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Best Preschool

Arlington Montessori House

Its official name is Arlington Montessori House, but the stucco-covered, Craftsman-style house on Washington Boulevard is more affectionately known as the “Hippo House,” for its hippo-shaped sign. The preschool, which has been operating since the late 1970s (it adopted the Montessori method in 1991), is beloved for its home-like environment.

“Coming from home and going to a big institutional-feeling building can be intimidating to tiny little people,” says Mardee Wimmer, an administrator and former director of the school, whereas a friendly and familiar-looking house makes for a better transitional environment.

Students at the school range in age from 3 to 5 and are grouped together much like siblings of different ages who live under one roof. “That’s part of what makes it work,” Wimmer explains. “They learn from one another. They mentor one another. It really is very much about the children.”

–J.S.

3809 Washington Blvd., Arlington, 703-524-2511, www.arlingtonmontessori.com


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