Why Montessori School of Durham

We are so lucky to live in a community rich with Montessori options for your child.  So why choose Montessori School of Durham out of them all?

 In MSD's re-accreditation review, the American Montessori Society said that:"The core values of this school are in evidence everywhere we observed.  The care and love of children permeates the entire environment where children are allowed and encouraged to invent and discover on their own how things work and how important it is to develop people skills as well as academic ones.  The faculty of the school embodies a level of professionalism that is palpable and evident to anyone observing in the classrooms." 

Hulafrog's Most Loved Private School
Indy's Best of the Triangle
Panoramic photo of the front office of MSD.

We offer a strong foundation for the cognitive, social, and emotional development of each individual child as well as developing a strong sense of their citizenship in both the local and the global community. We are committed to enriching our children’s learning experiences through the guidance of expert teachers and a diverse curriculum. Cultivating respect, resilience, perseverance, and a sense of responsibility are our hallmarks.

To accomplish this, Montessori School of Durham implements the classical Montessori principles: the development of concentration, order, and coordination, which foster the discipline required for independence. These skills enable the child’s freedom of inquiry, while multi-age classrooms promote individualized education. Confidence and enthusiasm is gained from the ability to self-initiate and from success.

These principles provide the framework for every level of our work — the layout of the classroom, the design of the curriculum, the modeling of each activity, and the intention of each lesson with the individual child. We have strong staff retention because of staff satisfaction, which is reflected in the the strength of the community and the beauty of the classroom environments.

In addition to our outstanding teaching staff, our programs are also set apart by a dedication to Montessori’s foundation in respect for the child. At MSD, we respect the child’s innate desire to learn and inborn power to be competent.

We are fortunate to have a diverse body of families that contribute to the richness of our children’s Montessori experience. The time, talents, unique backgrounds, and energy of families enhance our children’s education at MSD and contribute to the supportive and engaging community we enjoy.

Since our inception in 1976, Montessori School of Durham has been an affiliate of the American Montessori Society, and in 1996 we were recognized as the first school in North Carolina to become an Accredited School by the American Montessori Society. Today we are one of six schools in the state of North Carolina to maintain this ranking. We also maintain accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS.)

Montessori School of Durham does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, sexual orientation, family structure, or national or ethnic origin, in admissions, programs, employment, financial assistance, activities, use of facilities, or privileges.

Consider what our parents (current and alumni) have to say:

"WOW!  :)  As we drove into school this morning, I felt a weird happy/sad feeling that I don't normally feel for such a thing - I just kept thinking all day, 'why am I feeling so happy/sad/tearful for the end of a school year? This is silly!' That's not normally me!  Yes, it was a weird year, BUT that didn't bring me to tears... what brought me to tears was the forever grateful, heartwarming feeling I got when thinking about the "end" of a year with ALL of the LOVING, CARING, NOURISHING, COMPASSIONATE, KIND teachers and staff at MSD.  It was the family that we were "leaving" that brought on my emotions... I definitely do not have the words to THANK YOU enough for all of your tireless efforts keeping the school open, safe, and most importantly (and hard to do while being pulled in so many directions just keeping up with "protocols, etc") was that everyone was still SO LOVING to our children!!!  I would have never known that things were most likely more stressful this year because everyone always had a smile on their face and a kind, loving voice!  We are forever grateful for that!  It's not just a school at MSD, it's a family... what more can you ask for?!" - Current Parent

"It must be so rewarding to know that (you and) the wonderful staff at MCHD [now MSD] have left an indelible mark on so many young people, who now march out into the world full of appreciation for and curiosity about the world around them.  We're grateful for you all!" - Alum Parent, H. Lewis

"Thank you so much for all you do. You've made our family's transition into school seamless and comfortable...We scheduled some school visits in Florida...and we were blown away. There was no comparison to Montessori School of Durham - we are so happy and lucky to have MSD in our backyard. From the school itself, the staff, teachers, classrooms etc. We kept saying how lucky we are to have our school in Durham." -Current Parent, L. Bergman

"Want to know what’s priceless? Our daughter is about as secure as a kid can get – it’s a direct result of being in a small-world setting so richly preparing her for the larger world.  I pay for the education, but I don’t see how I can ever pay enough for this.  This is simply a blessing." -Alum Parent, R. Jackson

Read more about MSD families' remote learning experiences (during Spring 2020 due to COVID-19):

"I just wanted to thank you again for all the work and labor of love you put into the virtual classroom!!! It is phenomenal and [my son] loves it! To be completely honest, we are very protective of our kids’ screen time and have kind of sheltered them. When COVID hit I spent countless hours (literally dozens and dozens) scouring the net for age appropriate things that well, were quality. And they were hard to find or I was very picky or bad at google search or something...Your virtual classroom is a wonder to behold! Every single thing you have in there has a purpose, actually teaches the kids something while drawing them in (kind of like the real classroom!) and doesn’t just suck them in leaving them dry like most everything else. And it’s fun! I just cannot thank you enough for bringing so many beautiful, rich, thoughtful resources for our children in one place where they can spend true quality time; and which we can reinforce and expand at home." - current Upper Elementary parent, Irene Whitt

"I just wanted to write to express my appreciation for how effectively the MSD team managed to pivot to distance learning these past couple of months. Part of what has always impressed me about the teaching at MSD is the way in which it provides for the powerful emotional and sensory needs of every child. Part of what has always made me so happy about watching my children at MSD is watching them acquire a love of exploration and interaction with their peers. When the lockdown began, I wondered how on earth it would be possible to continue to provide for these same emotional and sensory needs. While distance learning can never fully replace what the classroom can offer, what the teachers have managed to offer online these past couple of months has been extraordinary." -now Alum Parent, R. Neta

"I just wanted to express our sincere thanks for everything that you've done to create a remote learning experience that was engaging and fun. Each assignment was meaningful and the students were able to maintain their academic progress without experiencing unnecessary stress. The end of the year projects and activities were especially thoughtful and memorable." - Current Elementary Parent

"We just wanted to thank you for putting an incredible effort into the last part of this year, under difficult and unexpected circumstances." -Current Parents, M. and P. McElwee

Read reviews of MSD from parenting resource, Hulafrog.com:

"They build trusting and warm relationships with the children, helping the children in turn to build confidence, develop skills and interests, and truly establishing a community. The classrooms are beautiful, dynamic, and engaging spaces where the kids explore their lessons with enthusiasm."

"MCHD [now MSD] is an extended family. The teachers are amazing people. They are masters of their art and my family, mostly my children are the fortunate recipients of their talents."

"Each of my kids has been here since the age of 3, and they've benefitted in more ways than I could have foreseen. Since each child is with the same teachers for 3 years in a row, and they work with the kids across a variety of different kinds of work, the teachers get to know the kids well. And, in my own case, my kids' teachers have helped me to understand my kids better than I ever did before." 

Read reviews of MSD from school directory resource, Greatschools.org:

"We've been blown away by the care and growth that the teachers have provided for our children. Our oldest started in early childhood and after seeing dramatic transformation in his desire to learn, we committed to sending the rest of our children there. Each teacher has managed to find the unique character of each of our children and help them become independent, curious, and creative young people. 7 years later and we're still amazed at the difference MSD makes in our children's lives."

"We have had all three of our children at MSD. The school environment is very nurturing, staff is extremely knowledgeable, and the curriculum is customized to meet children’s interests and the challenges they are ready for. The Montessori philosophy is applied to perfection. We became better parents over the years by being a part of this community, and are thankful for all we’ve learned. The school is very well run, parents’ feedback is valued, and diversity is encouraged. The toddlers program proved to be invaluable to create independence from an early age, and the early childhood and elementary programs have been perfect eco-systems for our children to flourish and grow confident."