1. The Early Years: 1967 to 1971
In 1967, Franklin C. and Annette B. Kulle founded Countryside Montessori School, starting operations in Glenview. In its first year, the school had 52 children in 4 classes with a staff of two Montessori teachers and four assistant teachers. Satellite classes were opened in Skokie in 1969 and in Northbrook in 1970. Having outgrown all of these facilities by 1971, the school purchased the property at 1985 Pfingsten Road, Northbrook, its present location.
2. The Intermediate Years (1972-1992): Gym and Spanish
In 1972, an elementary class was added to the already established toddler and primary classes. In 1973, an addition was built, adding an elementary classroom, a basement, and a multi-purpose room (later transformed into the gym). In 1975, the school added a gym program to the school’s curriculum, and a teacher was hired to develop a gym program for all of the classes in the school.
The extended day class was developed in 1975 to provide more mature primary children the opportunity for a longer Montessori experience. In 1984, a parent-infant class for 9-18 month old children and their parents was initiated, and in 1985, an after-school care program. A before-school care program and a hot lunch program were instituted in 1987. Spanish as a second language was introduced at the elementary level in 1989 and at the primary level in 1990.
3. Expanding the Vision (1993-1999): All Year Montessori
In the spring of 1993, a year-round All Year Montessori Program was added. A new addition, housing a two-story gym, four classrooms, offices, parent meeting rooms, and a basement for storage, was completed in August, 1995. Sections of the original building were re-configured to serve a larger toddler class, the Care Club, and to create a dining room in the original gym.
4. From a Montessori School to an Independent School (1999-2012)
In 1999, major renovations were done to provide space for a new Primary All Year Montessori class. In 2001, final renovations to 2 Primary classrooms were completed.
In 2012, a Middle School program was added and, one year later, CMS purchased two adjacent properties and broke ground for a new Middle School building. Today, CMS’s enrollment is at 180 students.