For ages 6 to 12 year old, we encourage the child's participation in the Universal or Cosmic Plan and to help the child recognize his or her responsibility towards the environment and his or her fellow human beings. The elements of a Montessori education which help develop a child's social responsibility are:

  1. A focus on the interdependence of all things in the universe.
  2. A recognition that every child has certain psychological tendencies that must be stimulated in order for a child to grow.
  3. A realization that a specially prepared environment must be provided to guide the child's growth.

Dr. Montessori observed that the 6 to 12 year old child is in the "Intellectual Period" of his development. During this period the child explores his world more abstractly rather than concretely and develops as a social being. To aid these goals the child is endowed with great mental powers: an unlimited intellectual curiosity, a great imagination, and an ability to reason.

For this stage of the child Dr. Montessori proposed that the whole universe be given. Allow the child to explore the interconnectedness of all things within a Cosmic Education. The foundation for Dr. Montessori's Cosmic Education is the presentation of the Great Lessons and the study of the Needs (material and spiritual) of Man.

The Great Lessons are 5 stories that take us from the beginning of the universe to the present. They allow the child to explore and understand our culture and achieve a global vision of cosmic events. They are impressionistic aids that help tie the individual subject areas together as a means to understand the world. They also help inspire further exploration.

The theme of service runs through the stories and helps to instill a sense of gratitude to both a higher power and to one's fellow human beings.

The Elementary Montessori Curriculum

The Montessori Elementary Curriculum is an open-ended curriculum based on a three year cycle. Rather than a yearly list of subject areas taught in a scheduled linear fashion, pre-determined by a school board, all areas needed by the student will be covered sometime within a three year time frame. This allows the student to independently explore areas following his own interests.

Lessons are given based on need and interest. Besides teaching basic skills, they are intended to stimulate curiosity for further self-directed investigation. Providing guidelines on how to research using books, printed materials, and resources and experts in our community is also an important part of the curriculum.

The Montessori materials are still an important part of a student's learning. The materials offer concrete experiences of abstract concepts, especially in math, geometry, and language. Demonstrations, experiments, charts, maps, and time-lines are regularly used in history, biology, and geography. Repetitive use of the materials help internalize the concepts and provides a means of independent learning.

Most lessons that teach basic skills are generally taught in small groups based on ability and readiness, not on age nor grade level. This ensures that a student will progress at his own rate, and also encourages cooperative learning. The students can turn to each other, rather than to the teacher, for help.

The lessons are not lectures that require rote learning. Instead, the lessons themselves need to allow the reasoning power of the child to work. The child is required to observe, speculate, and think. Every answer or idea offered in a lesson by a child must be defended with reason and logic.

A goal of the Montessori method of teaching is to keep an interest in learning alive and to prepare the child with the skills that allow him to become a life-long learner.

The main areas of the Montessori Elementary Curriculum include, but are not limited to:

History: Includes the Creation of the Universe, the Coming of Life, the Coming of Human Beings, the Needs of Human Beings, Phases in history, and 4th grade Idaho history.

Language: Includes the History of Language, grammar and syntax (including parts of speech, types and parts of sentences, and word study), writing, composition, creative writing, vocabulary, discussion, reports, poetry, and literature.

Mathematics: The Story of Numbers gives the student a historical background to our number system. He also studies place value, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, multiples and factors, percents, probability, graphing, squares and cubes of numbers and polynomials, powers of numbers, fractions - common and decimal, square roots and cube roots, signed numbers, non-decimal bases, introduction to algebra, ratio and proportion, measurement - standard and metric, and word problems.

Geometry: Includes congruency, similarity, equivalence, polygons, angles, lines, nomenclature, Pythagoras and Euclid, area of plane figures, circle, and solid geometry.

Biology: Here the student explores the world of plants, animals, and human beings: their parts, the function of all the parts, their interdependence, their specialization, classifications, etc.

Geography: In political geography the student learns to recognize the countries, major cities, waterways, and land formations of the world. Physical geography takes the student on an exploration of the nature of elements, the sun and earth, the work of air, and the work of water. For human geography the interdependencies of human beings and societies are researched.

Music and Art: The lives of composers and artists are studied as well as their major works. Sound, instruments, the orchestra, and musical genres are investigated. Various activities introduce the child to the basics of the C Major scale. Artistic processes are explored with hands-on activities led by artists from our community.

Foreign Languages: All elementary students receive twice weekly Spanish instruction. In the third through sixth grades Latin is also taught.

Physical Education: Time is spent developing and improving physical skills, agility, endurance, and good sportsmanship.


     Trish Ortmann  - Lower Elementary Teacher

     Trish Ortmann - Lower Elementary Teacher

Julie Douglas   -   Upper Elementary  Teacher/Director

Julie Douglas - Upper ElementaryTeacher/Director

    Samantha Nelson  - Lower Elementary Assistant

    Samantha Nelson - Lower Elementary Assistant

              Caleb Ede - Upper Elementary Assistant

              Caleb Ede- Upper Elementary Assistant

Lower Elementary - Grades 1-3

Trish Ortmann (Lower Elementary Teacher, AMS Elementary & Primary Certification) grew up with eight sisters and one brother in Iowa. They are still quite close, although spread geographically. Trish went to school in San Diego, but graduated in Omaha with a B. S. degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education. The Montessori philosophy made too much sense for her to consider teaching in any other setting. She received her Montessori teaching certificate for the 3 to 6 year olds level in Omaha and her elementary certificate for the 6 to 9 year olds in Chicago. Both certificates are through the American Montessori Society (AMS).

Trish appreciates the natural curiosity and love of learning in the younger elementary student. It is a pleasure for her to guide, and be guided by, such wonderful souls. She believes we are all fortunate to find ourselves together at Rose Hill Montessori, where she has worked since August of 1998. She enjoys her time away from school with her great husband, Tim Teske, and her all-time favorite pastime, reading.

Samantha Nelson (Lower Elementary Assistant, PE Instructor) was born in Cleveland, Ohio and reared in Southern California. She moved to Boise in 1993 after visiting an old friend and falling in love with the area. Knowing she did not want to rear children in L. A., she and her husband moved here within a month.

Sam received her Early Childhood Education Certificate from Los Angeles Valley College in 1988. She began her ECE experience with 3 and 4 year olds, and was soon recruited to work with Pre-Kindergarten children. This was a challenging experience at which she spent many years, thoroughly enjoying every minute.

Sam has been at Rose Hill since September of 2003.  She enjoys working at the school and spending free time with her famiy and friends. She also enjoys reading, hiking, spots, gardening and especially keeping current in the everyday lives of her children, since becoming an empty nester. 


Julie Douglas (Upper Elementary Teacher/School Director, AMS Elementary Certification) is originally from Bend, Oregon, and has lived in Boise since 1997. Julie and her husband have two children, both of whom attended Rose Hill through sixth grade. Julie holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Eastern Oregon University and Montessori Elementary I and II certifications from the Montessori Education Center of the Rockies in Boulder, Colorado.

Her experience working with children expands across many ages. She has enjoyed working with children in preschools, elementary schools, and an alternative high school, as well as, scouting programs, and residence camps. Julie has been with Rose Hill since 2002.

Traveling, camping, hiking, archery and listening to live music are just a few ways Julie enjoys spending time with her family.

Caleb Ede (Upper Elementary Assistant and P. E. teacher for the Elementary Classes) grew up in McCall, Idaho.  The small resort town upbringing introduced him to many physical activities early on ( frankly, because there isn't much else to do in McCall!)  In the summers Caleb swam, hiked, and rode bikes.  In the winter he shoveled snow.  Having 2 brothers also encouraged an active lifestyle, many times to the dismay of his mother.  Throughout school he played multiple sports; often participating in multiple roles just to fill the depleted rosters due to lack of student bodies. 

In 2004 Caleb moved to West Virginia where he received his degree in Communications from Marshall University in Huntington, WV.  Caleb moved back to Idaho in 2010 and began working as the Physical Education teacher for Rose Hill Montessori in 2012, he moved into the role as Upper Elementary Assistant shortly thereafter and continues to be the Elementary PE Teacher.