Farmington Valley Academy Montessori was founded in 2004 and originally located in Farmington. Fifty percent of the…More students at Montessori are from Avon. The school was relocated to Avon, off Simsbury Road (Route 10), to accommodate more students and is centrally located between the students' hometowns, including Avon, Granby, Canton, New Hartford, Farmington and West Hartford.
The school has a toddler program for children, beginning at 18 months old, and accepts students up to eighth grade. "Montessori is different from the traditional education and it's well worth looking into," said Head of School Sharon Healy.
All children three years old and up are interviewed as a part of the application process for the private school. Tuition varies based on age and how long students stay in the program. In addition to typical classroom learning, students also have the freedom to choose the materials they are using to learn the curriculum. Older students often teach the younger students for part of the day. The Farmington Valley Montessori School also takes its students in seventh and eighth grade to a farm in New Hartford frequently to learn how to milk goats, make cheese, learn fermentation, collect eggs, make food and learn Spanish.
The school does a lot of community service. The school collects all types of clothing from families to give to a shelter in Waterbury. Students cook lunch at a shelter in Hartford. The school provides six families in need with Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. Students also raised money for Haitian children, many of whom they had met at the Model United Nations. The school also contributes to other Montessori schools and orphanages.
The school also offers a vanGemeren scholarship in honor of Neils vanGemeren and his son, former Montessori student Willem, who both died in a plane crash.