Skip To Main Content

Our Montessori History

North Shoreview is a public Montessori school in San Mateo, California, offering preschool, elementary, and middle-school programs. We are part of the San Mateo-Foster City School District and a member of the American Montessori Society.  As a public magnet school, we offer an alternative curriculum designed to meet all California state educational standards while providing the same services and resources as other district schools.

In 2012, North Shoreview Montessori was designated as a California Distinguished School, and in 2006, North Shoreview Montessori was selected from 131 candidates from across the nation for a Magnet Schools of America award as a Magnet School of Excellence.  These awards are based on our school’s commitment to high academic standards, curriculum innovation, successful desegregation and diversity efforts, student achievement, and parent-community involvement.

Please visit our website at for the latest news about NSM.

When San Mateo-Foster City School District leaders opened one of the nation’s first Montessori classrooms in a public school in 1975, little could they know how the program would blossom over the next 40 years. This year, the District’s public Montessori program serves over 600 students from preschool through eighth grade at two campuses in San Mateo. According to the National Center for Montessori in the Public Sector, there are now over 400 public schools offering a Montessori curriculum.

In November 2015, current and former Montessori students, parents, teachers, and school officials celebrated the program’s 40th anniversary with a carnival, dance performances, and food from local vendors. The event was a collaboration between the Parkside Montessori Parents’ Committee and the North Shoreview Montessori PTA.

The public Montessori program began in 1975 when Ms. Judi Bauerlein was hired as the first classroom Montessori teacher on the Meadow Heights campus. Soon the program was extended to include classrooms at a second campus, Parkside, led by Ms. Phyllis Harrison, while the classrooms at Meadow Heights moved to the Horrall campus. In 1994, the Horrall classrooms moved once again to establish North Shoreview Montessori as a magnet school. Montessori preschool classes were added starting in 2005, and both campuses now have preschool classrooms. Expansion to the middle school grades began in 2008 at North Shoreview, where Ms. Harrison is now the principal. Ms. Bauerlein was named a Living Legacy Honoree by the American Montessori Society in 2010.

In January 2015, the San Mateo-Foster City School District Board of Trustees unanimously approved the expansion of the K-8 Montessori program at the Parkside campus as well.

On January 8, 2015, the SMFC School Board unanimously approved the recommendation of the Montessori Task Force to expand the K-8 Montessori program at North Shoreview and Parkside schools.  As a result, there will be more Montessori Kindergarten spaces available beginning in fall 2015, and all Montessori students who wish to continue into the middle school grades will have a space.  In 2016-17, the Montessori Working Groups will continue to meet to consider how the North Shoreview and Parkside Montessori campuses can best work together to ensure the success of our expanding Montessori program.  Topics being discussed include parent organizations, fundraising, volunteering, communications, events/extracurriculars, and middle school enrollment.