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Enquiring Minds Montessori Casa
Enquiring Minds Montessori Casa
24 Progress Avenue, Scarborough, Ontario, M1P 2Y4
Contact name:
Ms. Aspillaga

Phone number:
(416) 298-9938×
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Enquiring Minds Montessori Casa

Enquiring Minds Montessori Casa

24 Progress Avenue, Scarborough, Ontario, M1P 2Y4

Approach :
Grades (Gender):
Preschool to K (Coed)
$4,500 to 11,750/year
Main Language:
Avg. Class Size:
8 to 24
Day: 24 (Gr. PS - K)

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Contact Name:
Ms. Aspillaga

Phone Number:

School Address
24 Progress Avenue, Scarborough, Ontario, M1P 2Y4



About this school:


Maria Montessori believed that while "Academics may be the heart of education; the Arts are surely its soul." At Enquiring Minds Montessori Casa we have created a unique learning experience that fosters academic and artistic excellence in a caring and challenging environment. Planting the seed and nurturing potential is our motto. Our extensive program includes a Montessori Casa curriculum enriched by Language, Visual Arts, Sculpture and the Performing Arts including Instrumental Music, Vocal, Dance and Drama.

The Our Kids review of Enquiring Minds Montessori Casa

our takeIn Maria Montessori’s day, the most obviously remarkable thing about her approach to education was how she chose to adapt the learning space. It was open, diverse, organized yet amorphous, with common areas that weren’t dedicated to any specific learning task. That was revolutionary both for what it was, as for the way it positioned the learner. Montessori wanted to build from a child’s curiosity and engagement with the world, and her learning spaces were organized with that in mind. In kind, those are the ideals that Enquiring Minds expresses so well. To have that kind of conceptual space you need physical space—space to move around in, to move through—and the openness and extent of the EM environment is one of its great assets. Likewise, there is an attention to ranging across the curriculum, rather than siloing each separate from the others; the arts program isn’t ancillary to the other curricular areas, for example, but instead is a foundational aspect of learning across them. The attention to values—respect for the space as well as those within it—is also a primary draw for the families who enroll. The ideal student is one able to thrive in a diverse, hands-on, and challenging yet supportive social and academic environment.  

Principal's Message


Kristen Hamilton, Director

Dear Parents,

We welcome you and your family to our School! We look forward to sharing with you the special feeling generated by the warmth and fellowship of our teaching staff, parents/guardians and most of all the children.

The success of a Montessori School is very dependent on parental involvement. We encourage you to become involved with your child’s program, supporting the educational and social experiences, and sharing in the joys and satisfaction your child experiences in his or her own learning.

We maintain an open-door policy and invite you to come observe your child often. You will discover much more about what your child is learning by observing.

We are glad you have chosen to be a part of the Enquiring Minds Montessori Casa. We will all work together to ensure your child’s success.


Kristen Hamilton



Montessori ApproachModerately Orthodox

SCHOOL POLICIES: This information is not currently available.

Whole-class lectures
  • Orthodox

    Whole-class lectures should never be given. Students learn best through small group lessons, interaction, and independent work.

  • Moderately orthodox

    Whole-class lectures should only be given occasionally (e.g., at the beginning of a term or unit). Students usually learn best through small group lessons, interaction, and independent work.

  • Moderately non-orthodox

    Whole-class lectures should be given semi-regularly (e.g., at the beginning of a lesson or a week). While students often learn best through group and independent work, it's sometimes important for teachers to set the stage for and contextualize learning.

  • Non-orthodox

    Whole-class lectures should be given often (e.g., every day). While group and independent learning is important, teachers need to provide lectures on a regular basis to provide the foundation for learning.

Special education
  • Orthodox

    External special education support isn't necessary. Core teachers can deal with all special education needs, by offering the relevant support for each student.

  • Moderately orthodox

    External special education support is only rarely necessary. For instance, a psychologist might be brought in to help out a student with a severe developmental disorder.

  • Moderately non-orthodox

    External special education support is quite important. Outside specialists are needed for a fairly wide range of special needs, such as developmental and learning disabilities.

  • Non-orthodox

    External special education support is very important. Outside specialists are regularly brought in to support students with many different types of special needs, including developmental and learning disabilities, language and speech issues, behavioural issues, and advanced learning abilities.

Specialist classes
  • Orthodox

    We don't have any specialist teachers or classes. Core teachers are well-equipped to teach all subjects.

  • Moderately orthodox

    We only use specialist teachers and classes in rare cases (for instance, to teach a second language). Core teachers are well-equipped to teach almost all subjects.

  • Moderately non-orthodox

    We have a fairly wide range of specialist teachers and classes (for instance, in languages, music, and art). Core teachers are well-equipped to teach most subjects.

  • Non-orthodox

    We have many specialist teachers and classes (for instance, in languages, music, art, gym, science, and math). It's important that students receive specialized instruction in many subjects.

Modern-day technology
  • Orthodox

    Modern-day technology is never used in the classroom. This can interfere with students' social and emotional development and can be a distraction.

  • Moderately orthodox

    Modern-day technology is very rarely used in class, since it can be a distraction and interfere with development. Students at the upper levels, though, might be permitted to use a computer or a tablet to do research for a specific project.

  • Moderately non-orthodox

    Modern-day technology is used in moderation since it can be a distraction. For instance, computers and other digital media might be used for research, writing, and multimedia projects.

  • Non-orthodox

    Modern technology is used fairly regularly. For instance, computers and other digital media might be used for research, writing, multimedia projects, and to learn keyboarding skills. Teachers may sometimes also use digital media, such as interactive whiteboards, to teach lessons or introduce topics.

Overall approach : Whick option best describes your overall curricular approach?
  • Orthodox
    42% of schools

    Schools that adhere strictly to the original Montessori program. They follow Montessori principles to the letter.

  • Moderately Orthodox
    34% of schools

    Schools that adhere to the original Montessori program and principles. On occasion, though, they supplement it with modern curricular approaches or materials.

  • Moderately Non-Orthodox
    11% of schools

    Schools that are faithful to the original Montessori program and principles, but sometimes supplement it with modern curricular approaches or materials.

  • Non-orthodox
    14% of schools

    Schools that are faithful to the original Montessori program and principles, but often supplement it with modern curricular approaches or materials.

Teaching Assistants: This school uses teaching assistants.

Preschool/K Curriculum Montessori

  • Play-based
  • Montessori
  • Waldorf
  • Reggio Emilia
  • Academic

Montessori programs aimed at preschool and Kindergarten- aged children allow young learners to choose which “tasks” or activities interest them. These tasks centre around special Montessori puzzles -- the essential features of these puzzles being they contain a “right answer” and allow for self-correction. A strong emphasis is therefore placed on learning being concrete and rooted in practical experience, along with children developing a sense of self-sufficiency and confidence. Specially trained teachers act as guides, introducing children to progressively more difficult materials when appropriate. A Montessori classroom is typically very calm and orderly, with children working alone or, sometimes, in small groups.

If you want to learn more about Montessori education, check out our comprehensive guide. You can also check out our guide to Montessori preschools, elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools.

If you want to learn more about preschool education, check out our comprehensive guide. You can also read our in-depth answers to important preschool questions: What is preschool? What are the main preschool programs? What are the main pros and cons of preschool? What do children learn in preschool? How much does preschool cost?  What makes for a great preschool?

What EM says: The primary goals of the Montessori Method are to: Promote the growth of a positive self-image in each child and satisfaction about him/herself, which is the key to the development of a person’s full potential. Promote feelings of enthusiasm and responsibility about one’s world. Create an awareness of one’s own feelings and sensitivity to the feelings of others. Encourage the natural desire, ability, self-discipline, and independence inherent in learning. Ensure the mastery of the basic skills in order to pursue knowledge. Teach physical coordination and control. Develop the ability to concentrate and attend to details. Develop a sense of order.

Curriculum Pace Student-paced

  • Standard-enriched
  • Accelerated
  • Student-paced

The main curriculum pace is non-standardized and is HIGHLY responsive to the pacing of individual students, (via differentiated instruction, differentiated assessment, etc). In theory, some students outpace the default/normalized curriculum, while others spend periods "behind schedule" if they need the extra time.

Flexible pacing:

Flexible pacing style = offered
Subject-streaming (tracking)
Multi-age classrooms as standard
Ability-grouping (in-class) as common
Frequent use of cyber-learning (at-their-own-pace)
Regular guided independent study opportunities
Differentiated assessment

What EM says about flexible pacing: This information is not currently available.

Academic Culture Rigorous

  • Rigorous
  • Supportive

A school with a “rigorous” academic culture places a high value on academic performance, and expects their students to do the same. This does not mean the school is uncaring, unsupportive, or non-responsive -- far from it. A school can have a rigorous academic culture and still provide excellent individual support. It does mean, however, the school places a particular emphasis on performance -- seeking the best students and challenging them to the fullest extent -- relative to a normal baseline. High expectations and standards – and a challenging yet rewarding curriculum – are the common themes here. Keep in mind this classification is more relevant for the older grades: few Kindergarten classrooms, for example, would be called “rigorous”.

What EM says: Montessori emphasizes learning through all five senses, not just through listening, watching, or reading. Children in Montessori classes learn at their own, individual pace and according to their own choice of activities from hundreds of possibilities. Learning is an exciting process of discovery, leading to concentration, motivation, self-discipline, and a love for learning.

Developmental Priorities Balanced, Intellectual

Primary Developmental Priority: Balanced
Equal attention is paid to a balance of priorities: intellectual, emotional, social, and physical.

Secondary Developmental Priority: Intellectual
Academically strong, creative, and critical thinkers, capable of exercising rationality, apprehending truth, and making aesthetic distinctions.

What EM says: This information is not currently available.

Special Needs Support High


EM provides a high degree of support for special needs students.

  • Academic Support:
    Support Type = offered
    Learning strategy and study counselling; habit formation
    Extra support and minor accommodations for children experiencing subclinical difficulties
  • Mild but clinically diagnosed ADHD
    Support Type = offered
    Extra support
  • What EM says: The Montessori Method is effective in pre-school, elementary school and high school. In addition, Montessori techniques can be used successfully with gifted children and children with learning disabilities and other special needs.

  • Support for moderate-to-severe special needs:
    Special needs
    Learning disabilities
    ADHD (moderate to severe)
    Dyslexia (Language-Based Learning Disability)
    Auditory Processing Disorder (APD)
    Language Processing Disorder
    Nonverbal Learning Disorders (NLD)
    Visual Perceptual/Visual Motor Deficit
    Asperger's Syndrome
    Down syndrome
    Intellectual disability
    Behavioral and Emotional
    Troubled behaviour / troubled teens
    Clinical Depression
    Suicidal thoughts
    Drug and alcohol abuse
    Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)
    Dyspraxia (Developmental Coordination Disorder)
    Cystic Fibrosis
    Multiple physical
  • Forms of support delivery:
    Support Type = offered
    A regular class with indirect support
    A regular class with resource assistance
    A regular class with withdrawal assistance
    A special education class with partial integration
    A full-time special education class
  • Additional Support:
    Support Type = offered
    Social skills programs
    Occupational therapy
    Speech-language therapy
  • What EM says: The Montessori Method is effective in pre-school, elementary school and high school. In addition, Montessori techniques can be used successfully with gifted children and children with learning disabilities and other special needs.

Gifted Learner Support No Support

No Support

EM does not offer any specialized programming for gifted learners.

Gifted education: If you want to learn more about gifted education, check out our comprehensive guide. It’s the first of its kind: it covers different kinds of gifted schools and programs, and a whole host of issues parents face in finding the right option for their gifted child.

Homework Policy

In grade Preschool, Enquiring Minds Montessori Casa students perform an average of 30 mins of homework per night.

Nightly Homework
EM 30 mins
Site Average2 mins

Report Card Policy

How assessments are delivered across the grades:

Prose (narrative)-based feedbackPreschool to K

Class Sizes Not available

This information is not currently available.

Recess Policy

Non-lunch recessFrequency
Lunch recessAmount

What EM says: This information is not currently available.


What EM says:
  • In addition to the Montessori Model we offer Drama, Music (Vocal & Violin), Art (Sculpture & Drawing), Movement, and Mandarin

  • Sports OfferedCompetitiveRecreational
    Ice Hockey
    Ice Skating
    Track & Field
  • Clubs Offered
    Outdoor Education

Tuition & Financial Aid


Day (Domestic) Day (Half day)
Day (Domestic)$11,750
Day (Half day)$4,500
What EM says: Our Casa Full Day Program begins at 8:30 am and finishes at 4:30 pm. Children enrolled in this program are exposed to extensive enrichment in both academics and the art. These art programs, like the core activities, are not considered recreational activities but rather intensives. Lunch & morning and afternoon snacks included.


Discount TypeEnrollment TypeAmount
2nd child (sibling)Day (Domestic)10%

Need-based financial aid

This information is not currently available.

Merit based Scholarships

This information is not currently available.


Total enrollment 24
Average enrollment per gradeN/A
Gender (grades)Preschool to K (Coed)
Boarding offeredNo

Student distribution:

Day Enrollment24



Admissions Assessments:

Assessment = requiredGrades
InterviewPS - K
SSAT (out of province)
Entrance Exam(s)
Entrance Essay
Application Fee 

Application Deadlines:

Day students:
September 02, 2016

What EM says: This information is not currently available.


Acceptance Rate:


Type of student Enquiring Minds Montessori Casa is looking for: We are looking for a student who posesses a curious mind and an open spirit.

Student Entry Points

Student TypePS
Day Acceptance
(Acceptance rate)

Stories & Testimonials


My Daughter

From the first day that I toured Enquiring Minds Montessori I knew that this is where I wanted my child to begin her foray into her education.   The facilities themselves are top notch and the program that is offered is without a doubt very comprehensive.

My daughter began at Enquiring Minds this past year and it has been a truly gratifying experience to see the growth and development that she has demonstrated over this time period.  The Casa program truly embraces the philosophy of creating a nurturing environment that stimulates young minds.   It is amazing how her vocabulary, her knowledge and her independence to name a few have simply blossomed over the past ten months.

I also appreciate that the program not only focuses on academic but also the arts with the incorporation of art, music, movement and languages which enables my daughter to develop an appreciation for all matters in the world around her.   There are not enough words to describe the teachers who have been instrumental in my daughter’s educational experience.   They are truly the warmest, kindest people who clearly have a passion for children and their education which is demonstrated in everything that they do.

I am extraordinarily pleased with my experience with Enquiring Minds and I look forward to my son joining his sister within the program next year.


Our Girls

I am so glad that we found this school for our girls!  Each of their teachers were invested in their education and provided a safe, nurturing, tolerant and stimulating environment for them.  Their teachers worked to instill core values such as honesty, respect, and compassion while providing a solid educational foundation. 

We were able to attend parent group meetings that allowed us to understand the curriculum so that we could be part of their learning.  Our children were exposed to a variety of activities and subjects such as music, art, dance, and Mandarin.  They were also taught the importance of being environmentally responsible, and helping others through charities.

Our girls loved to go to school everyday!  We have not been disappointed by any teacher or the knowledge they gained through the years.  We'll definitely miss bringing our girls to this school!


In the News


July 12, 2016 - New EM Club a highlight of the 2016/2017 school year!

EM Club is the perfect introduction to the Montessori model on a part-time basis for your child in EM's spacious learning environment. ...


  • The Canadian Council of Montessori Administrators (CCMA) Associations

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Contact Name
Ms. Aspillaga

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