our history

On February 8, 1947, the Bernardine Franciscan Sisters purchased 15 acres of property from Edward Untermyer. On the property were a mansion and a carriage house once owned by Henry Miller, the playwright. The mansion was used by the Sisters as a retreat center and as a provincial house, the seat of government for the Sisters. In June 1962, the four bedrooms, living room and kitchen in the carriage house were converted into classrooms where students came after school, and during the summer for tutoring. In time, the Sisters needed more space for their governing body and the number of children needing remedial services increased.

Another two and a half acres of property were purchased, and in 1968, the school building and provincial house/convent for 40 Sisters was built. The Villa Maria Education Center continued as a private, non-profit, tutorial and enrichment summer school and after school program for students in the Stamford area. As the number of students who needed help increased and at the urging of their parents, Villa Maria was established as a full-time day school on September 5, 1973. A Connecticut Association of Independent School (CAIS) member, Villa Maria has been a Connecticut State Department of Education Approved Private Special Education Program since 1980.

timeline at a glance


The Bernardine Franciscan Sisters purchase 15 acres of property in North Stamford.


Villa Maria is established as a full-time day school for children with learning disabilities.


Villa Maria is approved by the Connecticut State Department of Education as a school for children with learning disabilities.


Major renovations are completed, including the cafeteria and art room.


Kindergarten is added to our roster of academic programming.


Ninth grade is added and more renovations are completed, including offices and tutorial rooms.


Villa Maria is accredited by the Connecticut Association of Independent Schools and the State Board of Education.


Championship-worthy gymnasium is built. The performing arts center is renovated, plus more building enhancements.


Villa Maria rebrands and focuses on how to create the best future for our students.
  • "I cannot stress enough how much I appreciate everything you have all done throughout this year. The progress our child has made in each course, the confidence and self esteem gained with the support and guidance of each of you as well as collectively as a team of teachers, has exceeded all my expectations!"
    happy villa parent
  • “Villa transformed our son's life. As a student with apraxia of speech, an auditory processing disorder and a significant learning disability, our son has blossomed. The school's structure, including small class sizes and tailored academic and support programs, combined with strong leadership, has profoundly influenced his academic, social, and emotional growth. Villa provides a secure haven for diverse learners like our son, fostering a true sense of community. Despite a long commute, he eagerly anticipates school each day, fully engaged in the Villa community. The school excels in involving parents, with student events and regular meetings with leadership. We can't emphasize enough the positive impact Villa Maria School has had on our son and on us as parents.”
    happy villa parent
  • "My son joined Villa's extended school year program last summer and his transition was seamless. Within days, he felt welcomed, understood, and supported by teachers and staff. Unlike his overwhelming past experiences, the small class size, OG trained teachers, and like-minded classmates at Villa Maria have led to his remarkable progress. The IEP goals are focused, progress is well-documented, and collaborative communication ensures his ongoing success. Sending him to Villa Maria School brings me joy, knowing he's thriving in a supportive environment. Being part of Villa is life-changing, and I hope more students can experience its transformative impact."
    happy villa parent
  • Villa has been the best place for my child. He has made tremendous strides, especially socially and emotionally. He has become extremely self aware and made phenomenal progress. Academically, he couldn't be doing better. His ability to manage himself and thrive is incredible.
    happy villa parent