Admissions Policy & Application Process
We are the first and only Montessori accredited public school in Polk County. We serve children age 3-15, and we are honored when new families join our school community! Families are encouraged to follow the application process closely in order to provide their children with the greatest chance for admission. There is no tuition for grades K-8. Students entering Lakeland Montessori at ages 3 and 4 are guaranteed admission to Kindergarten and have the opportunity to continue all the way through eighth grade.
Lakeland Montessori brings children together from a broad spectrum of ethnic, national, religious, and economic backgrounds. We welcome and seek diversity and help our children broaden their perspective of the world through friendships based on mutual respect and understanding.
We are looking for families to partner with who share our values and beliefs about education. Our goal throughout the admissions process is to find the perfect match between student, family and school. To contact former and current parents at our school to ask any questions, feel free to click on our Ambassador parent list!
Lakeland Montessori seeks students who demonstrate the capability to succeed in our program. Therefore, each application is carefully considered according to the student’s individual talents and learning style. Our goal is to help families find the best match between student and school.
A child demonstrating the following qualities would be the most likely to succeed in the learning environment of the Montessori program:
- Passion for learning
- Willingness to investigate and take risks
- Enjoyment in choosing among several options
- A self-directed learner
- Ability to work independently
- Ability to follow through and complete tasks
- Respect for self, the environment, and others
- An awareness of personal responsibility
- Ability to work with others
- Respect for personal and academic endeavors
A Family Commitment
Families of eligible children must be willing to make an extraordinary commitment to their child’s education. Our Montessori program is based on a cooperative type of learning that involves a family and community spirit. Therefore, commitment to the School’s mission and educational philosophy will manifest itself in the signing of the Parent Contract, which will include a requirement of at least 20 hours of participation per year from each family in our school and an agreement to follow our school policies.
Application Process for 3 & 4 year olds
- Applications are accepted beginning any time after a child’s birth. We encourage families to apply early as there are very few openings after age 3. The Montessori educational model is based on and builds upon early childhood attendance, beginning at age 3. For more information on this and other questions, visit here.
- If you would like more information about our program and/or schedule a school tour, please Request More Information and our Admissions Office will contact you within two business days. During the school tour we walk through every grade level to see the classrooms in action! At the end of the tour, there is also a question and answer session with one of our Administrators so you can learn more about our program.
- Students that attend Lakeland Montessori for PreK receive automatic entrance to Kindergarten and the opportunity to continue all the way through eighth grade.
- 3 & 4 year olds are all part of our Early Childhood (PreK3, PreK4, and Kindergarten) program and are not separated by age, giving them the opportunity to advance in the curriculum as they are ready.
- The deadline for priority consideration/early enrollment decisions is November 1 of the year before your child will attend as a three year old. For example, if your child will be three on or before September 1, 2023, then November 1, 2022 is the deadline for priority consideration/early enrollment decisions. Applications will continue to be accepted thereafter for any spots that remain and/or the applicant pool, however, if you apply after the priority consideration deadline, you will only be contacted if openings are available.
2022-23 Schedule and Tuition
- Grades K-8 Full Day (8:15-3:00): Free annual tuition
- Students that attend Lakeland Montessori for PreK receive automatic entrance to Kindergarten and are not subject to the waiting list for Kindergarten. The current waiting list for K-8 is more than 2,000 students.
- PreK4 Full Day (8:15-3:00): eleven monthly payments of $795 plus enrollment deposit (includes VPK discount)
- PreK3 Mornings (8:15-12:00): eleven monthly payments of $725 plus enrollment deposit; $8395 annual tuition.
- PreK3 Full Day (8:15-3:00)*: eleven monthly payments of $899 (*$450 for School Readiness students) plus enrollment deposit;
- Our on-site Early Childhood All Day Montessori program is available until 5:00 pm for an extra charge for all PreK3, PreK4, and Kindergarten students.
*50% discount available for families that qualify for the Polk County Early Learning School Readiness program. To apply for the School Readiness program, visit their website here. After receiving proof that you qualify, email it to firstname.lastname@example.org to have your application fee waived.
Application Process for Grades K-6
- There is no tuition or application fee for grades K-8.
- Grade K-6 applications for students currently attending grades Kindergarten – 6 are accepted year-round.
- The Montessori educational model is based on early childhood attendance beginning at age 3.
- Students that have attended Lakeland Montessori for preschool receive automatic entrance to Kindergarten.
- Submitting an application to Lakeland Montessori Schools will NOT remove your child from waiting lists at any other schools.
- Students must be age 5 by September 1 to attend Kindergarten.
- For students entering Kindergarten in August 2023, the application period will begin on November 1, 2022 and continue year-round thereafter.
Enrollment Policy and Process for Grades 7 & 8
Open Enrollment for 7th grade for the 2023-2024 school year begins November 1, 2022.
Lakeland Montessori Middle School (LMMS) is committed to providing Montessori middle school education to eligible students in the Lakeland area. LMMS will not discriminate against applicants based upon uncontrollable factors like race, ethnicity, religion, national origin or disability. LMMS does feel, however, that students who best meet the LMMS mission and vision will best succeed at the school. Because there are certain student qualities which are necessary to achieve the mission of LMMS, all students will submit a Snapshot to determine eligibility, in accordance with Title V, Part B, Subpart 1 of the the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).
The student will compile his or her Snapshot highlighting the student’s ability to support the LMMS Mission and Vision. Eligibility for admission will be determined through this Snapshot. Eligible students will be encouraged to apply for admission to LMMS. Minimally, LMMS is looking for students who demonstrate
• Ability to work collaboratively and peacefully with others,
• Ability to work independently,
• Ability to complete tasks,
• Respect for the environment,
• Compassion and empathy for others,
• Creativity in work and thought,
• Commitment to peaceful interaction,
• Curiosity of the world around them, and
• Ability to independently research.
- There is no tuition or application fee for grades K-8.
- Students that have attended sixth grade at Lakeland Montessori Schoolhouse receive automatic entrance to seventh grade at Lakeland Montessori Middle.
- Interested families of students that have not attended sixth grade at Lakeland Montessori Schoolhouse are required to FIRST submit an ONLINE REQUEST for a meeting with the administration, at which time we will carefully explain exactly what the LMMS mission and guiding principles are as well as encourage parents to research Montessori education to see if they feel it is a good fit for their child. Parents will be asked to sign a statement noting what the details of Montessori education entail (including non-traditional methodology, assessment and parent and student requirements).
- Parent will then have access to an enrollment package which contains:
- LMMS FAQ sheet;
- LMMS Snapshot Process explanation, and
- LMMS Parent Volunteer Form
- Eligibility to apply for admission to Lakeland Montessori Middle School will be determined by the LMMS admissions committee using the submitted Snapshot. Please see “Criteria for Admission to Lakeland Montessori Middle School (LMMS)” below.
- For students currently attending grades 7 and 8, applications are accepted year round.
Criteria for Admission to Lakeland Montessori Middle School (LMMS)
The Lakeland Montessori Middle School (LMMS) admissions committee will use the Snapshot process to determine eligibility to apply for the school. The Snapshot is important because it can help LMMS determine which students may have the best chance at success. It is an ideal time to showcase a student’s past work, interests and successes. It is the perfect time for students to demonstrate in a concrete manner how they will contribute and participate in the LMMS community. Students may choose to demonstrate their work in a variety of manners, but the Snapshot should give the admissions committee a good example of the essence of the student. LMMS is reluctant to place restrictions upon this project, choosing instead to give general guidelines to help the student create the Snapshot; this lack of structure could prove to demonstrate a student’s self-direction. This additional information helps to ensure student success in the program. Through the Snapshot, or the omission of it, LMMS will attempt to identify those applicants who seem to have the ideal qualities of a Montessori middle student and to be likely to contribute to achievement of the educational mission and vision of the school.
The administrators and teachers may also wish to meet with the parents and the students during the Snapshot perusal process for clarification of any aspect of the Snapshot.
Montessori Middle School Enrollment Plan enrollment preferences* are given as follows, in the listed order:
- Students who are enrolled at Lakeland Montessori Schoolhouse
- Students who are siblings** of current LMMS students.
- Students who are children or step-children, or legal wards of board members of Montessori Middle School.
- Students who are children or step-children, or legal wards of employees of Montessori Middle School.
- Students who are siblings** of students enrolled at Lakeland Montessori Schoolhouse in grades Kindergarten and up.
- Students who are previous Montessori preschool PreK3 or PreK4 attendees, which only includes attendance at a Montessori school that is accredited by the American Montessori Society; or a school accredited by the International Montessori Council; or a Recognized or Affiliated member of the American Montessori International.
- Students of an active-duty member of any branch of the US Armed Forces.
*Preferences apply to students that haven’t previously attended Lakeland Montessori Schoolhouse or Montessori Middle School.
**A sibling is defined as an individual having one or both parents in common or a step-sister or step-brother that resides under the same roof as the applicant. Documentation may be requested to confirm sibling preference. If the sibling withdraws from the school before applicant is offered enrollment, priority status will be revoked.