Expanding windows of opportunity through personalized place-based Montessori education. 


TSS Place Network | NCMPS | YMCA of the Palouse

Our Partners

Teton Science Schools Logo

The Place Network is a collaborative network of rural K-12 schools that connect learning and communities to increase student engagement, academic outcomes and community impact.  Schools that join the network have access to sample curriculum, consulting and implementation, research to inform practice and online communities. Place Network believe that a network of schools learning from one another can accelerate student impact. 

Montessori and place-based education are complementary. Traditional Montessori activities already incorporate many place-based practices. Additionally, the structure and approach of place-based education makes it an ideal delivery system for our adolescent community program.

Their Involvement

PCM has a multi-year contract with TSS Place Network which will inform our increased emphasis on place-based
education as students progress through our program.

NCMPS logo

NCMPS brings deep expertise in delivering high-fidelity Montessori in the public sector. They have been integral in the formation of several new Washington, DC Charter schools including Breakthrough Montessori and the Sojourner Truth School. NCMPS is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping public schools deliver high-quality, personalized 

education through Montessori by providing services including: startup and expansion support, operational program support, continuing education, and training and support on student, staff, and program assessment. NCMPS boasts a network of over 400 schools, serves over 4,000 teachers, and has trained over 300 coaches.

Their Involvement

PCM has a multi-year contract with NCMPS to help support our mission to deliver high-fidelity public Montessori.

YMCA of the Palouse logo

The Y is a mission-aligned partner that has served children and families in the Palouse region for over 100 years. A bulk of the students served are from Pullman School District (PSD). The Y’s mission, established in 1894, has remained clear to this day: to develop civically-engaged youth, student leaders, volunteers, and staff by 

fostering youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility. While their mission has remained consistent, they are excited to explore incorporation of community-based programming offered through local providers, an endeavor that may be catalyzed through a relationship with PCM.​​

Their Involvement

PCM will not provide an independent program, but rather, will provide the space to the YMCA of the Palouse (Y).  The program will provide extended day care through our Morning Community Kickstart Program and Afternoon Finale Program, and will provide care during relevant days during Thanksgiving, winter, and spring breaks.  Extended day care will also cover our half-day Wednesday's (at no cost to families), so families’ working schedules are not disrupted by our weekly teacher PD.

All PCM students will be eligible for the Y run Morning Community Kickstart Program and Afternoon Finale Program but must register by the monthly deadline to take advantage of the program. The Y programming works on a sliding-fee scale based on family income. However, accommodations for families in extenuating circumstances are made on a case-by-case basis. PCM will work closely with the Y to train staff to deliver a mission-aligned program.

The Y's programming provide students with opportunities to practice and further develop their grace and courtesy skills and hone and advance their academic skills in a relaxed and playful environment. The Y programming also provides a healthy snack and physical activity.

To learn more and register please visit After and Before School.

** YMCA before and after care services will be provided in PCM spaces within Gladish.  PCM can not provide additional transportation services to before care and home from after care, we can only provide our to school and home regular transporation.**


Unite Washington is a coordinated care network of health and social service providers. Partners in the network are connected through Unite Us‘ shared technology platform, which enables them to send and receive electronic referrals, address people’s social needs, and improve health across communities. Unite Washington is sponsored by the Community Health Plan of Washington, Kaiser PermanenteMultiCare Health SystemOptumCare, and WestCare. The network is supported by a Washington-based Unite Us team focused on community engagement, network health and optimization, and customer success.

Their Involvement

PCM’s core mission is to meet the needs of students and help them grow into life long learns. This dedication to our students doesn’t stop with education; social needs are just as important. Unite Us – Washington is a network that allows us to help connect families with resources they need in day-to-day life.

Why Montessori?

Montessori is an evidence-based, data-driven education model using a child-centered, individualized approach to education that relies on special, self-correcting materials, a philosophy of freedom within limits, and strategically prepared environment to foster independence, creativity, and responsibility.  The unique characteristics of the Montessori educational program provides an inclusive and academically rigorous environment where individual differences are accepted, peers give each other recognition and assistance, peer tutoring and collaboration are encouraged, and whole-child development is fostered. Montessori classrooms feature developmentally appropriate mixed-age groupings backed by years of research in a multitude of fields to create a rich, dynamic, and collaborative environment to grow these skills.

what is montessori?

The Montessori Method

The Montessori classroom is strategically organized into specific areas: Practical Life, Math, Cultural Studies, Sensorial, and Language. Art, science,  and music are included in specific areas and integrated throughout. During the student’s “Work” time, a student is free to respectfully mover around the classroom and select their activity of interest. After selecting their work, the student then finds a work space in which they explore the materials within the activity. The student also has an opportunity to give a lesson to a fellow student, request a lesson form another student, or may be able to work collaborative depending on the work chosen and their display of responsibility. After completing their work and checking with the guide, the student returns the materials back to the original space, to allow another student the opportunity to use the work. This work cycle emphasizes taking care of the student’s environment, as well as increasing the student’s concentration, as they work on the project as long as they desire. This entire process occurs under the watchful eye of the Teacher (called Guide), who helps invite children to learn new lessons according to their abilities.

Through this method, we strive to create lifelong learners by following each student’s interests to intrinsically motivate them to ask questions and explore the world around them.

Dr. Maria Montessori

"Never help a child with a task at which they feel they can succeed."   - Dr. Maria Montessori

About dr. maria montessori

Dr. Maria Montessori (8/31/1870 – 8/6/1952) was an Italian physician, scientist, educator, and innovator. She was the first woman in Italy to obtain the degree of Doctor of Medicine. Because she was a doctor, Dr. Montessori looked at education from a scientific level. She believed that education should prepare a person for all aspects of life. She designed materials and techniques that would promote a natural growth of learning in students.


Dr. Montessori spent her life conducting research and training others on implementation of the Montessori Model under their cultural contexts. Dr. Montessori established the Association Montessori Internationale, to ensure that her philosophy and approach to education would be carried on as she intended. This organization is still operating in this capacity today, helping to ensure high-quality Montessori schools are using data-drive practices to guide their implementation.

montessori philosophy

“Play is the Work of the Child” Maria Montessori

The idea behind the Montessori method is the empowerment of the student to learn according to their individual needs. Montessori teachers recognize the fact that each student learns at a different pace, and they encourage their students to explore the classroom and choose work that best fits their needs.

The Montessori classroom provides a wide variety of multi-age, multi-sensory activities that appeal to a students senses. These activities and materials hone the student’s skills and allows them to absorb information in an interactive fashion.

Within the Montessori classroom, a student is free to explore and learn within a carefully constructed environment, where they can learn how to interact with one another and the world around them. Project learning integrates concepts and allows student opportunities to deeply engage in ideas of interest to them.

Montessori: The Elementary Years

Montessori: Secondary Program


The Gold standard in Montessori education ensuring the evidence-based model quality standards are met.

Montessori is not a patented name in the USA. Be sure you are looking at a Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (MACTE) accredited school model.

montessori in action

American Montessori Society

The American Montessori Society has provided and inside peek into the inner workings of a Montessori Elementary and Secondary Program classroom.

Building the foundation videos

These additional videos from the National Center for Montessori in the Public Sector (NCMPS) highlight classroom environments, practices, and approaches that promote the following:

 - Concentration

 - Independence

 - Community

 - Teaching as Guidance

 - Collaboration

 - Hands On Learning

local examples

The Montessori School of Pullman

The Montessori School of Pullman is located in the heart of Pullman, Washington. It was founded in 1968 and currently enrolls children from 2-9 years of age.

children's house montessori

Children's House Montessori is located in Lewiston, Idaho. It was founded in 2011 and currently offers preschool and Kindergarten through sixth grade. 

spokane public montessori

Spokane Public Montessori is located in Spokane, Washington. It currently enrolls students for Preschool and Kindergarten through eighth grade.

What happens after Montessori?

"What happens after Montessori?" is a common question we are often asked by parents who are concerned about their child's transition from a Montessori classroom environment, to a Traditional classroom environment.

Jesse McCarthy, with MontessoriEducation.com, interviewed a Montessori alum, Meredith Narrowe, about her transition from a Montessori school to a public elementary school. 

This podcast is an excellent glimpse into how Montessori education affects the lives of its students.

how does it compare?

Classroom Materials

Traditional Classroom

Traditional schools rely on textbooks, pencil and paper and worksheets to teach children. Many of these materials are not provided for the student and are left to parents to provide.

Montessori Classroom

Materials in the Montessori classroom are designed to be hands-on, which enables the child to discover new subjects and gain independence. There are rarely any outside materials required, as all of the materials are provided in class.

Social Development

Traditional Classroom

The standardized nature of the program creates a natural disconnect between intellectual and social development. As each subject is taught in a specific block of time, students are discouraged from socializing, as this would cause distractions within the classroom.

Montessori Classroom

The Montessori classroom focuses specifically on developing both the intellectual and social development of the child. Children are taught how to be courteous, and learn about different cultures around the world. Older children within a classroom are encouraged to help younger children learn; leading them through their own knowledge and experience.


Traditional Classroom

A one size fits all program that focuses on narrow, unit driven curricula required by the Department of Education.

Montessori Classroom

A Montessori education is a unified, time tested curriculum defined by the child's needs and interests. Students can study the subjects they wish to learn, while STILL following the required program developed by the Department of Education.

Educational Program

Traditional Classroom

The educational program for traditional school focuses on individual subjects, each taught within a specific time-frame every day.

Montessori Classroom

Each subject is tackled in a multitude of different ways, integrated into all of the possible activities a child may focus on. This ensures that a child will be able to learn the subject in a way that caters to their needs.


Traditional Classroom

Everything a child learns in a traditional school is based on the class schedule. A student's learning is thus limited to the specific block of time the teacher allows before moving on to the next subject. As such, there are many different interruptions within a school day.

Montessori Classroom

In a Montessori classroom, children are free to move about the room and work with very few interruptions. Time is scheduled with long periods of free work time, allowing a student to work on a single subject for hours or many small projects through the day.

Age Group

Traditional Classroom

Classroom ages vary only by about a year, and there is little to no interaction between grades.

Montessori Classroom

Montessori classrooms are mixed aged, and older children gain leadership skills by mentoring younger children.

Classroom Environment

Traditional Classroom

During instruction students are required to remain at their desks, in absolute silence as the teacher lectures about a subject

Montessori Classroom

The Montessori program is designed with long blocks of free time, in which students are allowed to freely move throughout the classroom. This allows a student to remain engaged in learning.

End Result

Traditional Classroom

Students fit the mold of the school: "Cookie cutter students"

Montessori Classroom

The school meets the needs of students, allowing them to become strong, capable individuals.

Learning Curves

Traditional Classroom

Children must rely on a teacher to grade their work and there may be no opportunity to correct the work for a better grade. As such, many students have to leave the campus and pay for special help in mastering the subjects.

Montessori Classroom

The Montessori program believes in fostering creative problem-solving, which allows a child to work on a project until the project is done correctly. Each piece of material is designed to be self-correcting, allowing a student to work on the problem until the correct solution is found. As such, students rarely need to leave for special help, as the teacher is free to help students as needed.

Grade Progress

Traditional Classroom

Grades follow a standardized, norm-referenced assessment procedure. Due to the standardization of the program, a child who excels at a subject must wait for the other students to complete the subject before beginning the next subject.

Montessori Classroom

Montessori education progresses at the speed the child chooses. It uses progress-focused assessment via skills checklists and mastery benchmarks to grade a student's learning. Free to pursue their interests, a child is rarely (if ever) bored with learning. Students get to focus on the subjects that challenge them, instead of waiting on others to complete a subject they are already confident in.

Central to PCM’s model is a high-fidelity Montessori approach bolstered by a high-fidelity place-based approach to project-based learning. While we are unaware of a model that has formally fused Montessori with place-based education—a fusion which is realized through our focus on learning through action and community—Montessori and place-based education are closely aligned. Well-implemented place-based education programs, like well-implemented Montessori programs, show evidence of meeting the needs of a diverse array of learners.

A review of placed-based education research indicates a significant increase in overall student academic achievement data reflected by norm-referenced tests; reduced disciplinary actions, increased engagement and enthusiasm for learning, and increased ownership; improved critical thinking skills and disposition towards critical thinking; and improved outcomes for at-risk students and students of color with overall improvement in SEL skills and self-esteem. Both the Montessori and place-based education models also have years of learning science supporting their best practices and methods employed with high fidelity.

From a students perspective....its just plain fun and relevant!

The model-aligned TSS Place-based education design principles will be used to inform the development of place-based learning in any setting: Local to Global Context, Learner-Centered, Inquiry-Based, Design Thinking, Community as Classroom, and Interdisciplinary Approach. TSS approaches “Place” through the lens of the ecological, cultural, and economic perspectives of a community. They define place-based education as “…anytime, anywhere learning that leverages the
power of place, and not just the power of technology, to personalize learning.”

Check out our implementation-fidelity partner Teton Science Schools Place Networks!

Teton Science Schools Place-Based Rural School Network

Please contact us if materials are needed for languages other than English.

The greatest gifts we can give our children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence." 

Dr. Maria Montessori

115 NW State Street
Suite 212

Pullman WA 99163

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