About MPA

Montessori Private Academy (MPA) was founded in 1983 by a group of motivated parents desiring to provide an education that fosters self-motivated, rigorous growth for children in all areas of their development-- cognitive, emotional, social, and physical. Consequently, Montessori education was the realization of that dream. Thankfully, their hope came to fruition and MPA has been successfully offering a Montessori education to children from diverse backgrounds in the Rockford area for 40 years.

Our extensive history has generated a strong track record of high-quality Montessori teaching. As an accredited AMS (American Montessori Society) school, MPA adheres to high standards addressing quality teacher training, beautiful and challenging classroom materials, pertinent parent education, and fiscally solid systems. MPA is a not-for-profit corporation governed by a Board of Trustees, including parents, our Head of School, and community members.

Conveniently located on Rockford’s east side, MPA is close to I-90, by-pass 20, and 20 miles from the Wisconsin border. MPA attracts students from Winnebago, Boone, and Rock County, as well as other surrounding communities.


Montessori Private Academy (MPA) is a child-centered Montessori school. Our Mission is to prepare the whole child intellectually, socially, emotionally, and physically, not only for the child’s years in school, but throughout life. As the child matures, his Montessori education and experiences will help him become a productive member of the global community.

The Core Goals of an Montessori education:
Multi-sensory learning through hands-on materials in every curriculum area, leading to a strong understanding of the process and integration of information.
Independent thought and actions are learned through accepting responsibility and based on respect for the child’s capabilities and desire to be independent.
Formation of positive social relationships based on daily interactions with other members of a diverse school community.
A strong understanding of the child’s responsibility as an agent of his own education.
Respect for oneself as both a learner and teacher, at each level of development.

The Montessori Method

The main characteristics of Montessori education are based on the scientific truths that children learn best with a hands on approach and develop uniquely.

Dr. Maria Montessori (1870 -1952), an Italian anthropologist and physician, had an opportunity to do extensive scientific research into how children learn. Years of observation and documentation resulted in the basic principles of the Montessori method and the development of many of the hands-on materials still used by Montessori students today. Simply put, Montessori observed that children in the age range of 2 to 6 years absorb great quantities of information from the environment around them.

The brain at this age is predisposed to explore, touch, see, hear, and process new concepts. The body is busy and the hands need to move. In fact, birth through age 6 is the greatest period of brain development in a lifetime. The Elementary student (grades 1 -3), while past the absorbent stage, learns by inquiry and exploration of more complex concepts. Firm roots are established with a strong curriculum of basic skills in reading, writing, mathematics, foreign language, and cultural subjects.

The child’s concentration lengthens, and social relationships become all-important. The goal of understanding the process and interrelating facts begins. The child is taking responsibility not only for himself, but also for the larger school community.

The Elementary student (grades 4-6) with roots firmly established begins to send energy to the branches and leaves. A wealth of information can be easily integrated into this strong framework. History, science, mathematics, geometry, art, music, independent research, and writing of all types are fascinating. The world of literature is available for exploration. The child matures to become a responsible member of the larger world through community service. Self-discipline is apparent.

Meet our Head of School

Mary Sue Reutebuch has showcased her passion for education, Montessori principles, and community building throughout the last 30-plus years via her work within educational organizations as a teacher, director, advisor, consultant, and mentor to peers and school leadership teams. Since entering the Montessori world in 1990, she has consistently honed her craft in fostering the Montessori principles in the lives of students and their families. Her past roles have afforded her extensive experience in developing and implementing Montessori curricula and programs with organizations, teachers, and parents.

She has obtained multiple educational degrees and certifications, including a pre-primary Montessori certification through MECA (Montessori Education Centers Associated), a Bachelor of Science in Education Communication from Ohio University, and a Master’s of Arts in Pastoral Theology from St. Meinrad College/Seminary.

Meet the rest of our team!

View our staff members and discover what makes them a special addition to MPA.

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