Adolescent Program (AP)



Adolescent Program (AP)

LMSS’s Adolescent Program (AP) is our progressive approach to the traditional Montessori curriculum. Our mixed-classroom setting of grades 7 thru 12 not only expands mentorship between older and younger students, but also better prepares our 7th & 8th grade students for the college preparatory curriculum that they will experience in high school.

The school’s Adolescent Program (AP) addresses the needs of the adolescent student in an environment created specifically for seventh through twelfth-grade students. Students and teachers work together to promote a community atmosphere of learning. The AP strives to fill the needs of the early adolescent and provides a safe, secure and developmentally appropriate environment to assist students in reaching their full potential.

The curriculum, based on state standards, focuses on developing world citizens and cultivating life/work skills. These skills are acquired and refined through the application of language, mathematics, science, and cultural studies to specific projects, experiences, enterprises, and involvement in the community. Preparation for becoming and developing as a contributing member of society weaves into all aspects of the program.  The program strives to foster creativity, resilience, and action through a rigorous, innovative curriculum.  Through a series of highly engaging, project-based courses, AP offers students the opportunity to gather practical life experiences and high-level theory courses to achieve their learning goals.  The program also allows students to pursue research areas of interest and to extend their learning beyond the classroom through independent study, extended field trips, outreach, a student-run business, and community internships. Parents, teachers, and students work in partnership to guide the self-actualization of the student.

The school year starts off with a two week immersive culture period.  During the first two weeks of classes, AP offers students a two week customized curriculum that focuses on a specific culture.  This ‘slow start’ provides time for orientation and to thoroughly understand the workload and expectations in AP.  Each of the primary subjects is tailored and integrated into the study of a specific culture to elicit an understanding of the culture as well as to establish the basic tools for each area of study.  Past cultures have included Vikings, Ancient China, Native Americans and our own local culture (specific to how it was effected by environmental changes such as weather/climate and the Mississippi River).

AP is also a time when students engage in numerous outings.  The first semester typically includes day trips which allow students to engage in the world in a variety of ways.  Past outings have included trips to the area Lock and Dam, wildlife reserves, downtown La Crosse, Goose Island, Pettibone Park, UW-La Crosse Campus, Viterbo Campus as well as area businesses.  Second semester typically includes an extended trip opportunity for the students.  Previous trips have included Natures Classroom Institute, MacKenzie Center in Baraboo, WI and most recently, an eight day trip to the East Coast, taking in sights and history in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, New York,  Massachusetts and more.


                                        J-Term and M-Term

DSC_0910LMSS is also proud to offer a unique set of academic experiences during what we call J-Term and M-Term.

J-Term, taking place throughout the entire month of January, offers exciting and unique courses based on the expertise of our highly-trained and well-rounded AP teachers. Some courses that have been offered in the past include:

  • Film Studies
  • Personal Finance
  • Culinary Arts
  • Forensic Analysis
  • Special Topics Art
  • And More!

M-Term, taking place throughout the entire month of May, focuses on college readiness. In working with our AP teachers and our College Counselor, students work through the entire college exploration process together, from identifying their interests with the ACT Explore to planning their financial future. M-Term culminates with a series of college tours. In the past, our students have toured midwestern colleges including Big Ten schools, private universities, UW-system schools, and community or technical schools. This broadens their scope of higher learning and allows our students to explore every possible option for post-secondary learning.

Further, M-Term curriculum allows students to practice job-readiness skills. To partner their college-readiness experiences, students learn to write a résumé, write a cover letter, research job opportunities, and much, much more. This best prepares our students for their week long job shadow experience, in which they, in partnership with their parent or guardian, identify a field that they are interested, contact local industry leaders, and set up a week long job shadow experience.

Classes in the adolescent program are offered on a revolving schedule. For the most up-to-date course offerings, feel free to give us a call or schedule a tour!

We invite you to visit our Adolescent Program and experience a world-class education

Parent Information Packet 2017-18

AP School Supply List

AP Family Handbook 2017-18  (This is in conjunction with the LMSS Family Handbook)

TamiMrs. Holtslander: History and ELA (English Language Arts) for grades 7 & 8

Tami Holtslander is currently an Adolescent Program Guide for (7/8 th grade) Humanities and Literature courses at La Crescent Montessori & STEM. She received her AMS (American Montessori Society) Elementary Certification, Master of Arts in Education, & Montessori STEM Certification from The Center for Contemporary Montessori Programs, St. Catherine’s, St. Paul, MN.  She received her PLTW training and STEM minor from the University of Minnesota.  She has her undergraduate degree, BA in Psychology, with an emphasis on Adolescence from University of Wisconsin Eau Claire. She has taught all levels of Montessori since 1998 and was a School Director for five years at La Crescent Montessori & STEM School.  She has presented at multiple AMS conferences and was adjunct faculty for the Montessori teacher training program at St. Catherine’s.  She is a proud mom to two children who were among the first graduates of LMSS and “have seen first-hand the benefits of a Montessori education for many children.”  Recently, she took the AMI (Association Montessori Internationale), “Keepers of Alexandria” and fell in love with the training, readings and the curriculum offered by AMI programs.

KateMiss Kate: History and ELA (English Language Arts) for grades 9-12.

Ms. Kate joined our team two years ago after she student taught under Mrs. H.   Her path started at Iowa State University where she studied Psychology and Philosophy.  Eventually, she moved to La Crosse to pursue Social Studies Education.  As a self-proclaimed history nerd and lover of books, Ms. Kate feels lucky to get to teach both Social Studies and English to the LMSS High School students.   Students here can always count on Ms. Kate to read them a poem or correct their citations.  When not in school Ms. Kate can most likely be found reading, watching Netflix, or camping with her family.

Miss. G: Science for grades 7-12.

Ms. G has been as La Crescent Montessori & STEM School since 2015.   Prior to joining us Ms. G studied Aquatic Science and Spanish at the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse.  She did not always plan on becoming a teacher, but after visiting LMSS, she knew it was the right fit.  The students love that Ms. G creates an environment where scientific discovery happens each day.  But, the classroom isn’t the only place where Ms. G uses science; she spends her time away from school crafting scientifically perfect jokes as an improv comedian in the group Heart of La Crosse.


ZachMr. Z: Mathematics for grades 7-12.

I am Zach Kilpatrick (Mr. Z for short).  I teach 7-12th Grade Mathematics and this is my first year at La Crescent Montessori.  I received my Associates Degree in Liberal Arts from Anoka Ramsey Community College in 2012 and my Bachelors Degree with a major in Secondary Mathematics Education and minor in Coaching from Winona State University in 2017.  After earning my Associates Degree I worked with Minnesota Math Corps at Isanti Middle School helping students who struggled in math.  This led me to go back to school, continue my education, and become a math teacher.  Outside of school, I enjoy playing and watching sports; specifically basketball but I also enjoy football, baseball, and golf.  I have also coached middle school boys and girls basketball in the past.