Click through to take a virtual tour. Holliday Montessori School is a PreK-6 public school within Kansas City Public Schools. It is a signature school so applications are required. Holliday has a limited number of seats which are filled on a first come, first served basis. Students from throughout the district may attend Holliday, but since it is a Montessori school, students are not admitted after kindergarten unless they have prior Montessori experience.
Holliday Montessori principal KaLinda Bass-Barlow is leading the work as she and her team build a Montessori school of excellence. As a unit, they are working towards achieving Association of Montessori International Accreditation (AMI). The staff and Principal Bass-Barlow are currently AMI or AMS (American Montessori Society) trained or enrolled in AMI training. Principal Bass-Barlow understands the importance of being a trained Montessorian as the knowledge equips her with the tools to fully support her staff.
Many parents choose to drop off their students, but kids in grades K-6 can take the school bus to school as well. KCPS provides transportation to students who live more than a half a mile away from Holliday.
Staff on duty and LINC workers greet students and ensure they get to class. As a part of Kansas City Public Schools, Before and After School care is free for all K-6 students at Holliday Montessori.
Parents regularly walk students directly to class and greet their teachers. Students at Holliday Montessori are required to wear uniforms. These include khaki or navy blue bottoms with red, light blue, or navy tops or Holliday spirit gear.
This lower elementary teacher waits to say hello to her students as they enter her classroom for the day. In Montessori programs, multiple grade levels are in the same class. Lower elementary means this class has grades 1-3 in the same room.
This upper elementary classroom is for grades 4-6. In Montessori programs, multi-age classrooms mean teachers can serve each student based on their ability and not their grade level. Students are in the same classroom for three years and have the experience of being the youngest, middle and oldest children.
Breakfast is free for every student at Holliday Montessori. When students arrive they eat in their classrooms with their peers.
In every classroom, students are expected to enter and put their belongings away. In this Children’s House environment (mixed ages 3-6 year olds) students also stop to hug their friends. The home like environment fosters a sense of belonging and community for the students.
In the Children’s House environments, students are given the freedom to choose their work. Most lessons are presented individually to children while others are presented in small groups. Children have the choice to work with peers after lesson presentations. These young ladies are working together on a sensory activity to explore their sense of smell. Learning environments at Holliday are well-equipped with official Montessori materials that are specific to Montessori learning.
This student is working on identifying animals on her own.
In lower elementary (grades 1-3), this teacher has pulled students for a small group lesson. The seating arrangements are flexible in every classroom to allow students choice.
This student has found a quiet corner to do his math work independently. Small rugs like these are part of the Montessori experience and caring for them (and all of the classroom materials) properly is expected of all students.
These friends opted to work together on a writing assignment.
Each Children’s House (3-6 year olds) and Lower Elementary (1st - 3rd) environment has trained Association of Montessori International assistants in the classroom environments. This arrangement allows the lead teacher to work individually and in small groups with other students while the assistant can attend to the needs of other students.
In upper elementary classrooms (grades 4-6), students use technology to write research projects. These students are completing a report on climate conditions in the desert.
This is the computer teacher. He says hello to students in the hall even though they don’t come to him until later in the day. Students at Holliday have an uninterrupted 3-hour work cycle that occurs the first 3 hours of the day. The work cycles provide opportunities for the students to engage and develop high levels of concentration while working.
When students go to gym class, they work together on physical fitness and teambuilding. Here students cheer on their classmate as she tries to break the (one-handed!) push up record for upper elementary.
When it is time to go outside, this is one of the playgrounds students and teachers have to choose from. All play spaces are open for every class to use.
Here is another area where students can play outside.
Students at Holliday Montessori also have a large green space between both playgrounds where they can run and play.
These apple trees grow at Holliday Montessori and were planted through a partnership with Kansas City Community Gardens. When the trees bear fruit, students take the apples home and share them with their families.
Students also help grow food in these raised garden beds through the same partnership. When these plants are harvested, students take the produce home to share as well.
Here is another one connected to the lower elementary side of the building. Holliday has 3 courtyards that are utilized as outdoor learning environments where purposeful and meaningful work occurs.
In lower elementary, students are learning about classification and have shown their work, combining art and science, here.
Learners at Holliday Montessori often have guest speakers like the Mayor. When they come, teachers can bring their classes to this open atrium-like space in the front hall.
In the school library, students have multiple books to choose from and several seating options.
As a part of Kansas City Public Schools, breakfast and lunch are free every day to every child. Students may bring their own if they would like as well.
A school nurse is on staff to keep kids healthy.
In the front office parents and kids are always greeted with a smile.
Which is exactly how Principal Bass-Barlow prefers it. She often gets hugs as she walks around the building.