Willow   ree Montessori


Families are the cornerstone of our community.  It is through the family that children are born, nurtured and supported as they begin their journey of becoming and belonging in this place and time in history.  We observe with awe and admiration their determination and strength as they struggle to develop themselves.  And when that moment of conscious awareness arrives, well...it is a surprising delight to witness.  And we are humbled by its importance, vastness, and beauty.

March 26, 2015

Dear Future Montessori Parents,

If you are reading this letter, you are in the same place I was many years ago when the time came to make a decision about preschool. In those days, the frenzy was about making sure everything was ‘perfect’ for my sons, and it was almost by chance I heard about Montessori schools since that had not been a part of my upbringing. While I was impressed with the open house presentation, what converted me from aspirational belief to instilled confidence came from the guiding wisdom of Rhonda Bielik. I came to observe a method of teaching that drew out my children’s innate love of learning. Now in 4th and 1st grade we’re still talking (and creating) about space, nature, robots, physics, inventions which were all spawned out of what was instilled in those early years.

Instruction aside, what truly struck me was during my first ‘parent-teacher’ conference, where I listened to Mrs. Bielik tell me things about my son. These were Insights that could only have been known by someone who connected with him in the most depthful way. This was not a teacher talking, it was what I would call a nurturer, and actually a spiritual nurturer if you’re inclined towards those beliefs. My son’s ‘teacher’ paid attention to him in a way showing how she tuned into his inner strengths, curiosities, talents, and areas needing growth. This, of course, was all communicated in a metaphorical “Montessori Way” that left me wanting more feedback, but also with full confidence that he was not only in good hands, but a place that I knew great things would happen in a very natural developmental transformation.

If I could award Mrs. Bielik with an honorary Ph.D. in child development, it would be without hesitation.


Eric Frazer, Psy. D.

Clinical Psychologist

Assistant Clinical Professor-Yale University School of Medicine

June 12, 2015

Simply Beautiful! This is my first time observing a Montessori environment in action.  From the moment you walk in you are swept away 

into a calm, enriching educational experience.  I see the older children baking a cake together; helping one another scoop, pour and stir. 

 My daughter is washing, peeling, cutting a carrot.  Then clearing up after herself without being asked.  A [middle child] is busy painting 

'Picasso"-like paintings and [another child] is concentrating on multiplication, while [younger child] works on the continents and their 

animals.  Now I overhear the children singing the "State Song" as [younger child] corrects any mistakes he hears.  I wish I could be here 

everyday!  It's quite lovely that 3-5 year olds can be describes as peaceful.  It reminds me of a yoga retreat!  Absolutely glorious!  And Mrs. 

Bielik is the unifying thread that holds it all together.  This is my third child to go through Montessori, but the first time with Mrs. Bielik.

She is indescribable, an inspiration to us all!  We are all blessed to have her a part of our lives.

Dr. Karey Rainey-Maxwell, D.M.D.

Infinity Dental Care, Woodbridge

December 8, 2016

This environment is more than we could have dreamed for our son. He is flourishing socially, learning kind and peaceful ways to interact with other children and adults, as well as academically. The team at Willow Tree are providing a warm and at the same time challenging (applying the principles of productive struggle with high expectations) day.   The students also have access to do their work outside in a zen garden as well as special topics including Yoga, violin and French language.

Terri  L. Germain-Williams

Professor of Mathematics, PhD.