Early roots in Cedar Rapids

Cedar Valley Montessori School was founded in 1971 by a group of Cedar Rapids parents seeking a high-quality preschool education for their children. The school continues to operate today with a strong core of active and engaged families.

Starting with 10 children in the basement of the school building in the Immaculate Conception Church in southeast Cedar Rapids, CVMS has steadily grown to its current size of more than 120 students.

A home in downtown Cedar Rapids

Beginning in 1997, CVMS was located in the Transit Way, Ground Transportation Center in downtown Cedar Rapids – making it the only downtown school, which continues to this day.

In June of 2008, downtown Cedar Rapids was hit by a devastating flood and CVMS was swamped with eight feet of water. Six ground-floor classrooms, administrative offices, childcare room and outdoor play area were submerged. Much of the Montessori specialized educational materials, books, furniture, equipment and files were destroyed. Total losses were estimated at $318,000.

Temporary space allows education to continue

Quick action and outstanding efforts by staff and parents found the school a temporary space in the education wing of the First Baptist Church – Church of the Brethren, where CVMS remained for the 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 school years. It is likely that CVMS would not have survived without the church’s assistance.

Triumphant return to downtown
2010 – Present

CVMS returned to its downtown location for the start of fall 2010-2011 classes. The City of Cedar Rapids, owners of the Transit Way location, received funding from FEMA to restore the building to its pre-flood condition. CVMS parents and staff raised additional money to bring the school back better than ever with additional classrooms for the Toddler Community and an indoor gymnasium.