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
  • Self-motivation
  • 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
  • Honesty
  • 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 click here or complete the online form below.  You will automatically receive an email with an online calendar to schedule a school tour.  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, 2024, then November 1, 2023 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.
  • All children must be potty trained.  Diapers and pull-ups are not allowed.
  • Students are not accepted on a first-come-first-served basis.  Decisions are made only after the application process is complete and are based on maintaining a balanced classroom environment.


2024-2025 Schedule and Tuition 

All tuition payments are paid monthly and begin on April 1st each year.

If a student is accepted after April 1st, the tuition payment amounts and schedule will be different than the tuition amounts below as they will need to be modified to collect the total amount of annual tuition over less months. If school has already begun, the tuition payments will be prorated based on the number of school days remaining in the school year. 

  • 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)*: Twelve monthly payments of $895 beginning April 1st plus non-refundable enrollment fee of $995 due at acceptance (includes VPK discount)
  • PreK3 Mornings (8:15-12:00): Twelve monthly payments of $795 ($397.50 for families that qualify for School Readiness**) beginning April 1st plus non-refundable enrollment fee of $995 due at acceptance.
  • PreK3 Full Day (8:15-3:00)*: Twelve monthly payments of $995 ($497.50 for families that qualify for School Readiness**) beginning April 1st plus non-refundable enrollment fee of $995 due at acceptance.
  • All PreK3 students will attend the School’s Stepping Stones program which is three half days from 8:15-11:15 am on dates set by the School in the summer before school begins. Final enrollment is contingent on the student coming to the Stepping Stones program and
    experiencing success.  The 2024 dates for the Stepping Stones program are July 31st – August 2nd.
  • The first day of school for PreK 3 students is Wednesday, August 14, 2024

*On-site All Day Montessori afternoon sessions until 5:00 pm are offered on a first-come-first-served basis at an additional cost. 

**A 50% discount for All Day Montessori afternoon sessions is offered for families that qualify for School Readiness through the Early Learning Coalition.

Lakeland Montessori employees receive a 50% tuition discount!

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 2025, the application period will begin on November 1, 2024 and continue year-round thereafter.

Enrollment Policy and Process for Grades 7 & 8

Open Enrollment for 7th grade for the 2025-2026 school year begins November 1, 2024. 

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 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

• Self-motivation,
• 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.

Enrollment Preferences

Montessori Middle School Enrollment Plan enrollment preferences* are given as follows, in the listed order: 

  1. Students who are enrolled at Lakeland Montessori Schoolhouse
  2. Students who are siblings** of current LMMS students. 
  3. Students who are children or step-children, or legal wards of board members of Montessori Middle School.
  4. Students who are children or step-children, or legal wards of employees of Montessori Middle School.
  5. Students who are siblings** of students enrolled at Lakeland Montessori Schoolhouse in grades Kindergarten and up.
  6. 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. 
  7. 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.