What is the annual tuition?

For the 2018-2019 Academic year, tuition is $6,300. Families may pay tuition in full on June 1st, or they may pay in 12 monthly payments from June-May. Monthly payments are made online through QuickBooks.

Do you offer sibling discounts?

Yes. There is a 5% discount for the 2nd enrolled sibling and a 10% discount for the 3rd enrolled sibling. We also offer a 5% discount for tuition payment in full on June 1st.

What is the application process?

You can print an application directly from this website, or contact Hillside Montessori of LaGrange to schedule a tour and pick up an application packet. After an initial tour and meeting with the School Director, your child will be invited to spend a morning in one of our classrooms. The application documents will be internally reviewed and you will be notified of a decision by phone or mail.

Do you go on field trips?

At Hillside Montessori of LaGrange, students regularly enjoy the experience of learning outside of the classroom. From our experiential organic garden to our walks to the public library to our many trips to surrounding cities, our students experience the joy of learning in a multitude of settings. On average, we go on about 10 field trips per year. Some of our destinations have included: Sim’s Organic Garden Patch, Jenny Jack Sun Farm, LaGrange Art Museum, LaGrange College Theatre, the Springer opera House, Columbus State Children’s Theatre, Hogg Mine, the Atlanta History Center, Warm Springs Fish Hatchery, the Atlanta Botanical Gardens, and Callaway Gardens.

How do kids transition from the Montessori environment into other school environments?

Most children handle the transition seamlessly because they have a solid foundation in academics and are independent learners. Montessori students are usually confident and self-motivated, so they adapt easily to a variety of learning environments.

One report cites the following anecdotal evidence: A longitudinal research study supported by AMI tracked 400 students in Milwaukee. Half the students received only public school education from kindergarten to graduation; the other half attended Montessori schools through 5th grade before transitioning into the public school system. The two groups were carefully matched in terms of gender, ethnicity and family financial status. At the end of the study, which was conducted between 1997-2007, test scores and GPAs were compared.

Perhaps it won’t come as a surprise to Montessori advocates that the children who had received Preschool – Grade 5 Montessori education not only outperformed the other student group in math and science test scores, but also graduated with higher GPAs. The conclusion of the study was that early Montessori education had a long-term impact on later public school performance. At the very least, students transitioned excellently on an academic level. (http://www.wbms.org/blog/transition-from-montessori-to-traditional-public-school)

Some parents and teachers of students who have recently transitioned from Hillside Montessori have said:

“He has no grade below a 97.”

“He has exceeded our expectations for adapting to the new environment.”

“After having two children be educated in the public school system, I know the difference.  [My child]  LOVES to learn.  I know that Montessori instilled that in her.”

“I know one thing for sure – my daughter can be anything she wants to be.  I am so thankful that I heard about [Hillside Montessori].”

“She is self-driven. Socially, she interacts with adults and younger children alike, not regarding age much in the way she acts or treats them which I believe is related directly to spending three years in Montessori.”

“She is a sharp as a tack student and very insightful in her questions and answers.  She is a great listener, and I so appreciate that!”

Generally Asked Questions About Montessori (adapted from the American Montessori Society)

Through what grade level is Montessori education available?

Dr. Montessori first developed her educational approach while working with a preschool population. She gradually extended her approach to children and youth of all ages. Today, some Montessori schools provide all levels of learning, from infant & toddler though the secondary (high school) level. Others offer only certain levels.

The benefits of Montessori—the emphasis on independent learning, for example, and the warm, supportive community—continue to be important at each stage of development as children grow into lifelong learners and responsible citizens of the world.

How can children learn if they’re free to do whatever they want?

Dr. Montessori observed that children are more motivated to learn when working on something of their own choosing. A Montessori student may choose his focus of learning on any given day, but his decision is limited by the materials and activities—in each area of the curriculum—that his teacher has prepared and presented to him.

Beginning at the elementary level, students typically set learning goals and create personal work plans under their teacher’s guidance.

Why are Montessori schools all work and no play?

Dr. Montessori realized that children’s play is their work—their effort to master their own bodies and environment—and out of respect she used the term “work” to describe all their classroom activities. Montessori students work hard, but they don’t experience it as drudgery; rather, it’s an expression of their natural curiosity and desire to learn.

If children work at their own pace, don’t they fall behind?

Although students are free to work at their own pace, they’re not going it alone. The Montessori teacher closely observes each child and provides materials and activities that advance his learning by building on skills and knowledge already gained. This gentle guidance helps him master the challenge at hand—and protects him from moving on before he’s ready, which is what actually causes children to “fall behind.”

Do Montessori teachers follow a curriculum?

Montessori schools teach the same basic skills as traditional schools, and offer a rigorous academic program. Most of the subject areas are familiar—such as math, science, history, geography, and language—but they are presented through an integrated approach that brings separate strands of the curriculum together.

While studying a map of Africa, for example, students may explore the art, history, and inventions of several African nations. This may lead them to examine ancient Egypt, including hieroglyphs and their place in the history of writing. The study of the pyramids, of course, is a natural bridge to geometry.

This approach to curriculum shows the interrelatedness of all things. It also allows students to become thoroughly immersed in a topic—and to give their curiosity full rein.

Is it true that Montessori students have the same teacher for all subjects rather than work with “specialists” in different curricular areas?

Montessori teachers are educated as “generalists,” qualified to teach all sections of the curriculum. But many schools choose to also employ specialists in certain subjects, including art, music, foreign language, physical education, and science.

Why don’t Montessori teachers give grades?

Grades, like other external rewards, have little lasting effect on a child’s efforts or achievements. The Montessori approach nurtures the motivation that comes from within, kindling the child’s natural desire to learn.

A self-motivated learner also learns to be self-sufficient, without needing reinforcement from outside. In the classroom, of course, the teacher is always available to provide students with guidance and support.

Although most Montessori teachers don’t assign grades, they closely observe each student’s progress and readiness to advance to new lessons. Most schools hold family conferences a few times a year so parents may see their child’s work and hear the teacher’s assessment—and perhaps even their child’s self-assessment.

Do Montessori students take standardized tests?

Public Montessori schools are mandated to administer the same standardized tests as other public schools.

Some private Montessori schools also administer standardized exams, particularly if they will be required by schools into which their students may transition. Other schools choose not to administer these tests.

Can Montessori accommodate gifted children? What about children with other special learning needs?

An advantage of the Montessori approach—including multi-age classrooms with students of varying abilities and interests—is that it allows each child to work at her own pace. Students whose strengths and interests propel them to higher levels of learning can find intellectual challenge without being separated from their peers. The same is true for students who may need extra guidance and support: each can progress through the curriculum at his own comfortable pace, without feeling pressure to “catch up.”

We might note that from a Montessori perspective, every child is considered gifted, each in her own way. For every child has his own unique strengths—it is all a matter of degree.

How well do Montessori students do compared to students in non-Montessori schools?

There is a small but growing body of well-designed research comparing Montessori students to those in traditional schools. These suggest that in academic subjects, Montessori students perform as well as or better than their non-Montessori peers.

In one study, for example, children who had attended Montessori schools at the preschool and elementary levels earned higher scores in high school on standardized math and science tests. Another study found that the essays of 12-year-old Montessori students were more creative and used more complex sentence structures than those produced by the non-Montessori group.

The research also shows Montessori students to have greater social and behavioral skills. They demonstrate a greater sense of fairness and justice, for example, and are more likely to choose positive responses for dealing with social dilemmas.