Guidepost Montessori at Fairfax is a two-room, intimate urban schoolhouse is conveniently located in the heart of Fairfax, right next to Paul VI Catholic High School, between Route 29 and Main Street. With just two classrooms and around 50 students, our school is a tight-knit community. At the heart of our school is our belief that children thrive when given freedom and responsibility in Montessori environments prepared especially for them. Our bright, beautiful classrooms and caring staff members will nurture your child’s joy in learning. We welcome your family to our community!
Our beautiful campus and welcoming community is the perfect place for your child to explore her own potential.
Guidepost Montessori classrooms are light, airy, calming, aesthetically beautiful spaces. Each material is carefully chosen and carefully displayed — to inspire and entice your child to explore.
Children's House Classrooms
Erin Whisenant, Head of School
Ms. Erin has been with our family of schools since 2016, having started as a Business Manager at our Herndon campus, then our Aldie campus, prior to being promoted in December of 2018. She has recently returned from maternity leave, after having given birth to her daughter, Quinn, in April. Her background in education as a former Assistant, Lead Teacher, and Administrator has proved to be invaluable in establishing a caring and supportive community at our Fairfax school.
Landy Tate, Administrative Director
Ms. Landy began as a Fairfax parent in January of 2018 when her eldest daughter joined Ms. Julia’s class in the Children’s House program. She has since become our full-time Administrative Director, with her youngest daughter joining Ms. Stephanie’s class in Spring of 2019. Her friendly, outgoing personality, makes her a natural when it comes to planning events and connecting with families.
Julia Dante, Lead Guide, Classroom 1
Ms. Julia received her Montessori diploma from The Foundation for Montessori Education in Toronto, Canada. Her passion for Montessori spans over 18 years, having grown with our schools from The Boyd School days, to LePort Montessori and now Guidepost Montessori. Her exuberance for working with children has never wavered and we are excited to have her remain with our school!
Stephanie Ma, Lead Guide, Classroom 2
Ms. Stephanie began with our school in the Fall of 2018. Having received her Montessori training from the Montessori Teacher Training Institute of North Carolina, she has had the opportunity to teach in Massachusetts, Virginia, Maryland and Louisiana. Her ability to see the potential in each child is truly admirable and we are thrilled to welcome her back this year!
Amanda Watring, Assistant Guide, Classroom 1
Ms. Amanda has been working with children since 2009, from the ages of Primary all the way through High School. With a Bachelor’s degree in Psychological Science and an Associate’s in Teacher Specialization, coupled with her caring nature, she seamlessly integrated into her role of supporting Ms. Julia when she joined us in 2018.
Katie Penate, Assistant Guide,Classroom 2
Ms. Katie began at the Fairfax campus in 2018, bringing with her invaluable experience as former preschool teacher, having lead her to create a Spanish class for our kindergartners last year. This year, she is excited to continue her educational journey by pursuing her degree in Family Science and Human Development.
Laxmi Desai, Assistant Guide, Classroom 2
Having first begun as a Substitute Guide at our school, we were thrilled to have Ms. Laxmi join us as a permanent employee in 2018. Her patient and loving demeanor has allowed her to establish meaningful relationships with the children, while her calm nature aligns with the Montessori philosophy of maintaining a peaceful environment.
Barbara Larimer, Assistant Guide, Classroom 1 & After School
Ms. Barbara joined our campus in 2018 with unbridled enthusiasm and a love for children. She is dedicated to supporting Ms. Julia’s and Ms. Amanda’s mission in providing a quality school experience for the children both in the classroom, as well as with Mr. Luke in our After School program.
Luke O'Neil, After School Coordinator
Mr. Luke has been with our school since 2016, first as a classroom Assistant Guide and now as the leader of our After School program. He has dedicated himself to providing both fun and enriching extended day programming, to include crafting projects, science experiments, and a campus favorite – baking!
Children are compelling in every way. They are fascinating, intriguing, charming, heartwarming creatures with infinite variation in personalities, tendencies, and interests.
The unique joy and sacred responsibility of a child's caretakers is to learn about her — to discover and fall in love with her as she grows, to let careful observation and observant care guide her development, and to get to know her well enough to help her shape herself. A child's teachers and parents are collaborators in this process that is at once scientific discovery and heartfelt nurturing.
To that end, our school is designed to further connect you with your child, to bring you into a community of valuable resources and education-minded people, and to make it as easy as possible for you to understand and support your child as she grows.
Insights into Your Child
The Montessori approach emphasizes careful, theory-informed, individualized observation of each child's development. We don't want to keep what we see to ourselves! The impact of these observations is greatest when shared with a child's parents.
At Guidepost, parents receive regular, detailed updates about their children. Classroom guides are available outside of class hours by phone, email, or for scheduled in-person meetings. Your child’s guide will also meet with you for regularly-scheduled conferences about your child's learning and growth.
We see these conversations, both periodic conferences and frequent exchanges, as critical for both giving and receiving information. They allow teachers to hear from the people most expert and most observant about a child: his parents.
Parents will also receive written progress reports two to three times per year, each a summary of a teacher's observations of the child over the course of the previous months. Meanwhile, day-to-day and week-to-week, parents receive regular updates from the teacher, in the form of photographs and written anecdotes about their child.
And finally, parents are able to directly access Transparent Classroom, the web-based system we use for careful record keeping and observations about your child. Transparent Classroom offers you an on-demand window into the lessons and classroom life of your child.
A great school offers the incredible resource of a trusted partner for parents in the education of their child. The simplest way to amplify that resource is to offer more of it: to offer it at flexible hours so that you can access a trusted, caring partner during days and times when you need us the most.
At Guidepost, we offer an extended school day program, where children thrive in the Montessori approach all day long. Early morning and late afternoon times offer children the downtime and free time they need in order to assimilate all that they have learned during the school day. Each child can find time to develop interests outside the classroom with expert guidance, and to explore an environment rich with opportunities.
To ensure that parents can rely upon a consistent social and recreational experience in a warm and expert school setting, our extended day schedule is offered inclusively with the cost of our programs: there is no extra charge for morning and afternoon extended day hours.
In addition, extracurricular programs are offered during the afternoon extended day, after class time is over. Parents and children can choose from a wide variety of optional activities designed to spark your child’s passion in some way.
Guidepost Montessori runs year-round. We know that we need to be available as a support for your family, so we minimize school closure days as much as we can. For enrolled families, a full calendar will be available on our Parent Portal.
Our typical school day runs from about 8:30 AM to 3:00 PM, depending on the program. However, because we believe so strongly in supporting a partnership between home and school for families needing greater accessibility, our all-inclusive tuition price includes the option to utilize our extended day program. This means that your family can drop off as early as 7:00 AM and pick up as late as 6:00 PM.