Philosophy and History

The Wetherill School offers a warm and secure first-school experience that fosters independence and responsibility in each child. A strong, interdependent community feeling characterizes the relationships among the children and staff.

At Wetherill, we carefully consider the social, emotional, physical, and cognitive development of each child, and our projects and curricula are designed to support their growth and intellectual curiosity.

Children spend the morning in mixed-aged classrooms where teachers work with small groups as well as individual children. In the afternoon classes, children are divided into four-year-old and kindergarten groups. Three-year-old children leave school at noon.

While the school’s philosophy is rooted in the work of Maria Montessori, it is also informed by best practices of child-centered educational approaches. We invite you to visit us to see our students and teachers enjoying learning together.

The Wetherill School was founded in 1976 by Florence Schmidt, Elwood Schmidt, and Joell Taggart. The school is named in honor of Madelyn Wetherill who was a close friend of Florence Schmidt and an advocate of creative early education. They wished to create a warm and relaxed first school environment where children could learn about themselves and others as well as begin to explore their world. The founders' vision was to blend Dr. Maria Montessori’s and Jean Piaget’s work on cognitive development with the social and emotional curriculum of traditional early childhood education. It is the school's philosophy that the needs of young children are best served when parents and teachers work closely together. Parents have had an active role at the school since its beginnings.

The school has successfully provided a nurturing, creative early childhood education for children of the Main Line area since its inception. Many alumni have returned to enroll their children and several alumni have served on our Board of Directors.

The Wetherill School functions as a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation governed by a Board of Directors. The school is licensed by the Pennsylvania State Board of Private Academic Schools and is a member of the Pathway of Continuous School Improvement of The American Montessori Society.