St. Catherine’s Montessori
St. Catherine’s Montessori is the only Catholic Montessori program in Houston, and it has mixed classrooms throughout all grade levels. Families look to St. Catherine’s for its small class sizes and its unique incorporation of Catholicism with a Montessori education.
|School Type||Montessori, Religious, Coed||Grades Served||PreK-12|
|Date Founded||1966||Grade 11||n/a|
|Student / Teacher Ratio||10.90||Grade 9||1|
|Minority Enrollment||32%||Grade 8||12|
|Head of School||Susan Tracy||Grade 7||9|
|Admissions Director||Julie McLarry||Grade 6||15|
|Academic Tracks||Montessori||Sports Programs||4|
|AP or IB Courses||N/A||Sports League||non-competitive soccer league|
|First Bell||8:00 am|
|Last Bell||3:30 pm|
|Grade 12 Enrollment||N/A||AP / IB Participation||N/A|
|National Merit Semifinalists||N/A||IB Diploma 5 Year Average Score||N/A|
|SAT Middle 50%||N/A|
|ACT Middle 50%||N/A|
|Prime Entry Points||PreK (Toddler), 1, 4||Tuition 10-11||$14,544|
|Financial Aid Students||N/A|
St. Catherine’s Montessori in Detail
St. Catherine’s Montessori is a coeducational, Catholic Montessori school which works with students aged 14 months to 12th grade. Sisters Edna Ann Herbert and Shirley Owens founded St. Catherine’s (originally Dominican Montessori) in 1966. The school is affiliated with the Association Montessori Internationale. Before moving to its current location in 2006, St. Catherine’s was hosted by St. Agnes Academy’s old building. The school then was hosted by the Holy Rosary Parish and Bering Memorial Methodist Church. In 1983, St. Catherine’s moved to a 20,000 square foot building on Westridge, where the school remains to this day.
St. Catherine’s 7.4-acre campus is located near the 610 Loop between Stella Link and South Main. The school includes a gymnasium, sports field, and gardens. St. Catherine’s is Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified, meaning that its facilities are considered to be on the cutting edge of eco-friendliness. “Green” features of St. Catherine’s include water use reduction, storm water management, energy from 100% renewable resources, use of recycled materials, construction waste management, and green housekeeping.
In order to receive an application, parents must complete a tour and a classroom observation, in that order. Tours are generally scheduled on Tuesdays from 9:00 to 10:00 AM. Once the tour is completed, the classroom observation is scheduled, usually on Wednesdays from 9:00 to 10:00 AM. Applications are considered in February, with priority given to 1) siblings of current St. Catherine’s students and 2) transfer students from other Montessori schools.
Non-Montessori applicants for grades 10-12 are considered on a case-by-case basis. St. Catherine’s also requires the student’s most recent report cards, progress reports, and achievement test scores. The school will schedule a visit for the student and one of the school’s guides will perform an informal evaluation.
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St. Catherine’s curriculum follows the educational methodology implemented by Dr. Maria Montessori in 1897. In accordance with Dr. Montessori’s multi-age classrooms, the school groups its students together in threes: 14 months to age 3 (Toddler), ages 4-6 (Primary), grades 1-3 (Lower Elementary), grades 4-6 (Upper Elementary), grades 7-9 (Adolescent Community), and grades 10-12 (High School). While the Montessori Method was designed for students up to grade 6, St. Catherine’s continues to employ the method and incorporate traditional American education elements in grades 7-12. While St. Catherine’s curriculum allows for students to take different paths in their education, students still follow a trajectory that meets the expectations of what should be taught in middle school and high school.
Students attending St. Catherine’s have the opportunity to study liturgical music and participate in the upper school musical production. Students may also join the school’s band and orchestra programs or enroll in dance class.
All St. Catherine’s parents are members of the school’s Parent Service Organization (PSO), which supports cultural programs, field trips, projects, and teachers. The PSO organizes school-wide events, such as Fall Festival and Spring Fling; social events, such as morning coffee and movie night; book club; and Parent Education programs. The school also has a Booster Club, a parent-organized program that supports athletics.