Thevenet first opened its doors in September 1914 as a boarding school for girls. It was owned and operated by the Religious of Jesus and Mary, an international Catholic community of women religious present in 28 countries, whose members are the heirs to an educational tradition born in France 200 years ago.
In the late sixties it became increasingly evident that a small high school was no longer viable. The last senior class graduated in June 1971, and the building was converted into a retreat house, with the auditorium allocated for the use as a Montessori school.
A group of twelve children constituted the first class in September 1971. The school grew rapidly, quickly attaining distinction and a maximum capacity of fifty pupils.
There was a compelling need for enlarged quarters to meet the demand of an ever-increasing number of applicants. Architect Dennis Jurow designed a Children’s House that is as free, open and warm as the philosophy which underlies it. The large unobstructed rooms offer a variety of milieus, spaces for thinking and places for work, even the easy choice of indoors and outdoors – all work in harmony with Maria Montessori’s theory of a “prepared environment.” On June 21, 1985 the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York voted to make Thevenet’s provisional Charter Absolute. The school continues to be owned and operated by the Religious of Jesus and Mary, following the pedagogy of their Foundress, St. Claudine Thévenet, and the philosophy of Maria Montessori.
The school is open to children of all backgrounds, without discrimination in regard to race, gender, religion or economic origins. It has a maximum enrollment of one hundred and twenty pupils.