Community Montessori School opened its doors in Lexington, KY in 1970. It was started by a group of parents looking to provide Montessori education for their children. Many of the founding families had been driving to Georgetown each morning to attend a Montessori School there. This group of dedicated parents secured a teacher, Elizabeth Heiman Farrar – our first teacher and longtime staff member until her retirement in 2004, and a space to have classes - the basement of Second Presbyterian Church , and began with one pre-school classroom. Mrs. Janet Ashby, one of the founding parents, soon stepped into the role of School Administrator – a role that she continued until her retirement in 2012. She is still actively involved with CMS as a member of our Board of Directors and as a grandparent of two CMS students! The “founding families” of CMS made tremendous commitments to the school including building many of the tables and bookshelves used in the classrooms. CMS quickly grew to add a second primary classroom and an elementary classroom as well. CMS remained at this location until 1976.
In June of 1976 a building committee was formed and CMS, through the generous support of the 90 families enrolled at the time, was able to secure a loan to finance the purchase of 2 ½ acres on Crestwood Drive in Lexington which still houses our toddler through lower elementary programs.
The building took 3 months to build and our Community of parents once again stepped in to help with much of the finishing work – laying tiles, hanging drywall, painting walls. In 1984 Jock’s Gymnasium (named after beloved CMS father, grandfather and former Board member Jock Gum) was built which also houses an art room and reading room.
In 1998 the Montessori Middle School of Kentucky, which began in 1996 as a collaborative initiative with the local Montessori schools, came under the governance of Community Montessori School, Inc., expanding our Montessori experience through 8th grade.
CMS, in 2004, purchased 13 acres of land on Stone Road in Lexington to serve as our future home. Unable to expand any further at our current location the decision was made to search for a property that could house all of our programs – from preschool through 8th grade, and offer the agricultural land that could serve our middle school land-based curriculum and offer expanded opportunities for all levels. The Stone Road property, just 2 short miles from our Crestwood campus, offered the perfect location and met all of our needs. In 2009 MMSK moved into a new building on the Stone Road campus. In the Fall of 2014 our Upper Elementary program (grades 4th-6th) joined MMSK on Stone Road.
The Toddler Community (18 months - 3 years) was added on the Crestwood campus in the fall of 2015, providing an opportunity for children to begin their Montessori journey at a younger age. Our plan for our Stone Road campus expansion now includes students 18 months through 8th grade. Funds are continuing to be raised to bring the rest of “CMS” to the land on Stone Road.