Our Story

Parkside Community Montessori School was just a dream in January 1991. The dream began coming to fruition, however, when teachers Joe and Claire Bruno joined with benefactors Eduardo Longoria and Mary Ann Justman to transform an abandoned meat packing plant adjacent to Zilker Park into a beautiful garden of learning.

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In the fall of 1991, Parkside Community School opened with 75 children and a beacon was lit in the local Montessori community. For 23 years, our school flourished in its well-loved downtown location and enrollment grew to 135 students. But as Austin grew and changed, the needs of our community changed as well, and we began the search for a new home.

In June 2014, Parkside moved to a sprawling 12-acre campus in Southwest Austin. The land has hundreds of trees and a sparkling creek winding through the woods. It is home to an astonishing variety of native plants and flowers, butterflies, and birds ranging from whistling ducks to warblers.By design, the majority of our campus has remained undeveloped in order to preserve its magic and foster our community’s connection to nature. Now entering our 30th school year, we are still devoted to our work and to ensuring that for years to come, children and families will be able to receive and enjoy the many wonderful gifts that Parkside has to offer. 

 

“I tell my friends endless stories about Parkside all the time. It was the best school I've ever attended. I don't think I'll ever meet two people as extraordinary as Joe and Claire -- they really changed my life. Thank you, Parkside, for all of your contributions, love and support! ”
Bella Castillo