We are a community of families and educators guided by the philosophy of Maria Montessori
Rogers Park Montessori School (RPMS) is a not for profit (501) c3, non-sectarian, educational organization located in the Andersonville neighborhood on the north side of Chicago, Illinois. It is a co-educational day school that enrolls children from ages 2 to 14. We are a community of families and educators guided by the philosophy of Maria Montessori. RPMS is accredited by the American Montessori Society (AMS) and the Independent Schools Association of Central States (ISACS).
RPMS admits students of any race, color, sex, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, gender, gender identity, disability, sexual orientation, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs. No student, on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, disability, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, or national and ethnic origin shall be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any RPMS education program or activity.
RPMS at a glance
RPMS At a Glance: 2016-2017
Founded in Rogers Park in 1966
Our graduates commonly attend the following high schools: Beacon Academy, Jones College Prep, Lane Tech College Prep High School, Loyola Academy, Northside College Prep, Senn Arts and IB, St. Ignatius College Prep, Von Steuben, Walter Payton, Whitney Young, Wolcott, in addition to other local public and independent schools.
Most of our families live within five miles of RPMS and come from the following neighborhoods: Andersonville, Lincoln Square, Edgewater, Rogers Park, Bowmanville, Lakeview, Ravenswood, and Lincoln Park.
accreditations and affiliations
RPMS is accredited by the American Montessori Society (AMS), the Independent Schools Association of Central States (ISACS), and is recognized by the Illinois State Board of Education. The early childhood program carries the Gold Circle of Quality awarded by the State of Illinois' ExceleRate program, and the toddler program is licensed by the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS).
The school holds memberships in the following associations:
please enjoy a stroll through our school
Rogers Park Montessori School was founded by ten Rogers Park parents in September of 1966 in a converted space at St. Ignatius parish and has provided quality education to the children of Chicago ever since.
In 1975, the school moved its site to Bethany Lutheran Church at 1244 W.Thorndale. RPMS gradually expanded to offer a Toddler class, five Children's House classrooms, and after school care for working families. The RPMS elementary program launched in 1991 and in three years, the class grew from its initial enrollment of 7 to 18 students.
In 2004 RPMS purchased and began construction on our current home, a 47,000 sq. ft. educational facility at 1800 West Balmoral. Thanks to the hard work, support, and continued energy of RPMS parents, a state-of-the-art school that incorporates the Montessori philosophy into its design opened in January 2006. The facility includes Montessori programming from Toddler to Middle School, two gyms, library, green roof, playgrounds, and green space.
As a result of enrollment demand and a desire to expand, the school developed plans for a 14,000 square foot addition to the existing building. The expansion allowed the school to add a middle school wing with science stations, a central group presentation area, breakout learning spaces, and a rooftop recreation area. The large gym was retrofitted with commercial grade lighting, sound, and audiovisual equipment for use in staging performances and hosting events. The expansion also enabled the school to grow its lower and upper elementary program by renovating the existing building to add two new classrooms. The expansion was completed in September 2015.
Rogers Park Montessori School attracts and retains an experienced and dedicated faculty. Our teachers hold Bachelors or Masters degrees, are Montessori certified, and have many years of in-class experience.
Our early childhood staff creates a special sense of continuity and belonging for the youngest members of our community. Their knowledge of child development and Montessori education, as well as their practical expertise, make for an environment that is both child and parent friendly.
At the elementary level, our Montessori trained classroom teachers are joined by specialists who lead the co-curricular programming of Spanish, drama, art, music, and physical education. Many of our teachers have taught at RPMS for over 15 years. Their loyalty, talent, and professionalism are exceptional, and their dedication and commitment to children have garnered RPMS a reputation for excellence in Montessori education.
Montessori training is specific to age groups:
RPMS is a board-governed 501(c)(3) organization. The Board of Directors meets approximately eight times per year, and focuses on the school’s strategic direction and long term sustainability in line with our mission and core values. Committees of the board include business finance, diversity and inclusion, marketing, committee on trustees, advancement, and alumni relations.
Vasili became a Board member in 2016, after joining the Business Finance and Audit Committee a year earlier. Vasili, his wife Caroline, and their two daughters, Vivian (Palm) and Juliet (Magnolia) have been part of the RPMS community since 2013. Vasili is the Treasurer of Honor Finance, an independent auto lender. In his free time, Vasili enjoys playing guitar, bike riding and playing games.
Mita joined the RPMS Board in 2017 after working as a non-board member on the Business, Finance, and Accounting Committee for a year. She and her husband, Manu, have two daughters, Riya (Sycamore) and Sonali (Seqoia). Mita has held various roles in finance for more than 20 years and is currently the SVP of Tax & Treasury at Edelman, a global public relations company. When Mita has free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, hiking, and learning to cook new vegetarian recipes.
Paul joined the RPMS board in 2013 as a member of the Advancement Committee and worked on our successful Raising Our Future Campaign. He is now turning his focus to Alumni Development and Diversity. Paul is Dad to one graduate of RPMS, Lena, now at Lane Tech, and two current students: Henry (Aspen) and Maeve (Sycamore). He has worked extensively in advertising, marketing and brand innovation, and has over 20 years experience as a copywriter and creative director. Paul loves soccer, travel, live music and spending time with his family.
Mark has over 20 years experience working with startups to multinationals. He has been both an IT and a Management Consultant assisting a wide variety of clients including Kellogg's, SnapOn Tools, and a satellite phone startup. He took an active interest in the internet both working for as well as founding his own Internet Consultancy. Most recently he has combined those experiences and is working in IT compliance for a global financial services firm. He has one son at RPMS who started at extended day and is currently in 5th grade.
Having joined the RPMS Board of Directors in 2011, Danielle is currently Board President. She has been active on both the Trustees Committee and the Diversity and Inclusion Committee. She is mother to two RPMS graduates (Carter and Ethan), and one current student Oliver (Sycamore). Danielle had a career in mediation, facilitation, and training, and is the Immediate Past President of the Board of Directors for Beacon Academy Montessori High School. Danielle enjoys playing as much tennis as possible, as well as reading, biking, and hiking.
Chris joined the RPMS Board in 2015 after working as a non-board member on the Business, Finance, and Accounting Committee for a year. He and his wife, Monisha, have been involved with the school since 2008 and have two daughters attending: Anna (Aspen) and Mae (Palm). Chris consults with education and other nonprofit organizations in the areas of strategy, finance, operations, and the use of data to optimize impact. Whenever possible, he tries to play bluegrass music with his band, Hayward.
Kathy has over 20 years of operations and human resources experience, in a variety of services organizations, with local and national operations, both for-profit and nonprofit, and with employee populations ranging from less than ten to 30,000+. Kathy has experience leading general operations and administration, human resources, payroll, accounting/finance, IT, communications and facilities. She served as the Chief Operating Officer at Rogers Park Montessori School for eight years and the Vice President of Human Resources for a financial services firm. Currently, Kathy is providing executive HR and operations consulting services to small and mid-size companies. Kathy's two children (Bryce and Devin) are graduates of Rogers Park Montessori School, where they each attended the school from preschool through 8th grade.
Tony joined the RPMS Board in 2013 and is a member of the Trustees Committee. He and his wife, Carie Lassman have been active members of the RPMS community since 2004. They are the parents of one graduate Lucy, and one current student Harry (Oak). Tony is a Principal at Premier Healthcare Alliance and has spent the majority of his professional career as a strategy consultant to hospitals and health systems. When he has free time, he enjoys being with his family, music, and travel.
Lori is new to the Board this year. She and her husband Lee have three kids (Taryn - Cedar, Emily - Poplar, and Tessa – Silver Birch). Before joining the Board, Lori was the Catalpa Room Coordinator and helped with fundraising in the Raising Our Future Capital Campaign. Lori has a legal background and worked as an Estate Planning attorney in Chicago before turning her attention to writing fiction and making grilled cheese sandwiches. She likes reading, cooking, and hiking with her dog Oliver.
Chris became a member of the RPMS community in 2003. He and his wife Susan Bennett have two children: Anya (alumnus; class of 2014) and Ben (alumnus; class of 2015). He has participated in many activities at RPMS though out the years including coaching basketball, building the playground, chaperoning field trips, TS Love, carpool and many more. Chris is a woodworker/furniture builder. He stays fit by playing basketball and soccer.
Ann has over 30 years of experience in television media planning and sales, primarily as Vice President of Brenda Borri Company, a small woman-owned business operating out of Chicago with consumer clients nationwide including Bayer, Conagra Foods and more. This includes all aspects of a small business including management of employees, bookkeeping, IT development and management, and sales and marketing. She also has served in the past as a board member of RPMS, past president of FAST at RPMS and chair of 2013 and 2014 RPMS Spring Fundraisers, CRM and data volunteer for International Disaster Volunteers, and parent member of the Local School Council for Von Steuben Metropolitan Science Center, a Chicago Public School. She currently serves as a community member of the VON LSC, board member since 2012 for the Bowmanville Community Organization, and co-chair of the January 2017 Women’s March on Chicago. Her sons William (25) and Foster (18) are graduates of Rogers Park Montessori School.
Debbie has been the Principal/CEO at RPMS since 1997. Prior to RPMS, Debbie was a preschool, 6-9 and 9-12 Montessori teacher. Debbie's children, Michael and Carrie, attended WaOra Montessori School in Wellington, New Zealand where they grew up. Debbie's experience at RPMS has presented her with wonderful challenges from site expansion project to the development of the Middle School program. Debbie is the past President of the Illinois Montessori Society (AIMS), serves on the board of Beacon Academy (a Montessori high school) and LMAIS (Lake Michigan Association of Independent Schools), is the Chair of ICNS (Illinois Coalition of Non-Public Schools), and serves as a state representative for the Council of American Private Education (CAPE).
Diversity and Inclusion Committee Chair
Katie joined the board this year. She has served on the diversity committee for the past two years, and is currently serving as co-chair. Her background is in counseling, higher education and human resources, and is currently training as a life coach. She is married to Matt, and has two children Juliet (Blue Spruce) and Ava (Hawthorne). Katie enjoys traveling, dreaming of travel, and reading.
Derek joined the Board in 2013 and is Chair of the Advancement Committee. He and his wife, Erica, have four children at RPMS, Liam (Cedar), Maddox (Hawthorne), Owen (Palm), and Annabel (Silver Birch). Derek spends most of his time following his children to soccer, baseball, basketball, guitar lessons, ballet, and wherever else they lead. In his spare time, he works as an attorney at Vedder Price P.C., specializing in commercial litigation and corporate counseling.