School Spotlight: Guidepost at Emeryville

Located in Emeryville, California, Guidepost Montessori at Emeryville provides children from 12 weeks to 6 years old with an enriching, individualized Montessori education

Guidepost Montessori at Emeryville in Emeryville, California provides children from 12 weeks to 6 years old with an enriching Montessori education. Led by Stephanie Fu, a seasoned educator who has served in many roles at the school for over eight years, Guidepost at Emeryville also offers an engaging Mandarin Immersion program. We're excited to shine a spotlight on this beautiful Bay Area campus.

Meet Stephanie Fu, Head of School

As a member of the Guidepost at Emeryville team for over eight years, Stephanie Fu has had the privilege of witnessing the growth and development of hundreds of students over time. “We’ve had families that joined us when their children were just babies – seeing them grow up right in front of my eyes – that's been one of the most rewarding experiences for me,” Stephanie shared.

Originally from Taiwan, Stephanie was first drawn to the Montessori method when she witnessed how a young child can be so incredibly independent and capable!

She attended university in the United States and then returned to her home country where she taught English. Stephanie spent over a decade teaching in Taiwan before returning to California and joining the LePort Montessori School in Emeryville as an Assistant Guide. LePort was acquired by Guidepost in 2018; at that time, Stephanie was providing administrative support. She was then promoted to Assistant Head of School and she became the Head of School this past spring.

Champions of Individualized Learning

Guidepost Montessori at Emeryville champions individualized learning and independence. Through a carefully prepared environment, 1:1 support from guides (teachers), and a strategic sequence of sensory-rich learning materials, the children at the Emeryville campus make unprecedented achievements. It’s not uncommon to find toddlers who eagerly set the table or dress independently, preschoolers who can decode and read phonetic books, and kindergarteners who seize every opportunity to multiply and divide the biggest numbers they can create.

Each of the school's classrooms are carefully designed with age-appropriate materials and activities that encourage children to explore, discover, and learn at their own pace. With a dedicated team of trained educators, the school fosters a sense of respect for each child's independence, unique abilities and interests.

“When you visit a morning work cycle, everybody is working on their own thing and the classroom is so quiet; it’s so peaceful and serene,” explained Stephanie. “Some parents who visit for tours are very surprised to see [such young] children working so peacefully and independently.”

An Engaging Mandarin Immersion Program

Recognizing the importance of bilingualism in today's interconnected world, Guidepost Montessori at Emeryville offers a Mandarin Immersion program for children from 18 months to 6 years old. Within the Montessori framework, children are exposed to Mandarin not just as a subject, but as a medium of instruction and communication. This immersive experience is bolstered by skilled guides who are native or fluent Mandarin speakers, ensuring authenticity in language acquisition.

"The parents [of children in our Mandarin Immersion classrooms] are very happy to see how their children are able to use the language so naturally and confidently,” shared Stephanie. “And we also help them to understand that the benefit of learning a different language is more than just being able to speak it -- it truly changes the way that your brain processes information as well.” The advantages of early language immersion are well-documented; it enhances cognitive development, fosters cultural awareness, and lays a solid foundation for bilingual proficiency.

Building a Thriving Parent Community

Stephanie and her team recognize the importance of involving parents as active partners in their child's education. “Our parent community is not just vibrant; it's at the heart of our school experience,” Stephanie shared. “We believe that when parents are engaged and involved, the children benefit immensely.”

"Guidepost Emeryville staff and teachers have always been super dedicated to helping our family,” shared Darrell, a parent of a student in the school’s Toddler Program. “Whether it be about something in the classroom or advice on parenting, we can always count on the team to have an open ear and open heart."

The school also holds lots of fun and informative events for families – from pool parties to Silent Journeys—events where parents travel through the classroom and experience their child’s work firsthand. The guides are also intentional about engaging in meaningful conversations with parents about their child's progress on a regular basis, whether with daily photo updates, at their regular milestone meetings, or informally during pick-up and drop-off. This collaborative approach fosters a sense of belonging for families and creates a support network that extends beyond the classroom.

Exceptional Guides Who Nurture Curiosity

Central to the Montessori philosophy is the belief in the potential of each child; our dedicated guides fully embody this belief. “I feel so blessed every day by our school team,” said Stephanie. “I just have so much respect and admiration for our guides. Their love and their dedication to our children is so evident every day.”

Vivian Yang is the lead Children’s Guide in a Mandarin Immersion classroom. "I've been fortunate to be a member of the Guidepost Emeryville team for almost three years, and it truly feels like a big family to me,” shared Vivian. “This experience also has been an immensely enriching journey, providing daily opportunities to inspire young minds and nurture their growth. My Montessori work holds a profound significance, allowing me to witness the magical effect of tailored learning, cultivating a child's innate curiosity, creativity, and genuine love for learning in a truly extraordinary way."

Guidepost Montessori at Emeryville stands as a beacon of what early childhood education should be – a place where children are inspired to explore their interests, develop their independence, and be prepared for a lifetime of learning and success. The school’s experienced leadership, enriching Mandarin Immersion program, vibrant parent community, and exceptional guides come together to create an environment where young minds flourish.

For more information on Guidepost Montessori at Emeryville or to book a tour, please visit the school’s webpage.