Our preschool mission is quite simple:
To introduce each of our children to the world while fostering independence, creativity, responsibility, and to ignite a lifelong love of learning within each child.
We achieve this mission following the principles of Dr. Maria Montessori — a physician, philosopher, educator innovator and the founder of the Montessori child development methods. These include:
- respecting each child and his ability to learn
- taking advantage of the child’s absorbent mind and sensitive periods
- allowing children freedom within the prepared work environment
- tapping into each child’s innate love of work.
Southwest Suburban Montessori opened its doors for the first time to a handful of children in 1970.
As the years have passed, we have occupied five different sites, finally settling into our present home — a quaint schoolhouse nestled in the woods of Palos Park. Here the children are immersed in the many joys of nature as well as a full Montessori experience. Over the years our numbers have expanded to include 130 children and a very dedicated staff of thirteen.
From our earliest days, SWSM has been registered with the Illinois State Board of Education and has been a member of both the Illinois and American Montessori Societies. In 1992, we became the first Montessori school in the State of Illinois to become accredited by the National Academy for the Education of Young Children. To earn the NAEYC accreditation we have voluntarily undergone a very thorough and comprehensive process of self-study and encouraged external professional review to verify compliance with the Academy’s Criteria for High Quality Early Childhood Programs.
Our school is a private, not-for-profit corporation, classified as a 501(c)3 under the Federal Tax Code. No single individual or group of individuals own the school nor derive any financial profits from the activities of SWSM. All of the profits from our operations are reinvested in our school.
Our dedicated faculty is culturally, educationally and experientialy diverse. Their first priority is always a concern for you and your child. We place a strong emphasis upon professionalism and the continued growth of our faculty members to continually enhance the experience of the children.
We recognize that you have the greatest influence on the education of your children. We are here to serve your children and to work with you in meeting their needs. We want to support you as you help your child become a creative, compassionate human being who is able to be fully aware of himself and others in the world that is unfolding around him.
“I will forever have a special place in my heart for SWSM. Over twelve years ago, I searched for
an educational opportunity for my oldest child who was two years old. I had the good fortune
to discover SWSM. My daughter attended the Toddler Program and Preschool Program, and my
son followed her. I have for years thought fondly of SWSM due to the kindness of the staff, the principles of a Montessori education and the success my children have reaped as a result of their
early education at SWSM. When we were blessed with our third child, I knew exactly where I
wanted her to start school! I cannot tell you how much this year has done to give her the tools
she needs to be a conscientious student and lifelong learner.”
“Such a positive experience. Within weeks Molly became more independent and confident.
She was tying her own shoes, zipping her coat, buttering her own bread — and the list
goes on — all to my amazement.”
“Our experiences at SWSM were all very memorable! It’s a chapter in our lives that will
never be forgotten. It was a very creative and low stress environment. Loved all the extras:
Father’s Night, Mother’s Tea, field trips, graduation and holiday parties.”