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About This School

Apple Valley Montessori School is a private elementary school in Sudbury. The principal of Apple Valley Montessori School is Catherine Fairbairn, whose e-mail is catherine@avms.org. 49 students attend Apple Valley Montessori School and are mostly Hispanic; White, non-Hispanic; and Asian. Willard School is one of the nearest elementary schools.

Student Ethnicities

Ethnicity School
Hispanic 8%
White, non-Hispanic 67%
Asian 26%
Asian/Pacific Islander 20%
Black, non-Hispanic 0%
Native American or Native Alaskan 0%
Multiracial 0%
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander 0%

Community Rating & Reviews

  • (1 year ago)

    I love this school for so many reasons. The staff are warm engaging and highly trained in AMI standards. They have huge outside play area. They have a full time Naturalist/teacher that weaves magic with all levels both in classroom and outside on adventures. The core teachers at toddler primary and elementary are simply amazing and all are readily available expressing the best interest of their child. I feel their love and know they are creating the best environment for my child could have. My child comes home filled with wonder excitement discovery and self motivation every day connecting us more to AVMS school in simple and routine ways. Just love this place infinitely!

  • (1 year ago)

    AVMS is a hidden treasure for many many reasons. Let me share three. 1 - Children are treated as unique people who have special interests and talents they need to explore and are given the opportunity every day to do so. 2 - They have a full-time naturalist who takes the children on outdoor "adventures" to vernal pools to track animals and to learn about everything from how to make maple syrup to how to recognize different scat. 3 - children become self-directed learners who take full responsibility for their work and enjoy learning and helping peers learn. 4 - by age 5 my child could add subtract multiply divide read write in cursive and knew the flags of most major countries. Most importantly children come home happy every day. It is quite a place -- could not recommend it more highly!

  • (1 year ago)

    Love the school Great teachers. Our kids have been there for up to 7 years. They all love it and view it as their second home! Recommend highly.

  • (2 years ago)

    My son loves this school. He comes back home happy and calm and asks for school on weekends. The environment has the right balance of stimulation and serenity he needs. The principal and teachers are warm and considerate however if you like loud school staff who rave about stickers this isn't the place for you. We joined mid-year and I was surprised how caring and helpful the other small children were towards my son. This school truly considers children as competent individuals worthy of being treated with intelligence and respect. I have also observed the older students and feel confident they're good role models for my boy. The classrooms and surrounding areas are kept beautifully by the kids. And I love that they're outside daily enjoying nature rain snow or shine! After visiting many schools I fell upon a Montessori by chance. I immediately saw the difference the children confidently went around their business of learning and cheerfully shared without being pushed . Now I m a convert and Apple Valley is even better than that first Montessori we went to. It's a non-profit organization so it's managed for the best interest of the students.

  • (2 years ago)

    Apple Valley Montessori School is a wonderful authentic Montessori school! All the teachers are AMI certified (the true internationally recognized training for Montessori teachers).The teachers are highly educated warm caring and supportive.Each child receives individual attention and thrives in an environment that encourages learning and independence from an early age. AVMS provides a wonderful specially prepared organic snack each day (parents don't have to think about packing one as they do in other schools!).They have a wonderful before and after school program and run programs during school vacations! The school encourages parent involvement and has an active parent group.The school's tuition is lower than other Montessori Schools in the area and certainly in range of local daycares. But the school is not a daycare. It is a wonderful school that nurtures the youngest members (toddlers) and highly educates children from pre-k to grade 5.Research the many and varied long-lasting benefits of Montessori education.The best way to decide about a school is to visit and see for yourself. Check out their website at www.avms.org.We absolutely LOVE Apple Valley for our children!

  • (2 years ago)

    Very very expensive school. Annual cost is over $18 000. If that is not enough they promote organic snacks that parents pay additional money. The school is similar to a daycare but charges astronomical numbers. Vacations holidays not open. Daycares are open many more days and longer days. This school provides extended day again more money. Besides the high tuition costs teacher student teaching is minimum. Following the montessori method children are encouraged to learn alone so tuition should be less than typical preschools not more.As far as parents gettig involved only when donations are desired. They do not want parents involved. Better and less expensive schools around.

  • (2 years ago)

    We are the parents of two children who started their education at AVMS. There are many outstanding features of the School. Foremost among of them is the intimate one-on-one instruction geared toward discovering and developing the best of the child's potential. Each child is inspired to find within herself/himself a sense of joy and accomplishment. Shunned is a formalized top down uniform instructions by the teachers imposed upon the children. What transpires between the teacher and the child and among children is a sense of wonder and delight. Quality education is always expensive and time consuming. Someone once said "If you think education is expensive try ignorance." I see no way that any parent can save money to offer their children the same education as what Apple Valley provides. As a college professor with over 30 years of teaching I know what quality education is. Without dedicated educators who bring out the best in the students education would easily be reduced to a means for employment. Quality education is always an end in and of itself and not a means for a further. AVMS is an exceptional place where learning and growing is a challenge and a joy.

  • (2 years ago)

    As a former parent of two Apple Valley Montessori School children I cannot emphasize enough how grateful I am for the excellent education the school provides. AVMS has prepared them to become independent caring and responsible young adults. My daughter who is the absorbent child carries with her the patience perseverance creativity and dedication that developed through her five years of education at Apple Valley. My son who studied there for six years is the opposite of my daughter. His different and sometimes difficult personality surely must been have been a challenge to some teachers. AVMS provided my son the environment necessary for him to thrive and to grow. Now he is a loving caring and conscientious young adult. I credit AVMS for the excellent education and a safe caring and loving environment both my children benefitted from during their early formative years as students of Apple Valley. The teachers have been great well-trained dedicated and respectful of the children. I have no doubt AVMS continues to provide the same quality education the same safe and caring environment as it was when my children were primary and elementary students ten years or so ago.

  • (2 years ago)

    Why do I send my child to Apple Valley Montessori School? As emphasized in many of these reviews the education she receives is of exceptionally high quality. The teachers are true and seasoned educators. I was admittedly very impressed at how well-educated all the teachers are. The curriculum is expansive make that limitless - and academically based. The children are introduced to subject matters that many people would assume to be far too advanced...but quite the opposite is true! The multi-aged classroom gives our daughter many more learning opportunities than she would receive in a fixed-aged classroom. The school offers healthy and nutritious snacks many of which are organic. It is a nut-free school and is sensitive and responsive to the needs of children with additional allergies. What really "sold" me was the spirit of the classroom. The classroom is lively and interactive but peaceful and settled. Instead of competition amongst the children there is collaboration and cooperation. The children's love of learning is evident and contagious! Whenever I observe a classroom I am awed and inspired. Every child deserves such a wonderful educational foundation.

  • (2 years ago)

    I strongly encourage anyone interested in Montessori education to visit Apple Valley Montessori School. AVMS is a extremely high-quality school with programs for toddlers preschoolers and elementary-aged students. One of the most prominent features of Montessori education is the individualized instruction that students receive which is tailored to their unique learning styles. Montessori capitalizes on the young child's inherent drive and desire to learn. Children are encouraged to explore to discover and to be engaged and active in the learning process! Montessori fosters both creative and critical thinking. I am constantly amazed by the skills and knowledge our daughter acquires at school on a daily basis. More importantly she is happy beyond words. Because the children are treated with such a high level of respect and dignity they respond in turn and are gracious and caring citizens. The teaching staff is exceptional and well established (all of the Head Teachers have been there for a minimum of eight years!). I could go on and on but rather than reading anymore about my experiences at AVMS you should go have your own!

  • (2 years ago)

    After sending two children through Apple Valley for the Primary years (ages 3-6) and seeing them now in non-Montessori classrooms we are constantly amazed and thankful for all the years they spent at Apple Valley. Our children are so much better prepared for their elementary years than their peers and are so far ahead of their non-Montessori classmates it makes me wonder sometimes what other pre-schools actually teach the kids. The mother of one my daughter's new friends (at her new elementary school) said after observing our kindergartner reading well above her age-level "Wow. I guess we should have sent our child to Apple Valley too!" Our decision to send our children to Apple Valley for three years of Primary was one of the most significant and positive ones we've made in their young lives. I can't say enough good things about the school - from the primary base teachers to the naturalist the caring administrators and the staff..... this is a top-notch school and the best thing you can do for your kids. I miss it and wish every school could be a little more like Apple Valley.

  • (2 years ago)

    Our daughter literally races out the door every morning eager to start her day at Apple Valley Montessori! It's no wonder for the quality of the school is remarkable on so many levels. The teachers are caring and dedicated as well as very professional and highly educated. The classrooms are beautiful and organized not to mention full of educational enriching materials. The overall atmosphere at the school is peaceful and harmonious. The parent community is supportive and inviting. We have observed the classrooms in action on a number of occasions and could not be more impressed. The children are actively engaged in learning and they are incredibly happy! It is evident that the Montessori approach supports the development of the whole child - academically socially emotionally etc. Our daughter has blossomed since beginning school in September. She has gained a pure love of learning self-confidence and independence. She adores her peers and has developed greater respect and compassion for others. As parents we could not ask for more. We are very grateful to be part of this wonderful community.

  • (2 years ago)

    This school has been priceless for our family. We've been here for 3 years and we have 2 children in the program. Our older child has a thirst for knowledge and that seed has been planted and nurtured lovingly at AVMS. In Elementary they are challenged to research topics of their choosing and present their findings to their class. He loves it so much that he keeps working when he gets home from school and plans his topics months in advance. He knows how to get information and how to communicate it and his confidence has truly blossomed. This foundation will serve him well for his whole life. Our younger child is thriving as well. He is of Kindergarten age and is already reading chapter books and doing long division. Both children are safe loved and learning. They look forward to school each and every day. What more could you ask for? The school is leaner than in times past but its heart and soul are 100% intact.

  • (2 years ago)

    I can simply tell you that our child is happy as a clam attending Apple Valley. Homework is not assigned but you can see the genuine interest in subjects bubbling over at home all the time. Maps geography reading animals nature numbers...on and on. The interest has been instilled in him not forced upon him from the outside (as per the public school model of "education"). The teachers at Apple Valley are truly Educators they are there to help the kids learn explore create. There is a framework by which they operate(the Montesssori method) but within that framework is a remarkable breadth of learning experiences available to all the kids no matter what level they are at. We had visited a couple of the other Montessori schools in the area but Apple Valley is truly something special. We are quite thankful to have found this gem of a school!

  • (2 years ago)

    This school earns 1 star from me because it appeared to be a great learning environment. I say appeared because we didn't actually attend the school we had to withdraw before the start of the school year because of personal financial hardship. That's right hardship. This school has yet to return a cent of the money we put down and I am talking thousands of dollars here. They claim his position was not filled but at the time the class was not full so whose position was he blocking? Furthermore they will not return phone calls as to the status of our money. It is just sad that in this time where we clearly were sad about having to withdraw our son because we couldn't afford it they are holding onto our money. Schools like this have to be stopped. There are many Montessori schools in the area that are genuinely interested in the wellbeing of the family not just lining their pockets.

  • (3 years ago)

    Seven years ago we walked through the doors of Apple Valley Montessori School where we met with the Directress who was warm full of knowledge and wisdom passionate about the montessori education and the overall welfare of the children. At that moment we were sold and knew AVMS was the right choice for our family. Now seven years later with our second child enrolled we still feel the same way. AVMS provides a high quality education outstanding committed compassionate teachers and staff stimulating curriculum and a great community. It is a solid foundation for children to grow and learn in a safe and nurturing environment. The staff is highly educated wonderful supportive and accessible. Not only did/is our children receiving the finest education; we also gained an extended family and lifelong friendships. Your child s education is one of the most important gifts you provide for their future; AVMS is where it starts. I would recommend you visit the school to see for yourself. Apple Valley Montessori school is EXCEPTIONAL! This was one of the best decisions we made for our children.

  • (3 years ago)

    AVMS is a unique gem and only getting stronger with new leadership stepping up. We came because it is one of a handful of AMI schools in MA. Our 3 kids stayed because of the experienced calm kind teachers in primary and toddler the outstanding nature program the multicultural family base and most importantly the confidence and intellectual growth in our children. Observe a classroom and you will see a hive of individual learning happening in a community that cares for each other. The nature program is incredible -- my kids trooped into the woods to a vernal pool dissected owl poop harvested and made maple syrup. The new head of school is energized to listen and work with parents; it is a great time to join the AVMS family.

  • (3 years ago)

    As a former parent and current member of the board of trustees (since 2007) I'd like to emphasize the common thread that runs through the very positive reviews of AVMS a child-centered place of early education staffed by warm caring professionals dedicated NOT to the business of placating parents and their concerns but rather to the growth and well-being of the children. Indeed I echo completely the review(s) from Feb. 27th. My twins who are now in the 4th grade at a well-regarded school consistently score in the top 5% on assessments. My wife and I fully credit AVMS with providing the solid foundation for our children's intellectual curiosity skills and independence. As such we do not at all regret the costs that were incurred viewing them as outstanding investments with returns far exceeding any of our other more traditional investments. In fact I continue to serve on the board in large part as a way to "give back" to the school which has done so much for my children.

  • (3 years ago)

    PART 2/3 Everyone who splurges on private school for his/her kid has a different reason for doing so. But there's one thing most of us have in common we're making a pretty big financial sacrifice. And when you make that kind of sacrifice you expect a SPECTACULAR classroom. If you don't get one you feel kind of sick. Which is how we felt last year. This year at AVMS...? Jackpot!!! And we feel great about it. Apple Valley is a serious top-notch school that provides a nurturing stimulating AUTHENTIC Montessori experience. The teachers the administrators... Everyone there cares as much about our son's education as we do! That he have the best possible experience every day and that he reach his highest potential--academically emotionally physically and socially--those things are as important to them as they are to us. Seriously. We REALLY DO believe that (not easy as last year's experience left us sad and cynical) <continued>

  • (3 years ago)

    PART 3/3 The AVMS teachers are smart and gifted warm and attentive exactly the sort of caregivers and role models you want for your children. I've been a member of several school communities (as a teaching professional and as a mother) and I have never seen a more talented cohesive and devoted group. If you observe in the buzzing harmonious classrooms (as I often do) you will see mindful purposeful peaceful children happily engaged with their materials and with each other. You will see teachers who genuinely love the work AND the children. ... Rereading this review it looks a bit over the top. But I just can't tone it down! These private schools are businesses obviously and no matter how well-motivated they are how deeply they believe in the Montessori method and each child's potential they all have the distraction of a $bottom$ line. To keep their eyes on the Montessori ball (especially in this economic climate) they need to be PASSIONATELY committed to the philosophy and the children. At AVMS they absolutely are--and that's MY bottom line. Every child deserves this kind of place.

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