WJ Griffis Children's Centre

A Montessori Pre-School

WJ Griffis Centre

Contact Information

Mary-Ann Kourko

717 John Street
Thunder Bay, ON P7B 1Z7
Phone (807) 768-3222
Fax (807) 768-5351
email: makourko@cltb.ca

Hours of Operation

  • The Griffis Centre is open 12 months of the year – Monday to Friday  7:30 am – 5:30 pm
  • The Centre is closed on all of the statutory holidays, for the week that falls between Christmas and New Years Day, and for several days before Labour Day for professional activities


Montessori Philosophy and Principles

We believe:

  • That the first six years of growth are the most important in a child’s life – a child initially begins learning with an unconscious, absorbent mind, and gradually develops to the conscious level of learning
  • That all children learn and progress through observable developmental stages
  • That the observant teacher will facilitate learning through a prepared environment which inspires children to develop confidence, independence, and essential social skills in a Montessori-enriched atmosphere
  • That the parent’s role is essential in nurturing their child’s needs
  • That the parents, child, and the teachers form a partnership that involves mutual trust and respect, nurtures the child’s love of learning, and sense of personal and social responsibility



At the W. J. Griffis Children’s Centre, our mission is to provide an educational environment that is based upon the Montessori philosophy. We strive to foster partnerships between parents and teachers to support the development of the whole child.



  • Bambini Program – for children ages 18 to 30 months
  • Casa Program – for children ages 30 months to 6 years



The Centre employs a full-time cook, who has an extensive background in nutrition, catering, cooking, and safe food handling practices. Healthy lunches and snacks are prepared following the Canada Food Guide, and the slow-foods practices. We focus on using nutritious foods. We have a reverse-osmosis water purifier; water and milk come out at all times, with smoothies, hot chocolate, and herbal tea served to the children occasionally.
We are a nut-free Centre.


Parent Handbook

The latest version of the parent handbook can be accessed or downloaded in either either PDF (Adobe Reader) or DOC (Microsoft Word) format.

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Policies & Procedures

Click here for WJ Griffis Policies & Procedures



We are located in the following school’s bus zones:

  • Algonquin Avenue
  • Ecole Gron Morgan
  • St. Pius
  • St. Bernards
  • Corpus Christi


The W. J. Griffis Children’s Centre tend to follow the rhythm of the seasons, and place less emphasis on typical holidays and celebrations.