History & Accreditations

Our History

Sunny Hollow Montessori was founded in 1981 by Mary Sue Dobbin, a Montessori teacher and early childhood advocate. The school’s name comes from Mary Sue’s childhood experience in her own backyard. As a blind child, she loved to spend time in a special spot where she would feel the sun on her face and felt safe and nurtured. She called that backyard place her “sunny hollow.” She named her school for the same feelings of security and welcome she wanted for her students.

Sunny Hollow Montessori is celebrating nearly 40 years of serving children in the Twin Cities area. The school is a non-profit organization and is directed by a volunteer Board of Trustees. The school achieved Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) accreditation in 2005.

Originally founded as a Montessori preschool and kindergarten, Sunny Hollow now serves children ages 16 months through Junior High. We have one Toddler Community (ages 16 to 33 months), three classrooms for children ages 33 months to 6 years, two Lower Elementary classrooms for children ages 6 to 9, two Upper Elementary classrooms for children ages 9 to 12. In 2019, we added a Junior High program that serves adolescents in grades 7 and 8 (ages 12 to 14). 

Sunny Hollow Montessori is dedicated to high standards and a broad range of educational experiences that support and nurture for the intellectual, emotional and social well being of the child.

Toddler, Preschool, Elementary & Junior High

Today, Sunny Hollow Montessori has openings for children starting at 16 months all the way through 8th grade. We welcome you to call us at (651) 690-2307 to learn more about our school or to schedule a tour. 

How To Apply


Sunny Hollow Montessori Accreditations

Association Montessori Internationale

+All educational programs at Sunny Hollow Montessori are accredited by the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI), the pedagogical organization founded by Dr. Montessori in 1929 (www.amiusa.org). This organization helps assure that our teachers are well-trained, our classrooms fully equipped to provide authentic Montessori education, and our programs designed to meet the developmental needs of children.

4-Star Parent Aware

Sunny Hollow Montessori’s Casa (ages 3-6) program is a 4-Star Parent Aware program (the highest rating available). Minnesota’s Parent Aware rating system helps parents find programs that go above and beyond to prepare children for school and for life. Participating programs have:

• Devoted themselves to strong, caring relationships with each child
• Adopted the latest approaches to keeping children’s learning on track
• Committed to daily activities and routines that help children learn
• Placed a focus on children’s health and safety.

Other Accreditations

  • Our staff is affiliated with the North American Montessori Teacher’s Association (NAMTA).
  • Our school is a member of the National Association of Independent Schools.
  • The Minnesota Department of Human Services licenses the Casa (ages 3-6) program.
  • The Elementary program follows guidelines set by the Minnesota Department of Education.
    We work with local school districts including St. Paul and Minneapolis.