About Joliet Montessori School

History & Mission


Joliet Montessori School, located in Crest Hill, IL, is a not-for-profit school that has been serving children since 1966. Registered with the Illinois State Board of Education, JMS offers a classic Montessori education. We welcome children ages 3 – 15 of all ethnic, racial, cultural and religious backgrounds.

Montessori education has proven itself a worthy method for more than a century, but it only came to the Joliet area in the mid-1960s, when Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Baca of Joliet organized with several other area families to bring this innovative philosophy to life.

Working together, they funded and established Joliet Montessori School in January of 1966, and in September of that year, 63 children filled two classrooms rented at the Guardian Angel Orphanage at the intersection of Plainfield Road and Theodore Street in Joliet.

Two years later, the new building was completed at Root Street and Weber Road, just a few blocks from the original site. Since 1968, JMS called this location home, adding classrooms, grade levels and facilities to become the premiere Montessori school in Will County.

First JMS Class 1968-1969

Newspaper clippings of JMS from the 1960s

Newspaper clippings of JMS faculty and students from the 1970s.

JMS Today

More than half a century later, JMS continues to bring the gifts of Montessori education to a diverse student body from Joliet and surrounding communities, fulfilling the promise of Maria Montessori and the founding families of JMS, year after year and generation after generation.

Our Mission

Joliet Montessori School inspires students to engage academically and socially every day, developing independence, a love of work, and a respect for all.

JMS is committed to providing Will County families access to the benefits of the Montessori method of education. We stress the importance of independence, initiative, responsibility, compassion, and respect.

We believe that learning is most effective and enjoyable when the student is given an active role in his or her own student career, and that making education fun instills a lifelong love of learning that will help children succeed at every stage of adolescence and adulthood.

As a non-profit, non-parochial, state-registered private school, JMS is dedicated to sharing this love of learning with children without regard to ethnic, cultural, religious or economic background. Teaching our children how to transform curiosity into learning is a global concern, and we educate with a global perspective across every grade level.

Would you like to support our mission? Click here to donate to our Annual Fund.


A 3rd year elementary student teaches her classmates a volcano lesson.
  A primary student sight reads, matching toys with words.
  The JMS graduating class of 2014.




Adolescent Graduation Day

06-06-2020 LEARN MORE



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