Durango Montessori School

A nonprofit organization

DMS offers children of Durango and nearby towns an experiential education with a Montessori Method foundation. Excellent student-to-teacher ratio and involvement in the community's art and music programs enables each student to receive individualized guidance and a unique learning opportunity.


Family testimonials:

"Durango Montessori has been such a gift to our family. The incredible staff and administration have poured love into our kids, particularly during the pandemic. The school has really thought outside the box in providing outdoor education through Colvig Silver Camp, giving kids sunshine, fresh air and space to just be kids. My son has also had this wonderful opportunity to really learn from outstanding community programs like the Seed Studio and Stillwater Music. All of this while having both their education and their emotional needs really cared for. So grateful for Durango Montessori!"

"Durango Montessori has always reached out to like-minded organizations in an effort to enrich its students' lives. They have partnered with SEED Studio to provide art instruction; Stillwater for exciting music education; and Colvig Camps for outdoor learning experiences. These opportunities have been embraced and appreciated by students and families."

"Watching my fourth grader perform Shakespeare was a highlight of my year. He was truly enriched and challenged by the experience. To this day he still quotes some of his favorite MacBeth lines!"

"Out of all our family's educational experiences in Durango, Durango Montessori was the most rich educational experience of all for our son. I can't recommend it highly enough. It is a very special school."

"This school is the right fit for our family. It focuses on our boys, what they need, when they need it. The individual attention is what makes this school unique. We appreciate and love the limited technology and the focus on the child."

"We enjoy the atmosphere, the small classes, the intimate learning style and all the great specials like Spanish, music, etc. We really appreciate the loving atmosphere you create there."

"DMS has been a fixture in our family's life for the past seven years, and we are very grateful for it! DMS has given us an academic community that is unique, providing the ability to focus on each child's individual strengths and challenges. DMS encourages students to reach and strive beyond their individual potential. Our oldest daughter has excelled in middle school, demonstrating her foundations built at DMS to focus, problem solve, work with others, and make conscientious choices. I'm confident that both of our girls will benefit from their time at Durango Montessori throughout their lives."

"Our family could not be more grateful that both of our daughters were able to attend DMS for all of their elementary school years. DMS truly gave them both a 'love of learning' that will benefit them for the rest of their lives. They are both exceptional students and have been very well prepared for middle school and high school as a result of the strong foundations they both received at DMS."

Student testimonials:

"When I went to Durango Montessori, I was really privileged to have teachers that knew me well so they could help me in the best way. The school is like no other in that the learning experience is extraordinary."

"I loved this school so much. It built a great structure in my childhood and also prepared me well for middle school. This school is very open to helping the kids move to different levels, no matter what grade they are in. The teachers there are so friendly and helpful. This school has a great way of teaching. The teachers definitely teach in a way the kids can easily understand. I know most of the kids that come from Durango Montessori do well at other schools. This school helps the kids not only with academics but with social skills. We had a peace-works class which we learned lessons about bullying, and I think that this class helped everyone become a better person. The kindest, smartest, and most caring people I know come from Durango Montessori. The best memories that I have are at Durango Montessori."

"I love Durango Montessori. I love them because they make time for me, and they make me feel special every day."

"Durango Montessori a school where I found great student-teacher relationships, an amazing supportive community, and an academic structure that sets up young people for middle school like no other. I have had an unceasingly positive experience with the toolset that Durango Montessori left me with as I went to middle school. When I left Durango Montessori I found that many individuals that I met in that first year of middle school had not been set up with the far surpassing work ethic and problem-solving base that Durango Montessori gave me."


Durango Montessori School's (DMS) mission is to provide an education center for children in preschool through sixth grade according to the principles and philosophy of Dr. Maria Montessori. It is the adopted belief of DMS that appropriate education received at these ages is the most valuable education in the whole of a lifetime, and DMS intends to provide each child with warm, nurturing, didactically prepared environments supervised and maintained by teachers trained in the Montessori Method and consistent with Montessori philosophy. DMS' goal is to promote emotional, social, and intellectual development in order to meet the needs of the whole child.

Background Statement

Mary Polino, educator and parent, founded DMS in 2005. Located in the historic Smiley Building on Durango's Third Avenue, DMS enables the community's children to pursue knowledge hands-on in and outside the classroom in English language arts, math, social studies, history, art, music, outdoor education, Spanish, physical education, and peace works. Curious by nature, students are given the agency to self-select work, leading to intrinsic motivation, sustained attention, and a love for learning. Financial aid is available for qualified families.

Organization Data


Organization name

Durango Montessori School

Year Established


Tax id (EIN)




Organization Size

Medium Organization


1309 E. 3rd Ave., Unit #6
Durango, CO 81301

Service areas

La Plata County, CO, US