Montessori School of Chambersburg, founded in 1988, was a for-profit private school for preschool age children. Parents in the Chambersburg area enrolled their children in this school and were enthralled with the teachings, methodology and philosophy of the Montessori way. Based on the teachings and philosophy of Maria Montessori, the school offered unique educational and developmental experiences unlike anything else found in Franklin County. The school quickly grew to include children from 18 months through kindergarten. When their children were ready to “graduate” to first grade, there wasn’t a Montessori school in the area in which to continue their education.
In 1999, a group of parents decided to create a non-profit private school for their children following the practices of Maria Montessori. Parents initially comprised the Academy’s Board of Directors. They obtained licensing from the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the Pennsylvania Department of Welfare as a non-profit corporation as well as becoming a full affiliate of The American Montessori Society. The Board then recruited certified teachers, administrators and faculty, and opened the doors for enrollment to Montessori Academy of Chambersburg in September of 1998.
In 1999, Montessori Academy of Chambersburg, a nonprofit 501(c) (3) corporation, was formed to direct and oversee the elementary program for 1st through 6th grade. In response to the community’s need for an alternative middle school program aimed at students who are preparing for secondary/college preparatory education, the Academy was expanded in 2000 to include 7th and 8th grade. With the addition of a full-day kindergarten program in 2004, the Academy offered a comprehensive Montessori education for students in kindergarten through 8th grade.
Beginning in the 2007-8 school year, the Montessori Academy and the Montessori School merged into one non-profit organization, serving students from 18 months old through 8th grade.
In 2012, Montessori Academy added a high school program by partnering with the Pennsylvania Leadership Cyber School, Wilson College, and Penn State Mont Alto. Students work with live, online teachers in order to take advantage of the vast choices of classes that are offered. Students are able to take college classes for dual high school and college credit to continue their advanced coursework.
Montessori Academy of Chambersburg is governed by a Board of Trustees, licensed by the State of Pennsylvania, accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MSACS), and holds membership in the American Montessori Society (AMS) as well as the National Association of Independent Schools.
The Chambersburg Facility
In 2004, Montessori Academy relocated to a newly constructed 30,000 sq. ft. building on 8 acres of rural land at 875 Ragged Edge Road in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. Designed by Voith and McTavish Architects of Philadelphia, this state-of-the-art building meets the unique needs of a Montessori educational environment and will accommodate 280 students.