Mission, Campus and History

We are a vibrant Montessori community where together, through our dynamic and relevant curriculum, we guide students toward self-discovery and the realization of their unique contributions to the world.
The Campus
Aerial view of the campusOur campus is designed to inspire and nurture young minds in a vibrant and natural environment. Nestled within a lush green landscape lies a harmonious blend of modern facilities and serene outdoor spaces.

As you enter, you'll be greeted by our centrally located administration building. Here, amidst the offices and the nurse’s station, two attached Toddler classrooms provide a warm and welcoming atmosphere for our youngest learners.

Beyond, you'll discover our Primary, Lower Elementary, and Upper Elementary/Adolescent buildings, each thoughtfully designed to cultivate a sense of curiosity and exploration. Open, light-filled classrooms are tailored to support holistic, age-appropriate development.
Next to our academic buildings, a separate structure houses our gymnasium and fully equipped Adolescent kitchen, providing space for our older students to prepare and share communal lunches.
In our Spark Center building, expression comes alive as students immerse themselves in the creation of music and visual art. 
Outdoors, individual play areas cater to the unique needs of our Toddler, Primary, and Elementary students, while our sports field offers opportunities for athletic endeavors and teamwork.
Picture of campus Picture of the wetlands Picture of the Spark Center Picture of the Primary garden
Nature beckons at every turn, with dedicated garden spaces and nature exploration areas enriching the learning experience. From tending to the Adolescent garden's compost to exploring the wonders of our wetland habitats, students engage with the natural world firsthand, deepening their understanding of ecology and environmental stewardship.
At Montessori Community School, our campus isn't just a place to learn—it's a dynamic ecosystem where curiosity flourishes, connections are forged, and possibilities abound. 
In 1980, a group of parents banned together determined to save their beloved Montessori Children’s House of Chapel Hill, which was on the brink of closure. With only two Children’s House classes and 50 students, the school faced a challenge: finding a larger space for expansion.
In 1982, the parent group, known as the Montessori Partnership of Chapel Hill, purchased land on Pope Road in Durham. The construction of two buildings—an administration building and a Primary/Toddler building—marked the beginning of MCS's vibrant campus. The first Lower Elementary class was housed in the education building of a local church.
By 1984, all Elementary and Primary classes, along with a new Toddler class, found their home in the newly constructed building. With a new location came a new name: Montessori Community School.
The old MCS sign in front of the school Newspaper article about MCS expanding An old picture of the back of the school with people sitting at picnic tables An old picture of young MCS students out in the playground
As the school flourished, so too did its physical footprint. In 1996, a three-room Elementary building emerged, followed by a multi-purpose facility in 1999 housing a gym and late-day classrooms for Elementary students. Accreditation with the American Montessori Society in 2002 affirmed MCS's dedication to excellence, setting the stage for continued growth and innovation.
The addition of a fine arts building in 2009 enriched MCS's curriculum with music and art classes, further enhancing the student experience. Subsequent modifications in 2010 allowed for the inclusion of additional Upper Elementary and Adolescent classrooms, reflecting MCS's dedication to meeting the needs of its students.
As MCS looks to the future, it remains committed to fostering a love of learning and empowering students to reach their full potential. With a rich history rooted in the Montessori philosophy, MCS continues to inspire generations of learners, nurturing the global citizens of tomorrow with compassion, curiosity, and a dedication to lifelong discovery.