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Westside Montessori Academy
Westside Montessori Academy
3075 Slocan Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, V5M 3E4
Contact name:
Sarah Gatiss-Brown

Phone number:
(604) 434-9611×
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Westside Montessori Academy

Westside Montessori Academy

3075 Slocan Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, V5M 3E4

Grades (Gender):
Preschool to 7 (Coed)
$5,050 to 10,750/year
Main Language:
Avg. Class Size:
Day: 120 (Gr. PS - 7)

Get more information

Contact Name:
Sarah Gatiss-Brown

Phone Number:

School Address
3075 Slocan Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, V5M 3E4

About this school:

By ensuring that each child’s unique and diverse learning styles are recognized, our students are able to explore their natural curiosity, and develop at their own pace. The work is accomplished with love and by providing a sequence of programs and experiences, which aid the development of the whole child at each stage of their learning. Our Montessori curriculum inspires students to become independent learners, gaining the knowledge and confidence to be leaders who appreciate their world.

The Our Kids review of Westside Montessori Academy

our takeMaria Montessori believed, rightly, that education was about a lot more than learning to read or manipulate numbers. Rather, she felt that education was the process through which a child came to know themselves, their value, and their place in their community. Westside takes all of that very much to heart, which is why, when speaking of expectations, they are as likely to talk about respect for oneself and others, empathy, curiosity, and involvement as they are the more concrete curricular benchmarks. Yes, literacy and numeracy are important, but so is the development of time management skills and maintaining an active lifestyle. The Westside aftercare program is a draw as well, allowing families to efficiently manage their time together.

Principal's Message


Pamela Woronko, Acting Principal

At WMA we believe the child's success in school is directly tied to the degree in which the child believes that they are capable and an independent human being.  Even the very youngest child will say, “I can do it!” or “Help me so I can do it myself!”  In the Montessori environment we try to set up the school environment for the child, this means it is set up in such a way that the child can do things for themselves and feel that sense of success.  The limits and boundaries for different levels of independence grow and expand as the children carry out tasks successfully and show higher levels of responsibility.

Independence does not come automatically as we grow older; it must be learned.  In Montessori, even very small children can learn how to tie their own shoes and pour their own water.  At first shoe laces turn into knots and water ends up on the floor.  However, with practice, skills are mastered and the young child beams with pride.  To experience this kind of success at an early age is to build up a self- image as a successful person and leads the child to approach the next task with confidence.

As they grow older, WMA students learn all sorts of everyday life skills, from hand crafts, cooking, gardening, running student council, volunteering at the neighbouring Seniors centre, helping in the pre-school, giving each other lessons and solving social issues.  WMA builds many opportunities into the curriculum to foster independence and hands-on learning experiences.

Learning how to play and work together with others in a caring community is the most critical life skill that Montessori teaches.  Everyday kindness and courtesy are vital practical life skills.  Montessori students come to understand and accept that we all have responsibilities to other people.  They learn how to handle new situations that they face as they become increasingly independent.  Montessori students develop a clear sense of values and social conscience. At Wma, following the Montessori method we consciously teach students everyday ethics and interpersonal skills from the beginning.  All children and members of our community are treated with dignity and respect.

We welcome you to come and visit our school and we look forward to helping your child reach their full potential.


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 WMA says: The Elementary Community: is a group of children in an individual classroom led by a directress (teacher) and if needed an assistant. At WMA we have a kindergarten class, a Lower Elementary class, and an Upper Elementary classroom. The second phase of development (ages six to twelve) we call the Reasoning Mind. At this phase of development, children’s desire for engagement in social behavior expands. The child of this age asks questions involving how, when, where and what. The elementary child is mentally in the process of moving from concrete thinking towards abstraction. The children in these multi-age classrooms work in a non-competitive environment where helping each other, not measuring one’s self-worth in comparison to others’ abilities, is the goal. The multi-age grouping allows for children to excel in any given area of the curriculum or to take more time in an area without standing out to their peer group. This allows the child to work at his or her own stage of learning and development without judgment, thus encouraging their self-confidence and self-esteem.

  • 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 WMA says: This information is not currently available.

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

    • Calculator policy: This information is not currently available.

    Early Reading Phonics-intensive

      Systematic-phonics programs teach young children to read by helping them to recognize and sound out the letters and syllables of words. Students are then led to blend these sounds together to sound out and recognize the whole word. While other reading programs might touch on phonetics (either incidentally or on a “when needed” basis), systematic phonics teaches phonics in a specific sequence, and uses extensive repetition and direct instruction to help readers associate specific letter patterns with their associated sounds.
      Learn about the different early reading approaches  

    • What WMA says: This information is not currently available.

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

    • What WMA says: This information is not currently available.

    Writing Process approach

      The process approach to teaching beginner writing aims to get students writing “real things” as much as possible and as soon as possible. The goal is to create the right environmental conditions to encourage a love of writing and a motivation to write well. With children invested in the writing process -- through assignments children find meaningful -- students are then given feedback on how they can improve.
      Learn about the different writing approaches  

    • What WMA says: This information is not currently available.

    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: This information is not currently available.

    • 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 Traditional

      In traditional literature programs students focus on decoding the mechanics of texts: plot, characterization, and themes. These texts tend to include a balance of contemporary and “classic” literature. When studying a past work, students investigate its historical context -- but only insofar as this adds understanding to the work itself. Past works are therefore studied “on their own terms”, and not merely as historical artifacts to be deconstructed: traditional literature programs are firmly rooted in the humanities, and carry the belief that great literature can reveal fundamental and universal truths about the human condition. These programs emphasize class discussions and critical essay writing, and aim to develop in students critical thinking, communication skills, and a cultivated taste and ethos.
      Learn about the different literature approaches  

    • What WMA says: This information is not currently available.

    Social Studies Thematic

      The Thematic approach organizes the curriculum around certain themes or cultural universals. Students might spend time focused on food. Then they might focus on transportation or government, and so on.
      Learn about the different social studies approaches  

    • What WMA says: This information is not currently available.

    Humanities and Social Sciences Equal Balance

      These programs represent an equal balance between the perennialist and pragmatic approach to teaching the humanities and social sciences.
      Learn about the different humanities and social sciences approaches  

    • What WMA says: This information is not currently available.

    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 WMA says: We offer Italian in all grades and French from Grade 5 to 7

    • Languages Offered: • French • Italian

    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 WMA says: WMA arts programs are taught be industry professionals that have great insight that is shared with our school community.

    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 WMA says: This information is not currently available.

    • Program covers:

      Subject = offered
      Computer science
      Web design

    Physical Education
    • What WMA says: There is physical education daily. We have two dedicated PE days and then other activities such as running club, Table Tennis, Dance or Yoga on other days.

    Religious Education
    • Approach to teaching religious and secular curricula

      Completely segregated
      Mostly segregated
      Completely integrated
      Mostly integrated
      Not applicable
    • Approach to teaching religion

      Scripture as literal
      Scripture as interpretive
    • What WMA says: This information is not currently available.

    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 WMA says: Our main focus at WMA is to provide a safe, secure and happy environment. We encourage the child to be a self motivated, independent, kind individual who is excited to learn and does so at their own pace. Our staff are flexible, supportive, loving and enjoy every child's unique personality.

    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 WMA says about flexible pacing: Montessori classrooms and curriculum materials are grouped according to the principles of Dr. Montessori’s “Planes of Development”, which groups children according to observable developmental characteristics and needs. The children work in a non-competitive environment where helping each other, not measuring one’s self-worth in comparison to others’ abilities, is the goal.

    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 WMA says: This information is not currently available.

    Developmental Priorities Balanced

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

    What WMA says: This information is not currently available.

    Special Needs Support Limited


    WMA offers limited support for students with learning difficulties or special needs.

    • Academic Support:
      Support Type = offered
      Learning strategy and study counselling; habit formation
      Extra support and minor accommodations for children experiencing subclinical difficulties

    Gifted Learner Support No Support

    No Support

    WMA 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 7, Westside Montessori Academy students perform an average of No homework of homework per night.

    Nightly Homework
    WMA 0 mins0 mins0 mins0 mins0 mins0 mins0 mins0 mins0 mins
    Site Average1 mins6 mins16 mins18 mins24 mins29 mins34 mins41 mins54 mins

    Report Card Policy

    How assessments are delivered across the grades:

    Prose (narrative)-based feedbackPreschool to 7
    Parent-teacher meetingsPreschool to 7


    What WMA says:

    This information is not currently available.

    • Sports OfferedCompetitiveRecreational
      Ice Hockey
      Track & Field
    • Clubs Offered
      Art Club
      Audiovisual Club
      Community Service
      Dance Club
      Musical theatre/Opera
      Robotics club
      Student Council

    Tuition & Financial Aid


    Day Day (Half day)
    Day (Half day)$5,050


    Discount TypeEnrollment TypeAmount
    Full payment all students$200
    Early paymentall students$150
    2nd child (sibling)all students5%
    3rd child (sibling)all students5%
    4th child (sibling)all students5%

    Need-based financial aid

    This information is not currently available.

    Merit based Scholarships

    This information is not currently available.


    Total enrollment 120
    Average enrollment per grade11
    Gender (grades)Preschool to 7 (Coed)
    Boarding offeredNo

    Student distribution: This information is not currently available.



    Admissions Assessments:

    Assessment = requiredGrades
    InterviewK - 7
    SSAT (out of province)
    Entrance Exam(s)
    Entrance Essay
    Application Fee

    Application Deadlines:

    Day students:

    What WMA says: This information is not currently available.


    Acceptance Rate:


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

    Student Entry Points

    Student TypePSK1234567
    Day Acceptance
    (Acceptance rate)
    10 - 15 (100%)4 - 8 (100%)1 - 4 (100%)1 - 4 (100%)1 - 4 (100%)1 - 4 (100%)1 - 5 (100%)1 - 4 (100%)1 - 4


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    Contact Name
    Sarah Gatiss-Brown

    Phone Number:
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