JOHN MCLENDON — The Unparalleled Benefits of a Montessori Education

Published 12:32 am Saturday, April 30, 2022

According to Montessori for Today, the average cost of a Montessori education ranges from $12,000-$15,000.00 per year.

Costs such as these are necessary to cover the training a teacher needs to be considered Montessori certified, and the materials the students will need to be able to work with in the classroom. One cannot put a value on a great education though, and research shows the Montessori method, which emphasizes hands-on purposeful learning driven by limited choice, mixed age groups and individualized lesson plans for all students, gets results.

According to Angeline Lillard, a professor of psychology at the University of Virginia and author of Montessori: The Science behind the Genius, a study done in Milwaukee found “children who were in the public Milwaukee Montessori schools from preschool to fifth grade scored significantly higher on standardized tests (ACT and WKCE) in math and science [in high school] than did matched controls.”

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Considering the Milwaukee study’s findings were published in the early 2000s, one might wonder why more public schools have not adopted the Montessori method.

The high costs of teacher training and materials have made it difficult for the Montessori method to break into more mainstream public schools; however, this does not mean that there are not great public programs available in our area.

At Bob Hope School, our CEO, Dr. Bobby Lopez, has always believed in choices for parents. He understood many of our parents could not afford to pay a tuition of $12,000 – $15,000.00 per year, yet he wanted to ensure they had access to the benefits of a Montessori education, and so Bob Hope Elementary – Port Arthur opened in 2016.

It offers all PK-3 – 2nd grade students a Montessori education. This Montessori education is free to parents, and we are open enrollment.

Our students then go on to grades 3, 4 and 5, which are Montessori influenced, and where we have seen them excel on the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness.

We later opened Bob Hope School – Beaumont in 2018 with the same model, offering a Montessori education for free at the elementary grades of PK-3 – 2nd.

With the replication of our model, we are confident that Montessori lays a firm foundation for our students to learn to critically think at an early age.

Being able to critically think in a rapidly changing world is necessary for students to ultimately be successful.

Additionally, by growing independent thinkers, our students learn grit and perseverance, which are necessary characteristics to overcome the challenges they may face.

With this foundation, we know our students will excel in middle school and high school. It is there especially that we expect our students to demonstrate their ability to think independently and rigorously, as they have opportunities to take more advanced leadership classes and go on leadership retreats.

As we continue to grow our future graduates from our elementary campuses, we have no doubt that they will be successful.

As our CEO likes to say, we transform communities, but for that transformation to take place, we must start when children are very young.

Maria Montessori agreed with this by stating, “The most important period of life is not the age of university studies, but the first one, the period from birth to the age of six.”

John McLendon is elementary campus director for Bob Hope School. He can be reached at