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Inspiring lifelong learners in preschool through fifth grade in Durango, Colorado.

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Enroll now for the 2024-25 school year

Now open to enroll! Summer Camp at DMS

At Durango Montessori School we seek to honor your child as a whole person by utilizing the whole-child approach. This teaching philosophy prioritizes all the personal as well as developmental needs of students in addition to their academic achievement. 


What is Montessori? Montessori is a method of education that puts an emphasis on self-directed or child-led activity through hands on learning and collaborative exploration. 

Outdoor education and free play not only support emotional, behavioral, and intellectual development but improves academic performance and overall brain health. Through our Montessori lens, we see our outdoor environment as an extension of the classroom. 

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Nestled in historic Downtown Durango we are so fortunate to have partnered with the Smiley Building as our school location from the beginning. The Emory E. Smiley Junior High School served as a high school until 1994 at which time the Shaw family undertook the rehabilitation of the project to create a dynamic multi-use space for businesses and the community alike. The Smiley is not only one of the leaders in sustainability but has led Durango Montessori to build some amazing connections with fellow tenants. Seed Studio is one of these partnerships we are so fortunate to foster, their program combines art, yoga, and nature and serves as one of our “specials” for kindergarten and beyond. The Smiley also offers peaceful transitions for families at drop off and pick up. You will often see parents connecting in the afternoon not only with teachers but fellow parents as the children enjoy free play on the lawn. There is no rush of a line of cars or chaos but a time to ground in and connect with your child about the day. There are also amazing treats at the Smiley café in case the after-school hunger takes over. 

Durango Montessori has been such a gift to our family. The incredible staff and administration have poured love into our kids, particularly during the pandemic. The school has really thought outside the box in providing outdoor education through Colvig Silver Camp, giving kids sunshine, fresh air, and space to just be kids. My son has also had this wonderful opportunity to really learn from outstanding community programs like the Seed Studio and STEM classes with the Powerhouse Science Center. All of this while having both their education and their emotional needs really cared for. So grateful for Durango Montessori!

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