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Parkside Montessori
Guiding a love for learning through child-directed, hands-on experiences!
​​The Grande Prairie Public School Division is pleased to offer the Montessori Casa dei Bambini (Preschool and Kindergarten) and Elementary Montessori Program (Grades 1 to 6) at the first dedicated Montessori School in Grande Prairie, Parkside Montessori.


What is Montessori?

Developed by Italian educator, Maria Montessori, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the Montessori method is characterized by an emphasis on self-directed activities on the part of the child. It stresses the importance of adapting the child's learning environment to his or her developmental level. The Montessori Method is:

  • Child-directed
  • Individualized
  • Hands-on with tactile materials
  • A process of exploration and discovery
  • Focused on nurturing a natural curiosity and love of learning in a social environment

Dr. Montessori's observations of children led by her to design a number of multi-sensory, sequential and self-correcting materials that facilitate the learning of new skills.

Our Montessori Program Features

  • Multi-aged groupings (3-6 years, 6-9 years, 9-12 years)
  • Individually prepared lessons (small groups of 2-6 children)
  • Uninterrupted work periods (2-3 hours)
  • Children working and learning together
  • Sensory rich environment with hands-on learning.
  • Carefully prepared environments
  • Long blocks of uninterrupted, student-directed work periods.
  • Individualized curricula
  • Program staff with specialized Montessori training (North American Montessori Centre) and certified Alberta teachers​

Casa dei Bambini

The Parkside Montessori Casa dei Bambini is for children aged three to six and encompasses Preschool and Kindergarten.  Students entering the Casa dei Bambini do not need to have prior Montessori experience.


Elementary Montessori (ELMO)

The Elementary Montessori (ELMO) program is for children in grades one to six. The program brings together the Alberta curriculum along with the Montessori philosophy and outcomes.  Students entering ELMO must have prior Montessori experience.


Additional Program Features

  • Students have freedom of choice as to what they will work with under the Guide's direction
  • Students experience the full range of school life which includes music, library time, physical activity, and field trips into the community
  • Exploration and discovery of their world is an essential element to their experience
  • Students benefit from educational "best practices" of individualized, hands on learning
  • The Montessori environment encourages self-discipline
  • Students learn independently through carefully selected materials
  • Materials have control-of- error which encourages students to self-correct
  • The environment naturally lends itself to inquiry-based learning
  • Within the classroom and school, socialization is central to creating a caring community
  • Children and their needs are at the heart of the classroom and school
  • Students have the opportunity to explore a variety of subjects and activities that may include: Language, Mathematics, Geography, Arts and Culture, Botany, Zoology, Health Sciences, Astronomy and Matter, History, and Practical Life.
  • The complete Alberta Curriculum is covered by students in kindergarten and up​