The new campus officially opened Oct. 1. Enrollment is still open. Photo courtesy of Jeannine Hanson.

The new campus officially opened Oct. 1. Enrollment is still open. Photo courtesy of Jeannine Hanson.

Chestnut Montessori opens second campus in Kirkland

The new campus will be able to hold 12 students.

Chestnut Montessori School recently opened the doors to its newest location in Kirkland. Chestnut Montessori School opened its first campus in Bellevue 10 years ago.

Founding Director Jeannine Hanson has been in Montessori education for the past 40 years. Raised by a family deeply rooted in Montessori, she directed Bellevue Montessori for 20 years and oversaw the elementary expansion on two campuses. In 1997, she founded the Montessori College for Early Education, now Montessori Center for Teacher Education (MCTE), which provides education for Montessori Early Childhood teachers.

With the success of the Bellevue campus, Hanson and her husband wanted to expand the school to another city. The Kirkland campus is located in the Forbes Creek area on more than four acres of trees, ferns and wetlands. With currently one classroom, it can receive students from ages 2 to 5 following the Early Childhood Program.

“It’s a beautiful site with a lot of nature, and my goal was for when my husband and I were looking for another site, that the site have a lot of animals, plants and a lot of beauty because we know that the research indicates that children benefit from being immersed in nature,” Hanson said.

The school officially opened Oct. 1 and currently has the capacity to hold up to 12 students, but may be able to hold more in the future. Enrollment is still open.

The curriculum will follow the same model as the Bellevue campus. Hanson said because of the natural environment surrounding the Kirkland campus, the curriculum involves an integrated study of geography, botany and zoology. As the students become ready, Hanson said the curriculum includes Practical Life, which helps students build fine motor skills and their attention span, which then leads to reading, writing, math and other subjects.

In Montessori education, teachers observe everything about the student and see what they’re ready for and interested in and then introduce that to the student.

“One of the many goals for our children is for them to develop internal discipline and develop independence,” Hanson said. “As the children choose activities and the teachers guide and support them, then the children develop that independence as they practice with different materials.”

According to Hanson, being able to be a part of Montessori education for the past 40 years has been very rewarding for her.

“Seeing these kids grow into organized, social emotionally developed global citizens means more than anything,” she said. “And to see teachers so devoted to serving these kids and see so much joy is wonderful.”

To learn more about Chestnut Montessori, visit

The new campus officially opened Oct. 1. Enrollment is still open. Photo courtesy of Jeannine Hanson.

The new campus officially opened Oct. 1. Enrollment is still open. Photo courtesy of Jeannine Hanson.

More in Life

Jake Benbow will be at LA Reel’s next camp at KDC in July. Madison Miller / staff photo
LA Reel comes to Kirkland

LA Reel is a week-long camp that gives students experience in the entertainment industry.

Sip wine, save the lives of cats and dogs at Kirkland Uncorked

The annual summer wine fest returns to Kirkland, July 12-14.

Mayne receives Matthew Dahl Memorial Scholarship

Annie Mayne is the first recipient of the Matthew Dahl Memorial Scholarship.… Continue reading

Kirkland Academy debuts new rock musical

‘Alice: The Rock Musical’ will kick out the jams July 12-14.

Volunteer Robert Moreno removes invasive species from the conservation site behind Lake Washington Christian Church. Madeline Coats/staff photo
Conservation district educates Kirkland residents on responsible stewardship and shoreline restoration

Residents learn techniques for returning their property to a more natural state.

Kirkland Transition Academy partners with Chick-fil-A

Chick-fil-A is the first for-profit business to partner with the LWSD academy.

Friends of Youth welcomes Juniel as director of development

Juniel Brings more than 30 years of development experience to Friends of Youth.

Congratulations to the Juanita High School and Futures School class of 2019. Photo courtesy of LWSD Facebook page
Juanita and Futures seniors graduate

The ceremony took place on June 14 at the JHS Field House.

Rumba Kings return to Kirkland Performance Center

They will be debuting their new album, “The Instrumental Sessions, Vol II.”

Matt Kearney to perform at KPC

Tickets for the Dec. 9 go on sale June 18.

Taylor to speak at LWTech commencement

Robert V. Taylor, chair of the Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation Board.

Leavitt to lead recital this weekend at Kirkland Congregational Church

Fellow performers include Jim Peterson, pianist Lambros Lambrou and Josh Sibley.