Fatima Lawson, Principal

998 Selby Ave., Saint Paul, MN 55104

(651) 293-8720 | Get Directions

Principal/School Name

360 Colborne Street, Saint Paul, MN, 55102

651-767-8100 | Get Directions

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J. J. Hill

  • About Our School

    Our Montessori students learn to immerse themselves in learning. With assistance from highly trained and certified Montessori teachers, students at J. J. Hill use hands-on materials to establish critical thinking skills and respond to real-world issues. Through multi-age classrooms, students develop relationships with the same teacher and the same community of students over a two- to three-year period. The outdoors and nature are integral to our Montessori experience as well: our on-site gardens have won both grants and attention, and our award-winning running club gets kids moving throughout the neighborhood. Artists in residency help celebrate the richness of our Montessori philosophy and the diversity of our community. Our active Parent Teacher Collaborative (PTC) sponsors numerous field trips, including a camp experience that allows students to experience an extended overnight trip in the countryside. 

    International Peace Site
    J.J Hill is proud of its designation as an international peace site. We originally became a peace site in October, 1992. We celebrate peace with a special day each year. Each classroom develops an activity, a presentation, or a play to illustrate a specific theme for that year. The theme relates in some way to the overarching goal of peace. It's a delightful and beautiful time in our yearly calendar, a time of joy and creativity.

    Peace means that, on the classroom level, we involve children in making peace and building community. Students are taught responsibilities such as facilitating a class meeting, peer mediation, and mentorship of younger students. Community service is an important part of what we do. It can involve care of the classroom environment, service on the student patrol, or student council, listening to younger students read in another classroom, or social problem solving skills that emphasize listening and talking rather than fighting and arguing.

    J.J. Hill Montessori takes pride on the continuity of its staff, and the diversity of its children. Many teachers have been with the program since elementary grades were introduced in 1989. The student body mixes students of all nationalities. J. J. Hill has multi-age classrooms. Younger children are indirectly prepared for the lessons they will receive when they are older; older children offer help and guidance to those who are younger. H.E.A.R.T is an ongoing committee that writes grants, and renews fine arts programs for the school: drama, visual art, multi-media, and dance. The school offers developmental education at its finest.

    Children in the typical Montessori classroom are relaxed and concentrated. It may take you a few moments to locate the teacher, whose presence is supportive rather than dominant. You might find her working with a small group on a raised platform, or with a single individual. Montessori children work with specially made materials; physicality and color pervade the room. Montessori said that education passes from "the hand to the brain."

    A "prepared environment" allows choice of work; choice of work stimulates concentration; the responsibility for taking things out and putting them away develops order; and the ability to move about the room enhances coordination, maturity and independence. Serious about the child's capacity as well as the propitiousness of the age, Montessori claimed it is our job to "prepare children for life." Our own longitudinal study verifies students' academic success when they leave for traditional schools. But the invisible part, the education of character, is our fundamental goal.

    School Office:
    7:30 A.M. to 3:30 P.M.
    The Office is very busy before classes are in session and just before classes are dismissed at the end of the day. If possible, please minimize your general inquiries during these designated hours.

    There are limited phone lines in the school office. When they are all busy, it rings as if the office is unoccupied. Please try to call again in a few minutes. Your calls are important. We appreciate your patience and understanding.

    Nurse's Office:
    Shelby Stricker, RN is our nurse all day Tuesday, Thursday mornings and all day Fridays and Nhia Yang, health assistant is in the nurse's office all days from 8:30 am - 3:30 pm.  Shelby's phone number is 651-744-5789, and Nhia's phone number is 651-748-7639.

    Homework Hotline:
    Help is available for questions on elementary school homework at (651) 224-1111,  Monday through Thursday, 4:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M.

    Multi-Age Groupings
    Students at J.J. Hill are grouped into classrooms by age group: 4-5 year olds, 6-9 year olds, and 9-11 year olds. Montessori teachers (also referred to as guides) are trained to handle three separate curriculums. Multi-age groupings enhance academics (students see and hear parts of lessons one to two years before they are taught the material); and socialization (older students help younger students).

    Children's House (CH) - These children are ages 4 and 5. They attend one of the following sessions: all day kindergarten or half day morning 4 year old program.

    Elementary I (EI) — These are the all day classes for children ages 6-9. These children are in multi-age classrooms, grades 1-3

    Elementary II (EII) — These are the all day classes for children ages 9-11. These children are in multi-age classrooms grades 4 and 5.

School Hours

Discovery Club

  • The Discovery Club is open from 6:30 a.m. until 6 p.m.

Pick Up & Drop Off Safety

  • Parents, please remember "safety first " as you pick up and drop off your students each day.  As you know from my August 11 welcome back letter, our drop off and pick up procedures have changed at JJ Hill.  Car traffic ONLY will be allowed through the south parking lot.  Traffic will flow one-way (please follow the white arrows).  The parking lot exit to Laurel Avenue is closed.  Laurel Avenue will be used exclusively for buses for drop off and pick up both at 8:10 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.  Thank you in advance for your flexibility with our new procedures and for helping make JJ Hill a safer school for our great students.

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