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Oakland Montessori School (OMS)

3625 Fruitvale Avenue
Oakland, CA 94602

(510) 482-3111


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Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Montessori

From the Director:

Looking becomes reading, touching becomes writing. Nearly a century ago, Maria Montessori established an educational approach based on her understanding of children's natural tendencies in learning. In this gentle 'Follow the child' approach, children are allowed to follow their own instincts to explore, move, share with a group, to be independent and make decisions, create order, develop self regulation, persistence, generosity of spirit, abstract ideas from experience, and use the creative imagination.

Curriculum & Teaching Approach

Learning Philosophy & Tools

  Play- based mostly teacher led not formally in curriculum conducive environment
Language       more

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  • Tracing paper and other writing instruments
  • A well-stocked bookcase
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense more

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  • Puzzles
Time & space more

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  • Calendars and clocks
  • Parquetry blocks, pegboards, and mosaic toys
  • Maps
  • Building blocks
Sci. reasoning/physical world more

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  • A place for science activities such as growing plants
  • Pets for children to watch and care for
Music more

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  • Musical instruments
Visual arts more

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  • Materials such as paint, ink, paintbrushes, crayons, markers, chalk, paper, etc.
  • Art work on the walls
Physical activity more

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  • A playground with climbing equipment
  • Bean bags, balls, and other objects that children can throw, kick, and play
  • Tricycles
  • Enough room for children to move around and play and a suitable indoor alternative to the outdoor playground on rainy days
  • Sandboxes and/or water stations for play
Other subjects taught There are two additional education programs per week, gymnastics, taught through Fitness in Transit and music, taught through Music Together

From the Director:

Many of the lessons are learned by the manipulation of the Montessori materials, art explorations, and teacher lead activities. An older child or teacher may assist or collaborate. There is time for group activity such as music, gymnastics, art, play, snack, quiet time, and care of self and the environment. A spacious yard encourages gross motor development, an appreciation of nature, and imaginative play.

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

The Montessori teacher observes the child in order to learn how to best guide the child's connection to the environment. The environment is prepared to ensure success and challenge at the child's own pace.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

OMS is dedicated to the balanced, whole child Your children are so young for a very short time and during this time they change and grow daily. Our carefully designed environment supports their development. Our experienced teachers also support parents to better understand and assist their child.

A Typical Day

Hours: A key benefit of OMS is its flexible schedules designed to meet child and family needs. Programs range from three mornings a week to five full days. Many children begin with three mornings and add hours and days as they become adjusted. Standard options include three, four, and five mornings; and three, four, and five days until 3:00 or 6:00.
Daily: The children are greeted by the teachers and then children chose their activities to work either alone or together. The childrens' work falls into the Montessori categories: Practical Life, Sensorial, Math, Language and Cultural Subjects. There is also time for group activity such as music, art, play, snack, and there is also time for quiet reflection. At 11:00, following a group circle the children play outside. Lunch is at 11:00, (Children bring their own healthy lunches) 1:00 Projects and/or nap. The school day ends at 3:00 and the extended day begins. Following a healthy and substantial snack the children engage in free play until 4:30 when most of the children have gone home and a small group has "tea", another snack and a time to regroup. From 5:00 until 6:00 they are indoors with traditional toys such as a train set and legos. weekly schedule is posted and emailed so that parents can know and support daily activities.
Summer: OMS provides a summer program from mid June through most of August in two-week sessions. The summer is relaxed yet enriching - filled with cooking, field trips and fun. Because of its calmer nature, the summer program also provides a nice way for incoming children to transition to the fall session.
Field Trips: Regular field trips are taken with parent participation. Prior destinations have included a Pumpkin Patch, San Francisco Davies Symphony Hall, the Nutcracker Ballet, and the Chabot Space and Science Center. We also take walks to our neighborhood library and parks.

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

In addition to ongoing informal communication, regular conferences are scheduled twice a year and as needed, requested by the teacher or parent. The teachers have times in the day when they are not with the class and can meet with parents. Information is communicated by phone, email, drop off and pick up, newsletters, and special meetings.
Parents are encouraged to attend regularly scheduled workshops and discussions about the Montessori method and child-development to learn more about their children's activities at school and opportunities to extend these activities at home.

Parents Say They are Encouraged to:

  • Hold social events at the school to build community
  • Fundraise
  • Are able to visit the school anytime we want
  • Go on field trips
  • Volunteer in the classroom
  • Receive newsletters

Modes of Communication

  • Notes
  • Phone Calls
  • Voice Mail
  • Email
  • Special Meetings
  • Two or More Regular Conferences
  • Drop-Off
  • Pick-Up
  • Regular newsletter/printed updates circulated to the whole school


Separation is Handled through:

  • Pre-entry meetings with parents at school
  • Small group sessions
  • Extra staff dedicated to handle separation
  • Parents in classroom early on
  • Abbreviated schedule at start of school year

Handling Separation: From the Director

We have a three day transition. On the first day the child comes for a time and stays with the parent; the second day the parent leaves for a short while and returns at an agreed upon time; the third day the parent leaves for an hour or more and gives the child time to bond with the teacher.
Teachers greet parents and children upon arrival at the classroom door. At pick up time teachers will give quick assessments of the day, and if necessary encourage parents to come back at a calmer time. We ask parents not to use the playground as a park for their younger non-enrolled children as this presents a danger and creates a chaotic environment for the children still in school. There are areas for parents to gather and chat on the school grounds. No one, parents or children, are allowed in the buildings unless a teacher present- a safety and supervision issue.