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Bright Beginnings Every Day
Our Mission

It is our mission to provide a nurturing environment with opportunities of exploration and to cultivate within each child a desire to become a life-long learner.

Our History

little boy smilingSunrise was established in 2011. Many years ago, as a long-time Montessori teacher and mother of young children, I found myself looking for early education and care for my young children close to my home. The school I had been teaching in for a number of years abruptly closed and I had accepted a position at another school in a nearby county. I determined it would not be best to force my young children to travel that far each day, so I began looking for early education and care in my neighborhood.

There was nothing being offered in my community that was even similar to the quality of early education I had dedicated my life work to. So, I began to joke with my family that we needed to bring Montessori to our area. In 2011, I decided that it was time. My dad determined he would retire from Independence School District and together with the support of our family, we opened a Montessori School.

Sunrise started as a very small early education program offering a genuine Montessori experience. There was such a demand for the services we were providing, our school quickly filled and our wait list grew along with it. We expanded in 2013 and again in 2015. Teachers who were committed to our mission who joined us back then, continue on our team today as well as many who joined us with each expansion.

Our enrollment remains strong as we continue our commitment to authentic Montessori with an emphasis on nature, nutrition, saving the environment, music and Spanish. We believe in building relationships with families and students and together as a community, we can help each child achieve his or her own personal best.

What Separates Us from Other Schools

  • Authenticity to Montessori Philosophy and Methodology — providing a Genuine Montessori Experience
  • Exceptional Outdoor Classroom – an extension of the Montessori classroom.
  • Our school sits on 15 beautiful wooded acres providing outdoor exploration opportunities like no other in our area.
  • Beautiful outdoor area: Large natural playground
  • Tight knit community of teachers, families of students.
  • We provide a very personal experience for each family. We also teach a Spanish curriculum and have Spanish speaking Montessori teachers who teach and implement the Spanish curriculum.
  • We have a music program like no other in our area. Our music teacher, Mary Petit, is a music specialist who provides individual and small group music lessons in accordance with the Montessori philosophy.
  • Many schools charge extra for the ‘extra’ programs such as music, Spanish and outdoor classroom/gardening, and they are all included in our tuition.
  • Our commitment to good health – providing nutritious, freshly prepared meals and healthy snacks. Children have opportunities to prepare and provide fresh fruits and vegetables in addition to their daily snack.

Top Reasons to Choose Sunrise:

  • Our outdoor learning environment acts as an extension of the Montessori classroom.
  • 15 wooded acres used for learning and exploration of nature, including wildlife, bird watching, plant and tree observation and identification, and more.
  • The Children’s Garden – includes potatoes, radishes, beets, leafy greens, spinach, onions, squash, zucchini, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, carrots and more. Additionally, the children grow berries and a variety of herbs as well as a Native flower garden for the Monarch Butterflies. The cut and grow flower garden provides the opportunity to grow flowers and cut regularly for flower arrangement and placement of beautiful flowers within the classroom.
  • Strong commitment to family and teacher communication and collaboration to enhance the community life within our school.

We provide the following for our students & families:

  • Genuine Montessori Experience
  • Authentic Montessori Classrooms fully prepared as outlined by Maria Montessori
  • Beautiful, inviting classrooms – focus on the “home away from home” atmosphere – soft music, nice aromas, soothing colors — aiming to help children to find ‘inner peace’
  • Certified Montessori Teachers
  • Nutritious, freshly prepared lunches
  • Healthy snacks including foods from the following food groups: grains, dairy, fruits and vegetables – not junk food
  • A nurturing environment
  • Collaboration among parents and teachers
  • Montessori Compass Parent Portal used for communications and sharing progress and information
  • Music Program
  • Spanish Program
  • Outdoor Classroom – Nature and Gardening Program
  • Emphasis on educating children to love and care for the environment
  • Montessori Parents and Teachers Organization (MPTO) – provides opportunities for parents to become involved with classrooms and classroom activities and provide support to classroom teachers
  • Opportunities for families to learn more about Montessori and collaborate with teachers through after-school events such as family night
  • Emphasis of peace – helping children understand the concepts of PEACE and RESPECT at an early age
  • Promoting a multi-cultural awareness through our teachings of cultures and traditions from around the world – hoping to help children understand that although we are all different, we are very much the same and together, we can achieve peace within our school, our community, and our world.
  • Hands-on learning opportunities
  • Freedom within the classroom – allowing children to show us who they truly are and what THEY are INTERESTED IN
  • Child-led style of teaching – Children demonstrate their personal strengths, weaknesses, and special interests, and teachers develop a lesson plan for each child based on those factors.
  • Leadership – Sunrise is led by a life-long educator and Montessorian, committed to providing a genuine Montessori experience in her hometown community – Lori Smart, Director
  • A school family – Family owned and operated – We have multiple family members working together to lead the school, manage enrollment, maintain the property and promote communications and community development, including Stephen & Dena Ward.
  • Commitment – We are committed to impacting our community through our commitment to early education and instilling good values in tomorrow’s leaders.