Back to Search
Mountaintop Montessori
School Name:
Mountaintop Montessori
Street Address:
440 Pinnacle Place
Charlottesville, VA 22911
Head of School:
Ms. Patricia Colby
Founding Date:
Religious Affiliation:
Full Accreditation
Day / Boarding:
Day Only
Grade Levels:
Enrollment Size:
Social Media:
Admissions Contact:
Therese Benzinger
7/10/2017 10:58:00 AM Nondenominational School
Mission / Philosophy / Objectives:


Children find their place in the world through excellent Montessori education at Mountaintop.


Mountaintop Montessori is a paragon of progressive education for children from infants to young adolescents in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Our children and their families experience Mountaintop as a place where they feel safe, joyful, and cherished. In the years to come, Mountaintop will uphold its culture of civility, and continue to provide a learning environment that is both child-centered and evidence-based. Our community of children, parents, guides, staff, alumni, and governing board will sustain the purposefulness that makes our school so unique and strong. We will continue to honor our Pantops Mountain location through a mutually beneficial relationship with the greater Charlottesville community.

Through sound Board of Trustees governance and strong school leadership, Mountaintop will actively engage in securing its future by pursuing the following goals by 2014: achieving optimal enrollment and fiscal health, engaging in a successful comprehensive fundraising campaign for sustainable and permanent facilities and an endowment, and attracting and retaining the highest caliber faculty through our solid teacher compensation package and abundant opportunities for professional growth. Mountaintop Montessori will move through the twenty-first century as a beacon for authentic, outstanding progressive education among independent schools in the United States.

School Fast Facts:

fast facts

grades: toddler, preschool, kindergarten, 1st – 8th grade

faculty-student relationships: Very young children are determined to master new things. Mountaintop faculty members, known as guides, guard that inner drive to learn in each child in several ways:

·      - The guides and other adults here treat students of ALL ages with a level of respect that is uncommon in their young lives.

·      - We encourage students to become ever more independent and responsible for themselves.

·      - We convey clear expectations that each student work to his or her potential and contribute to the classroom community.

·      - The guides are careful to avoid rewards and punishments which deflate the value children place upon their own work.

We keep students’ zest for learning alive and well right through elementary and middle school.

classrooms: Among the most important things that guides do is to create classroom conditions in which students will thrive and learn. Our classrooms are simple, beautiful, clean and orderly spaces. They are furnished to suit the characteristics and needs of a specific age group. In these specially crafted spaces, students can be independent. They gain confidence as they consider options, make decisions, and follow steps in a series to see things through to completion. We apply the same level of effort to setting up outdoor spaces for exploration of the natural world and studios for visual and performing arts as we do in the Montessori classrooms where our students learn math, language, science and history.

materials: Montessori learning materials are unsurpassed in their combination of function and form. Their striking good looks draw students in and their thoughtful designs make complex concepts accessible to young minds. As students reach the upper levels of our program, their work in a wide variety of disciplines is supported by technology and textbooks as well as the low-tech materials required for hands-on learning in science, art and music.

time: Our students’ schedules include long blocks of time to engage in work that is satisfying to them. A portion of their time in the classroom in spent receiving lessons from their guides on work that is new to them. During the time during which they are not in such lessons, they are free to choose from within a range of familiar materials that are interesting and suitable for them and to work with those materials without interruptions. By following their interests in their early years they experience concentration and flow. From this foundation they build stamina for planning, progressing toward goals, and collaborating with peers in elementary and middle school. Lunch and outdoor play are important elements of the day for which ample time is provided at each of the age levels we serve. Creative expression studio time is likewise scheduled generously to provide satisfying experiences in these areas of importance to students.

campus: Our 10-acre campus is a green island conveniently located on Pantops that is certified as a cooperative sanctuary with Audubon International and the National Wildlife FederationMountaintop’s expansive Big Garden is home to a wide variety of fruits and veggies for students to tend, harvest and enjoy. The adjacent chicken coop provides eggs, a place to recycle kitchen scraps, and just plain fun. The 850 square foot geodesic Growing Dome has beds for growing produce as well as a 2300 gallon aquaculture tank.

Open House Dates:
search login