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Teachers & Parents – Partners in Education

A strong sense of community is a key element of a Montessori education. At Kendalwood, our approach to fostering a close-knit community extends beyond our campus to involve the entire family.  We make an effort to provide parents with many opportunities to participate and be involved in the school on an ongoing basis. Here’s a glimpse into how we do it!

A Family Montessori Experience

We welcome parents within our school as part of the regular daily routine. Our families enjoy having the opportunity to enter the school together in the morning and say their goodbyes as students are settled. Parents are invited to come inside, say hello to teachers and friends which allows for ongoing communication. The door is always open to our families.

Parent Education & Connection

During the academic year Kendalwood hosts a series of Parent Meet-Ups. These bi-monthly sessions are an opportunity for Kendalwood families to get to know one another while we explore topics related to Montessori education, child development and parenting. Our Meet-Ups offer a venue where parents can ask questions and learn more about Montessori while building their network of like-minded parents.

Open Communication 

We feel that the best way to educate a child is through parental involvement and this means two way communications. We strive to share and inform parents, and we ask parents to do the same. When there are changes happening at home or other matters which may impact a child at school, it is helpful for our faculty to be aware.  Montessori education looks at the whole child and all of these aspects contribute to student success.

Consistency

At Kendalwood, we work with parents to ensure consistent expectations between the classroom and home. We feel it is important that teachers and parents demonstrate a united front when it comes to classroom expectations, learning criteria and work requirements. When needed, Parents are consulted in order to support consistency between school and home.

Kendalwood is much more than just a school – it is a community that nurtures children and provides support to families. Drop by our Open House on December 9th between 4:00 – 8:00 pm to learn more about the Kendalwood Difference!


Kendalwood Montessori & Elementary School is Durham Region’s first fully accredited Montessori school. At Kendalwood, we believe that our job is to inspire children to become the best students they can be. With a curriculum that focuses on developing the intellect as well as nurturing self-esteem, academics are taught, curiosity is cultivated and respect is fostered. Our approach creates an environment where students flourish and develop a lifelong love of learning.

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Montessori Mathematics – A Hands-On Learning Experience

Montessori curriculum is supported through a series of concrete materials designed to help students conceptualize abstract ideas, particularly in math.  Dr. Montessori believed that “the hands are instruments of the brain” and by using our hands in the learning process, we are better able to internalize information. Further, using a kinesthetic process aids in overall engagement and concentration.

“He does it with his hands, by experience, first in play and then through work. The hands are the instruments of man’s intelligence.”

-          Maria Montessori, The Absorbent Mind

 

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Tyler works independently with the Stamp Game

The Stamp Game is a Montessori material designed for learning and reinforcing knowledge of the four key math operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division) and it is an integral part of the mathematics progression.

It is important to mention that math materials are progressive, and it can be difficult to speak of one Montessori material without referring to all those that have come before.  Each material prepares for the next and builds on the concepts that have been mastered.

The Stamp Game is first presented in Casa, after the child has learned place value (units, tens, hundreds, and thousands) with the Golden Beads.  Prerequisites to using the stamp game are understanding the concepts of large and small numbers, simple exchanges of 10 units equaling one 10, and the child must know how to count using concrete materials (not necessarily with number symbols).

The Stamp Game employs the hand and engages the mind to absorb concepts much more fully than working only with pencil, paper and worksheet, as is the norm.  The child can use this material to understand all operations, making it something they can return to again and again. It prepares the child for pencil and paper work in a more holistic manner.

The material consists of small wooden squares in common place value colours (green for units, blue for tens, red of hundreds and green for unit of thousands) that are used throughout the mathematics progression. The place value they represent, 1 (units), 10 (tens), 100 (hundreds) and 1000 (thousands) are written on them (1, 10, 100, 1000).

Using this distinctive material, the child begins moving in the direction of abstraction where they will be able to complete an equation without use of the manipulatives, although this remains a far way off.

Interested in learning more about our Mathematics program? Contact us!

 


Kendalwood Montessori & Elementary School is Durham Region’s first fully accredited Montessori school. At Kendalwood, we believe that our job is to inspire children to become the best students they can be. With a curriculum that focuses on developing the intellect as well as nurturing self-esteem, academics are taught, curiosity is cultivated and respect is fostered. Our approach creates an environment where students flourish and develop a lifelong love of learning.

Developing Writing Skills – A Distinct Montessori Process

The Montessori child works through many stages in the pursuit of learning to write. Writing skills are separate and distinct from reading or language development in Montessori education. A specific set of materials are involved in learning to write, primarily Metal Insets, Sandpaper Letters, and the Storybook Alphabet. A child will start to learn the sounds of the letters using Sandpaper Letters. This material is made up of sand glued to cardboard in the shape of the sounds of the alphabet. The material is both sensorial and tactile, encouraging the child to learn through touch. Sandpaper Letters are lightly traced with two fingers to promote muscle memory of the written letter for later movement of pencil on paper. Letter sounds are used instead of letter names to prepare for reading.

Tyler working with the Storybook Alphabet

Tyler working with the StoryBook Alphabet

Once a few sounds are taught, the Storybook Alphabet is presented. Sounds that the child has been working on are presented again in a sequence that makes sense – for instance “c – a – t”.  While learning which sounds work together, preparations are being made for grammar and vocabulary work. Though separation of consonant and vowel is made within the materials by colour, little attention is drawn to the differences at this stage. The preliminary work is being categorized by the child’s mind naturally. You will have noticed that although the child has worked with two materials in the preparation for writing with the Sandpaper Letters and the Storybook Alphabet, he has not yet put pencil to paper to form these sounds.  This part of the process begins with Metal Insets; metallic geometric shapes that are traced in one colour, while curved lines of varying width are traced inside, in a second colour, from left to right. This material builds control, fine motor movements, and muscle memory learning to write from left to right.

Norah working with the Metal Inset

Norah working with the Metal Inset

It is only once all three of these different materials are working in tandem and the child is comfortable with several sounds, can control the pencil when completing a metal inset, and can build sounds into words, that the child is then given a pencil and paper to begin writing.  At this point, forming the letters on paper seems natural and practiced, even though it may be the very first time the child has ever written. Developing writing skills is an intricate process for students and takes time. Montessori materials help children make the necessary connections and build the skills required to achieve proficiency with confidence at their own pace.


Kendalwood Montessori & Elementary School is Durham Region’s first fully accredited Montessori school. At Kendalwood, we believe that our job is to inspire children to become the best students they can be. With a curriculum that focuses on developing the intellect as well as nurturing self-esteem, academics are taught, curiosity is cultivated and respect is fostered. Our approach creates an environment where students flourish and develop a lifelong love of learning.

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Choosing Montessori: Why Parents Opt Out of the Public System

As Montessori educators, we often speak with parents assessing or reconsidering the educational path for their child. We share in the priority of your child’s growth and development and understand the many questions parents have about alternatives to the public school system.

If we could share one concept to help illustrate the unique Montessori philosophy to inquiring parents, it would be that Montessori is child-centred. This means that the student is the heart of the learning process and rather than receiving instruction, a Montessori learner will have the freedom to use discovery and exploration to gain insight and understanding. A child-centred approach ensures each child’s needs are treated individually and supported, and students are able to reach their potential more readily.

At Kendalwood, our curriculum focuses on developing critical thinking skills while fostering independence, confidence and self-esteem. Learning how to learn is an essential skill set gained through active questioning, exploration and self-expression. Independence is the hallmark of Montessori education and we help our students to “do it themselves” at every stage of their development.

This time of year we find ourselves meeting with parents looking for options following a discouraging September start, frequently as a result of class size, rigid curriculum that is not meeting their child’s needs or a lack of classroom support. If you feel that Montessori may be a better fit for your child, the following comparison of some of the key differences between Montessori and public school may be helpful as you work through the alternatives.

New families are welcome to tour and observe our classrooms during the instructional day to get a better sense of how Montessori education works and learn more about our school. Drop in or book a tour to see us in action! We are located in Whitby, Ontario in the heart of Durham Region.

Kendalwood Montessori Public School
Class Composition   Classrooms enjoy 3 year mixed age groups. Students are placed based on level of readiness. Students are placed based on date of birth.
Teacher to Student Ratio 1:15 max for Casa and up. Each classroom has a qualified & experienced Montessori teacher and a dedicated assistant. Full day kindergarten classrooms are not subject to a hard cap on class size.
Curriculum Individually developed for each student based on their individual progression. Mandated set curriculum does not provide for variation.
Learning Materials Students learn through a wide variety of resources and experiences both in and outside of the classroom. Peer mentoring and 1×1 learning is frequent and common. Rooted in lecture style and textbook lessons.
Student Assessment On-going throughout the year. Teachers constantly observe and assess students and share with parents. Open and on-going dialogue. Set to Government mandated requirements. Primarily test based.
French Language Introduced at the toddler age and provided on a daily basis. Introduced at grade 4 – once/twice a week
Extracurricular   Lunch and afterschool programs are included in cost of tuition,  offered to families at NO additional cost Extracurricular may be inconsistent (based on individual school administration), programs are often canceled year to year

Kendalwood Montessori & Elementary School is Durham Region’s first fully accredited Montessori school. At Kendalwood, we believe that our job is to inspire children to become the best students they can be. With a curriculum that focuses on developing the intellect as well as nurturing self-esteem, academics are taught, curiosity is cultivated and respect is fostered. Our approach creates an environment where students flourish and develop a lifelong love of learning.

 

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Why Choose Montessori for The Early Years?

In the first three years of life, the brain of a child develops at an astonishing rate. In fact, these early years see more cognitive development take place than the remainder of an entire lifespan. A Montessori approach to the early years involves a deep respect for a young child’s innate desire to learn during this critical time, aiming to nurture and develop that desire into a natural lifelong love of learning and interest in the world.

Help Me to Do It Alone

Maria Montessori understood that children want and need independence. Her motto “Help me to do it alone” is one which we live by at Kendalwood and these words are proudly displayed in all of our classrooms.

Toddler (ages 1 – 2.5) and Pre-Casa (ages 3-5) development is best supported through opportunities to observe, explore, and manipulate their environment and a Montessori classroom is prepared to encourage independence. Montessori follows the child; their interests, strengths, and curiosities. This allows for a child to learn and develop at her own pace which leads to a better head start for further learning.

In a Montessori environment, we refer to a child’s work whereas others might call it play. A child’s play is their work and therefore it is with careful consideration that we set up the learning environment. Everything the child comes in contact with is designed to facilitate independent learning. In contrast with less considered play-based approaches, Montessori enables the child to create themselves through meaningful ‘work’ and applies practical life skills on a daily basis. Practical life in Montessori gives children the opportunity to complete everyday tasks and develop skills such as hands on care of one’s self (dressing, putting on shoes, washing hands),  setting the table, caring for plants and  contributing to care of the home and school environment. This work develops true self-confidence and self-sufficiency and sets a strong foundation for self-directed learning.

“When examined through the lens of environmental enrichment and brain development, Montessori education presents a radically different – and radically effective – educational approach that may be the best method we’ve got to ensure the optimal cognitive, social, and emotional development of every child.”

– Dr. Steven Hughes, Ph.D, President, American Academy of Pediatric Neuropsychology

The Montessori approach has been praised as the most developmentally appropriate model currently available by top experts on early childhood and elementary education. At Kendalwood, we believe in Montessori as the path to building the skills so necessary for success in the contemporary world. Our philosophy is centered on teaching for understanding, as it is of the utmost importance that our students gain knowledge through understanding, rather than develop the ability to retain information by rote. Through Montessori, children develop critical thinking and problem solving skills which become key attributes that remain throughout academic pursuits and life.

Research conducted by the International Montessori Council suggests that Montessori children are better prepared for academic achievement and exhibit enhanced social development over students from other educational approaches. For any parent considering daycare, preschool or private school education, we encourage you to learn more about Montessori and what it can do for your child. Please contact us at Kendalwood to answer any questions or to elaborate on our approach to helping each of our students reach their unique potential. Discover the Kendalwood difference.


Kendalwood Montessori & Elementary School is Durham Region’s first fully accredited Montessori school. At Kendalwood, we believe that our job is to inspire children to become the best students they can be. With a curriculum that focuses on developing the intellect as well as nurturing self-esteem, academics are taught, curiosity is cultivated and respect is fostered. Our approach creates an environment where students flourish and develop a lifelong love of learning.

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Montessori Renaissance – Developing Young Adults

During the upper elementary years, children reach a critical stage in personal development. It is a time of great transformation where adolescents truly begin to think for themselves. Maria Montessori believed that students at this stage required two important things: protection during the difficult physical and emotional transitions that will be experienced, and a greater understanding of the society they are beginning to participate in as young adults. These students need a supportive community where they can learn more about their expanding world as they stretch their boundaries.

Montessori Renaissance Years

The Kendalwood Renaissance Program is designed to meet the unique needs of students aged 12 to 14, encompassing the traditional two-year grade 7/8 program. We encourage students to act as leaders, become good stewards of their community and to be responsible for their own education. We also encourage critical thinking, questions and discussions that help students make sense of their world.

Curriculum

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Some of our Renaissance students working independently

During the Renaissance Years, students self-direct through six modules covering a range of topics including Hunter/Gatherer, Peace Studies, Aboriginals, Physics and Transformations, Canadian History, Civics and Careers and more. Each module contains lessons, assignments, and quizzes across all areas of the curriculum including math, science, geography, history, language, etc.

Our Curriculum Blocks have been selected and decided upon from several sources:  Montessori Curriculum, guidance gained from our network of Montessori schools, Ontario Curriculum Documents, and interests of both the students and teachers of Kendalwood Montessori School.

Emphasis is placed on becoming more resourceful, improving study and life skills, and developing essay writing proficiency.  Mathematics, Language, and all Culture areas of the Montessori curriculum are woven throughout each Block. All Curriculums for the Renaissance Level 1 program follow and cover the Ontario Curriculum expectations for the grade seven level. Testing and exams, while not generally a Montessori practice, are administered at this level to ensure effective preparation for secondary school education.

Expectations / Grading

At the Renaissance stage students will be graded using percentages for the first time. In addition, they are evaluated on a scale of 1 to 5 in the following areas each term:

- Self-Awareness

- Self-Management

- Social Awareness

- Relationship Skills

- Responsibility

As part of these learning skills, students are expected to follow our Code of Academic Integrity which is agreed to by signature of both parents and students. Students in the Renaissance program are provided with responsibility and autonomy, encouraging a level of independence and maturity that produces youth who are self-motivated, goal-oriented, and responsible. In part, our expectations for Renaissance students include:

- Completing all assignments in a timely manner and handing in their best work

- Keeping their binder in good condition – neat and organized

- Ensuring that daily logs are filled in and maintained

- Any clarifications, questions, or concerns should be addressed immediately, students should not wait until problems becomes larger or more time sensitive

- Computers are maintained and cared for gently – students are responsible for making sure that they are plugged in and charged for the next school day


A Kendalwood education means an opportunity for your child to be inspired and challenged through exploration and discovery. We offer a well-rounded and integrated program designed to prepare students for today’s complex and rapidly changing world, where each child is supported within our learning community. Kendalwood is a place for your child to reach for their aspirations.

Interested in learning more about Kendalwood Montessori in Whitby? Contact us to book your personal tour.

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Montessori Accreditation – A Measure of Quality

Maria Montessori’s methodology has been widely used by her followers since she opened the first Casa dei Bambini over a century ago. Her innovative approach to education was never trademarked, a conscious decision made by Montessori before her passing. Over time, many of those who followed her philosophies adapted and modified Montessori’s methods. As a result, the approach found in Montessori ‘inspired’ schools can vary greatly.

In Ontario, the Ministry of Education does not oversee or ensure the quality of education in private schools.  As the term Montessori is in the public domain, any organization is free to declare themselves a “Montessori School”, regardless of their regard for genuine Montessori philosophy. The well respected Montessori name, together with the lack of regulation for its use, presents a challenge for parents seeking the best education for their child. Choosing a private school requires careful consideration. How can parents’ best assess and weigh the options?

A Measure of Quality

As a Montessori parent, or as a parent considering Montessori for your child, you may be familiar with the Canadian Council of Montessori Administrators (CCMA).  This organization promotes standards of excellence in Montessori education through accreditation. By achieving CCMA accreditation, authentic Montessori schools are able to identify themselves and demonstrate their commitment to the original Montessori principles and the strict standards set by CCMA.

“The primary objective of an accreditation is to make good schools better. “

-  Canadian Council of Montessori Administrators

 

Durham Region’s First Fully Accredited Montessori School

Kendalwood Montessori and Elementary School is very proud to be the first fully Accredited Montessori School in Durham Region, having achieved accreditation in 2011. It was important to us to complete the CCMA accreditation for several reasons:

_DSC1586- Accreditation reflects our deep commitment to authentic Montessori education.

- Accreditation attracts the best Montessori  teachers – those who have received Montessori Teacher training from a MACTE (Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education) certified institution and who want to practice their craft in a school of the highest standards.

- Accreditation supports ideal learning environments and outcomes for students.

We encourage parents considering a Montessori education for their child to ensure the selection process includes accreditation. Ask the right questions to gain insight into this key criterion. It’s the only existing safeguard parents have to secure a true Montessori provider.

 

Our Promise to Our Students

We will teach you according to the Montessori ideals created and developed by Maria Montessori. We will be your aid to life. We will help to ignite the fire for a lifelong love of learning.

Discover the Kendalwood difference. Book your personal tour or check our school calendar for our next open house.


Kendalwood Montessori & Elementary School is Durham Region’s first fully accredited Montessori school. At Kendalwood, we believe that our job is to inspire children to become the best students they can be. With a curriculum that focuses on developing the intellect as well as nurturing self-esteem, academics are taught, curiosity is cultivated and respect is fostered. Our approach creates an environment where students flourish and develop a lifelong love of learning.

 

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After School – When Montessori Kids Grow Up

There is plenty of research demonstrating the benefits of Montessori education during the important early years in a child’s life. The brain develops more in the first few years of life than it will for the next hundred! We know that the early years set the foundation for future development, learning and personal growth and the Montessori approach is highly successful in providing children with individualized learning and fostering potential during these formative years. What happens once Montessori students reach the Elementary years? And how does Montessori education impact their success and quality of life as adults?

When we explore the benefits of the Montessori philosophy beyond the early years, we see compelling results. From an early age, Montessori students have the opportunity to move freely within their classroom and enjoy regular involvement in selecting their work. Through this methodology, children normalize work as being a positive experience rather than a chore. This constructive outlook of academic work, learning and community contribution is fostered over time. Older students have a strong foundation which helps them to respond to their school assignments and expectations, as well as the world around them cheerfully and with enthusiasm.

Dr. Angeline Lillard has researched the science behind Montessori education extensively. Her main body of work published in 2006 states Montessori to be An Answer to the Crisis in Education. Dr. Lillard says “Research in psychology suggests that more freedom and choice (within a carefully designed, ordered structure) are linked to better psychological and learning outcomes.”

In a Montessori setting, students learn on a global scale – they are taught to consider issues broadly and look for inclusive solutions. A strong sense of community, responsibility, and citizenship emerges and students consistently demonstrate strong problem solving and critical thinking skills. These are universal skills we use in every facet of our lives and have great impact on our successes as adults.  At Kendalwood, each Elementary student is provided with an individualized education plan to guide their unique learning path. They are given responsibility and leadership over their own educational path through management of their education plan, completing projects and assignments from the plan on time and meeting learning goals.  This process helps students gain skills in time management, understanding deadlines and how to ask for help when they need assistance.

The impact of Montessori education stays with students long after they have left the classroom. As motivated learners who have been given the personal responsibility, space and time to dive into their interests and take their studies further, Montessori students grow into goal-driven adults who are able to set personal goals and achieve results. Montessori develops adults who know how to think, who are prepared to confidently pursue their dreams and learn from the inevitable mistakes along the way. We feel that these are very important outcomes for our students and we strive towards these long term goals in our daily work with your children.

We’re so glad to be on this journey with our Kendalwood families. If you have found our blog and want to learn more about Montessori or our school, please contact us. We are always happy to share our knowledge and spread Montessori philosophy throughout our community.

 


Kendalwood Montessori & Elementary School is Durham Region’s first fully accredited Montessori school. At Kendalwood, we believe that our job is to inspire children to become the best students they can be. With a curriculum that focuses on developing the intellect as well as nurturing self-esteem, academics are taught, curiosity is cultivated and respect is fostered. Our approach creates an environment where students flourish and develop a lifelong love of learning.

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Back to School with Montessori – 5 Helpful Tips for Parents

Heading back to the classroom in September is an exciting time of year. Children, parents and teachers are all full of anticipation as the new school year begins. With only a couple of weeks before summer break draws to a close, it’s a good time to begin thinking about the September transition.

1. Build Confidence – Helping kids help themselves, do for themselves and make their own mistakes is truly the best way to build self-esteem and confidence. Before mornings become rushed in September, give children some space and time to practice the skills they’ll need to get ready for school. Can little one pour their own cereal and milk? Do older children know how to pack their own backpacks and lunches?

“Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed.” – Maria Montessori

2. Slow Down – Summer is full of action playing with friends, travelling and going on adventures as a family. During these last weeks of the summer break, slow things down and try to reduce distractions in order to mentally and emotionally prepare for a Montessori setting where children will be working on their concentration skills through uninterrupted work periods.

3. Get Organized – Sit down together as a family and talk about upcoming changes and set new routines that need to fall into place. Let everyone share the things they are excited about, as well as anything that might be causing underlying anxiety. Talking about it ahead of time will ease the transition for the whole family.

4. Expect the Unexpected – Changing expectations, new routines and potential social pressures may lead to some challenging moments in the weeks ahead. Stay connected to one another and be prepared for a few bumps in the road. With a flexible mindset, these things won’t derail parents, leaving you better equipped to get through anything unexpected.

5. Have Fun – The most important thing to keep top of mind during any transition phase is to keep the fun going! Laughter is the best stress reliever, no matter what your age. Remember to have some fun as a family as you get back into your school year routines.

See all you back at Kendalwood Montessori soon!


Kendalwood Montessori & Elementary School is Durham Region’s first fully accredited Montessori school. At Kendalwood, we believe that our job is to inspire children to become the best students they can be. With a curriculum that focuses on developing the intellect as well as nurturing self-esteem, academics are taught, curiosity is cultivated and respect is fostered. Our approach creates an environment where students flourish and develop a lifelong love of learning.

The Montessori Two-Year Old – Transitioning to PreCasa

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The Transition to Casa Brings Exciting Changes!

We have a fresh crop of toddler graduates moving up to the Kendalwood PreCasa classroom next month. Our youngest students have passed some important milestones in preparation – their “language explosion”, time away from mom and dad, and making friends. They are now two and a half years old, well into what we affectionately call “The Determined Two’s”.

The transition to PreCasa brings many changes, exciting new challenges and older classmates to help lead the way. Independence is beginning to take shape in our determined two year olds (a.k.a the “no” and “I do it” phase). The toddler wants to be independent, where the PreCasa student is becoming independent. Our toddler students have plenty to look forward to with the new academic year only a few weeks away!

A new classroom and learning environment with undiscovered materials calling out to them.

New classmates, several of whom are older. Our newest PreCasa learners look up to their more experienced peers, showing great interest in what the older children are doing. The older students inspire an inner drive and desire to succeed in their younger counterparts.

The PreCasa setting provides our Toddler graduates with an introduction into the Casa Montessori curriculum, while continuing to provide the benefits of a licensed program (i.e. an Early Childhood Educator, lower staff/student ratio, as well as a continued afternoon rest period)

A more full and varied curriculum, complete with a robust introduction to math, language and culture.

Further program enrichment including music, gym, field trips and enhanced daily French program (moving from 15 to 30 minutes in length with expanded curriculum)

Students in the PreCasa classroom are also embarking on a big next step toward independence: beginning and conquering the skill of toilet learning.

If you are a parent thinking about the next step for your toddler, or considering a more inspiring education option for your child, consider Montessori. Book a tour with our Principal to hear more about what a Kendalwood education can offer your child.


Kendalwood Montessori & Elementary School is Durham Region’s first fully accredited Montessori school. At Kendalwood, we believe that our job is to inspire children to become the best students they can be. With a curriculum that focuses on developing the intellect as well as nurturing self-esteem, academics are taught, curiosity is cultivated and respect is fostered. Our approach creates an environment where students flourish and develop a lifelong love of learning.