School Spotlight: Guidepost Montessori at North Scottsdale
Located on a sprawling 5 acre campus, Guidepost at North Scottsdale nurtures the holistic development of children ages 18 months to 14 years old
Described as “a vibrant and growing community” by parents, Guidepost Montessori and the Academy of Thought & Industry (ATI) at North Scottsdale are located on a sprawling 5 acre campus about 30 minutes outside of Phoenix, Arizona. The school is committed to nurturing the holistic development of children ages 18 months to 14 years old. We chatted with Head of School, Carolyn Burns, to learn more about why parents are raving about their children’s experience at the school.
A Focus on Self-Directed Learning
Understanding that children have a natural drive to learn and grow, Guidepost Montessori at North Scottsdale emphasizes self-directed, hands-on learning in multi-age classrooms. Each classroom environment is carefully designed to meet the developmental needs of each child, offering a structured sequence of materials that enable the child to progress from one big achievement to the next. “We offer a range of activities and materials that children can choose and work with at their own pace,” shared Carolyn. "Our guides (teachers) provide individualized support that helps the children to not only develop academic skills, but also critical thinking and problem-solving skills.”
“A Vibrant and Growing Community”
Rich and Megan, whose two children started in the Toddler and Children’s House programs when the campus opened in January 2021, have been delighted to witness the growth that their children have experienced at Guidepost at North Scottsdale. “Guidepost is a vibrant and growing community,” Rich shared. “Mrs. Burns and her staff have worked hard to grow the school thoughtfully and sustainably and each new classroom, campus update, and special program has continued to exceed our expectations.”
A Thriving Kindergarten (3rd Year Children's House) Program
Guidepost Montessori at North Scottsdale’s kindergarten or 3rd year Children’s House enrollment is growing significantly with over 60% of families opting to stay for the Capstone Year. “I think families have seen the learning and growth their children have made, and the individual literacy meetings that we have with children in Children’s House have been really helpful,” explained Carolyn. “It also helps that we have an elementary program here, and I’m excited that a lot of families are planning to stay with us through elementary.”
A Montessori Middle and High School Program: The Academy of Thought & Industry
While Montessori education is commonly associated with early childhood education, the principles and methods of Montessori are beneficial across all school levels. By offering a Montessori program for older students through the Academy of Thought & Industry, the school provides students with a seamless and holistic educational experience.
“At ATI, students are empowered to take ownership of their education,” said Carolyn. “They are given the freedom to choose their own projects, work at their own pace, and dive deep into subjects that pique their interest.” This approach cultivates critical thinking skills and a sense of responsibility, and it prepares students not just for academic success but also for life beyond the classroom.
A Beautiful, Sprawling Outdoor Space
Guidepost Montessori and ATI at North Scottsdale are situated on a beautiful campus that spans 5 acres (about twice the area of a Manhattan city block). "We have five different buildings, and some really nice, large outdoor spaces here,” Carolyn shared. “On our back patio, we have outdoor picnic tables, so when the weather is nice the children enjoy eating outdoors. We also have a Splash Day every Friday during the summer, and we host a lot of our events outdoors.” The school’s outdoor spaces serve as a natural extension of the Montessori classrooms, providing the children with ample room to explore and to connect with nature and one another.
Dedicated Guides (Teachers)
At Guidepost Montessori and ATI at North Scottsdale, the guides are the heart and soul of the classrooms. The school prides itself on its dedicated team, many of whom are enrolled or have graduated from the Prepared Montessorian Institute (PMI). A large number of the school’s guides and administrators, believing in the mission and in the quality of the programs they help create, have chosen Guidepost Montessori for their own children's education. This helps to create a strong sense of community, as the staff members deeply understand and value the Montessori philosophy and its impact on their own families.
With its beautiful campus, pioneering middle/high school program, and a team of passionate staff members, Guidepost Montessori at North Scottsdale provides an exceptional environment where children can flourish academically, emotionally, and socially. To learn more about Guidepost Montessori or the Academy of Thought & Industry at North Scottsdale, visit the school’s webpages.