Montessori Ice Cream Social

Child holding ice cream cone
Montessori Ice Cream Social

Please Join all our Montessori families as we kick-of the school year. Join us for ice cream and information: Monday, September 18th, 5:30-6:30pm

Central Elementary School
1325 Poplar St

Kidworks! March 19 at the Holter Museum

Join the Holter Museum for the 24th Annual Kidworks! Family Festival of the Arts.  This year participants will enter a Magical Rainforest, create a safari vest, set out to enjoy 8 different exotic art projects. Along with the imaginative art activities, we will have face painting, live performances by local youth performing groups, and Rainforest themed kid-friendly snacks.  There’s fun for all ages at Helena’s annual family arts festival.

Saturday, March 19 10am-3pm

Cost: $5/per child, $2/per adult

Check out the Holter Museum website for more information

Find Event on Facebook

Helena Public Montessori Parents (HPMP) organization will be helping out again at the Holter Museum’s Kidworks Art Festival.  Montessori parents are an important part of this annual public event – our parents staff the art tables, and the Holter provides HPMP with funds to help us support continuing Montessori education for our existing teachers, classroom material needs, and new teacher trainings.

Click on the link below to sign-up:

HEF Great Ideas Grant

Katy Wright, a Montessori 1st through 3rd grade teacher from Smith Elementary School, obtained a Helena Education Foundation Great Ideas grant last spring to purchase several Montessori fraction sets and stamp games. Katy has trained a group of non-Montessori Smith School teachers in the use of these materials, which they will use in their classrooms to supplement math instruction. As a result of Katy’s efforts, non-Montessori students in every grade level in Smith Elementary now have access to Montessori math works. Many thanks to Katy for her efforts and Smith Principal Jilyn Oliveira for her conception and support of this project!

New Board elected for 2012-2013

At the May HPMP general meeting, officers were elected for the upcoming school year 2012-2013:

Co-President – Erin Turner, Central parent

Co-President – Freya Bell, Smith parent

Treasurer – Heather Nicholson, Central parent

Co-Secretary – Alana Listoe, Broadwater parent

Co-Secretary – Rikki Read, Broadwater parent

Past President – Marika Adamek, Broadwater parent

Lead of Future Directions Committee – Diana Hammer, Central parent

Broadwater Rep – Erin Lanigan

Central Rep – Colleen Roylance

Smith Rep – Dee Cochrane

Update re: HPMP activities related to the HSD

Update regarding Helena Public Montessori Parents (HPMP) activities related to the Helena School District

There are three main issues, we want to bring to your attention:

1.    Helena School District  Education Planning – Citizens’ Group;
2.    HPMP presentation to the Helena School Board; and
3.    Continued discussions with the School District regarding the Future of Montessori in Helena Public Schools

We welcome your thoughts!

As you may already know, the Helena School District is embarking on a planning process aimed at defining the way they deliver education as well as identifying improvements to facilities that support the educational delivery.

A Steering Committee has been chosen and the public is encouraged to participate in public workshops.

The first workshop will be held at the Helena High Cafeteria at 6:00-8:30 on Tuesday, December 6th, 2011.  The focus of this workshop will be an introduction of the planning process to the public and identification of issues and challenges that the community currently faces.  The format for the meeting will include table discussions of topics ranging from educational delivery to transportation and building capacities.

Workshops will continue approximately monthly through the fall of 2012.

Please bookmark this website for updated information as well as visiting the District website: and

On a related note:  With the input of interested Montessori parents, HPMP Board is currently working on a presentation to deliver to the District Trustees.

HPMP is also continuing the discussion of the future of Montessori with the School District.  The Principals from Broadwater, Central, and Smith Elementary Schools have joined us and continue to be a part of these discussions.  HPMP and the Principals are meeting with Keith Meyer later this month.

Since its inception HPMP has worked in partnership with the District to create a Montessori program that is available to our children, strong and supported by our Helena community.

It is the current Board’s intention to be an active participant in the District’s Ed Planning Citizen’s Group.

And we want your help!

YOU make up the Montessori community and YOUR input is invaluable! You can email, attend workshops and/or share your thoughts with us.  We invite you to be informed and be a part of this process!

Thank you for all that you are able to do!

LobsterFest 2011 a Success!

Helena Public Montessori Parents would like to thank the Helena community for supporting our 21st Annual LobsterFest.  LobsterFest has been a Helena tradition for over two decades.  Funds raised through Lobsterfest are used for Montessori teacher training and certification as well as special classroom supplies.

LobsterFest would not be a success without the help of local businesses.  Thank you to  KMTX, KHBB, and Cherry Creek radio stations, as well as other local stations who ran our announcements; the City of Helena for use of Memorial Park; the Independent Record; Montana City Meats; the Lewis and Clark Brewery; the Montana Book Company; Mountain West Bank; Hometown Helena; and all the businesses who generously allowed us to display posters.  We offer special thanks to our participating restaurants: Benny’s, the Mediterranean Grill; and the Montana Club.  And we extend our heartfelt appreciation to everyone in our community who embraces LobsterFest each year with such enthusiasm!

We look forward to seeing you again next year.  LobsterFest 2012 will be Saturday, November 3, 2012.

To learn more about HPMP and Montessori in Helena’s public schools, please visit our website:  Montessori is another great choice for Helena’s children in our public schools.


Marika Adamek & Rebecca Stanfel, Co-Presidents

On behalf of the Helena Public Montessori Parents 2011-2012 Board

Results of the Montessori Survey

Beginning in late 2009, a group of interested parents and teachers began meeting to discuss our interest in possibly growing the public Montessori program in Helena. After several meetings, brainstorming sessions, and briefings with school Principals and Dr. Messinger, HPMP drafted an online survey to be completed by Parents of current Montessori Students, Montessori Teachers/Administrators at Broadwater, Smith, and Central Schools, and Montessori Students (grades 3-5).

In February, a survey link was sent to these targeted groups, with a link to a survey specific to each group (parent survey, teacher/administrator survey, student survey). In March the online survey closed and the results were compiled. The results were discussed during the next HPMP meeting. Then, in early April, HPMP Co-Presidents Marika and Diana briefed the Broadwater, Central, and Smith Principals and Dr. Messinger about the survey results.

Overall, the results were very positive – even glowing – responses regarding public Montessori education in Helena. Many wanted to see Montessori education in “all grades, all locations.” There was interest in growing the program at the Kindergarten, Elementary, Middle School, and High School levels, as well as to new locations within the District. There was also interest in having a public school that was only Montessori.

Response rates by category –

  • Parents – 58 (~39%)
  • Students – 61 (47%)
  • Teachers/Admin. – 11 (92%)

Response rates by school –

  • Broadwater: Parents – 25%; Students – 41%
  • Central: Parents – 40%; Students – 36%
  • Smith: Parents – 35%; Students – 22%

Student results – highlights:

  • 78% favored expansion to other grades (especially Middle School)
  • 41% favored expansion to new locations
  • “Montessori is fun and other grades might like it.”
  • “I really enjoy Montessori and I want to stay in it for Middle School.”
  • “So kids that learned Montessori in their earlier life can continue to learn the beauty of Montessori.”
  • 61% interested in helping with fund-raisers
  • 44% willing to talk with students at other schools about Montessori
  • Will help make posters, write a story for the newspaper
  • Grow up and teach Montessori

Parent results – highlights:

  • Most favored expansion of the Montessori program – in some form
  • Middle School was the one most frequently suggested (21)
  • Many (19) favored new locations and/or more classrooms in the schools which currently have Montessori classrooms
  • Some (5) wanted “all grades, all locations”; Eight suggested High School; Five suggested expansion to Kindergarten; One suggested pre-school; Four are “happy” now
  • Other comments noted:  more involvement at current schools; desire to see a “sibling preference” in the lottery; more education/information for parents of Kindergarten age children re: Montessori; and separate building or magnet school for Montessori.
  • Many are willing to help with HPMP activities; others expressed financial and/or time constraints
  • Among the most valuable aspects of Montssori education, Parents cited:   the multi-age classroom; independent learning/own-pace; mentoring; “follow the child” approach; non-competitiveness; time management skills; love of learning; interpersonal skills; hands-on learning; challenging curriculum; social skills; and community
  • One parent commented that they are “not sure Montessori is working for us.”
  • Other comments included:  need changes to the lottery system; “Montessori ‘saved’ my child!” ; required training must be completed by teachers; fortunate to have Montessori as a public option; quality and dedication of the teachers; Not ‘truly’ Montessori but still great!

Teacher/Administrator results – highlights:

  • Interested in annual refresher course/work shops (e.g., 2012 AMS conference) and other professional development opportunities
  • Interested in expansion in the following ways: Kindergarten; additional pods in schools on west side or valley; Montessori K-8; all Montessori in one building; offer Montessori in all willing elementary schools.
  • Willing to help with expansion by mentoring/assisting new teachers; helping with planning and implementation; talking with parents
  • Additional feedback:  HPMP should provide teacher training and materials; Want to be able to attend conferences; and Have host schools ensure placement for half of open slots
  • “Love teaching Montessori and the ‘follow the child’ approach!

HPMP will follow up on the interests identified in this survey and continuing this dialogue during the 2011-2012 school year.  HPMP will also look for opportunities to participate in the long-range planning the District will begin this fall.

If you are interested in learning more about this effort, please contact Diana at 461-4148.

New HPMP Board for 2011-2012

At the May HPMP meeting, officers were elected for the upcoming school year 2011-2012:

Co-President Marika Adamek Broadwater parent

Co-President Rebecca Stanfel Smith parent

Treasurer Erin Turner Central parent

Co-Secretary Alana Listoe Broadwater parent

Co-Secretary Rikki Read Broadwater parent

Past President Diana Hammer Central parent

Lobsterfest – a success!

Helena Public Montessori Parents would like to thank the Helena community for supporting our 20th annual Lobsterfest! For two decades Lobsterfest has been a tradition for many in Helena. Funds raised through Lobsterfest are used for Montessori teacher training and certification as well as special classroom supplies. Montessori is another great choice for Helena’s children in our public schools!

Thank you to the following businesses who contributed to make this event a success – all the businesses who displayed our posters; KMTX, KHBB and Cherry Creek radio stations as well as other local stations who ran our announcements; the City of Helena for use of Memorial Park; the IR; Queen City News; Montana Marketing; Spieker Sprinklers; Montana City Meats; the Lewis & Clark Brewery for the use of their cooler; and a great big thanks to our participating restaurants: Benny’s; The Mediterranean Grill; and The Montana Club. And finally, the biggest thanks of all to our community who embraces this event each year with such enthusiasm! We look forward to seeing you again next year! Lobsterfest 2011 will be November 5, 2011. To learn more about HPMP please visit our website:

Diana Hammer & Marika Adamek, Co-Presidents

Helena Public Montessori Parents 2010-2011 Board