Montessori philosophy
Q: Are there any good books available that discuss Montessori principles and philosophy?
A: The following books were all written by Dr. Maria Montessori and published by Schoken Press:
Discovery of the Child
The Secret of Childhood
The Absorbent Mind
Education for a New World
Education for Human Development
Education and Peace
The Formation of Man



Child Development
Q: What good books are available related to child development?
A: The following are all excellent books about child development:
Children: The Challenge, by Rudolph Dreikers
Miseducation: Preschoolers at Risk, by David Elkind
Your One Year Old (Two Year Old, etc.), by Ames and Ilg.



What is your admission policy?

The Renaissance International School currently admits children from age two through Middle School. Parents of prospective students should schedule an appointment for a tour, usually given by Leslie Hites, Head of School.

The tour will include information about the school’s philosophy of education and the curriculum, answer your questions, and show you the classrooms. We ask that parents attend the tour without their children.

Parents are welcome to visit more than once for an additional tour or class observation. If parents like what they see, they may arrange to visit the school with their child.

All visits must be scheduled in advance in order to avoid having too many visitors in the classroom at one time.


What is the process to apply?

If parents choose to submit an application for their child, a non-refundable application fee is required:

$50 for Pre-Primary/Primary levels

$100 for Kindergarten, Elementary and Middle School levels

Once the application fee is received, an admission interview is scheduled with the Head of School or one of the Assistant Heads. The interview takes about two hours and both parents are required to attend. We will want to hear about what makes the child unique, what the parents’ dreams are for their child, how they feel the child will thrive in our program. You will have the opportunity to ask any questions you may have.

For children coming from another school, two of the student’s current or past teachers must complete a form telling us about the child. For students applying to our Elementary or Middle School programs, we will also need a copy of the student’s full transcript and any available test scores. Students applying for Kindergarten, Elementary or Middle School levels must visit the school for two days for assessment and observation prior to the admission interview.


My child is coming from a traditional school? Will she be okay in a Montessori school?

Students who come to The Renaissance International School from a traditional school become successful students. The multiple subject areas found in the classroom are appropriate to meet the needs of all children. When children are working in an environment that is interesting and inviting to them, they become in harmony with their surroundings and are respectful of their peers and teachers. There are rarely discipline problems and if they do occur, a gentle reminder is all that is needed.

We teach students how to think, not simply to memorize and feed back information. Children learn most effectively through direct experience and the process of investigation and discovery. No two students learn at the same pace, nor do they each learn in the same way. We are creative and flexible in addressing each student as a unique individual. This causes children to blossom. They gain a passion for excellence and gain an education that preprares them for life.


What about very shy and sensitive children or boisterous and energetic children? Will Montessori work for them?

We provide an environment that allows for the full development of each and every child as an individual and as a contributing member of society. The Montessori environment is one of respect. Our goal is to help each child find and develop independence, confidence, imagination, creativity, self-direction, sense of belonging responsibility, self-discipline, self-acceptance, self-expression and love of learning.


What schools do students go to after they leave The Renaissance School?

Students attend both public and private schools when they leave The Renaissance International School including: Head Royce, The College Preparatory School, Bentley School, Bishop O’Dowd, Oakland School for the Arts, Redwood Day School and Lick-Wilmerding High School.

To illustrate the exceptional level of achievements of our students: One of our eighth grade 2012 graduates, Sydney, was accepted into the Honors program at Bishop O’Dowd and was the recipient of O’Dowd’s Presidential Merit Scholarship. O’Dowd received over 600 applicants, 147 were accepted and of those, Sydney was the one and only recipient of the prestigious merit scholarship. She is taking all honors classes and was eligible to test for Honors Algebra II/Trigonometry at the freshman level. She is also eligible for special placement in French because of the strong linguistic background she achieved at The Renaissance International School.