Marilyn Larkin and Lynne Wasserman founded The Village School for Children on September 7, 1977. In a single classroom 19 children, 3 to 6 years old, were welcomed into a school environment based on the philosophy of Maria Montessori. This Primary Program classroom was adapted to the developmental needs of the children, providing a variety of choices that engage the child’s natural curiosity and intellect. Activities emphasized the process of discovery, enabling each child to explore the world through multi-sensory materials.
In 1982, a Full-Day Primary program was offered and enrollment increased to 81 students. This addressed the growing need for a quality all-day program for children with both parents working outside the home. Dadmara DeSantis was instrumental in designing and implementing this program and joined Marilyn Larkin as one of the school’s directors in 1983.
In 1986, the teachers became increasingly interested in offering a Montessori education to the younger children. This resulted in the beginning of the Toddler Program for children 18 to 36 months old. The Toddler Program is a safe and supportive environment which introduces the child to the Montessori classroom in a small, intimate setting. As today, the program offered 2, 3 and 5 day options.
With the success of the programs for younger children, families within the school lobbied for additional programs. The Lower Elementary Program, for children 6-9 years old, began in 1989 with a class of nine students. This program challenges children to think creatively and critically. The interdisciplinary curriculum focuses on research and problem solving to help develop interdependence, organizational skills and strong work habits.
In 1990, an “extended day” option was added to the Primary program for children five years old at the beginning of the school year. This differs from the full day primary program as the children have different work and meet in a different classroom during their Extended Day class times. This program serves as a transition and introduction from Primary to Lower Elementary.
The Upper Elementary Program, for children 9 to 12 years old, began in 1995. Building on the foundation of Lower Elementary, the Upper Elementary Program reflects students’ gradual developmental shift to abstract thinking using specific curriculum and materials that help support this passage.
Again, at the request of and with the support of Village School families, the school expanded in 1998 to include a Middle School program for the seventh and eighth grades. This program provides a challenging and supportive environment in which the adolescent may explore, question and formulate principles related to academic, personal and social growth. The original class consisted of five students and in 2000 the school proudly celebrated the graduation of its first class of eighth grade students.