Welcome to our school

From the moment you walk through the doors at Kawartha Montessori School, the only fully accredited Montessori school in the Peterborough, Ontario region, you will find a school that is warm and welcoming. You will meet an incredible community of children, parents, and staff who all come together to share a passion for learning and the Montessori way.

About KMS

Our Mission

Our mission is to provide an authentic Montessori education that emphasizes the whole child within an environment that inspires the pursuit of academic excellence and the development of socially responsible citizens.

As a non-profit organization, the Kawartha Montessori School has a Board of Directors that is committed to the KMS Mission. The board is responsible for governance with special attention to the needs of a Canadian Council of Montessori Administrators accredited Montessori school and its program, while conducting its business in a financially and ethically responsible way for a not-for-profit school.

Our Guiding Principles

At KMS we…

  • Nurture independence, self-esteem and empathy
  • Inspire curiosity and love of learning
  • Enrich an individual’s knowledge, skills and work
  • Challenge each child to reach their potential
  • Create an inclusive community that celebrates diversity and respect

Our Vision

To be the leader of authentic Montessori education in Peterborough and the Kawarthas.

Our Facility

We make the physical and emotional safety of our children the top priority while they are inside and out of the school. The environment within the school is calm and welcoming. Our large classrooms are bright and attractive and fully equipped with the highest quality Montessori materials. They are authentic in design and function according to the pedagogy of Maria Montessori. The community of parents and staff are committed to investing in the development and improvement of our facility and school as a whole.

Our 10 Acre Property at the Woodview Campus

In November 2014, we announced the acquisition of a second campus just east of Peterborough, and in June 2016 we closed the doors at our Cameron Street campus, making the transition back to a single location.

This is a very exciting time for our school! Our new 10 acre campus houses our whole school community, from Casa to Middle School. We are located beside Mark S. Burnham Provincial Park, with plenty of beautiful outdoor space and a light-filled contemporary building that creates the perfect atmosphere for curiosity and learning.

Interested in learning more about what a Montessori education could offer your child?

Our History

Kawartha Montessori School was established in 1982 by founding principal, Jane Erskine Stewart, and began as a Montessori school for children 2 ½ to 6 years of age in Peterborough, Ontario. KMS now offers Montessori education for children 2 ½ years to Grade 8. 

Jane Erskine Stewart retired in 2005, after nearly 25 years at KMS. During those first 25 years thanks to Jane and the strength of the Board of Directors, KMS’s reputation became cemented as the authentic, high-quality Montessori school in the region. Jane’s teaching experience and position on the Board for the Montessori Society of Canada, ensured that KMS’s growth from a small Casa program to a full elementary program for children from 2.5 years to grade 6 was a success. Many of our current staff members joined the school during this time and are still with the school today. The growth the school saw during those first 25 years will always be remembered as an important part of Jane’s legacy.

Upon Jane’s retirement, Ugette Vanderpost took over as principal. After working as a teacher of outdoor education and leadership programs, Ugette began at KMS in 2000 as a teacher in the Upper Elementary program, guiding children through their final years in the Montessori program and helping them ready themselves for the next step in their schooling. Ugette’s time as Head of School also saw tremendous growth and success for KMS. The introduction of the Middle School program and transition to the Woodview Campus from Cameron Street Campus over 2014 to 2016 have all been a part of the vision for KMS as a centre for true, high fidelity Montessori education in the Kawarthas. 

In 2018-19, a search was launched for the next principal of KMS in anticipation of Ugette moving to new opportunities. Emily Root began her role as KMS’s third Principal/Head of School in April 2019. Emily, who holds a PhD in Socio-Cultural and Political Contexts of Education, is a passionate, life-long educator. With strong interests and expertise in Outdoor and Experiential Learning, Environmental Education, and Critical Pedagogy for social equity, Emily is enthusiastically ready to serve KMS into the next era at the Woodview Campus. Since her arrival, she has integrated seamlessly into the KMS community and in her leadership position, along with the Board of Directors and staff, she is imagining and creating the future of Kawartha Montessori. The KMS community will continue to work together to implement excellence while balancing innovation, accredited Montessori education, and the vibrant history and traditions of our school.

Back in 2013, KMS marked 30 years in operation. We are proud of all that our amazing staff members have brought to the children in their classes over the years. We are also proud that parents of Peterborough continue to choose KMS for its commitment to true Montessori at every program level we offer. Mostly, our pride lies in the caring and nurturing environment we provide for each of our students. We look forward to another 30 years of success!

Our Accreditation

At KMS our ongoing objective is to be the foremost provider of Montessori education in the Peterborough, Ontario region. We are committed to maintaining and exceeding the standards of accreditation by the Canadian Council of Montessori Administrators (CCMA).

Since the Montessori name is in the public domain, it is possible for any school to claim to be Montessori. Accreditation sets a school apart from those who are unable to meet CCMA requirements or unwilling to practice authentic Montessori education.

To become a member of the CCMA a school must undergo and succeed in the accreditation process. If a school is unable to meet the standards required by the CCMA or Association of Montessori Internationale  (A.M.I.), they cannot be recognized as providing authentic Montessori education.

Teachers hired at KMS have completed their Montessori training from institutes which have exceeded the standards of the Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (MACTE).

If a schools claims to be MACTE accredited it simply means their teachers or at least one of their teachers has successfully attended a MACTE accredited training institute. It does not however, mean the entire school is accredited. A whole school accreditation is far more extensive and requires a higher degree of standards must be met by the entire school staff and business.

To learn more about accreditation and the process a school must undergo to receive this standard, please visit the CCMA website at www.ccma.ca