Student Group:
K-7 Students

All students who live in Vancouver are eligible to attend the Montessori Alternative Programs at Tyee, Maple Grove and Renfrew Elementary Schools. Please remember to register at your neighbourhood school first.


Montessori education is an educational approach developed by Italian physician and educator Maria Montessori and characterized by an emphasis on independence, freedom within limits, and respect for a child’s natural psychological, physical, and social development.

All students who live in Vancouver are eligible to attend the Montessori Alternative Programs at Tyee, Maple Grove and Renfrew Elementary Schools. 

Montessori Application - Kindergarten 

Refer to the Kindergarten Choice Program page for application procedures and dates.

Montessori Admission - Grades 1 Through 7

Each grade level has a waitlist, and new applications will be entered at the end of this list in the order that they are received. Because of the multi-year learning cycle of the Montessori curriculum, natural entry points for children without previous Montessori experience are at kindergarten and grade 4 (Applications are accepted for the waitlist of any grade level. However, those with prior Montessori experience will be given priority in grades 1 through 7). Further information on the programs is available by visiting Tyee Elementary, Maple Grove Elementary and Renfrew websites.

General Information

Dr. Maria Montessori"My vision of the future is no longer people taking exams and proceeding then on that certification . . . but of individuals passing from one stage of independence to a higher [one], by means of their own activity through their own effort of will, which constitutes the inner evolution of the individual."

—Maria Montessori, From Childhood to Adolescenc

Over one hundred years after the first Montessori classroom opened in the slums of Rome, Montessori programs continue to enjoy a degree of popularity in both the private and public sectors unmatched by any other specialized approach to education. Montessori schools can be found around the world in cities, urban ghettos, and suburbs alike. 

The Vancouver School Board is pleased to have joined twelve other BC public school districts that have implemented Montessori programs: Coquitlam, Surrey, Richmond, Delta, New Westminster, Prince George, Kamloops, Maple Ridge, Langley, Vernon, Comox Valley, and West Vancouver.

The main goal of the Montessori approach is to contribute to the enhancement of life. It has evolved from observations of children from around the world, and addresses the needs of gifted children as well as special needs children for whom it was originally designed.

It is an integrated, interdisciplinary, holistic system of education that evolved from the work of Dr. Maria Montessori, a visionary, who developed an approach to learning that, is capable of addressing many of today’s educational, environmental, and social concerns.

Dr. Maria Montessori, one of Italy’s first female physicians, was first and foremost a scientist who actively advocated social reform and world peace. Her observations and research lead her to the philosophical belief that the child had the ability to offer civilization the opportunity to revitalize itself.

She saw education as an aid to life that works best when it takes into consideration the developmental needs of the whole child. She advocated the use of scientific reasoning when seeking social reform and working towards world peace, emphasizing that, “It doesn’t suffocate the voice of the heart but augments it and supports it...” Her contributions in the field of education and work towards world peace earned her three Nobel Peace Prize nominations.

More information about the Montessori approach at the elementary level: