The Genesis Business Park and surrounding subdivisions off of South 19th Avenue will soon have a new Montessori early childhood program in the neighborhood. Bozeman Montessori, a licensed early childhood center serving children from 6 months to 6 years is now adding a second location on Enterprise Boulevard, just off of Stucky near the Spire Climbing Center. The remodel work on the building is scheduled to be completed this summer and hiring and onboarding for new staff continue as the faculty grows. Plans to open a summer camp this month at the new location are also underway.
“We know Bozeman families need quality options and we are seeing a lot of continued growth on the south side of Bozeman,” says Program Director Victoria Brailsford.
Brailsford and the school founder Marissa SherKenney purchased the 7,200-squarefoot building with plans to add new preschool, toddler and infant classrooms all following the Montessori method of education. The remodel project is the work of Lutey Construction led by Shane Lutey, a past parent of one of Bozeman Montessori’s students. Architectural drawings were submitted by Henri Fochs, another former parent who works with Intrinsik Architecture. “We are adding plenty of low sinks to support handwashing and low toilets right in the classrooms,” says SherKenney. “This means children will not have to leave their areas in order to use the bathroom or wash their hands, which better supports the development of their independence in these early years – and is a feature often requested by early childhood teachers, along with indoor spaces for grossmotor movement.”
For teaching staff, the center will also offer a staff wellness room with an exercise area and shower, as well as community areas for parentchild classes and other school meetings.
The school is adjacent to a five-acre park with walking trails and ponds, which the school plans to utilize. The facility also includes a large, sunny kitchen for Bozeman Montessori’s food program. “From home-baked muffins, overnight oats and roasted tofu and vegetables, our food program incorporates a lot of delicious plant-based proteins and high-fiber foods that are ideal as children are developing their palate and exploring new textures and flavors with family-style meals,” adds Brailsford. “Our teachers love eating with the children, and families tell us they often notice the comforting aromas of freshly baked goods when they enter our building, and we agree!”
Starting this month, families can choose between two campuses including the existing location designed by SherKenney on Equestrian Lane in Baxter Meadows. The original location, now entering its 10th year of operation, will continue to serve families with children 15 months old and up. Services included are music classes, soccer camp, a cloth diapering service, composting, regular Bookmobile visits and the food program.
Bozeman Montessori is a STARS Level 4 in Montana’s rigorous voluntary quality rating and improvement system. It is the only Montessori program in this region participating in the STARS to Quality Best Beginnings programs. Every lead teacher holds an accredited Montessori teaching credential in the age group they serve supported by other teaching staff in their classrooms.
Bozeman Montessori’s mission is “Where the community comes together in support of children to cultivate joyfully engaged individuals at every stage of life.” Parents coordinate monthly book clubs and participate in other special projects like gardening, material-making and events.
“Spots are filling quickly,” says Enrollment Coordinator, Chris McNeil, who has been with the school for almost a decade, both as a parent and as part of the leadership team. “If you are looking for a child-centered community as your next home away from home, we want to be a resource for you.” For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.bozemanmontessori.com.