Our Mission:

Empower adolescents.

Montessori School of New Orleans fosters personal and social awareness, inspires creative thinking, and develops the future peacemakers for our world.



Adolescence is an exceptional phase of life. It deserves and exceptional kind of school. MSNO is a part of the micro school movement, where students will learn in a mixed age level classroom, designed to deliver rigorous academics in a nurturing and community-centered environment. Lead by founder Rachel Cole, students learn through Socratic seminar, inquiry, project-based learning, and reading and writing workshop. With a focus on identity development, leadership, and service, MSNO educates the whole person. MSNO will reside at Mosaic Church, located at 4302 Canal Street in Mid City.





Rachel Cole is a Montessori educator whose passion is middle school. As a young teacher in New Orleans, Rachel quickly realized she was eager to find a model of education that would empower and honor the spirit of her students. This search lead her to Montessori.

Rachel taught at the Montessori School of Fort Worth, where she established a brand new middle school program. In addition to learning their core subjects, her students spent time starting their own businesses, serving local refugee families, hiking in Jackson Hole, farming in Arkansas, and exploring passions ranging from Mandarin Chinese to meditation to knitting.

Rachel is a systems thinker with a natural ability to create a responsive and welcoming school culture. Rachel served as a school leader at Audubon Charter, overseeing grades six through eight. There she lead a team of ten adults and 150 students, redesigning the middle school program to implement Montessori practices in a public setting.

Originally from Princeton, NJ, Rachel is a first generation college student, graduating cum laude from Tulane with a BA in English Literature. Rachel received her Montessori certification from Houston Montessori Center, and went on to earn her M.Ed in Montessori Integrative Learning.

Rachel resides in Gentilly with her husband and two kittens. In her free time, Rachel can be found reading in a coffee shop or running in City Park.


Camella Clements

Camella Clements is credentialed by the American Montessori Society and has worked as a middle school teacher, teacher trainer, and curriculum designer since 2002.  She earned her B.A. in English Literature and Studio Art from Rice University. She is passionate about Montessori education because of its emphasis on educating for peace.  She has taught students from ages 12 months through 12th grade but feels drawn to working with the unique challenges faced by the middle school mind.  She loves being outdoors, cycling, camping, canoeing, and hiking with her husband and daughter.




What are the hallmarks of an adolescent Montessori environment?

Many people commonly think of preschools when they think of Montessori, which use hands on materials, guided choice, and movement to teach young children. Maria Montessori’s philosophy and model span from infancy through adulthood. Below are a few of the elements that make Montessori middle school unique.


Multi-age grouping

Multiple grade levels learn in one community, allowing for mentorship, modeling, and peer learning.

Uninterrupted Work Time

Students have blocks of 2-3 hours every day to do independent work, fostering focus and executive functioning skills.


Through daily mindfulness and introspection, adolescents develop a healthy self-image and understanding of who they are and where they want to go in their lives.  

Classroom environment

Designed to encourage curiosity, independence, and freedom of movement, environments respond to the developmental needs of the middle school student.

Thematic Curriculum

Montessori middle school teachers teach all subjects through unifying themes, with a focus on finding patterns and critically analyzing information.

Socratic Dialogue

Weekly discussion develops speaking, listening, debating, and critical thinking skills.


“An education capable of saving humanity is no small undertaking; it involves the spiritual development of man, the enhancement of his value as an individual, and the preparation of young people to understand the times in which they live.”

Dr. Maria Montessori

Learner Outcomes


  • Students graduate eighth grade having completed Algebra I, with a concrete and abstract understanding of mathematical principles.

  • Students are life-long readers and writers. Students know how to write for multiples purposes and audiences, in many genres. Students have an appreciation for beautiful writing.

  • Students are inquisitive and curious scientists, with an understanding of the scientific principles that guide the universe.

  • Students develop an understanding of history thematically and chronologically. By analyzing primary sources and using the Socratic Method, students understand the underlying beliefs and systems that shaped history.


Students can…

  • work together in a team to accomplish a goal.

  • speak eloquently and engagingly in front of a group.

  • disagree respectfully.

  • Solve a conflict.

  • Build relationships and find common ground with others.

  • Share their opinions and needs with peers and adults.


  • Students feel they have a voice in their education.

  • Students recognize their self-worth.

  • Students know when and how to ask for help.

  • Students know how to set healthy boundaries.

  • Students know how to care for their body, mind, and spirit.

For answers to frequently asked questions, click here: https://amshq.org/Montessori-Education/FAQs  




English Literature & Composition

Taught through the reading and writing workshop model developed by Columbia’s Teachers College, where students read and write across genres, based on self-selected books and topics. Students will be immersed in a text and vocabulary rich environment.



Instruction will follow a two year Pre-Algebra and Algebra combined curriculum, spiraling back to foundational concepts in each unit to solidify and deepen understanding. Math lessons will begin with Montessori elementary materials to demonstrate ideas concretely before moving to abstraction.


Cultural (Social Studies and Science)

Taught thematically in the style of “Big History,” the teacher will begin the week starting with an overarching question, giving students a framework for the material. Students will then work in small groups throughout the week to study subsets of the topic, allowing them to develop both academic research and presentation skills, as well as the soft skills that are vital to the 21st century workplace. Science will be taught through the place-based model. Students will cover chemistry, biology, physics, and environmental science using an inquiry based approach to learning about the ecosystem right outside their door.



Students will be assessed using mastery based learning, rubrics, and reflection. They will be entrenched in a culture of feedback, feeling supported to learn from their mistakes.


Personal Development

Taught as an academic subject, equally as important as other disciplines, using The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens by Stephen Covey and The Gift of Imperfection by Brene Brown. Students will respond through a variety of mediums, and explore meditation, gardening, yoga, and other introspective activities. Students will participate in enrichment electives taught by local experts, as well as give back through service learning, internships and a student-run business.

A Day in the Life

Montessori classrooms respond to our natural strengths, needs, and curiosities. Where traditional schools shuffle students to a different topic and teacher every hour, the rhythm of a Montessori classroom allows for deep focus and engagement.



  • 8:00-8:15 Arrival and Work Check

  • 8:15-9:00 PE

  • 9:00-9:30 Student-led community meeting   

  • 9:30-10:00 Community Lesson

  • 10:00-11:30 Group Work/Project-Based Learning

  • 11:30-12:15 Lunch & Recess

  • 12:15-12:45 Personal Reflection

  • 12:45-1:15 Lessons

  • 1:15-3:00 Personal Work Time

  • 3:00-3:15 Jobs & Classroom Care

  • 3:30 Dismissal



  • Community Meeting

  • Synthesis of Weekly Learning

  • Business/Economics

  • Service Learning

  • Outdoor Education


Inquiry & Application

Choosing the right school for your child is an important and personal decision. Rachel is dedicated to building a personal relationship with each family she serves. To schedule an introductory phone call and/or in-person meeting, please call 504-289-4226.

Tuition Schedule

The tuition listed below is for the entire school year. Tuition is paid in four equal payments, due July 15, October 15, January 15, and April 15. A non-refundable deposit of $500 is due upon child’s acceptance, deducted from total tuition due. The materials fee is due with the July 15 payment.

2019-2020 Tuition

  • Registration Fee: $145

  • Materials Fee: $500

  • Tuition: $10,500