Our Approach

Our Approach2019-01-14T00:03:41+00:00

Our Curriculum

Montessori Education is comprised of the pedagogy (how we teach), curriculum (what we teach) and the educational philosophy of Maria Montessori, an Italian pediatrician and educator who based her body of work on years of research on how children learn best from about 1900-1950.

We take a holistic approach to educating children based upon our degrees in education, our personal experiences as mothers, as well as training in the Montessori Method. Our lead teacher has 25 years experience in the Montessori Method.

The Montessori inspired curriculum, starting with the young child, focuses on language (both Spanish and English), order, organization, self direction, gross and fine motor skills, coordination, reasoning, and problem solving. The curriculum further blossoms into activities and materials which teach mathematics, science, geography, culture and life skills.

We create a carefully curated educational environment filled with materials and activities all with an educational purpose and we guide the children in their exploration of the classroom and the outdoors. The materials and activities are the curriculum.

Learn How We Empower

Learn How We Nurture Independence

Learn How We Instill & Encourage Exploration

At Río Valley, our bilingual curriculum is designed to instill a passion for culture, exploration and language. We offer a true bilingual experience, where the children will be emerged in English and Spanish, from native speakers of each language. Children are welcome at any level! 

Maria Montessori believed the stage of birth to age 6 to be the, “sensitive period” for language; this is evident in how children acquire new language with grace and ease. Her view is supported by the latest research. Not only does language come naturally to children, they crave to learn it at this time and it becomes part of who they are, not merely a subject in school. 

Studies demonstrate that the bilingual experience increases children’s creativity and strengthens cognitive abilities like long and short – term memory, problem- solving, multi- tasking and concentration. These skills contribute profoundly to a child’s self-esteem and sense of value. Best of all, it prepares a child for life in the multi-cultural, multilingual world of the 21st century. You can learn more about the bilingual aspect of our programs here.

Our Bilingual Approach

Our Learning Environment

At Río Valley every child is treated with the respect they deserve as a complete human being. Our carefully curated and meticulously prepared environment empowers children to be as independent as possible, to fulfill their potential and aid in the discovery and nurturing of their natural talents.  There is an established dynamic of freedom within limits, as children choose their own work and are challenged to do their personal best at all times, in a self disciplined manor.

Our environment is ideal for all children because Montessori education is individualized and children go at their own pace. As the teacher spends her time preparing the environment before the children arrive, with as many self correcting materials as possible, the teacher has time to spend with each child in the classroom to challenge and help them. Also, because children are able to choose their own work, there is great concentration and therefore a quiet and calm environment. Gaining confidence doing what they are “good at” children then use their confidence to tackle what challenges them.

Parents can be assured their child will receive a quality bilingual, Montessori inspired education in an inviting child centered setting that is bright, open and well organized.

A community of children who share a collective mission to learn will be at work.

In the mixed aged classrooms, age appropriate responsibilities to care for oneself, each other and the classroom develop community, a sense of belonging, and self- confidence. Children are encouraged to be their true selves, learn from each other and truly care for their classmates. The Montessori child, at any age, is respected as a whole human being, and a valued participant of their community.

Mealtime is an integral part of the day at Río Valley.  It is an opportunity to develop an authentic sense of community, as well as organically teach responsibility, attention to detail and conversation skills. The children’s bodies and minds are nourished as they engage in preparation of food and place setting, as well as natural conversation with teachers and classmates; finally the children clean up. Seasonally, the children will grow some of their own fruits and vegetables! We serve only non- GMO, no hormone, and/or organic foods, dairy and poultry. 

A Montessori School is of vital importance for any community, as it offers a rich educational experience for it’s young children and sets a strong foundation for the children’s future and therefore the future of the community.

Our Community of Children

Our Lead Teacher

Any Balcácer is the “Maestra Principal” at Río Valley, the main teacher for the Casa de Niños and conducts circle time with reading and singing for our Comunidad Infantil. She is a credentialed Montessori teacher who has over 25 years experience in the method, including directing a preschool for over 10 years. She has extensive experience with children from just months old to 9 years. As a mother of three children and grandmother to one, her personal experience enhances her professional knowledge. Any completed postgraduate studies at the esteemed university INTEC, in the Dominican Republic, to gain both her 3-6 year old and 6-9 year old Montessori credentials. In her free time, Any enjoys spending time with her family and remotely runs her own school in the Dominican Republic. As we grow, we hope to form a relationship with her Dominican students!

Rebecca Centeno is the founder of Río Valley Montessori. She is the educator for the Comunidad Infantil Program, as well as the English teacher for the Casa de Niños Program. She graduated with honors from Pace University, majoring in Education and Spanish. She taught high school Spanish and English as an additional language in Public New York City schools, where she also developed programs and policy in leadership roles.  Rebecca lived in London for a year and a half where she worked as a teacher and began her Masters degree at the top education school in Europe, The Institute of Education. Currently she is completing her thesis on Montessori education. By the end of 2019 she will have a Masters in Advanced Educational Practice, with specializations in Leadership and Montessori Education. She is a mother of two young children, Bianca and Nico, who have made her a believer in the Montessori Philosophy and are her inspiration for beginning Río Valley. 

Our Founder

Find out more

Contact us today for more information and to enroll.


Contact Us

Phone: 845-501-7175

Mobile: 845-751-2174