We’re glad you’re visiting our website. On this page you can learn more about admission for our two programs (Preschool and K–12 School), the admissions process, and the application. If you want to learn more about how we put Montessori into practice, you can read about it here, along with our philosophy and approach.

About La Crescent Montessori & STEM

Located on the South end of La Crescent, LMSS is housed in the remodeled skating rink. The original hardwood floors can be seen in our Children’s House and Elementary I classrooms. Each classroom is designed to make every child feel relaxed and empowered to learn through exploration and experiments. Take a tour and see for yourself!

Lessons are tailored to each child’s abilities and academic readiness. The teacher relies on his or her observations of the children to determine which new activities and materials may be introduced to an individual child or to a small group. The aim is to encourage active, self-directed learning, and to strike a balance of individual mastery with small-group collaboration within the whole group community.

The three-year-age span in each class provides a family-like grouping where learning can take place naturally. More experienced children share what they have learned while reinforcing their own learning. Because this peer group learning is intrinsic to Montessori, there are often more conversation/language experiences in the Montessori classroom than in conventional early education settings.

For self-directed learning to take place, the whole learning environment—classroom, materials and social climate—must support 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 them to try new things and build self-confidence.

A main tenant of Dr. Maria Montessori is the child deserves respect as a human being from all other people, including adults. Children are to be respected as different from adults and as individuals who are different from one another.

The academic program at LMSS is based upon specific Montessori outcomes and aligned to Minnesota academic standards. Extensive use of Montessori materials help develop concentration, coordination, order, and independence, as well as provide concrete experiences of academic concepts.

Each student’s educational journey is a partnership between the child and the educator. Educators are specially trained to recognize avoidant behavior and indecision, and empower students to explore their interests and improve upon areas in need of development.

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education is an applied, exploratory approach. As a result, STEM education and Montessori are highly complementary, each emphasizing that the child determines what she or he learns through hands-on experimentation.

Beginning in the Montessori preschool environment, students learn the fundamental rules of math and science and the discovery of natural laws through the manipulation of didactic materials and problem-solving with peers. The work engages the senses and ensures the internalization of concepts, not just the memorization of disjointed facts and figures. The Montessori concept of Cosmic Education reinforces that everything is interrelated and students see how math and science work harmoniously in nature.

Child scooping materials into three bowls

“My kids love coming to school every morning. They light up when it is time to go to class.”

—Parent of an LMSS student


Busy hands, growing minds.

Preschool at LMSS is integrated with the Children’s House classroom, though we do charge tuition for it. The preschool calendar follows the LMSS school calendar. Families can choose between full time and part time options for preschool. A tuition fee schedule will be provided to you with the enrollment packet. You can learn more about Children’s House here.

Part-time M–F: 8 a.m.–12 p.m.

Full-time M–F: 8 a.m.–3 p.m. (there is early release on Wednesdays)

Tuition Part-time: $300/month; Full-time: $475/month

Because we want all students to benefit from a full-time Montessori program option, LMSS offers a discounted tuition to full-time participants. Parents can provide 25 hours of volunteer time to the school, and have 50% of the tuition fee waived.


Joyful scholars.

LMSS is a public charter school providing tuition-free education for grades K–12 school children. You can learn more about our individual classrooms by clicking on the links below:

Children’s House: Kindergarten*

Elementary I: Grades 1–3

Elementary II: Grades 4–6

Adolescent Program: Grades 7–12

Class begins at 8 a.m., and students are released at 2:55 p.m. Early release is scheduled every Wednesday at 2:15 p.m. A calendar can be found here. If you are a Wisconsin resident, please call the office for the current tuition pricing available.

*Preschool is integrated into Children’s House, though the admissions process is separate as tuition is charged for preschool.


An education as unique as your child!


We're happy to connect with you to answer any questions you have!


We're happy to see you here! You're one step closer to admission.

Online Application

Printable Application

Enrollment Policies

La Crescent Montessori & STEM School does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, sexual orientation, or disability in its programs and activities.

Brief History of the School

La Crescent Montessori & STEM School was founded by a group of interested parents who wanted an all day Montessori school option in the La Crescent area for their children. The school became a Minnesota public charter school in August, 1999. LMSS began with two classrooms in a brand-new building: Children’s House and Elementary I.

In 2003, the Middle School and High School was added to the charter. The focus of these upper grades is STEM education with the underlying foundation of a Montessori education. Earth Science, engineering along with contextualized math, are at the forefront of this curriculum. LMSS uses Project Lead The Way curriculum to enhance this experience.

In the summer of 2011, we made the exciting move to our current location. Many of us still remember when this building was the skating rink. We are lucky enough to have the beautiful wood floors still in use. Our first senior graduation ceremony was held in 2015. Today, we continue to promote compassionate and globally minded students through the use of Montessori practices and STEM experiments. Call us today to set up a tour and see for yourself!