Our community in Emeryville is located centrally with easy access to the 80, 580 and 880 freeways. At the heart of our school is our belief that children thrive when given freedom and responsibility in Montessori environments prepared especially for them. Our school offers bright, beautifully-designed classrooms in an urban setting. Our two-story main school building is a completely remodeled warehouse, while our infant cottage offers a separate space for our youngest students. Children enjoy several enticing play areas: a large yard securely surrounded by our building and walls, a rooftop playground, and an indoor gross motor space with a built-in climbing wall.
Our beautiful campus and welcoming community is the perfect place for your child to explore her own potential.
Guidepost Montessori classrooms are light, airy, calming, aesthetically beautiful spaces. Each material is carefully chosen and carefully displayed — to inspire and entice your child to explore.
Children's House Classrooms
Julia Neely, Head of School
Ms. Julia Neely received her bachelor’s degree in Child Development from San Diego State University and holds an AMS Montessori Primary certification. She has witnessed Montessori in action over the past four decades through a wide spectrum of roles, Head Teacher, School Director, Executive Director, Adult Instructor, Field Consultant, Private Consultant, Parent Educator, and, most poignantly, as a parent that experienced Montessori through the eyes of her own child.
Ms. Neely has worked in English and language immersion programs, and at schools in rural areas and in urban settings. She was an instructor and faculty member of a Montessori training institute in the Seattle area and served as a primary-level language instructor where she wrote the curriculum manual that is used today. She also taught the Classroom Leadership portion of the training.
Prior to joining Guidepost Montessori, Ms. Neely spent two years focused on nonprofit endeavors, managing the grant funding process in the East Bay area to provide access to quality preschool programs for children in low-income families. She is thrilled to bring her many layers of child development and Montessori experience to the Guidepost Emeryville campus to lead the team.
Ms. Neely has one grown daughter and is a proud grandmother! In her leisure time, she loves to sing and play the piano, go on hikes with her dog Olive, spend time with family, garden, and travel.
Amy Chang, Admissions Director
Ms. Amy Chang’s love for early childhood education started when she opened up her parents’ home to be a daycare center. She’s the youngest in her family of four siblings and has a natural motherly aura. She babysat her neighbors’ children and created a caring and loving network for families in the community. She graduated from the University of California at San Diego with a bachelor’s degree in human development and a minor in psychology at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. Throughout her career, she has had the pleasure of serving children and families in different settings, working with children with special needs, assisting in autism research, working in speech-language pathology, and being a lead teacher in the classroom. From these experiences, Ms. Chang has found that her passion lies In promoting the Montessori pedagogy and advocating early childhood educations.
Outside of work, Ms. Chang enjoys traveling, hiking, exploring cafes, and spending time with her family and friends.
Stephanie Fu, Administrative Director
Ms. Stephanie Fu is originally from Taipei, Taiwan. She attended an all-girls Catholic boarding school while growing up and then attended an international high school in Singapore. She received her BA in mass communication from the University of California, Berkeley. For many years, Ms. Fu served as an English Second Language teacher for elementary-age children. She feels great pride and joy that her adult students still visit her years after their graduation. Building relationships and connecting with her students is very important to Ms. Fu.
Ms. Fu joined Guidepost Montessori in 2015 as curriculum coordinator and assistant teacher in the elementary Mandarin Immersion program. Later, she was offered the exciting opportunity to join the administrative team. Outside of school, Ms. Fu enjoys spontaneous trips to Napa, restaurant hopping, and cheering on her favorite football team, Cal Bears.
Children are compelling in every way. They are fascinating, intriguing, charming, heartwarming creatures with infinite variation in personalities, tendencies, and interests.
The unique joy and sacred responsibility of a child's caretakers is to learn about her — to discover and fall in love with her as she grows, to let careful observation and observant care guide her development, and to get to know her well enough to help her shape herself. A child's teachers and parents are collaborators in this process that is at once scientific discovery and heartfelt nurturing.
To that end, our school is designed to further connect you with your child, to bring you into a community of valuable resources and education-minded people, and to make it as easy as possible for you to understand and support your child as she grows.
Insights into Your Child
The Montessori approach emphasizes careful, theory-informed, individualized observation of each child's development. We don't want to keep what we see to ourselves! The impact of these observations is greatest when shared with a child's parents.
At Guidepost, parents receive regular, detailed updates about their children. Classroom guides are available outside of class hours by phone, email, or for scheduled in-person meetings. Your child’s guide will also meet with you for regularly-scheduled conferences about your child's learning and growth.
We see these conversations, both periodic conferences and frequent exchanges, as critical for both giving and receiving information. They allow teachers to hear from the people most expert and most observant about a child: his parents.
Parents will also receive written progress reports two to three times per year, each a summary of a teacher's observations of the child over the course of the previous months. Meanwhile, day-to-day and week-to-week, parents receive regular updates from the teacher, in the form of photographs and written anecdotes about their child.
And finally, parents are able to directly access Transparent Classroom, the web-based system we use for careful record keeping and observations about your child. Transparent Classroom offers you an on-demand window into the lessons and classroom life of your child.
A great school offers the incredible resource of a trusted partner for parents in the education of their child. The simplest way to amplify that resource is to offer more of it: to offer it at flexible hours so that you can access a trusted, caring partner during days and times when you need us the most.
At Guidepost, we offer an extended school day program, where children thrive in the Montessori approach all day long. Early morning and late afternoon times offer children the downtime and free time they need in order to assimilate all that they have learned during the school day. Each child can find time to develop interests outside the classroom with expert guidance, and to explore an environment rich with opportunities.
To ensure that parents can rely upon a consistent social and recreational experience in a warm and expert school setting, our extended day schedule is offered inclusively with the cost of our programs: there is no extra charge for morning and afternoon extended day hours.
In addition, extracurricular programs are offered during the afternoon extended day, after class time is over. Parents and children can choose from a wide variety of optional activities designed to spark your child’s passion in some way.
Guidepost Montessori runs year-round. We know that we need to be available as a support for your family, so we minimize school closure days as much as we can. For enrolled families, a full calendar will be available on our Parent Portal.
Our typical school day runs from about 8:30 AM to 3:00 PM, depending on the program. However, because we believe so strongly in supporting a partnership between home and school for families needing greater accessibility, our all-inclusive tuition price includes the option to utilize our extended day program. This means that your family can drop off as early as 7:00 AM and pick up as late as 6:00 PM.