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About Us

Why Roxbury Roots?


Roxbury Roots Montessori, Inc. is the vision of its founder, Renee Jolley, who wished to address a need by bringing the magic of Montessori education to a community that looked like her. Having taught in the Montessori classroom for years, she desired to have a local program that would benefit children who derived from African-centered backgrounds and families from all backgrounds who wished to expose their children to multiculturalism within the classroom. The program began as a small, parent-child initiative, educating parents on how to complement their little learner's education at home. It grew into a home-based program offering care to six families and has since blossomed in seeking to serve more children by becoming a center-based program. Roxbury Roots Montessori, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) organization. Our EIN number is: 84-1964356.

From the time Kendall Allen was a child, she knew she wanted to be a teacher. As time evolved, that dream shifted from solely desiring to teach to also hoping to shift the educational experience for children by designing and opening her own school. Her commitment to alternative forms of education, hands-on learning opportunities for children, and positive self-image work guided her in the process of considering a model that would meet the needs of all children, with a particular emphasis on children of color. Roxbury Roots Montessori, Inc. envisions those goals.

Having met and connected through the Wildflower Diversity Initiative and trained in the New England Montessori Teacher Education Center together, Renee and Kendall embarked on the journey of opening a school together. This school is the culmination of their dreams and hopes for a brighter future for our children!

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Renee A. Jolley

Renee is a life-long resident of Boston and has a special love for Roxbury. She has a passion for teaching young children and has been working in childcare for over 30 years. She has been teaching within Montessori education for the last 13 years and is now realizing her dream of opening a Montessori school in Roxbury.

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Kendall A. Allen

Kendall is a passionate educator who has been working with children and adolescents for the past 15 years. She holds a license in Middle School English/Language Arts Education and has recently completed her Montessori Training for the primary classroom, in addition to her ongoing work with women, children, and families from a holistic and spiritual lens at UmmIman.Org.


Meet the Team

Dedicated & Certified

Meet the Board

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Ambrose Davis

Board Clerkship

Ambrose Davis-Lawson is a

Clinical Business Analyst at the Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary in Boston, MA.  Ambrose worked in the Healthcare administrative and patient access delivery system for the past thirty years. He is an enthusiastic supporter of the school's mission. 

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Marisa Luse

Board of Directors

Marisa Luse is a long-time community activist, Roxbury native, mother of two, and a social entrepreneur with over 20+ years of non-profit and community

health experience. She is excited to share her expertise on the board.

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Michelle J. Sausen

Board of Directors

 Micki Sausen is the former Teacher/Leader and Head of School at Dandelion Montessori in Somerville, MA.  She has been a Montessori teacher for close to 35 years and an administrator for the past 6 years. As a fellow Wildflower, she is eager to see Roxbury Roots thrive!

  • Why African-Centered Education?
    It is known that students in traditional schools are taught to perceive the world through the eyes of another culture, namely a Eurocenteric lens. As a result, children unconsciously learn to see themselves as an insignificant part of the world. African-centered education immerses the child in African traditions, rituals, values, and symbols. It's aim is to provide a learning environment that allows the child to see, hear, and experience the significant contributions of people from the Black diaspora. Children who are given the correct knowledge and full history and education of themselves from the very beginning perceive themselves and their place in the world more positively. RRM is creating programs that fit with the lifestyles and values of the families it will serve.
  • My family/child isn't Black. Is this school open to us?
    Of course! Our program offers a Black diaspora positive curriculum that is open to anyone who values what we have to offer regardless of their race, ethnicity, or background.
  • How Will Students Benefit from Roxbury Roots Montessori, Inc.?"
    Students will thrive in the beautiful Montessori environment guided by trained teachers and nurturing support staff. RRM is an environment where “following the child” is the focus, observation is a daily task, and supporting a child's independence is built into the philosophy of teaching and learning, as well as the daily schedule.
  • What is Montessori Education?
    For over a century to date, the child-focused approach that Dr. Maria Montessori, an Italian physician, developed for educating children, has been transforming schools around the globe. ​ As soon as you enter a classroom, you know that something different is afoot. Montessori classrooms are immediately recognizable. You will see children working independently and in groups, often with specially designed learning materials; deeply engaged in their work; and respectful of themselves and their surroundings. ​ The Montessori Method fosters rigorous, self-motivated growth for children and adolescents in all areas of their development—cognitive, emotional, social, and physical. ​ Montessori education is student-led and self-paced, yet guided, assessed, and enriched by knowledgeable and caring teachers, the leadership of their peers, and a nurturing environment. Within the community of a multi-age classroom—designed to create natural opportunities for independence, citizenship, and accountability—children embrace multi-sensory learning and passionate inquiry. Individual students follow their own curiosity at their own pace, taking the time they need to fully understand each concept and meet individualized learning goals. ​ Given the freedom and support to question, probe deeply, and make connections, Montessori students grow up to be confident, enthusiastic, and self-directed learners and citizens, accountable to both themselves and their communities. They think critically, work collaboratively, and act boldly and with integrity. What better outcome could you wish for your child? ​ Source:
  • What are Wildflower Schools?
    Wildflower Schools are an ecosystem of decentralized, Montessori micro-schools that support children, teachers, and parents. Our schools aspire to give all children and families the opportunity to choose high quality, beautiful learning environments, as they follow life’s unfolding journey. ​ Our aim is to be an experiment in a new learning environment, blurring the boundaries between home and school; between scientists and teachers; between schools and the neighborhoods surrounding them. Our schools are small and teacher-led, with deep parent engagement. At the core of Wildflower are 9 principles that define the approach. ​ Our network is supported by a foundation that works to build capacity, systems, tools, and research to grow and strengthen the network. ​ Learn more about our story: Wildflower Schools
  • What is the Wildflower Network?
    After the first Wildflower school was created in January of 2014, there was intense interest in the school and the approach. This interest led us to open-source the model and help other family groups and teacher-leaders to create new Wildflower schools. Each teacher-leader at each Wildflower school serves on the board of at least one other Wildflower school, creating a community of schools that are linked by both a shared philosophy and a network of shared relationships. View our network: Wildflower Schools
  • What are Our Principles?
    Our principles are built upon blurring the boundaries between home-schooling and institutional schooling; between scientists and teachers; between schools and the neighborhoods around them. At the core of Wildflower are9 principles that define the approach. Read about them here.
  • What is the daily schedule for Roxbury Roots Montessori?
    The school opens at 7:00am each day. 7:00am – 7:45am: Before School Program (Optional) During this time, children will be able to use a variety of materials independently. Sometimes children will bring their breakfast to school and begin their day with us by enjoying their meal with friends. 7:45am - 8:00am Arrival The school day officially begins with the arrival process. The children's first work of the day is to settle into the classroom by putting their materials away in the appropriate places and using the restroom. 8:00am -8:30am Circle Time We will sing songs, read books, and introduce Grace & Courtesy lessons, along with a myriad of other community-building activities. 8:30am – 11:00am Independent Work Cycle Teachers give individualized lessons throughout these work sessions. Children are free to choose any activity they wish, use the materials for as long as they desire, return an activity to the shelf, and make another choice! On select days, enrichments are also included during this time slot, including: African drumming, Capoeira, and library. 11:00am-12:00pm Outdoor Time We will frequent local playgrounds, green spaces, and other small community field trips. 12:00pm – 1:00pm Lunch The children will wash their hands and sit down to enjoy their lunch with their friends and teachers. 1:00pm – 2:30pm Quiet Time Rest, literature, and small lessons for older children. 2:30pm – 3:30pm Independent Work Cycle/Enrichment As students are waking up and toileting, they transition into a second work cycle/free choice. 3:30pm - 4:00pm Preparation for Departure Students participate in a dismissal circle and prepare to leave for the day or transition into the afterschool program. 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm Afterschool Program (Optional) Parent pick up and school ends. There are two options available: 4pm-5pm and 5pm-6pm.
  • What are the Tuition and Hours of Operation?
    Hours & Tuition Full Day: 8:00 AM-4:00 PM -- $4,500 - $16,500 September-June Half-Day: 8:00 AM-12:30 PM -- $5,500 - $14,500 September-June Before School Care: 7:00 AM-7:45 AM :: $75/Week After School Care: 4:00 PM-6:00 PM :: $10/Hour *We accept EEC vouchers and have flexible tuition to meet the needs of families. Summer Program: July & August -- $3,000 for the 7-week program.
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