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We carefully blend the time-tested approaches of Maria Montessori and Reggio Emilia.

Dr. Montessori found that providing children a healthy sense of freedom within a structured environment promotes their self-discipline, independence, and joyful approach to learning; we hold this respect for each child at the center of our work. Our lessons enable our young learners to engage deeply and develop stamina.

The Reggio Emilia philosophy emphasizes children’s ability to construct knowledge through in-depth investigation and research. Our prepared classroom environment offers an array of interesting materials that support children in making meaning. Children actively learn by doing and making decisions.

Our blended approach to these two philosophies celebrates children's innate curiosity and their limitless capacity for absorbing new skills and concepts. By the time our children move on to the next part of their educational journey, they will have developed the foundation for a lifelong love of learning.

The Value of Social-Emotional Learning

Develop Independence

Children learn to self-advocate, recognize their own abilities and experience trial and error. At WMS, mistakes are important pathways to further development. As Maria Montessori said, “Never do for a child that which he can do for himself.”

Foster Collaboration

Students learn by asking questions, having conversations, and developing the skills to genuinely listen to the ideas of others. We value differing ideas and approaches and believe this cultivates a rich, dynamic learning environment.

Harness Creativity

Breakthroughs happen as students investigate & articulate their understanding of new concepts—and the joy of finding their own success. We encourage children to use their innate skills to solve problems and engage in self-expression.

“We learn a great deal about our children through observation. A child’s approach to a material, their interaction with peers, and their engagement with their work and play all inform our teachers’ instruction and allow us to meet our young learners right where they are.” 

Carrie KriesHead of School

We collect written anecdotes, work samples, photographs, and videos to document the children’s learning. At the end of the school year, parents receive their child’s Portfolio – a treasured book of photos and work samples that highlight their child’s learning and progress.



The Washington Market School provides a variety of rich and immersive experiences for every child. Each day, children engage in group and individual work, as well as studio classes, meetings, and large motor experiences such as a visit to the gym or movement in the classroom. 

a typical day