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Sunrise Montessori School

1201 East Yanonali Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93103

(805) 560-0855


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Santa Barbara's Gem of a Montessori Preschool! We are located near Downtown, Montecito and the Riviera. We have won awards 4 times in the past two years.

Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Montessori

From the Director:

Welcome to Sunrise! We are a small dedicated school that excels in teaching your child a wonderful variety of subjects (using the Montessori Philosophy and method) while giving them a lot of love and understanding. The small setting fosters knowledge of each child and family, it becomes a wonderful community. The children leave with a love of learning and a strong ability to be a great friend!

Curriculum & Teaching Approach

Learning Philosophy & Tools

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

More Information

  • 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 The children will be enriched in a three year period with Spanish and Italian language lessons, a community garden where they grow their own vegetables and flowers, geography, cooking, art and much more!

From the Director:

Sunrise interprets the Montessori Philosophy in a warm and enjoyable way. Your child will learn in each area as well as have plenty of time to explore and create.

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

The Montessori philosophy meets each child where they are in their learning. We note each child's readiness in a given area of study and plan their next lessons regularly. In a three year period they will encounter and gather strong fundamental knowledge in each area of the classroom.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

Your child is a precious treasure entrusted to our care.
Through guidance, education and love, the teachers and family work together to build a wonderful foundation for the child’s whole life.
Our cozy, homelike environment is perfect for preschool, your child’s first home away from home.

A Typical Day

Your child will enter the school each day and after greeting teachers and friends, go to do the marvelous activities in the classroom. They will get to learn, explore, have lessons, and enjoy until around 11am. They will then have circle (group) time, Play from 11:10 to 12 noon. Lunch is next, YUM! then nap or afternoon group lessons. The children who stay late have a variety of activities.

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

Usually at pick-up time there is an opportunity to speak with the staff about how the child's day was; what interesting or wonderful things they did or said. We have note pads for messages from home that are checked daily. The staff write reports two times per year about where each student is in their learning process. The school will call a conference in a timely manner if there is anything of concern about a student. Photos of your child in action at school go home a few times a year.

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
  • Volunteer in the classroom
  • Receive newsletters

Modes of Communication

  • Notes
  • Phone Calls
  • Email
  • 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
  • Extra staff dedicated to handle separation
  • Abbreviated schedule at start of school year

Handling Separation: From the Director

We recommend a short and sweet goodbye between parents and children. We will care for the child and get them involved in their group when they are ready. We will call and inform parents how the children are doing as soon as possible, to put their minds and hearts at ease. The children adjust more quickly when separation is not drawn out. They tend to feel understood and loved and get excited about their school room pretty quickly!