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The 10 Top Montessori Schools in San Francisco

Young student is busy with an activity in a Montessori classroom.

The 10 Top Montessori Schools in San Francisco

Whether you know it as “Fog City,” “the City by the Bay,” or “San Fran,” San Francisco is a beloved city in the Bay area of California. In such a densely populated city, finding a well-established school with a community feel can be challenging. Montessori schools perfectly encapsulate the community aspect since they focus on teaching students to become independent within the community of the classroom. If you’re searching for an excellent Montessori school for your child, consider one of these top Montessori schools in San Francisco.

Montessori teacher with two students
Finding the right Montessori school for your child has many benefits for their social, emotional, and academic development.

©LightField Studios/Shutterstock.com

How Much is a Montessori School in San Francisco?

San Francisco is home to over 100 private schools, including a number of highly rated Montessori schools. If you’re considering one of these private schools for your child, you might wonder how much a Montessori school costs.

The tuition for many Montessori schools can sometimes be higher than non-Montessori schools due to the unique materials required, the quality of the classroom environment, and the additional training and certification necessary for Montessori educators. The cost of Montessori schools varies based on the area but in San Francisco, the average tuition is around $10,000. 

Although most Montessori schools are private, there are some public Montessori schools such as San Francisco Public Montessori, which is the only public Montessori school in the area. Public Montessori schools are a great option for families who can’t afford a private Montessori education.

Top Montessori Schools in San Francisco

San Francisco has Montessori schools for children of all ages. To help you find a Montessori school where your child can thrive, here are the top Montessori schools in San Francisco.

The Maria Montessori School of the Golden Gate Co. 

  • 62 Lenox Way, San Francisco, CA 94127
  • Highly rated for authentic Montessori environment, caring staff, and beautiful classrooms
  • Contact school for tuition

The Maria Montessori School of the Golden Gate has programs for children from toddlers to elementary age. Founded by Dr. Ursula Thrush in 1972, the mission of the school was to implement Dr. Maria Montessori’s methods to help children develop physically, socially, and cognitively.

In addition to their school year academic programs, they offer a summer school program from June to August. Each year, the summer program includes themed weeks where children can participate in fun and educational activities.

Montessori House of Children

  • 1187 Franklin St, San Francisco, CA 94109
  • Highly rated for excellent teachers, amazing curriculum, and supportive community
  • Toddler $25,800
  • Primary $24,000

Montessori House of Children offers a Montessori education for children from 2 to 6 years old. They have provided Montessori programs for young children since 1976 and they have created an environment where each child is viewed as a unique individual.

Over the years, the Montessori House of Children has become one of the top three Montessori schools in San Francisco. Their qualified and passionate staff help children thrive and develop throughout their formative years.

San Francisco Montessori Academy

  • 1566 32nd Ave, San Francisco, CA 94122
  • Highly rated for a welcoming environment, well-organized classrooms, and excellent curriculum 
  • Contact school for tuition

San Francisco Montessori Academy offers programs for children 2 to 6 years old. Part of their mission is to partner with parents to build a strong foundation for young children to become lifelong learners.

San Francisco Montessori Academy first opened in 1998 as a family daycare and became a Montessori preschool due to many parents requesting a preschool program at the school. It has continued to be a well-loved school in San Francisco, and it offers an authentic Montessori program for young children.

San Francisco Public Montessori

  • 2340 Jackson St, San Francisco, CA 94115
  • Highly rated for loving staff, positive atmosphere, and supportive parent community

San Francisco Public Montessori is the only public Montessori program in the San Francisco area. They offer a preschool and elementary program in the Pacific Heights neighborhood. Since it is a public school, parents have to enter the school lottery for their children to attend and there is no tuition.

In addition to the daily academic programs, they also have an after-school program, a dual language immersion program, and a number of arts enrichment programs for students.

Little Wonders Montessori

  • 1663 32nd Ave, San Francisco, CA 94122
  • Highly rated for its creative environment, caring teachers, and quality curriculum
  • Contact school for tuition

Little Wonders Montessori accepts children into their Montessori program from 18 months to 5 years old. They offer two programs, one for younger children with basic Montessori materials and another for kindergarten preparation when children turn 3.

Like most Montessori programs, their curriculum includes different aspects such as practical life and sensory exercises. They also focus on cultural activities to teach their students about other cultures through art, music, and social science.

Mission Montessori

  • 50 Fell St, San Francisco, CA 94102
  • Highly rated for its clean facility, loving environment, and professional staff
  • Contact school for tuition

Mission Montessori offers programs for children from infancy to elementary school. They aim to nurture young children into confident, independent individuals. With a focus on diversity and inclusion, they help children make sense of the world around them through quality education.

Mission Montessori also offers a Spanish immersion program starting at 18 months old. Their immersion program is based on Montessori principles and allows students to learn through the environment.

Montessori School of San Francisco

  • 1550 Eddy St # 500, San Francisco, CA 94115
  • Highly rated for the wonderful staff, well-organized environment, and supportive community
  • Contact school for tuition

Montessori School of San Francisco is a year-round school that offers programs for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. Their curriculum combines preschool academics with the Montessori method to create an excellent education for young children.

At Montessori School of San Francisco, children are able to learn and grow at their own pace while developing a love for learning and a strong academic foundation. Each program within the school is unique and uses age-appropriate Montessori materials to help children thrive.

Montessori Children’s House of the West Coast

  • 25 Lake St, San Francisco, CA 94118
  • Highly rated for quality education, highly skilled teachers, and a supportive environment
  • Ages 3-4 $17,655-$23,940
  • Ages 4-5 $17,655-$25,815

Montessori Children’s House of the West Coast offers a unique preschool environment rooted in the Montessori method. Through their learning environment, they strive to foster a love of learning within each student and help them become independent.

The educators at Montessori Children’s House of the West Coast are Montessori certified through the Association Montessori Internationale or the American Montessori Society. They have a strong community within the school and encourage parents to get involved through volunteering. 

Shining Star Bilingual Montessori

  • 610 20th St, San Francisco, CA 94107
  • Highly rated for kind teachers, clean facility, and supportive environment
  • Contact school for tuition

Shining Star Bilingual Montessori is an English-Mandarin-based preschool in the San Francisco area. They offer bilingual programs for children from 18 months to 6 years old. Further, it is the only full-day English-Mandarin preschool in the city.

Their educational programs include a Montessori-based curriculum and daily Mandarin lessons. Children at Shining Star Bilingual Montessori learn through music, movement, and arts, and students are able to explore the classroom environment independently. 

Big City Montessori School

  • 240 Industrial St, San Francisco, CA 94124
  • Highly rated for the wonderful staff, safe environment, and quality education
  • Contact school for tuition

Big City Montessori School provides an engaging Montessori program for children 2.5 to 6 years old. Their campus includes well-prepared classrooms and a beautiful outdoor space with three different play areas. For over 50 years, Big City Montessori has provided an authentic Montessori experience for preschool children, and each classroom is led by a certified Montessori teacher.

Big City Montessori has a supportive parent community that includes the Big City Parents Organization, or BCPO. The BCPO addresses diversity and accessibility by raising scholarship funds for lower-income children.

Notable Montessori Alumni

The Montessori style of education has quite the impressive alumni list. Stars like Taylor Swift and Steph Curry both attended Montessori schools, as did game designer Will Wright and Holocaust victim Anne Frank. Jeff Bezos, the billionaire founder of Amazon, graduated from a Montessori school himself. He loved the education style so much, in fact, that he started his own nonprofit to provide tuition-free Montessori preschools to underserved communities.

Many online publications claim that figures such as Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates are Montessori alumni. This hasn't ever been proven; in fact, the American Montessori Society hasn't been able to generate any evidence to back these claims. So, if you ever see or hear anyone claiming those successful entrepreneurs as Montessori alumni, you know they're mistaken!

A Montessori education will provide your child with rich opportunities that they may not get elsewhere. This education style isn't right for everyone, but the right child will flourish under its unique approach to learning.


As the fourth largest city in California, San Francisco has a large and thriving community of families. Among the many excellent schools in the Bay area are a number of highly rated Montessori schools. Montessori education may not be the right fit for every child, but if you know your child will thrive in a Montessori environment, consider one of these top Montessori schools in San Francisco.

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