Prospective Families

Who We Are:

The Legacy of Dr. Josie R. Johnson Montessori School (LJJM) s a K-6 public charter school and includes a tuition-based Preschool in North Minneapolis with a mission to provide an excellent, equitable Montessori education to an intentionally diverse student body, with the promising vision of co-leaders Tonicia and Jamal Abdur Salaam, educational social justice leaders and anti-racist warriors.


Now Enrolling

Toddler (16 months) through 6th grade.

Join the Legacy! Ask us how we're different from the rest.


If you have questions about enrollment, please email or call 612-302-3410.  

Fast Facts

Montessori Frequently Asked Questions (adapted by American Montessori Society)

What ages does this school serve?

Currently, our program begins at the Toddler level (16 months – 3 years) and Early Childhood level (for children ages 3 – 6 years). Lower Elementary-aged students (grades 1 – 3), and Upper Elementary students (grade 4 – 6). The benefits of Montessori—the emphasis on independent learning and the warm, supportive community—continue to be important at each stage of development as children grow into lifelong learners and responsible citizens of the world.

How many students are typically in a Montessori class?

Our classrooms are composed of include 20 – 30 students whose ages span 3 years. All members of the community benefit from this configuration. Older students are proud to act as role models; younger ones feel supported and gain confidence about the challenges ahead. And all children develop their independence as they problem solve with their peers within their classroom community. Each classroom has one Lead Guide and two Assistant Guides, offering more 1:1 and small group time.

Can Montessori accommodate gifted children? What about children with other special learning needs?

An advantage of the Montessori approach—including multi-age classrooms with students of varying abilities and interests—is that it allows each child to work at his or her own pace. Students whose strengths and interests propel them to higher levels of learning can find intellectual challenge without being separated from their peers. The same is true for students who may need extra guidance and support, including students with special needs such as ADHD, learning differences, and autism spectrum disorders: each can progress through the curriculum at her own comfortable pace, without feeling pressure to “catch up.” From a Montessori perspective, every child is considered gifted, each in their own way. Every child has unique strengths and interests that the Montessori environment nurtures and supports.

Do Montessori teachers follow a curriculum?

Montessori schools teach the same basic skills as traditional schools, and offer a rigorous academic program. Most of the subject areas are familiar—such as math, science, history, geography, and language—but they are presented through an integrated approach that weaves separate strands of the curriculum together. This approach to curriculum demonstrates the interrelatedness of all things. It also allows students to become thoroughly immersed in a topic—and to give their curiosity full rein.

Is it true that Montessori students are free to do whatever they want, and at their own pace?

Dr. Maria Montessori observed that children are more motivated to learn when working on something of their own choosing, and at their own unique pace. A Montessori student may choose her focus of learning on any given day, but her decision is limited by the materials and activities—in each area of the curriculum—that her teacher has prepared and presented to her.

Although students are free to work at their own pace, they’re not going it alone. The Montessori teacher closely observes each child and provides materials and activities that advance his learning by building on skills and knowledge already gained. This gentle guidance helps each child master the challenge at hand—and protects him from moving on before he’s ready, which is often what causes children to “fall behind.” Each child is challenged appropriately in each area of the curriculum to ensure that skills and competencies are fully developed and that the child is able to pursue his own unique interests.

Do Montessori students take standardized tests?

Yes, as a public Montessori school, we are are mandated to administer the same standardized tests as other public schools.


We are one of 160 Montessori schools, nationwide, that qualifies as "high diversity" that is actively addressing equity and systempic barriers

Staff Reflect Students

We lead children in igniting curiosity and student-led learning to pursue equity and excellence, including experiences of teachers and administrators that look like them. 

Changing the Narrative

Our school's powerful pedagogy offers a full educational experience that honors the whole child in order to combat white supremacy in education.

Culturally Responsive

We incorporate pedagogy that embraces the needs and the brilliance of all students, specifically Students of Color.

Enrironmental Literacy

We have curriculum focused on environmental justice and decolonization that pushes our curriculum past traditional context.



Learn how JJ Legacy is responding to COVID-19.


Meet the Administration team.


About Us

Learn more about our school and our mission.

Enrollment Process and Forms

Apply today!