Montessori Reggio Academy opens private elementary school

The need for a safe, non-political, academically driven elementary school has never been more crucial. Combine that with the Montessori philosophy, hands-on Reggio activities, and a respectful partnership with parents, and you’ve got Montessori Reggio Academy (MRA) Elementary Campus, a new school debuting this fall, 2022.

Building on its successful MRA pre-school that has earned the City’s Best Award every year since opening in 2017, MRA’s new elementary school is located in the beautiful former Trent Academy building on Cordes Drive in Sugar Land, just a few steps from MRA preschool.

The school is unique in that it embraces tenets for future success not offered in any other private schools in Sugar Land.

“We wanted to set ourselves apart,” said owner Sheila Panjwani. “Parents deserve the right to know that their voices are not only heard but appreciated. Our program includes them every step of the way, and every day our kids are discovering their own love of learning.”

MRA boasts an academically rigorous curriculum that aligns with Fort Bend ISD standards. Students are challenged in math, literacy, science, and social studies, and learn primarily through hands-on activities and projects. Classroom sizes are small, with teacher-student ratios being the lowest of any elementary schools. One-on-one attention is the norm rather than the exception.

In the Montessori philosophy, multi-age classrooms provide opportunities for students to play teacher to their younger classmates, reinforcing their knowledge and understanding. Students learn at their own pace rather than being held to the same timeline as their peers. Those who are struggling can take the time they need to achieve mastery, while those who are excelling can move on to higher-level concepts.

The school is further equipped with a specialized Reggio room where students can delve into concepts through enrichment activities, hands-on projects, and creative exercises. “The goal is to create lifelong learners,” said Panjwani. “The feelings kids have about learning during these fundamental years will follow them throughout their lives. That’s why everything we do here is about making learning joyful, engaging, and exciting.”

MRA Elementary is distinctive in that it is the first in the nation to partner with parents through the at-home learning platform Seven Seeds. Enriching the school curriculum with family study, students learn and practice the soft skills that are proven to lead to success: confidence, goal setting, heathy habits, healthy relationships with money, a positive mindset, social skills, and teamwork. Since parent involvement is the number one predictor of future success, parents are active participants in these lessons, supported by MRA.

Finally, MRA offers additional programs for well-rounded learning and fun. Language study includes both Spanish and Mandarin, cementing MRA’s celebrated commitment to diversity established through its pre-school program. Students learn how to maximize technology through the IXL Technology Program. An expansive outdoor space on a quiet, tree-lined street provides opportunities for play and relaxation. And safety is always a top priority, with student health and well-being as a daily focus.

“So much curriculum has become politicized, with the government telling instructors what they must teach,” said Panjwani. “At MRA, we respect parents and we respect the learning process. We are a private school that invites parent input and participation.”

MRA is open for enrollment and is accepting applications for the Elementary Campus. To learn more or to apply, visit or call the Admissions Department at 832-939-8898. The elementary campus is located at 2609 Cordes Drive in Sugar Land.

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Rebecca Becker

Rebecca has been a lifelong writer committed to telling stories that illuminate special people, places, and causes. She writes for local, regional, national, and international publications and is based in Houston. She’s been a lifelong Christian dedicated to bringing that perspective forth and keeping the Christian voice within the larger conversation.