“The students’ ability to work in teams and in a collaborative fashion is unreal. They are so mature and nuanced for their age and have internalized these lessons so that when they get into the workforce these skills will be invaluable.” Parent of Primary, Lower Elementary, and Upper Elementary students.

The goal of the Elementary program at Mountain Shadows is to support children in deepening their interest in the earth and culture in which they live and to assist them in learning how to work gainfully with others. The children’s new ability to use reason and imagination allows them to explore and discover in a more abstract way.  This allows the children to develop an appreciation for our world and encourages them to become a contributing member of their community.

The curriculum for this age group is both outlined and introduced to the children with five “Great Lessons” that address the creation of the universe, the evolution of life on earth, the beginnings and history of humans, mathematics, and languages. We give these presentations through stories that are meant to inspire the children to find out more for themselves through investigation and research.

The subjects of geography, mathematics, language, history, ecology, biology, zoology, music, and art are studied during these six years.

Special Subjects
Spanish and physical education are integrated as part of the Elementary program. Both are offered twice a week.

Experiential Education
Supervised “Going Outs”, or field studies, are student-inspired to pursue a study of deep interest to an individual or small group of children and expands opportunities for the developmental accomplishments of this age group.

Students in first through third grades visit nearby Cal-Wood Education Center for three days and two nights.

Rotating weeklong experiential education trips for students in fourth through sixth grades are the culmination of classroom studies. Recent trips have included Washington D.C., the Catalina Environmental Leadership Program, and Grand Tetons Science School.

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Mountain Shadows Montessori School offers AMI programs for students 12 months to 12 years old.

...So, what is AMI?

Association Montessori Internationale

AMI is the organization that is tasked with the responsibility of maintaining the integrity of Maria Montessori's legacy. Mountain Shadows and AMI share a mission to support children's natural development and to help them become the transformative force of society.

This comes with a commitment to a standard of excellence, defined by...


Rigorous and extensive training

including the study of child development and a deep understanding of the Montessori materials to assist the teacher in creating the environment necessary for this work.


Three-year age ranges

within each classroom that allow children to work at their own pace and level of development.


Extended work time,

including a three hour uninterrupted work cycle.


Upholding international standards

through expert consultation every three years and regular and ongoing study of pedagogy and practice.

For your child, this means...


Whether it's digging in the dirt or discovering the universe.


Whether it's speaking your mind or learning to speak up.


Whether it's composing a song or coming up with a big idea.


Whether it's for ourselves or for others.


Whether it's work or play.

Critical Thinking

Whether it's studying science or solving a problem.


Whether it's doing your part or doing what's right.


Whether it's planning your day or preparing your own lunch.


Whether it's deciding together or sharing the work.


Whether it's supporting your friends or saving the planet.

This is what Mountain Shadows means for your child.