About Us

jstarlingThe Sammamish Montessori School was started in 1977 by Founding Director Joan Starling, in a location overlooking Lake Sammamish in what was then part of Redmond, Washington (decades before the City of Sammamish was established).  Our school has grown from an initial class of six preschool students into a vibrant multicultural school preparing preschool and kindergarten 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 (Janet Villella, Director and Hilary Prentice, Business Manager), 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 conveniently located in Redmond, Washington near the end of SR 520/Avondale, close to Microsoft's main campus.

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 hectic, 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 never be pressured to donate to our school, pay a facilities fee or bond, 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.

We are proud to be a Pacific Northwest Montessori Association Verified Montessori School as recognized by the State of Washington Department of Children, Youth & Families, accredited by the American Montessori Society and the National Council for Private School Accreditation, and an active member of the Washington Federation of Independent Schools as well as the Pacific Northwest Montessori Association.


Parent Reviews

We were looking for good teachers and education with fun. We are 100% satisfied with SMS in meeting our expectations!

Ini Ramesh

I was looking for a safe, clean, and enriching environment. SMS was great on all counts. I have only had positive experiences.

Aditi Sundarraman

Thank you for making a lot of difference in the lives of so many kids!

Andy and Venny Harjanto

We're hoping to we can find a school even half as nice when we move!

Sue & Greg

The most important thing I was looking for was an environment that would stimulate my child's mind and love of learning. SMS met those expectations very well. My daughter is happy and SMS has a great deal to do with that.

Susan Keller

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