Montessori Center School

toddler through sixth grade since 1965

The Three-Year Cycle

Montessori schools' curricula and classroom structure follow what Maria Montessori called the "Planes of Development".  Each plane is divided into three year cycles, with a curriculum that corresponds to each plane's unique developmental needs. The third year in each sequence is considered a caps-stone or culminating year not only in academic gain but also emotionally, socially, and developmentally.  In traditional schools, Kindergarten students would be at the start of their elementary career and often sixth graders would be at the start of their Middle School experience. In our schools, the traditional kindergarten year, third grade, and six grade are pivotal leadership years.  Students in the third year of these cycles are the oldest and most mature children in the classroom. We believe that students thrive when their social and emotional development is supported by their classroom environment.


Pre-Primary (Toddlers)

  • 18 months to 3 years old


Primary (Preschool to Kindergarten)

  • 3 to 6 years old 

Lower Elementary (1st to 3rd grade)

  • 6 to 9 years old

Upper Elementary (4th to 6th grade)

  • 9 to 12 years old