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Sands Montessori was the first public Montessori school in the United States. The original site opened in 1975 and was located in Mt. Adams. It was called Children's House and opened with an enrollment of 200 students. The program was designed by Nancy Rambusch, who introduced Montessori to the United States in the early 1960's.

The success of this program prompted the expansion of Montessori in the public setting. A second and third site (Children's House West and Children's House Central) were opened. They were located in small areas of Oyler and Heberle Schools.

All three locations were combined in 1979 and moved to 940 Poplar Street in the West End. The name was changed to Sands Montessori School.

Sands Montessori had many other firsts as well. Sands was the first Cincinnati Public School to have a Chinese Sister School; Jing Hang Lu School in Liuzhou City. The school and Cincinnati Sister City Organization hosted the first delegation of city officials, government officials, and teachers from Liuzhou City.

Sands was one of the first schools to organized a Community Garden. The Sands Montessori Parent Organization, staff members, the Cincinnati Civic Garden Center and neighborhood individuals collaborated to get the project implemented in the West End.

In August of 2002, Sands Montessori moved from the West End of Cincinnati to the Mount Washington area on the far east side of the city. In 2009, Sands broke ground for a new LEED-certified school. That building opened in August 2010. Today, the staff and students enjoy a "green" school environment. Sands Montessori became a School of Excellence from the very beginning and continues to excel.