How are students accepted?
We accept well-qualified applicants, whose files are complete, based on space available after our current student re-enrollment. We make our first round of decisions in early March, and then, if additional space is available, we will consider applicants on a rolling basis. Every attempt is made to balance classrooms by age and gender.

I thought Montessori Schools were just pre-schools, but I see you have grades first through eight.
“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, even up to the secondary (high school) level. 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.”*

What is the function of the three year cycle?
There are many benefits to a three year cycle. "Older students are proud to act as role models; younger students feel supported and gain confidence about the challenges ahead.” Students also build a very close relationship to their teachers who, in turn, get to know each student’s personality, needs, and work habits very well. Additionally, having multiple ages in a classroom normalizes the strengths and challenges leaners may face and provides them with freedom to learn at their own pace.

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 her focus of learning on any given day, but her decision is limited by the materials and activities—in each area of the curriculum—that her teacher has presented and has set as appropriate for her. Beginning at the elementary level, students set learning goals and have personal work plans under their teacher’s guidance.”*

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 her learning by building on skills and knowledge already gained. This gentle guidance helps her master the challenge at hand—and protects her from moving on before she’s ready, which is what actually causes children to “fall behind.”*

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.”* Much of the classroom as the environment is set up based in reality, for example, they have a real kitchen and prepare their own snack using real dishware and food, so instead of pretending to cook they are cooking. Dramatic or imaginative play is still in the Montessori classroom. Imagine the child who cuts a strip of paper and turns it into a road on a island with an active volcano and becomes a scientist on a mission to assess the situation. This type of dramatic and imaginative ‘play’ occurs frequently and spontaneously.

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.”*

Do students take standardized tests?
MSD administers standardized exams in third through eighth grade. We understand that most of our students will be transitioning to high schools that will require these tests and we want our students to be well prepared for these tests. In general, we believe that in order for knowledge to be useful to the individual, there must be some reason to acquire the knowledge (interest in the subject). Individuals are capable of deciding what they need to know about subjects and that the only knowledge truly gained is that which is learned through one's own efforts.

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.”*

How do students transition from a Montessori environment to a more traditional school?
MSD gives students all the skills necessary to be successful in any academic environment. MSD graduates are highly motivated, eager learners who have a strong relationship with their teachers. They are unafraid to ask for help and display great confidence and poise. They demonstrate their knowledge in a variety of ways. They consistently make good choices academically and socially.

Where do students go to school after MSD?
Our goal is to find the best match between an MSD graduate and his or her next learning environment. We send students to a variety of other ACIS schools as well as public magnet and gifted programs. Students from MSD have gone to Colorado Academy, Cherry Creek High School, Denver School of the Arts, East High School, Kent Denver, Regis Jesuit, St. Mary's Academy, and many more!

Who were Montessori graduates?
There are many noteworthy people who were Montessori educated. They include author Anne Frank, Former First Lady Jackie Kennedy Onassis, Chef Julia Child, Larry Page & Sergey Brin (founders of, Princes William and Henry, Katharine Graham (former owner/editor of Washington Post), and Jeff Bezos (founder of Other noteworthy people associated with Montessori include Bill and Hillary Clinton, Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison, Fred Rogers (i.e. Mister Rogers), Jean Piaget, and Alice Waters.

*American Montessori Society Website

Contact Admission Team
Questions?  Please contact Tara Gehrke, Director of Admissions at 303-756-9441, x115 or email her at, or Kara Zwierkowski, Assistant Director of Admissions at 303-756-9441 x129 or email her at

Montessori School of Denver
1460 South Holly Street
Denver, CO 80222
Phone 303-756-9441

Accredited by the Association of Colorado
Independent Schools and the
American Montessori Society*

*Accredited with non-traditional Montessori age groupings