Our History

  In 1973, a group of parents in the Canandaigua community began searching for an alternative educational program – one that would meet their goals of child-centered learning, while maintaining high academic standards.  The group chose the Montessori method and in September 1973 an extension of the Perinton Montessori School opened with a Directress brought here from Ceylon, Mrs. Swerine De Mel.  The school was located in the basement of the First Congregational Church of Canandaigua with 12 preschool children.  Under the leadership of Barbara R. Hamlin and Sharon W. Hicks, the school was purchased by the parents in January 1974, and renamed The Canandaigua Montessori School.  In July of 1974, Miss Judith L. Bailey became the Head Directress and Academic Administrator of the school.  She conducted a six-week summer session and carried full academic responsibility for a class of 25 children.  Sharon W. Hicks served as Administrator of the school and functioned as an aid to the classroom teacher. Students come from all over our geographic area, including: Canandaigua, Stanley, Hammondsport, Naples, Palmyra, Rushville, Middlesex, Livonia, Newark, Lyons, Geneva, Victor, Bloomfield and other surrounding towns.  With five staff members, the Canandaigua Montessori School now serves a total of 50 children, ages 18 months through six years.  We currently offer toddler, primary and kindergarten programs.  Our curriculum covers a variety of subjects including math, science, literature, the arts, history, social issues and the study of technology.  Music and physical education programs have also been expanded over the years. Our School provides a rich and supportive community for children’s growth and development as students. Through the educational methods developed by Dr. Maria Montessori, Canandaigua Montessori School seeks to encourage the acquisition of skills and attitudes that will form the basis of a love and desire for life-long learning and discovery. In addition, we hope to guide children to become  independent,  self-fulfilled and responsible  individuals and members of their communities.

The greatest sign of success for a teacher… is to be able to say, ’The children are now working as if I did not exist.’

Dr. Maria Montessori
1986 Daily Messenger Newspaper Article about CMS

We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, national origin, color, sex, age, or disability.