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OMS Montessori

335 Lindsay Street, Ottawa, Ontario, K1G 0L6
425 Marché Way, Unit 201, Ottawa, Ontario, K1S 5J3
Grades (Gender):
Nursery/Toddler to Gr. 6 (Coed)
$13,776 to 20,388/year
Main Language:
English & French
Avg. Class Size:
Day: 245 (Gr. NS - 6)

School Address
335 Lindsay Street, Ottawa, Ontario, K1G 0L6

About this school:


OMS Montessori– accredited by CCMA and offering authentic Montessori education from 18 months to Grade 12. Since 1966 OMS has nurtured focused engagement within compassionate, mentored learning communities, an education beyond the ordinary. | L’OMS Montessori, école agréée par le CCAM, offre une éducation Montessori authentique, de 18 mois à la 12e année. Depuis 1966, l’OMS cultive l’engagement ciblé au sein de communautés qui offrent à la fois appui et encadrement, voilà une éducation qui sort de l’ordinaire! — Visit school website



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Our Take: OMS Montessori

our takeEstablished in 1966, OMS is one of the older dedicated Montessori schools in the country. It’s also one of the larger Montessori environments, something that is in part a function of the school’s long success. Size is certainly not a bad thing, and the principal benefits are diversity within the student population and the breath of program offerings. That said, with a student population divided between two schools, OMS is able to have the best of both worlds, with each location feeling very close-knit in all the ways that we imagine Montessori programs to be. OMS grew from offering instruction in the primary years into the middle and high school years. In 2015, the high school grades became The Element, a school of its own. So, while the locations may be separate, the continuity across all grade levels is understandably attractive to the families that enroll at OMS.

Principal's Message


Gregory Dixon, School Director

On behalf of the OMS Montessori community, thank you for visiting our profile. As School Director, I have the privilege of working with a proficient team of parents, alumni, faculty and staff who are dedicated to offering their best to each of our students. We work tirelessly to realize our mission by delivering an educational experience designed to inspire and challenge students to discover the best of who they are, while year after year reaching to achieve their full potential.

As a parent, you recognize that choosing a school for your child is one of the most significant decisions you will make. We need specific criteria by which to choose the ideal educational approach for our children. It is clear that the school years help to form the core foundation of our approach to learning and problem-solving, as well as who we are as contributing, global citizens. We at OMS are here to support you.

At OMS, we provide our students with an educational foundation from which they can achieve personal and academic goals, while building independence, self-confidence and self-esteem. The unique Montessori methodology, with its child-centered approach, encourages the development of personal responsibility and thinking skills, as well as fostering a love of learning. Each child is guided in the exploration of his or her own learning style and the development of work habits most suited to individual interests and needs.

Please browse our website and discover how we work together with OMS parents to empower students to become self-regulated, engaged and lifelong learners. As trained experts in education, we understand that observation is an essential component in the decision making process. As such, we would like to invite you to visit us for a tour of our spacious and peaceful learning environment. This is the most personal way to see what OMS Montessori has to offer your child and family.

OMS Montessori is a not-for-profit school. For over 50 years, we have offered exceptional education to families in the city of Ottawa. OMS welcomes you to call and chat with our friendly staff (613-521-5185) or email ([email protected]) regarding your child’s education. Share with us how we can partner with you and your family to further explore Montessori education and philosophy.

It is with great anticipation that we embark on the next 50 years at OMS Montessori. Please join us on this journey of promise and excitement.

Gregory Dixon
School Director


Curriculum Montessori

Primary Curriculum: Montessori

Particularly popular in the younger grades (preschool to elementary), but sometimes available all the way up to high school, Montessori schools offer an alternative vision to the standard lesson format of most classrooms. Lessons are highly decentralized: children typically work individually (though sometimes with others) on specialized "Montessori materials" -- without interference from the teacher. The materials are self-correcting and teach the student something about the subject at hand. The method's goal is to develop children's innate desire to learn, while freeing up time for teachers to help children individually, as needed.

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.

What OMS Montessori says: An OMS education is grounded in creating the conditions for students to be in a state of flow or focused engagement, while they are learning academic and life skills. Teachers demonstrate individual and small group lessons using research-based Montessori materials; children learn primarily through activity rather than through a lecture or group presentation. The OMS Montessori prepared environments inspire academic progress, while preserving a natural joy in learning. Le fondement même d’une éducation à l‘OMS est la mise en place des conditions qui permettent aux élèves de se retrouver dans un état de « flux » ou d’engagement ciblé tout en apprenant à développer des habiletés tant académiques que de vie pratique. Les enseignants présentent les leçons individuellement ou en petits groupes en se servant du matériel Montessori ; les enfants apprennent principalement en faisant l’activité plutôt qu’en écoutant une présentation en grand groupe.Notre environnement préparé aide les élèves à atteindre leurs objectifs à leur propre rythme tout en préservant leur joie naturelle d’apprendre.

  • Montessori offered:
    Program = offered
    Montessori toddler
    Middle School
    High School
  • Approach:

  • Pedagogies and subject courses:

  • Mathematics Equal Balance

      These math programs feature an equal balance of “Traditional” and “Discovery” methods.
      Learn about the different mathematics approaches  

    • What OMS Montessori says: The technical aspects of mathematics and geometry (math facts, mathematical operations and facts, geometry constructions, etc.) are layered onto this curriculum, benefitting from the students’ natural curiosity and desire to master their world. The sequence of materials gradually directs the students into abstraction and work on paper. The Montessori curriculum encourages depth of understanding, creative thinking, problem solving, collaborative effort and mastery. Les aspects techniques des mathématiques et de la géométrie (arithmétique, constructions géométriques, etc.) se chevauchent dans ce programme qui fait appel à la curiosité naturelle des élèves et de leur désir de maîtriser leur monde. Le caractère séquentiel du matériel amène graduellement les élèves vers l’abstraction et le travail sur papier. Le programme Montessori favorise une compréhension en profondeur, la pensée créatrice, la résolution de problème, l’effort collaboratif et la maîtrise des concepts.

    • Textbooks and supplementary materials: This information is not currently available.

    • Calculator policy: This information is not currently available.

    Early Reading Balanced Literacy

      Balanced reading programs are typically Whole Language programs with supplementary phonics training. This training might be incidental, or it might take the form of mini-lessons.
      Learn about the different early reading approaches  

    • What OMS Montessori says: Montessori children generally write before they read using a moveable alphabet that allows them to create words without having to write on paper. While they are working on the moveable alphabet they are also working with materials that will help them control a pencil. After much repetition with these preparatory exercises, children begin writing full words and sentences on paper. Once children can communicate their own ideas in written form they are ready to begin to decipher what others have written. En règle générale, les enfants Montessori écrivent avant de lire à l’aide de l’alphabet mobile qui leur permet de créer des mots sans avoir à les écrire sur papier. Tout en travaillant avec l’alphabet mobile, ils utilisent parallèlement avec le matériel qui les aide à contrôler un crayon. Après plusieurs répétitions avec ces exercices préparatoires, les enfants commencent à écrire des mots et des phrases entières sur papier.

    • DIBELS Testing: This school does not use DIBELS testing to assess reading progress.

    • What OMS Montessori says: This information is not currently available.

    Writing Equal balance

      Programs that balance systematic and process approaches equally likely have an emphasis on giving young students ample opportunities to write, while providing supplementary class-wide instruction in grammar, parts of sentences, and various writing strategies.
      Learn about the different writing approaches  

    • What OMS Montessori says: Cursive writing rather than print is introduced. At this age children love to repeat so it is an ideal time to practice cursive writing. Children who learn to write in cursive read print easily but the opposite is not as true. Children also make fewer reversals of letters if they are using cursive. Les enfants au niveau Casa apprennent à écrire en lettres cursives. Cet âge est idéal pour pratiquer l’écriture en lettres cursives, car les enfants aiment la répétition. Les enfants qui apprennent à écrire en lettres cursives lisent les lettres moulées facilement, alors que le contraire n’est pas aussi vrai. Les enfants inversent moins les lettres s’ils écrivent en lettres cursives.

    Science Inquiry

      Inquiry-based science emphasizes teaching science as a way of thinking or practice, and therefore tries to get students “doing” science as much as possible -- and not just “learning” it. Students still learn foundational scientific ideas and content (and build on this knowledge progressively); however, relative to expository science instruction, inquiry-based programs have students spend more time developing and executing their own experiments (empirical and theoretical). Students are frequently challenged to develop critical and scientific-thinking skills by developing their own well-reasoned hypothesis and finding ways to test those hypotheses. Projects and experiments are emphasized over textbook learning. Skills are emphasized over breadth of knowledge.
      Learn about the different science approaches  

    • Teaching approach: Each year five great stories are told in a dramatic fashion in order to create a framework of information to which students will add detail and understanding throughout their elementary years. The story of the beginning of the universe, of life on the Earth, of human life and of the great human creations of language, mathematics and science create a broad framework that invites students to explore all the traditional curriculums (the sciences, history and geography, as well as mathematics and language) creating greater depths of understanding each year.

    • Topics covered in curriculum:

      Subject = offered
    • Treatment of evolution:

      Evolution as consensus theory
      Evolution as one of many equally viable theories
      Evolution is not taught

    Literature Equal Balance

      These literature programs draw in equal measure from “Traditional” and “Social Justice” programs.
      Learn about the different literature approaches  

    • What OMS Montessori says: Academically, our program is rigorous, involving students in accurate self-assessment and individualized goal setting that emphasizes challenge, achievement, and accountability. The literature curriculum is interdisciplinary and centered on topics that have personal and societal relevance, and that allow for discussion and debate.

    Social Studies Core Knowledge

      Usually focused on teaching history and geography at an early age, the core knowledge approach uses story, drama, reading, and discussion to teach about significant people, places, and events. Breadth of content and knowledge is emphasized. The curriculum is often organized according to the underlying logic of the content: history might be taught sequentially, for example (as students move through the grades).
      Learn about the different social studies approaches  

    • What OMS Montessori says: Each year five great stories are told in a dramatic fashion in order to create a framework of information to which students will add detail and understanding throughout their elementary years. The story of the beginning of the universe, of life on the Earth, of human life and of the great human creations of language, mathematics and science create a broad framework that invites students to explore all the traditional curriculums (the sciences, history and geography, as well as mathematics and language) creating greater depths of understanding each year.

    Humanities and Social Sciences Pragmatism

      Pragmatism in the humanities and social sciences emphasizes making learning relevant to students’ present-day experience. Assignments tend to centre around projects and tasks rather than argumentative essays; these projects will often have a “real-world” application or relevance. There might be more of a social justice component to a pragmatic program, though that isn’t always the case. Subjects like history and philosophy are still covered/offered, but they play a less prominent role in the overall program than in the case of perennialism. The social sciences (contemporary geography, sociology, psychology, etc), meanwhile, might play a more prominent role in pragmatic programs. The key goals are to make learning progressive and relevant, while teaching students real-life skills and critical thinking.
      Learn about the different humanities and social sciences approaches  

    • What OMS Montessori says: Adolescents need to be respected and allowed choice, not only to develop independence but also to help them experience personal dignity. Students are given the freedom to select research project topics that are important to them individually. There are also periods for independent work each day – focused freedom, to allow the students to independently prioritize their work and manage it according to their learning style. The Ontario Curriculum is often exceeded and there is a strong emphasis on skill development (research, writing skills, project writing, oral communication, problem-solving, studying and test taking).

    Foreign Languages Equal Balance

      These programs feature an equal blend of the audio-lingual and communicative styles of language instruction.
      Learn about the different foreign languages approaches  

    • What OMS Montessori says: In addition to traditional lessons on vocabulary, grammar and verbs, the Accelerative Integrated Method (AIM) which is a gesture-based program, begun in the preschool years, is continued and augmented with plays in which all students learn all parts, and with ‘raps’ for the older students. These aspects of the AIM approach increase the comfort with which students speak their second language. Long classes allow teachers to explore various units of interest with students from picking apples from our trees, describing them, cutting them up, cooking them and then eating them; to doing projects on native peoples or geographical landforms, all in French. Consolidated class time also means less time lost to changing classes and getting settled. Our students also benefit from being in a dual language school. French and English are working languages at OMS.

    • Studying a foreign language is required until:   12
    • Languages Offered: • French

    Fine Arts Equal Balance

      These programs have an equal emphasis on receptive and creative learning.
      Learn about the different fine arts approaches  

    • Program offers:

      Subject = offered
      Graphic Design
      Visual Arts
    • Visual studio philosophy:

    • What OMS Montessori says: OMS has an Art Resource Room with a wide variety of art materials on display and available to students, such as clay, watercolours, acrylics, charcoal, paper-making and marbling. Music is one of the many subjects a student can choose to explore and we use the ukulele to facilitate this exploration of music. Opportunities to be dramatic abound in our classes. Some Montessori activities such as the Grammar Boxes require students to ‘act out’ various scenarios or interpret the nuances of our language in a dramatic way. Students often present projects they have done to their peers, students in other classes or other adults in the school. In addition, each Elementary class produces some type of dramatic performance at least once a year, which they present to their families. Having class level plays and presentations rather than a school-wide one, ensures that every student can participate fully.

    Computers and Technology Light integration

      Computers are used in the classroom from time to time, but integrating technology into everything students do is not a dominant focus. Digital literacy is understood to be a legitimate skill in the 21st century, but not one that should distract from teaching the subject at hand, or more fundamental skills and literacies. The idea is today’s students, being “digital natives”, are likely exposed to computers and new media enough outside the classroom: the role of the school, rather, should be to develop competencies that may otherwise get missed.
      Learn about the different computers and technology approaches  

    • What OMS Montessori says: OMS takes seriously current research and recommendations about screen time for students. At the Upper Elementary level, computers become a tool of the classroom. Each class has a set of computers that are available to students throughout their day. Students at this level are encouraged to use books as well as the Internet for research. Most of a student’s work is written by hand but final projects and presentations often make use of word processing, spreadsheet and PowerPoint applications. Upper Elementary students are introduced to proper keyboarding and an online keyboarding tutorial program capitalizes on the natural tendency at this age to be faster and better. Direct instruction is given on Internet safety as well as search skills, site credibility and citing sources.

    • Program covers:

      Subject = offered
      Computer science
      Web design

    Physical Education
    • What OMS Montessori says: Students have a physical education class ever other day in our large, bright and well equipped gymnasium. The emphasis is on making physical activity and fitness fun while building skills for a variety of sports. Students also have a 45 minute recess each day and, weather permitting, they enjoy the use of our new natural playground which encourages active play. Les élèves du primaire ont une classe d’éducation physique tous les deux jours dans notre gymnase bien équipé, spacieux et lumineux. L’accent est mis sur le plaisir de faire de l’activité physique et de se mettre en forme tout en développant des habiletés pour divers sports. Tous les élèves du primaire ont une récréation de 45 minutes, et lorsque la température le permet, ils jouent dans notre nouveau terrain de jeu naturel qui encourage les jeux actifs.

    Sex and Health Education Ontario curriculum
    Topics covered in sex and health education: This information is not currently available.

    What OMS Montessori says: OMS Montessori works closely with nurses to provide facts about sexual health and education, with permission for parents/guardians of the school. We commence health education at the Upper Elementary level (Grades 4 - 6) but do teach nutrition and introduce body parts in Lower Elementary (Grades 1 - 3).

    Mostly value-neutral

    By and large, we teach sex education free of any particular moral or ethical standpoint. We try not to impose any particular values or value systems (such as social, political, or ideological values) on our students when teaching sex and related issues.

    Fairly value-based

    Sex education is sometimes taught from a particular moral or ethical standpoint. Sometimes particular values or value systems (such as social, political, or ideological values) are invoked when teaching sex and related issues.


    This includes a range of positions. A traditional approach might, for example, go as far as emphasizing the nuclear family and complete abstinence from sex before marriage. Alternatively, this approach might simply involve placing less emphasis on sex outside of the context of marriage and more emphasis on abstinence. Or finally, it might just involve focusing less on sex outside of the context of marriage.


    This might mean more emphasis is placed on the importance of such things as social equality, diversity, and choice in sex education.

    What OMS Montessori says: Other health topics are integrated into the sciences and flow naturally from the students work with other living organisms. D’autres sujets concernant la santé sont intégrés en sciences et découlent naturellement des travaux des élèves avec divers organismes vivants.

    Montessori ApproachModerately Orthodox

    Orthodox Montessori     Moderate Orthodox Montessori    Moderately Non-Orthodox Montessori     Non-Orthodox Montessori

      Toddler Primary Lower Elementary Upper Elementary Middle High
    Age groupings 18 months to 36 months 36 months to 6 years 6 years to 9 years 9 years to 12 years
    Uninterrupted work periods 2 hours 3 hours 3 hours 3 hours
    Tests and assignments Never Never Occasionally Occasionally
    Graded work Never Never Occasionally Occasionally
    Arts and crafts 25% 20% 15% 10%
    Whole-class lectures Moderately orthodox
    • 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 Moderately orthodox
    • 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 Moderately non-orthodox
    • 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 Moderately orthodox
    • 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
      37% of schools

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

    • Moderately Orthodox
      37% 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
      12% 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 doesn't use 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 OMS Montessori says: We have a separate toddler and preschool program because children have different innate characteristics at these ages. Our preschool programs are 3-year programs that serve 3, 4 and 5 year olds (Pre-Kindergarten, JK and SK). We maintain authentic Montessori practises while considering current educational research. Nos programmes préscolaires sont séparés à ces âges, vu les différentes caractéristiques innées des enfants. Nos programmes s’échelonnent sur trois ans et s’adressent aux enfants de trois, quatre et cinq ans (préscolaire, prématernelle et maternelle). Nous restons fidèles aux pratiques authentiques Montessori et tenons compte de la recherche éducationnelle actuelle.

    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 OMS Montessori says about flexible pacing: This information is not currently available.

    Academic Culture Supportive

    • Rigorous
    • Supportive

    A school with a “supportive” academic culture focuses more on process than short-term outcomes: academic performance is a welcomed side-benefit, but not the driving focus. This does not mean the school lacks standards, or has low expectations for its students: a school can have a supportive academic culture and still light the fire of ambition in its students. It does mean, however, the school provides a less intensive culture than schools with a “rigorous” academic classification, and is focused more simply on instilling a love of learning and life-long curiosity.

    What OMS Montessori says: We are dedicated to creating focused engagement for our students. A student in this state is concentrated, content, and energized. He/she experiences a strong sense of wellbeing and their accomplishments. Students gets along well with others, and are easily guided by their teachers. This leads to academic and personal excellence. Un élève qui est concentré est motivé, heureux et énergisé. Il fait l’expérience d’un grand bien-être, il se sent bien dans sa peau et est fier de ses réalisations. Il s’entend bien avec les autres et ses enseignants le guide facilement. Cela conduit à une excellence académique et personnelle.

    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 OMS Montessori says: The goal of OMS is to support the development of well-balanced individuals who know and accept themselves, and live as responsible community members. Our students are guided by the OMS community to recognize their potential. The faculty observes and prepares lessons and experiences which perpetuate a love of learning and the achievement of developmental milestones. L’OMS a pour objectif de soutenir le développement d’individus bien équilibrés qui se connaissent et s’acceptent. Ils mènent une vie active et responsable comme membres d’une communauté qui les guide afin qu’ils reconnaissent leur potentiel.

    Special Needs Support Indirect Support

    Indirect Support

    Students remain in a regular classroom for the whole day; the teacher receives special training in accommodating special needs and/or learning disabled 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 OMS Montessori says: We treat each student as an individual. Through discussions with the parents, student and specialists, we determine how we might meet the student's needs and whether or not our school is the best choice in meeting those needs. Nous traitons chaque élève comme un individu à part entière. Par le biais de discussions avec les parents, l’élève et les spécialistes, nous déterminons la façon de possiblement satisfaire les besoins de l’élève et si notre école est en mesure de répondre à ces besoins.

    • Support for moderate-to-severe special needs:
      Special needs
      ADHD (moderate to severe)
      Learning disabilities
      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
      Williams syndrome
      Behavioral and Emotional
      Troubled behaviour / troubled teens
      Clinical Depression
      Clinical anxiety
      Suicidal thoughts
      Drug and alcohol abuse
      Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)
      Multiple sclerosis
      Cerebral palsy
      Muscular dystrophy
      Spina Bifida
      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

    Gifted Learner Support No Support

    OMS Montessori 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 12, OMS Montessori students perform an average of 30 mins of homework per night.

    Nightly Homework
    OMS Montessori0 mins0 mins0 mins0 mins0 mins0 mins0 mins0 mins0 mins0 mins0 mins30 mins30 mins30 mins30 mins30 mins30 mins
    Site Average0 mins2 mins6 mins7 mins6 mins16 mins18 mins24 mins29 mins34 mins40 mins53 mins57 mins69 mins80 mins95 mins108 mins

    Report Card Policy

    How assessments are delivered across the grades:

    Lettered or numbered gradesNursery/Toddler to 12
    Parent-teacher meetingsNursery/Toddler to 12

    Class Sizes Not available

    This information is not currently available.


    What OMS Montessori says:
    • Our Robotics Team is taught by a North-American Renowned instructor. OMS Montessori offers a Cooking Club in French taught by a Chef with a full certificate from Cordon Bleu. We commence offering After School Clubs and Private Music Lessons starting at the age of 5 through Grade 6.

    • Sports OfferedCompetitiveRecreational
      Ice Hockey
      Track & Field
    • Clubs Offered
      Art Club
      Chess Club
      Community Service
      Computer Club
      Dance Club
      Drama Club
      Robotics club

    Tuition & Financial Aid


    What OMS Montessori says: OMS Montessori is a not-for profit organization with a mandate to provide our students with the highest quality Montessori education while remaining sustainable for our current and prospective parents. Tuition is used to cover the operating costs of the school.


    Discount TypeEnrollment TypeAmount
    3rd child (sibling)all students10%

    Need-based financial aid

    Grade range that need-based aid is offered: NS to 6
    Percentage of grade-eligible students receiving financial aid10%
    Average aid package size$2,500
    Percentage of total enrollment on financial aid10%
    Total aid available$25,000

    Application Deadline:
    December 31, 2017 Repeats annually

    More information:

    Application Details:

    This school works with Apple Financial Inc. for processing financial applications
    1. Families will go to the Apples Financial Services website at www.applefinancialservices.ca. 2. Families will create a parent account registration. 3. After the email address provided is verified, a response will be sent with the subject line “Account Set-up” Families will then go into the online application. 4. At the end of the process, requests will appear for the uploading of tax information, i.e. T4s, current year’s pay statements, etc. 5. Once the information is uploaded the payment section will appear and the $100 application fee will be required. Please note, it is an additional $30 for a secondary application for the same student by the other parent. 6. Payments can be made by credit card (Visa & MasterCard).

    Merit based Scholarships

    This information is not currently available.


    Total enrollment 245
    Average enrollment per grade14
    Average class sizeVaries
    Gender (grades)Nursery/Toddler to Gr. 6 (Coed)
    Boarding offeredNo

    Student distribution:

    Day Enrollment1516163131242524192321



    Admissions Assessments:

    Assessment = requiredGrades
    Interview4 - 6
    SSAT (out of province)
    Entrance Exam(s)
    Entrance Essay
    Application Fee

    Application Deadlines:

    Day students:

    What OMS Montessori says:

    The first step in the Admissions process is to attend a school tour to learn about Montessori education in general and OMS Montessori in particular. Tours are hosted with only one family only, and we recommend for your first visit, to try to arrange child care for your son or daughter. This will provide you with an opportunity to answer any questions you may have, and determine if OMS Montessori is the best fit for your family before your child builds a rapport with our community. Information packages and application forms are distributed during your tour. If you are able to attend a tour in the morning, you will have the opportunity to tour the school and observe a number of active classes. If you attend an evening tour, we ask that you make arrangements to visit OMS and observe the students in their classes before completing an application.


    Acceptance Rate:


    Type of student OMS Montessori is looking for: This information is not currently available.

    Student Entry Points

    Student TypeNSPSJKSKK123456789101112
    Day Acceptance
    (Acceptance rate)

    University Placement

    Services = offered
    Career planning
    Mentorship Program
    University counseling
    Key Numbers
    Average graduating class sizeN/A
    *Canadian "Big 6" placementsN/A
    **Ivy+ placementsN/A

    *Number of students in 2015 who attended one of McGill, U of T, UBC, Queen's University, University of Alberta, or Dalhousie University.

    **Number of students since 2005 that attended one of Harvard, Yale, Princeton, University of Pennsylvania, Dartmouth, Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Stanford, University of Chicago, Oxford or Cambridge (UK)

    Notable Alumni

    Alumnus Graduation Year Accomplishment
    Emily  Brecher 1995 Emily Brecher works as a Family Physician with a special focus on women, young families, and sexual health.
    Jonathan  Estabrooks 1995 Jonathan is a successful opera singer. He has performed for Presidents and Prime Ministers and has worked with great conductors such as Steven Reineke and Pinchas Zuckerman.
    Naomi Kirshenblatt 2010 Naomi is currently studying Actuarial Sciences in the Asper School of Business, a discipline that applies mathematical and statistical methods to assess risk.
    Dominic Bradford 1983 Dominic is Head of School at Yukon Montessori School (YMS), after working at the attached preschool for 6 years prior to starting the Montessori school.
    Thomas Shepherd 1983 Thomas left his career as a federal public servant to establish a firm in Whitehorse that assists Self-Governing First Nations to design, implement and evaluate their own programs.
    Lauren Peirce 1993 Lauren is a full-time Analyst with the Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (Aboriginal Affairs).
    Morgana McKenzie 2012 Morgana is a Filmmaker & Visual Artist. Here latest film, GIFTS, has won 8 awards and screened at 21 festivals.
    Christopher  Macies 1997 Christopher is a Manager in the Advisory practice of Deloitte Transactions & Business Analytics LLP in New York City, who said he is "eternally grateful" for OMS.
    Cathy Nguyen 2008 Cathy is a first year student at the University of Ottawa for the Biomedical Sciences Program. She is currently debating between a career in pharmacy and pediatrics.
    Tamlynn Bryson 2005 Tamlynn won "Emerging Artist Award" for her original one woman play, “Working Title: Undecided” at the 2015 Ottawa Fringe Festival.
    Juliana Neufeld 1987 Juliana is the illustrator of the popular children's book series, Treasure Hunters by James Patterson and My Brother the Robot by Bonny Becker.

    Stories & Testimonials


    Titre en travail : indécise

    Si vous avez eu la chance de participer au Festival Fringe en juin dernier, vous avez peut-être vu une pièce de théâtre originale produite en coopération avec une ancienne élève de l’OMS, Tamlynn Bryson qui en est aussi la vedette. La pièce de théâtre s’intitule « Titre en travail, indécise » (que Tamlynn confirme en riant comme étant le vrai titre!), et a commencé par être une brève déclaration à un ami pour se transformer en une présentation d’une heure. La présentation était tellement impressionnante que Tamlynn s’est vue mériter l’« Emerging Artist Award » pour sa performance. Ce succès laisse présager une brillante carrière d’actrice.  

    Tamlynn a fréquenté l’OMS Montessori de 1996 à 2005 est récemment diplômée de l’Université de Windsor avec un Baccalauréat en beaux arts (actrice) et un certificat en gestion artistique. Son premier souvenir de la scène la ramène à l’OMS Montessori, un endroit elle a appris que c’était bien d’être créatif, d’être une personne et d’être soi-même.  

    « Je dois beaucoup à la pièce de théâtre dans laquelle j’ai joué en première année à l’OMS » dit Tamlynn avant de raconter son histoire.

    « Nous présentions une version du Petit chaperon rouge et j’ai eu la chance de jouer le premier rôle. Toutefois, notre version différait du conte traditionnel que nous connaissons tous et que nous aimons. Le petit chaperon rouge n’était pas la victime sans ressources. Elle avait deviné le plan du loup et l’a déjoué. La pièce devait se terminer alors que je virevoltais dans tous les sens en clamant la dernière réplique du texte de la pièce. Je ne me souviens plus de la réplique, mais je me souviens avoir trébuché dans ma cape et m’être étalée de tout mon long devant toute la classe et les parents. Je me suis relevée en hésitant, j’ai regardé l’enseignante et j’ai demandé : « Est-ce que je peux refaire ça? » La salle a éclaté de rire. J’avais déjà appris deux règles fondamentales du travail d’actrice : faire face à l’audience et projeter. Ce jour-là j’en ai appris une troisième : si tu fais une erreur, reste dans la peau du personnage et continue sur le même élan (en fait, une leçon très importante) ».

    En rétrospective, elle dit que c’est surprenant qu’elle n’ait pas tout laissé tomber après cette première « humiliation ».  Mais l’expérience lui a inculqué la persévérance, ce qui lui a été utile dans sa vie par la suite.  

    « Le métier d’actrice n’est pas toujours facile. On travaille fort, les nuits sont souvent longues et on fait appel au corps, à la voix, à l’esprit et à l’âme  », explique-t-elle.

    Elle a aussi connu sa part de personnes qui remettaient en question ou en doute son choix de carrière postsecondaire et qui la jugeaient sur ce choix de carrière. « Le fait de répondre “devenir actrice “ à la question “ en quoi étudies-tu “ m’a valu de nombreux regards surpris, des sourires condescendants et même une réflexion comme : “ tu sais j’ai un ami qui est acteur et il a eu une vie misérable “ ».

    Mais son objectif est rafraichissant : « mon but est d’être payée pour faire ce que j’aime », et sa passion est claire : « parfois j’ai la larme à l’œil en regardant les bourdes dans les émissions de télévision, car j’aimerais avoir la chance de faire cela comme travail ».  

    Et comme l’a dit Jim Carrey : « Tu peux échouer ce que tu ne tiens pas à faire, alors il vaut mieux prendre la chance de faire ce que tu aimes ».

    De plus, être actrice c’est plus qu’une profession pour Tamlynn, c’est une façon de s’exprimer. « Certaines personnes se font entendre à travers la musique, la politique, les romans, la poésie, la comédie, les conférences, le droit et des milliers d’autres façons, dit-elle, la meilleure façon pour moi de m’exprimer est de mettre mes sentiments, mes pensées, mes rêves, mes peurs et mes observations en scène ».

    Tamlynn poursuit actuellement une carrière dans les domaines du cinéma, du théâtre et de la télévision. Elle est particulièrement intéressée à faire du travail de création originale. De plus, son certificat en gestion artistique l’a déjà aidée à trouver des emplois autres que celui d’actrice dans le milieu du théâtre, ce qui lui sera utile si elle décide de mettre éventuellement sur pied sa propre compagnie théâtrale.

    Tamlynn dit qu’une grande partie de sa créativité vient de l’atmosphère à Montessori. « On m’a enseigné à penser autrement et je n’ai jamais ressenti qu’être différente était une mauvaise chose… OMS m’a fait sentir unique et que je devrais célébrer cela. On m’a enseigné à collaborer avec les autres, à demander de l’aide quand j’en avais besoin et d’aider les autres quand je le pouvais. On m’a aussi enseigné à donner le meilleur de moi même et à travailler fort. Cette éthique de travail m’a aidée d’un point de vue académique, professionnel et artistique ».

    Bien que la profession ait son lot de défis, Tamlynn ne ferait pas les choses différemment. Elle a de sages conseils à donner aux étudiants qui souhaitent poursuivre une carrière d’acteur (bien que ce conseil s’applique à la vie en général) :


    1. Ne cherche pas être une diva. C’est beaucoup plus amusant de travailler avec quelqu’un de gentil. C’est aussi beaucoup plus amusant d’être une bonne personne.
    2. Fais ton travail. Il y a beaucoup de travail, c’est vrai, mais de nombreuses personnes dépendent ton travail et le fait de l’avoir bien fait donne un bon sentiment.   
    3. Apprends, apprends, apprends. Prends des cours, inscris-toi à des ateliers, implique- toi dans toutes sortes de productions et de toutes les façons possibles. Tu ne sais jamais qui ou quoi t’inspirera.  
    4. Sois fier de ton corps. Tu ressembles à ce que tu ressembles et le public le voit. Certains rôles sont pour toi et d’autres ne le sont pas. Cela peut être difficile quand par exemple toutes les filles dans un film ont le même type de corps ou sont de race différente de la tienne, mais un acteur (et tout le monde) a besoin de corps de toutes formes, tailles, couleurs et genres. Aime ce que tu as, car tu es la seule personne qui l’a!  
    5. Trouve un bon système de soutien. Il peut y avoir des moments difficiles. Alors, assure-toi que tu as des amis, de la famille, des enseignants ou des conseillers que tu peux contacter dans les moments difficiles.  
    6. L’échec n’est pas une chose. J’ai vécu avec la peur de l’échec dans le passé. Souvent. Mais l’échec est en réalité une simple expérience d’apprentissage. Les échecs répétés lors de pratiques te permettent souvent de trouver ce qui marche. Aussi, tu ne sais jamais quelle idée de génie se cache derrière un échec. Tout le monde fait des erreurs, alors ris-en et tourne la page ou, écris une pièce de théâtre sur le sujet.
    7. Amuse-toi! C’est tout simple, mais si facile à oublier.

    Treasure Hunters and Other Cool Professions

    Juliana Neufeld may have only attended OMS Montessori until elementary school, but she remembers it vividly.

    "I remember the visceral, hands on play and learning activities. The smell and feel of the beeswax we would play with during story time, learning to hammer nails into wooden stumps, and trading stickers with friends at lunch time," said Juliana.

    After graduating from Ryerson University with a Bachelor of Fine arts, Photographic studies in 2007, Juliana says she went from barely surviving financially as a freelance illustrator to landing an incredible gig as a fully time illustrator of children's books.

    "It's been a long journey but it's been an incredible learning experience and very rewarding, both personally and professionally," she said.

    Now, she is her own boss working on a couple series of children's books.

    Her first series Treasure Hunters by James Patterson (who is in the Guinness World Records as having the most New York Times bestsellers) is an ongoing series about siblings who are suddenly thrust into the biggest treasure hunt of their lives. Juliana will be illustrating the fourth book in the series this fall.

    Her second series, My Brother the Robot by Bonny Becker, is about a family who buys a Robot advertised as "the perfect son." Juliana is currently working on this series.  

    In addition to illustrating, Juliana hosts workshops for kids a few times a year. The workshops centre around cartooning and gaining confidence around drawing and being creative.

    "So many kids have told themselves by an early age that they aren't good at art and so they stop drawing," said Juliana. "I like to show kids that art is often about making mistakes and playing... that real creativity isn’t necessarily connected to artistic skill."

    Juliana says she reflects on her own Montessori education when she is leading workshops for kids.

    "I feel encouraged and positive about the teaching approach and the learning environment that Montessori fosters," said Juliana. "There is a more respectful and genuine approach to adults interacting with children and I think it allows the children room to express and discover themselves in a way that I’m not sure most public school have made the space for."

    Juliana, who has lived in Toronto for the last decade, wants to build her own ceramics studio, and continue to work in watercolor, in addition to illustrating more children's books.

    She spends her free time collecting and listening to records, eating and biking around the city with her friends, and exploring the patches of nature that Toronto has to offer.


    Alumna Student Wins "Emerging Artist Award" at Ottawa Fringe Festival

    If you were lucky enough to take in some of the Fringe Festival in June, you may have seen an original one woman play co-created and performed by OMS Montessori alumna student Tamlynn Bryson. The play, entitled “Working Title: Undecided”(which Tamlynn jokingly confirms is the real title) started as a short statement to a friend but turned into an impressive hour-long show. So impressive was the show that Tamlynn took home "Emerging Artist Award" for her performance. This success no doubt foreshadows what will be a successful acting career.

    Tamlynn, who attended OMS Montessori from 1996 to 2005, recently graduated from the University of Windsor with a BFA Acting and a Certificate in Arts Management. Her first memory of being on stage takes her back to OMS Montessori, a place where she said she learned it's good to be creative, to be an individual and to be who you are.

    "I owe a lot of who I am to my first-grade play at OMS," says Tamlynn before jumping into her anecdotal tale.

    "We were putting on a production of Little Red Riding Hood, and I was fortunate enough to have received the title role. However, our version was a little different than the fairy tale we all know and love. Little Red was not a helpless victim. She saw through the wolf’s plan and outsmarted him. The play was supposed to end with me spinning around as I triumphantly said my final line of the show. I don’t remember the line, but I very much remember tripping on my red cape and falling down in front of my entire class and all their parents. I hesitantly stood up, looked at the teacher and said, “Should I do that again?” Everyone laughed. I had previously learned two rules of acting: face the audience, and project. That was the moment I learned my third lesson: if you make a mistake, stay in character and just go with it (actually a pretty important acting lesson)."

    Looking back, she says it’s surprising that she didn’t quit after that first "humiliation." But the experience instilled perseverance in her, which is something that would come in handy later in Tamlynn's life.

    "Acting is not always easy. It’s a lot of hard work, a lot of late nights, and utilizes your body, voice, mind, and soul," she said.

    She has also experienced her fair share of people questioning, doubting and judging her post secondary choice. "Answering 'Acting' to the question, 'What’s your major?' has gotten me a lot shocked looks, patronizing smiles, and even a 'You know my friend is an actor and he’s had a terrible life story'."

    But, her goal is refreshing ("my goal is to get paid to do what I love") and her passion is clear ("Sometimes I actually tear up watching bloopers for television shows, because I would love to be fortunate enough for that to be my job").

    And as Jim Carrey put it, “You can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.”

    Besides, acting is more than a profession for Tamlynn; it's a way for her to express herself. "Some people get their voices heard through music, politics, novels, poetry, comedy, lectures, law, and a million other ways," she said. "My best way of expressing myself is by putting my feelings and thoughts and dreams and fears and observations on a stage."

    Tamlynn is currently pursuing a career in theatre, film, and television and is particularly interested in devising original work. In addition, her certificate in Arts Management has already helped her get work in non-acting theatre jobs, and will help her if I she decides to start her own theatre company in the future.

    Tamlynn says she owes a lot of her creativity to the atmosphere at Montessori. "I was taught to think outside the box and I never felt like being 'different' was a bad thing... OMS made me feel like I was unique, and that I should celebrate that. I was taught to collaborate with others, to ask for help when I needed it, and to help others when I could. I was also taught to try my best and to work hard, and that strong work ethic has helped me succeed academically, professionally, and artistically."

    Despite the hardships that the profession brings, Tamlynn wouldn't do anything differently and she has sage advice for other alumni interested in pursuing acting (although this could also be read as general life advice):

    1. Don’t be a diva. It’s way more fun to work with a nice person. It’s also way more fun to be a nice person.
    2. Do your work. There’s a lot of it, yes, but lots of people are depending on you to do it, and it feels good to know you’ve done it well.
    3. Learn, learn, learn. Take classes. Take workshops. Be involved in as many productions in as many different ways as possible. You never know who or what will inspire you.
    4. Be proud of your body. You look like what you look like, the audience can see it, and some roles are for you and some roles are not. It can be hard when every girl in that movie has the same body type, or is a different race than you, but acting (and the world) needs bodies of all shapes, sizes, colours, and genders. Love what you got, cause you’re the only one who’s got it!
    5. Find a strong support system. It can be hard out there, so make sure you know which friends, family, teachers, and/or counselors to go to on the bad days.
    6. Failure’s not a thing. I’ve dealt with fear of failure in the past. A lot. But failure is really just a learning experience. Rehearsal often requires failing repeatedly until you find something that works. Plus, you never know what genius idea is disguised as a failure. Everybody makes mistakes, so just laugh and move on. Or, ya know, write a play about it.
    7. Have fun! Sounds simple, but it’s easy to forget. 

    OMS Montessori receives Top Montessori School of 2015 in Ottawa

    OMS Montessori received the following letter from the President of Top Choice Awards, Inc:

    "Top Choice Awards is honoured to announce that OMS Montessori has been voted Top Montessori School of 2015 in the City of Ottawa.

    The results were collected during the proprietary Top Choice Awards 2015 Survey, which asked respondents to nominate their Top Choice in a variety of categories based on quality, service, value and professionalism. This survey has also been conducted in 12 other Canadian cities, identifying over 650 top businesses and professionals receiving over 450,000 votes.

    It is clear that whenever people have a choice they prefer to deal with businesses and professionals who are trusted by consumers. The Top Choice Award is the "Mark of Excellence" worn by today's leading businesses and professionals, representing the trust and loyalty that they have earned from the people they serve.

    On behalf of the people who voted, we would like to thank you for your contribution to your city and would like to present to you the 2015 Top Choice Award; the recognition you truly deserve.

    Congratulations and welcome to the Top!

    Top Regards,

    Monica Couto


    OMS Montessori students' oil paintings sell at The Gordon Harrison Canadian Landscape Gallery

    "Always find time in your life for art," renowned artist Gordon Harrison encouraged OMS Montessori students at an exhibit in February hosted at his boutique gallery, The Gordon Harrison Canadian Landscape Gallery.

    Students had a unique interest in this exhibit on Sussex Drive; "The Creative Canadian Souls" exhibit featured 21 oil paintings created by Elementary students at OMS Montessori.

    The paintings, which were created during the "Gordon Harrison's Art Inspiration Project" were auctioned off and sold for a maximum of $100. Although families had the first right of refusal, many paintings received bids from the public, including clients from out west and the United States.

    Soren McMillan, a Grade 6 student at OMS Montessori, sold his painting to a client in Regina, Saskatchewan. He said it was hard to sell his painting because most of his family wanted to keep it, but in the end, he wanted someone unrelated to him to enjoy it.

    "The best part is knowing someone out there appreciates my art work," said Soren, who described the whole experience as "excellent."

    For many of the participating students, it was their first time working with oil paints. "It's like using coloured butter," joked Grade 6 student, Samantha Taubman.

    All students left the exhibit with a keepsake: a personalized card displaying the 21 paintings from "The Creative Canadian Souls" exhibit. However, they left with a lot more than that: They left inspired to live a life with art whether it be as a career, a hobby, or as an admirer.

    Gordon Harrison created the "Gordon Harrison Art Inspiration Project" with his partner, Gallerist, Phil Émond in 2009 as a way to give back to the community while simultaneously inspiring young people to pursue their artistic talent. Each year the duo works with one school and the participating students experience "life as an artist" from a blank canvas to the selling of their work.

    OMS Montessori, in Alta Vista, was the lucky school for the 2014/2015 school year and it is surely an experience the students will never forget.


    FSL at OMS Montessori: Tried and Tested

    Understandably, there is a strong desire amongst parents at OMS to have their children be as bilingual as possible. And we at OMS want this too. After all, we do live in the capital city of a bilingual country. At OMS, we offer an intensive French as a Second Language (FSL) program which is tried and tested. Cathy Nguyen, an alumna student, would testify to this.

    Cathy, who attended OMS from Grades 1 to Grade 8, is now bilingual. Cathy was in the English program at OMS and learned French through the FSL program.

    "...I had wonderful, caring teachers that inspired and motivated me to have a sense of curiosity and drive to master a language while providing me with all the necessary resources to do so," said Cathy.

    The FSL Program at OMS incorporates the gesture based program, the Accelerative Integrated Method, with traditional lessons on vocabulary, grammar and verbs to teach French to students beginning at 4 years of age.  Four and five year olds receive FSL in their Montessori classrooms for half an hour every day. Elementary students work in small FSL classes of 10 to 12 students for a half day, two days out of four. These longer periods allow the FSL certified teachers to immerse the students in French as they work on a variety of projects and converse with one another and their teacher. At the Element level (Grades 7, 8 and 9) the FSL teachers are in the class for a half day every day and the students take some of their course content in French and cook their class’ lunch with the mentorship of their FSL teachers. Students at OMS also benefit from being in a school with a  Francophone program (a program for students who come to OMS speaking French as a native and who have at least one parent who speaks French to them regularly). Students  hear French as a working language on the playground, at intramurals, at school events, and throughout the school every day.

    "The classroom environment was always a welcoming place and I was never shy to try and make a mistake. I, as well as my peers, was always encouraged to step out of my comfort zone and simply learn," said Cathy.

    And learn she did.

    After graduating from OMS, Cathy entered the IB Program at Colonel By where she received the Honours Society Award and Silver Medal Award in addition to a French (IB) subject award in both Grades 9 and 10. Cathy even took on the role of IB French ambassador in Grade 10, which meant she was responsible for helping various peers with French assignments or questions. When she left Colonel By to attend Longfields Davidson Heights Secondary School for Grades 11 and 12, she continued to receive the Honours Society Award and Silver Medal Award and continued to be recognized for her French.

    Cathy excelled in French, but this isn't something she considers unique for OMS alumni. "I have heard from many alumni students that their French abilities were noticeably more advanced than all other peers in their post OMS-education and I can strongly confirm this to be true."

    Now, as a first year student at the University of Ottawa for the Biomedical Sciences Program, Cathy admits that she doesn't speak as much French as she would like although she does speak French with her Dad sometimes. But her schooling is keeping her busy. She is currently debating between pharmacy and pediatrics. "I recently worked at a tutoring summer camp last summer and took part in the MedTalk mini med school event which sparked this different career path aspiration," said Cathy in regard to pediatrics. Her original plan was to be a pharmacist working for a prominent pharmaceutical company, travelling nationally sharing her passion for the safe and effective use of pharmaceutical drugs with others. Regardless of which field she pursues, Cathy's education is keeping her busy. When she isn't studying, she enjoys reading, baking, figure skating, gym or attending music festivals, her favourite being Ottawa's own Bluesfest!

    If you'd like to read more about why we don't offer French Immersion at OMS, you can do so here


    Alumni "eternally grateful" for OMS

    We recently found a hard copy of a beautifully crafted letter expressing gratitude to OMS, dated April 28, 2005. The author of the letter, Christopher Macies, had graduated from OMS Montessori almost ten years prior to writing the letter, in June 1997, after completing Grade 5. After reaching out to Christopher (via LinkedIn), who is now a Manager in the Advisory practice of Deloitte Transactions & Business Analytics LLP in New York City, he agreed to let us share his letter.

    It isn’t often that people take the time to recognize their educational experiences, let alone their elementary experiences, years down the road. Christopher’s letter and its touching message, read as follows:

    Hello, I’m Christopher (Topher) Macies. I’m not sure how else to introduce myself, other than tell you why I’m trying to get in contact. I am a senior at Irvington High School, in Westchester County, 20 miles outside New York City. Upon graduation I will be part of the incoming freshman class of 2009 at Columbia University in August of this year. As my school year has wound down, I’ve entered into my exams and in my last desperate attempts to procrastinate; I began to clean my room. As I was cleaning through my dresser, I happened to fall upon a tee shirt – one bearing the OMS dove. I dug deeper, into the musty recesses of my dresser and found a dark green tee shirt with the OMS Dinosaur I remember as a kid. Upon weeks of reflection (and days spent writing this email), I want to share my thoughts with you.

    While the majority of my schooling has been spent away from Ottawa, the formative years of my life were not spent at Irvington High School, or any other of the previous middle schools I have attended, but OMS. As an OMS “alum” since 1997, when I left after the 5th grade, I am eternally grateful for the experiences. Many of my peers have struggled with independence and the classroom. Without a syllabus, many become disorientated and fell behind. Montessori has given me the necessary tools to succeed.

    While I know many teachers may no longer be teaching at OMS, I would like to give special thanks to Francoise, Jackie, Janet, Finola and Mr. D. I have very Fond memories from each of those classes. I would like to thank all of the teachers I have not mentioned. 

    Your impact is profound.

    However, a few musty tee-shirts are not the only reason I am trying to get back in touch. I was back in town to visit family over the winter holidays this year, where my old nanny, and forever friend, Katrina lives, when she told me she had been recognized in HMV [retail store], by a classmate of mine. I was awestruck. It has been over 7 years since I left Ottawa, and yet, the same students whom sit forever preserved in photo album after photo album still remember “me.” I was wondering if other students have written back, whether in expressions of gratitude, or lament, or just to wonder what’s up?

    I cannot being to explain how grateful, not only I am, but also my family. I had two sisters, Jasmine and Rebecca, who also entered into the Montessori school. I cannot imagine that we are unique in this feeling.

    Not because of the colleges or the universities its elementary school graduates head off to, but to the type of people it produces - the people who remember a face nearly a decade later. Thank you.


    Christopher (Topher) Macies and Family


    Meet Alumni Student Lauren Peirce, Montessori Advocate

    Lauren is a full-time Analyst with the Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (Aboriginal Affairs). She holds a Master of Arts degree in Public and International Affairs (Co-operative Education) from the University of Ottawa and a Bachelor of Social Science with Honours degree in Criminology from the same institution.

    She is also a firm believer in Montessori pedagogy: 


    “I believe a Montessori education develops and fosters breadth of learning and experience, while instilling principles of compassion, justice, independence, self-direction and respect for all living things. A Montessori education places equal value on all sorts of different types of knowledge from math, to arts, to geography, to languages, to physical education. I think this type of education philosophy supports children’s need to question their surroundings and helps them build expansive worldviews, underpinned with values of co-operation and compassion.

    I am certainly a product of this method of education! I am an independent, self-described “Jill of All Trades”, taking an interest in many different areas of life and building my proficiency in those areas over time. I have a love of travel, other cultures and foreign languages and believe in the equality of humans in different walks of life, from all over the world. I live my life based on Montessori principles of compassion, equality and respect for living things. I have dedicated much of my personal and professional work thus far to social issues and social justice causes, which hi-light our shared humanity e.g. immigration and integration, Aboriginal Affairs, public service and volunteerism.”

    As a product of OMS Montessori, Lauren shares some of her most vivid memories of time spent at OMS Montessori:

    “I have many, many fond memories of my time at OMS – here is a small sampling.

    I can remember a project I completed on Tanzania for an “African country fair” where we coloured maps, made dioramas and served traditional food. I can still recall that “jambo” means “hi” in Swahili!

    Almost all the country capitals I know now I learned in elementary school through an exercise done with a map on a floor mat. We matched up capitals to their countries on the map. The easiest ones were always Paris, Rome, London and Athens.

    One of the best ways to earn your peers’ esteem was to roll out a huge hundred chain on a series of maps all through the hall and “count” and transcribe all the beads from the chains. You would get extra respect for completing all the chains in the same day!

    I wrote long stories with the moveable alphabet and transcribed them onto those small papers with lines for the story and space for the picture. There seemed to be an annual story about what we had done on our summer vacation and my most memorable (and lengthy) story was about us getting lost on a family road trip to Maine.

    We played outside in every season – in the spring we played with parachutes, hung from the monkey bars, or skipped in complex double-Dutch formation. In the fall we played tug-of-war and looked forward to the annual haunted house at the Harvest Feast, and in the winter we built epic snow forts, complete with bridges and furniture or skated on the outdoor rink.

    Probably my earliest memory is of naptime in the casa class – I didn’t want to sleep so I was given a little ball of pink wax to play with quietly on my mat.”


    Do children learn science in Montessori?

    Do children learn science in Montessori?

    Well, Emily Brecher, a Medical Doctorate and OMS alumni student sure did.  

    Looking back, Emily says after graduating from the Upper Elementary program at OMS, there was never any indication that she was behind her peers in science.

    In fact, the opposite seemed to be true.

    “My teachers continually commented on how quickly I was grasping material in all domains. As early as grades 7 and 8, I was winning awards for being at the top of my class in multiple subjects, including science,” said Emily. “I was also invited to present at local and regional science fair competitions for projects voted among the best at my school.”

    Emily received her Medical Doctorate from The University of Toronto in 2011 and subsequently successfully passed the Canadian Certification Exam in Family Medicine. She is currently enrolled in one year of extra medical training in Women’s Health. Upon completion in June, Emily will work as a Family Physician with a special focus on women, young families, and sexual health.

    Emily developed an interest in human biology and science in her early teens, and at the suggestion of those around her, began researching medicine as a career path, even before attending university. 

    When asked how her experience in a Montessori school contributed to her success, Emily said teachers at OMS encouraged her to develop self-confidence, self-awareness, and healthy learning habits. 

    “I think my ability to manage multiple professional and academic demands without feeling overwhelmed stems from the enjoyable and well-rounded curriculum at OMS.”

    For Emily, the most rewarding part of her career today is the trust and confidence her patients have in her. “As a Physician I am invited to share in some of the most private and important details of a person’s life.  I am sought out as a constant source of support and direction in challenging and difficult times,” said Emily.

    “Although it may appear that the biggest challenge in Medicine is general knowledge acquisition, success in the field depends more on effective interpersonal interactions, self-directed learning skills, and the ability to synthesize and solve problems. OMS fosters these qualities in its’ students as part of its core philosophy.”

    A quick glance at her impressive CV, filled with awards and honours, proves that Emily is successful in her professional life. However, as a newly wed and fitness enthusiast, Emily manages to maintain a balanced lifestyle. Emily currently lives with her husband, Brian, in a condo in Ottawa. Her husband is in the final stages of his Respirology (Internal Medicine) training at the University of Ottawa and Ottawa Hospital. When they are not practicing medicine, the power-couple enjoy trying different restaurants together. Emily is also an avid Goodlife Fitness attendee, and plays Ultimate Frisbee, the violin and enjoys international travel.                                            

    Although Emily gives OMS credit for many vital skills that enabled her to be successful, there is one lesson that holds substantial value to her: “At OMS, students ‘learn how to learn’.”

    This “fundamental skill” allowed Emily to excel in “basic science (throughout high school and university), and subsequently in medicine” but can also apply to any avenue a student may pursue.

    Emily believes that OMS graduates have the skills and confidence to succeed personally and professionally. And why wouldn’t she? She’s living proof!


    OMS Montessori is home to an award-winning natural playground

    They had a dream.

    In less than five years, the dream became a vision, then a strategic plan, then a reality. Now, OMS Montessori is home to an award-winning natural playground.

    “Since our students have started playing in our natural playground, they seem happier”, said Pat Garneau, Director of the English Program at OMS Montessori. “Students complain less about being “bored” and there is also less conflict, perhaps because there are fewer rules and the children have an outlet for their physical energy.” 

    The dream of a natural playground for OMS Montessori, an independent school in the Alta Vista area, was voiced in 2009 at an OMS Strategic Planning meeting.. Shortly after, the OMS Board of Directors made a commitment to create a beautiful 'green' playground. The goal was to have an outdoor environment in which OMS students would be free to explore, create, and grow in a way that would help them make deeper connections to nature and to themselves. 

    According to a 2012 University of Tennessee study, children who play on playgrounds that incorporate natural elements tend to be more active than those who play on traditional playgrounds with plastic equipment.

    “When children play with nature, they’re less bored, more imaginative and more creative,” said Pat. “Children are sensorial learners. They use all of their senses when playing in nature which is optimal for learning.”

    The OMS Board wanted the new playground to be a school community project, so they consulted teachers, students and parents. They also held a “Planting Bee” in September 2013, where the school community gathered on a weekend to plant the many flowers and shrubs that make up an integral part of the natural playground.

    Months after the Planting Bee, an OMS parent wrote on the school’s Facebook page: “On the way into school this morning (in freezing January), the kids were asking when they would be able to "plant more flowers at school". They love it!”

    In January, OMS’ natural playground, built by Earthscape, was awarded a Landscape Ontario Award of Excellence in the "Special Interest Construction" project category. Laura Hilliard, the Communications Coordinator for Earthscape, said the playground is unique because it was designed specifically for the OMS site and it offers areas for multiple levels of active and passive play, and for water play as well as natural features like hills and plants.

    “We believe this kind of playground offers endless possibilities for creative and unstructured play,” said Laura. “By using natural materials, kids can see the craftsmanship involved in creating each piece and use all of their senses to explore and learn about the world.”

    The OMS award-winning playground aligns with the values of Montessori pedagogy and the longevity of a natural playground exceeds that of the more traditional play structures. The OMS community is looking forward to years of natural play!



    “We wish to thank you for your support with our son. This past year he has been blessed with the opportunity to join Casa at OMS. We cannot begin to tell you how much he has grown and thrived. He has received such beautiful guidance and support from his teachers. We feel very blessed. We thank each day for the gift of OMS and it’s wonderful teachers. OMS has truly changed our son’s and our family’s life.” -Louis Marcotte and Manon Salois, Parents of a current Casa student

    "The Montessori way of education in your school has stimulated our daughter's interest and continuously improved her levels of self-motivated learning and social communication abilities… We definitely recommend OMS Montessori to the consideration of all our friends in Ottawa." -Nan Zhang and Qinghua Zhang, parents of a current Lower Elementary student

    “The facility is above and beyond our previous experience. The staff is experienced and professional. There is a rich second language program. We could go on… When we visited the classroom, it was clear the children were having a peaceful, beautiful, and fulfilling school experience.” -Leslie Giddings and Robert Brunelle, Parents of two former Casa students

    “The school is bright, inviting and cheerful and it is clear that the staff take a great deal of pride in their work. I couldn’t help but notice that the children were engaged, calm and content." -Sabrina McTaggart, Career Coach

    “Thank you for your time, your passion, and your dedication to teaching our children in the wonderful and caring way that you do. You have taught them to be creative and to express themselves in new ways. As a result our children are confident and motivated among many more great qualities that they have acquired under your leadership at OMS.” -Leena Patel, Mother of former Junior High student

    “On behalf of the Riverview Park Community Association, I would like to thank you for being such a central and valuable member of our community. Your school is a very important asset to our neighbourhood and we would like to tell you how much we appreciate all you do to make Riverview Park a safe, creative and interesting place to live.” -Karin Keyes Endemann, President of RPCA


    OMS Montessori Alumni's “Musical Bug” Leads Him to Great Places

    Jonathan Estabrooks vividly remembers his joyful car rides to OMS Montessori (formerly Ottawa Montessori School) often filled with three-part harmony renditions of songs. For as long as he can remember music was a part of his upbringing, and he certainly caught the “musical bug”. Jonathan now has two music degrees, one from the University of Toronto (2002-2006) and the other from The Juilliard School in New York City (2006-2009).

    Jonathan attended OMS Montessori until Upper Elementary. “My parent’s saw a real benefit from the OMS philosophy and wanted both my brother, Bryan, and I to experience that type of educational experience. I recall feeling truly welcomed into the OMS family and being free to explore and learn in a nurturing and independent way,” said Jonathan. “I believe it had a strong effect on my formative years and helped me to build confidence and a self-starter attitude to life.”

    Jonathan’s attitude and approach to life has resulted in some incredible opportunities. He has had the “great honour” of singing for Presidents and Prime Ministers, he’s had lunch with Martha Stewart, he’s met Robin Williams and Itzhak Perlman and he has performed with great conductors such as Steven Reineke and Pinchas Zuckerman.

    “Every experience reminds me of how special the life of an artist truly is,” said Jonathan.

    He is living his dream by pursuing a career as an opera singer and performer. However, it is a life not without challenges.   

    “I do what I do because I love it, and the connections I make with an audience are like nothing else, but making it work as a viable career sometimes gets me down. That being said, my stubborn, self-starter mentality and independence, fostered from a very young age at OMS, has helped me greatly through the years.”

    “I recall the independence I felt everyday in class,” said Jonathan. “The chance to explore as a young person and work at my own pace felt truly organic and I think it allowed me to learn more quickly.”

    Jonathan is currently involved in a number of projects. This year he made both his Carnegie Hall and Toronto Symphony Orchestra debuts and he entered the studio to begin recording his debut classical crossover album which is available on iTunes as of March 11. He ran a successful online fundraiser campaign to fund the project, which includes a 40-piece orchestra. The album includes some “incredible” collaborations including runner up of Britain’s Got Talent Jonathan Antoine and Canadian singer-songwriter Sarah Slean, along with a whole host of fabulous artists. Jonathan says he recorded classic tunes from Neil Diamond, Garfunkel and Lauper to Italian Neopolitan songs and classic Broadway tunes, all wrapped in a lush orchestration.

    When he’s not focused on music, Jonathan spends his time staying fit by spinning and weight lifting, watching his favourite television shows and staying connected with his family and friends.

    He has kept in touch with a few fellow classmates from OMS including his longest friend, from age 3, Emily Brecher. Emily, who is now a doctor, was married last year and Jonathan says it was a pleasure to attend her wedding.

    Jonathan says he enjoys every minute of the day, except doing his taxes, paying his bills and perhaps cleaning the bathtub.

    "I have been blessed with an incredible performance life thus far. My ability to process, learn at my own pace, and succeed was something that was nurtured during my time at OMS. I recall the class environment being a true family of learners and guiding staff members,” says Jonathan. “I was always eager to attend.”

    You can find more information about Jonathan by visiting his Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/estabrooksbaritone.

    Jonathan is having a cd release concert at the National Art Centre on April 10. For tickets, visit: http://nac-cna.ca/en/community/event/8730

    His album 'These Miles' is also out on iTunes beginning March 11.


    Ottawa Montessori School Reflections

    It would be impossible for me to recount for you of all my wonderful experiences at Ottawa Montessori School (OMS)in one page. I am now in my first year of public high school, and I could not have been better prepared. Ten years of this wonderful school have taught me many things about myself, and has helped me to live up to my fullest potential. While at OMS, I discovered the joys of reading and learning. All thanks to the wonderful teachers and assistants. I reflect upon my years at OMS with longing. I remember my early mornings in Casa learning my alphabet, the days that I spent in the library learning to read, the intramurals in the gym and my Junior High Odyssey trips and classroom. I enjoyed working freely toward my own achievement, not towards marks. This freedom allowed me to organize my time and to study in a disciplined way, which is proving helpful now. The Montessori teaching philosophy worked well for me. There are many aspects to a Montessori education that I enjoyed. In a multi-level class environment, I benefited from the help of older students, and in turn I developed my leadership skills helping the younger students. Also, a smaller school environment enabled me to acquaint myself with every student and teacher in the school. The teachers at OMS were wonderful. In addition to the great academics, they passed on many values. They were always there when I needed help, which they provided in a very giving and caring way. The bonds I developed with my teachers will stay with me the rest of my life. They made learning enjoyable and exciting. Throughout my OMS experience, I have made many great friends. The time we spent helping in the school and the community, as well as the school trips and workshops have helped us form lasting friendships. The most memorable experience for me was the Junior High Odyssey trip to James Bay. The experience and the memories of canoeing four days down the Moose River were ones that I well never forget. Thank you OMS! ...

    In the News


    August 4, 2017 - Canada’s Next Generation of Young Artists

    32 students from OMS Montessori had the unique opportunity to experience “life as an artist" with the talented guidance of Gordon Harrison. ...

    August 12, 2015 - Alumna wins Emerging Artist Award at Ottawa Fringe Festival

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    April 30, 2015 - OMS Montessori Cleans the Capital

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    • The Canadian Council of Montessori Administrators (CCMA) Associations

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