ISO a Montessori Elementary School in the East Bay


We live in Alameda and our (now) six year old daughter had an exemplary experience in her Montessori preschool.   We would love to find an elementary school that continues the Montessori style of longer, more independent work times.   Unfortunately, there seem to be very few Montessori elementary schools in the East Bay.  I've searched using the locator at the American Montessori Society website, and see only a handful.   Perhaps there are more that aren't coming up in my search?   So my questions are:

1.  Does anyone know of a Montessori elementary school for children older than 6 in Oakland, Berkeley, or surrounding area?

2.  We are considering East Bay Montessori in El Cerrito, although it is a bit of a drive for us.   Does anyone have recent experience with that school who would be willing to speak with me?

Thank you all so much.   

Parent Replies

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Check out TRIS (The Renaissance International School) in Oakland. It's Montessori, and currently goes through Junior High. In addition it is tri-lingual (English, French, and Spanish) and has excellent art and music programs. My eldest child has been there since age 2, and is now in Upper Elementary. It's a great school! A lot of Alameda residents attend, too, so perhaps you will have carpool options.

My children attend The Renaissance International School ( in Oakland, and have been there since they were babies (they are now in 3rd and 1st grade, and I also have 4 YO Twins in the Primary program). I also teach music at the school. TRIS is fully dedicated to Montessori principles and has AMI guides in each classroom. I am consistently impressed with the students and with the work my own children do.

It is a language immersion school, so that is an aspect you would have to be okay with. In the Elementary classroom, they have four teachers; three are AMI-certified guides, two speak English exclusively, one speaks French exclusively, and one speaks Spanish exclusively. 

I'd be happy to speak to you more about the school if you would like!

We have applied to EBM and our experience with the tours, visits, etc is great! They seem very aligned to Montessori, go all the way through middle school. 

our kids are currently at guidepost Montessori, which we love, and I know they are thinking of opening an elementary (this year or next?!) and that is based in Emeryville, so closer to you. 

good luck with your search!

There's also Urban Montessori charter school in Oakland and American International Montessori in Berkeley. The latter is a language immersion school. 

I have no personal experience with these schools, but there is The Renaissance International School in Oakland:

Pear Tree Community School in Oakland:

And if you are willing to jump across the Bay, a really amazing looking program in Mission Bay in SF, The Dahlia School:

I hear good things about the public Montessori charter in Oakland. 

But yes- unfortunately not too many elementary schools around. East Bay Montessori does also have a middle school if that is a consideration. 

Hi! Have you considered The Renaissance International School (TRIS)? It is a Montessori school in Oakland (Dimond) and has a trilingual immersive program of English, Spanish and French. My child has been at the school for a few years and it is truly the best program for him. He started in Primary, around the age of 3 and is currently in the Elementary program (ages 6-9). It was a little hard for us to not send him to the well rated Piedmont Public Schools but seeing how well our child was blossoming at TRIS, we plan to stay with the school long term. The administration, teachers and staff are wonderful, the curriculum wholesome and true to Montessori principles. The focus is really on the whole child - developmental, emotional and academic. I highly recommend the school and encourage you to reach out to them to learn more. Some folks are intimidated by the trilingual aspect but it is just a matter of understanding how the program works. Good luck in your search!

Hi! EBM has been excellent for my children. It's a very small, kind school with true Montessori pedagogy. It has great staff and teachers, and it feels like a grounded, safe and consistent environment (even with some recent turnover in the lower elementary). My kids seem smart and happy and engaged and are excited to go to school- which is all I can ask for!