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West Seattle Montessori

Private | PK-8 | 180 students

Fostering Independence and a Love of Learning


Living in Seattle

Situated in an urban neighborhood. The median home value is $276,500. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $1,100.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
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4 stars

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23 reviews of this school

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Posted November 10, 2014

We had a very negative experience with this school. Our preschool son had a hard time adjusting to the Montessori environment, and the response of the administration was extremely inflexible. The communication channels between us and the administration did not work. They wrote reports on his behavior and never shared the written reports with us, but still held us accountable. The response to discipline issues was more appropriate for a grade-school student than for a three year old. It was extremely frustrating and disappointing.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted September 16, 2014

We moved my son from the local public school to West Seattle Montessori when my son was in 4th grade. It was the best decision we've made. He is a unique individual and did not fit in with the mold the public school needed him to be in. This school challenges him academically but also allows him to work in his own special way. We are very pleased.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted June 10, 2014

We have been so extremely happy with West Seattle Montessori over the past 4 years. All 3 of our children are enrolled here (and will continue to be for years to come) and we have been so pleased with their growth. We have 2 in pre-primary (entering kindergarten) and 1 entering 2nd grade and it s a joy to see them smiling before and after school every day. Their confidence (emotional, educational, physical, social) continues to grow day after day which is, in part, a product of the system in place at WSMS. The teachers are smart, involved, loving and truly care for every child at the school not just those in their classrooms. The 10-1 student to teacher ratio also leads to the teachers being able to appropriately and consistently address each child s unique needs. Another huge win is the parental involvement which is beyond remarkable. Dozens of parents attend the monthly parent meetings, auctions are always exceeding goals, parents are constantly at the school helping kids read and learn. It s comforting to know our kids are so well taken care of, and that their futures are brighter because of the experiences they re having at such a young and impressionable age.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted February 14, 2012

What an incredible school! The teachers at West Seattle Montessori are experienced, caring, and committed. They provide a unique, student-centered experience for each child, following the principles of Maria Montessori. The administrator is a well-educated, well-informed young lady with great vision and passion for the school. Under her leadership the school has greatly expanded in the past few years. The facility is top-rate, with exceptional classroom materials, large classrooms, and excellent outdoor equipment. Parents are encouraged to participate in all school activities, and are routinely found in large numbers at school events. Last week my wife and I attended the all-school play. The play's directed stated that she was thrilled to work for a school that continues to value the arts and makes the arts an integral part of the curriculum. I couldn't have said it better myself. Our five year old is already reading and has a number sense well beyond her years. Our three year old is learning independence as well as practical social skills. I can't imagine a better school for pre-schoolers through eighth grade. (I know the 6-8 grades have aligned to the Common Core).
—Submitted by a parent

Posted January 29, 2012

WSMS is the most wonderful little community. The small class sizes, the amazing staff. There is an emphasis on compassion and respect for others, respect for yourself and your environment. The Montessori method of learning to read is so failproof and easy, I'm such a fan. We fretted so much about where to send our Son, and feel like we made the best decision ever.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted May 18, 2011

I love West Seattle Montessori School & Academy! My child has benefited greatly by the DEDICATED staff and CARING leadership. We are so HAPPY to have a new school home at WSMS & WSA. As I pick up the monthly administrative letter, I see so many wonderful things happening--kids returning from Washington D.C., students going on class overnight trips, parent teas, community outreach opportunities, plant sale, and so much more! The list goes on and on. I just can't wait to have more children, so I can send to this school!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted March 30, 2011

I have two kids at West Seattle Montessori. As there are really only two options in West Seattle which go from prek-8, are private, and non-religious, I was very interested in both. I am pleased with where we ended up because the new young, energetic director is determined, the parents are enthusastic, the kids wonderful, and it seems to be getting better and better. I feel I am part of somethiing great.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted March 29, 2011

We started our kids at West Seattle Montessori when it was at its' old location. The new move and new ownership has been fantastic for many reasons: all the kids (ages 3-14) are under one roof with new student family programs creating a big school community feeling; the teachers have always been amazing and now there are even more teachers who have been hired (art teacher, science instructor, Spanish and PE teacher in addition to a dedicated Sign language teacher and fantastic music and drama teacher); the new ownership has inspired a school wide Virtues project, and community outreach monthly (just google West Seattle Montessori & Academy to see all the amazing things we've done!), as well as delicious whole foods lunch with FareStart catering lunches weekly. The parent community is highly involved not because they are required to but because they want to. I cannot speak highly enough about a school that has for years flown under the radar.....
—Submitted by a parent

Posted March 9, 2011

When we first started at West Seattle Montessori, the school was under different management, and was well-run. I have been quite dismayed with the changes that have taken place in the past 2 years. There is a serious failure to support a culture of respect and safety for the students. Behavioral problems are overlooked and it is detrimental to the learning environment, as well as the mental/emotional health of the other students. Attempts at parental intervention have been in vain, and my child is one in a series of students that have left for these reasons (per conversations with parents of these students). The positive: The academic program is very good, and the drama program is amazing.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted May 30, 2010

The new location has meant a longer commute (although there is a bus) and bigger class sizes. There are a lot of kids with behavior problems like hitting, biting, spitting and I don't see the school taking any real action to curb this type of behavior, if anything it seems to be getting worse. We have had so many letters home about why our daughter has been hurt which never happened in previous years. Needless to say, we won't be returning next year. Location is dodgy and I feel like we are constantly being nickel and dimed. On the plus side, there are some excellent teachers, particularly Mr. and Mrs. Clark who used to run the school. They also have a strong drama program and sign language which my daughter really enjoys.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted September 2, 2009

My son started here mid-way through the school year and he couldn't be happier. He started there one morning in April and it was as if he had always been there. The school is academically strong and has a great feeling of community. The education and development of each child is paramount and the staff really bring out the best in each child, challenging and engaging with them. Every morning my son is thrilled to go to school and all summer he has been asking when he gets to go back. He is always accepted for who he is and is growing into a fantastic young man.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted September 20, 2008

This is an amazing school. My son is in his third year, and we have zero regrets for sending him here. We plan to send him here all the way to 8th grade!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted September 13, 2007

Great, affordable private school. For less cost than other private schools, WSMS delivers a solid core education and offers a great environment for children to earn confidence and develop leadership skills. My two kids are in the elementary and middle school. I have been amazed how each teacher over the years manages to bring out the best in them. While the preschool is popular and offers a decent Montessori start, many parents move their kids to public schools after kindergarden. Too bad - I find the 1-8 grade education a good value, if you can live without extras like brick buildings and super sports programs. Kids who switch schools tend to repeat work they mastered at WSMS earlier. The middle school is a small but rich learning environment, with a highly regarded math program and a sense of camaraderie that helps keep kids in line during these sticky years.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted July 14, 2007

I am the parent of two WSMS students - a boy in 2nd grade and a girl in 5th. They have attended WSMS since they were both 3 years old. The best part of this school is that it feels like a community, where children learn self-respect as well as appropriate behavior towards others. The Montessori methods build on children's natural tendency towards wonder and learning, and cultivate self-discipline and direction. My children have very different learning styles yet both have done well and are very happy at this school. They wish there was a Montessori High School!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted April 15, 2007

This school is the most loving/caring marvelous place of learning and growing. Thank goodness for West Seattle Montessori School. The teachers really care and shape the childs learning around their individual needs. The child learns at his/her own pace and can go ahead and learn as much as he/she is able. Lot's of individual lessons. Math is taught like it is fun with beautiful materials being used to help make it all interesting. The teachers really listen to the child and parents and children feel like they are part of a family. Magnificent music and drama program. Small class size with a teacher and an assistant at all times. Great after school care program. I can't say enough, this school is unique and very special.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted January 24, 2007

Impressions from parents of prospective preschooler. The school seemed cold and rigid. Even as adults observing in a classroom we felt uncomfortable. The children were very well behaved but lacked the spark that children should have. The teacher spent the entire time with one child. Others were left to independently do whatever activity they wanted but just sat in their chairs doing nothing. No activities seemed to be planned for them, almost as if the teacher was content with them just sitting there quietly. Frankly, the children almost seemed ignored. The teachers did not address us in any way, not even with a 'good morning'. We were never asked if we had any questions, it was as if we were not even there. A real take it or leave it attitude. No nurturing, no joy, too cold and arrogant. No thanks. Would recommend if your child is a robot.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted March 25, 2006

My children have attended this school since pre-school and have done very well. We moved my older son to a public school for Kindergarted through 1/2 of 2nd grade. Halfway through the year we moved him back. The difference was astounding! He went from a 'behavior plan' and 'maybe he has ADD' to doing quite well academically and 'what a pleasure to have him in class.' We are definite believers in the Montessori curriculum and this school.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted February 16, 2006

My son has been at WS Montessori since he was 4. I cherished their emphasis on love of learning, the arts, and basic skills through the 5th grade. As a result, my son has blossomed into a confident young man. But the lengthy amount of time spent on the drama program for middle schoolers has seriously detracted from my son's need for academics at a critical juncture in his education. He has had excellent instructors; they have been responsive and hardworking. However, I totally agree with one respondent that this is 'a great school for a motivated child.' My concern is what happens when the child is not so motivated or skilled? Montessori does not have adequate support for kids who fall into this category, as my son does. Otherwise, my son and I have both loved it.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted May 4, 2005

A terrific school for a kid who is self motivated. The classes are small and nuturing.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted February 5, 2005

My children have been attending West Seattle Montessori for 6 years and we are extremely pleased with our experience. From a wonderful preschool/kindergarten program to an excellent lower and upper elementary program, my children are confident, well educated and thrilled to go to school every day. This school is great!
—Submitted by a parent

Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

About these ratings

The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

We currently do not have any test score information for this school. Unlike public schools, private schools are not always required to report data about their schools or not required to take the same tests as public schools. Many private schools take different standardized tests; however, that information is often made available only to families of enrolled students. We strive to acquire additional private school data whenever available.

Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
White 77% 60%
Two or more races 15% 6%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander 6% 7%
Black 1% 5%
Hispanic 1% 20%
American Indian/Alaska Native 0% 2%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% 1%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

Teacher resources

Special staff resources available to students None
Read more about programs at this school
Source: Provided by a school official.

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Special education / special needs

Level of special education programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students

Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM)

  • Math club

Arts & music

  • Band
Performing and written arts
  • Drama

Language learning

Foreign languages taught
  • American sign language
  • Spanish
School leaders can update this information here.

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School basics

School start time
  • 9:00 am
School end time
  • 3:00 pm
Before school or after school care / program onsite
  • Before school: starts at 8:00 a.m.
  • After school: ends at 6:00 p.m.
School Leader's name
  • Angela Sears
Best ways for parents to contact the school
Age at which early childhood or Pre-K program begins
  • 2 years old
  • Coed
Boarding options
  • Day school
Is there an application process?
  • Yes
  • Nonsectarian
  • AMI
Fax number
  • (206) 935-2037


Instructional and/or curriculum models used

Don't understand these terms?
  • Montessori
Specific academic themes or areas of focus

Don't understand these terms?
  • None
Bi-lingual or language immersion programs offered

Don't understand these terms?
  • No
Level of special education programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students
Foreign languages taught
  • American sign language
  • Spanish
Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • None


Staff resources available to students
  • None
Extra learning resources offered
  • None
Transportation options
  • Buses/vans for students only
School facilities
  • None
School leaders can update this information here.

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Boys sports
  • None
Girls sports
  • None

Arts & music

Visual arts
  • None
  • Band
Performing arts
  • Drama
Media arts
  • None

Student clubs

Clubs (distinct from courses)
  • Chess club
  • Homework help/study buddy club
  • Math club
  • Recreation
School leaders can update this information here.

Upcoming Events

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School culture

Dress Code
  • Neither uniforms nor dress code
Bullying policy
  • This school has a bullying and/or cyber bullying policy in place.
Parent involvement
  • Attend parent nights
  • Chaperone school trips
  • Join PTO/PTA
  • Monitor the playground
  • Organize fundraising events (school auction, bake sales, etc.)
  • Volunteer in the classroom
School leaders can update this information here.
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11215 15th Ave SW
Seattle, WA 98126
Website: Click here
Phone: (206) 935-0427


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