About our school

We are a private Montessori school based on the philosophy of freeing the child’s potential in a stimulating environment. One of the first Montessori schools in the United States, we are proud of our rich heritage and we stay true to the Montessori method. Our carefully prepared environment and wonderful teachers will allow your child to develop self-confidence and independence that inspires self-discipline and a love of learning which will remain throughout her life.

We strive to create an atmosphere of deep mutual respect between faculty and students. We are very proud of our internationally diverse faculty and student body, and gender-equitable interscholastic sports. We offer a customized, flexible education in early childhood, elementary and junior high that allows each child to develop according to his own pace. Students are guided in the creation of educational projects, leadership and character development.

room 6+7 collage

The Santa Monica Montessori School was established in 1960. It was originally located at the corner of 20th St. and Arizona Ave., part of the St. John’s Hospital complex. The first owner was the screen actor Tom Laughlin. The School was then known as the Sophia Montessori School. The school was purchased then by Ruth Dresser in 1960 and later moved to 1619 20th St., with the current name Santa Monica Montessori School. At this location, the school increased in size and grades up to the 8th grade. With assistance from internationally known Montessori educators, Dr. Dresser established the Santa Monica Montessori Institute as well. In 1990, the school moved to the present location at 1909 Colorado Avenue. In 2003, Mrs. Pamela Crisman became the School Director. She has been a Montessori educator for many years and also has operated other Montessori schools and teacher education programs in southern California. The school has been upgraded in academics, learning materials, and the physical plant. The school is celebrating a Golden Anniversary of 50 years of education in 2010.