Choosing a Montessori School for Your Child

Montessori schools are based on the philosophy that a child learns best within a social environment that supports each individual's unique development. 

The family is considered an integral part of the individual's total development and Montessori schools are eager to partner with parents to prepare children for life.  The following steps are offered as a guide to finding the right Montessori school for your child. 

1.      Familiarize yourself with the Montessori philosophy.  Information is available on
         this Canadian Council of Montessori Administrators website and on
         a number of other Internet sites including school websites.
 
2.      When looking at an individual school consider the following:  

  •             Location 
  •             Licensing, accreditations, and affiliations
  •             Size of the school 
  •             History of the school
  •             Programmes offered:  Preschool, JK/SK (ages 3 - 6),
                Grades 1 – 6 (ages 6 - 12), and in some cases
                Grades 7, 8 and high school
  •             Tuition fees
  •             Type of ownership

3.      Arrange to visit the school while the children are in session.  Every Montessori
         school has its own culture and focus and will thus have a unique atmosphere. 

4.      Observe the Classrooms.

            Are there three ages in each class - 3 to 6 years, 6 to 9 years, 9 to 12 years, 
            and 15 to 18 years?
            Is there a 2 – 3 hour uninterrupted work period in the Montessori environment? 
            Is there a diverse set of Montessori materials that are in good repair, 
            clean, and accessible?

5.      Observe the Children in their Classroom.

            Is there a variety of activities available?
            Do the children work independently and are they engaged in meaningful
            activities?
            Is there evidence of children interacting with each other? 
            Is there an atmosphere of enjoyment?
 
6.      Observe the Staff.

            Is there an atmosphere of respect when interacting with the children?
            Is staff approachable and responsive to the children?