On October 1, 1965, a group of neighborhood parents and community leaders opened Brooklyn Heights Montessori School. At its inception, the school served 20 children, ages three to five, in one basement classroom of the First Presbyterian Church on Henry Street. Our reputation quickly spread, and by 1970 BHMS moved to a bigger space at 129 Montague Street to accommodate a larger student body. This year also saw the founding of The Little Room, an innovative program for preschool children with speech and language disabilities.
In response to further growth in the Preschool, as well as a growing demand by parents to extend their children’s Montessori experience through to Elementary and Middle School, BHMS continued to expand. In 1988 the school moved to our current home at 185 Court Street in Brooklyn’s Cobble Hill neighborhood and soon thereafter purchased an adjacent building. In 1996 a capital campaign was launched to fund the new building project.
By September 1997, BHMS opened the doors to our newly renovated, 40,000 sq. ft. facility, conceived and designed specifically to house our Montessori program. This expansion allowed us to fulfill our mission to serve students through eighth grade. Our first class of eighth graders graduated in 2001. Our graduates have taken advantage of the wide range of exceptional independent and public schools New York City has to offer. In 1997 the School began it’s Montessori inspired Twos Program and an after school program Montessori Afternoons Plus for children ages three to twelve who attend BHMS as well as surrounding neighborhood schools. In 2003 Brooklyn Heights Montessori School was accredited by the New York State Association of Independent Schools and the Preschool program was accredited by the American Montessori Society. Unfortunately, The Little Room program closed in August 2010 when the School was unable to adequately bridge the State regulated program with the rest of the School.
In response to increased enrollment in the Elementary and Middle School programs, the school purchased an adjacent firehouse at 12 Dean Street in July of 2009 and launched a capital campaign that raised over $2,000,000. The school undertook a $7,000,000 project which included a full renovation of the firehouse as well as extensive renovations to the existing building. In September 2011, BHMS opened the renovated existing campus with expanded elementary suites including additional classrooms, a new library, and a learning kitchen. In April 2012, the renovated firehouse was completed with the Firehouse Theater, a state-of-the-art performance space as well as a new Middle School suite with additional classrooms, an expanded terrace garden, and a common space for community gatherings.
In June of 2013, Brooklyn Heights Montessori School was re-accredited by the New York State Association of Independent Schools and fully accredited by the American Montessori Society for all programs through Middle School. BHMS is now the only accredited Montessori School in New York City educating students through eighth grade.