Montessori De Sagrada Familia, Inc. (MDSF) was born out of a fervent desire to establish a highly specialized learning institution that would cater to the active and bright young minds of the community.
It was in 1994 when Mr. and Mrs. Alfredo and Concepcion Santos, then already a successful business couple, first toyed with the idea of putting up an alternative pre-elementary and grade school that hopes to accommodate the ever-growing student population of Baliwag and adjacent municipalities. Having four young children themselves, Mr. and Mrs. Santos have witnessed how parents like them yearn to give their children the best education. They thought that if parents would sacrifice to send their children to private school, then these children deserve an environment that is more conducive to a more creative and productive learning.
This roused some ideas within: “Why not build an ideal, a capacious and an amply-equipped school?” This notion, though insignificant at first, became so impassioned that the couple found themselves consulting people about the feasibility of establishing a school. They received discouraging comments from relatives, friends and two highly regarded school administrators.
Somehow discouraged and frustrated, the couple shelved the plan, but this proved first to be temporary. The enthusiasm to build a school did not cease. Three years later, the couple felt a more compelling desire to establish a school. For them, it is service to the youth and community more than any financial gain. Having beseeched God’s guidance and enlightenment, Mr. and Mrs. Santos finally decided to build a school that would open starting school year 1997-1998.
On May 6, 1997, Montessori De Sagrada Familia was granted by the Department of Education government permit to operate Preschool and Grades I – VI. Consequently, by the school year 1997-1998, MDSF opened its door to its first batch of enrollees.
On November 25, 1997, MDSF was granted government recognition for its pre-elementary course effective school year 1998-1999. Likewise the permit to operate Grades I-VI was granted effective school year 1998-1999. On May 5, 1999, government recognition for its entire elementary program was granted.
On April 30, 1999, MDSF was granted by the DepEd government permit to operate. (First to Third Year Levels of the Secondary Course). Consequently, MDSF has opened its doors to its first batch of high school enrollees.
On July 18, 2000, the Montessori De Sagrada Familia was granted Government Recognition for the complete four-year course.
Due to the growing student population, another set of facilities were built in between the period of 2001-2005: the high school campus, the school gymnasium, the preschool building.
Since 2010, the Montessori De Sagrada Familia has been producing high school graduates qualified in the top prestigious colleges and universities of the country. Some were even recipients of scholarship grants of their chosen university. Sagradan alumni would visit their alma mater during their Christmas vacation to see their teachers whom they considered as their second parents growing up.
Another school facility was built in the year 2013 to provide Sagradans an enriched Physical Education curriculum. The MDSF Swim Center is a sports facility that features a 25-meter pool, 3 children’s pools and bleachers that can seat 200 spectators. The school partnered with Bert Lozada Swim School in providing swimming lessons during the PE classes of Sagradans. The MDSF Swim Center is also the venue for inter school swim events and sports fest. It is also the home of the MDSF Vikings, the school’s swim team trained by the coaches of BLSS. Ever since its launching, Sagradan varsity swimmers would compete and qualify in inter school and interclub competitions both local and international, making the Sagradan Vikings the most outstanding swim team in the province with swimmers qualifying and even winning in the Palarong Pambansa.
In School Year 2016-2017, the Montessori De Sagrada Familia was granted permit to offer the Senior High School Program with Science, Technology and Mathematics (STEM), Humanities and Social Sciences (HUMSS) and Accountancy, Business and Management (ABM) as strands under the Academic Track.
The school years 2016-2019 were unforgettable for the Sagradan community in terms of student and institutional accomplishments. For three consecutive years, the school was hailed as the top performing school in the BULPRISA District and EDDIS Press Conference. Every school year, student athletes and campus journalists would compete in various inter-school and interclub competitions, qualifying them to compete and even win in provincial, regional and national events.
In its 20th year, the school set a new and audacious vision to become The Learning Hub for Creativity and Innovation, pioneering 21st Century learning spaces, adapting learner-centered pedagogy anchored on relevant curriculum and empowering competent and efficient faculty members. This is also the year where the MDSF Social Hall was inaugurated. The events hall that can accommodate 2,000 students and employees is where important school activities such as graduation and recognition rites, parents’ assemblies and seminars, Employee Awards Night, Junior-Senior Promenade and Foundation Day celebrations were held.
On August 3, 2018, the new Pre-Elementary Campus was opened to all Junior Casa-Kindergarten students of MDSF. This new campus features 21st century and green spaces that were designed to develop authentic and fun learning among pre-elementary children. After that school year, the SHS building was inaugurated to accommodate the increasing student population of the high school community. The additional building features a bigger school library, classrooms, offices and audio visual room.
On March 17, 2020, the government authorities mandated all educational institutions to close and end the school year earlier due to the threat of possible transmission of Coronavirus in the community, especially in schools. The imposed community quarantine does not allow minors to attend physical school which resulted in an enormous challenge for MDSF to continue its educational services to the community.
With a pandemic that threatens the health and safety of learners across the country, the Department of Education required all K-12 institutions to design and implement their Learning Continuity Programs for the SY 2020-2021. The LCP shall utilize other modalities of learning that would not require the student to attend the physical school.
After a series of consultations with all the stakeholders of the school and an intensive research and planning with educational scientists, the members of the School Board and Academic Council of the Montessori De Sagrada Familia created and launched its Learning Continuity Programs: the FLY Sagradan, SAFE AND PLAY programs. These remote learning modalities were implemented for two (2) successive school years. Online learning platforms such as the school’s learning management www.mdsflms.com, Google Workspace and other practices such as virtual meetings, independent study tasks were sufficiently utilized both by teachers and learners. Parent engagement and support was even more encouraged during the two-year period of remote learning, thus the school initiated the appointment of Parent Representatives and the launching of the MDSF Parents R Partners, an online support group for all Sagradan families.
In November 2021 the Department of Education implemented its Pilot Implementation of limited face-to-face classes in select public schools under alert level 1 with health protocols observed. The Montessori De Sagrada Familia, through the efforts of its COVID-19 Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Team prepared its campuses to comply with the standards set by the Department of Education and Local Government Unit of Baliwag, Bulacan.
After receiving the approval from its governing agencies, the Montessori De Sagrada Familia launched its Campus REopening for Authentic and Transformative Education (CREATE) and ran a series of Pilot and Trial Classes across grade levels during April and July 2022. The CREATE Program features the Blended Learning Modality which will enable students to learn face-to-face while adhering to health protocols on campus and utilize technology in the classroom and during/isolation periods. This modality prevents learning disruption during COVID-19 related scenarios and promotes engagement, independence, flexibility and resilience among students.
True to its vision as a learning hub for creativity and innovation, Montessori De Sagrada Familia firmly believes that education should be adaptive and responsive to the needs of its learners. As the physical campuses reopened in the school year 2022-2023, other learning modalities such as PLAY, FLY & SAFE are still offered to Sagradan families who prefer their children to learn remotely.