Accredited with the American Montessori Society, the Fountainhead Montessori School in Pleasant Hill in northern California offers age-specific education and discovery programming to children from the age of 18 months to 6 years old. The school closely follows the decades-old Montessori teaching methodology in establishing specific developmental and social goals for students. As a corollary, Fountainhead Montessori positions the children in environments that encourage their independence, develop problem-solving and life skills. Besides the Pleasant Hill campus, the nonprofit Fountainhead Montessori School also operates schools in nearby Orinda, Danville, Dublin, and Livermore.
At all the Fountainhead Montessori locations, children learn and develop by completing age-appropriate activities that teachers prepare. Teachers and staff observe and work with students, helping them to achieve goals in several areas. These areas include verbal and nonverbal communications; positive relationships with friends, teachers, and parents; sensory development and visual problem solving; physical well-being; and creativity and individual expression. The classrooms and lesson structures support these various developmental goals by allowing children to move freely throughout the class environment to choose projects and activities that best suit their individual learning styles.
Fountainhead Montessori opened its doors in 1972 under the leadership of founder Sarah Zimmerman. Zimmerman based its operations in northern California and founded her first campus in Orinda. Continuing to serve as President of the school, she helps train the teaching staff and leads the growth of the nonprofit organization. Today, 90 percent of the head instructors have more than 10 years of experience as Montessori educators, and the majority of these instructors also possess at least an undergraduate degree.