Our mission is to make Montessori education a realistic option for all families.
Our vision is a year-round, all-day school program that serves children from diverse backgrounds, including those with special needs and who are without housing. This program will not only provide care and education for children but also serve as a professional incubator for Montessori educators.
After more than 20 years of experience working in a variety of schools, preschools, and day care centers including big and small operations, managed as private and nonprofit organizations, in both urban and rural settings, Ed Stanford developed strong convictions about what an ideal school should offer.
An ideal school should be equitable and inclusive and welcoming to provide the highest quality developmentally appropriate education to all children. An ideal school should center families that encounter the greatest challenges to accessing school programs.
With the support of the Wildflower Schools Network, Ed founded Sage Montessori as a 501c3 nonprofit organization to realize this vision. A diverse Board of Trustees works with Ed to shape the growth of the school to be inclusive and welcoming.
Approach to Early Learning
Learning should be both interesting and engaging. Learning in conventional school is often less interesting than the things we learn in the rest of our lives such as how to make friends, play video games, what type of music we enjoy, and how to maintain relationships. It is by living, not by attending school, that we learn the importance of being part of a family and community, how to tell jokes, and how to experience joy through laughter.
We use the Montessori approach for education because it embraces learning as a joyful experience. The Montessori method carefully prepares a rich learning environment that encourages children to explore a wide variety of learning activities with freedom and independence, fostering engagement and joy.
Conventional preschools and day care centers often serves learning like a rigid seven-course meal, with strict time limits and no room for flexibility. It can be challenging to revisit previous topics, and students have little control over their learning experiences.
By contrast, Montessori education is more like an all-you-can-eat buffet, where children can explore and learn at their own pace. They are encouraged to try different activities and follow their interests. The educator’s role is more like a host at a party, observing the children and noting their interests and engagement. If a child appears bored or disruptive, the educator gently redirects them towards an activity they may find more engaging. When a child is ready for a new challenge the educator demonstrates a new activity.
Interest leads to engagement, which leads to concentration and the development of mental faculties such as self-regulation and executive function. We provide an environment in which children can make choices, try new things, practice social skills, and learn with joy, curiosity, and enthusiasm.