Crescent Montessori School is an independent, non-denominational preschool-8th grade Montessori school in Sonoma, CA. We offer programs for children ages 2-5 in the Primary Class, ages 5-7 in the Junior Elementary Class, ages 8-11 in the Senior Elementary Class, and ages 12-14 in the Middle School Class.
If you are new to Montessori, please take some time to peruse our Montessori Resources and Blog. They are both excellent starting places for better understanding Montessori Education.
Whether you are meeting us for the first time or are a returning visitor, welcome and thank you for taking time to learn about Crescent Montessori School. Choosing a school for your child, whether for preschool, kindergarten, or middle school, can be a daunting task. Through our website, the tour, and enrollment process, I hope to show you what Crescent is made of, and why I consider it by far the best education for your child in Sonoma.
Crescent is in its 23rd year serving children in Sonoma. I too am celebrating my 23rd year as Head of School, and my 41st year teaching in the Montessori Tradition. Crescent’s approach to education is based on the educational insights of Dr. Maria Montessori, one of the world’s most respected educators. Her philosophy, often referred to as “Education for Life,” is practiced in over twenty thousand schools on every inhabited continent.
Crescent is proud to carry on the legacy of Dr. Montessori for the families and community of Sonoma. We create an educational choice based on a time tested and proven approach to learning that is unmatched for its effectiveness. It is the Montessori method that forms the root for the Crescent Difference, and which I look forward to sharing with you here, and when you tour.
Thank you for taking the time to learn about Crescent. I look forward to meeting you and sharing my enthusiasm for our wonderful school.
Head of School
Mission & History
At Crescent Montessori School, we value a learning experience that promotes confidence, individual responsibility, and a strong sense of collaboration. We foster in our students a love of learning that will last a lifetime. We endeavor to build long-term respectful relationships with parents as partners in the education of their children. These values therefore define our mission.
- Inspired by the work of Maria Montessori, we work to provide the very best care and education of our students by continuing to create an authentic Montessori environment where each child is inspired every day in an engaging, dynamic learning experience as an aid to life.
- We support the parents and staff in our school community to achieve their highest goals by continuing to become lifelong learners.
Crescent Montessori School has offered quality Montessori education for children Sonoma, California since 1994. Our classrooms are housed in the historic Sonoma Community Center, which was built in 1915 to house the Sonoma Grammar School.
The school year 2016-2017 marks the twenty-second year for Crescent Montessori School. Formerly Vintage Country Day School, the school changed hands in 1994 and Karin Niehoff, head teacher, became head of school.
In the twenty-two years since our founding, Crescent has grown from one classroom serving preschool students to four classrooms, a library, and music and resource rooms that serve preschool through middle school students. In 1994, Crescent was a primary (preschool) program with two teachers. As demand for an alternative to traditional and often ineffective educational practices grew, so did Crescent. In 2005, the school expanded by adding a junior elementary for kindergarten through second grade. Once again in 2008, Crescent added another level, the senior elementary. This addition allowed Crescent to serve preschool through fifth grade students in the Montessori tradition. In 2013, Crescent expanded once again to serve middle school students. The history of growth and continuous learning reinforce the importance of Dr. Montessori’s understanding of child development. From her, we learned that teaching children at their development level, and understanding the characteristics of learners at those levels, allows students of all ages to develop their ability to gain knowledge.
Western Association of Schools and Colleges
Crescent Montessori is the only non-denominational preschool through 8th grade school in Sonoma that is fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
In June 2015, Crescent Montessori School received a full six year accreditation from WASC. The full self study document culminated in a two and a half day accreditation team site visit. Crescent Montessori is one of a handful of Montessori schools in California to pursue and be awarded full accreditation by WASC.
The members of the review committee were deeply impressed with Crescent’s fidelity to the self-study document and to the WASC criteria in all categories. Chair of the visiting committee, Donald Zimring Ph.D., praised us when he said “Crescent Montessori, you clearly walk the walk.”
Crescent is committed to our Montessori principles and confident in the approach. Validation from an independent agency like WASC communicates to our families and the community that their children’s education is of the very highest caliber. We continue to pursue excellence in all we do.
Crescent Montessori School is incorporated as a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation and managed by its Board of Directors.
State of California
Crescent Montessori School is licensed by the State of California Department of Children and Family Services. Crescent Montessori Elementary and Middle School maintains a Private School Affidavit on file with the California State Department of Education and fully complies with all requirements of the California Education Code pertaining to private elementary schools.