Our Goals


For Our Children

To create a safe, nurturing, and wholesome environment conducive to the full range of developmental needs. To implement an orderly yet flexible schedule every day, in order to teach through positive play and educational activities referred to as work.

For Our Parents

To create and maintain an environment that will ensure peace of mind for our parents; who are trusting us with the most important job of teaching and caring for their children. To foster and cultivate effective communication and cooperation between our staff and parents for a successful program.

For Our Community

To strengthen our community, by raising our children to be consciences and empathetic citizens who act out of love not hate, accept diversity not prejudice, and are physically and mentaly wholesome.

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I have studied the child. I have taken what the child has given me and expressed it and that is what is called the Montessori Method.

For those who are not familiar with the Montessori method of teaching, it is a unique method of education that focuses on the individual development of each child.



The Montessori approach offers a broad vision of education as an aid to life. It is designed to help children with their task of inner construction as they grow from childhood to maturity. It succeeds because it draws its principles from the natural development of the child. Its flexibility provides a matrix within which each individual child's inner directives freely guide the child toward wholesome growth. The Montessori Method must be followed both in the school and home environments’ to be successful.  

We emphasize the freedom of self-expression from children and their families. Informality and a casual setting are key elements in our everyday relationships geared to the needs and interests of each child and their extended families.


Our goal is to emphasis individual differences, special abilities, familial values, and cultural customs.


Foundations & Approach

The Montessori approach offers a broad vision of education as an aid to life. It is designed to help children with their task of inner construction as they grow from childhood to maturity. It succeeds because it draws its principles from the natural development of the child. Its flexibility provides a matrix within which each individual child's inner directives freely guide the child toward wholesome growth.

At St.Mary’s Montessori Schools our core values are based on our Christian/Catholic faith. Our daily schedules includes prayer and grace before meals. At St. Mary’s Montessori schools, we bring the world into our environment, which allows us to share and experience diversity, a number of cultures and traditions which is brought into the classroom teaching acceptance and appreciation for one another.


Exercises of Practical Life

Practical Life exercises instill self care, care for others, and care for the environment. The activities include many of the tasks children see as daily life in their homes- washing, cleaning dishes, arranging flowers, etc. Elements of human hospitality are introduced with the exercises of grace and courtesy. Through these and other activities, children develop muscular coordination, enabling movement and the exploration of their surroundings. They learn to work at a task from beginning to end, and develop their will (defined by Dr. Montessori as the intelligent direction of movement), their self-discipline and their capacity for total concentration.



"When the children come into the classroom at around three years of age, they are given in the simplest way possible the opportunity to enrich the language they have acquired during their small lifetime and to use it intelligently, with precision and beauty, becoming aware of its properties not by being taught, but by being allowed to discover and explore these properties themselves. If not forced, they will learn to write, and as a natural consequence to read, never remembering the day they could not write or read in the same way that they do not remember that once upon a time they could not walk."
- Dr.Maria Montessori



Sensorial Materials are tools for development. Children build cognitive efficacy, and learn to order and classify impressions. They do this by touching, seeing, smelling, tasting, listening, and exploring the physical properties of their environment through the mediation of specially designed materials.


Mathematics materials help the child learn and understand mathematical concepts by working with concrete materials. This work provides the child with solid underpinnings for traditional mathematical principles, providing a structured scope for abstract reasoning.


Cultural Extensions

Geography, History, Biology, Botany, Zoology, Art and Music are presented as extensions of sensorial and language activities. Children learn about other cultures past and present, and this allows their innate respect and love for their environment to flourish, creating a sense of solidarity with the global human family and its habitat.


Application & Approach text by Association Montessori Internationale.


Message From The Founding Head of Schools

Dear Parents,


Thank you for your interest in St. Mary's Montessori School. It was in 1994, after the birth of my son and daughter, that I embarked on the  journey of becoming an educator. My son, whom at the time was two years old, was attending a "Montessori School" and I was very interested in this method of teaching. I did a lot of research and in 1995 I started one of the best experiences and journeys of my life, which includes majoring in Child psychology and completing the Association Montessori International (AMI) Diploma with honors, for children ages 2 to 6 years.

Reminiscing of my 23+ years as a Montessori teacher and Head of Schools, I know that the best gift we can give our children is a strong foundation during their formative years; from birth to 6. That is why St. Mary's Montessori Schools are dedicated to assisting children’s success spiritually, academically, socially, and emotionally. The "work" that the children will be engaged in will inspire them to create an importance of concentration, self-discipline, responsibility, critical thinking, respect, and concern for others.

We strive to teach our students, through words and personal example, that the gift of God's great love is to be shared with others in acts of Christian service to those in need within our school and in the community. We believe this is an integral part of helping our students develop into socially responsible and caring individuals. They learn that what they do and say is important, and that they have the potential to make a genuine difference in the world no matter how young they may be.

My experience working with children has brought so much joy to me and the families I have worked with. I look forward to working with each and every family at St. Mary's Montessori schools and thank you for entrusting us with the best years of your child's life. It has been a lifelong dream of mine that one day I will start my own Montessori School, and with the support of my family, friends and the blessing of God this has now become a reality.


Yours faithfully,

Nelioufer Jayawardana

Founder and CEO - Head of Schools  |  St. Mary's Montessori Schools


About Dr. Maria Montessori


1870 - 1952

Maria Tecla Artemesia Montessori (August 31, 1870 – May 6, 1952) was an Italian physician and educator, a noted humanitarian and devout Roman Catholic best known for the philosophy of education that bears her name. Her educational method is in use today in public and private schools throughout the world.


Born in Chiaravalle in the Province of Ancona in 1870, Maria Montessori was the first woman to practice medicine in Italy, having graduated from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Rome in 1896. As a physician, Dr. Montessori was in touch with young children and became profoundly interested in their development. Through careful and exhaustive scrutiny, she realized that children construct their own personalities as they interact with their environment. She also observed the manner in which they learned as they spontaneously chose and worked with the auto didactic materials she provided.

Her approach to education stemmed from a solid grounding in biology, psychiatry and anthropology. She studied children of all races and cultures in many countries around the world, soon seeing the universality of the laws of human development played out before her. She continued her observations throughout her life, widening and deepening her understanding until her death in 1952.

Life's Work

Maria Montessori opened her first Casa dei Bambini (Children's House) in one of the very poorest areas in Rome, the then notorious Quartiere di San Lorenzo.

It was January 6th (1907), when the first school was opened for small, normal children of between three and six years of age. I cannot say on my methods, for these did not yet exist. But in the school that was opened my method was shortly to come into being. On that day there was nothing to be seen but about fifty wretchedly poor children, rough and shy in manner, many of them crying, almost all the children of illiterate parents, who had been entrusted to my care”... “They were tearful, frightened children, so shy that it was impossible to get them to speak; their faces were expressionless, with bewildered eyes as though they had never seen anything in their lives.”... “It would be interesting to know the original circumstances that enabled these children to undergo such an extraordinary transformation, or rather, that brought about the appearance of new children, whose souls revealed such radiance as to spread a light through the whole world.

Indeed it was as though this radiance had been caught in a stream of consciousness, for a mere six months after the opening of the Casa dei Bambini, people from all walks of life, from every continent came to see Maria Montessori's miracle children.

Maria Montessori was a scientist, and as a good scientist, she was earth-bound and highly spiritual in her pursuit of truth. She studied medicine, specializing in psychiatry and anthropology. She was also an outstanding mathematician. Although she would never have considered being a teacher, she studied educational methods for many years and found them wanting, possibly because none of them took into account the two seemingly paradoxical extremes which are at the center of her pedagogy: the universal characteristics of the human child, and the child as a unique, unrepeatable, respectable and admirable individual to be unconditionally accepted as one of life's most marvelous expressions

For more information on Maria Montessori you may watch her documentary, brought to you by BBC World Wide, by clicking here.

An education capable of saving humanity is no small undertaking; it involves the spiritual development of man, the enhancement of his value as an individual, and the preparation of young people to understand the times in which they live.
— Education and Peace, Maria Montessori

former (now famous)
Montessori students

Many of these individuals are known for their initiative, creativity, and self confidence.

  • Peter Drucker, Management Guru
  • Larry Page, Co-Founder of Google
  • Sergey Brin, Co-Founder of Google
  • Jeffrey Bezos, Founder of Amazon.com
  • Mark Zuckerberg, the co-founder of Facebook
  • Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft
  • Katharine Graham, Owner/Editor of the Washington Post.
  • Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis, Editor & Former First Lady
  • Sean ‘P. Diddy’ (formerly known as Puffy) Combs, Rap mega-star
  • Anne Frank, Author of The Diary of Anne Frank
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel Prize winner for Literature
  • Prince William and Prince Harry, English royal family
  • T. Berry Brazelton,Pediatrician and Author
  • Julia Child, Chef, Star of many TV Cooking Shows, and Author
  • Friedensreich Hundertwasser,Austrian painter and Architect
  • Andrew Lloyd Webber and Hugh Grant,both attended Wetherby Montessori school