The most important lesson I learned at KMS is how to think: how to figure things out for myself instead of simply memorizing and reciting. KMS Alumna, 2009 (Elementary Graduate 2004)
KMS through the years
KMS began at Messiah Lutheran Church. It consisted of one mixed-age Primary class with Pre-K and Kindergarten-age students taught by a single Montessori teacher and several parent volunteers. The first teacher was Ms. Ruth Stephenson.
In 1971, KMS moved to the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Church. Between 1971 and 1981, it grew to include a 1st-5th Grade Elementary program. In the early 1970s, enrollment averaged 30-40 students each year, taught by 6-8 teachers and assistants. By the late 1970s, enrollment had reached 70 students.
In 1981, KMS moved to its present location at 4311 Kingston Pike, a private residence that was built in 1928. Two classrooms were added to the building in 1981, and a third classroom was added in the late 1980s. Enrollment grew to over 80 students by the early 1990s.
Due to staff and leadership changes, enrollment at KMS dropped to 37 students in 1996-1997. Enrollment grew slowly in the late 1990s to approximately 45-50 students each year. In summer 2002, a new Elementary classroom was built, and enrollment jumped to an average of 58 students/year from 2002 to 2009.
Since 2009, enrollment at KMS has grown steadily, from 59 students in 2009-2010 to 74 in 2015-2016. During this period, enrollment in the Primary classes has held steady at 38-40 students each year while the Elementary class has nearly doubled, from 19 students to 34. During the summer of 2013, the school carried out a major renovation project, upgrading its classrooms, kitchen, and public space and adding a new hallway to improve circulation in the building. In summer 2014, the playground was upgraded, creating a more natural play space for our students.