Raintree was founded in 1978 by a small group of dedicated people with a vision of a special place for all children. The vision was for a beautiful place where children could go about their task of self-construction, a place lovingly and intentionally prepared for children. The vision included finding and preparing adults for this most noble work, who were willing to humble themselves and, as Dr. Montessori had admonished, "have the faith to follow the child." Their qualities of being life-long learners, having an enduring sense of humor, holding a profound respect for children as well as their ability to function without enough sleep (at least in those early years) have helped to see the vision to fruition.
Raintree is a beautifully prepared environment physically, both indoors and out and is staffed with carefully and lovingly prepared adults who uphold the ideals of the Montessori philosophy. It is the love shared among the children and adults as well as the love that we all feel toward our prepared environment that is the foundation of the spirit of Raintree, inevitably felt by anyone who spends any time in the community that is our school. We have from the beginning been dedicated to providing working families with not only the finest in early childhood and elementary education, but with the security that they were able to go to work full in the knowledge that their children were getting the very best and most loving care available outside their immediate family.
~This text was written by Connie Black, one of Raintree's founding teachers.
"Not in the service of a political or social creed should the teacher work, but in the service of the complete human being, able to exercise in freedom a self-disciplined will and judgment, unperverted by prejudice and undistorted by fear."
- Maria Montessori
All Guides are either AMI or AMS certified. Montessori training requires a Bachelor's degree and a year of training to achieve certification in Montessori whether at the toddler, primary or elementary level. Most staff at Raintree hold Master's degrees in addition to Montessori certification. In most cases Assistants have a Bachelor's degree and some are doing an internship as a requirement of their Montessori training while others may be Montessori-certified preferring to work in a supporting role in the classroom. Staff are chosen based on their training, years of experience and sense of humor.
Raintree's Toddler Community and Children's Houses are licensed by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. Camp Raintree is also licensed by KDHE.
Our teachers are members of the North American Montessori Teachers' Association and either the Association Montessori Internationale or the American Montessori Society. Our school is a member of the North American Montessori Teachers' Association.