Siena Academy is the parish school of St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church in Great Falls, Virginia. We currently offer two Children’s House environments which serve a mixed-age grouping of children from 2-1/2 through 7 years, and an Elementary program for ages 7 through 12 years. Our program incorporates Dr. Maria Montessori’s beautifully prepared environments where specially trained teachers guide the spontaneous activities of the children in all areas of their development.
Siena Academy opened its doors in September of 2004. In November of that same year, we completed the necessary requirements to be recognized as an A.M.I. (Associated Montessori Internationale) school. We have also completed the necessary Virginia requirements as a licensed center for children. We are challenging ourselves to continually strive to offer the very best to the children.
A Montessori School
Siena Academy is based completely and authentically on Dr. Maria Montessori’s discoveries of the developmental nature of the young child.
Children are guided by our directress in all areas — movement, language, music, artistic expression, geography, geometry, mathematics, and the exercises of practical life. They are given individualized presentations and then set free to work, uninterrupted, for as long as they choose. Small group lessons in “grace and courtesy” offer the children ways of moving and interacting socially in the environment. Mistakes are guided but not directly corrected. Group gatherings often happen spontaneously; while the children are invited, their choice to participate is respected. The multi-age grouping fosters cooperation and reflects life in the family.
The child’s spiritual development as a Catholic is nurtured in the Montessori environment in a unique way. The Atrium — a specially prepared place of prayer — offers hands-on experience with materials relating to Jesus as the Good Shepherd, the key events and geographical areas associated with His life, the Kingdom parables, the Sacraments of baptism and the Holy Eucharist, and the liturgical year.
The child indirectly witnesses the adult staff members living their Catholic faith in a natural and joyous manner. Meeting the spiritual needs as well as the intellectual needs of the young child in a specially prepared place was Dr. Montessori’s original design; even so, the Catholic aspect of the Montessori environment has largely been lost in the United States since the early 1960s.
Siena Academy is one of only a handful of Catholic Montessori schools, which fully embraces the entire scope of Dr. Montessori’s discoveries regarding the development of the young child — mind, body and soul.
eScrip Fundraising Program
Support our parish school by designating Siena Academy (Group ID# 500003075) for the eScrip fundraising program. It allows participating merchants to contribute a percentage of your grocery purchases to Siena Academy. Just log on to eScrip at escrip.com and register your Safeway card and credit cards. You can also register your Safeway card by visiting safeway.com and clicking the Shop Stores tab, followed by the Club Card Savings link. Thank you for supporting Siena Academy.