Frequently Asked Questions

Do you charge tuition?

Painted Desert Montessori Academy is a public charter school and does not charge any tuition.

What age must a child be to start kindergarten?

Children must be age five by September 1 to begin kindergarten.

What are your school hours?

For kindergarten through eighth grade, school begins Monday through Thursday at 7:30am and students are released at 3:15pm. Students can be dropped off beginning at 7am.

For preschool, school begins at 7:30am and students are released at 11:30am. Students can be dropped off beginning at 7am.

Will you offer transportation? No, parents will be responsible for transporting students to and from campus. PDMA will be happy to help facilitate carpooling.

How will my student get lunch?

Your student can bring lunch from home or order from a caterer through the school. For our first year of operations, lunches will be eaten in the classroom.

Do you offer free or reduced lunches?

Paperwork will be sent home during the first week of school to determine free and reduced status. A more formal plan will be announced at that time. If this presents a challenge for your family, please reach out at 602-341-1960 after August 1 to make arrangements.

What is Montessori?

The Montessori method, developed by Maria Montessori, has been successfully implemented for over 100 years. The Montessori philosophy is a child centered approach, with a focus on teaching independence and responsibility. Concepts are taught in a concrete way, using specially designed materials. This hands on learning style allows the children to gather information using all of their senses. The prepared environment fosters a love of learning and affords students the opportunity to learn at their own pace.

How do Montessori-educated children do when they transition to traditional high schools?

Students graduating Montessori schools are academically prepared for high school. Students are equipped with all of the tools they need to be successful leaders in this next stage of their lives.

Do you teach Common Core?

As a public charter school, we meet all of the academic requirements as set forth in the Arizona state standards. This includes all of the state-required concepts covered in common core curriculum.   

Do you require students to wear uniforms?

No, Painted Desert Montessori Academy does not require students to wear uniforms.

What are your preschool rates?

For the two-day per week program (which is either Monday and Wednesday or Tuesday and Thursday) the preschool rate is $175 per month.

For the four day per week program (which is the program we recommend) the preschool rate is $340 per month.

For sibling groups, each additional sibling in preschool will receive 15% off of their preschool rate. Please call 602-341-1960.

What are the before and after care hours and rates? What are the Friday care rates?

For Monday through Thursday before school care is available from 6am-7am and after care is available from 3:15pm to 6:00pm.

Friday care will be available on Fridays from 6:00am - 6:00pm. Before care, after care, and Friday care are available only for grades kindergarten through eighth.


Before Care (children who arrive before 7:00am)


Aftercare when child is picked up before 4:00pm


Aftercare when child is picked up after 4:00pm


Before care, after care, and Friday care will all be prepaid by parents each month. Parents will not be charged for time their child did not use. Online payment options will be available.
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