School Leadership

Message from our Head of School

The Element was first established in 2003 at its parent school, OMS Montessori, as a Junior High grade 7 and 8 program. In response to growing demand and the need for a Montessori high school program in the Ottawa region, The Element High School moved to its current location at Lansdowne Park in 2015.

The Element is an independent not for profit high school that is governed by an all-volunteer Board of Directors.

Understanding, acknowledging and respecting the needs and tendencies of children at all stages of their development is a fundamental principle of the Montessori pedagogy.  When visiting Toddler, Casa or Elementary classes, one is often struck by the particular differences in each environment. Toddler and Casa environments take into account the tendency for sensorial exploration, the development of independence and the importance of learning through concrete experience with specific didactic materials. Elementary programs, allow students to continue perfecting basic skills while pursuing their interests and passions through projects and inspiring lessons.

This same principle also applies at The Element, a high school that is specifically designed to meet the needs and natural tendencies of growing adolescents. When you visit our environment, you will notice large open spaces, smaller breakout rooms, a commercial kitchen and furniture that can be easily moved around.  This enables our students to find workspaces to accommodate for their individual learning styles. 

Our high school is located in the heart of the Glebe neighbourhood. Proximity to a dynamic and vibrant community gives our students access to a variety of resources such as public libraries, museums, government offices, etc. This encourages our students to look to the community to find resources while expanding their horizons and further developing their independence.  Easy access by foot or public transport enables them to go out in the world to pursue their research or work in the community.

Our smaller numbers allow teachers to be available when needed.  The Element mentorship program fosters independence while giving each student the support they require. This guarantees that each student has the amount of freedom they are able to handle responsibly.

Our program is designed to offer students relevant experiences, which truly engage them by allowing free choices and the opportunity to follow their passion while ensuring they will have the academic skills to pursue further academic studies.   Students learn real life skills through programs such as cooking, entrepreneurship and community work.

Expanding horizons through travel opportunities allows our students to step out of their comfort zone and learn essential life skills. The school year begins with an Odyssey trip for the grade 7 and 8 students, an Urban Adventure in grades 9 and 10 and an International Community Service, which is planned in grade 11 for grade 12.

At The Element, we encourage students to find their unique path to success by engaging them in all aspects of their education. 

The Element is truly what adolescent education should be!  Book a tour and come see for yourself!


Carrie Whalen, Head of School