About Us

Agate Bay Montessori – Chester Creek Montessori

Come & Feel The Difference

Renaissance Schools – Chester Creek Montessori is a caring environment where your child will learn independence and confidence in a structured learning environment. Our education method is based on the best neuroscientific data available and is focused on the development of the individual child.

Chester Creek Montessori is located at 1602 E 2nd st., Duluth, MN. Our program is high-quality early childhood education program that is holistic, community-centric and boasts direct access to a city park. Our first program, Agate Bay Montessori, is a 4-star Parent Aware rated program, which boasts a large outdoor play space with a garden bed, a small hill, and a Shoreview Natives pollinator garden.

At Renaissance Schools, we hold deep reverence for the child by allowing them to concentrate on what interests them, discover their own mistakes, and observe rather than judge.

✅ Innovative academic program
✅ Personalized & flexible approach works with each student’s unique gifts
✅ Hands-on exploration and discovery
✅ Love & care
✅ Low student-to-teacher ratio
✅ Mixed-age group classes
✅ Natural play areas
✅ Friendly, collaborative environment
✅ Experienced & certified faculty

Now offering programs for children ages between 3 and 5 years. Spots are filling up fast, don’t wait! Fill out the form below to book a tour or learn more.

Book Your Tour Today

The Director’s Message

Director

Renaissance Schools

Thank you for taking the time to learn more about Renaissance Schools. Each day at our school is an exciting new opportunity to enrich the minds of our students, and we hope your child will join us.

Renaissance Schools welcomes students regardless of race, gender, national and ethnic origin, and is non-discriminatory in all our policies. We accept children between the ages of 3 and 5 years.

There are no specific academic entrance requirements; however, we base admission decisions on many factors, especially your child’s age and suitability for our program.

Please contact us regarding availability for your child, and to schedule your personal tour of our school. We will be happy to answer your questions and provide additional information about our educational programs.

Kind regards,

Rebecca Brown
Director, Agate Bay Montessori – Renaissance Schools

The Montessori Method

The Montessori method starts with a series of carefully prepared environments suited to the unique characteristics and propensities of the individual. It seeks to optimize the developmental stages of each new child who joins our community. Trained guides attune to the individual personality, skills, and interests of the child and provide a dynamic link to the materials in the classroom. As the child grows confident in their capabilities, they too grow in their willingness to participate in the construction, care, and maintenance of the community and the environment. Children in the 3-6 environment are often seen watering plants, feeding a classroom pet, or working through their ideas to find workable, peaceful solutions to their problems.

The method emphasizes practical experiences such as cutting vegetables, planting a garden, or sewing. It also offers the child concrete exploration of abstract impressions such as smell, color and form, first through the senses and gradually building a foundation with language and movement from which true creativity flows. Additionally, the foundational concepts of spoken and written language, math, geography, biology, and culture are explored tangibly and interdependently for a deeper understanding, rather than in isolation or strictly through the abstract paper and pencil format.

Because the environments are extensions of the community, diversity in language, music, and self-expression play a significant role in the character-building process.

The Neuroscience of Montessori

The first pillar we raised in creating Renaissance Schools was Neuroscience. We believe that education should be based on the scientific understanding of human development, including both neural and physical development. This brought us to the Montessori Method, because Dr. Montessori’s method is based on the scientific observations of children, especially their development from an infant to an adult. Dr. Montessori opened her first school (Casa dei Bambini) in 1907, and today there are close to 4,000 certified Montessori schools in the United States and about 7,000 worldwide. She developed a school movement that is perfectly in-line with what modern science and today’s neuroscience research confirm our children need.

The Science of Early Childhood Development: Closing The Gap Between What We Know and What We Do is from the National Scientific Council on The Developing Child and is published by Harvard University. It takes research from all different disciplines and combines them to show the importance of early childhood education. Here are their core concepts:

  • Child development is a foundation for community development and economic development, as capable children become the foundation of a prosperous and sustainable society.

  • Brains are built over time.

  • The interactive influences of genes and experience literally shape the architecture of the developing brain, and the active ingredient is the “serve and return” nature of children’s engagement in relationships with their parents and other caregivers in their family or community.

  • Both brain architecture and developing abilities are built “from the bottom up,” with simple circuits and skills providing the scaffolding for more advanced circuits and skills over time.

  • Toxic stress in early childhood is associated with persistent effects on the nervous system and stress hormone systems that can damage developing brain architecture and lead to lifelong problems in learning, behavior, and both physical and mental health.

  • Creating the right conditions for early childhood development is likely to be more effective and less costly than addressing problems at a later age.

Nature Play

Children have the opportunity to move freely and constructively both indoors and out. Staff are on hand to help, support and nurture the students and their curiosity. Education is not exclusive to the classroom and it is most often relevant only in relationship to the experiences they have out-of-doors.

Our Neighborhood Vision

Our vision for the Northland is one of healthy, stable communities.

We envision a Renaissance School program in every neighborhood. Our programs are designed to be local. We hire our guides from the community and believe in weaving every Renaissance School Program into each community’s fabric. At Renaissance Schools, we educate your child and cultivate community through events and partnerships. Check out our Community page for more info.

Our vision is to build community by offering world-class education to children ages 18 months-11 years to every community and to do so with a small class size, a guide that you know from your community, and an outdoor nature playscape designed by 3 Owls Outdoor Play Consultants.

Early Childhood Education is an investment in the next generation of leaders, citizens, and workers. It is not only an individual investment by a family, but an investment by the community. It prioritizes the well-being of an entire community by investing in each individual child’s education early and often.

It is our purpose to engage as many families as possible in early childhood education for the health and well-being of not only their community, but of each individual child in our care. These children are the future of the Northland, here in Minnesota. Early Childhood Education is the strong foundation for later skill development and social-emotional maturity and regulation.

Our Team

Our teachers are what make every day special for our children. Our teachers are creative, understanding, and passionate. They work with families to create every child’s own success story.

+ Miles Ringsred

Miles Ringsred, the CEO of Renaissance Schools, is a lawyer, entrepreneur, and musician. He co-founded RSH Education LLC (Renaissance Schools) in 2018 with Marc Wallace. He currently plays with Life Parade, his childhood friend’s music project.

+ Rebecca Brown

Rebecca Brown is Renaissance Schools’ Programs Director. She recently moved back to her home state of Minnesota in an effort to raise awareness of the importance of early childhood education. Pairing her deep love of the natural world with the timeless Montessori principles, Rebecca is committed to our mission of providing high-quality Montessori education for all who seek it.

+ Marc Wallace

Marc Wallace is the Chief Operating Officer of Renaissance Schools. He studied archaeology in Israel for 4 years. After a lifetime as a student, he decided to co-found RSH Education LLC with Miles Ringsred, a childhood friend, in order to pass on the value that he found in education to the next generation.

+ Larry & Pat Schafer

Residing in St. Paul, MN, Larry and Pat are the founders of Minnesota’s first Montessori School: Lake Country Montessori. Lake Country began in their home in 1985 and now occupies its own campus in Minneapolis with around 300 students. Larry and Pat are passionate about Montessori philosophy and building family and community. They hope to continue developing Montessori in Minnesota with grace and passion, by helping Renaissance Schools in its development.