×About FWM

About FWM

Our Mission

Fraser Woods Montessori cultivates compassionate, self-confident, joyful citizens of the world.

  • Respecting the individuality of each child
  • Challenging students to achieve their full potential in a nurturing environment
  • Inspiring curiosity, creativity, critical thinking and social responsibility

Our Promise

  • That learning is a way of life
  • That there is intellectual integrity in the Montessori philosophy and there’s joy in achieving something challenging and real (which is unique for each individual)
  • That every child deserves unconditional respect and has intrinsic potential that must be recognized, protected, and stimulated
  • That a small school is the best way to create a community where every child is known and supported
  • That one operates within a global community with grace, courtesy and respect for all


Our School

  • Founded in 1968 as Newtown Montessori School
  • A non-profit 501(c)(3), independent, co-educational Montessori school
  • Serves 160 students ages 15 months through eighth grade
  • Student-teacher ratio: Toddler 5:1, Lower School 12:1, Lower Elementary 12:1, Upper Elementary 10:1, Middle School 15:1
  • A modern 42,000-square-foot gallery-like setting that includes a Zen Garden, gymnasium and nature trails situated on an 8-acre campus
  • A diverse student body from 20 area towns, 35% from Newtown
  • Governed by the Board of Trustees
  • Accredited by the Connecticut Association of Independent Schools
  • American Montessori Society Full Member School


Board of Trustees

The Fraser Woods Montessori School Board of Trustees is committed to the preservation and implementation of the School’s mission. The volunteer members include parents of current and former FWM students, professionals, and community leaders all of whom share a belief in Montessori education and a passion for the school. As a group, the Board is responsible for strategic planning, and the long-term financial stewardship and governance of the School. It provides leadership in all development and fundraising efforts as well. In short, the Board exists to ensure that Fraser Woods Montessori is viable for its current and future students.

The Board is composed of several committees including Finance, Trustee, Development and Marketing, and Buildings & Grounds in addition to ad hoc Committees as needed. Each Trustee is active on at least one committee, typically meeting monthly. Committees make recommendations that provide insight and direction for Board governance decisions. The Board is always interested in receiving recommendations for future Trustee candidates. Please contact any Trustee or the Head of School to learn more about the nomination process and serving to support the growth and institutional development of FWM.

Board of Trustees

Head of School: Chris Robertson

President: Rob Schultz

Vice President: Summer Paulos

Treasurer: Oliver Sommer

Secretary: Liz Bashawaty


  • Magda Smielewska-Antov
  • Margaret Farinella
  • Jenny Hubbard
  • Vijay Kalaria
  • Martha MacKrell
  • Jill Papanek

In 1968 we humbly began as the Newtown Montessori School with 20 Lower School students learning in a rented church basement in Newtown, Connecticut.  Five years later we received a generous donation allowing us to move to a small red schoolhouse on Route 302 and add the Extended Day Program (Kindergarten).

As the years passed, word of mouth spread and the school continued to expand in order to accommodate the growing needs of our families.  In 1984 a Lower Elementary School was added and by 1996 we graduated our first group of Sixth Years (sixth graders).

The year 2000 was a turning point for expansion as Newtown Montessori was relocated to our present site and rededicated as The Fraser-Woods School.  Our new name was chosen in honor of Myriam Woods, Head of School from 1990 to 2016, and in recognition of the building’s roots as the Gordon Fraser Company.  That same year we proudly welcomed our first Middle School students.

In 2012 we changed our name to Fraser Woods Montessori School.  We are proud of our new name as it embraces our Montessori identity as well as honors our past and current alumni by weaving together both names; Fraser-Woods School and Newtown Montessori School.