Franciscan Montessori Earth School & Saint Francis Academy

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Franciscan Montessori Earth School & Saint Francis Academy
Portland, Oregon, United States
Type Private School
Established 1977
School district Centennial
Head of school Sister Therese Gutting FSE
Staff 60
Grades pre K - 8
Number of students 300
Mascot St. Bernard
Affiliation Catholic, Montessori

The Franciscan Montessori Earth School & Saint Francis Academy (FMES/SFA) is located in Portland, Oregon, United States. FMES/SFA is the only accredited pre-K through grade 8 Catholic Montessori school in the United States. It is operated by the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist from Bridal Veil, Oregon.


Established in 1977, the school is in its 39th year. When the school began there were only seventeen students in one classroom. As the school grew, additional grades were added in the Lower and Upper Elementary, and a Children's House program (ages 2 1/2-6) was added. Eventually a middle school program, St. Francis Academy, was added. This program currently serves students in the 7th and 8th grade. Until 2002 the school maintained a High School program, but this is no longer open. Since 2012, the school has been undergoing a series of upgrades and renovations to its physical facilities. The middle school is housed in a separate building constructed on the campus, Clare Hall, in 1996.

Exchange Program[edit]

FMES/SFA students who choose to take German as their foreign language have the option of going on a German exchange to Potsdam, Germany. The exchange with their sister school, Montessori Oberschule Potsdam, is a very comprehensive program, and FMES/SFA students travel from Portland to Germany, alternating with German students traveling to Portland, Oregon.

Students also participate in an exchange sponsored by our Spanish Program. In recent years these students have traveled to Costa Rica.

Special Programs[edit]

The school has a comprehensive sports program under the auspices of CYO, and offer classes after school for dance, music, language, piano, chess, math, robotics, and more.


The school is accredited with NWAIS, and is a member of AMI and OMA.

Current Head Staff[edit]

  • Founding Administrator: Mother Francine Cardew
  • Current Head of School: Sister Therese Gutting
  • Advancement Director: Michael Winning
  • Advancement Associate: Melissa McGuire
  • Admissions Director: Deborah Dahling
  • SFA Head Guide: Laurie Langevin
  • Upper Elementary Head Guide: Sister Karol Marie Hagerty
  • Lower Elementary Head Guide: Lorelea McAffee Einwaller
  • Children's House Head Guide: Priscilla Winning

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 45°30′06.57″N 122°30′42.53″W / 45.5018250°N 122.5118139°W / 45.5018250; -122.5118139