns. As both of these staff are frequently in all of the classrooms for various reasons, observation sessions are not noticeable or unusual to the students, nor would the child being observed have a sense that he/she was the focus.

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  • Academic Skills Support

    In keeping with the Montessori method while adapting to the needs of our students, Learning Support Teachers will work with students in and out of the classroom, and assist the teacher in using specific strategies to promote the areas in need for them. Individual or small group instruction will be provided outside of the classroom. Some of the individual/small group academic support services available are:

    • Assessment/screening of academic skills
    • Multisensory reading instruction (Orton-Gillingham, Wilson and other research based reading programs)
    • Alternative spelling instruction
    • Help with math skills
    • Organization/study skills assistance
    • Help with written expression/writing skills
    The goal is for the student to become an independent learner with a new set of strategies to help them thrive in school.  Should your child already have a private tutor or you choose to find a tutor on your own, the Learning Support Team will collaborate with any outside providers to maximize the benefit for your child here in school.
  • Social Skills Training

    While CMS has a school-wide social skills curriculum based on the Montessori principle called “Grace and Courtesy”, some students will need more focused support in this area. These students may participate in weekly Social Skills groups, where children are matched by age range and specific social goals.
  • Individual Counseling

    We know that at times, students will go through challenges that may cause emotional stress or behavior concerns. Stressors such as divorce, loss of a loved one, identity issues, and peer conflict may lead to problems in school. As a service of the LST, students may be provided with 1:1 or small group counseling with the school psychologist, as some personal support for the student in the school environment can be quite helpful. Counseling does not serve the same purpose as formal therapy, which is sometimes recommended in addition to, or in lieu of, school counseling if the child’s needs are more than can be supported by counseling at school alone.


  • Straight Talk About Reading by Louisa Moats
  • Overcoming Dyslexia by Sally Shaywitz
  • Children’s Psychological Testing: A guide for non-psychologists by D.L. Wodrich
Located in the heart of Cambridge, MA, CMS is a private school serving children eighteen months through grade 8 in four distinct programs: Toddler, Primary, Elementary and Middle School. CMS educates the whole child, applying the Montessori philosophy in a joyful learning environment.


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