Explore the #3 Elementary and #1 Middle School in Pasco County

Lottery Process

Lottery & Enrollment Procedures

Accepting of Student Applications

Our lottery application will go live when we return from Winter Break. While our main lottery for the school year has already been pulled, we will continue to pull lotteries as needed. Apply now!

Lottery Application

If the number of applications exceeds the number of available spaces for any grade level, then applicant(s) will be placed in the lottery. To be entered in the lottery waiting list, parents need to complete a Lottery Application for each child they wish to enroll in the upcoming school year.

Inter-district Agreement

Pasco County charter schools are open to any student residing in Pasco County or within a county covered by an inter-district agreement.

Lottery Form

Interested applicants should submit their Lottery Application by: Completing the electronic Lottery Application on our website. We are no longer accepting paper or emailed Lottery Applications. Parents must submit via our online form.

Main Lottery Date

Our main lottery is held each year on February 15th, unless that is a non-school day or otherwise posted. If it is a non-school day, the lottery would be held on the next school day. Parents will be notified soon thereafter of their students’ selection in the lottery via email. Parents will have 24 hours to complete and submit the Pre-Enrollment Application and appropriate documentation, including Individual Education Plan (IEP), 504 Plan, Progress Monitoring Plan, etc. as applicable. Once the Pre-Enrollment Application is received and processed (see #6), parents will be notified of their child’s final acceptance status.

Pre-Enrollment Processing

If applicable, after submission and processing of the Pre-Enrollment Application, District and CMCS will work together, through the IEP committee, and will be appropriately referred.

Waiting List

Parents of students who are not selected in the lottery will be notified via email. These students will be placed on a waiting list in the event of any future openings. CMCS does not carry over waiting lists; therefore, a new application will have to be completed in January for the following school year.

Welcome to Countryside Montessori Charter School

Tampa Bay area’s only public Montessori charter school and a part of Pasco County schools.

2023-2024 CMCS Lottery Application

Registration for the 2023-2024 School Year

Our main lottery is held each year on February 15th, unless that is a non-school day or otherwise posted. If it is a non-school day, the lottery would be held on the next school day.

Schedule a Tour

Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, CMCS has limited availability for campus tours at this time.
To inquire about a tour, email or call us at 813-996-0991.

Thank you for your interest in our school.

CMCS Virtual Tour

Educating each whole child

Igniting a community of lifelong learners by guiding and nurturing each whole child. Provide a strong Montessori foundation in a safe, diverse, and collaborative community.

Our Programs


What is Montessori?

A philosophy created by Dr. Maria Montessori that tailors the child’s education to their specific needs at a given time. It is an approach that emphasizes independence, freedom within limits, and respect for the whole child.

What is a charter school?

The term charter refers to a free, public school operated independently of the local school board, often with a curriculum and educational philosophy different from the other schools in the system. Charter schools are required to follow all state and federal guidelines.

How is the Montessori classroom different from traditional classrooms?

Montessori environments provide hands-on, self-paced, child-centered learning. Students are grouped in multi-age classrooms. In our elementary classrooms, each classroom has two professionally trained teachers who possess one or more of the following credentials: Montessori Teacher Certification, Florida State Teacher Certification, and/or Montessori training. Our Middle School programs offer a more traditional academic experience while maintaining core Montessori philosophies.

What is it like to learn in a mixed-age class, with lots of freedom and choice?

In the Montessori classroom, students concentrate intently on their work, speak in calm tones, and demonstrate respect for their peers, their work, and their environment. Montessori encourages children to work independently. Children move freely about the environment and often assist each other with their tasks. Children may choose their work, when they do it, and often with whom they do it.

How can I ascertain if my child will be successful in Montessori?

In order to be successful in the Montessori environment, the Montessori child should develop independence, self-discipline, initiative, self-motivation, concentration, and order. In fact, they must be able to do so as this is a fundamental expectation in the Montessori classroom. Children must also have the ability to concentrate and not be distracted by what others in the room are doing. Intrinsic motivation is a hallmark of a Montessori student. If a child is not a self-starter, it will be challenging to succeed in the Montessori classroom. Therefore, some children may need a curriculum or environment that is more suited to their individual needs and offers a more structured and less stimulating environment.

How will my child transition out of Montessori into another type of school?

Statistically, those who are in Montessori classrooms over a long period of time, make a smooth adjustment and are very successful. They usually enter their new environments with a positive sense of self-confidence because they have developed a true love of learning.

What grades does CMCS serve?

CMCS serves students in 1st through 8th grades.

Are uniforms required?

Once your child(ren) have been accepted, specific information will be provided.

What are the school hours? Does CMCS offer transportation and/or Before and After Care?

School hours are 8:30 AM – 3:00 PM*. Based on level, pick up (dismissal) times vary. CMCS does not provide bus transportation. We do provide Before and After Care Programs at an additional fee. Additional information may be obtained through the school office. After School Enrichment Programs are also offered for an additional fee.

How much parent involvement is required?

Parent involvement is critical for student success in school, and all families are expected to give 15 hours of volunteer participation.

What is the enrollment process for CMCS?

CMCS accepts lottery applications for the upcoming school year starting in January. CMCS accepts students on a first-come, first-served basis, unless the number of applications exceed the number of seats available in any class, at which time a lottery will be conducted. To be considered, interested applicants should submit their application in person or by US Postal Service (USPS) by February 14th. 

In accordance with HB7029 (Controlled Open Enrollment), CMCS must provide seats to students that reside in Pasco County before accepting students from other counties.

What is the lottery process for CMCS?

The lottery is held on February 15th unless it is a non-school day. Parents are notified of their child’s acceptance no later than the first week of March. If a child is selected in the lottery and has a sibling applying, the sibling will have the option of first right of refusal only if there is spot in that grade level.

Are teacher requests accepted?

Although requests for specific teachers are NOT accepted, parents are welcome to provide special information about their child, which they feel would assist school administration in making placement decisions. This information should be submitted in writing to the Assistant Principal.

We are proud to have a diverse group of exceptional Montessori and State Certified teachers. Given the non-competitive nature of the Montessori philosophy, there is great collaboration among all the classrooms. Routines and procedures may be different from classroom to classroom according to the teachers’ styles, needs of the students, and schedule. No two classrooms are the same; however, the teachers cover the same Montessori and core academic curriculum.

Do you provide services for "gifted" students?

Dr. Montessori believed in the “gifted” potential of all students; therefore, CMCS does not offer a formal gifted program. The curriculum is open-ended and presents many opportunities for problem solving and critical thinking. Regardless of exceptionality, children are always challenged by our rigorous academic program.

Controlled Open Enrollment

CMCS BOD Approved
In accordance with HB7029 (Controlled Open Enrollment), Countryside Montessori Charter School must provide seats to students that reside in Pasco County before accepting students from other counties. In order to address this and other requirements in the Florida Charter School Statutes, CMCS has established the following guidelines to satisfy the eligibility, enrollment capacity, preference, and lottery requirements:

​A. Eligibility Requirements
School age children not subject to a current expulsion or suspension may submit an application for enrollment at CMCS during the specified period.

B. Application Process
Complete a CMCS enrollment application in person or via USPS during the open enrollment period established annually by Pasco County School District. If the student resides outside of Pasco County, an inter-district agreement must be obtained prior to completing the CMCS enrollment application.

​C. Enrollment Capacity
Enrollment capacity shall not exceed 365 students.

Please note maximum capacity for each grade level cohort. CMCS does not necessarily enroll to maximum capacity.

  • Lower Elementary (Grades 1-3): 157
  • Upper Elementary (Grades 4 & 5): 93
  • Middle School (Grades 6-8): 115
  • Total School Capacity: 365

Updated 3/8/23.