Montessori Community School Home

Located on the border of Chapel Hill and Durham, MCS is an independent accredited Montessori school for students 18 months through eighth grade.

Why MCS?

  • 13-acre nature-rich campus filled with gardens, woods, and wetlands
  • Spacious multi-aged classrooms built for independent movement and learning
  • Welcoming and highly-trained faculty and staff
  • Open and supportive community rooted in diversity and belonging
  • Focus on developing the whole child and nurturing self-discovery


Toddler in classroom working on practical life skills by washing a dish


Our Toddler Program is designed for children aged 18 months to 3 years. The classroom experience fosters the young child’s emerging independence and desire for exploration. The environments are designed to promote a toddler’s growth in all areas of development. We focus on creating a nurturing and secure environment where toddlers can build self-esteem and respect for themselves, others, and the world around them. The program offers various opportunities for toddlers to develop self-sufficiency and thrive in the classroom.
A Primary teacher helping a student water the plants in the garden


Our Primary Program offers a unique, mixed-age classroom for children aged 3 to 6 that fosters independence, confidence, and innovation. Here, students engage in individual learning and one-on-one interactions, central to the Montessori Method. Using concrete materials, they learn math, language, spatial relationships, and more. Practical experiences include science, music, and sensorial skills.
A Lower Elementary student holds an empty beehive while two students look on.

Lower Elementary

Lower Elementary classes encompass 1st through 3rd grade and foster students' innate curiosity, reasoning, and imagination. This program features a daily self-directed three-hour work cycle exploring subjects like math, language, botany, and geography. They engage in group projects, individual/group lessons, and receive formal instruction in art, Spanish, physical education, and music. Holistic education is the cornerstone of our elementary program. 
Upper Elementary student working with a glue gun in the art room and looking out the window at the camera.

Upper Elementary

Upper Elementary classes serve students in 4th through 6th grade. Students learn to become discerning individuals through a process of self-awareness and self-advocacy. In accordance, the curriculum allows for an exploration of a range of topics with opportunities for depth of study. Upper Elementary students participate in art, Spanish, physical education, and music classes. They enjoy many enrichment opportunities including field trips, community service projects, and overnight trips. Students have the opportunity to pursue personal interests in weekly studios with the art and music specialists. 
An Adolescent student shows a bug on his hand in the garden.


Our Adolescent Program, designed for 7th and 8th graders, offers a unique blend of academic, physical, and social challenges. Education goes beyond the traditional classroom setting, delving into the realms of authentic community experiences and hands-on learning. Through collaborative, project-based work, students engage in meaningful discussions, debates, and interactions. This program offers young people the chance to engage the world in meaningful ways and realize the rewards. 
MCS staff at the Durham Pride Parade

Diversity, Equity, & Belonging

Montessori Community School is dedicated to fostering equity and belonging through our peace education mission. Across programs, curriculum, and community endeavors, we emphasize the importance of diversity, recognizing and valuing unique perspectives which include race, socioeconomic status, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, ability, family structure, learning style, and nationality.
A student showing her mom her work

Quotes from MCS Families

Current Primary Parent

"Sending my child to your Montessori school was the best decision I've made as a parent. The love and care you provide, combined with the personalized and holistic approach to education, have truly transformed my child's love for learning."

Current MCS Parent

"I value the meeting of needs for each child, the independence, the collaboration among the kids, and the friendly environment"