About SMMS
About SMMS

Mission Statement

Our goals for students are for them to be compassionate, to gain a sense of themselves and others, and to understand and appreciate diversity. Southern Magnolia Montessori School wants students to be well trained in the basic academic disciplines, to fulfill their creative potential, and to gain satisfaction in their emotional, social, and intellectual development. We want students to love learning and to value knowledge, creativity, and hard work. It is our hope that students will be responsible citizens, critical thinkers, and caring members of society.

  • We believe that all members of our community have a right to be treated with respect.
  • We seek to understand each person’s learning style and guide him individually and at his own pace.
  • Our curriculum is centered around the stages of child development as defined by Dr. Maria Montessori.
  • We strive for a balance among freedom, order, and responsibility.
  • We provide a wide preparation for life by balancing academics with personal and practical life skills.

SMMS admits children who are ages three (must be three by September 30) through twelve.  Prospective students must be independent bathroom users—no exceptions.  Each prospective student is required to be interviewed by a school director.  Parents wishing to register their children for enrollment are to complete an application  and make an appointment for the interview.   SMMS reserves the right to dismiss a child who does not follow school policies and standards or whose parents do not.

Tuition and Fees


Non-refundable Application Fee $50
Non-refundable Registration Fee $200
Elementary Only - Technology and Workbook Fee



Tuition may be paid in full annually or monthly.  Tuition is based on a ten-month school year.  The first monthly payment is due June 1, and the last monthly payment is due March 1.  There is no tuition reduction for holidays, school breaks, sicknesses, absences, or natural disasters.  Tuition remains the same each month.  Monthly tuition is due and payable on the first day of each month.

Half day (primary only, 8:30-11:30) paid in full $5630
Half day (primary only, 8:30-11:30) paid monthly $583
Full day (8:30-3:00) paid in full $6630
Full day (8:30-3:00) paid monthly $683


A 5% tuition discount applies to a second child’s tuition and each child thereafter.

Extended Care

Extended care is optional and available from 7:30AM – 8:30AM and from 3PM to 5PM.

AM or PM hourly $10
AM only $470/yr or $47/month
PM only $935/yr or 93.5/month
AM and PM $1400/yr or $140/month

Mindy Dennis and Valerie Harris, Owners and Directors

Mindy graduated Summa Cum Laude in 2002 from Southeastern Louisiana University with a B.A. in English Education.  She taught 7th grade history at Chalmette Middle School and 10th grade English as well as French II and III at Andrew Jackson Fundamental Magnet High School before pursuing a career in Montessori education.  Mindy worked in the preschool and the primary/kindergarten class at Kinder Haus Montessori in Mandeville and in the primary/kindergarten class at University Montessori School in Hammond while enrolled in the Montessori World Educational Institute teacher education course at Oaks Montessori School in Hammond.  She joined the OMS faculty in the 2007-2008 school year as a junior elementary directress and received a Type A elementary certification through the Louisiana Department of Education.  After having taught every level, from toddlers to high school seniors, Mindy is thrilled to focus on the social, intellectual, and emotional needs of primary and elementary Montessori students.

Valerie, a Pennsylvania native,  received a Bachelors of Science from Marywood College in 1993.  After a seven-year stay in Washington D.C., she moved to Louisiana in 2003 and taught at Stepping Stones Montessori in New Orleans for six years.  Valerie joined the Oaks Montessori School faculty in the 2009-2010 school year as a junior elementary directress.  She received a primary diploma as well as an elementary diploma from M.W.E.I. and has Type A certification through the Louisiana Department of Education.  Valerie is an experienced, passionate devotee of the Montessori method and is eager to begin a new phase of her wonderfully successful teaching career.


Copyright © 2011 Southern Magnolia Montessori School. All Rights Reserved.    72074 Live Oak     Abita Springs, Louisiana 70420

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