The Portland Montessori School, formerly Providence Montessori School, was founded in September 1962 under the direction of Sister Francella LaFramboise, who studied extensively at Montessori institutes in both the United States and Europe. In 2012, the school celebrated its 50th birthday, and we have the proud distinction of being the first Montessori school in the Northwest.
On January 1, 2013, Providence Montessori School officially became The Portland Montessori School, an independent, non-profit school. This successful transition resulted from the dedicated efforts of the school community, and the hard work of many parents, teachers and staff. Providence Health Systems, the organization that previously operated the school, also provided significant support throughout the transition. Now operating independently, the school is guided by a board of directors with active involvement and input from an engaged parent advisory committee (PAC). Our school retains its former character and community, including its rich history of providing a Montessori education to Portland-area children.
At The Portland Montessori School, we educate children according to the Montessori method of education developed by Dr. Maria Montessori, the first female physician in Italy, and a pioneer in the study of child development. This method is based on her work with developmentally challenged and underprivileged children in Italy, which she began after graduating from medical school in 1896. The approach quickly earned worldwide acclaim and became a standard approach to educating children.
In a Montessori education, children learn concepts while working in a carefully prepared environment designed to stimulate each child's interest and understanding. Children work independently and in small groups with mixed-ages ranging approximately three years. Because a Montessori education instills the value of caring for our earth, the classroom often extends to the outdoors. The Montessori approach helps each child develop according to his or her inner clock. The guide, or teacher, acts as a catalyst in each child's unique journey of development and aids them in their natural process of growth and learning.
The time-tested principles, methods and materials used in a Montessori education are scientifically supported and researched. After more than a century, this method continues to work because of its foundation in both observable and inherent human developmental principles that Dr. Montessori explored during her many decades of scientific observation and practice.