Montessori-Based Program

The Montessori-based program at Maltby Elementary was founded in 2012 and currently offers three multi-age Montessori classrooms. Montessori programs operating in public schools in the state of Washington are fairly rare with only seven districts offering this specialized program. Since public Montessori programs are limited in Washington state, the Office of Public Instruction (OSPI) doesn’t currently recognize Montessori-specific certifications for use in public education. All teachers hired for the Montessori program at Maltby Elementary are required to hold a current Washington State teaching certification in elementary education. In addition to this certification, our goal is for teachers to also have training in Montessori principles and practices.  

There are two main umbrellas of Montessori training styles: American Montessori society (AMS), a more flexible style of Montessori training that incorporates other aspects of culture and society and American Montessori Internationale (AMI), the most authentic form of Montessori training which reflects practices more aligned with traditional practices. Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (MACTE) certification is also an umbrella that certifies different training groups. 

If you have questions about the various Montessori certifications, you are encouraged to talk with your child’s teacher or principal.

Location: Maltby Elementary

Monroe School District's Montessori-based program began in 2012. This tuition-free program serves students in grades K-5, and it is located at Maltby Elementary. Montessori is currently divided into three classrooms with mixed grade-level groupings in each classroom. Grade-level groupings may change based on enrollment numbers and the specific needs of the children in the program.


A Montessori-based education helps children learn to be independent, self-directed learners equipped with the tools needed to accomplish their academic and personal goals. The Monroe School District’s Montessori-based classrooms are “prepared environments” designed to facilitate maximum independent learning and explorations by the child. Students work independently, in small groups, and with the entire class. Special Montessori-based materials help children solve problems by themselves, building independence, analytical thinking, and the satisfaction that comes from true accomplishment.

The following describes components of Maltby’s Montessori-based program:

  • 5 day a week program
  • Students use Montessori curriculum and materials
  • Students participate in district and state assessments
  • Students participate in whole school events including assemblies, specialists (PE, music, digital learning), lunch, and recess.
  • Students are supported by district services as needed (OT, PT, speech, LAP, etc.)
  • Parents are invited to attend at least one Parent Education class per year and volunteer a minimum of 20 hours per year, which may be done at school or home
  • New families are invited to tour the program (specific dates are offered each year) before submitting paperwork for enrollment


There is no specific criteria for a student to participate in our Montessori-based program; however, kindergarten students must be 5 years old by August 31, 2023, in order to be eligible for participation. Participation in the kindergarten year is done through an annual drawing (the school year before the child enters kindergarten). Parents need to turn in a Kindergarten interest form to be part of the drawing. Families are notified of acceptance or if their child has been added to our waitlist. Students in other grades are considered on a first-come, first-served basis with preference given to students who have had previous experience with the Montessori philosophy. Once we have received enough registrations to fill the classes, a waitlist is created for all other interested families. An interest form needs to be completed each year for all families interested in joining our program.

Interest forms:

Interest forms for the 2024-25 school year will be available in the spring of 2024

More information:

  • Video showing examples of typical Montessori classroom learning

For questions, please contact:

Maltby Elementary
9700 212th ST SE
Snohomish, WA 98296
Phone: (360) 804.3500