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Mission & History

MISSION

Our mission is to ignite the spark in a new generation of courageous and capable leaders through a student-centered community of diversity, academic excellence, and innovation in the Montessori tradition. Supporting the foundation of our curriculum are three essential pillars: Academy (understanding the world as an interconnected whole), Self-Discovery (discovering who one is as a person), and Manifestation (sharing one’s gifts with the world). 

This mission led Andrew Kutt to found the school in 1988 and drives its continuing success. 

Below are key milestone dates in Oneness-Family School’s history:

1988 – Humble Beginning, Global Citizenship

After teaching at Barrie Montessori School under the mentorship of renowned Montessori leader Tim Seldin, Andrew Kutt founds the Oneness-Family School in a library of a public school with only ten students. Andrew used his background in humanities and interest in world cultures to create a school built upon Maria Montessori’s philosophy that the center of the educational process should be the student. 

The original concepts shown in the OFS Curriculum Wheel were born in the spring and summer of 1988. The core curriculum elements of the school are designed to include  an "inner," as well as an "outer" component, Self-Discovery & Academy, as well as a third core curriculum element to convey what happens when students step out and share their gifts with the world, called Manifestation. These three names have endured to this day, even as the curriculum is developed into greater and greater levels of detail. 

The year 1988 also marks the school’s first United Nations Day observance, an annual event designed to make students aware of the wide world around them. The celebration began with just a handful of guests but has since grown into the largest event of its kind in the Washington, DC, area with more than 120 embassy officials attending every year.

1989 – Move to Chevy Chase School Facility

Oneness-Family School moves into St. John’s Episcopal Church in Chevy Chase, MD, occupying three floors of the church’s former school space. During this period, classes began the OFS tradition of visiting differ­ent houses of worship as part of a study of world cultures, some­thing alumni students still talk about to this day. 

1996 – Expansion to Middle School

Oneness-Family School expands through Grade 8, adopting the Montessori Middle School curriculum developed by Dr. Elizabeth Coe. This important growth step allows current and future generations of students to derive the fullest benefit from the Oneness-Family School experience: gaining the aptitudes and attitudes the school teaches during the most formative years of their character development.

1998 – International Montessori Council

Andrew becomes one of the founding board members of the International Montessori Council, dedicated to supporting Montessori schools worldwide.

2003 to 2013 – Community Recognition

Honoring leaders who make the world a better place is an important practice at Oneness-Family School.  As a result, notable figures from different walks of life come to the school to show their respect and common cause, including athlete and humanitarian Muhammad Ali in 2003; musician and peace advocate Graham Nash in 2007; Congressman Tim Ryan in 2013; and numerous others, including social scientist Riane Eisler, Raising Happiness author Christine Carter, musician Wyclef Jean, and multiple Guinness World Record holder Ashrita Furman.  Oneness-Family School students created the World Oneness Heart Award, which they give to each honoree.

2007 - Little Stars Program

The Little Stars program for two-year-old children is launched by Stefania Ru­bino. The name came from the idea that all children hold great light and brightness - even when little. 

2013 - Celebrating 25 Years 

Oneness-Family School celebrates 25 years of child-centered learning with a global perspective during three days of special events. Guests include Congressman Tim Ryan (D-OH) who received the World Oneness Heart Award from Andrew Kutt for his work to promote mindfulness in schools, healthcare, and the military. Alumni students and parents gather from around the nation and the world during the various festivities.

2016 - OFS Voted "Best Montessori School"

OFS is voted Best Montessori School in the DC region by Family Magazine; and goes on to receive that distinction for the next four years.

2017 - Oneness-Family High School Launched

OFS launches its high school in Kensington, Maryland, leasing space from Grace Episcopal Day School, and becoming the first Montessori high school in the Mid-Atlantic region. 

2018 - Celebrating 30 Years as a Community

Oneness-Family School celebrates its 30th Anniversary with a gala attended by 300 parents, teachers, alumni, and friends from all around the world.

 

OFS Visual Timeline

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Louise Eriksson Alumni Story