Mission and History
Montessori Community School of RI is a socio-economically diverse preschool that inspires children to cultivate confidence, inner discipline, a love of learning, and a spirit of connectedness. We honor the uniqueness and innate goodness of each child, and empower him or her to develop skills at the periods of greatest readiness. Child by child, we nurture individual growth and build community within an environment that is adaptive, stimulating, challenging and supportive.
The seed of Montessori Community School of RI took root over 15 years ago. Since then, Founder and Head of School Amy Borak has been building the school from an idea to a thriving community of children and families of different neighborhoods and culturally diverse backgrounds.
Amy’s Montessori journey began professionally at Cambridge Montessori School in 1997. During this time as a Montessori school teacher, Amy made two observations that would ultimately give rise to MCS RI. First, she realized that she loved working with the families as a whole just as much as being in the classroom with the children. And second, she wondered: given that the origins of Montessori education began in a subsidized housing community in Rome, why is this wonderful educational opportunity rarely an affordable in low income communities here in the US?
To gain more experience working with families and more diverse communities, Amy studied social work and in 2004 earned her MSW from Simmons College. For 9 years Amy practiced social work in a variety of community and educational settings. In 2011, Amy left her position at Paul Cuffee Charter School to embark on realizing her dream. She started “Starting Small Montessori” with just three children at the time. This name served as a reminder of how big things can get done; whether by taking just small steps one at a time, or by remembering that we all started small at one point in our life. It was helpful for Amy to have this daily reminder whether working with the children or planning for the larger vision. After 6 months as “Starting Small”, and after much thought, Amy decided to apply for 501c3 status, and was approved! The school became known as “West Side Montessori.” We have left this name behind as we have left the West Side. MCS RI is now an excellent early childhood educational option on the South Side of Providence.
Montessori Community School of RI is the result of Amy's many years working in education and social work, and her passion for alternative education and social justice. MCS RI is the culmination of these two passions integrated into a dynamic evolving school community.