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PK-6
Private
Reston, VA
Students enrolled: 187
Before care: Yes
After care: Yes

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11180 Ridge Heights Rd
Reston, VA 20191

School website
(703) 476-7477
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Map of Sunset Hills Montessori School address.

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The completeness meter moves to INTERMEDIATE, then ADVANCED, and finally HONOR ROLL as you complete the following: 10 or more reviews, at least 1 photo, and 9 program questions parents find helpful.

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March 21, 2014
Great parent involvement, caring teachers, warm environment. Every child is treated uniquely and they can go as fast or as slow as they need to. My son is a pre-schooler and he is already totally immersed in Spanish, geography, math, and natural sciences. I am very happy with the care and attention he is getting.

- submitted by a parent
October 28, 2013
Sunset Hills Montessori School is a place for our two children for 5 years now. We love this School for truly Montessori philosophy and approach. With our older child we see amazing results in a ways every parent would love to see in their children love for learning, strong academic foundation, incredible feeling of community from young age. We love our wonderful teachers who daily help our children to define success and to achieve it. We are glad that now the School grew and able to offer whole five years of quality Elementary Education. ThePrincipal is a true educator and a true leader. Every classroom is bright, well-organized and equipped with always updated educational materials. The environment in a classroom is truly warm. Administration of the School does a team work and takes an extra step to help out on a daily schedule. School teachers are highly educated, every child has as much of teachers attention as needed. After-School activities are various and a great help to working parents. SHMS sets a high standard for education of children from the young age and we would recommend SHMS to every family who is considering Montessori education. Mom to 4 and 8 y old kids. M

- submitted by a parent
September 03, 2013
Excellent school with caring staff. We highly recommended. My kids were very happy there. Great community with lots of parent involvement.

- submitted by a parent
May 01, 2013
After many school visits, both public and private, we found SHMS for both of my boys. They have thrived at the school and after three years I can see the confidence that they exude. They love going to school and after a few days of vacation ask when school is going to start again. With school being not only a place for children to be pushed academically, but also a place to learn social skills and personal responsibility, SHMS does a great job at all. They bring higher level work for the kids that are ready, while working on the areas that they need extra help in, but all done a tthe individual child's pace. My Kindergarten son started bringing home some of his multiplication "works" a few months ago, which I was surprised by. My kids need to feel like they have a say in what they do (within boundaries) and the Montessori environment has definitely given them that.

- submitted by a parent
April 28, 2013
Montesorri education does not fit all children. For my daughter, the educational foundation that she gained through the curriculum, teachers and administrators at Sunset Hills is what has made her successful today. She was fortunate to be able to attend Sunselt Hills through Middle school. I often second guessed if she was missing out on clubs, sports, and other activities available at larger schools. As a result of the edcuational foundation gained at SHM, my daughter was well prepared for high school, graduated with honors, received academic scholarships to college and is grateful that we were able to send her to SHM.

- submitted by a parent
February 06, 2013
As a mom of four children, who has moved many times, I have experienced many types of preschools over the past 20 years. When it came time to pick a preschool for our youngest daughter we looked at many options in the NOVA area before pick SHMS. Hands down this is the very best preschool any of my children have ever attended. Every staff member I have encountered -- from her teacher to the office to the aftercare staff are kind, concerned, communicative, giving and truly love what they do. The school is the cleanest school I have ever been in. It's large with plenty of window light. A great playground and large space to do activities on rainy days. My three-year-old says on a weekly basis how much she loves school. She is happy there and learns many things (like the types of Virginia Birds) that she would never have gotten at a regular preschool. I have to say it's worth the monthly investment to see her thriving everyday! I also love the fact they have a great summer camp and other PTA sponsored act ivies throughout the year. Tour the school for yourself and sit in a classroom. You will what a hidden gem Sunset Montessori is.

- submitted by a parent
October 06, 2011
My shy 2 year old is thriving at the school. He has learned so many new skills and has come out of his shell thanks to his loving teachers. They also provide guidance and help to support our family outside the school. We could not be any happier with the school, the teachers, and the PTA.

- submitted by a parent
August 19, 2010
My daughter attended SHMS for 2 years - pre-K and Kindergarten. She just finished her 1st grade in a nearby Fairfax County school. Alhthough her 1st grade teacher was great, she was not as loving and caring and as great with the kids as her SHMS teacher was. And midway through 1st grade my daughter said to me during some home work "this is not nearly as hard or as fun as what I did last year."

- submitted by a parent
July 29, 2010
My daughters attended SHMS for five years. Our experience has been mixed. The decision making over the years has been increasingly business driven instead of the interests of the student or the class. One class unexpectedly went from being led by a beloved, experienced teacher to a newly anointed co-teacher. The risk you take is that the the next time the axe unexpectedly falls, it might be your child's teacher. While the school is seemingly fantastic, the leadership and teaching staff is at times unpredictable and unapproachable. If you sign the contract and start with a qualified teacher, will you be happy if you end up paying for a teacher with less experience and an untrained assistant? You take that risk at SHMS.

- submitted by a parent
July 16, 2010
My daughter has been attending SHMS since she was 22mos old. I looked at over 10 schools before deciding on this one. She is happy, engaged and learning at a fast pace. It s a great school and I am amazed about the poor reviews that stemmed from an incident that other classes were only vaguely aware of. Use your own judgment, tour the school, sit in on a class and decide for yourself. I highly recommend Sunset Hills!

- submitted by a parent
March 17, 2010
My son has been attending Sunset Hills Montessori school for the past three years. He loves the school, his teachers, and the school owner Mrs. Minarik. We are very pleased with his progress and plan to continue with Sunset Hills Montessori school for the near future. I recommend parents to observe the school for themselves and meet the school owner Mrs. Minarik and the staff before making any decisions.

- submitted by a parent
March 11, 2010
This school is in a beautiful building. What goes on within the building is unprofessional and disappointing. The administration has hurt many children and parents and has acted in a cold and callous manner. They have tried to spin and sweep under the rug their bad decisions and broken promises. They appear unconcerned that families have been deeply disappointed and have left or are leaving the school. The administration s actions show that they believe families of the school are disposable the apparent belief is that they will just hold more open houses and recruit more high tuition paying warm bodies into the school to offset the numerous disappointed families that have left. Our children will be moving in the fall to a school where parents are treated as partners in their children s education.

- submitted by a parent
March 09, 2010
When we first went to SHMS to check out the school two years ago, we fell in love with this school. We immediately could sense that the principal of the school was committed to the education of children and that she truly cared for them. We could also sense that this love and care for the children was present throughout the entire staff. We still feel this way about SHMS. It is an excellent school.

- submitted by a parent
March 07, 2010
Sunset Hills is an excellent school; the education is excellent and my children are doing great there.

- submitted by a parent
February 23, 2010
I have been on staff at Sunset Hills for three years now. The administration at this school by far has been great. As a professional educator who has worked in many diverse settings, Sunset Hills is truly an environment of professionals who work very well together. Regardless of what others on her have to say, the owner/founder of the school, the Operations Manager, and Asst. Head of School, all have been great to me as a professional, and supportive to me as an individual educator. I love my children, my co-workers, our parents, and our community.

- submitted by a teacher
February 21, 2010
My son has been attending SHMS for the past 2 1/2 years and we are extremely happy with both the quality of the teachers and the administration. We believe that few Montessori schools in this area, or any other, can match the caliber of SHMS. Although a few parents have recently criticized the school, I have seen no grounds whatsoever for such negative criticism. The teachers are highly professional and the staff is courteous and efficient. What I like the most is the way that the staff really care for the children. The principal and owner of the school, Mrs. Minarek, is incredibly dedicated and I can see how much she really loves each and every child that attends her school. This love for children carries over to the entire staff and is apparent in the way the school is run. I have no complaints and nothing but praise for SHMS.

- submitted by a parent
February 21, 2010
Having two children in the school, I have to confess that the stardards have slipped considerably. Of course parents have to use their judgement in deciding which school their child may thrive in. Knowing the alternatives out there, I have decided that this school certainly is below other Montessori schools which incidentally also charge less and are more amenable to working with parents. I wish all those who think that the school is great good luck and clear foresight.

- submitted by a parent
February 21, 2010
This school has always brought my family and our children a lot of joy, great times, true Montessori foundation, and a loving staff. Don't be swayed by negative comments until you see it for yourself. I have personally found the administration always open to hearing my thoughts and feedback. Great school!

- submitted by a parent
February 21, 2010
My Son is very happy at this school. He has learned the basics of life and respects both his teachers and classmates. Its well worth the time and expense. I highly recommend this school.

- submitted by a parent
February 21, 2010
SHMS is an excellent school. I am shocked that some of the parents of one class would initiate a smear campaign against the school. I understand that they loved their teacher(we love ours), but to post opinions like: 'the standards have slipped' because of a disagreement between the teacher and school is just wrong. If you on this site looking for a Montessori school, don't just read our opinions, go to an open house and speak to some parents as they drop or pick up their children. Those parents who have decided to try to 'hurt' the school by trying to sway parents from enrolling need to remember the love and dedication all the teachers and staff have for the children. I would recommend this school very highly. The proof is in the children.

- submitted by a parent
February 21, 2010
Our daughter has been at SHMS for almost two years. The SHMS teachers have been successful in creating an environment that our daughter looks forward to. She loves her weekly music, Spanish, and art classes. The teachers both in the classroom as well as the before and after care are adored by our daughter. We, as a family, have enjoyed the performances and family events that the school holds, they are done very nicely. As parents we really couldn't ask for a higher level of comfort in our daughters early education.

- submitted by a parent
no rating February 19, 2010
In all honesty, all of this is a bit childish. The school has its shortcomings, but what school doesn't. If you simply follow the advice of some families that were slighted by ONE event then surely you have not done your best research. You must see and experience the school for yourself. Ask all the questions, do all of the foot work...your child's education is important to you and the administration at SHMS why would they put their hard work into something they didn't believe in. People are unhappy, yes but there are families like ours that owe so many fond years to this school. One event cannot undermine our strong bond to this school and the many memories our children have here.

- submitted by a community member
February 19, 2010
All 3 of my children have or currently attend the school. I cannot speak more highly of the school, it's staff and it's adiministration. Follow the advice of others and go see for yourself. I would reccommend the school to anyone.

- submitted by a parent
February 18, 2010
As parents of this school, we are very sad that we have to agree with several of the recent posts. We have witnessed the seemingly rash decisions of the school administration which have caused so many children and parents immense pain. We have been looking at schools and are happy to have found better options for our children in the fall. Please find a school where the administration works cooperatively with the parents and teachers.

- submitted by a parent
February 15, 2010
Don t pass on this school because of a few comments from a small clique of alpha hens . Simply go to an Open House and see for yourself. This school has made a tremendous difference in our daughter s life, and can make the difference in your child's life as well. You owe it to yourself to check out this school first hand. Go to an Open House, talk to the teachers and staff.....

- submitted by a parent
no rating February 12, 2010
My daughter is in her second year at Sunset Hills Montessori and I could not be happier. The staff is always attentive and understanding of how each child is unique. They encourage the children to learn and explore in ways that are best for that child. At the same time they encourage the children to be respectful of others and no matter their challenges. Recently there have been posts about Sunset Hills Montessori that have been negative. This stems from a personal matter between one administrator and one teacher, which became overblown by parents in that classroom. No other rooms/teachers/students were affected and the matter has been resolved. Please do not take my word for it schedule a visit and see the school for yourself.

- submitted by a parent
January 27, 2010
We are current parents and our children have attended SHMS for many years. We have seen a drastic and frightening drop in the quality of this school in recent years. Sadly, this is no longer the high quality school we entered years ago. Several experienced, well respected and highly skilled teachers have been replaced with new and inexperienced teachers. We have lost confidence in the Administration of this school and will not be returning. You and your child/children deserve better.

- submitted by a parent
January 27, 2010
This school's reputation has been on a steady decline the past few years and for good reason. Teachers are not treated respectfully and their is in-fighting between the staff and admin. that spills over to the point where parents hear about it. Look elsewhere...I have been disappointed recently in the behaviors I have observed. Not worth it's price tag to know that this 8th grade behavior exists in a Montessori enviornment. Unprofessional!

- submitted by a parent
January 21, 2010
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
no rating January 16, 2010
I'm a current parent and unfortunately I have to echo some of the negative comments made by recent posters. We used to be very happy at SHMS, but recent decisions have raised doubts about the administration's judgment and priorities. There are still some great teachers there, but there seems to be a pattern to replace them with far less experienced staff. We are concerned about this trend and will not be returning next year.

- submitted by a parent
January 03, 2010
Our children have been attending SHMS for several years and quite frankly, we are disappointed and saddened at the Adminstration's bad decisions over the past few years. This school comes with the usual hefty Montessori price tag and used to be worth it but, we no longer feel like it is living up to it's reputation. The school has lost several of its best teachers in recent years only to replace them with less qualified teachers. I wouldn't risk entering this school...there are others in the area that are more stable.

- submitted by a parent
January 02, 2010
My daughter is in her third year at this school and my son in his second. This is a fantastic school with outstanding teachers and administrators, including the founder who greets each child by name in the morning and knows every student. Disregard the recent negative comments from several others. It's worth every penny of the albeit pricey tuition. I could not recommend this school any more highly.

- submitted by a parent
December 31, 2009
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- submitted by a parent
December 28, 2009
By far one of the best Montessori schools in the state. From facilities to field trips to teachers to structure to administration to ownership to classroom and activities, it is clear that the children are a top priority. My children have been cycling through for years and I have always been happy. Sometimes there are tough decisions that must be made but I haven't seen one yet that interrupted the environment for the children. LOVE the SHMS!

- submitted by a parent
December 20, 2009
I wrote an earlier review but apparently the rating did not get included. Definitely a 5 star school that more parents should know about. We toured several montessori schools before choosing this one. The director lives and breathes montessori education, has committed teachers and gives them a lot of freedom to nurture their class as it develops, and the students all love their school and take responsibility to make it better. The school has a strong commitment to tailoring the education to your child's needs. Put it all together and what could be better? It's our 4th year here, with two kids in now, and it was the best decision ever.

- submitted by a parent
July 23, 2009
I pull my child out of Reston Montessori to Sunset Montessori, and he is so happy now! I just regret the didn't so it earlier. We love this school.

- submitted by a parent
December 21, 2008
We think SHMS is one of the best kept secrets in Northern Virginia. Our daughter is in her fifth year at the school and we feel the SHMS faculty and family have helped her become an inquiring and independent student. Our daughter enjoys all aspects of the school from classroom time to field trips (e.g., Williamsburg, VA) to after class activities (e.g., Friday afternoon chess club). We did not know about the Montessori curriculum beforehand, but have been thrilled with our daughter's academic progress and growth reflected in the promising scores she received on the WISC-IV test. The expanded facility is an absolutely wonderful environment in which to learn and grow. We are confident the academic foundation established while at SHMS will serve our daughter well as a middle and high school student. We highly recommend SHMS.

- submitted by a parent
no rating December 01, 2008
SHMS is a fantastic school that should be better known than it already is. We toured many Montessori schools in Northern Virginia and decided to send our child to SHMS, even though there are other Montessori preschools closer to home. We will be sending our second child there next year. The school is well run, the teachers are very nurturing, well trained and talented, and there is a nice feeling of community. The director and many other teachers know my child by name and seem genuinely excited to see us in the morning,

- submitted by a parent
November 14, 2008
I am very pleased with SHMS. My daughter and I had a bad experience at RMS and we were lucky enough to get her into SHMS mid- year last year. She loves going to school and has learned a great deal. Her teachers are well trained and very caring. She talks about them all the time. I can't wait to enroll my second daughter at SHMS next year. It's a wonderful school.

- submitted by a parent
no rating January 11, 2008
This is our 4th year at SHMS and we are extremely happy with the progress of our son and the school environment. It is a gem of a school...

- submitted by a parent
September 24, 2007
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- submitted by a parent
August 24, 2007
My family is entering our third year at SHMS and we are extremely happy with the overall experience at the school. Caring, loving, knowledgeable staff who have truly fostered my kids' love of learning using the Montessori method. School also offers Spanish and Music once a week. The school founder greets every child by name each morning and is very involved. Great communication between school and parents, strong PTA and parent support. The school underwent a recent addition and other improvements to school grounds to create a lovely setting for children to learn and play. I should note my experience has only been with the pre-primary and primary grades.

- submitted by a parent
March 18, 2005
The staff are kind, caring and adept a create an atmosphere of calm control. (Not always easy in a pre-school mixed age setting.) I am impressed the the teachers' ability (true to the Montessori method) to lead the children to their own discoveries - be they small or large, academic or social. The building is wonderful and I can't wait to see what the new addition at the Ridge heights location will look like. My pre-school son enjoys his regular classwork, plus the special instruction in Spanish and music. The teachers are wonderful and we have a good rapport, we function as a team often alerting one another to problems or progress we observe on 'our watch' so we can seamless address them throughout the day/week. I highly recommend Sunset Hills Montessori.

- submitted by a parent
January 24, 2005
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
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Sunset Hills Montessori School
11180 Ridge Heights Rd, Reston, VA  20191
(703) 476-7477
Last modified Sunset Hills Montessori School is a Private school that serves grades PK-6
Sunset Hills Montessori School Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 44 reviews. Top