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Sunset Hills Montessori School

Private | PK-6 | 187 students

Our school is known for our vibrant dedicated staff and community

Student diversity

Looks like we have no information about the race or ethnicity of the student body.

 
 

 
 

Living in Reston

Situated in an urban neighborhood. The median home value is $315,000. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $1,420.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
 
Last modified
Community Rating

4 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
Based on 1 rating
2013:
Based on 5 ratings
2012:
No new ratings
2011:
Based on 1 rating

Teacher quality

Principal leadership

Parent involvement

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40 reviews of this school


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Posted 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


Posted 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


Posted September 3, 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


Posted May 1, 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


Posted 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


Posted February 6, 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


Posted October 6, 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


Posted 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


Posted 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


Posted 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


Posted 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


Posted 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


Posted March 9, 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


Posted March 7, 2010

Sunset Hills is an excellent school; the education is excellent and my children are doing great there.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted 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


Posted 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


Posted 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


Posted 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


Posted 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


Posted 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


Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

About these ratings

The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

We currently do not have any test score information for this school. Unlike public schools, private schools are not always required to report data about their schools or not required to take the same tests as public schools. Many private schools take different standardized tests; however, that information is often made available only to families of enrolled students. We strive to acquire additional private school data whenever available.

Oops! We currently do not have any student information for this school. We rely on the state Department of Education, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), and in some cases school administrators such as registrars and principals for this data.

Teacher resources

Special staff resources available to students Art teacher(s)
Dance teacher(s)
Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
Music teacher(s)
PE instructor(s)
School social worker/counselors(s)
Special education coordinator
Foreign languages spoken by school staff American sign language
Arabic languages
German
Spanish
Urdu
Read more about programs at this school
Source: Provided by a school official.

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Special education / special needs

Level of special education programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students
Specialized programs for specific types of special education students
  • Autism
  • Cognitive disability
  • Hearing impairments
  • Other health impairments
  • Specific learning disabilities
  • Speech and language impairments
  • Visual impairments
Extra learning resources offered
  • Differentiated learning programs
Staff resources available to students
  • Special education coordinator

Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM)

School facilities
  • Computer lab
  • Outdoor learning lab

Arts & music

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Dance teacher(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
School facilities
  • Art room
  • Music room
  • Performance stage
Visual arts
  • Drawing / sketching
Music
  • Band
Performing and written arts
  • Dance
Clubs
  • Dance club

Language learning

Bi-lingual or language immersion programs offered
  • Spanish
Foreign languages taught
  • Arabic languages
  • Spanish
Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • American sign language
  • Arabic languages
  • German
  • Spanish
  • Urdu
Clubs
  • Foreign language and culture club

Health & athletics

Staff resources available to students
  • Dance teacher(s)
  • Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
  • PE instructor(s)
School facilities
  • Access to sports fields
  • Gym
  • Kitchen
  • Multi-purpose room ("cafegymatorium")
Clubs
  • Cooking club
  • Yoga club

Gifted & talented

Instructional and/or curriculum models used
  • Gifted / high performing
School leaders can update this information here.

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School basics

School start time
  • 8:30 am
School end time
  • 3:00 pm
Before school or after school care / program onsite
  • Before school: starts at 7:00 a.m.
  • After school: ends at 6:30 p.m.
School Leader's name
  • Garrett Wilhelm
Best ways for parents to contact the school
  • Email
  • Phone
Age at which early childhood or Pre-K program begins
  • Infant
Gender
  • Coed
Boarding options
  • Day school
Is there an application process?
  • Yes
Affiliation
  • Nonsectarian
Associations
  • AMI
  • AMS

Programs

Instructional and/or curriculum models used

Don't understand these terms?
  • Gifted / high performing
  • Hybrid
  • Independent Study
  • Individually guided instruction
  • Montessori
  • Multi-aged
Specific academic themes or areas of focus

Don't understand these terms?
  • None
Bi-lingual or language immersion programs offered

Don't understand these terms?
  • Spanish
Level of special education programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students
Specialized programs for specific types of special education students
  • Autism
  • Cognitive disability
  • Hearing impairments
  • Other health impairments
  • Specific learning disabilities
  • Speech and language impairments
  • Visual impairments
Foreign languages taught
  • Arabic languages
  • Spanish
Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students

Resources

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Dance teacher(s)
  • Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
  • Music teacher(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
  • School social worker/counselors(s)
  • Special education coordinator
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • American sign language
  • Arabic languages
  • German
  • Spanish
  • Urdu
Extra learning resources offered
  • Counseling
  • Differentiated learning programs
Transportation options
  • Buses/vans for students only
School facilities
  • Access to sports fields
  • Art room
  • Audiovisual aids
  • Auditorium
  • Computer lab
  • Gym
  • Internet access
  • Kitchen
  • Learning lab
  • Library
  • Multi-purpose room ("cafegymatorium")
  • Music room
  • Outdoor learning lab
  • Parent center
  • Performance stage
  • Playground
School leaders can update this information here.

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Sports

Boys sports
  • Baseball
  • Soccer
Girls sports
  • Soccer

Arts & music

Visual arts
  • Drawing / sketching
Music
  • Band
Performing arts
  • Dance
Media arts
  • None

Student clubs

Clubs (distinct from courses)
  • Chess club
  • Cooking club
  • Dance club
  • Foreign language and culture club
  • Model UN
  • Yoga club
School leaders can update this information here.

Upcoming Events

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School culture

Dress Code
  • Neither uniforms nor dress code
Bullying policy
  • This school has a bullying and/or cyber bullying policy in place.
Parent involvement
  • Attend parent nights
  • Chaperone school trips
  • Coach sports teams or extracurricular activities
  • Join PTO/PTA
  • Monitor the playground
  • Organize cultural events
  • Organize fundraising events (school auction, bake sales, etc.)
  • Serve on school improvement team or governance council
  • Tutor
  • Volunteer in the classroom
  • Volunteer time after school
School leaders can update this information here.

Apply

 

This school accepts applications on a

rolling basis

 
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What does it cost?

Tuition range for the 2013-2014 school year
$8000 - $19000
Vouchers accepted
No
Financial aid offered
No.

Planning ahead

Students typically attend these schools after graduating
Nysmith
Edlin
Public
Notice an inaccuracy? Let us know!

11180 Ridge Heights Rd
Reston, VA 20191
Website: Click here
Phone: (703) 476-7477

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