OUR MISSION

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NURTURING INDEPENDENCE, DIVERSITY, AND RESPECT.

Our mission is to provide a nurturing educational environment, loving care, and the encouragement necessary for children to become independent, creative, and confident learners who accept new challenges and are active participants in their communities. We serve students ages 6 months to 5 years. 

We believe that the Montessori method is the best way to foster independence and to allow children to learn at their own pace, with minimal intrusion into each child's learning process. Also built upon Montessori principles for learning, our language immersion model helps children learn Spanish quickly through consistent exposure.

 

“A loving, structured, Montessori experience where my children have learned a range of skills, from social and emotional lessons, through practical fine and gross motor skills. On top of this wonderful education, they have learned the foundation of Spanish and can converse as well as comprehend the language. ” — CARY BURCH

OUR FACILITY

Located in DC’s Sixteenth Street Heights neighborhood, Estrellitas Montessori School provides year-round education to children ages 6 months to 5 years.

Our operating hours are Monday through Friday 8am to 5pm. For students who need to arrive earlier, we offer before care from 8:00 to 8:30am. 

Prepared Environments for Learning

Estrellitas is a place designed with children in mind. From the furniture to the way that food is served, the environment is set up to foster independence. Our facility also features 2 indoor playgrounds as well as an outdoor play space.

As of 2019, Estrellitas now has the entire building at 5331 Colorado Avenue NW. It was recently renovated with a new A/C system, a new roof, an upgraded security system, and an intercom system.

 
 

OUR LEADERSHIP TEAM

Our leadership team is designed to not only optimize the administration of our school, but to support teachers in their professional trajectory enabling them to become the best facilitators for child development and exploration. To truly live Montessori principles, we rely on the expertise of our teachers to develop and adapt our curriculum to the individual needs of children and create facilitated learning environments. 

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MARILYN MEDRANO

With over 15 years of experience in early childhood education, Ms. Marilyn is AMS certified trained in Montessori Infant Toddler education. In 2008, she realized that she wanted to provide her community with an infant Spanish immersion Montessori program and created Estrellitas Montessori School, the only Spanish language Montessori school that serves infant up to age 5 and camps for children age 3-12.  

She is proud that the Estrellitas team is self-reflective and takes satisfaction knowing that they observe classrooms to ensure high-quality programming for our students. She is so happy to have a place for children to grow and learn in a warm and nurturing environment while learning Spanish, and that the families make up a wonderful, caring community.

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

CRISTINA ENCINAS

OPERATIONS DIRECTOR 

Ms. Cristina has dedicated her life to education. She has Montessori certification from the Northeast Montessori Institute, Infant and Toddler Certification from The New York Center for Montessori Studies, a B.A. in Human Services from Springfield College, and two Master’s Degrees: one in Education Administration from Trinity College and a second in Early Childhood Special Education from Catholic University. 

Cristina was named Most Outstanding Principal of the Year by the DC Association of Chartered Public Schools in 2014.

As co-founder and former Principal of the Latin American Montessori Bilingual Public Charter School (LAMB), Ms. Encinas led LAMB to achieve Tier 1 status for more than four years in a row, and expanded the school from 57 students to 462 students. Her lifelong mission is to provide environments where students thrive in a self-directed learning environment where they can exchange culture and language.

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SILVIA FLORES

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EDUCATION DIRECTOR

Silvia was born and raised in Puebla, Mexico. After studying a BA in Business Administration. She studied to be a Classroom Director of Early Childhood Education, at Montessori Educational Programs International (MEPI).  Silvia fell in love with both philosophy and practice. This would lead her to study a Masters Degree in Education as well as a Specialization Diploma in Human Development with Gestalt Orientation. 

Silvia studied AMI Primary Teacher Training at the Montessori Training Center of British Columbia,  and also as a Primary Montessori Teacher in the USA.  She also has a Montessori Coaching certificate with the National Center for Montessori in the Public Sector. Currently, Silvia is studying to be a teacher trainer at the AMS Teacher Education Instructor Academy.  Silvia's great loves are her family and friends. The values that distinguish her are: loyalty, generosity and responsibility. In her free time, she likes to take long walks, play board games, read, and go to the movies.

YAMILET MEDRANO

PROGRAM/ADMISSIONS COORDINATOR 

Yamilet Medrano loves working with young children and seeing them grow. 

BRENDA VÁZQUEZ BERCIAN

CAPITAL QUALITY MANAGER

Brenda supports the Estrellitas PKEEP program and Brillando camps.  Brenda is from El Salvador and brings her culture and language to support the education of Estrellita's Children.  She is committee to support our faculty in delivering education following all the regulations to maintain our High Quality standards based on Capitol Quality.  Brenda wants to create an environment of Diversity Equity and Inclusion. Brenda holds a BBA from Mary Mount University with experience in working with Melwood Recreation Center.   

 

OUR HISTORY

Like many parents, Marilyn Medrano was considering child care options when she was expecting her first child. And like many of us, she was surprised by the long waiting lists and the institutional feel of many of the existing care providers. As a native of Argentina, Marilyn was also hoping to find care that would allow her children to retain their Spanish language so that they might speak easily with their grandparents. 

In 2008, with existing options being unsatisfactory, Marilyn decided the best option would be to start her own school. Begun as a home daycare, Estrellitas Montessori School is now housed in two locations: DC's Sixteenth Street Heights neighborhood and Takoma Park, MD. The school ensures that children up to age 5 are treated like people and given the encouragement to become independent and curious citizens of their community.

OUR CREDENTIALS

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