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An Overview of Montessori

Private School Review posted a fantastic review of Montessori, highlighting philosophy, principles, age-range, approach, and benefits. So much of what makes learning through Montessori beneficial can be seen in those who attended Montessori schools. Thinking outside the box, the founders of Google graduated from Montessori schools. Other important aspects of a Montessori classroom can be found here in Salt Lake City, near the University of Utah. Respect for the child, Self-directed learning, Individualized instruction, are just a few core principals which set Montessori apart from other academic driven schools. Ironically, numerous studies show that Montessori students do better on standardized tests than public school students and often more academically focused private schools. Engaged-children prove over and over that kids love to learn and if the classroom and tools are setup for them to do that, in a self-paced, hands-on way, they become successful, global-citizens.

See the full article

If you are interested in providing an effective way of learning for your child, please contact our admissions team or Request a Tour today.

Admissions Meeting: Jan. 11 – 6:30pm

Join Meeting (offline)

This event will be virtual. The “Join Meeting” button above will connect you on the day of the event:

  • When: Tuesday, January 11, 2022 from 6:30-7:30pm.
  • Enrollment Opens for 2022-2023: January 14, 2022.
  • How to RSVP: Families interested in attending should begin by filling out the Admissions Inquiry form if not already done.
  • Rolling Admissions: Parent interviews will be scheduled in the order in which applications are received. This event is a required step for beginning the application process and will count as a tour while we observe COVID-19 safety protocols.

Montessori Community School of Salt Lake City serves children aged 3 months through 6th grade. Our mission is to provide an authentic Montessori experience that nurtures the natural unfolding of the whole individual, instills a love of learning, encourages acts of peace, and empowers all.

One of the great strengths of our school is its community of parents, students, and staff. We appreciate and are grateful for the word of mouth referrals by our current families and ask that you pass the information along to friends and/or family interested in Montessori education.

General Admissions Information Meeting: January 11, 2022, 6:30pm – Facebook Event

Please share this event on Facebook with friends or family.

What is the Capstone Year and why does my child deserve to have one?

We often refer to the 3rd year a child is in a Montessori program as the Capstone Year. But what is it that really makes the year so special and important? We invite parents of our current 2nd year students in Early Childhood and Lower Elementary and 4th year students in Upper Elementary to consider the following reasons we recommend providing your child with their Capstone Year.

Reasons to Stay:

  • Is your child learning, happy, and engaged? If so, consider yourself lucky. Why tinker with a winning situation when so many other families are frustrated or disappointed with their child’s school experience.
  • Your child has waited for two years to be a leader in their class. The third year students are looked up to as role models for the younger students, and most children eagerly await their opportunity to play this role.
  • The third year is the time when many of the earlier lessons come together and become a permanent part of the child’s understanding. Leaving early means many of the still forming concepts evaporate.
  • As a leader in the class, your child has many opportunities to teach the younger children lessons that they learned when they were their age. Research proves that this experience has powerful benefits for both tutor and tutoree.
  • Third Year Montessori children normally go on to still more fascinating lessons and more advanced Montessori materials. The natural process of abstraction or critical thinking around familiar concepts materializes naturally and gears the child up for more advanced skills.
  • The Montessori curriculum is more sophisticated than that found in traditional programs.

  • Having spent two years together, your child’s teachers know the students very, very well. They know their strengths and areas that are presenting challenges. 3rd years can begin the year strong, without having to build a relationship of trust with the teacher.
  • Your child already knows most of their classmates. They have grown up in a safe, supportive classroom setting. They are learning appropriate social boundaries and interactions with a group of familiar peers.
  • Montessori math is based on the European tradition of unified mathematics. Montessori introduces young children to basic geometry and other sophisticated concepts as early as kindergarten. Our spiraling curriculum means students will revisit these skills and build on them throughout their elementary experience.
  • Third Years have a real sense of running their classroom community, an important leadership skill that goes on with them.
  • In Montessori, your child can continue to progress at their own pace. In traditional education, they may have to wait while the other children begin to catch up or will be forced to move ahead before they are ready.

  • Beginning as early as kindergarten and continuing through elementary, Montessori children are studying cultural geography and beginning to grow into global citizens.
  • In Montessori, students work with intriguing learning materials instead of preprinted work books, allowing a student to work on a skill for the right amount of time for their own understanding and not by a predetermined timeline.
  • Your child has been treated with deep respect as a unique individual. The 3rd year student is ready and able to recognize and reciprocate this respect and contribute to the culture of the school and their community.
  • Montessori schools are warm and supportive communities of students, teachers, and parents. Children can’t easily slip through the cracks!
  • Montessori consciously teaches children to be kind and peaceful.

The Capstone Year in Upper Elementary- 6th year students carry the peace dove in our annual walk on International Day of Peace.
  • In Montessori schools, learning is not focused on rote drill and memorization. Our goal is to develop students who really understand their schoolwork.
  • Montessori students learn through hands-on experience, investigation, and research. They become actively engaged in their studies, rather than passively waiting to be spoon-fed.
  • Montessori is consciously designed to recognize and address different learning styles, helping students learn to study most effectively.
  • Montessori challenges and set high expectations for all students not only a special few.
  • Montessori students develop self-discipline and an internal sense of purpose and motivation.

Three, six, nine and twelve years old are natural transitional ages for children. They are the best time for children to move to new classrooms or schools.

While the reasons to leave can be compelling and are worth every consideration, we believe the reasons to stay are worth your careful and thoughtful consideration.

(Adapted from Tim Seldin’s 25 Reasons to Keep Your Child in Montessori Through the Kindergarten Year, Tomorrow’s Child.)

The Capstone Year in Early Childhood

The Montessori early childhood classroom serves children from the age of 3 to 6 years. Ideally, children spend three years in this classroom. In Montessori, the 3rd year is often referred to as the Capstone Year. This year is equivalent to the traditional Kindergarten year. MCS strongly recommends that a 3rd year student follows a 5 day schedule so that they can capitalize on all of the learning opportunities open to them in this important year and so they can have enough time to practise and process the year’s curriculum. The final year in early childhood is the harvest year for all the planting and intellectual tending that has gone on for the preceding years in preschool.

The Capstone Harvest
The 3rd year child’s learning explodes into an avalanche of reading and writing and math. All of the earlier preparation (practical life, sensorial) now finds academic outlets. The 3rd year child not only gains a wider breadth of knowledge but a deeper understanding of what they have learned and now is able to use this knowledge to enhance their own intellectual pursuits.

A Montessori education is not just cumulative in its learning; it is exponential in its understanding. The learning that happens in this final year of early childhood is not just adding another year’s knowledge but multiplying what is learned and applying it to what is to come. It is common for Montessori 3rd year graduates to be able to read well (and write) and to understand math far beyond addition and subtraction all the way to multiplication, division and geometry. Maybe even more significantly, the lifetime patterns of responsibility, goal setting, having a work ethic, working through mistakes, inquiry and curiosity are being firmly set.

The 3rd year in a Montessori classroom is also the year of mentoring. It is the year when the five year old is able to really help their classmates. This mentoring year is significant for two reasons. First, when you teach others, you really master the subject for yourself. Second, when you are asked to teach you demonstrate your mastery of the material. It is this mastery that produces the profound feelings of self-confidence and assurance that is the hallmark of Montessori students. Real achievement and real achievement demonstrated builds real self-esteem.

To miss this formative year that sets successful life patterns is to miss the ultimate advantage of this unique preschool experience.

Leaving the Montessori program before the capstone year often places a child into an educational setting that is not as advanced; nor one that allows for the initiative that has been carefully cultivated during the earlier preschool years. The child is often introduced to a different curriculum one that lacks the individual intellectual satisfaction that comes from exploring and discovering the wonderful world of learning found in Montessori.The essence of successful life is to be able to make wise choices. The Montessori 3rd year student is at a major threshold of exercising that wise decision making power. To lose that opportunity is to lose a significant part of the hard won success of the preceding years.

Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.”-  W.B. Yeats

The great gift of an education is not the accumulation of facts and statistics but the lighting of the fire of learning, discovery and joy. It is a gift that Montessori children have the privilege and pleasure of opening and using for a lifetime.

Adapted from The Kindergarten Year in Montessori by Edward Fidellow,

Re-Enrollment for 2022-23

We are happy and honored that you have entrusted us with your child’s education and look forward to continuing that relationship for the next academic year.

Re-enrollment for 2022-2023 is now open!

Every family should have received an email from on 12/15/2021 called Enrollment for Returning Student explaining how to complete the re-enrollment process for the 2022-23 school year. The email was sent to the same parent/guardian who filled out the application & enrollment forms previously.

Open enrollment for new families begins January 14, 2022. We wish to preserve our current families’ spaces by enrolling your children first. Re-enrollment needs to be completed by January 14, 2022. After this date, spaces will be opened to new families and your child’s placement will no longer be guaranteed.

Save the Date/s

​Unable to attend? Don’t worry, recordings were made of these meetings and are available for watching at your convenience. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

If your child is eligible to move into a new program next fall, please consider attending the pertinent informational meeting about that transition. Parents of rising students will receive an email invitation to a virtual meeting for the following date/s:

  • Entering Lower and Upper Elementary 12/2/21, 6:30-7:30pm
  • Entering Early Childhood 12/9/21, 6:30-7:30pm
  • Entering Toddlers 12/15/21, 6:30-7:30pm

Enrollment details to note for 2022-2023 include the following:

  • The tuition increase this year is 6% school wide.
  • If you are considering the Extended Day option, we would encourage you to sign up sooner rather than later. Staffing is based on those who have selected this option during enrollment and we cannot always guarantee space for later schedule changes.
  • Registration and enrollment for Summer Camp 2023 will be conducted in late fall 2022.

If your child will not be returning for the 2022-2023 year, please email to indicate your decision. Alternatively, log into FACTS Family Portal and click Apply/Enroll -> Enrollment / Re-enrollment and click the button “Will Not Enroll.”

If your family has elected not to return to MCS next year, we recommend that you wait to relay that information to your child until closer to the end of the academic year. It has been our experience that children who are told in advance of such a change often lose their focus for the balance of the year, and begin the process of separation long before the change is imminent.

We understand that educational decisions are the result of a thoughtful, intentional process and we appreciate our families taking the time when they are considering re-enrollment for another school year. Do not hesitate to contact the Director of Admissions, Ramira Alamilla, at if you have any questions or need assistance in this process.

Winter Sports 2022

​MCS partners with a local resort each year to allow our students a region specific experience of ski and snowboard lessons. This year, our Winter Sports Program will take place at Snowbird- January 12th, 19th, 26th, February 2nd and 9th. Students K-6th Grade are eligible to participate in Winter Sports and are automatically enrolled in the program.

Registration & Payment:

All eligible students will automatically be billed for Winter Sports- $350 for Kindergarten aged students and $325 for elementary aged students. The afore mentioned amount/s will be added to your FACTS incidental account. If your child will not be participating in Winter Sports please email Sabine at to ensure that you are not billed.


Please note the following expectations to help your child be ready to participate in the Winter Sports Program:

  • Respect, grace and courtesy are expected at all times.
  • Students are responsible for being prepared each week for Winter Sports.
  • Students are expected to carry and keep track of their belongings and equipment.
  • On the bus, students need to sit in their assigned seats and speak quietly with their seatmate.
  • Students must stay with their group, listen and follow directions.

If a student is disrespectful, fails to adjust their behavior, or disregards directions, they will be asked to sit out. Depending on the severity of the situation, they may be asked to miss the next lesson. No refunds will be offered.


It is recommended that you start looking into booking rentals for your student. When borrowing equipment from family or friends, be sure to have your child’s gear checked by a reputable shop. Children grow very quickly, so double check that their clothes and equipment fit them correctly. A list of swaps and shops can be found here.


Chaperoning during Winter Sports is a great way to get your Parent Volunteer Hours in. It is also challenging, rewarding, and a lot of fun! Please review the guidelines and expectations linked here and if you are willing to commit we ask that you sign up by completing this short Google form.

The recording of the recent Information Meeting can be found here.

Montessori and the Real Building of Self-Esteem

Montessori and the Real Building of Self-Esteem

Montessori education has been building self-esteem for over a hundred years long before it became a
popular buzzword and a psychological “distortion” of reality. All the trappings of the modern self-
esteem movement – participation trophies, not letting children fail, everyone’s outcome is equal – have
no place in Montessori or the reality of the world.

Practical life in Montessori is the foundation of all this reality that is to come. Every practical life exercise
has a beginning, a process and an ending – just like successful life. But there is something in this process
that is so simple yet dynamic – the child builds and feels a sense of power, control, and accomplishment.
It is these early experiences, these early real successes that become the foundation for all the success
that is to come. This self-esteem is internalized and does not come from outside, from what people tell
you but it wells up from within. It comes with the beginning of concentration and self-control (which is
the biggest challenge of life – and a great giver of self-esteem.)

True self-esteem is an approval that comes from within. It is not about pleasing people or being
validated from outside. That is why grades, awards, punishments are not motivating factors in a
Montessori environment. Ironically, self-esteem built in Montessori is not self-centered. The lack of
outward competition (for grades and prizes) creates an attitude of family and community where we help
each other to succeed which also affects how we feel about ourselves.

The real self-esteem of Montessori comes from the continuing sense of accomplishment and of mastery
as the student faces greater challenges and complexity in life. Since making mistakes is part of the
Montessori learning process making mistakes does not undermine a child’s sense of self-esteem nor
does the child crater when faced with “failure”. Montessori children learn to pick up the pieces and get
back in the game. The game of life does not have four quarters, nine innings, eighteen holes or two
halves. It is a continually evolving game as you learn new strategies, techniques, gain new information,
practice new skills and begin to recognize the patterns of life that lead to success. Montessori children
learn first-hand that actions have consequences, that success is spelled w-o- r-k, and that some of the
biggest rewards of life are just personal and do not require anyone else’s acknowledgment or
affirmation. And that doing the right thing for the right reason is an amazing accomplishment all its own
– an amazing adult lesson learned very young.
Self-esteem is “practiced” every day in a Montessori environment. Try – and try again until you reach
your goal. Montessori children don’t wait for an adult’s approval because they learn early that it is their
effort that achieves success. And every goal that they achieve – on their own – builds that unique
amazing sense of accomplishment and self-esteem.

Edward Fidellow

A Letter from the School Directors

Dear MCS Parents,

We are so excited to welcome you to the 2020 – 2021 academic year. When we were classroom teachers we always loved the start of the school year- we poured our heart and souls into creating wonderful prepared environments for our students to return to and would get so excited for all of the potential and possibility that a new academic year could bring. This year in our new roles of school directors the love and energy is no different.

2020 has already presented many challenges and, while we do not know what the future has in store, we are so happy to see our parents, students and staff showing great resiliency and adaptability in this unique time. Thank you for all the support you have given in the shifting of many policies and procedures as we navigate through this pandemic.

As you know, our administration has undergone some significant changes this year and we are hopeful that this new structure will bring about opportunity for growth as a school while we continue to ensure the vision of sustaining an authentic Montessori school founded in rich community values. We are so grateful to be part of an amazing team of people, each of whom brings a unique passion and set of skills to the table. It is our intention to do our best to honor Robyn and Bob’s vision for a community school.

Each year our staff has a theme that helps unite our efforts and provide focus for our work. This year’s theme is “Come Together”. Since we are learning to communicate and interact in new ways, this theme felt appropriate to our changing times. We plan to come together as we maintain our vision and mission. We look forward to working with you on the many committees and groups we have set up for the year.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out.

With gratitude,

Margaret and Brandi

7 Ways to Raise Kind Children

Am I the only one who finds themselves getting tripped up with this parenting gig sometimes? I believe firmly in the “village” approach because, quite frankly, I can’t possibly teach my children every lesson I would like them to learn and my own example sometimes (okay, maybe often is a better word) falters in its ability to send the right message.  This article on AltHealth Works by Yelena Sukhoterina spoke to me and I hope that it will have a similar affect on you. As adults we know that the attributes listed in the article below can be really hard to achieve but I think that childhood is the perfect time to start learning them, while our children have a soft spot to land, and the people who love them most to catch them, should they make a mistake.

Many of us were hoping that our high-tech lives would make parenting easier – apps for tablets and smart phones are able to give children knowledge on any subject, entertain them with a movie or a game, and keep them occupied while we go through our hectic days.

But the downfalls of this technology are huge; there is a bigger disconnect than ever between children and parents. The parents of the Information Age are having a harder time building loving relationships with their children, which in turn leaves some kids unable to create healthy friendships, to understand how to be caring and helpful to others, to feel and express gratitude, to think for themselves, and to understand and control feelings and emotions in a healthy way.

As a part of the making Caring Common Project, Harvard University compiled the following seven main tips from their most recent research about raising kids that are kind, caring, respectful, helpful, grateful, and ethical. [The main funding sources are summarized from the study along with the writer’s own interpretations and thoughts on the subject].

Keep Reading…


Teaching Gratitude to Children

One time when one of my boys was about four years old I found myself in a common battle trying to get him to clean take care of his belongings and clean up the toys that were scattered about his play room. I felt good about our system and knew that I was not asking him to complete a task that was outside his ability to complete.  We had cleaned the room successfully on a number of occasions. Finally, out of frustration, I told my son that if he did not clean up the toys I was going to gather them up, put them in a garbage bag, and give them to children who didn’t have any toys.  I left the room and, to bolster my threat, returned seconds later with a large trash bag.  My son approached me with an armful of toys and dropped them passionately in to the open bag.  Baffled, I asked “what are you doing?”  and tearfully he replied “I didn’t know there were kids without any toys.”

My heart ached.  Not that he had discovered something so disturbing to him, not that I hadn’t really intended to make good on my promise, and not even that there actually are children without toys…in that moment my heart ached because I had failed to help instill in him a sense of interconnectedness among our society.  I had a hard moment of realization that this little person was so willing to give of himself and of his most prized possessions and I had not yet given him the opportunity.  Our young children, at their most vulnerable and impressionable development deserve to practice, recognize and express gratitude. Before they are swept away in a growing world of immediate gratification, online shopping, and disconnected communication we should be giving our children true practice with the gift of gratitude.

Gratitude is a conscious process.  One that takes practice, patience, and a deep consciousness that we are part of something bigger than ourselves. Gratitude is scientifically proven to make people more happy. Research from the Greater Good Science Center tells us that “gratitude actually blocks toxic emotions even as it allows us to celebrate the present. What’s more, grateful people are more stress-resistant and have a higher sense of self-worth.” Who doesn’t want that for their children?  Gosh, who doesn’t want that for themselves?

So, how do we teach our children gratitude?

  • Gratitude, as a character trait, must first be instilled through your children’s most influential role model – YOU. Model gratitude for your child.  Express gratitude in their presence regularly.  Recognize that any amount of gratitude can not co-exist in an environment of annoyance or criticism.  Saturate your environment in gratitude and, even in times of irritation or misdeed, seek out the good and say, out loud, that which you are grateful for.
  • Give children opportunities to participate, make decisions, and develop awareness of the many tasks and responsibilities surrounding them.  Do not allow your children to think that laundry, dishes, dinner, new purchases, etc. go without a certain amount of preparation and follow through.  Share those tasks, involve children in the process, and let them see (and participate in) the complete cycle.
  • Write thank you notes. When your child, or your family, receive a gift or are otherwise cared for, express written gratitude. These notes do not have to be perfect but the effort that goes in to expressing written gratitude is developmentally effective in teaching a lifelong skill of gratitude and appreciation.
  • Teach your child that immediate gratification is a delusion. Example – teach that the vegetables or bread we eat comes from seeds planted, nurtured, watered, harvested, packaged, transported and sold by store keepers and involved many, many people who work hard to put food on our tables. Saying Grace helps us remember to be grateful to all who contribute to our well being.
  • Spend leisure time doing things that do not involve spending money or result in “stuff.”  Teach the satisfaction that comes in accomplishing goals, laughter, fresh air, conversation, story telling, painting, singing, playing instruments, drawing and physical movement.
  • Talk often and honestly about feelings. Share gratitude but also share other emotions.  If your child is sad, validate their feelings of sadness.  If your child is happy, give validation.  Teach them language around feelings and reflect on outcomes.  We have a tendency to talk about feelings or situations “in the moment” but revisiting past events, talking about outcomes, and finding the good that comes from each scenario are hugely powerful in teaching resiliency and, you guessed it, gratitude!

May this Thanksgiving offer you many opportunities to experience gratitude.  May you be enveloped in peace, laughter, friendship and love.