Maria Montessori (1870 – 1952)
Montessori education began a hundred years ago with the work of Maria Montessori (1870-1952), Italy ‘s first female physician and one of the great educators of the past century. Her detailed observation of a group of children committed to her care led her to design unique learning materials, to train others in her teaching methods, and then to open schools, first in Italy and then in numerous other countries. During the war years, Montessori’s educational approach was known as the movement for peace, for she saw the child as the hope for a new world. By the time of her death, Maria Montessori’s philosophy of education had become influential internationally, and schools under her name had been established around the world.
Allegro Montessori School was founded by four families in the fall of 1987 to serve a small group of Montessori-trained elementary-age children. The first teacher/director of the school, Ursula Hodgson, guided Allegro through a most successful initial year at its first location, Bethlehem Lutheran Church of the Deaf. In 1988, Margaret Hurst joined the staff and became director of the first preschool classroom.
Allegro Montessori moved to John Lake School , and the student enrollment rose to twenty-six. In 1989, Allegro Montessori began a full-day program for the preschool level, some thirty-five children aged three to eleven formed the student body, and the staff doubled in number to four. In 1991, Allegro Montessori opened a second preschool classroom, the enrollment rose to sixty students, and the staff increased to six.
By December 1995, office staff had been hired and enrollment stood close to 90 students with 10 staff members. At this time the Separate School Board graciously offered us the use of St. Patrick’s school. During the 5 1/2 years there the school continued to thrive and grow, until September 2000, when Allegro Montessori moved to Spadina Crescent. This downtown location, while easily accessible, was not ideal so we moved to 2410 Haultain
and for the next 5 years we grew in numbers and enjoyed 5 exciting years of learning.
In June of 2007 our lease expired but the Public School Board has accommodated us at 4215 Degeer Street in the East College Park area. The staff here has been so welcoming, the classrooms bright and spacious and the gym and playground well equipped. We look forward to many years in this location.