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History

Virgin Islands Montessori School and International Academy offers a unique environment and learning experience to over 200 students from two years of age through High School. In 1963, the concept of a Montessori school in the Virgin Islands captured the imagination and support of a group of St. Thomas parents. A one-room building emerged in January 1964 with a preschool class of 12 students. Over the ensuing years, our school has grown steadily to meet the needs of our St. Thomas/St. John community. Today, our beautiful 7.0 acre campus offers instruction for Toddlers through 12th grade and is accredited by AMI for our Montessori Lower School and our International Academy (grades 7-12) is authorized by the International Baccalaureate Organization for the Middle Years Program and our Diploma Programs.
 
VIMSIA's first Primary Class was located on half an acre of land, generously donated by Bill and Jim Evans (both of whom had children in that class). Our early growth focused on additional preschool classes.

Lower and Elementary Classes were added in the early ‘70’s, moving our program upwards through the sixth grade.

Responding to the needs of our parents and students, we added our Toddler Program for two-year-olds in 1994. This program is called Casa dei Bambini formerly known as LA Casa "Learning Activity House". We also initiated an afternoon enrichment center in our Casa dei Bambini location that same year. This center is designed to be a “home away from home” by offering quality, loving and friendly care with fun activities for students until 5:30 p.m. each school day.

The long-awaited addition of our Middle School became a reality in 1997. With a 7th grade class introduced that September, the eighth grade was added the following year. Our Middle School combined the Montessori approach with traditional methods to ensure a smooth transition to Upper School and beyond.

Our Upper School began in Sept. 2004 with the addition of the 9th grade. Beginning with the 2006-2007 school year, we introduced the International Baccalaureate Organization’s (IBO) secondary school pedagogy for grades 7 and up. During the 2007-2008 school year, we made the great leap and actually changed our school name, to include the strong focus that we now have on our secondary school program. Virgin Islands Montessori School has become VI Montessori School and International Academy.

The International Academy includes our 7th through 12th grades and is authorized as an IB World School by the International Baccalaureate Organization,  while The Montessori School continues to offer excellence in Montessori education for our toddler through 6th grade students.  Our Montessori levels are accredited by Association Montessori Internationale and we offer the Middle Years (MYP) and the Diploma (DP) Programmes, as authorized by the International Baccalaureate World School, for our 7th through 12th grades.  All levels of the school are accredited by The Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. 

IB Middle Years Programme (MYP) for grades 7 – 10

IB Diploma Programme (DP) for grades 11 - 12

The IBO has a mission to “create a better world through education” and offers a curriculum that is a perfect complement to our proven Montessori program.

The IBO is a nonprofit educational foundation motivated by its mission - focused on the student. It is a recognized leader in the field of international education, encouraging students to be active learners, well-rounded individuals and engaged world citizens. Founded in 1968, it currently works with 1,763 schools in 122 countries. There are more than 943 schools in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean offering one or more of the IBO’s academic programs. For further information, visit their IBO website: www.ibo.org

Mission Statement

The Virgin Islands Montessori School and International Academy is committed to providing an Education For Life, consistent with Montessori principles, reflecting the richness of our diverse Virgin Islands' culture and upholding international college preparatory standards.

Philosophy

The concept of education at the Virgin Islands Montessori School and International Academy allows our students to experience the joy of learning while striving for excellence and stimulating the initiative and curiosity inherent in each individual. We provide an atmosphere that guides the progress of each student to their potential intellectually, socially, emotionally and physically with special focus on nurturing the human spirit. We emphasize respect for self, others, the VI community, and the global environment.

Purpose and Aim

From Toddler through Upper Elementary, VIMSIA is dedicated to the Association Montessori Internationale’s (AMI) Montessori philosophy and method of education. Our International Academy is student-centered and built upon a strong Montessori foundation using IBO principles. VIMSIA is an active viable institution set upon a solid foundation of excellence in faculty, administration and facilities. Our purpose is to provide the fullest development and highest standard of learning possible in each individual child. Nondenominational and nondiscriminatory, our school welcomes children from all backgrounds.

Our Objectives

To provide an excellent learning environment and guidance to help children develop:

Joy of learning Community building Respect of others
Self confidence Higher order thinking Self-control and courtesy
Independence Concentration Academic skills
Time management Responsibility Student directed learning
 

Organization

Virgin Islands Montessori School and International Academy (VIMSIA) is a private non-profit 501c3 school governed by a Board of Trustees, consisting of a mixture of current parents as well as non-parents, and representing a diverse mixture of skill sets from our island community.

Accreditation

VIMSIA is accredited by the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) for the Primary through Upper Elementary Levels. Dr. Maria Montessori founded AMI in 1929. The organization is directed by an international board, and is supported by distinguished scholars and statesmen throughout the world.

AMI/USA was founded to conduct the business of AMI in the United States. The yearly dues we pay go to the United States Office in Rochester, New York. A portion is sent to the International headquarters in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

AMI strictly regulates the standards to be met by member schools and teachers through their consultation program. They offer and run teacher-training programs, and organize national and international workshops and conferences. A team of specially trained consultants visits each school at least every three years. AMI is the reliable authority on authentic Montessori theory and practice, and since its inception, has been the coordinating agency of growth and development in Montessori. For more information about AMI, visit their website: www.montessori-ami.org
 
VIMSIA is also authorized as an IB World School.  The International Baccalaureate Organization, headquartered in Geneva, authorized VIMSIA to offer the Diploma Programme for grades 11 and 12 beginning August 2009, and authorized our Middle Years Programme for grades 7-10 in the Spring of 2010.
  • VIMSIA is proud to be accredited for PK – 12th grade by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.
  • The VI Department of Human Services accredits VIMSIA Casa dei Bambini Toddler Program and our Bougainvillea After School Enrichment Program.

Memberships

  • Association Montessori Internationale (AMI)
  • International Baccalaureate Organization
  • North American Montessori Teachers Association (NAMTA)
  • AMI Elementary Alumni Association (AMI/EAA)
  • National Center for Montessori (NCME)
  • Caribbean Association of Independent Schools (CAIS)
  • National Association of Independent Schools (affiliate member)
  • National Middle States Association (NMSA)
  • St. Thomas/St. John, USVI Chamber of Commerce

Nondiscriminatory Policy

VIMSIA admits students regardless of race, color, religion, nationality or ethnic origin. It does not discriminate in administration of its educational policies, financial aid, athletic or other school administered programs.

VI Montessori School Song

VI Montessori School
Is the nicest place to be,
On the island of St. Thomas
In the Caribbean Sea.
Where we learn to love our planet
And all its people too;
And to share the earth with everything
That lives like me and you.
VI Montessori School
Is the nicest place to be
From the toddlers in LA Casa
to the seniors in IB.
Where we do our best to help the earth
Stay peaceful, green and true,
And to show the world what we believe
In all we say and do.
   
Let's join hands and sing together
Let's all live in harmony.
If we put our hearts together,
We will have a land that's free.
If we all could make our minds up
That we want a better life
Then we'll work at keeping this earth free
From sadness and from strife.
Put your arms around each other
And you'll always have a friend.
If we'd just respect each other
We'd have happiness no end.
If we'd live in peace together
Then our dreams could all come true.
We would someday have a finer world
With joy for me and you.

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128days since
Class of 2014 Graduation