Montessori Lottery Registration begins March 1

Did you know that Montessori is an option in Helena’s public elementary schools?
There are three Montessori classrooms in Smith, Central, and Broadwater schools, for a total of nine classrooms serving up to 192 students.  Montessori classrooms differ from traditional classrooms in the following respects:

  • Mixed ages (1-3 grade and 4-5 grade groupings)
  • Students choose activities from a number of options to achieve goals defined in a weekly work plan
  • Uninterrupted blocks of work time
  • Students work with specialized hands-on educational materials
  • Freedom of movement within the classroom
  • A trained Montessori teacher

Students have the opportunity to mentor their peers, thereby reinforcing learning concepts. Parent and caregiver volunteers are encouraged to contribute in the classroom to offer the support needed to facilitate the individualization of work.

In our district, decisions about Montessori are best made in terms of what fits each family’s needs. Montessori is not available at all neighborhood schools, so a child might have to travel outside his/her neighborhood to attend. When choosing Montessori, parents should be comfortable with the idea of their children using hands-on learning materials and learning methods different from those that they may have experienced in elementary school. Finally, parent participation is strongly encouraged as a key to student success.

What should kindergarten parents do if they are interested in the Montessori program?

  • Complete the application form to the right to enter your kindergartener into the lottery. Forms are due at one of the Helena Public Elementary Schools or can be emailed to Principal, Jill Nyman, at jnyman@helenaschools.org by 9:00 AM on March 25.
  • Please make sure you receive a received receipt when you turn in your application!
  • The Montessori lottery for students entering first grade in the 2021-2022 school year will be conducted on Monday, April 5th. All selected applicants will be called that afternoon/evening.  All others will be receiving an email the next day regarding their waitlist status.
  • HPMP and HSD Montessori teachers will host a Q/A event on Wednesday, April 7th at 5:30. We highly encourage all selected families to attend this meeting.
  • PLEASE NOTE THAT IF YOUR CHILD IS SELECTED FOR THE PROGRAM, YOU WILL HAVE TO ACCEPT OR DECLINE THAT SPOT WITHIN 3 DAYS.
  • For information on the Montessori method, go to http://amshq.org/Montessori-Education/Introduction-to-Montessori.aspx . For additional information on HPMP, please see http://www.helenamontessori.org/.

For additional questions, please contact Jill Nyman at jnyman@helenaschools.org, or visit helenaschools.org/departments/montessori/.