Our Story - The History of Fiore
In 2007, Sailini and Sandeep Lohia enrolled their one year old son in a daycare, close to home. They were very dissatisfied with the decision. They noticed that while their son went to school happily, he was often wound up at the end of the day. As young parents, it took Sailini and Sandeep some time to realize that their son's state of being was due to a combination of being entertained rather than engaged, being cared for by adults who lacked education in child development, and being given highly processed foods.
Around this time, by chance (or maybe destiny) a friend introduced the Lohia’s to Montessori education. When Sailini first visited a school, she came out with tears in her eyes. It did not make sense that if teachers knew how to enable a young child to become aware of themselves and grow independent, free and happy like in the Montessori classroom that she just observed, why was everyone not already following that philosophy.
From there the journey began. In 2009, Sailini quit corporate work and trained to be a Montessori teacher (or guide as we commonly say in Montessori parlance). Sandeep encouraged her to think of starting a school. He took on the task of finding Fiore a home and was immediately drawn to the 4.5 acre property which was to become the future home of Fiore. The natural surrounding, both within the school and at Meadowlark Gardens was a dream come true. He worked to acquire the school building in an exciting auction and then spent the next year working to obtain all the permits to start the school - an equally exciting endeavor!
In September 2010 Fiore opened its doors with a total of 5 children and a Montessori guide who joined their adventure. Fiore grew rapidly to establish three classrooms, and to be the first school in Vienna/Tysons area to start a toddler Montessori program. In 2012, they started work on expansion of the school to five classrooms, and to undergo accreditation from the Association Montessori Internationale. Fiore has been accredited since 2014. In 2016 Fiore opened its Elementary program. In September 2019 Fiore celebrated its 10th year of operations - an important milestone.
As a family, Sailini and Sandeep have appreciated being able to implement the Montessori philosophy in raising their two boys. As part of the Fiore family, they are grateful for the opportunity to be part of this exciting journey to impact the lives of young children and to be amongst like minded teachers and parents every day.
In late 2021, Fiore acquired its second campus located a few miles from the original. This new space will be used to expand our programs and offer more classes for toddler, primary, and elementary. This new space will also allow for us to add a Nido (infant community) and adolescent program in the coming years! Learn more about our campuses here.
The Fiore Garden
Fiore worked hard to develop the school environment we have today. Fiore owners brought in Robin Moore, a nationally renowned architect, landscape designer and specialist in design of outdoor learning environments from the University of North Carolina. He and his team helped to create the beautiful outdoor spaces for the primary and toddler communities at our original campus.
Included in the design are many natural features, such as a creek bed that runs through the yard, a bamboo tunnel, a butterfly garden, stone labyrinth, and a large open space to play. Other elements added to the space include rock walls, a tire swing, bridges, xylophones, balance beams, picnic tables, a stage, and many others.