Head of School's Welcome


At Chemung Valley Montessori School, we have proudly delivered an authentic Montessori education to children toddler age through sixth grade for more than 45 years. We are delighted that you are considering CVMS for your child and we hope that our website will give you a good overview of our program and faculty and staff, and the unique aspects of our community which make us unlike any other school in the Twin Tiers area.

First, we are most proud of our long-term, dedicated and talented faculty and staff who are passionate about providing a high quality Montessori education every day. Second, our children enjoy spacious and naturally lit classrooms as well as meticulously prepared environments authentic Montessori materials.


Marcy Cathey, Head of School

Founded in 1974, Chemung Valley Montessori School provides high quality, individualized education for children from age 2 through 6th grade. CVMS+, our after-school enrichment program, benefits students as well as working parents. CVMS typically enrolls between 100 – 120 students.

CVMS is one of thousands of schools across the US and worldwide whose educational philosophy is based on the principles of Italian physician and anthropologist, Dr. Maria Montessori (1870-1952). The innovative curriculum is built on an understanding of children’s cognitive growth and development and designed to respect and promote each child’s individuality. We go beyond traditional academics in developing the whole child.

Using Montessori teaching methods and educational materials, we guide students to become self-motivated lifelong learners, independent thinkers, and responsible citizens with a broader understanding of the world. Our alumni have an exceptional track record of academic success in high school, college, and graduate and professional schools and reflect the values that we help to cultivate.

At CVMS, students are grouped in multi-age classrooms, enabling them to learn from one another as well as their Montessori-trained teachers. By keeping students with the same teachers for three years, we are able to know them well, track their progression, and guide them in their cognitive, social, and emotional growth. We are particularly proud of our exceptionally skilled, caring, and dedicated faculty.

Chemung Valley Montessori School is a private, non-profit, non-sectarian organization.

Every CVMS classroom is led by a professional educator who is fully credentialed by the American Montessori Society. Many hold advanced degrees. All are active and curious learners themselves and are wholeheartedly dedicated to educating the whole child – cognitive, social, emotional, and physical.

Two core Montessori principles are that children are their own best teachers, and that they achieve mastery through exploration, imitation, repetition, and trial and error. Thus our teachers serve as thoughtful and enthusiastic guides who foster students’ curiosity and introduce them to the skills and means to learn – a profound difference from the traditional model of the teacher as the source of learning.

Our faculty members carefully observe each student’s learning style, interests, and developmental readiness for the next steps. They set progressive goals for students then monitor and record their progress toward them. Our teachers demonstrate the use of specially designed, hands-on, Montessori learning materials and other skills when students are observed ready to use them.

Montessori teachers serve as role models in all ways – in learning and in character. They demonstrate core values of respect for each individual, cooperation, kindness, and responsibility. Our teachers establish an orderly environment and engage students in accepting responsibility for maintaining order and cleanliness. They encourage their independence but also their sense of understanding and caring for the society and the environment we live in.

When teachers and administrators from other Montessori schools visit CVMS, they are invariably impressed by our exceptional teaching staff and the enthusiasm, independence, and achievements of our students.