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Developing lifelong learners in a specially prepared environment

student working with montessori materialsMilwaukee Public Schools offers the nation’s largest collection of public Montessori schools.

The Montessori method is based on the research of Italian physician and educator Maria Montessori (1870-1952), who developed the education philosophy after scientifically observing children in learning environments. Dr. Montessori found that children have the effortless ability to absorb knowledge from their surroundings and develop confidence by teaching themselves.

She developed education plans based on the natural behavior of a child untouched by adult commands, classroom competition, or regimented schedules. Dr. Montessori’s philosophy remains the foundation of an astounding education practice today.

A Montessori education is developed to foster lifelong learners and self-sufficient problem solvers. Classrooms exhibit distinctive characteristics, including multi-graded students and flexible schedules that allow students blocks of uninterrupted time to pursue their own educational interests.

student working with montessori materialsLearning takes place through the senses as students manipulate materials to enhance concentration and coordination while they interact with peers. Teachers balance freedom and structure, guiding students along in self-discovery and helping them create their own individual learning plan.

Classroom materials and activities are carefully designed to develop physical, intellectual, creative, and social independence. A Montessori teacher considers each student as a whole, recognizing that a student’s physical, mental, emotional, and social well-being is intricately involved in the learning process. Classroom atmospheres encourage respect for the self and others, social support, cooperative learning, and peer-to-peer teaching.

Montessori teachers place great focus on developing a partnership with families. The family plays an important role in student growth and development, and Montessori teachers and staff aim for students to consider self-discovery as an interactive activity that continues within the home alongside family members. A Montessori education encourages families to help young learners realize their own unique talents and interests while they develop a healthy curiosity about the world.

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Learn more about Montessori in MPS

Montessori Classroom

Classroom Structure

Montessori classrooms for children 3-12 are self-contained and multi-age leveled. Children usually stay with the same teacher for three years. The older children in each level are able to help the younger ones while reinforcing their own learning and developing leadership skills.


Montessori Curriculum


Dr. Montessori believed that education should fit the child's stage of development. The Montessori curriculum follows a definite plan that takes into account these sensitivities and characteristics.


MPS Montessori Schools

View the list of all MPS Montessori schools in Milwaukee. Learn more about the programs offered at each school.


Montessori Parents


Parents, as the primary educators of their children, are an essential part of the Montessori program. Report cards and parent conferences are one aspect of the interchange between home and school.


Montessori Teacher


Montessori teachers are taught to observe carefully and how to give just the right amount of help. They give new lessons when the children are ready for them.


Why Montessori?

Why Montessori?

Children, from birth on, want to learn. Children at different stages of development are drawn to different things. A child needs help in making sense out of all the aspects of the world. Providing that help is the basis of the Montessori method of education.


Initial Board-Approved Montessori Strategic Plan

Montessori-Specific Report Cards

Video for Parents

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Montessori Program Features

  • A prepared, orderly environment in which students have freedom to work on their own or in small groups
  • Self-correcting, sequenced learning materials that help the child to develop a strong foundation in reading and mathematics skills
  • Development of self-discipline and independence built around respect for each other and the school environment
  • Parent sessions on the Montessori philosophy and methods, with a strong emphasis on how parents can support the program
  • Belief that learning is a lifelong process; developing a love of learning is central to the Montessori Method of education


  • Any child age 3 or 4 by September 1 is eligible to apply for the Montessori program.
  • Students older than age 4 are eligible if they have had continuous previous Montessori experience in an AMI or AMS classroom.
  • Students must apply for fall enrollment during the designated application period each year.
  • Seats are assigned through a random computer process. The number of openings, racial balance, and sibling preference determine the students selected.
  • Automatic admission is granted to the Montessori middle school for those students successfully completing year six of the Montessori elementary program.
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