Mission Statement & Core Values

Mission Statement

The Lillian and Betty Ratner School is dedicated to meeting the individual learning needs of a richly diverse population of students, fostering in them respect, creativity and a life-long love of learning. Through its Montessori Pre-Primary, and Montessori-influenced Primary and Middle School programs, The Ratner School prepares students for the challenges of rigorous higher education and for productive global citizenship. The Ratner School’s innovative and nurturing environment creates a community of learners where Each Child Thrives.

Core Values

The Ratner School is rooted in an historical commitment to four core principles: 1) Montessori philosophy, 2) Jewish values, 3) diversity within the school community, and 4) the inherent value of each individual. The School continues to value these principles most highly and to pursue our mission in a manner consistent with and reinforced by them.

Montessori Philosophy

The rich and wonderfully complex writings of Dr. Maria Montessori can be condensed into four central tenets at Ratner: 1 ) our Montessori Pre-Primary classrooms and our Montessori-influenced classrooms in grades 1-8 are all child-centered, supporting each child’s growth and development, while respecting and valuing each child’s personal learning style; 2) within the prepared environment of our classrooms, children learn at their own pace which promotes independence and self-regulation, while fostering positive self-esteem; 3) learning clusters at Ratner are age-blended to foster mutual respect and a sense of community, and to promote opportunities for peer-to-peer teaching and learning; 4) the Ratner curriculum has students from Toddlers to Teens preparing to become world citizens.

Jewish Values

The prophet Isaiah provides the clearest sense of what we mean by “Jewish values” when he describes God calling on the Jews to be a “light unto the World” – to teach by example for everyone in the world to see that doing good, and being good, ethical, moral people, is essential. The Ratner School strives to be a part of that “light” by incorporating fundamental concepts of ethical/moral behavior into the daily Ratner School experience and using our Global Studies program to teach about being good and responsible global citizens.


The Ratner School is a mosaic drawing on diversity of many kinds. Within our halls one finds students of many different ethnicities and from a wide variety of socioeconomic groups. Our classrooms anticipate students learning in a multitude of ways and with many different strengths and talents. And our community is enriched by families of many kinds.

The Individual

We know that each student has a unique “learning fingerprint.” Our classrooms, our teacher-student ratios, and our educational support systems are all designed with this in mind. Teaching and learning at The Ratner School happen in as many different ways as we have students.