(734) 459-1550 msmith@dhmontessori.org

About Our School

Plymouth-Canton Montessori School:  Independent • Nonprofit • International • Toddlers through Middle School

I wanted a school

The Essential Nature of the School

Plymouth-Canton Montessori School (PCMS) is an independent, non-profit, international Montessori school.

We nurture intelligence, curiosity, and imagination while supporting and developing each student’s talents. Our goal is to prepare students for life-long learning.

We teach universal values, instill a global perspective, responsible citizenship, and encourage an entrepreneurial spirit.

The aim is to graduate young people who balance their knowledge and character: critical thinkers, and active leaders in their local community.


IMC logo

national association for the education of young children

School History

Kay Neff founded the school’s Primary program as Dearborn Heights Montessori Center in December of 1972. Like many school founders, she wanted to provide a Montessori program for her two sons, who were then ages two and three. The school began with nine students and grew to twenty-five during the first year. ·Plymouth-Canton Montessori School (PCMS) was founded the following fall when six families moved to the Plymouth area.

The Elementary program began at the Dearborn Heights campus in the fall of 1983 and eventually extended through eighth grade. In 2023, recognizing that most of its families had moved toward the Plymouth-Canton community, the school sold its Dearborn Heights campus and began to expand on the Plymouth property.

The Plymouth-Canton Montessori school celebrates fifty years and looks forward to many years ahead of service to the community.

Who are we, and whom do we serve?
PCMS is an independent 501(c)3 non-profit school serving children ages 18 months through 14 years. Classes are mixed-age groups of Toddlers, Primary, Lower Elementary, Upper Elementary, and Middle School students.

We provide authentic Montessori educational programs, extended-day opportunities, and a summer day camp.

Days and Hours
We loosely follow the Wayne County Common Calendar, with typical holiday and summer breaks. Classes meet daily during the following hours:

  • Toddler: 8:45-11:45 a.m or 8:45 a.m to 3:30 p.m.
  • Preschool: 8:45-11:45 a.m. or 8:45 a.m. -3:30 p.m.
  • Extended Day (full day) Kindergarten: 8:45 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Extended Day programs are available before and after class. The building is open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on school days.

Are we a real Montessori school?
Yes, we are. However, You should know that the Montessori name is not patented; it is in the public domain, and its use has no restrictions. It is legally possible for a school or childcare center to use the name without following Montessori philosophy or practices. As parents, it is important to learn about Montessori philosophy and the elements that comprise an authentic Montessori program. These include, at a minimum:

  • a five-day per week program for all students
  • multi-age classrooms with a three-year age span at the preschool/kindergarten and elementary levels
  • teachers with Montessori training at the levels they are teaching
  • a complete set of Montessori materials in each classroom
  • affiliations with state and national Montessori organizations

Armed with this knowledge, parents can choose an authentic Montessori school for their children.

PCMS’s toddler, preschool/kindergarten, and extended-day programs are licensed by the Michigan Department of Human Services.

Memberships & Affiliations:
Our toddler, preschool/kindergarten, and extended-day programs are accredited by the International Montessori Council (IMC) and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), a quality indicator achieved by only 3 percent of childcare programs in Michigan and 8 percent nationally.

The school is affiliated with the American Montessori Society (AMS), Michigan Montessori Society, the International Montessori Council, and AIMS (the Association of Independent Michigan Schools).

The school also works closely with the Montessori Foundation* to ensure authenticity of Montessori curriculum and best practices

Goals for our students:

  • Safety:  Physical and emotional safety for every child is our first priority.
  • Character:  We are committed to helping students develop excellent character, which we define simply as “Doing the right thing when no one is looking.”
  • Solid Foundation: The program fosters long-term social, emotional, and intellectual growth, providing high-quality Montessori education all the way through middle school.

A few buzzwords that are associated with PCMS:

Consistent with Montessori philosophy, these are things we teach and/or practice:

  • Respect — for self, for others, for the environment
  • Service — seeing a need and meeting it
  • Diversity — a lovely mix of students and staff
  • Community — children, families, and staff working together
  • The Triangle is an equilateral triangle representing the interrelationship and necessary balance of student, family, and school. When all contribute equally, the result is a successful student and a solid citizen.

Statement of Non-Discrimination:  Plymouth-Canton Montessori School does not discriminate in any programs or activities on the basis of gender, race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, sexual orientation, or disability.


In the Spotlight

“I do not believe there is a method better than Montessori for making children sensitive to the beauty of the world and awakening their curiosity regarding the secrets of life.”

Gabriel Garcia Marquez: Author, Nobel Laureate, Montessori Alumnus

A Note from the Head of School

I have known and loved our school since 1984, when I first met this extraordinary community of teachers, students, and families. After a career in the legal profession, I became a teacher for 10 years and then joined the administrative team. For me, leading Plymouth-Canton Montessori is a labor of love.

I appreciate the depth and breadth of our international curriculum, the patient guidance of our Montessori teachers, and the spirit of kindness, warmth, and mutual respect. This gentle way to learn leads to a world-class education without the stress, pressure, and needless competition found in most schools.

It is where young minds grow organically in an unhurried atmosphere of inquiry and discovery.


laura springer

Laura Springer
Head of School

“We must help the child to act for himself, will for himself, think for himself; this is the art of those who aspire to serve the spirit.”


The Montessori Foundation*

Montessori FoundationThe Montessori Foundation was established in 1992 to create an independent source of assistance, encouragement, and support for the international Montessori community. The mission of the Montessori Foundation is to nurture, inspire, and support the development of strong, successful Montessori schools worldwide.

The Foundation works with Montessori schools worldwide. Through its magazine, Tomorrow’s Child, books, videos, and other publications, it also works to promote interest and understanding of Montessori among parents, educators, and schools that are interested in learning more about Montessori education.

The Montessori Foundation sponsors workshops, institutes, online courses, and international conferences for Montessori educators, school administrators, and board members. The Montessori Foundation reflects a heritage of international education and a commitment to the highest standards of Montessori program and curriculum development, implementing cutting-edge educational technology and developing a strong sense of community and family friendliness within our schools.

In 1998, The Montessori Foundation organized and administers the International Montessori Council: an independent membership organization for Montessori schools, parents, and educators worldwide. 

The International Montessori Council accredits Montessori schools, promotes best practices, and encourages and recognizes innovative approaches to Montessori teacher education and professional leadership training.

The Montessori Foundation and International Montessori Council work together with Montessori schools, parents, and local and national Montessori organizations to promote the mission of the Montessori movement to encourage partnership-based parenting, partnership-based Montessori schools, and the highest standards of Montessori education.

Visit the Foundation’s website at montessori.org.