Frequently Asked Questions
When does the 2020-2021 academic school year begin?
The first day of school for the 2020-2021 academic year is August 12, 2020.
When does registration for the school year begin?
In house registration begins in February, and new student registration begins in March.
How can I register for the 2020-2021 School Year?
You can submit your application for admission online through our resource tab. However, we ask that you tour our school prior to applying. We understand that may not be an option for everyone. Please call (334) 356-1969 or email to further discuss our school/alternatives to visiting and touring the school.
Students are asked to spend time in their prospective classroom for an observation before being accepted into the program. If an onsite visit/observation is not possible due to relocation from another state/country, we will allow for a current teacher recommendation to replace this requirement.
Can I enroll my child at Montessori at Hampstead after the school year has already begun?
We are always accepting new students, as long as there are open spots available. Please contact us to find out more details.
Is the school open over the summer?
Yes, we do offer a summer program to currently enrolled families and to new students enrolling for the academic year. Please contact us to find out more details.
Can I tour the school?
Yes, we would love to meet with you and show you our amazing school! Our goal is to give you information such that you can make the best choice for you and your family regarding educational options in Montgomery. There are many excellent school choices in and around our area and we would be glad to meet with you about the great option choice we provide in that space. Please call (334) 356-1969 or email to schedule a tour.
Who are the staff members for the Montessori School at Hampstead?
We have a full team of experienced and exceptional staff at MSH. Please visit the various program pages for additional information about those members and each program.
Where is the school located?
Currently, student classes are held in specially designed classrooms located in the heart of Hampstead’s Town Square, near the Hampstead Branch of the Montgomery Public Library. Students use the Hampstead subdivision and the Hampstead Institute Farm as extensions to their physical classrooms. Providing ample outdoor time is a significant priority for our school and the wonderful community of Hampstead helps us achieve those goals.
Do you have a hot lunch offering for students?
Thanks to strong relationships with local restaurant partners, we have a daily hot lunch option for our students at a reasonable cost.
What is the origin of the school?
It was the original intention of the Hampstead Institute to establish a neighborhood Montessori School. Intense visionary conversations began between a Montessori trained parent and the Hampstead development team in early 2010. Momentum grew when parents of Montessori schooled children were brought into the discussion to start a high-quality Montessori school in a safe setting that offers a natural learning environment for students and teachers. Shortly after, a board was formed and a 501c3 was created to establish Montessori School at Hampstead. With the support of the Hampstead development team, parents, and the community, a partnership was born in the Fall of 2011.
What ages/grades does the school serve?
Montessori School at Hampstead serves students from 12 months up to 6 years of age (Kindergarten).
What makes the Montessori School at Hampstead extraordinary?
In addition to providing an exceptional, rigorous Montessori education, the pedestrian-friendly community of Hampstead provides a unique opportunity for nature-based education, including gardening the Hampstead Institute's Farm. Extracurricular offerings also include a farm class and for an additional fee, yoga class. Further, we partner with other community members such as Montgomery's Big Green Bus.
What is Montessori Education?
Montessori education is an educational approach developed by Italian physician and educator Maria Montessori (1870–1952). Montessori education is practiced in an estimated 20,000 schools worldwide, serving children from birth to eighteen years old
Montessori education is characterized by an emphasis on independence, freedom within limits, and respect for a child’s natural psychological development. Although a range of practices exists under the name ‘Montessori,’ the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) and the American Montessori Society (AMS) cite these elements as essential:
mixed age classrooms, with classrooms for children aged 2½ or 3 to 6 years old by far the most common
student choice of activity from within a prescribed range of options
uninterrupted blocks of work time
a constructivist or ‘discovery’ model, where students learn concepts from working with materials, rather than by direct instruction
specialized educational materials developed by Montessori and her collaborators
What is the curriculum?
The curriculum is based on the Montessori Method established by Maria Montessori. The array of amenities at Hampstead, all located within walking distance to the school, allow for a safe, hands-on experiential educational experience.
Can I choose my child’s teacher/guide?
The best way to maximize the experience and success of all students and guides in multiple classrooms within the same program (Early Childhood and Primary for example) is to balance the classrooms with similar students and ensure equity in the placement process. This means ensuring that the age, gender, academic level, emotional level, social development level, cultural diversity, physical needs, language abilities, school experience, and other factors are similar across program classrooms. Balanced, heterogenous classrooms contribute heavily to individual student success, as well as classroom success. Additionally, and perhaps most importantly, having a similar number of students in each classroom who have significant and successful Montessori experience contributes greatly to the success of the community. This balancing helps ensure the best opportunity for all community members to thrive and grow. Because of this need for balance across many variables, we do not allow parents to request specific guides for their students.
What are the benefits of a Montessori education?
Montessori education inherently builds a group of life skills alongside academic experiences. These skills include self-efficacy, leadership, flexibility, cooperation, independent thought, and tolerance. Academic concepts are built with materials that physically demonstrate each concept by exploring them in kinesthetic, visual, and auditory ways. Montessori School at Hampstead provides students with a sense of ownership for their educational process; a faith in their capacity to find the answers to problems; a willingness to work with others; a determination to succeed.
What materials are used in the classroom?
Montessori materials are designed to physically demonstrate particular skills. Each element is carefully constructed to be beautiful, self-correcting, and accurate. Children are shown how to use materials with respect and care, always returning them to their designated place and making sure they are prepared for the next student’s use.
How is work assessed?
For students to progress to the next material, the previous material must be completed. Each material and each lesson contain an assessment. In addition, teachers/guides keep daily notes and update our record keeping system. Reports are sent home two times per year and parent-student-teacher conferences are held twice a year.
Can my child switch from a traditional school to Montessori?
Yes, there is a transition period for children coming from traditional schools to Montessori. However, within several weeks, students are able to transition into the community-oriented classrooms without issue. Learning how to be part of a respectful community and using materials to discover and cement concepts is welcomed and embraced within this period of time.
Will my child be able to switch back to a traditional school?
From parent testimonials, we have heard that students don’t have any difficulties returning to traditional schools if necessary.
How do I speak to someone with additional questions?
We will gladly answer any further questions you have. Please email us using our web form for more information. Or, you can email us directly at or call (334)356-1969.