1331 E Foster Rd Santa Maria CA United States 93455
The Children’s House Montessori School was founded in 1982 by a group of seven families who wanted to provide a Montessori-based alternative for their elementary-aged children.
The school first opened for children ages preschool through sixth grade in an historic mansion built by the Preisker family, called the Haslam House, on South Broadway.
In 1986, the school transitioned from a nonprofit organization to a sole proprietorship when Robin and David Palmerston bought it. Robin had already served as board president and school director, so the transition was a welcome step for all who wanted the school to continue to grow. Her dedication and commitment to The Children's House, and to the community as a whole, are legendary.
The Children’s House eventually moved, and has called the neighborhood at the east end of Foster Road home for many years now. The school is perched on a breezy hilltop overlooking the rolling hills of Orcutt. The expansive and student-friendly facility allows for, and encourages, outdoor exercise, interaction with the natural world, and a healthy appreciation for the environment. In good weather, students have lunch outside under a large shade tree.
At the request of numerous families, the school grew to include a toddler program and a middle school for seventh- and eighth-grade students. From 1993-1996, The Children’s House operated a second campus, under contract with the City of Santa Maria, at Grogan Park, serving preschool and school-age students.
In 2006, families were presented with the opportunity to enroll their elementary (first through seventh-grade) children in the Family Partnership Charter School, which opened a Montessori Learning Center at The Children's House Montessori facility.
The Children’s House Montessori School is an independent Montessori school, and is registered with the State of California as a private day school for kindergarten children. All elementary students are separately enrolled in the Family Partnership Charter School.
Robin Palmerston earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree, with honors, from Pepperdine University’s Seaver College at Malibu, and holds a California Teaching Credential. She has taken coursework through San Jose State University, Cal Poly/San Luis Obispo, and UC Santa Barbara. She became a Science Fellow at UCSB, completing the 1999 Science Project Summer Institute for teachers. She has had additional training through the Montessori World Educational Institute, and the Lindamood Language and Literacy Center.
Ms. Robin was a City Council-appointed member of the Santa Maria Valley Childcare Advisory Committee, is conference co-chair for an annual peace conference in Santa Maria, has been a member of the Families for the First Decade Project Collaborative with the City of Santa Maria. Robin continues her education through specific training programs and seminars, and by regular attendance at Montessori conferences.
Robin has been a workshop presenter for the local chapter of the National Association for the Education of Young Children, Children’s Resource and Referral, and at the Peaceful Impressions community conference. She has been an Associate Faculty member at Allan Hancock College, and is often a guest speaker for early childhood education classes.
The director lives here at the school with her husband, David. David and Robin have four children: Ryan, Mark, Cerise, and Jeremiah. They also have 9 grandchildren: Tyler, Shelbiann, Gavin, Conner, Dominic, Sydney, Zaidan, Madison, and Ashton. Please respect the Palmerstons' personal residence by using just the office door, and not using any part of the circular driveway in front of their home. On special occasions the kitchen becomes a shared area with the school, although usually it is kept as a family area.
The Children's House Montessori School offers high-quality education for students from 2.9 years old thru Kindergarten.
2.9-5 years old
Full Day: 8 AM-3:30 PM
Half Day: 8 AM-12:30 PM
5, 4, or 3 days (M/T/W or W/Th/F)
4.5-6 years old
Full Day: 8 AM-3:30 PM
Half Day: 8 AM-12:30 PM
Our extended daycare program offers quality childcare for enrolled students before and after school, with opportunities such as relaxed play time, quiet homework space (as needed), games, craft activities, a snack, music, and indoor toys and games, supervised by an individual who can follow through on the school ’s Montessori approach.
Summer School Program
Our summer school program offers quality childcare for children 2.9 years through elementary school. Summer school is split into week or two week long sessions during which a specific theme is studied in a fun, interesting, and educational way. The information and activities are tailored to the levels and abilities of the children and presented using the Montessori approach, in a Montessori classroom, by Montessori trained staff members. Children can choose to enroll in our program for the entire summer or enroll in specific sessions.