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Learning Tree Montessori

1721 15th Avenue
Seattle, WA 98122

(206) 324-4788


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Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Montessori

From the Director:

With Montessori, the teachers set up a rich learning environment in response of and anticipating children's need to grow. Children then choose activities to do on their own. The Learning Tree is a very warm and personal community.

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

Because every child learns at his or her own pace, we are constantly adjusting or lessons and activities to meet individual needs. We frequently work to keep up with a child advanced in some skills, reading for example. We spend extra time and patience with children who are learning a skill more slowly. We will consult the family and outside professionals when a child seems to need special help.

Teacher Training: The Learning Tree has a clearly defined staff training policy. All head teachers have Montessori training that includes one year of course work and one year of supervised internship. Other staff have college degrees, early childhood training or are enrolled in local college programs. Weekly staff meetings take place that include at least once / month formal training. All staff are required, (and compensated), for a minimum of 12 hours of additional training annually: which includes outside workshops, college coursework or reading and reporting on books and articles. Staff members participate in a multi-week Positive Discipline Training program. (The school discipline policy is based on Positive Discipline for Preschoolers, Prima; co-authored by Roslyn Duffy.) Finally, all staff are trained annually in CPR, First Aid, Earthquake preparedness, AIDS training, Developmentally Appropriate Practice and Anti-Bias Curriculum. (Excerpted from school website)

Day in the Life

General School Mission

The Learning Tree Mission Statement:

We are a community of people working together to bring harmony into one another's lives.

We share a vision of peace, both inner and in our world.

We work to achieve that peace through our own daily experiences and through the skills we are developing within ourselves and in each new generation of children with whom we share our lives.

Our goal is to provide an environment that enriches all whom it touches.

We work together to create a place where everyone can grow and feel nurtured and accepted.

Montessori Philosophy:
Dr. Maria Montessori discovered a good deal about the nature of the learning process in young children. She came to believe that every child delights in spontaneous activity directed toward intellectual discovery. A carefully prepared environment in a Montessori classroom nourishes and encourages a child's natural development. Attitudes and confidence developed during these formative years will serve them throughout their lifetime. For a confident child, new activities are not only a challenge but a delight. A child is most apt to retain a positive attitude toward learning and acquire confidence in a relaxed atmosphere where they set their own pace, follow their own interests, and are freed of criticism and competition.

(Excerpted from school website)

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

The parent involvement at the Learning Tree is unique. All parents are participants in the various Parent Committees and meet in small groups regularly. Throughout the school our motto is posted: “Working in partnership with parents to nurture and challenge tomorrow’s world citizens.” The Learning Tree’s commitment to parents and families is expressly described in the mission statement of the program. “We are a community of people working together to bring harmony into one another’s lives.. . Our goal is to provide an environment that enriches all whom it touches. We work together to create a place where everyone can grow and feel nurtured and accepted.” The Learning Tree maintains an ‘open door’ policy. All parents are welcome to be at the school at any time. We consider this a place for families and all are encouraged and welcomed to be comfortable and at ease here. Several things are built into the program to assure ongoing communication. Parents are involved in conferencing twice each year, or more often if needed. Daily anecdotal information is shared orally and in written form. Parents have designated mailboxes to facilitate two-way information processing and all staff are available by phone; including access to Directors whenever a concern arises. (Excerpted from school website)

Parents Say They are Encouraged to:

  • Hold social events at the school to build community
  • Fundraise
  • Are able to visit the school anytime we want
  • Go on field trips
  • Volunteer in the classroom
  • Receive newsletters

Modes of Communication

  • Notes
  • Phone Calls
  • Voice Mail
  • Email
  • Special Meetings
  • Two or More Regular Conferences
  • Drop-Off
  • Pick-Up
  • Regular newsletter/printed updates circulated to the whole school


Separation is Handled through:

  • Pre-entry meetings with parents at school
  • Parents in classroom early on

Handling Separation: From the Director

Primarily, we work to have such an inviting atmosphere that the children want to be here. Then we work with the parents to address their fears. We pay extra attention to the new child and stay in daily contact with the parents.