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Ruffing Montessori School in Cleveland Heights, Ohio is the second-oldest Montessori school in the country with a distinguished and nationally recognized legacy. Educating students from the age of 18 months through the eighth grade, our faculty and staff are deeply devoted to the academic, social and emotional development of each child.


The mission of Ruffing Montessori School is to employ the philosophy and methods of Dr. Maria Montessori to educate young people to their fullest potential, instilling a deep sense of personal independence and social responsibility. With the knowledge that they are citizens of the world, they will contribute to that world by making decisions based on the highest order of ethics and conscience.

Size of Campus

Ruffing consists of a 46,160 square foot building on just over 2 acres.

Programs & Facilities

  • Montessori curriculum and multi-aged classrooms for all levels
  • 47 experienced faculty members, with Montessori-trained lead teachers in each classroom
  • LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental design) certified campus, the first school in Northeast Ohio to achieve such designation
  • State-of-the-art Upper Elementary and Middle School science labs
  • Weekly service experiences for Middle School students at the local book bank and Medwish
  • Spanish instruction for toddlers through the 8th grade, adding Latin for grades 6, 7, and 8 and the option for French in grades 7 and 8
  • Comprehensive Art program, including a pottery kiln
  • Student technology program beginning in the spring of 3rd grade
  • Full gym, basketball court, climbing wall, archery and pickleball facilities
  • Athletic teams include soccer, volleyball, basketball, archery, ultimate frisbee, and cross country
  • Choral and instrumental music program
  • Before and after school care available
  • Enrichment class offerings include chess, tennis, playwriting, fencing, archery and more

Tuition Assistance

Need-based tuition assistance is available for new and returning families. Admission decisions are need-blind and are not affected by a family’s application for financial assistance. Applications for financial assistance are accepted beginning January 1.


Ruffing is a 501(c)(3) non-profit educational organization operated by the Fairmount Montessori Association and governed by a Board of Trustees.

Accreditations & Memberships

  • ISACS (Independent Schools Association of the Central States)
  • ISM (Independent School Management)
  • OAIS (Ohio Association of Independent Schools)
  • CCIS (Cleveland Council of Independent Schools)
  • Ohio Department of Education
  • NAMTA (North American Montessori Teachers’ Association) memberships held by individual teachers
  • US Green Building Council
  • Cleveland Museum of Natural History Science Resource Center

Non-Discrimination Policy

Ruffing Montessori School prohibits discrimination in employment, admissions policies, educational programs and activities, financial aid programs, or other school-administered programs on the basis of race, national or ethnic origin, creed, religion, sex, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or associated preference. All employees and students are entitled to the same rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to employees and students at the school.