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About Us


The Montessori goals and ideals are actualized when you see for yourself students deeply engaged in their own learning, individually or collaboratively with other students. The students are not only learning, they are “learning how to learn”: an important skill for a lifetime in the dynamic and changing work place of the 21st century!

In addition to the obvious academic learning taking place you will notice the respect and the trust that the students have for each other, and for the adults. Character development is core to our values. Honesty, integrity, respect are the social-emotional qualities you will observe and will viscerally feel. These qualities of a civil society are espoused, taught, nurtured, and expected.

Physical education is central to the development of the student, as well. The large, central gymnasium allows for basketball and volleyball in addition to table tennis, dance and the marshall arts. The soccer field can be transformed into various track and field experiences, and traditional lawn games such as croquet and badminton. Tetherball and four-square are located on the adjoining area, as is a very large climbing structure.

The development of our students is based upon a whole-child approach: the academic, the social-emotional, and the physical are simultaneously interconnected, and support each other. The unique potentiality of each student is unlimited and supported in our responsive school environment addressing all aspects in the student’s development.

We invite you to visit our beautiful campus. MEMST might be just the match for your child and your family values.



The Montessori Elementary and Middle School of Tracy provides kindergarten through eighth grade students an individualized academic program within the context of daily small and whole class instruction. Importantly the social-emotional context of learning emphasizes respectful collaboration. The development of the student’s physical development is supported with a full gymnasium inside and a soccer field outside.

The student’s foundation for the elementary and middle school is in the child’s early years. This foundation is offered at the Montessori School of Tracy, 100 South Tracy Boulevard for children 2 to 6 years old.

Concepts are introduced to our elementary and middle school students with concrete, manipulative materials. For example, base ten is first introduced with the concrete golden beads in which the quantity of one, ten, hundred, and thousand are exactly represented. The first step towards abstraction is the base-ten stamps in which the quantity is represented with “1”, “10”, “100” and “1000” stamped on the color-coded, small squares. The stamps are followed by the even more abstract base-ten abacus (or “bead frame”) with only the color-coding of the beads, and their position of hierarchy on the rungs to indicate the value (ones, tens, hundred, and thousands).

The core instructional differential from traditional education, therefore, is individualization of instruction which allows for shortening or lengthening of time to master a concept, and concrete materials to introduce concepts, and sequential steps toward abstraction.

While academic excellence is the Montessori reputation and goal, we strive for far more than that. The students are guided and required to be self-disciplined, self-motivated, and time-managers in the achievement of “deep-learning” academic excellence. “Deep-learning” refers to the ability to reason and analyze from the base of mastered facts.

Learning How To Learn (1962) was the book that brought the Montessori approach to education to the United States, and the title says it all: We are teaching our students for the 21st century. During the employment years the skill-sets in the workplace will change and shift constantly. The ability to know how to learn and “deep learn” is essential! Learning is engaging, exciting, and it continues our whole lifetime! Our students both learn, and know how to learn!


The MEMST Philosophy

Montessori Elementary and Middle School of Tracy fully embraces the Montessori approach to education, its philosophy, its method, and its curriculum. Dr. Maria Montessori, a medical doctor and internationally renown educator, was Italian by birth and international in her impact on education. Dr. Montessori developed the Montessori Method in the early 1900’s based upon her observation of children and how children learn. Based upon her observations and her work with children she came to the following conclusions:

– Learning, from birth onward, is the natural inclination and striving of the human being – children love learning.

– The prepared environment supports this love of learning and natural curiosity – provide a learning-rich environment.

– Sensitive periods for developing specific skills are times when the human being most easily develops certain skills – the elementary years are foundational to later academic success.

– Conscious absorbent mind effortlessly takes in many aspects of the learning environment simultaneous with structured lessons – offer the elementary student the Montessori deep-learning experiences – they will be enthalled!

– The human brain is logical and mathematical when provided such tools in the environment – the Montessori advanced mathematical materials and concepts are understandable by the elementary student.

– The elementary student is able to imagine and to make real that which is not directly observed – the universe and subatomic particles, times past and times to come, the infinite and the finite! The Montessori curriculum is expansive and deep – the students are ready!

– Middle school students seek to enter the life of the community and its economic imperatives – economic entrepreneurial fundamentals are taught and experienced with small business experiences.


Mission & Vision

The Montessori Elementary & Middle School of Tracy offers each student an expansive academic curriculum that guides mastery, analysis, and application of information infused with a spirit of joy. The context of this academic experience is a social environment with respect, and caring of self, of others, and of the environment.

The Curriculum:
Dr. Maria Montessori’s curriculum is rich and engaging, embracing higher-level mathematics, language arts including the western canon of classics, history, geography, biology, physics, chemistry, economics, and coding/programming.

The Student:
The student’s natural joy and inclination to self-actualization is supported by the expansive curriculum and the guidance of the teachers. The fullest development of each student’s unique and limitless potentiality is revered.

The Student Body:
The student body embraces and exhibits behavior of respect, of fairness, of value for oneself, for the other students, and for teachers, family, community, and other cultures.



Since 1994, when the Montessori School of Tracy was founded, we have been affiliated with the prestigious American Montessori Society. The American Montessori Society sets the educational standards for its affiliated Montessori Schools and Teacher Training Programs in the United States and worldwide.

The Montessori School of Tracy and the Montessori Elementary and Middle School of Tracy are affiliated with the American Montessori Society.

The Montessori Teacher Education Center San Francisco Bay Area (MTEC-SFBA) is affiliated with the American Montessori Society and is one of the oldest and largest of Montessori Teacher Education Programs in the United States. MTEC-SFBA shares staff with MEMS-TR.

Dr. Pamela Zell Rigg is the Head of School and the Montessori Teacher Education Center San Francisco Bay Area Program Director.

This close relationship between the School and the Training Program brings a rigor to the educational experience of the students that is truly enriching.




The Montessori School of Tracy was established in September of 1994 in a new school building with four classrooms at 100 South Tracy Boulevard.

In 1998 a single elementary classroom was established off site. During the single year of off-site instruction an additional four-classroom school was built next to the original school building. In September 1999 the single elementary classroom moved into the new building, with the remaining three classrooms filled with additional preschool-kindergarten classrooms.

In 2000 the elementary program expanded to two classrooms. Two years later, not being able to build an elementary school building due to very high land costs, the City of Tracy allowed a portable classroom to be placed on the School property. Thus, the third elementary classroom was established.

Ten years later, in 2012, land prices sank to a level that allowed for the purchase of nearly 5 acres on which a sizable new elementary school could be built. The long process of permits, school design, contractor vetting, building permits, and establishing agreements with various state, county, and city agencies resulted in our ground breaking in the Fall of 2015.

In August 2016 the Montessori Elementary and Middle School of Tracy opened with six of the eight classrooms opening. In 2022 fully enrolled of 240 students were served from ages 5 years through 14 years old. The school enjoys large, airy classroom, a full elementary basketball court used as a multipurpose room with stage, lunch room, and martial arts.

The building is fully green as to lighting, insulation, window treatment, solar-panel connectivity, radiant floor heating, and general design.

The acreage allows for two full elementary soccer fields and a synthetic turf track and field site was installed in 2021. Gardening/composting is a weekly part of the student curriculum.


The head teachers have been with the School from 5 to 22 years. Continuity is exceptionally strong.

Our close relationship with the Montessori Teacher Education Center San Francisco Bay Area provides an educationally rigorous support to our teachers.


Our current students and our alumni are reflective of the City of Tracy and Bay Area community: culturally diverse, though unified in our value of academic excellence and in our shared value for civil discourse.

Our annual Alumni Day, the first Saturday in October reinforces our continued sense of community.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • 01

    What is Montessori Education?

    Montessori education has been around for more than a century. The child-focused approach Dr. Maria Montessori, an Italian physician, developed for educating children has been transforming schools worldwide.

    Montessori classrooms are immediately recognizable. You may hear "prepared environment" often. Children will work independently and in small group presentations with a teacher. Children are deeply engaged in their work using the unique Montessori materials. Children respect themselves and their surroundings. The staff has to undertake hands-on training to learn the Montessori approach and deeply understand the method and educational materials.

    The Montessori method is a non-traditional approach to learning that focuses on fostering independence and self-motivated development for students of all ages in all areas of their cognitive, emotional, social, and physical development.

    Learn more about Montessori education at the American Montessori Society website, the foremost advocate for quality Montessori education:

    > Benefits of Montessori Education
    > Why Choose Montessori?
    > Inside the Montessori Classrom
    > Montessori Terminology
    > History of Montessori
    > Montessori Alumni

  • 02

    What is the difference between Montessori and Traditional education?

    Montessori education is an approach to education based on Dr. Maria Montessori's work. The Montessori method is student-centered and encourages independent learning. Students select their activities at their own pace implementing freedom within limits.

    Our Montessori classrooms have mixed-age groups and a range of self-directed materials and activities that are designed to stimulate student's natural curiosity and support motor skills, and academic knowledge.

    Traditional education, on the other hand, has a more structured approach to development. Students are typically taught in age-assigned classrooms and follow a standardized curriculum. The focus is on developing literacy, math, and social skills through teacher-directed instruction. Traditional education may also provide support services such as special education, counseling, and health services.

  • 03

    Why multi-age classrooms?

    In a Montessori classroom, you may find children of different ages grouped together. This approach is known as multi-age or mixed-age grouping, and it is a fundamental aspect of the Montessori method.

    1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade students are together in a classroom referred to as "lower elementary". There are 4 lower elementary classrooms.

    4th, 5th, and 6th grade students are together in a classroom referred to as "upper elementary". There are 3 upper elementary classrooms.

    The single middle school classroom is 7th and 8th grade.

    The rationale behind mixed-age classrooms in Montessori education is to create an environment that resembles a family or community, rather than a traditional classroom.

    Here are a few reasons why this approach is beneficial:

    - Peer Learning
    - Individualized Learning
    - Collaboration and Cooperation
    - Continuity and Stability
    - Leadership and Responsibility

  • 05

    Are you a religious school?

    Our schools are non-sectarian and are not affiliated with any church or religion. Students from various ethnicities and religious beliefs attend our school. We foster an environment of cultural sensitivity and mutual respect. We are responsive to our families' various beliefs, values, and practices.

  • 06

    How can parents be involved?

    All parents are members of our Parent Association. Parents are encouraged to join one (or more!) of the Committees of most significant interest. Additionally, each family enrolled has ten (10) hours of work commitment each year per student enrolled.

  • 07

    How do you screen your employees?

    All employees, teachers, assistants, administrators, and supporting staff receive a full background check through the FBI and Department of Justice. We do not employ any person with a criminal record.

School Hours

Mon-Fri, 6:30am-6pm