Our History

In the beginning

Aidan’s beginning can be traced to a women’s study group in Northwest Washington DC, in the early 1960’s. The group began learning about Dr. Maria Montessori and the education methods she developed in Italy in 1907. Their interest in this progressive alternative to traditional education grew into a commitment to establish a Montessori school in the DC area.

Aidan has inspired a love of learning in generations of children for more than 50 years and we continue to thrive. We remain true to our Montessori mission. Aidan continues to provide a safe and welcoming place where children are nurtured and encouraged to follow their curiosity and creativity, and where parents find support in the welcoming Aidan community.

Follow the timeline below to learn about Aidan’s history.


  • In 1961, St. Aidan School opened its doors for Primary age children on the campus of the Dunbarton College of Holy Cross, in what is now the campus of Howard University Law School on Upton Street in the Van Ness neighborhood of northwest DC. Although religiously affiliated with the Catholic Church, St. Aidan had no restrictions as to religion or race.


  • In 1962, St. Aidan left the Dunbarton College of the Holy Cross and relocated to educational space in Temple Sinai at 3100 Military Road in northwest DC. With the move came more space and the school began expanding its program.


  • The Elementary program was added in 1971.


  • The first Toddler class opened in 1981. This is also the year that the School was first certified by the Association Montessori International.


  • In 1985, the name of the school was changed to its current name, Aidan Montessori School when the Board of Trustees voted “to remove any reference to any sectarian, religious purpose.” Although the school had always worked to promote diversity, the new name made the school’s commitment to diversity clear to the public.


  • When Temple Sinai announced in 1994 that it would need for its own preschool all of the space that Aidan occupied, the School purchased the building previously occupied by St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church in the Woodley Park neighborhood of Washington DC. The School moved to this, its current location in July, 1995.


  • In December 2002, Aidan became accredited by the Association of Independent Maryland and DC Schools (AIMS) and joined the ranks of the strong private, independent school community of DC.