Coed Montessori


As a parent, you know your own child better than anyone. Not only are you selecting a school for your child to learn, but also a place that will allow them to blossom and grow. We would love to help them do that at Viz!
Our Montessori program, established more than 50 years ago and the first of its kind in the St. Louis area, allows children to learn in multi-age groups, at their own pace, with freedom of choice. A primary goal of our Montessori program is to help each child reach full potential in all areas of life. His or her physical, emotional, social, aesthetic, spiritual, and cognitive needs and interests are considered inseparable and equally important. The Montessori curriculum, under the direction of a specially educated teacher, provides the resources and atmosphere for exploration and discovery, allows students to experience the joy of learning, promotes the development of self-esteem, and fosters respect for one’s self, for others, and for the environment.
The Viz Montessori has three distinctive yet cohesive programs: the Toddler Program for 2-year-olds, the 3-5-Year-Old Program, and Kindergarten. As children progress, Practical Life Skills and Freedom of Choice are reinforced and additional concepts such as Order, Concentration, Coordination, Independence, and Respect for Others are introduced. By the time the children are in Kindergarten, they have become the leaders, taking on more responsibility and even teaching younger students.
There is something truly special going on in the Viz Montessori. We invite you to discover all the wonderful opportunities our programs have to offer to your child.
Dr. Marlise Albert

The Building Blocks of Viz’s Montessori Program

The thoughtfully prepared learning environment of the Viz Montessori classrooms includes Montessori-based activities combined with a well-rounded curriculum. This atmosphere of exploration and discovery is designed to stimulate curiosity and promote a lifelong love of learning while building confidence and self-esteem.

List of 6 items.

  • Practical Life

    Through practical activities such as grasping, spooning, using tongs, pouring beans and water, scooping, opening and closing, stringing beads, and care of the environment through the use of sponges and a broom and dustpan, children develop the skills of order, concentration, coordination, and independence. The activities are designed to enable the child to explore his environment through movement while gaining harmony with his brain, senses and muscles; give the child direction and movement through repetition; and promote confidence to face challenges and change.
  • Sensorial Activities

    The sensorial area activities help the child develop his awareness of the different characteristics and qualities of objects around him/her by using the senses. The area includes Knobbed Cylinders, Knobless Cylinders, Pink Tower, Brown Stair, Color Tablets, and various sorting exercises. As the child explores the world around him/her through the senses, he/she develops a keener eye for discrimination of contrasts and minute details, gains a sharpened sense of perception, learns basic problem solving, and has the opportunity for abstract learning.
  • STEM

    STEM is emphasized at the earliest ages as students learn the foundations of numbers, math, and science, including participation in a Monarch Butterfly life cycle project. Exposure to STEM concepts continues in Kindergarten and includes the introduction of robotics. Students begin by programming a Beebot, but the program provides opportunities for differentiated instruction. Students can advance to more complicated components and design as they master concepts along the way. Understanding of major physical science concepts is enhanced and that knowledge is extended to use and application in problem solving.
  • Modern Language

    The Lower School language program begins with the introduction of French across all Montessori Program age groups. The fundamentals of French, including greetings, days of the week, numbers, animals, colors, and weather are taught throughout the year. These new vocabulary words are woven into the classroom in a variety of enjoyable activities - reading books, singing songs, and interactive games - that engage young minds and help students master the fundamentals of the French language.
  • Technology

    Technology is integrated into the curriculum beginning in Kindergarten to promote an environment focused on 21st century learning. The use of iPads, computers, and other technology provides students more ways to enhance their education. Kindergarten students get hands-on experience with the Seesaw app, using it to be creative and to document and share what they are learning in the classroom with their parents. Important skills like coding are learned while programming robotic mice during STEM classes.
  • Spirituality

    The importance of a spiritual life is stressed as students learn about moral values (honesty, patience, and respect) and participate in informal prayer (praise, petitions, and thanksgiving for God, family, and the environment). Each class begins with a prayer and students learn the Sign of the Cross, the Lord’s Prayer, and the Hail Mary. Additional spiritual opportunities include celebrating feast days and holy days; attending church activities; listening to Bible stories; and singing religious songs. At age three, children participate in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, a Montessori-based approach to the religious formation of children.

Montessori Toddler Program

The Place to Be When You're Two or Three
The Visitation Academy Montessori Toddler Program offers young children, between the ages of two and three, a unique year of self-development and growth in a gentle atmosphere of love, understanding, and respect.
Within the framework of a thoughtfully prepared learning environment and well-rounded curriculum, each student in the Montessori Toddler classroom is free to make independent choices based on his or her interests. Students have access to a number of multi-sensory and sequential materials designed to stimulate curiosity and facilitate the learning of skills and abstract ideas and are allowed to explore the environment with guidance from the teacher as necessary.

Montessori Toddler Program Specifics:

  • Students must be 2 years old by August 1
  • Maximum student-teacher ratio of 6:1
  • Each class is led by two Montessori-trained teachers
  • Full-day and half-day enrollment options available
  • Admission is based on a parent visit and teacher/child interaction

Montessori Pre-K Program

A Child that’s Three, Four, or Five Will Definitely Thrive
Our Montessori Pre-K Program, for boys and girls ages three, four, and five, features multi-aged classrooms, creating the ideal environment to promote peer group learning.

Children develop at different rates and the Montessori environment offers a variety of materials for all individual learning styles. In order for self-directed learning to take place, the whole learning environment – room, materials, and social climate – must be supportive of the learner. The teacher provides necessary resources, including opportunities for children to function in a safe and positive climate. The teacher thus gains the children’s trust, which enables students to try new things and build self-confidence.

Montessori Pre-K Program Specifics:

  • Students have turned 3 or 4 by August 1
  • Maximum student-teacher ratio of 10:1
  • Each class is led by two Montessori-trained teachers
  • Full-day and half-day enrollment options available
  • Admission is based on a parent visit and teacher/child interaction

Montessori Kindergarten Program

At the Age of Five, We Take a Deeper Dive
In addition to the continued use of the Montessori philosophy of teaching and Montessori materials, Kindergarten students at Visitation Academy experience a more structured setting, where a greater number of lessons are presented in large groups.
Individual work periods continue to allow students time to develop and practice skills while progressing at their own rate. Formal texts are used for teaching religion, math, and handwriting. Although accelerated learning at an early age is not the goal of the program, it is often the result. Many children advance quickly because Viz’s Montessori teachers capitalize on each child’s natural desire to learn.

Montessori Kindergarten Program Specifics:

  • Students have turned 5 by August 1
  • Maximum student-teacher ratio of 13:1
  • Each class is led by a Montessori-trained teacher
  • Full-day enrollment
  • Admission is based on a parent visit, teacher/child interaction, and a standardized assessment

How Can We Help?

If you have questions about the coed Montessori program or all-girl program for Grades 1-5, please don't hesitate to contact us.

List of 5 items.

  • Office Hours

    Monday - Friday
    7:00 a.m. - 3:45 p.m.
  • Summer Hours

    Monday - Thursday
    8:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
  • Dr. Marlise Albert

    Montessori and Lower School Principal
  • Gayle Lund

    Montessori and Lower School Administrative Assistant
  • Admissions

    Stephanie Clark Dolan ‘96
    Director of Enrollment and Lower School Admissions
Visitation Academy is an independent, private Catholic school offering a coeducational Montessori preschool and Kindergarten program, the area's only all-girl elementary program for Grades 1-5, and an all-girl middle school and all-girl high school.
© 2023 Visitation Academy of St. Louis County. All Rights Reserved.