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Our Founding

Bowman School was founded in 1995 as Children’s International School (CIS) by a group of concerned and entrepreneuriual parents and educators, many of whom had lived in other areas of the world. We are indebted to this group for their vision, their spirit, and their unwavering dedication and hard work in the formative years of our school.

Bowman's founders sought to:

  • Create a unique educational model and non-profit school

  • Provide a strong, individualized, self-directed, academic program for their children

  • Expand the concept of community and citizenship to the global level, the “neighborhood” and “workplace” of their children’s future

  • Integrate the use of state-of-the-art technology into the curriculum

  • Contribute to educational choice and innovation in schooling

  • Recognize and support the demanding work-life needs of today’s families


Our Journey


Children’s International School (CIS) opens its doors to 13 students from kindergarten through fourth grade, led by two teachers in a rented room at Cubberley Community Center.


The school expands to include grades 6–8.


Music and art is added to our program, the first of many enrichment subjects offered at Bowman.


Our signature travel program begins! Since 2000, Bowman students have traveled to Japan, Boston, Spain, England, Washington DC, New York, and Los Angeles.


We purchase our permanent home, an award-winning facility located down the road from our rented space. Amid the move, CIS changed its name to Bowman International School, an honorary tribute to Margaret Bowman Ricks, our founding Head of School and a recognized leader in Montessori education.


Bowman celebrates ten years!


Founding Head of School Margaret Bowman Ricks retires. Mary Beth Ricks, Bowman’s first teacher, becomes the Head of School.


Bowman joins the Small School Intermediate League Sports League and Common Ground Speaker Series


Bowman adopts the Bee as our mascot!


Bowman kicks off the site search to expand our campus to accommodate the school's growth.


Bowman celebrates 20 years of operation!


Bowman breaks ground on the Bowman West construction project, thanks to our Discover, Create, Become Capital Campaign.


Bowman West campus opens, including our Children’s House, Gym, Theater, IDEALab, and outdoor learning spaces.


Bowman celebrates 25 years of operation!


Bowman East is revitalized to include a dedicated space for World Language instruction, an improved office layout, and a reimagined space for the Secondary program.


Bowman launches Grades 9–12, an Upper Secondary Montessori program



Discover more:

Authentic Montessori Matters
The Prepared Environment


Non-Discrimination Statement

Bowman School is a non-profit organization. We are a non-denominational, co-educational school enrolling and providing education to children, and we do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, gender expression, age, national origin, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of our activities or operations.