Admission Policies

The admissions policies of Bridges Montessori are based on the educational philosophy of Dr. Maria Montessori. We strive to serve a broad range of socioeconomic, religious, cultural, racial and ability groups. As often as is possible, the ages and genders of children are evenly distributed in each classroom.

Admissions policies, procedures, curriculum and faculty at Bridges Montessori have been approved by the Maryland State Department of Education. Bridges Montessori is a member of the American Montessori Society.

Criteria for Eligibility

Infant & Toddler Care Program (Ages 6 weeks - 2 years)

  1. Children must be at least 6 weeks old by the start of the enrolled session.
  2. Children may not turn 3 years old while still enrolled within the Infant & Toddler Program.

Transitional Program (Ages 2 years - 3 years)

  1. Children must be 24 months old at time of admission into the Transitional program, but do not have to be toilet trained.
  2. We strongly recommend participation in our Parent and Child class, Independent Child class or our Infant & Toddler program prior to enrollment in the Transitional Program.

Traditional Montessori Program (Ages 3 years - 6 years)

  1. Children with summer birthdays will be placed in the program that is most supportive for them.
  2. Children must be toilet trained. Diapers or pull-up diapers are not permitted.
  3. Children entering Kindergarten who have begun their Montessori education at another Montessori school may be considered for admission as transfers.
  4. Generally we do not accept Kindergarten students who have no prior Montessori experience, into our Traditional Montessori Program.  Exceptions may be considered for admission on a case-by-case basis.

Elementary Montessori Program (Ages 6 years - 12 years)

  1. Children entering the Elementary Program must be over the age of 6 by September 1 and meet all requirements for placement.
  2. Children entering 3rd Grade and children entering 6th Grade who have begun their Montessori education at another Montessori school may be considered for admission as transfers.
  3. Generally we do not accept 3rd Grade and 6th Grade students who have no prior Montessori experience, into our Elementary Program.  Exceptions may be considered for admission on a case-by-case basis.

Additional Admission Requirements

  1. Education for all children, including those with special needs, will be done within the parameters of the Montessori philosophy and its implementation in the classroom.
  2. Specific trial periods and evaluation procedures may be established, as needed.

Children With Special Needs

Children with mild physical, mental or educational differences are considered for admission. Reasonable accommodations will be made provided that no significant changes to the program are required and that the child does not pose a risk to himself or others. A recent diagnostic assessment by qualified professionals which identifies the child’s needs within a mainstream environment is required. Periodic assessment may also be required during the school year and prior to re-enrollment. An educational assessment made during this time will determine:

  1. The child’s progress.
  2. That our environment supports the developmental needs of the child.

Application Procedures

  1. Prospective parents are required to attend a school tour. Upcoming tour dates can be requested through our website, by email or by phone.  Children are welcome to attend the tour.

  2. Classroom observations are not required, but can be scheduled through the School Office, after attending a school tour. Observations are for adults only.

  3. Applications are available on the website and can be emailed to or mailed to the School Office at 2529 Conowingo Rd., Bel Air, MD 21015. There is a $50.00 non-refundable application fee.  Please note, the application should be mailed to the Bel Air address regardless of campus to which you are applying.
  4. As siblings have priority, current parents should keep the school office informed of their younger children's name, birthday, gender and possible start dates.  Those wishing to apply for admission for a sibling of a current student must notify the Office by January of the current school year to receive priority over new applicants.


Enrollment contracts are offered to applicants given the following priorities:

  1. Current students and siblings are given first priority until the re-enrollment deadline is reached.
  2. Applicants that have attended our Infant and Toddler Program, Parent and Child class or Independent Child class are given priority over other applicants.  Attendance in these programs does not, however, guarantee that a space will be available in our Traditional or Transitional programs.
  3. The number of children who can be enrolled in each program depends on Montessori guidelines and state regulations. When space is unavailable at the time of application, children will be placed on a waiting list.  Once the enrollment process is complete, parents are given the option to remain on the waiting list or not.

Enrollment Process: 

  1. Families will be notified of their admissions status beginning in mid to late February.
  2. Accepted students will receive an email containing enrollment information and contract.  Parents must reply to the email or call the office to indicate receipt of the contract and anticipated acceptance by the date indicated.  The contract must then be returned by the subsequent date indicated to secure the spot or the space may be offered to another family.
  3. Once all spaces are contracted any applicant families for whom we do not have a space will receive an email indicating that we are fully enrolled and inquiring as to whether or not the family would like to remain on our wait list.
  4. Policies contained within the enrollment contract are binding.
  5. Occasionally, facts and circumstances arise that require Bridges Montessori to dismiss a family. These decisions are very difficult and involve serious deliberations about the best interests of the school community as a whole. Accordingly, as a general rule, once a family is dismissed, they are not eligible to reapply for admission to Bridges Montessori.

Class Placement

  1. All class placements are made by the Director of Admissions and the Head of School.
  2. Children will not be moved to a new classroom during the three-year cycle, even in the case of staff changes, unless the Director of Admissions or Head of School determines that a change is in the best interest of the child.
  3. Bridges Montessori reserves the right to place children in order to maintain balanced classes with respect to numbers of children, their ages, gender, and individual needs of students. While Bridges Montessori will accept parental requests for classroom placement we cannot guarantee that requests can be fulfilled, although we do our best to accommodate our families.
  4. Families are notified of their child’s placement in June of the preceding school year.

Start Dates

Bridges Montessori begins the school year with a staggered start.  All Elementary and Kindergarten students begin on the announced first day of school, returning students are then staggered in, followed by new students.  The staggered start of students allows for a smooth transition, while maintaining an even rhythm of classroom activities. All students will start within 2 weeks of the announced first day of school.  You will receive notification of your child’s assigned start date in June.

Nondiscrimination Statement

Bridges Montessori welcomes all students and families, and does not discriminate in its hiring, admissions practices, or any other form of access on the basis of race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, sex or disability.