About The Program

East Lake Montessori is a part-time, non-profit early education program serving East Lake and the surrounding community. Our program serves ages two through kindergarten.

Mission Statement

East Lake Montessori is a school where students and adults respect each other and learn together in a Christ-centered environment that is caring, active, engaging, empowering, and filled with grace. We are a diverse collaborative community that prepares students to be lifelong learners.

What is Montessori?

Montessori is a proven education method that seeks to engage the whole child, nurturing independence, and cultivating confidence with respect. Lessons are presented to the children in a carefully prepared environment that creates interest and fosters concentration. Children are guided through the curriculum as they master various skills and progress at their own pace.

Maria Montessori once said that children do not need to learn how to use their imaginations, but they do need to learn how to work, and how to care for their environment. The method is based on these principles and the manipulatives that she developed.

Toddler Classroom (Ages 2-3)

The Toddler Classroom is a joyful space where teachers begin to introduce the Montessori concepts, but they still prioritize gross motor play, fun, and curiosity. They follow their own schedule as needed. The day consists of a shorter lesson time of 1-1.5 hours, group circles with songs and stories, crafts, recess, group play, socialization, and snacks. There is an extra recess in the morning, weather permitting. Children at this age are incredibly sensitive to language, so English and Spanish are introduced to prepare them for language proficiency. The Toddler Program is available Monday through Friday.

Preschool/Kindergarten Classroom (Ages 3-5)

Children in the Preschool/Kindergarten classroom will be immersed in the Montessori curriculum. The Montessori curriculum is designed to provide foundational building blocks for literacy, math, and a variety of cultural studies while fostering an environment of independence and creativity. Children must be fully potty trained.

The Preschool program is available two to five days a week. Children must be 3 years old by August 15th, prior to the start of the school year.

ELM’s Kindergarten Program is a homeschool support program. Kindergarten requirements vary by state. When homeschooling, Tennessee requires 180 days a year, four hours per day. ELM’s Kindergarten program is a homeschool tutorial service, fulfilling 16 of the required weekly hours if choosing the 4-day option, 20 hours if choosing the 5-day enrollment option. Kindergarten completes the 3-year primary cycle in a Montessori classroom. They become the leaders of the classroom. They learn to read in a gentle environment shaped to their individual needs.

General Program Information

Space is limited. We prioritize current families, siblings of current students, and our neighborhood families.

Please contact us to schedule a tour and for current rates.

Toddler Program
(24 mos – 3 yrs)
Preschool Program
(3 yrs – 5 yrs)
Homeschool Tutorial
2x to 5x/wk: 8:30-1pm2x to 5x/wk: 8:30-1pm4x to 5x/wk: 8:30-1pm

Admission Process*

Families begin the admissions process by touring our school to find out more about our method and philosophy of education. Montessori is a unique and specialized environment. We have found it best to invite parents to share and experience it themselves in order to give them the best opportunity to consider the program. We politely request no children be in attendance.

Upon completion of the tour, complete and return your application, accompanied by a non-refundable application fee. No child is able to be considered for admission until we have a completed application on file with the application fee. 

* Toddler admission requires one additional step, “Toddler Phase In.” This is a feature of our program designed to help your child make a positive transition from you to his/her new teacher. Each new student begins the program with a staggered start schedule to create a smooth transition.

After your new child visit, complete and return your application, accompanied by a non-refundable application fee. No child is able to be considered for admission until we have a completed application on file with the application fee.


Once a spot is available for enrollment, the next step in the process is scheduling an individual classroom visit for your child. This time of observation gives you the best view of how our classrooms work, and our teachers a one-on-one opportunity to interact with your child in the classroom setting. After completion of the new child visit, and pending acceptance from both parties — the school and family — an offer for enrollment is made. 

Families are required to attend the New Student and All Parent Orientations prior to the beginning of the school year.

Our kids at work!

East Lake Montessori (ELM) is a ministry partner with New City East Lake Church (PCA). We believe that every child deserves a strong foundational education that ignites creativity and a lifelong love of learning. We do not discriminate based on race, ethnicity, ability, or sex. We believe that God has created everyone in His unique image, and as such deserves compassion, dignity, and a sense of place and purpose. ELM is designed to communicate these things to every child that walks through our doors.

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