Your Child is Our Focus
Our Montessori curriculum is designed to engage children's natural curiosity and promote their independence. Through carefully crafted materials and activities, children develop their cognitive, social, emotional, and physical skills at their own pace. Our classrooms are thoughtfully prepared to encourage exploration, problem-solving, and a deep sense of wonder.
Our commitment to the holistic development of each child extends beyond the classroom. We value the partnership between home and school, recognizing that parents are their child's first and most influential teachers. We actively involve families in their child's education, providing regular communication, parent workshops, and opportunities to participate in school events and activities.
We provide a safe, spacious, and nurturing environment where children feel valued, respected, and supported. Our children reflect the broad cultural, ethnic, and religious diversity establishing a sense of community at an early age.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Montessori Education?
Montessori education was introduced more than a century ago. The child-focused approach that Dr. Maria Montessori, an Italian physician, developed for educating children has been transforming schools worldwide.
Montessori classrooms are immediately recognizable. You may hear "prepared environment" often. Every material in the classroom has a purpose and is placed in a purposeful sequence. Children work independently, and in small group presentations with a teacher. Children are deeply engaged in their work using the unique Montessori curriculum materials. The Montessori teacher has undertaken training to learn the Montessori educational philosophy and deeply understands the curriculum. the Montessori teacher is prepared to implement both in the classroom.
The Montessori method is a child-focused approach to learning that fosters independence and self-motivated growth in cognitive, emotional, social, and physical development.
Learn more about Montessori education at the American Montessori Society website, the foremost advocate for quality Montessori education:
What is the difference between Montessori and Traditional education?
The Montessori method is child-centered and encourages independent learning. Children choose their activities and work at their own pace implementing freedom of learning and discovery.
Montessori classrooms typically have mixed-age groups and a range of materials and activities that are designed to stimulate children's natural curiosity and help them develop practical life skills, motor skills, and academic knowledge.
Traditional education, on the other hand, has a more structured approach. Children are typically taught in single-age groupings and follow a standardized curriculum that all children are taught at the same time, at the same age. The focus is on developing literacy, math, and social skills through teacher-directed instruction.
Why multi-age classrooms?
The multi-age or mixed-age grouping is a fundamental aspect of the Montessori method.
The rationale of mixed-age grouping is to create an environment that resembles a family or community, rather than a traditional classroom.
Benefits of the mixed-age approach:
- Leadership and responsibility as the older child is the model to the younger student
- Peer learning through exposure to more mature behavior and learning
- Individualized learning through guided selection of an array of materials
- Collaboration and cooperation among different ages of children
- Continuity and stability of curriculum, teachers, and other students over three years
Is your school and staff affiliated with Montessori?
The Montessori School of San Leandro is affiliated with the American Montessori Society (AMS) and licensed by the State of California through Community Care Licensing. Our lead teachers are AMS credentialed and all teachers are actively working towards their Montessori credential.
Are you a religious school?
Our schools are non-sectarian and are not affiliated with any church or religion. Children from various ethnicities and religious beliefs attend our school. We foster an environment of cultural sensitivity and mutual respect. We are responsive to our families' various beliefs, values, and practices.
How can parents be involved?
All parents are members of our Parent Association. Parents are encouraged to join one (or more!) of the Parent Committees of most significant interest. Each family is responsible for ten (10) hours of work commitment per year per child.
How do you screen your employees?
All employees, teachers, assistants, administrators, and supporting staff receive a full background check through the FBI and Department of Justice. We do not employ any person with a criminal record.
Montessori Philosophy and Curriculum
Montessori education follows a unique curriculum that promotes children's independence, self-directed learning, and holistic development. Dr. Maria Montessori developed her educational method at the turn of the 20th century. The Montessori method consists of both educational philosophy and early childhood curriculum. The educational philosophy explains the nature and the needs of the child. The detailed and sequential curriculum supports the needs of the child. The key elements of our Montessori philosophy and curriculum follow.
Montessori's careful observation reveals the fundamental nature of the young child. As a medical doctor, Montessori observed children from a scientific perspective. She observed that the child explores the world through their senses and absorbs the information embedded in the environment effortlessly. Montessori called the child's effortless absorption of information from the environment the Absorbent Mind.
Montessori observed the young child's predilection for the development and refinement of movement, order, and language. The young child explores, moves, and manipulates the environment. Montessori further observed that, between birth and six years, the child attempts to order the experiences absorbed from the environment, both physically and mentally. At this age, the linguistic process of naming objects is a natural tool for the child to understand the environment further. Montessori called this time of particular sensitivity to movement, order, and language Sensitive Periods.
The classroom environment in Montessori education is carefully prepared to facilitate exploration and learning. The Prepared Environment includes specially designed materials and activities accessible to children at their own pace. Montessori referred to the specially designed classroom as the Prepared Environment.
Montessori classrooms often consist of mixed-age groups, spanning three-year age ranges. This arrangement allows younger children to learn from older peers, and older children to reinforce their knowledge by teaching younger children.
Montessori emphasizes Self-Directed Learning, where children can choose activities that interest them and work on them for as long as they desire. The teacher acts as a guide, observing and providing support when necessary.
Social and Emotional Development
Montessori education values children's social and emotional development. The curriculum fosters cooperation, respect for others, conflict resolution, and empathy through group activities, discussions, and practical experiences.
The curriculum incorporates a wide range of Montessori materials that are designed to promote hands-on learning and sensory exploration. These materials are specifically created to help children develop their senses, refine their motor skills, and grasp abstract concepts in subjects like practical life, sensorial, language arts, mathematics, cultural studies, botany, zoology, geography, and history.
Montessori places significant emphasis on practical life skills, such as pouring, buttoning, tying shoelaces, and other activities that promote independence and self-sufficiency. These skills lay the foundation for more complex learning and help children develop concentration, order, coordination, independence, and fine motor skills.
Montessori education recognizes the importance of sensory exploration in early childhood development. Sensorial materials and activities focus on refining the senses, including visual discrimination, auditory perception, tactile experiences, and the olfactory and gustatory senses.
Language and Literacy
Montessori classrooms provide a language-rich environment that encourages language acquisition and literacy development. Activities include spoken language exercises, vocabulary building, phonics, reading, and handwriting.
Montessori mathematics materials are designed to introduce mathematical concepts in a concrete and tangible way. Children progress from hands-on activities using manipulatives to abstract mathematical operations and problem-solving.
The Montessori curriculum embraces cultural studies.
The young child is introduced to the parts and functions of the plant. Each month a particular part of the plant is studied: root, stem, leaf, flower, fruit, and seed.
The child is introduced to significant classes of vertebrates: fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. The child studies external and internal parts of the animal, and their functions.
The child explores the passage of time personally in terms of the number of years the child has been alive. Our birthday celebration consists of a ceremony in which the child holds the earth-globe and circles around the symbol of the sun. The teacher also introduces the clock, which introduces hours and minutes.
The child learns the mapping of the earth and makes the simple distinction between land and water. Children explore different continents and cultures, learn about the world, and develop an appreciation for diversity.
Easy pick up and drop off
Mornings are busy for families. We have a designated drop-off and pick-up procedure. Drive up to the main entrance, and a staff member will hand you a QR code to scan with your digital device for easy check-in and check-outs. The staff then welcomes your child, helps them out of the car, and walks them to the classroom. If you wish to walk your child directly into the classroom, please park in the designated parking area and walk your child to the lobby.