On this page, we cover private schools in Calgary, Alberta that offer Montessori programs.
For a more complete guide to Montessori education, including a discussion of classroom and teaching practices, read our introductory guide.
There are lots of private Montessori schools in Calgary. These schools vary in terms of their classroom practices, curricular approaches, program offerings, and special needs support. The schools listed below reflect this diversity. They can be filtered for a wide range of features.
River Valley School (est. 1983)
RVS offers programs for the Early Learning & Elementary years in Progressive, Montessori & Arrowsmith environments. Specialists teach fine arts, physical education and French language. [View profile]
|$7,400 to $13,100|
For general advice on how to choose and evaluate private schools, check out our choosing a school guide. For advice on choosing Montessori schools (including preschools), see our main Montessori school guide. You can also learn about choosing the right preschool.
Private school expos are a great starting point for finding a school. The Calgary private school expo allows you to speak with many private schools, including some Montessori schools—all in one place. Find a Montessori school near you.
Another great resource in your school search is the Our Kids parent discussion forum. The forum is an ideal place to discuss options and debate topics related to Montessori schools and preschools. Our community of parents, educational experts, school officials, and alumni can help answer your questions and stimulate your thinking.
Attending open houses is a great way to learn more about private schools. For general advice on open house visits, check out our guide on school visits.
The cost of Montessori schools in Calgary tends to be lower than the cost of other private schools in Calgary. In fact, Montessori schools are usually on the lower side of private school tuition in general.
Private school tuition can range from $5,000 to over $30,000 per year for day students. There are no public Montessori schools in Calgary, though some public schools use certain Montessori principles and materials.
Many schools offer needs-based financial aid, such as bursaries or tuition relief. Other schools, though not as many, offer scholarships, which are given based on merit—for instance, in academics or athletics. You can learn more about need- and merit-based financial aid in our dedicated guide. You can also read about preschool costs.
Below, you’ll find the range of costs for Montessori private schools and preschools in Calgary:
|Tuition (day school)||Students receiving financial aid||Grade eligibility for financial aid||Avg. aid package size (annual)|
Average class size
Special needs support
|River Valley School||Progressive||Montessori||Standard-enriched||Supportive||12 to 18||High||Medium integration|
Montessori schools, in Calgary and other cities, often have large mixed-age classes with high teacher-to-student ratios. They also tend to have lots of interaction, student-to-student teaching, and group and independent work.
Below, the Montessori philosophy and teaching approach is discussed in more detail. For more comprehensive coverage, see our main Montessori school guide.
The Montessori philosophy of education is unique. Some of the main principles of this philosophy are the following:
Student-centred: Students are free to move around the class, choose their own work, and determine the pace of their studies. This can make for a dynamic learning environment. Kids often choose work that’s engaging and stimulating, in this setting, which can give rise to a love of learning.
Uninterrupted work time: Montessori schools give kids lots of uninterrupted work time, especially at the elementary level. In many schools, they’re given at least one 3-hour, uninterrupted work period to focus on their chosen work, free of interruptions. Uninterrupted work periods are believed to improve children’s concentration, self-discipline, and work habits.
Concrete learning: Learning tends to be concrete and hands-on. At the primary and elementary level (and sometimes at the secondary level), kids work with lots of different concrete materials, including “manipulatives”—or self-correcting puzzles.
Montessori kids also work with blocks, rods, spindle boxes, and many other materials. Concrete learning engages many of the senses. And, research has shown that it can speed up learning, especially for younger kids.
No external rewards: In primary and elementary school, kids aren’t given tests or assignments, or graded on any of their work. Kids also aren’t praised very much, and when they are praised, it’s for effort—not outcome. Progress is assessed informally, through observation and developmental rubrics, rather than formally, through grades or report cards.
Montessori teachers rarely provide direct instruction. They almost never stand at the front of the class and lecture to all the students. And when they do lecture, the lectures are usually short, interactive, and engaging.
More often, though, teachers move around the class, and give lessons to or guide students. They usually work with students one-on-one or in small groups. They often encourage students to repeat and practice activities, and they plan projects to meet each student’s learning needs. Their primary role is to connect students with their work, rather than to impart knowledge to them. Teachers are thus viewed more as “guides” or “mentors” than “teachers” in the traditional sense.
Montessori schools, in Calgary and other cities, have mixed-age classes, with kids aged 0-3 (toddler), 3-6 (primary), 6-9 (lower-elementary), 9-12 (upper elementary), and so on. The mixed-age classroom informs the teaching approach and learning environment.
Most Montessori classes have lots of group work. Kids work together in small groups on projects and tasks, with some guidance from the teacher. Kids help each other, and older kids often mentor their younger classmates, by helping with them with their work and modelling appropriate behaviour. This can reinforce knowledge and skills learned in the classroom, for both older and younger kids.
There are some great Montessori schools in Calgary, Alberta. Most of them are private.
Calgary Montessori schools tend to have dedicated and passionate teachers. These teachers provide strong support and guidance to students. They rarely provide whole-class lectures, though they sometimes give brief lessons to small groups of students. There’s a lot of student-to-student teaching in these schools, which has proven to be highly effective and stimulating
Calgary is the largest city in the Canadian province of Alberta. It has a strong education system run by the Calgary Board of Education.
Calgary has plenty of publicly funded post-secondary institutions, including the University of Calgary which has more than 28, 000 students. Its other notable post-secondary institutions include the Alberta College of Art and Design, Ambrose University College, Bow Valley College, Mount Royal University, SAIT Polytechnic, and St. Mary’s University. Athabasca University, the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, and the University of Lethbridge also have campuses in Calgary.