About Us

A Montessori Alternative Program

We are excited that you have chosen a specialized approach to learning for your child. Along with specific lessons using beautifully prepared materials, Montessori focuses on building a sense of independence, growing responsible learners, developing thoughtful leaders and offers students choice to reach their potential. Elements of environmental stewardship, peace education and responsible citizenship all play important roles in the education of our excellent Montessori learners.

“Montessori is an approach to education which balances freedom with responsibility and sets high standards of intellectual and social development for children.”
– Paula Polk Lillard

Community and School History

John Craig came west from Ontario in 1901 and bought land from the Canadian Pacific Railroad. 12 cows, a team of horses and an Adams wagon, a driving horse and buggy were of the prized possessions the family came west with. The family named their homesteaded ranch The Prairie Home Farm. Mr. Craig subdivided his land to the City of Calgary in 1907. In the early 1900's, one story clapboard housing was predominant. At the end of World War II, one story stucco bungalows became fashionable. Many of Calgary's first subdivisions such as Killarney were annexed by the city in 1910 and, in this case, named to reflect Canada's British heritage. Calgary was a real estate gold mine at this time and the newspapers both in Canada and abroad used the tactic of British, Irish and Scottish names to attract potential immigrants from the United Kingdom. The street names within Killarney are representative of towns, villages, hamlets and counties in Ireland mostly beginning with "K" as required by the city at the time.

In 1912 water was obtained by a water tower located on 24 Street. A person could go to one of the standpipes if you were lucky enough to find one that worked. Another option was the water wagon that came around and a person could buy water at 25 cents a barrel. Sidewalks were made of 2 planks nailed together. They were so narrow that 2 people could not pass without one having to step off. Gas and kerosene were used to provide light in homes and there were no street lights. 24 street in Killarney was the end of the line on the street car that transported people to and from downtown. Sewers were non-existent even into the 1920s. There was no community park for the children to play in, so the prairie field on 26 Street was used as a skating rink and baseball park. One school was built to house all of the children in Killarney-Glengarry and was filled to capacity in a very short time. Overcrowding quickly began to be a problem and the communities worked very hard through to 1935 to have more schools built in all areas of the SW.

The area consistently grew till the 1950's and became bound by what is known today as 17 Ave. to the North, 37 Street to the West, Richmond Road to the South and 25A Street to the East.

As overcrowding in all areas of the southwest Calgary schools became apparent, the Killarney-Glengarry rate payers association became extremely vocal at many city and school board meetings and a new school was finally approved for the Killarney area. Killarney School was built on a piece of land called Moulding’s Park. The school was officially opened on Oct. 23, 1953. At one time, the school had about six hundred students. This is very hard to believe considering the size and spaces that we see in the school today. Between 1968 and 1972, improvements were made to the science room, library, music room and staff room.

As time went on, and the community grew older, the children grew up and moved on to new heights, the community did not attract the consistent numbers of young families with children like it used to. The enrollment began to dwindle beginning in the 1990's and towards the end of this decade, the school risked closure.

A new plan had to be found! The school board was finding many areas across the city with this same problem, so they began to look at alternative programs to attract families into public education and at the same time make use of unused building space. Our school became a Montessori Program for children in Kindergarten to Grade 6.

The community within the Killarney school building is very passionate about their school. Our school is a caring community of learners, each with unique contributions to make. Each individual has the right and responsibility to communicate with respect and to participate in shared decision making. We are committed to the CBE’s purpose statement and believe that “quality education is accessible to all learners.”

As more space was available, the alternative Montessori Program was introduced at Killarney.

To facilitate the fact that many of our children are bused to school from all parts of the city, the CBE offers a noon supervision program where the children eat their lunch at school under the direction of lunchroom supervisors.

We also have space that is leased that provides for a before and after school care program for children that do not live close to the school or have a designated bus route. Parents are able to drop their children off at school earlier than school start times and pick them up later than when the school day finishes. For more information you can click to find the KidZinc website or call the school for more information.

Who knows what will happen in the future for the Killarney school building but one thing is for sure the school community is just as passionate about the building as they were in past years. Our school is a caring community of learners, each with unique contributions to make. Each individual has the right and responsibility to communicate with respect and to participate in shared decision making. 

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​​​About the CBE

The CBE is the largest school district in Western Canada. Our mission is to ensure each student, in keeping with his or her individual abilities and gifts, completes high school with a foundation of learning necessary to thrive in life, work and continued learning. You can look on the CBE website for more information. ​​​