FRASER WOODS MONTESSORI SCHOOL
We cultivate compassion, confidence, and joy of learning.
We are a Montessori school.
Our Toddler, Primary, and Elementary School programs follow the values and philosophy of Maria Montessori and are rooted in her scientific methods.
Our Middle School program acts as a bridge between our Montessori levels and the competitive independent and public high schools our graduates attend.
The social and emotional components of this bridge are anchored in Montessori philosophy to ensure a safe and vibrant community for our students.
The academic components of this bridge reflect the best in innovative and progressive independent schools.
Every child loves going to school and is nurtured and respected as a unique individual.
Our students are compassionate and confident; they possess a joy for learning and are academically and socially primed to thrive in the next level of their educational journey.
Our faculty are professionals who inspire students to think deeply, critically, and globally while challenging them to achieve their full academic potential.
All FWM employees are aligned with the school’s mission and model its attributes through their words and actions.
Our academic program is engaging, innovative, and effective for a variety of learners.
Fraser Woods Montessori is recognized as a premiere Toddler through 8th Grade independent, Montessori school in the Northeast.
- 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 4:1, Primary 9:1, Lower Elementary 11:1, Upper Elementary 10:1, Middle School 12:1
- 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
- Montessori Schools of Connecticut
- American Montessori Society
- National Association of Independent Schools
- Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth
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: Gina Tryforos
President: Jill Papanek
Vice President: Summer Paulos
Treasurer: Oliver Sommer
Secretary: Liz Bashawaty
- Glenn DiCostanzo
- Jenny Hubbard
- Ken Pelletier
- Jordan Rabidou
- Pat Werner
- Karen Widdows
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.