|The MSNV preschool is surrounded by trees.|
The preschool at 3433 Rose Lane in the Falls Church section of the Mason District was opened by the MSNV in 2010 at a site that used to be occupied by the Valleybrook School. It serves approximately 90 children ages 2-5. The MSNV’s main campus, in the Hillbrook neighborhood of Annandale, serves about 168 students ages 2-12.
MSNV is celebrating its 50th anniversary April 6 with a jubilee dinner/dance featuring a live auction at the George Washington Masonic National Memorial in Alexandria. Alumni are encouraged to attend.
“MSNV’s unique wooded setting in the Hillbrook neighborhood of Annandale contributed to its reputation as a green school, so it was natural that parents and staff wanted to bring the same philosophy to its new second property,” says Ariadne Autor, director of development and alumni relations for the MSNV’s Valleybrook campus.
At MSNV Valleybrook, the arbored perimeter anchors a natural playscape for students while also providing a habitat for animals. In fact, both MSNV campuses have been certified as official wildlife habitats by the National Wildlife Federation.
“The treescape was a big part of what attracted us to MSNV. A back wall of windows in each classroom brings the outside indoors,” says MSNV Valleybrook parent Tobi Walker. “When I pick up my boys at school, they are always playing in the trees. The trees are also forts, the fallen branches are swords to keep away the bad guys, and the leaves and sticks are an ongoing science lesson and inspiration for countless art projects.”
Appreciation of the environment is one of the key principles of the Montessori philosophy of education. MSNV “guides and inspires children ages 2-12 to love learning, one another, and the world around them,” says Autor.