Summit-Questa Montessori School

The Summit - Questa Montessori School was founded to develop the intellectual, social, spiritual, and ethical qualities that each child has inside of them.
This means the learning environment is built on the Montessori philosophy, which focuses on the known developmental needs of the child.
To that foundation we add current research and the latest theories of learning and human development. Our goals are to create academic excellence, creativity, appreciation of nature, good communication skills, respect for others, maximize each individual's personal development and nurture the love of learning, knowledge, and life.
To that end, the Summit - Questa School Community endeavors to provide a state of the art learning environment which is developmentally responsive, safe, respectful, and positive.
Summit - Questa will provide extensive opportunities for students to grow into intellectually and spiritually reflective individuals who are well rounded, harmonious, ethical, and caring.
Each will learn to appreciate meaningful, constructive work as the cornerstone of becoming a vital and contributing member of the community.

Top Placements

Summit-Questa Montessori School places among the top 20% of private schools in Florida for:

School Overview

School TypeMontessori School
School Membership(s)School Assoc.American Montessori Society (AMS)
Southern Association Of Colleges And Schools (SACS)
Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools
Association of Independent Schools of Florida
Religious AffiliationNonsectarian
Grades OfferedGrades Nursery/Preschool-8
Learning Difference ProgramsYes
Learning Programs SupportedPlease call for information
Year Founded1991
Summer School OfferedYes
Summer Program DetailsLink to Summer Program Details

Student Body

Total Students473 students
Student Body TypeCo-ed
% Students of Color
State avg.: 44%
Students by Grade Summit-Questa Montessori School Student By Grade

Academics and Faculty

Total Classroom Teachers75 teachers
Student : Teacher Ratio6:1
National avg.: 13:1
Average Class Size20 students
List of Courses OfferedLink to List of Courses
Classroom Dress CodeCasual
(Uniforms for Prek-6th grade)

Finances and Admission

Admission DeadlineNone / Rolling
Tuition Notes*Please see website for details and brochure *Online Inquiry Form also available on website.
Admissions DirectorMs. Kathy
Admissions AssociateMs. Kathy


Total Sports Offered17 sports
SportsBasketball, Bowling, Cheering, Cross Country, Dance, Field Hockey, Flag Football, Football, Golf, Gymnastics, Indoor Soccer, Martial Arts, Sailing, Soccer, Swimming, Track and Field, VolleyballBasketballBowling,
CheeringCross Country,
DanceField Hockey,
Flag FootballFootball,
Indoor SoccerMartial Arts,
SwimmingTrack and Field,


Total ExtracurricularsTotal Extra-curric.16 extracurriculars
ExtracurricularsExtra-curric.Band, Chess, Choir, Cooking, Drama, German, Girl Scouts, Honor Society, Mentoring Club, Peace Community Club, Recycling Club, Robotics Classes, Spanish, Swim, Yearbook Club

Club or Organization:
Community Service

School Notes

  •  Summit-Questa Montessori School is a community of educators, children, parents and extended family committed to the Montessori philosophy. Dr. Maria Montessori, whose life work centered on the care and education of children, so eloquently said, "Within the child lies the fate of the future." Summit-Questa assists in developing all the aspects of the individual, including the child's self-creation of who they become. Our program has also been validated by our middle school graduates who have been accepted, and excelled in many of the top high-schools in South Florida. We are located on a beautiful 10 acre campus, with native habitats, edible schoolyard vegetable gardens, butterfly gardens, a wetland preserve, and brand new gymnasium and pool. We offer classes from Toddler to 8th Grade:
  • Toddler (18 months to 35 months)
  • Special Emphasis-Alt Methods
  • Lower Elementary (1st 3rd grades)
  • Upper Elementary (4th 6th grades)
  • Questa Middle School (6th 8th grades)
  • The Summit-Questa campus includes eight individual buildings housing classrooms, music rooms, art rooms, computer labs and full size gymnasium. Our campus is a continually growing and changing project as our needs evolve. The campus also includes two pools: a 4'-6' 40,000 gallon lap pool and a 3'-4' 10,000 gallon pool. The pools are used for 1st-8th grade PE swim, swim lessons, swim team practices and for school events. The pools are maintained by a salt system and are kept at 86 by the use of solar panels. The students enjoy a soccer/ball field used for recess, P.E. and sports practices. The school is also home to chickens, goats and pigs which enjoy a well maintained barn and yard. There are also many classroom pets, including bunnies, birds, cats, turtles and fish. There is a beautiful, shaded "outdoor classroom" in the back of the campus which includes seating for about 30 students. The classroom is a legacy gift from the Class of 2013. We have several beautiful outdoor gardens growing veggies, flowers and butterfly plants which the students work in as part of our curriculum. There is a beautiful official wetlands preserve full of fish, turtles, plants and fowl.
  • South Florida principal named Educator of the Year Summit-Questa Montessori School principal, Judy Dempsey, has been awarded the 2016-2017 Richard & Dorothy Lear Distinguished Educator of the Year-the highest honor given by the Association of Independent Schools of Florida. She will be accepting her award at the AISF School Leadership General Meeting on Monday, February 27th, 2017. The award, named for the founders of the Lear School of Miami, recognizes the distinguished career of Judy Dempsey and her continuous efforts to help educate the children of South Florida. Dempsey`s passion for education led her to found the Summit-Questa Montessori School in Davie, Florida, 25 years ago-a Montessori school on 10 acres of land for children from toddlers through 8th grade. She is also the co-director of the Summit Montessori Teacher Training Institute where she trains teachers to develop into Montessori leaders and educators. She also is the author of the just released, Turning Education Inside-Out: Confessions of a Montessori Principal, which is now available worldwide through traditional book retailers and online in the iBookstore. In her informative and engaging best seller, Dempsey details her over 40 years of experience with the Montessori philosophy as a Montessori educator, administrator, school owner, and teacher trainer. She shows the impact that the Montessori experience has on the developing child, clears up misconceptions about exactly what Montessori is, and helps prospective parents determine if Montessori is right for their child. "This is a must-read for all parents considering a Montessori education for their child. Dempsey also offers Montessori administrators and teachers a joyful sharing about her significant Montessori career." -Richard Ungerer, Executive Director, American Montessori Society More information on the book can be found here and more information on Judy can be found here. Judy has written numerous articles on Montessori and her personable style makes her great for interviews. To contact Ms. Judy or book for a speaking engagement, please call or email: Krista Joyce, , or 954-649-2274 or Ms. Judy`s Office: 954-584-3466
  • Welcome to the Summit-Questa Montessori School website. We are thrilled that you have chosen to glimpse a view of life at Summit-Questa. We are a unique community of Montessori educators, parents, children, and friends dedicated to the philosophy of Dr. Maria Montessori. This school originated in 1981 as Summit Private School of Ft. Lauderdale, primarily a Montessori preschool. In 1991 I bought the school and focused on building our Montessori elementary and middle school levels. The result is what it has grown into today, Summit-Questa Montessori School, a community that includes preschool through middle school on a beautiful 10 acre campus under my direction and ownership. Summit-Questa is affiliated with the American Montessori Society and is the site of a fully accredited Montessori teacher training center. In addition, the school is fully accredited by AISF (Association of Independent Schools of Florida), AdvancED/SACS (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools), MSA (Middle States Association), NCPSA (National Council for Private School Accreditation) and Ai (Accreditation International). What makes Summit-Questa unique is multifaceted. We are an interactive community which values everyone's voice and contributions...and the contributions are many! Our school has literally blossomed because of our dedicated staff and supportive families. All are invited to be active members in this community. Decision making within our community is a process that begins at a very young age and is based upon respect for the individual as well as the needs of the community as a whole. It is very important to us that everyone has a voice. We have a very active and involved PTO. Our unique park-like setting situated on 10 acres, has afforded us the opportunity to implement a hands-on outdoor environmental program second to none. Students are surrounded by the serene beauty of butterfly gardens, a variety of animals, flower and vegetable gardens, flora from all over the world, a live pond, as well as just open space for running and enjoying nature. Our students have the rare opportunity to learn directly from nature, working with the land and animals, something too few of our children are able to do in this overdeveloped, urban society of ours. We are truly an oasis in the middle of a concrete world! Our students flourish due to the commitment, professional training, and experience of our outstanding staff, many of whom have been with the school for ten or more years. All Montessori teachers at every level must be certified by nationally accredited teacher training centers. In addition, Summit-Questa Montessori School proudly boasts high standardized test score results, thereby proving that yes, Montessori students can perform well on traditional standardized tests if the tests are treated as a practical life skill and the students are not subjected to undue stress in regards to the test. Our upper elementary and middle school students consistently average in the top 1-25% of the nation. Our eighth grade graduates have successfully entered both private and public high schools where they usually enter as honor students. I am pleased to share with you some of the exciting and outstanding programs your child will experience at Summit-Questa. In addition to the rich array of Montessori materials in every fully-equipped classroom, and the complete and challenging Montessori curriculum, we offer the unique outdoor education facilities, outdoor fields for varied sports, a 6,000 square foot air-conditioned gymnasium which is designed for indoor basketball, tennis, volleyball and badminton , multi-cultural programs, foreign languages, library skills, computers, physical education, and specialists in music, drama and art. We also have two swimming pools and are building a strong swim program. In my role of leadership, my goals for the school are many. First and foremost, however, is to provide a safe, nurturing learning environment rich with opportunities for each student to fulfill their unique potential, be challenged and learn according to their own personal style. We feel every child has a gift and it is our responsibility, as well as a privilege, to shine a light on that gift in order to allow it to emerge. As a result, we strive for each student to leave Summit-Questa secure in the knowledge of who they are, their strengths, their weaknesses, what it takes to succeed today, and assured that they have their gift to offer the world. We know this is a winning combination because we have seen the outstanding results as our students graduate and step into high school as self-assured, successful young students and leaders, not to mention interesting and genuinely nice, respectful young people. I thank you for visiting our site and invite you to tour our school and meet our staff. Please be sure to check our calendar for the many upcoming events, including a series of parent education classes. All are welcome. Sincerely yours, Judy Dempsey
  • Judy is the author of Turning Education Inside-Out: Confessions of a Montessori Principal which is now available (February 2017) for purchase worldwide. Buy online on Amazon or through her publisher, Jross Publishing.
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School Reviews

  5.00 out of 5  (5 reviews)
In my children's classrooms there are 3 teachers to every 30-35 students. When compared to a traditional school with 1, this is fantastic! Montessori in general and specifically Summit-Questa creates a partnership between the families and the teachers that allows the them to really know the children. This makes for a very special classroom environment. The ratio of teachers to students is very good. (just wanted to make this point again) They offer more than just the simple on-site ruling and day-to-day direction for the children that you get in most school environments; at Summit-Questa they make an effort to change perceptions and have a dialogue: not just from top-down but amongst parents and with the children themselves.
- Posted by
My son has been attending Summit-Questa for four years now. It`s been incredible to watch him evolve, the teaching staff has been amazing at identifying his strengths and weaknesses and pushing him to excel where needed. Growing up my son was a bit clubsy and was never very confident with athletics. The Sports program has been a huge game changer for him. The ability for every student to participate with positive reinforcement has allowed him a new level of confidence in himself he never had before! He even practices his sports at home now, I`m so proud of him.
- Posted by
Summit-Questa has been an amazing school, I am thankful that my child has had the opportunity to be a part of. Aside from the amazing education the introduction of the sports department has allowed my daughter to participate in different team sports growing her self esteem, camaraderie and physical abilities. Go Sea Hawks!!!
- Posted by
My 2 sons attended Summit-Questa from 5th grade to 8th grade. They received a top quality education and went on to one of the best local private high schools were they both maintained 4.0 averages. One is now attending UF still maintaining "A" average and the other will attend FS. One of the many things that helped them do this is that Summit's program taught them to be independent learners and thinkers. They were taught time-management skills and how to be in charge of their own learning. While the early childhood and lower elementary programs are outstanding, it is hard to find such a top quality upper and middle school Montessori program.
- Posted by
I am quite pleased with the school and its staff. Our six yr old son has been there since vpk and is quite happy. Staff is very nurturing and warm.
- Posted by

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Did You Know?
The average private school tuition in Fort Lauderdale, FL is $7,894 for elementary schools and $13,059 for high schools (read more about average private school tuition across the country).
The average acceptance rate in Fort Lauderdale, FL is 81% (read more about average acceptance rates across the country).