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Northwest Montessori School Mercer Islan

4025 86th Ave SE
Mercer Island, WA 98040

(206) 232-4595


Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Montessori

From the Director:

Montessori teachers use the dynamic educational approach to carefully observe and best meet the evolving developmental needs of each student. The three year age span in the classroom also allows children to progress at their own intellectual pace, to learn individually and together, and to grow into social and emotional maturity naturally,

Curriculum & Teaching Approach

Learning Philosophy & Tools

  Play- based mostly teacher led not formally in curriculum conducive environment
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense
Time & space
Sci. reasoning/physical world
Visual arts
Physical activity
Other subjects taught Spanish, Cultural Diversity and Drama

Day in the Life

General School Mission


To provide an individualized learning environment based on the principles of Dr Maria Montessori, that is designed to help students become independent, life-long learners who are academically grounded and socially confident about their place in the world.

Our Goal

Our goal is to build an environment that will help every student explore, communicate, work and perfect skills to their highest potential. We want each student to grow in self-esteem, well-grounded in academics and joyful about learning.

A Typical Day

The classroom is arranged according to subject area, and children are always free to move around the room. There is no limit to how long a child can work with a piece of material. Children are introduced to the world at large through geography, nature studies, mathematics, cultural diversity and Spanish lessons. Other parts of the classroom are dedicated to art, music and drama.

At any one time in a day, all subject areas are being studied by children of all levels in one classroom. The Primary teacher is trained to present lessons to one child at a time while overseeing the many children who are working on a broad array of tasks. The teacher, through extensive observation and record keeping, plans individual lessons that enable each child to flourish, follow an interest and move to a new level within the three-year curriculum.

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

Parent Involvement:
Northwest Montessori School strives to create a strong community between the students, staff and parents. To accomplish this, we ask that the parents stay active in the school and their child’s educations through observation, conferencing, volunteering and giving. In addition, we encourage parents to study the Montessori philosophy and to learn how they are able to bring Montessori into the home.

Parent Observations and Conferences
Parents are encouraged to make at least two observations or visits to your child's class during the school year, but are welcome to observe at any time. Observation is an important teaching tool in a Montessori classroom and is the most beneficial way for parents to understand their child’s day. Scheduling a classroom observation prior to a conference with your child’s teacher will provide insight to the parents, therefore leading to a more meaningful conference. Our Parent/Teacher Conferences are designed for discussion regarding the time that each child spends in the classroom. With the exception of Middle School students, conferences are for the parents and teachers only, and children should not attend. Northwest Montessori School schedules two conference sessions per school year: in the fall and in the spring. To schedule an observation of your child’s classroom, please contact the main office. Conferences can be scheduled with individual teachers.

Open Houses and Parent Education Evenings
Northwest Montessori School hosts many parent education evenings and open houses throughout the year. These are times for parents to come into the classroom, learn about the Montessori curriculum and meet other members of the community. Evenings this year include a nutrition lecture by Cynthia Lair, a night focusing on children’s Planes of Development, and the Transition from Primary to Elementary. Please refer to the school calendar for more information about each of these events.

(from school website)