"We are best known for academic excellence."
Students enrolled 210
School leader Christine Varkas
Before school Yes
After school Yes

Contact this school

2355 Nebraska Avenue
Palm Harbor, FL 34683

School website
(727) 786-1854
(727) 785-5160
Nearby homes for sale
Map of Palm Harbor Montessori Academy address.

4 stars
Based on 42 ratings

Let others know what you
think about this school

October 29, 2014
We just moved to Palm Harbor, FL and decided to send our son (who is in the 1st grade or Junior Elementary) and our daughter (who is in the primary classroom) to PHMA. We could not be happier. There transition to a new school has been easy and we have been happy with the school both academically and socially.

- submitted by a parent
October 27, 2014
We came to Palm Harbor Montessori from another preschool that did not meet my expectations. I wanted a school that encouraged exploration, creativity and self reliance. I wanted a school that provided warmth, quality educators and a community for my children. Palm Harbor Montessori has exceeded all my expectations and more. If you are looking for a traditional, public school experience this is not it. This is an inviting, caring school that promotes the love of learning in children and adults. I am so happy my children have the opportunity to attend PHMA and be creative, inquisitive learners.

- submitted by a parent
June 04, 2014
I think that Palm Harbor Montessori is a great school for all children you learn at your own pace and they have many great experiences that no other school will have

- submitted by a community member
February 06, 2014
I have no reservation fully recommending this school to anyone who wants their child to flourish academically and socially. I have three children enrolled and have been with the school for seven years. The classroom environment allows the students to engage in learning in a respectful fashion. The child is encouraged to manage their time, work independently and in small groups, and to develop their problem solving skills on a daily basis. The staff is so helpful and always let me know how my children are doing in the classroom. It is a warm environment, and there is a strong focus upon the whole child. The school is close to our hearts. My children feel at home there. I really just can't say enough.

- submitted by a parent
January 06, 2014
My child goes to this school for 5 years now. I could not possibly express my happiness and how thankful I am to the staff . It if the most friendly and warm and helpful place I can imagine . I looked at 40 or more schools before I decided with no questions asked that this is the one where she needs to be . For the passed 5 years I have not one single complain about the staff or the school . Love it and %100 happy . Looking forward to the next safe and happy years . Not to mansion the quality education my child is getting here .

- submitted by a parent
December 30, 2013
My son has been attending Palm Harbor Montessori Academy since he was very little. He is now in middle school and he has turned out to be a sweet and caring young man. The teachers/staff truly care about each individual child.

- submitted by a parent
December 30, 2013
I know 8 children who have attended and graduated from PHMA. 3 of my own, plus one nephew (still attending), 2 of my neighbors children, plus my doctors 2 children. All 8 children gained a wonderful desire to learn, developed good academic habits, and easily adapted to the rigors of High School. Most of them went on to higher education in Colleges and Universities. ( I still see these parents and children). I feel they were able to achieve success at higher education levels because of the basics they learned at PHMA; not just the ABC's of education but a life long desire for learning , and most important of all, learning how to think. I would recommend PHMA to anyone with a long range view of their childs educational development.

- submitted by a parent
December 28, 2013
P.H.M.A. has been one of the greatest blessings in my life. I feel so lucky to have had such a wonderful educational experience! I began attending the school at age 5 and I graduated from 8th grade. As a child, I was nurtured, listened to and taken care of so well. As an adolescent, I was granted independence, supported in my free thinking and intellectually stimulated. Above all, I was so happy at school. I had wonderful teachers and peers and I got to learn and grow in a supportive environment that facilitated my growth in so many dynamic ways. I am now successful to my wildest dreams. More importantly then the financial abundance I enjoy, I am happy. And this school helped build my foundation for this success. Thank you P.H.M.A.

- submitted by a community member
December 28, 2013
Good Montessori teachers do their own music and art DAILY. They do not have to wait for someone else to come into the room. That is like saying, "oh you can only be an artist when Miss so and so is here." Each classroom has it's very own art area that is available to the students every day. It is just lovely!

- submitted by a community member
December 28, 2013
We are new to this school and I cannot begin to explain how happy we are. We have three children in the school and all three are so happy. They have so much self confidence and are thriving. I am looking forward to many more years ahead with PHMA! Keep up the good work!

- submitted by a parent
December 23, 2013
The school lacks vision and leadership and is very very pricey. There is no way the current reviews are all written by parents in the same day?? We pulled our child from this school last year and I feel obligated to write a review. There is no music, no art and no Spanish and little to no technology. The school does not have adequate wifi connections. Fields trips cost extra money and rarely happen. Communication from administration is virtually non existent. Also, the school accepts a lot of students with discipline problems (even though they won't tell you that). Prior to enrolling your child spend AT LEAST a day in the school to really understand it. Ask for records of academic growth for students and about the number of students who leave the school and why. Talk with parents who pulled their child.

- submitted by a community member
December 22, 2013
Palm Harbor Montessori Academy's Middle School is called "New Middle School" because they are ahead of the times, as far as the adolescents' true needs are concerned, based on research and on the adolescent experts in the field, AND their alumni results! As a parent of a PHMA alumni, even today I can see how wisely our time and money was invested, because of their confident approach to opportunities at the high school and college level, and especially because at the New Middle School they learned about their own strengths as well as getting practice to push themselves to improvement. They actually become self motivated citizens, which is every parent's wish in this fast-changing world. By looking at the long term achievements of the many alumni from PHMA, it is clear that their longstanding administration and teaching teams are committed not only to the STEM skills, but way ahead of the game, they included the arts, history, and culture, (STEAM!) Middle school is not just a process of loading up on facts, although facts are great. More than that, each student develops and discovers their best possible role within their peer groups, their families, and even in the larger world.

- submitted by a parent
December 22, 2013
I attended PHMA middle school for 3 years and they not only helped me to overcome my reading disability, but also gave me the self confidence i needed to thrive in hight school. The curriculum give students the best foundation for high school by teaching leadership, studious habits and to enjoi learning.

- submitted by a community member
December 21, 2013
The Middle School at Palm Harbor Montessori is awesome. My grandson attends and has had a wonderful experience. He loves school, which is unusual at his age. His academics are challenging and he is successful. I am amazed at how his teachers encourage him to do his best. This was the best choice and most positive school experience for him so far. I am also impressed with the professionalism of the entire faculty and administration. The children come first!

- submitted by a community member
December 21, 2013
The middle school at Palm Harbor Montessori has offered my child a solid education, while allowing him the chance to be an individual. Public school was a challenge for him, as he is a very independent young man. In this community, he has thrived academically and socially. He speaks highly of his teachers. He has come up through the elementary program, since 2009. My husband and I are glad that we took a recommendation from a former parent of a student graduating from their program. Thank You for all you ve done for my son!

- submitted by a parent
December 21, 2013
Palm Harbor Montessori Academy is by far one of the best Montessori schools in the area. They strive for excellence which they achieve due to the high quality of their teaching staff and dedication to the true Montessori principles. Being a former Montessori teacher myself, I feel that this school is a great place for any child to learn, thrive, grow and become a beautiful and well rounded student and human being.

- submitted by a teacher
December 11, 2013
Beware I sent my child here for middle school and it was a revolving door of sub-standard middle school teachers who only lasted a year before the administration there identified it and let them go. This place appears to be fine for pre-school and elementary level children. However, there is a big problem with teaching the fundamentals in middle school. When I pressed the teachers on why my child wasn't learning certain basic things I was rebuffed. Little *real* parent involvement. They'll talk to you alright, but then nothing changes in the classroom. $10,000 / year for what? A daycare? The classrooms don't have enough computers, lab equipment etc. and they are constantly asking parents for donations. Go get a bank loan and improve your school. After having numerous conversations with other parents of middle school children there who felt the same way, I pulled my child out and the level of excellence we are getting at another private school very close by is heads and shoulders above this school. Don't be fooled by glowing reviews posted here. Young kids...maybe. Middle school? Buyer beware.

- submitted by a parent
March 21, 2013
As a grandparent I am amazed at the progress my grandchildren have made since they began at PHMA. They are independent, confident children. Their love for learning is encouraged and they are academically challenged every day. The school is culturally diverse and embraces families of all backgrounds. The teachers are loving and kind and create a structure that allows freedom of choice in the classroom. Thank you PHMA.

- submitted by a community member
March 20, 2013
The teachers, the principal, and entire staff at Palm Harbor Montessori Academy (PHMA) genially care about each individual child. I don't worry about my son when he is at school as I work a demanding full-time job. I know he is in a safe and caring environment. If he went to any other school I wouldn't be able to count on that. PHMA holds camps when regular school isn't in session for the full-time working parent. Children will enjoy the field trips, team sports, before and after care. Parents can sign their child up for activities during after care called "studios". For example: Gymnastics, swimming, art, cooking, karate, dance, chorus, piano, and many more. Swimming lessons and tutoring are available as well. I wish PHMA had a high school!

- submitted by a parent
January 08, 2013
As a teacher I am grateful for the opportunity to teach at Palm Harbor Montessori Academy.Watching the children grow to be independent young people is such an amazing experience. I am their teacher, but I feel like they are teaching me every day. I couldn't have asked for a better place to be!

- submitted by a teacher
July 20, 2012
I know my daughter is receiving the best education possible at PHMA. I am an avid believer in the Montessori philosophy of learning at your own pace, individual instruction, use of hands on multi-sensory materials, and being responsible for your own learning. PHMA follows the Montessori model to the tee. There is also a fantastic family atmosphere at this school. I would not want my child to be anywhere else.

- submitted by a parent
July 18, 2012
Excellent Teachers! Palm Harbor Montessori Academy offers children an authentic Montessori experience with well trained teachers and a supportive staff. My daughter has been at PHMA since she was 3 years old she will be going into Kindergarten in the fall - we couldn't be happier. My daughter is passionate about many unique and varied topics and PHMA allows her to pursue her interests while integrating math, language, science and geography as well as life skills into her daily activities. How they do it amazes me. It is a beautiful thing to watch a skilled teacher provide one- on-one instruction to children in a classroom with kids aging from 3-6 and each and every one of them is engaged and working. It is something that one has to see to believe.

- submitted by a parent
May 22, 2012
Strategic,Excellent teachers! Leadership for Authentic Montessori- it takes courage to do things right. I, along with many alumni and their parents are well-pleased with the long term preparation of my children here: Study skills for a lifetime of learning. PHMA has educated both two valedictorians and two salutorians of their local high school grad classes over the last six years, even from our small numbers! The individual academic attention here gets them ready for pushing forward at much bigger settings later, with a solid understanding of who they are as an individual and of their role as a responsible person within a group.. Two PHMA alumni got perfect scores on the college entrance SAT exams, PHMA educated many students who rcvd. multiple Ivy League college scholarships and dozens of successful high school -combined International Bachaloreate Degrees. Alumni that wanted to and applied got into Advanced Placement in High School courses or the IB program. A school can't replace the nurturing of home that anchors a child, but for all of my children it has build a sound way of approaching education with goals and discipline. PHMA nurtures the innovative minds of the future!!

- submitted by a parent
January 20, 2012
My kids attended this "school" (really a glorified daycare) for 2 years and didn't learn a thing. In fact, my oldest had to repeat kindergarten once she transferred to public school. I had constant appeals for donations of time and money, kids sent home in stained clothes (can't they afford smocks?), and then they criticized me for sending the kids in stained clothes, overpriced lunches and did not permit the occasional dessert item in packed lunches. I was reprimanded right in front of my kids for being late and I needed to feed them a better breakfast. My child later asked me why I was yelled at, and my 5 year old came home and told me her teacher suggested she obtain an alarm clock. It wasn't until the end of their 2 years there that they raised ANY concern about my kids' progress or behavior issues. In the several months my kids have been in public school, they've learned way more than they ever did at this supposedly fabulous Montessori school. Don't waste your kids' time, don't waste your money. Pick another school.

- submitted by a parent
October 06, 2011
My two year old daughter started at Palm Harbor Montessori in the early summer and I am amazed at the wonderful progress she has made in the last four months. The teachers are kind and nurturing and give all of themselves each and every day to ensure that each child has happy experience. At home she now cleans up her toys completely with little prompting, sings the many songs she learns at school and is becoming more and more independent. Our family loves PHMA and highly recommend it to all.

- submitted by a parent
September 30, 2011
The staff at Palm Harbor Montessori is excellent, especially at the junior elementary level. They are kind, compassionate and caring. My child is happy to go to school and doing very well academically. More importantly my child is confident, independent, and self motivated. There is nothing she is not willing to try or learn about. Kudos Montessori!

- submitted by a parent
September 30, 2011
We are extremely happy with Palm Harbor Montessori Academy. We tried public school for the start of our child's education and it was not a good fit. This year is our 2nd year at PHMA and our child is thriving and excelling beyond our expectations. Montessori is the best start and greatest education a parent could give their child. We highly recommend PHMA to all our friends and family.

- submitted by a parent
September 29, 2011
My family and I could not be happier at this school. My children are thriving thanks to the love, care and professionalism of the staff and their willingness to go the extra mile for one child with some challenges. The Montessori method fits my children hand-in-glove and we know that this education and community experience is worth much more than we're paying. We give Palm Harbor Montessori an A + + and have recommended it to two other friends who have enrolled their children. From our first tour to being part of this community we've been treated like royalty.

- submitted by a parent
August 24, 2011
WARNING: Do not send your child to PHM. I sent my first child to a Montessori school in another area and had a fantastic experience. When we moved to Clearwater and enrolled our second child in PHM, it was a huge mistake. My gut kept telling me that he was not learning but we were reassured that he was. We were actually informed that the first full year there he learned nothing and was not given lessons because he didn't want them. What? The second year, we had a great teacher but he was already way behind. We put him in regular school this year and he is the only kid in the class that doesn't know his letters, sounds, etc. but hey are going to work to bring him up to speed. I feel horrible for him. Worst off, I spent $10K+ per year to get him a great education and prepare him. In fact, I could have kept him home & worked with him myself. As a parent, I had to speak up here. I as well know a lot of angry parents. Until the admin changes, beware.

- submitted by a parent
August 23, 2011
What a huge disappointment! If you want your child to learn the fundamentals and be well adjusted in school, DO NOT go to PHMA! PHMA promises a lot and delivers very little. We know at least five other children in addition to our own who will not be returning this year for the same reasons we are not. After two years at this school, our child is testing way below grade level in reading, writing, and math. There is virtually no science. We never saw evidence of Rosetta Stone being used (part of the high tuition cost). Bullying is an issue, and is not addressed by staff or administration. Communication from the teachers and the administration is poor, at best. There are teachers at PHMA who are not Montessori accredited, and are not guided by the administration. The teachers are unhappy and burned out. PHMA is he highest priced Montessori and one of the highest private schools in the area. For a cost of over $20,000, we have a child who's confidence has been diminished and has academically digressed instead of progressed. This may have been considered a good school at one time, but no longer meets high standards. The kids are the ones who are really paying the price.

- submitted by a parent
April 12, 2011
Truly amazing progress in my children, I am so pleased that they are learning fast and interested in so many subjects. This school has affected the way our family communicates in a great way, by the children giving us "conflict resolution" tips at home! The overall healthy routines and structured environments /sequential lessons help each child to sense their success at every step of the way, and motivated by their own sense of joy of learning. My children are progressing very fast and way ahead of the average academics and social skills for their age. Thank you, PHMA!

- submitted by a parent
June 01, 2010
Wonderful school! Prior to enrolling, my child's academic confidence was in a sad state. Within a few months of being at PHMA everything changed for the better. Now, after one year, we can not believe how far she has come. The teachers are very caring and approachable. The administration is organized and friendly. Concerns are addressed quickly and efficiently. So glad to be here.

- submitted by a parent
April 28, 2010
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
no rating December 01, 2009
I love this school. Children come first at PHMA and it is a caring community. The needs of the child are always the primary concern of the head of school and each and every teacher. And they do it so well. Thank you for providing an education environment where children can excell and be true to themselves at the same time.

- submitted by a community member
November 21, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
September 09, 2008
Grace + courtesy, leadership/teamwork strong:finearts, ecological sciences, math + langarts, global cultures and managing earth's resources responsibly. A Green school! Hydroponics, Organic farming, recycling, Rosetta Stone Accounts for all, immersion Spanish, community service and community building amongst students and the entire faculty. Extensive sports programs, afterschool enrichment studios, caring team of professionals using structured record keeping system, absolutely amazing home away from home for my little ones. Ages 1-14, I know where they'll be! This stellar model of educational possibilities is US gov approved training site for teachers. 25 years of excellent service to over 2000 people, reunion Jan 3rd '09. Founded/administrated/owned by AMS certified, developmental and reading specialist teachers. Strategic tools for peace offered here, in regards to communication skills taught to the children. Now I know how Montessori is supposed to look, thanks to my children's blooming growth here. Carry on, PHMA!

- submitted by a parent
June 18, 2008
No homework, no tests, started late and ended early, and many dates skipped that regurlar schools didn't skip. Horrible!

- submitted by a community member
no rating May 15, 2008
My daughter is an elementary student at PHMA. She is reading above grade level and working on advanced mathematical concepts. The individualized program gives her the opportunity to explore subjects that she is interested in. She loves coming to school every day.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 10, 2008
My child's reading level this year jumped 2 1/2 grades! Starting out as a 5th grader for her first year at PHMA with a 3rd grade reading level was very tough but the teacher immediately got an action plan together which has brought her reading level up to where she needs to be to enter 6th grade next year!

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 29, 2008
Overpriced and that doesn t make it better for education. The half day program is 9-11:45 but if you want you child to stay an extra 30 minutes to enjoy lunch with their peers its $16 each time plus the parent provides lunch. I suggest to look at a few others such as New Horizons nearby on Nebraska, Safety harbor Montessori, Oakcrest on Mcmullen rd has a 1 yr old program, United Methodist church on mcmullen has a popular program with small class size. There is no structure and they do whatever they feel like all day so when kids go into real world they 'don't feel like doing math today and think its ok. Also, have worse reading skills. Parents are always asked to donate more money and this school even has nerve to ask for playground equipment donations. Where do the tens of thousands of dollars per child

- submitted by a parent
February 17, 2008
Our two kids have been at this school for 2 months. They are both excelling! My 4 yr old knows how to write his letters, numbers, and can read and spell phonetically. He knows all 50 states, can identify some on the map, including continents. He was bored to death at his previous school which was a nearby 'daycare'. PHMA teaches responsibility, communication and respect. The sibling rivalry is almost GONE between my 2 and 4 yr old kids. My 2 yr old puts away her dishes after every meal, goes to her self quieting spot when she is upset, and is fully potty trained (in 2 days at school thanks to Ms. Kim!) The teachers are highly trained. The director and owner encourage communication with parents and are very receptive to feedback. One problem-Full day tuition is 17K each, so we may be forced to look elsewhere next year unfortunately.

- submitted by a parent
February 07, 2008
Our 16 month old daughter has been attending for six weeks and we are amazed at her progress! The tuition is insane, but at this age, they're like little sponges - so it's worth it! The teachers are all incredibly sweet! Overall, very pleased!

- submitted by a parent
January 22, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
January 15, 2008
Love the school but dislike the tuition. My daughter has been going 3 years and loves going to school. The tuition jumped up to almost 14,000.00 this year and we are forced to look at other options.

- submitted by a parent
April 20, 2006
Really good preschool summer program with 4 days swimming during the week, in house field trips, pony rides and so on. Very friendly stuff. Only one but important minus: teachers switch every session (every two week), it was stressful for my 4 years old.

- submitted by a parent
January 04, 2006
Our 5 year old has been at this school since she was two and we are amazed with what she has learned. She is reading using phonetic readers and can count well past 100. She can name all of the continents and recognizes many of them on a map. She has music, and Spanish twice a week. We love this school and highly recommend it.

- submitted by a parent
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About this school

Palm Harbor Montessori is an accredited indpendent, co-education school. It is a collaborative, peaceful community of children, parents, faculty and administrators wehre children are honored and divesity is respected. PHMA is a place where love of learning is celebrated, educational programs are individualized and creativity abounds. PHMA participates in the Coordinated Childcare, Step up for Students and John McKay Scholarship programs.

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Last modified: November 03, 2014

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Palm Harbor Montessori Academy
2355 Nebraska Avenue, Palm Harbor, FL  34683
(727) 786-1854
Last modified Palm Harbor Montessori Academy is a Private school that serves grades PK-8
Palm Harbor Montessori Academy Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 46 reviews. Top