The Tidewater School's History
The Tidewater School was founded as a non-profit pre-school in 1986 by Nancy Libertini, an educator and Speech Language Pathologist who sought a developmentally appropriate, child driven model of education for her own children. Nancy had personal experience with Montessori education and looked for ways to integrate a Montessori approach with the work of Jean Piaget and John Dewey.
Recognizing the importance of social and emotional development to meeting the needs of the whole child, she also drew from the work of Alfred Adler and Erik Erikson in developing the curriculum and behavior model for Tidewater's program. Nancy also instituted a parent education program to help parents use the same behavior model at home.
Initially, the school was granted the use of classroom space at Trinity United Methodist Church in Prince Frederick before moving to a small space in Huntingtown. In 1995, the Al-Banna family, whose children attended Tidewater, offered to purchase the current building and property for us and extended a no-interest loan to the school so that they could eventually own the property.
Over the years, thanks to the efforts of Tidewater parents and staff, lower and upper elementary classes were added. The building was renovated several times and now boasts 4 light-filled classrooms, 2 libraries, a playground, paved play area, nature trail, playing field, and gardens. The working kitchen was renovated in 2015 by parent volunteers and thanks to contributions from alumni, parents, and friends of the school.