Dancing Pines FAQs

Montessori education, founded by Dr. Maria Montessori in the early 20th century, is a distinct form of education that differs in its history, objectives, and approach from conventional education. Dr. Montessori, who was an Italian physician and scientist, observed how children learn and created a “prepared environment” where students learn through hands-on experience. Montessori education is active, individualized, and competency-based, placing equal emphasis on academic, social, and emotional development. On the other hand, the conventional education model was developed during the industrial revolution to meet the needs of a transitioning society. Efficiency was a core value, and the system prioritized teaching students how to meet specific standards so that they could become productive members of society. Although modern educators recognize the effectiveness of Montessori’s approach, implementing this style of education is challenging due to the structure of the conventional system and its emphasis on standardized testing.

Ensuring a Successful Start with DPM
We want to make sure that DPM is the right choice for your family and student. For students in early primary school, we look for readiness to participate in the Montessori classroom. To be eligible, students must be at least three years old by August 31st of the attending year, capable of independently using the bathroom and demonstrating an age-appropriate level of independence to complete a morning work-cycle.

We are seeking lower and upper elementary students who exhibit self-direction and foster a positive environment in both the classroom and school community.

No, we are not a daycare or childcare center. We are approved by the Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction to educate children ages 3-12 as a private preschool and elementary school.

Yes, children must be potty trained to attend our primary classroom. Children must demonstrate that they are able to determine when they need to use the restroom and go without prompting or assistance. Our goal is always to encourage independence in all aspects of a child’s development. We are able to help of course with the occasional accident or assist in dressing or fastening clothing. We will also regularly remind children to ask themselves if they need to use the bathroom. Ultimately, bathroom accidents detract from our ability to provide academic lessons to all of the children.

No, because we are not a licensed childcare center, we are not able to offer before or after school care.

Our drop off time for school begins at 8:55am. All classrooms are in session starting by 9:15am. If you have a 3-4 year old, pick-up time will be at 12pm. 4-5 year olds may be 1pm if you opt for the extended pick-up time after lunch. 5-6 year olds that stay full day are picked up at 3:30pm. Our lower elementary and upper elementary students (ages 6-12) are picked up at 3:45pm.

We follow Kent School District and Tahoma School District closures for snow, ice, or weather advisories. For more information on what our calendar will look like next year, please reference our current calendar. The calendar tab is at the top of the page.