We moved from Southern Illinois to Woodstock so our 4 year old daughter could attend the Crystal Lake Montessori School. Our first guided tour of the school was like a dream come true. Absolutely every question we asked was met with the "right" answer. We were still considering a Waldorf education at that time, but by the end of the tour we were convinced that the Crystal Lake Montessori School was the best choice for us. So we chose a nearby town and moved. We are still so excited and thrilled with our choice. Everything has been exactly as it was represented to be, if not better. We felt like part of a community right from the beginning and we continue to be impressed with new discoveries.

The teachers are excellent, caring, intuitive people. The school itself is inviting, safe and beautiful. The administration staff is extremely well organized and helpful and the faithful fulfillment of Maria Montessori's vision is implemented with integrity. And best of all, our daughter LOVES her school.

Leigh DeLeonardo

As we reflect on our son Nick's experience at CLMS we are grateful for many things. His transition to the school was a smooth one largely due to the warm, welcoming environment that is evident there. Students of all ages respect one another and older students serve as positive role models for the younger ones. As the Middle School students perform their internships in the classes of the younger ones this bond between all students is strengthened. While walking through the school on any given day 
 we can sense that the CLMS environment is safe, secure, caring, friendly, and most conducive to a learning atmosphere. 

Nick's teachers at CLMS have been encouraging and caring individuals who have helped him to grow. They have provided direction and discipline while at the same time being nurturing and genuine. 
Nick's experience in the CLMS basketball program has also been very positive one. Having supportive coaches who have been willing to teach basic skills while emphasizing that the game should be fun has created a great experience for Nick. His passion for the game has grown due again to the non-threatening and encouraging environment. 

The many exciting field trips that Nick has participated in while at CLMS have been a unique opportunity. He has gained a great deal from adventuring and learning in Washington D. C., North Carolina, and Nature’s Classroom. The relatively small size of CLMS makes these learning opportunities possible and provides our children many new windows beyond the classroom that might not be possible in other schools. 

The Urick family continues to form valued friendships while at Montessori. Nick has made many new friends at CLMS and his class has really become his "family" away from home. It has been a blessing to see him welcomed by so many of his classmates and have opportunities to strengthen friendships beyond the classroom while skiing, going to movies and concerts, or attending birthday or Christmas parties. Paula has met numerous supportive and dedicated parents through her several volunteer efforts at the school. 

Perhaps the greatest strength of the CLMS program is the strong sense of community that we feel exists at the school. 
As a career educator who has been in the classroom for 35 years I know that the most successful schools are ones that draw upon the combined strengths of the student, the school, and the family. We feel CLMS exemplifies this and are grateful to be part of the effort. Thank you for being there!

Most Sincerely,

Ron Urick 

Thank you for all that you, your staff and school have done for Peter over the past 12+ years.  He has become the wonderful young man that he is in large part because of his experiences in the environment you have created. We know the strong character traits he has developed, based on the examples he saw practiced daily at school, will carry him through a lifetime of wise, respectful choices.

We are also delighted with his academic preparedness.  It is a joy to us that he loves to learn. His enthusiasm is another gift you’ve nurtured.  We could not have asked for more form a school.

 We believe that the impact his years at CLMS will have on his future will be extraordinary.  You have given him the strongest foundation of knowledge, skills, support and confidence to go out into the bigger world and find his way, well prepared to make his mark, whatever it will be.


 Mary Ellen and Jim Prindiville


"Whoever touches the life of the child touches the most sensitive point of a whole which has roots in the most distant past and climbs toward the infinite future." - Dr. Maria Montessori