The Santa Barbara Montessori School originally opened its doors as The Montessori Children’s Home in 1975. Beginning with one class of two students the school developed quickly, and by 1977, offered two separate primary classes and one lower-elementary class. By 1978 the school was located in three separate locations utilizing the facilities of the Greek Orthodox Church, and the Goleta Presbyterian Church, in addition to the original class at Trinity Episcopal Church. The primary and elementary classes were consolidated in 1981 at centrally-located Trinity Episcopal Church.
Hundreds of children have grown and developed through SBMS’s programs, many now contributing as young adults in the community. In 1987, the school began an administrative change, adopting its new name, and is now the only Recognized AMI Montessori school in the Santa Barbara area.
In 1995, SBMS expanded its programs by opening a new facility featuring two Primary Classrooms at what was then Grace Church's San Andres location. In September 1996, after thorough improvements, the elementary classrooms joined the Primary classes at what is now the location of Shoreline Community Church. Thus, after 21 years on State Street, the entire SBMS school was located on the 6-acre campus at 935 San Andres. In January 2001 the Boys and Girls Club of Santa Barbara agreed to enter into a collaborative venture by providing SBMS a new home, initially with modular classrooms.
However, in 2004 SBMS secured the El Rancho campus with a long-term lease from the Goleta Union School District, and in September SBMS opened its doors at the 9-acre facility in Goleta.
Now, with newly developed classrooms at every level, SBMS is the only AMI Montessori School in southern California providing programs for Toddlers through the adolescent level. There is no other Montessori school providing what SBMS offers each day—authentic Montessori experiences in loving and caring environments with academically productive programs joyfully preparing students for a lifetime of learning based upon the skills and interests each child experiences.