Students enrolled 318
School leader Lynn Belmonte

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1610 Bird Avenue
San Jose, CA 95125

School website
(408) 535-6671
Nearby homes for sale
Map of Hammer Montessori At Galarza Elementary School address.

4 stars
Based on 42 ratings

Let others know what you
think about this school

May 07, 2014
We have been pretty happy with this school up until this year. There is no longer a PTA which means there is really limited ways for parents to get involved and meet other parents or be involved. There is a foundation but it is not a very welcoming group and does not do the typical PTA events that would draw the students and parents to the school for events. Miss having the events that the other school onsite gets to have. Also my child is now in 4th grade and I am worried about the choices for 5th grade. There is one really great teacher that we all want but she can only have 30 students and currently teaches 4th/5th which means even fewer 5th graders. The other 5th grade teacher is of questionable reputation and character and one I do not want teaching my child. Seems like I am not the only one in this situation. It's a shame that the school does great until the important 5th grade. For younger grades though it is great and I would recommend it. Would also recommend getting a PTA back on campus.

- submitted by a parent
January 29, 2014
I have 3 children that attend Hammer Montessori, my oldest since 2009. We have had both kinder teachers for my children, and the teachers clearly have different styles. I found for my 3 children, both styles are effective and offer a unique personality fit for my non-cookie cutter kids. I think parents don't always understand the Montessori classroom and how the kinder classroom is structured. Thus the reason for the tours and the opportunity to meet the kinder teachers. If you are considering schools for your kinder or 1st grader, please come check out our school. You won't find an education like this in any other public school in SJUSD.

- submitted by a parent
August 07, 2013
My daughter is just entering the fourth grade at Hammer and we have had nothing but a great experience here. The teachers are extremely easy to talk with and accessible. With any school, there will be a range of types of teachers and personalities. I have found that the principal and teachers work together to place the kids with the most appropriate teachers that best suit the child's personality while keeping the the classroom dynamics in mind. Our community of teachers and parents are amazing. I'd really like to see the school find a site that can allow it to expand it to eight grade.

- submitted by a parent
June 20, 2013
We were not happy with the kindergarten teacher. We found her to be inflexible and difficult to deal with. We like the community of parents and the principal.

- submitted by a parent
June 09, 2013
My daughter just finished Kinder at Hammer and we have been very impressed with the education she is receiving. She loves going to school and to the after school program. She has excelled academically, has mastered reading and is writing sentences. She loves all the jobs and being able to work at her own pace. Teachers are all Monterssori trained and do a great job assessing what each child needs and their progress. Parents are very involved and school community is great. Families are all very down to earth. Can't wait for my son to start kinder next fall.

- submitted by a parent
May 01, 2013
My child has attended this school since kindergarten and is now in 4th grade. Up until this year we have loved the school and the teachers up until this year were fantastic. The teacher we have for fourth grade is not Montessori trained and is very lazy and basically just gives assignments and then spends his days on his iPad on Facebook. He is also "sarcastic" which borders on disrespect and mean. Many parents have complained about him to the principal but he has now here three years and only getting worse. My son and his friends are very excited to have this year almost over so they can be (hopefully) in the other 4/5 grade class next year. My concern is that so many people have requested NOT to be in his class that there won't be space in the other class and my son will have to suffer for another year. We are seriously considering another school. Frustrating that my son wants to stay with his friends but does not want to be with his current 4/5 teacher next year. I am not willing to take the chance.

- submitted by a parent
February 07, 2013
Hammer Montessori School is the best-kept secret in the South Bay public school system. I've worked in public education for 25 years and, as a parent, was looking for a public school that provided an engaging, thoughtful approach to learning, caring and creative teachers, strong leadership, and a great family community. We have found that in Hammer Montessori. We actually started out at our neighborhood school (also a highly rated school), but within weeks saw our son's love of learning plummet due to the worksheet culture of the school. He went from a very active hands-on preschool to a Kinder classroom in which he was seated at his desk with worksheets for most of each day. After 12 weeks, we decided we needed to do something, and switched to Hammer Montessori. It turned out to be a great decision he looks forward to school every day, and our younger son will join the Hammer Montessori family in a few years. If you seek a school that cares about your child as an individual, provides stimulating self-directed learning that meets California state standards, and involves your family in meaningful ways, please visit Hammer Montessori. Every family deserves to love their school!

- submitted by a parent
January 28, 2013
This school has great teachers. It is our second year here and I am very happy with the education my daughter is receiving. There are a few downfalls: Late start time (9:05) doesn't really work well for working parents-I wish this would change. 30 kids per class-this is just too many in these tiny rooms, but what else do you expect from the public school system. Shared campus with Galarza/shared PTA funds. The upside outweighs the cons for the most part. However, there are more pros: Freedom in learning-with the Montessori methods Lot's of extra activities thanks to the HMF Teachers that I feel truly care about my child and the school Many involved dedicated parents

- submitted by a parent
January 14, 2013
This is our second year at Hammer, my son is in 2nd grade and daughter just started in kinder. We are really happy to have found Hammer and the Montessori method of teaching. Both of my kids are really happy and having fun at school. We look forward to many great years here.

- submitted by a parent
January 14, 2013
Perhaps nothing is more daunting than being faced with the choice of where to send your children to school. OK... that may sound a bit strong but it was not an easy decision for our family. When the time came to make our family's choice, we knew that we wanted to send our kids to a school that would inspire them to become life long learners. We wanted to find a group of teachers, faculty and staff that would encourage our kids to experiment, research, read, question, explore and, yes, even fail. In short we were looking for a school that would help us teach our kids to be leaders. The answer for our family is / was Hammer Montessori Elementary Magnet. We currently have a Kindergartener and a First Grader attending Hammer Montessori Elementary. We feel so lucky to have our children attend Hammer Montessori. Both kindergarten teachers are amazing... With our two kids, we have had the opportunity to experience both. They are carrying, warm and our boys love them. My son's first grade teacher is also a rock star. She has inspired my son to love reading and is encouraging him to do extra work on his own to explore science. We highly recommend Hammer Montessori!

- submitted by a parent
June 06, 2012
My young daughter has been going to these school about 3 years. Is a great school; My son is been attending to school too, and my preschool too. They have great teachers; great friends & a good principal. I like how people & teacher treat me. and special teacher they help me with any problems i have with my kids @ home.

- submitted by a parent
September 22, 2011
My daughter has been at Hammer for two years and we have been very happy. We had Mrs. H for kindergarten. As mention by another parent, we did find her to be strict, but at the same time we found her to be very caring about the students and their progress. My daughter progress greatly and I believe Mrs. H strong control of the classroom kept the students focus academically. I felt that my daughter needed someone that cared about her, but was also willing to provide her with discipline. Warm and fuzzy was not a priority for us. Her first grade teacher was also wonderful and kept us updated as a classroom online. There are many parents who are very involved and I found this to be a positive indication of the school. I think that we are very lucky to have a public Montessori program. I feel that when parents are choosing this school that they need to keep in mind that this is still a public school and the resources are limited. I feel that many parents expect a private Montessori experience with a public school budget. The HMF program has been wonderful in raising money by donation to provide our children with art, music, and other outside enrichment.

- submitted by a parent
September 13, 2011
My daughter started here in the 2nd grade. We were really excited to get in but was not impressed with her 2 grade teacher at all. I heard great things about other teachers from other parents so we are trying it another year. So far this year is already been a big improvement. The teacher seems way more on it. My kid likes her and the work. I think they need to work with some of these teachers that may need some more help. I felt out of the loop and lost all last year and actually had many issues with the teacher. BUT So far this year I am impressed.

- submitted by a parent
July 29, 2011
The idea of this magnet program is great, but in practice it hasn't lived up to our expectations. Not child centered or directed at all, which Montessori should really be. All of the kindergarten teachers were overwhelmed this year (with class size increase to 30 and switch to full-day) and unfortunately for our son, our teacher s response to the stress was an increased rigidity and an overall coldness. Strict is fine, but I expect some nurturing and warmth along with the high expectations. The new assistant principal lacks the support she needs to be effective and although I found her to be understanding, she didn't seem able to resolve the numerous and repeated concerns from parents in our class. Two positive things the parent community is awesome and the building is newer and well maintained. Overall though, we are disappointed and looking for other options.

- submitted by a parent
July 16, 2011
My grandson just finished kindergarden. I am a local grandmother and I babysit for him at least 2-3 times per week. I was worried about the choice his mother made of program at Hammer Montessori. After the experience we had with him this year, I was proved wrong! Mrs H. is a wonderful teacher. My grandson learned to read the site words , he sound out words and write a couple of sentences at the time. He learned to count by 5 and by 10, addition and subtraction, the continents and the countries, he could talk about current events. The most important development though, is the fact that he asks when he does not understand a word. When I traveled, he would ask which continent is the visited country in, and the language they speak and so on... He learned to assume responsibility for his own homework and ask for help if he needed. He would also be upset if he was sick and had to miss school and he verbalized that he loved school! Mrs H gave him the gift of curiosity and excitement for the learning process. What a great gift to have a school and a teacher that gives a child this kind of base to start from! I could only rate this school a 10!

- submitted by a community member
May 14, 2011
it is a very good school it should be 10 out of 10 the teachers are great and the subjects are great too

- submitted by a community member
November 12, 2010
We just started kindergarten this year and my son loves it. I volunteer in the classroom and appreciate the parent involvement. How it works: Children receive lessons at the various stations and they have to prove to be proficient in that lesson before moving on to a harder one at that same station. They also have a music teacher along with time in the library and computer lab. Montessori has the belief that you don't learn just from instruction but by doing it yourself. So for example they have the kids count with physical units and then match the corresponding number to the units they have been working with. They start by learning in cursive because kids are more prone to write in circular motion rather than start/stop. When they do the alphabet they learn it phonetically which has helped my son start reading. In just the past three months he has learned to sound out words and has started reading easy books, he knows all of the continents (North America, South America, Asia, etc..) he has learned to count into the thousands and simple addition, and because of the personal responsibility that they encourage in this program he has taken better ownership of his things

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 22, 2010
Hammer Montessori is a wonderful school. My son has gone there since the middle of second grade. He is in fourth now and he loves it. What I love are the teachers they are a very dedicated group of individuals who work hard to ensure a quality education and great Montessori classroom experience. The only weak link at all is the principal. I would recommend this school to any parent who cares about how their children learn.

- submitted by a parent
September 25, 2010
Public Montessori education is an incredible find in San Jose. This school has top of the line, experienced teachers and staff who care for the children very much. Over the two years we have been there we have seen the API score go up and up again. This school is a gem. If you can get in, you and your children will not be let down.

- submitted by a parent
August 17, 2010
i went to this school threw 2-2-3-4-5th grade so 5 years. it was amazing i love this school and i still remain contact with my teachers :) great staff and great hard work!

- submitted by a community member
April 05, 2010
My grandson has been attending Hammer since kindergarten and is now a 4th grader. He loves the system and is thriving. We consider ourselves very lucky to be able to send him to Hammer. His mother also attended a Montessori school but we had to pay for her private elementary school education.

- submitted by a community member
March 03, 2010
This school is a well kept secret. Public montessori education!! Well educated teachers who manage 30 individual learners in their classroom! I have two children at this school. My daughter is GATE and just finishing 5th grade. She is never bored. She loves her teachers and takes ownership of her homework and research projects. I feel like she is well prepared for middle school. My son is in kindergarten and excited and engaged in his learning process. He takes pride in what he has mastered already this year and is looking forward to his next steps. Hammer is strong because of its committed teachers and engaged parent community. It is frustrating that all of the budget cuts are increasing class size and reducing opportunities. But despite this, I feel like my children are getting an excellent education.

- submitted by a parent
February 13, 2010
My daughter has been at Hammer for two years now and I am very happy with the teachers and the education she is recieving at Hammer. Though the school infrastructure and after schools programs need some improvement. Her primary education is well taken care of and the teachers are excellent and the montessori approach suits my daughter's temperment and learning style.

- submitted by a parent
February 03, 2010
I am so glad there is a public Montessori option in San Jose Unified. My daughters are in 4th and Kinder this year, and are both thriving. I see them taking ownership of their learning and growing in confidence and initiative. They have had wonderful, committed teachers who bring out the best in them. I am also excited about the parent community at Hammer, which is growing and deepening every year. We love our school.

- submitted by a parent
February 01, 2010
My son has been at Hammer since Kindergarten and is now in 4th grade. I am a believer in the Montessori philosophy and went to a Montessori school myself. I was so excited when I found that SJUSD offered a Montessori option. The children learn at their own pace and truly feel a part of their community. The teachers are incredible and caring and the parent involvement is extraordinary.

- submitted by a parent
January 23, 2010
Hammer has been a perfect fit for my son. He has learned how to be a part of a community, how to help others, and how to come out of his shell to be a leader. This is a great school with superior teachers (all of them are state and Montessori credentialed.) Next year is his last year and we will miss the community.

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 07, 2009
Our daughter went from K-5 at Hammer and I know it absolutely contributed to her ability to problem-solve at a higher level than other kids when she mainstreamed into 6th grade at a 'traditional' school. They encourage creative thinking, teach by doing, not telling, and truly love the kids and new ways of learning. Our son now attends Kindergarten there and he is really excited and happy about school every day! Love the Montesorri model as part of the public school model... totally unique and a treasure of SJUSD.

- submitted by a parent
September 18, 2009
This is my son's second year at Hammer Montessori School and he loves it. The teachers are warm, caring and just fantastic. The skills learned in the Montessori way will last the kids a lifetime.

- submitted by a parent
September 16, 2009
Hammer has helped my daughter become a betther thinker and problem solver. Her teachers have been nothing less then AMAZING!!!!

- submitted by a parent
no rating September 16, 2009
The teachers and parents at Hammer Montessori care a great deal about the kids. Budgets are tight and the atmosphere can be a bit chaotic at times yet we are digging in to make things better and the sentiment of helping the children is always present.

- submitted by a parent
March 18, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
September 02, 2007
My child has attended this school since kindergarden and she is now in 4th grade. I believe in the way the teaching is set up, because i have personally seen my daughter succeed. I also like the tutoring opportunities given to help the children work on subjects that are difficult. The teachers are very open to allowing the students to explore and be hands on. They allow the children to work on their strengths and be confident with themselves. I took a year looking for the right school for my child and am very happy with my choice.

- submitted by a parent
August 07, 2007
It is the best school ever!

- submitted by a community member
March 30, 2007
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
August 16, 2006
We are happy with how our son and daughter are educated at Hammer. The teachers are good, and do a great job in hard times with the state budget.

- submitted by a parent
June 16, 2006
Montessori program is very good. Extra curricular activites are not so good. Parent involvement used to be very good 2 years ago but not any more. Teachers are great but there are so many students below average. I think students need more parent involvement.

- submitted by a parent
April 04, 2006
We have been at this school for 5 years. The Montessori philosophy of independence within a highly prepared learning environment has been outstanding for my children. Unlike most Montessori's this school is free because it's public. Wonderful community of children and parents and we have had the most amazing teachers.

- submitted by a parent
March 21, 2006
This is a very organized, and well ran school. The Montessori style of teaching is designed to accommodate the various needs of each child. I have 2 children attending and I am very please with their progress and the attentioned paid to each one of them. One of my children is in the GATE program. Many schools cannot afford to supply differentiated education for those students accelerating or struggling, however, the fact that all of the teachers in the Montessori program have been educated and certified to teach to these different levels in one classroom. This is a major win for these students. And my other son learns much more slowly and requires more attention. He too is doing great at this school. The school has on-site daycare that works closely with the school in terms of assisting students with home work and managing afterschool programs. I am pleased.

- submitted by a parent
January 28, 2006
The administrators and teachers who work at this public school Montessori program are committed to providing the best education and environment they can. Not much in the way of extracurricular activites but given the recent move to this campus, they are doing wonderfully.

- submitted by a parent
September 01, 2005
I had one child attend hammer before the move to the new campus. My middle child now attends the combined campus environment. She is doing well and likes the montesori approach

- submitted by a parent
January 20, 2005
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
March 01, 2004
My son has been in a Montessori school since pre-K. I could not have been more relieved to find Hammer! He has been there for two years now and we could ask for better teachers! Each year we say my son has the best teacher and each year his teachers get better and better. A parent couldn t hope for a more caring and supportive environment than the Hammer classrooms. Although Hammer is going to go through many changes, I am confident that the teacher excellence we have always known will continue.

- submitted by a parent
January 29, 2004
My son has attended Hammer from K through 4th Grade and is thriving in the Montessori environment. My daughter has attended Hammer from K through 2nd Grade and is also thriving. My daughter's K teacher even came to our house to attend my daughter's birthday party! Each Hammer teacher has been high quality and wonderful for my children. The Hammer Walk-a-Thon annual fundraiser is a memorable event that we hope won't be lost when Hammer transfers to Galarza School. I am angry that our national and state priorities permit a friendly neighborhood school like Hammer to be closed due to budget cuts while we can spend millions of $$$ on tax breaks for the wealthy, welfare for corporations, a failed and misdirected war on drugs, and a bloated military budget that enables the murder of untold thousands of innocent civilians in other countries. But at least my children will have a brighter future because of the time they spent at Hammer Montessori School and its dedicated teachers and staff. The School District has done a wonderful thing creating such a magnet school.

- submitted by a parent
January 27, 2004
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
January 21, 2004
My son have been in this school since he was in kinder, and as a parents I am very happy with the montessori training he recived. Parents and teachers work together for the benefit of our children, teacher takes extra steps and works harder to help the children, my son despite of homework loves and respect his teacher, as a matter of fact he will never say anything bad about his teacher pass and present. The value of education and respect that are instill to the children is one you can not value with money. I am happy with Hammer and a proud parent.

- submitted by a parent
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Hammer Montessori At Galarza Elementary School
1610 Bird Avenue, San Jose, CA  95125
(408) 535-6671
Last modified Hammer Montessori At Galarza Elementary School is a Public school that serves grades K-5. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 7 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Hammer Montessori At Galarza Elementary School Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 45 reviews. Top