Rivendell Preschool

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Rivendell Preschool

Description

Rivendell Preschool, a preprimary Montessori school, opened in September 1977 in a Park Slope brownstone with twenty-five students and was originally called The Children’s House of Park Slope.  At Rivendell Preschool, we believe that learning to get along with a wide range of people and accepting and respecting their differences has lasting benefits for everyone.  This approach shapes our firm commitment to each other and to Montessori education.  Our preschool classrooms include typically developing children as well as those with special needs who work together in a warm, creative atmosphere.  Our Montessori, early childhood and special education teachers provide an environment rich with materials especially designed to engage children at every level of readiness and maturity.  Art and Music round out our well-balanced curriculum, and Growing Connections, our horticultural literacy program, fosters an understanding of science concepts and encourages children to embrace stewardship of our world.

Rivendell Preschool is an Associate Member of the American Montessori Society.

Reviews (27)

  • Nursery School reconditions for September 2021

    I am not sure if they have any spots, but our children went to Rivendell Preschool and we couldn’t recommend it enough. They have half day options that may work for your family. They have also been very cautious about COVID and have taken as many precautions as possible and managed to stay open (a pod here and there) for most of the school year. It is a gem of a school.
  • Review from the 2020–2021 Daycare, Preschool, Pre-K, and K Survey

    Review: Rivendell was such a blessing for our child this past year! It was our child's first time in a daycare/preschool setting, and the teachers at Rivendell were so welcoming and helpful in assisting them to transition, which admittedly didn't take very long. The teachers are truly wonderful -- they are caring and patient, and the children love them so much! When it came time for parent-teacher conferences, we were quite surprised at how much thought and preparation went into the conference; the teachers really pay attention to each child's development and learning. We also really enjoyed the "Growing Connections" gardening, music and art programs. The community at Rivendell is also very close-knit, and we really enjoyed getting to know other families and the staff this past year. Facility amenities: Has outdoor space, Has after-school options, Has early morning hours What would you change about the program? Nothing Is there anything you would like to add about how the school handled the pandemic? Rivendell had good protocol -- because of the pandemic, the children spent more time outside on the roof. The teachers and staff wore masks, and Rivendell basically taught our child to wear a mask for long periods of time. They followed NYS guidance regarding travel and quarantine.
  • Review from the 2020–2021 Daycare, Preschool, Pre-K, and K Survey

    Review: Rivendell is amazing! My son loves going to school, and talks about his teachers and friends all the time. The teachers are caring and create a very supportive environment. We were nervous since it was the first time we would be sending our son to a preschool/daycare (he has been watched by a nanny/grandparents since he was a baby, and this was also right after months of quarantine when he was only with us), but the teachers were extremely helpful in getting him to acclimate to the new setting. They also have done such a great job of teaching and encouraging the children to do new things (e.g., mask wearing, hand washing, cleaning etc) and their Covid practices seem to have been effective without diminishing teaching. Communication with teachers and the administration is great. We also appreciate the specialists who come in (gardening, art and music) but also like that it's very child directed too. We love Rivendell and highly recommend it! Amenities offered: Has outdoor space, Has after-school options, Has early morning hours What would you change about the program, if anything, and why? Nothing
  • Daycare options for 2-year-old with EI support

    I just wanted to piggy back on the previous reply and really endorse Rivendell. They are a Montessori school but they follow a hybrid program where a percentage of each class are children with special needs (I would say there are usually 3 or 4 kids per class of 15,16). My son is currently in his second year there and it has been amazing for him. They are directly involved in every child’s needs and work intimately with service providers. There is a sensory gym for OT and PT, and they also have speech therapists on-site. The school works directly with the DOE and various service providers. It really is a wonderful program, for both typical and atypical kids. They have also been great during Covid. They follow all DoH protocols and overhauled the school during the summer to accommodate this strange new pandemic world. I cannot recommend them enough. --
  • Private school advice

    Our son went to Rivendell, and it is an amazing and incredibly special place. School leaders and teachers are all very smart and thoughtful and caring. Lots of individualized attention and instruction. And the greenhouse! Our son loved the Growing Connections program. Kids learn about plant and animal life cycles and have lessons in the greenhouse in the backyard. The art and music teachers are awesome. Classroom teachers are all very dedicated and creative and loving. Beautiful facility. Rooftop play area. Let me know if I can answer any questions!
  • Private school advice

    We sent our daughter to Rivendell for the 2s program and we loved it. All the teachers are amazing. Everything is so thoughtful and I feel like all of her teachers (1 lead & 2 assistants) really knew my child well. Unfortunately we moved to the other side of town, otherwise we’d definitely return for subsequent years. I cannot say enough good things about Rivendell. Happy to answer any questions.
  • Rivendell Preschool

    We sent our daughter to Rivendell 2s program and she/we loved it. The size, Montessori philosophy, gardening, physical space, level of art music and art, and of course, the fantastic teachers and administrators, were all reasons behind our decision to send her to Rivendell versus other local schools. The tuition is definitely higher than some, but I imagine it has a lot to do with the quality of educators and programs they offer? I really can’t speak to that, per se, but it was a great experience for us all around.
  • 2019-2020 Year Review

    We love Rivendell! Our daughter loves going to school and had a pretty easy transition thanks to all the gentle methods and love her teachers and the school have in place. Our daughter absolutely loves her teachers as well as the director, Katy Hill, who watches the children signed up for after school care. … About the facility: Has outdoor space, Has afterschool options, Has early morning hours, Learning Garden … What would you change? Nothing.
  • Review from the 2019 PSP Daycare, Preschool Survey

    Rivendell is an incredibly inclusive, warm, nurturing, child-centric place. Both children attended Rivendell and my youngest is in her last year (pre-K). Both my kids are very different kiddos and emerged from Rivendell: empowered, comfortable in their own skin, community minded, creative, thoughtful, kind, and perceptive. At Rivendell, they build their own playground everyday, children’s play is respected and viewed as work. The Montessori approach meant both my kids worked on what they loved most and yet were more than ready for Kindergarten. If you are looking for a place to educate your kid, empower them to be their best self, compassionate, and a community that will embrace you all as a family: look no further! DETAILS: Has outdoor space, Has afterschool options, Has early morning hours
  • Shout out to Rivendell PreSchool

    Our daughter has completed two years at Rivendell and we could not be happier. It is a wonderful, loving community that feels like an extension of our family. They know our daughter and have provided an exceptional learning environment for her to become herself. We cannot recommend it highly enough. Rivendell is located in Gowanus (Carroll and 3rd Ave). Prospective parents can contact shelly.wolf.scott@ rivendellnyc.org. I have no affiliation with the school other than a grateful parent. (Jul 2017)
  • Review for Posting - Rivendell School

    The moment you step in the door at Rivendell, a Montessori school serving children ages 2 thru Kindergarten-age, you feel an immediate sense of peace and calm: this is a place where the teachers and staff are grounded in their mission to let kids take the lead and learn as is most natural for them. This school is really a community, where families choose to send their children for their very first school experience - often traveling from all over Brooklyn to do so. I discovered Rivendell when our first daughter was approaching the age 2 year when I wanted to begin sending her to a morning program. The Twos program has 10 students to 3 full-time teachers, for either 2 or 3 mornings a week. Our daughter adored it, and really blossomed from the standpoint of speech, socialization, ability to concentrate on playing/working independently. At age three, she attended a 5-day-per-week program, with two of the days full days (9am-3pm), where there were 22 children to 3 teachers. Again she adored it - and we're sending out second daughter now in her footsteps. School highlights include "Growing Connections", a program featuring a sizable greenhouse on the school campus and regular opportunity to interact with plants/nature; a wonderful music teacher who meets weekly with the classrooms; and a roof-top playground. The school even involves the children in community service activities - regularly throughout the year, they put together packages of food donations for less-fortunate families through a nearby Gowanus charity. As a parent who cares extremely strongly about education, I couldn't recommend this wonderful place any more highly. (Jan 2017)
  • Review submitted via the PSP 2016 PreK Survey

    Review: Rivendell is a Montessori-based school. My son is currently in the 2s program. The teachers and administrators are incredibly thoughtful and experienced educators. For various reasons, my son ended up attending Rivendell and another very popular science-based school, so we are in the unique position to compare two programs side-by-side. Rivendell is by far more organized from day 1. For example, early on we received pictures of the teachers and each 'friend' in class, so we can easily talk to him at home about school. The transition period is long and very gentle. My son never shed a tear from separation. The same could not be said for the other program. The student:teacher ratio is very low in the 2s class- 10 students to 3 teachers. This makes a huge difference. These people really know what they are doing. I've noticed all 3 teachers are very clear and consistent in reinforcing ideas i.e. always wash hands first thing, and are extremely responsive to the needs to each child. I love it when the teachers tell me specific things they've noticed about my son when I drop off / pick up, which are always spot-on and really speak to their professionalism and experience. My son has become more independent & focused when playing at home, takes pride in his work, and learned a lot of self-help skills. When I occasionally ask him which school he likes better, he always says Rivendell. This school doesn't send kids home with a ton of arts & craft projects or have a variety of "specialists" coming through like other programs- but I'm now convinced at this age, he doesn't need to be hit with a bunch of stimulation and activities. What's more important is to instill independence and a love of learning. We discovered the school by chance talking to another parent at the playground, and hope we can spread the word to others too. About the facility: Has outdoor space, Has early morning hours Review submitted via the PSP 2016 PreK Survey
  • Review submitted via the 2014-2015 daycare/preschool survey

    Length of time: 5 half days Child’s Age: 3-4 years Type of facility: Privately run daycare/preschool with multiple classes and teachersThere is little/no parental involvement with the administration or running of the facility. REVIEW: Rivendell is a fantastic school. The class size is small, with at least two teachers plus an aide. The administration knows every child and parent by name. The building is new, bright, and has lots of fun activities. The teachers are very attentive and know the children extremely well. Transition period is gentle and structured. My child has grown so much in a year. Would you recommend? Highly recommend Would you send your child again? Absolutely
  • Review from the 2014 Daycare/Preschool Survey

    Program: Pre-School Length of Time: 1/2 days MTW Child's Age: 2-3 years Review: This is a modified Montessori program where the administration and teachers really know what they're doing! They are warm, professional, enthusiastic, with wonderful plans for each school day and great structure while also giving the kids lots of freedom to explore and work on whatever they want to work on. We receive frequent emails (every couple weeks) with feedback on our child and invitations to collaborate with the teachers on areas of growth and learning. It's a wonderful community. Recommend (Hi/Rec/DoNot): Highly recommend Would you send your child again? Absolutely
  • 2014 Daycare/Preschool PSP review

    Length of Time: Part time M,T,W Child's Age: 2-3 years Review: Rivendell is an adapted Montessori school. This means that they are primarily Montessori based, but have incorporated a few elements that they feel adds to the educational experience of the child. Our son began this past September in their youngest classroom and this school is a gem. An incredibly professional and trained staff create an environment in which our very active son can continue to be his effusive self yet access some meditative states of work and learning. It is an incredibly nurturing place, in which administrative staff greets and says good bye to you, and the caregivers you encounter In the halls are kind. They are thoughtful about everything in this school, from a well planned and communicative transition period to connecting children to nature via the greenhouse. Their playground is comprised of wooden blocks and planks which the children use to create their own structures, slides, ice cream stands, etc., We love the sense of independence they are encouraging in our son and the freedom the schools Montessori approach gives to our son to choose his interests and set the pace for his learning, rather than being told what to do throughout his day. Recommend (Hi/Rec/DoNot) Highly recommend Would you send your child again? Absolutely
  • Review from 2013 Daycare/Preschool PSP Survey

    Review date June 2013 (for 2012-2013 year) Program: Length of time: Full time Child's age: 1-2 years Review: This daycare is a GEM! It is run by two amazing, loving caretakers, who are also amazing teachers. It is set in a ground floor of a brownstone, there are 2 playrooms and a nice open kitchen. They keep the group of children small. During "circle time" everyday they sing songs, read in spanish, learn the alphabet and how to count. My 18month old son can count to 4!!! If the weather is nice, they go to the park just around the corner, which is so good for the children. If the weather is not nice, they do art projects (painting drawing and coloring), which they save for the parents to take home. My son started when he was 12 months old and he is now 18 months. I can say with total confidence that he is SO HAPPY THERE! He has blossomed so much. It is not just a loving, safe clean envionment but the caretakers are really teaching and challenging the children- from reading, counting, how to behave, to potty training. Also, they encourage all the parents to get to know one another, so when you go to drop/pick up your child, its a a very homey atmosphere. Do you recommend? (Hi/Rec/DoNot) Highly recommend
  • Review from 2013 Daycare/Preschool PSP Survey

    Review date June 2013 (for 2012-2013 year)Program: Length of time: open full time; my son goes M, W, F Child's age: 2-3 yearsReview: This is a small daycare with 2 full-time teachers/owners and one part-time teacher. Sandy and Aise are awesome! They love the kids and truly know their personalities. I often leave my son in one of their arms and pick him up at the end of the day from one of their laps. It's a very easygoing environment, although there is structure throughout the day including circle-time. The ages range from almost 1 until pre-school (3ish). Because of the age range I feel like my son gets to learn how to be careful around babies and yet he also learns the alphabet and reads with the big kids. We've definitely had a few issues with separation anxiety and Sandy and Aise have been great. They know how to easily distract him while also explaining how much mommy loves him and that I will be back later. Aise even called me after I left for work just to let me know that he stopped crying and was having a great time. They have also had no problem working around and being safe regarding my son's allergies which was definitely a concern of mine. I receive basic information about my son's day on a sign-in sheet, however, Sandy and Aise are also available at drop off and pick up to chat about the day's events or any issues.Do you recommend? (Hi/Rec/DoNot) Highly recommend
  • Review from 2013 Daycare/Preschool PSP Survey

    Review date June 2013 (for 2012-2013 year)Program: Length of time: Full day, 3 days a week Child's age: 1-2 yearsReview: We have been thrilled with every element of this program, which specializes in kids 1-3. It is warm, structured, and creative. Our son has thrived and surpassed every milestone under the care of the two owners/directors: figuring out numbers at 18 months, building Legos at 16 months, understanding commands like "please put your shoes on the shoe rack" at 15 months. The children all seem delighted to be there, and many families continue to send their kids for 2 or 3 days a week after they enroll in regular preschool at 2-3,because the children feel so comfortable here.Do you recommend? (Hi/Rec/DoNot) Highly recommend
  • Review from 2013 Daycare/Preschool PSP Survey

    Review date June 2013 (for 2012-2013 year)Program: Length of time: Full time Child's age: 1-2 yearsReview: This daycare is a GEM! It is run by two amazing, loving caretakers, who are also amazing teachers. It is set in a ground floor of a brownstone, there are 2 playrooms and a nice open kitchen. They keep the group of children small. During "circle time" everyday they sing songs, read in spanish, learn the alphabet and how to count. My 18month old son can count to 4!!! If the weather is nice, they go to the park just around the corner, which is so good for the children. If the weather is not nice, they do art projects (painting drawing and coloring), which they save for the parents to take home. My son started when he was 12 months old and he is now 18 months. I can say with total confidence that he is SO HAPPY THERE! He has blossomed so much. It is not just a loving, safe clean envionment but the caretakers are really teaching and challenging the children- from reading, counting, how to behave, to potty training. Also, they encourage all the parents to get to know one another, so when you go to drop/pick up your child, its a a very homey atmosphere.Do you recommend? (Hi/Rec/DoNot) Highly recommend
  • Review from 2013 Daycare/Preschool PSP Survey

    Review date June 2013 (for 2012-2013 year)Program: Classroom 2 Length of time: 5 half days Child's age: 3-4 yearsReview: We had a great year at Rivendell. This was our first school experience. The teachers were great with transition, making it mostly painless for everyone. My child has really thrived in the school, going from very shy and reserved to having lots of friends, talkative and loving going to school. The teachers are wonderful in figuring out each child's development needs and gently working on those areas. Feedback is always available and the teachers reach out to us regularly. All in all, we were very happy with our experience and we will be sending our second child to Rivendell this year.Do you recommend? (Hi/Rec/DoNot) Highly recommend
  • Review from 2013 Daycare/Preschool PSP Survey

    Review date June 2013 (for 2012-2013 year) Program: Length of time: Full day, 3 days a week Child's age: 1-2 years Review: We have been thrilled with every element of this program, which specializes in kids 1-3. It is warm, structured, and creative. Our son has thrived and surpassed every milestone under the care of the two owners/directors: figuring out numbers at 18 months, building Legos at 16 months, understanding commands like "please put your shoes on the shoe rack" at 15 months. The children all seem delighted to be there, and many families continue to send their kids for 2 or 3 days a week after they enroll in regular preschool at 2-3,because the children feel so comfortable here. Do you recommend? (Hi/Rec/DoNot) Highly recommend
  • Review from 2013 Daycare/Preschool PSP Survey

    Review date June 2013 (for 2012-2013 year) Program: Length of time: open full time; my son goes M, W, F Child's age: 2-3 years Review: This is a small daycare with 2 full-time teachers/owners and one part-time teacher. Sandy and Aise are awesome! They love the kids and truly know their personalities. I often leave my son in one of their arms and pick him up at the end of the day from one of their laps. It's a very easygoing environment, although there is structure throughout the day including circle-time. The ages range from almost 1 until pre-school (3ish). Because of the age range I feel like my son gets to learn how to be careful around babies and yet he also learns the alphabet and reads with the big kids. We've definitely had a few issues with separation anxiety and Sandy and Aise have been great. They know how to easily distract him while also explaining how much mommy loves him and that I will be back later. Aise even called me after I left for work just to let me know that he stopped crying and was having a great time. They have also had no problem working around and being safe regarding my son's allergies which was definitely a concern of mine. I receive basic information about my son's day on a sign-in sheet, however, Sandy and Aise are also available at drop off and pick up to chat about the day's events or any issues. Do you recommend? (Hi/Rec/DoNot) Highly recommend
  • Review from 2013 Daycare/Preschool PSP Survey

    Review date June 2013 (for 2012-2013 year) Program: Classroom 2 Length of time: 5 half days Child's age: 3-4 years Review: We had a great year at Rivendell. This was our first school experience. The teachers were great with transition, making it mostly painless for everyone. My child has really thrived in the school, going from very shy and reserved to having lots of friends, talkative and loving going to school. The teachers are wonderful in figuring out each child's development needs and gently working on those areas. Feedback is always available and the teachers reach out to us regularly. All in all, we were very happy with our experience and we will be sending our second child to Rivendell this year. Do you recommend? (Hi/Rec/DoNot) Highly recommend
  • Recommended by PSP Member without review (March 2013)
  • (no subject)

    Review Date 2012 Length of TIme: 5 days / week until 3PM. half days are also available Child's Age: 4-5 years Review: Rivendell is a unique place. The size of the school means that you tend to know everyone—including parents and teachers classes other than your own. It is a Montessori school that encourages a lot of independent thinking and learning. And a couple of the classrooms are mixed ages. The children describe their activities as "work." I appreciate the calm and the focus of this school. The teachers have been excellent and attentive. Both of my boys thrived here and I have found it to be an extremely supportive community of parents. It's not right for everyone. There can sometimes be a certain rigidity about "how things are done." But I feel both of my kids learned so much about how to interact with others and how to motivate themselves. The schedule -- certain events which require parental participation, days off -- is not always so sensitive to families with 2 working parents. There are a fair number of holidays and a lot of parties, participatory events for which some caregiver really needs to be present. Do you recommend? (Hi/Rec/DoNot) Highly recommend
  • (no subject)

    Rivendell is a Montessori school that has Kindergartners and is wonderful.
  • Review from PSP Survey, 2010

    Name of Program: 5 days/week KID AGE:3-4 years The Rivendell School is a real treasure and I am so grateful that this is where my son is having his first experience of school. This is his second year attending the school. There is a palpable quality of joy from the moment you walk into the school and this carries in the busy hallways, the classrooms, and up on the roof playground. The teachers are gifted educators who create fun and exciting environments for the children to explore both inside and outside their classrooms. I have been impressed by the consistent and genuine respect for each child as a unique individual, and I see it both in the classroom teaching as well as with the approach by administration at Rivendell. There have been so many ways that The Rivendell School has impressed me. It is clear that much thought was put into placing each child in the appropriate classroom, so the end result is that there is a wonderful balance of personalities in the children in my son’s class. The separation process for the beginning of school was gentle and nurturing for both parents and children, and it was remarkable how smoothly it went. The focus was on what was best for each child and his or her start to school. I appreciated how this was not rushed and at the end of the “Phase-In” it was stunning to watch this great pride and self-confidence grow in each of the children as they mastered leaving their parent or caregiver and going into the classroom. The communication between my son’s teachers and the parents has been fabulous, with a lot of effort spent to involve and include parents. It has helped us forge a lovely community within our class and this has continued with birthday parties and play dates. My son has truly blossomed since he started at Rivendell. I can list the big developmental growth in areas of language, and social and emotional maturity, but what I find most significant is how happy he is. He loves going to school each day and that is what makes me the most thrilled about The Rivendell School. Highly Recommend/Recommend or Do Not Recommend?--Highly recommend