The Sammamish Montessori School was founded in 1977 by Joan Starling, an early pioneer of Montessori teaching in this area. The original school was located overlooking Lake Sammamish in what was then part of Redmond, Washington (decades before the City of Sammamish was established) and is now conveniently located in Redmond, Washington near the end of SR 520/Avondale, not far from Microsoft’s main campus.
Our school has grown from an initial class of six preschool students into a vibrant multicultural school preparing preschool, kindergarten and elementary students with strong academic and social skills and a love of learning. This history has seen the maturing of the original classes into adulthood, and even alumni returning as parents of new students. Today Joan's two daughters, along with a dedicated and talented group of teachers and supporting staff, continue to ensure high standards and a caring, family-centered atmosphere at our school. Joan and her husband continue to be involved and engaged in the school, although also enjoying their semi-retirement.
Our curriculum is based on Dr. Maria Montessori’s belief that children have an inborn drive to become independent and our program encourages and allows each child to develop his/her academic, social and emotional self. The Montessori learning materials stimulate children into logical thought and discovery under the guidance of our MACTE (Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education) accredited and experienced Montessori teachers.
We take pride in the quality of our educational program, well-equipped classrooms and caring atmosphere. Parents can entrust us with their children with confidence, knowing that they will always be treated with kindness and respect. We try to fill the needs of each child and of the total family: our office staff and management strives to be fair and flexible, always willing to work with parents. Above all we believe that school should be a positive experience that children look forward to with enthusiasm.
We recognize that parents’ schedules can be challenging, so we offer extended care for students to arrive before their class session and/or to stay at school after their class session has ended to allow you to pick up and drop off at a time that works for you. We encourage but do not require parents to volunteer their time and unlike most other private and most public schools we do not fundraise to benefit our school. You will not be pressured to donate to our school in addition to paying your tuition or fundraise on our behalf. In support of the community, we collect voluntary donations of toys or food for Hopelink or other worthwhile causes during the holidays but this is strictly voluntary. Parents are welcome to be involved in the school community in a number of ways, either on an ongoing or occasional basis. We are very fortunate to have an involved and caring parent community supporting our students and our school and invite you to come and see our school in action! Call 425-883-3271 today for a tour.
Siblings receive a 5% tuition discount for each student enrolled.
A prepayment discount of 3% is available if the entire school year's tuition is paid in full by September 10 of the school year.
Head of School/Principal
Janet Starling Villella
We offer summer camps and classes all summer long that are geared to be fun and academic. Topics in our Discovery classes include foreign language, sports, science, cooking, art and art history, world studies, math, spelling, etc.
Facilities and resources
Our clean, bright, spacious, airy and organized facility is located conveniently near the intersection of SR 520/Avondale Road and Union Hill Road in Redmond. The building and classrooms have been designed specifically to optimize the Montessori environment and all furnishings within each classroom are scaled appropriately for the students within them. Many classrooms are augmented by a fully fenced courtyard.
Two separate fully fenced play areas offer ample opportunity for children to run, jump and play outdoors. Our small playground includes a climbing structure, covered area and paved area with a basketball hoop and balls, and other outdoor toys. Our large playfield provides plenty of space to run free, kick balls and/or play organized games. We also have a large covered sandbox, two large playhouses, climbing and balancing structures and a slide to encourage children to run and play and use their imaginations during recess times. Tricycles, scooters, jump ropes, hula-hoops and other equipment are available for children to use within our fenced blacktop area.
Our reading specialist and school counselor work with individual students or in small groups to help each child to attain the skills they need.
Before/after school activities
Extended care is available to any SMS student from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and from 3:15 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. Monday through Friday. This flexible option allows you to arrive and leave at a time that is most convenient to you. You may prepay for a set amount of time in advance at a discounted rate or pay for the time you use based on 15-minute increments billed at the end of the month.
Clubroom is available before and after regular class times:
- Early Birds from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m.
- After School Club from 3:15 p.m. to 6:15 p.m.
Children are free to choose from a wide range of individual and small group work in Early Birds and After School Club. In ASC, children may participate in storytelling, acting and dress-up, yoga, balancing and light gym activities, parachute play, group circle games, arts and crafts, board games, singing, relay races, egg walks and other challenges, music and movement, hula hoops and a host of other creative and engaging indoor and outdoor games and activities. During the fall and spring, when it stays light out longer and the weather is good, the children spend time playing outside to get fresh air and exercise during After School Club.
Art and art history are integrated into the Montessori curriculum with particular emphasis on learning about various artists and experimenting with various artistic media and techniques in our elementary program. Summer camps focusing on art and art history also provide lots of hands-on art and an understanding of famous artists in history.
Piano instruction is available on-site to any student enrolled in school. Our piano teacher works individually with students. More information is available upon request.
Advanced Placement or honors classes
Montessori classes allow students to work at their own pace and abilities so that students who are academically advanced will be given work that challenges them.
Statement of diversity
We are proud to have a wonderfully diverse community of teachers, students and families including individuals from nearly every continent. The school’s admission and education programs are non-discriminatory. The school is an equal opportunity employer and complies with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act with respect to disabilities.
Foreign language programs
Spanish is the main second language taught throughout the school.Our native-speaking Spanish teacher visits each classroom weekly to teach Spanish to our students. Our French Immersion class, taught by our own native French speaking teacher, is available as part of our Enrichment program and is available to preschool and kindergarten students.
Additional opportunities for more learning arise as many of our teachers are fluent in other languages and introduce those languages to their students.
We communicate with parents by email and publish online newsletters monthly.
Hours: 7AM to 6:15PM, school hours 9AM to 3:15PM full day, 9AM to 11:30AM morning only or 12:45 to 3:15PM afternoon only, before school 7AM-9AM, after school 3:15PM-6:15PM