The Montessori School of Champaign-Urbana was founded in 1962 as an outgrowth of a parent study group. The first site of the Montessori School was a small building on what is now the site of the University of Illinois State Farm Center. Subsequently the school rented space in churches and an old school building in Champaign. At one time, the school operated at three different sites.
In 1970, the Montessori Society purchased the Perkins School from Nellie Perkins at 1112 Broadmoor Drive in Champaign. In 1977, all classes were consolidated at the Broadmoor site.
In 1984, the Montessori Society purchased property at our present site in Savoy and an eight thousand-square-foot metal building with brick facade was constructed. The new school opened in August 1984 with four primary classes, a kindergarten, first and second grade classes and a full day care program. An afternoon preschool class was added the following year. In 1987 the first and second grade classes were discontinued and replaced by additional primary rooms.
Our Organizational Structure
The Montessori School of Champaign-Urbana, founded in 1962, is owned by the Montessori Society of Champaign-Urbana. The Society is a not-for-profit corporation composed primarily of the parents whose children are enrolled in the school. The Society is non-discriminatory in its membership and the school is non-discriminatory in its enrollment and hiring practices.
The School uses the principles and philosophies developed by Dr. Maria Montessori (1870-1952), an Italian physician and educator who developed her child-focused and child-led educational method from a profound appreciation of the power and mystery of the child. Montessori method draws on the natural curiosity of children to encourage whole-child development and learning.
The School holds the highest level of membership with the American Montessori Society and is registered with the Illinois State Board of Education.
The Board of Directors of the Montessori Society, is the governing and policy-making body of the school. It is composed of ten volunteer members. Nine are elected by the Society from its membership and the treasurer is appointed by the Board. Board members serve three-year terms. Three new members are elected each year.
The administrator of the school is hired by the Board of Directors and handles the day-to-day operations of the school. The administrator is responsible for hiring assistant teachers, full-day program teachers and all support staff of the school. The board of Directors, with the assistance of the administrator, hires the Montessori directresses. You will find a complete list of this year's Board of Directors under the Staff drop-down menu.
In 1994, the building was expanded with the construction of a 2,000-square-foot, multipurpose room. By 2000, MSCU offered six primary classes, two kindergarten enrichment classes, two extended day programs and a wrap-around child care program.
In 2012, the school celebrated its fiftieth anniversary. A Parent-Toddler Community was added and the extended day program expanded.
In 2014, MSCU purchased the building at 303 Burwash, remodeling it to accommodate a full elementary program consisting of an inaugural first through third grade class, with plans to expand upwards to sixth grade as the students grow.