This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
The Montessori School1
Posted May 24, 2011
- a parent
This school was a complete disaster when I pulled my child out last fall. From talking to parents who left their child(ren) in longer and subsequently pulled them out and those who are still there, this school is in grave danger of imploding on itself. It has a lot of potential and if managed correctly it could be a good school. As of right now though, with a board that has been afraid of each other and very little teaching staff, this school is not a good choice. Communication with the students and the parents is key in a good school and TMS does not exhibit this characteristic. Find another school if you are looking at this one.
I have had all 3 of my children at this school, and am so greatful that my children have been able to experience this type of education that can be found nowhere else in Montgomery. This experience has given my children an amazing confidence in themselves and there abilities by allowing them to excell in areas in which they have interest and aptitude and allowing them the time to acquire skills in areas in which take more time for them, all the while instilling a strong sense of accomplishment. This would never have been able to happen in the public school system or the private schools in Montgomery which model themselves after the public schools. While there may have been some staff and administrative difficulties, things have settled into a calm nurturing environment with more than capapable teachers. I am overwhelmed by the sense of commitment currently evident in all the staff at the school to provide the children with a quality experience.
As I read through the less-than-stellar reviews of The Montessori School (TMS) from the past few months, I can only shake my head and say that they completely reflect our own unsatisfactory experience with this school. The toddler classroom directress recently left the school, the second lead teacher this year to depart unexpectedly. When I say "unexpectedly," I mean just that: there one day and gone the next, with no opportunity for their students to transition or even say goodbye. This school is in such a state of leadership and personnel discord that it spills over into the classrooms and ultimately affects the children. And when one of this school's directresses opts to pull her own children out of TMS and enroll them in a competing Montessori school across town, that should speak volumes about the state of affairs at TMS. Avoid, avoid, avoid.
My children went to this school during good times and through recent challenging times. The school has recently been through an (unnecessary) re-invention to change the school name, the staff mix, and the website, but not focusing on areas that really need attention. While the intentions of the (volunteer) board seemed good, it appears the board has lost their way and continue to make bad operating decisions without admitting to or learning from past mistakes. This has decimated the community. I removed my children when the board failed to respond to concerns of employee issues (employees arguing angrily with each other at work) and when they showed a lack of stability in my children's learning environment (teachers leaving suddenly, teachers being asked to leave suddenly.) They've consistently hired good teachers but can't or won't keep them. No one from the school contacted me when I notified them I was removing my children. This school had a good history in past years but in recent times it has not lived up to its potential. At this time, I would not recommend this school. Beware recent rosy reviews, evaluate the school for yourself if you are considering it.
Teachers, parents and administration collective efforts help to grow any school. Now TMS is growing very well. I like all teachers working hard and they are committed to Montessori Method. We are lucky to have AMI trained teachers. My children love their school and their teachers. They are learning. School is providing safe, loving,caring and healthy environment.
If by "trouble making parent" you mean parents concerned about their children's safety and well being ,than I guess that is what they were. As a parent who pulled my child out of TMS, I can expound on some of the complaints. The loss of the primary teacher was an extreme blow to a school that was undermanned and in the rush to become Int'l qualified did not hire a good mix pf people. The school has potential, but I did not feel that the board was capable of addressing parent concerns nor provide an objective plan for its students. Security also concerned me since there were no sign in/sign out procedures, and few physical boundaries when playing outside. This school was very slow in developing a parent handbook that discussed dispute resolution in the classroom, as well as what aspects of the AL school code on classroom sizes and CPR certifications. As I said, this school has potential, but there was too much change, too quickly, and from my perspective it took a school melt down for the board to actually take a leadership role.
I absolutely love this Montessori!! I don't understand why some parents pulled out their children just becuase of a few trouble making parents and staff members!! But I'm glad becuase the new teachers and administration is very helpul, caring and they really make sure that your child gets the attention and love she/he deserves! I really needed a nice Montessori for my children so that I could work in peace. I can't handle the hyper, jumpy, agressive environment of most daycares! I'm glad I found The Montessori School!
My grandson (whom we are raising) has been at the school for over a year now and loves it. He is now in elementary and we are very happy with how much he is learning and the maturity he is showing. The school hired someone to run the office who seems very professional and pleasant. The Board has added new members, is working on a new website and appears to be getting the school back to where it needs to be. I am encouraged and look forward to seeing the school develop and grow.
This school is now called The Montessori School. My child LOVES going to school every day. The staff is caring, well educated, and communicate very well with parents. The students seem very happy and have genuine affection for each other and their environment. This is the only school in town that is faithful to the Montessori Method. The classrooms are beautiful, everything is child-sized and at child level, the materials are lovingly cared for and presented. The board leading the school is full of caring parents and professionals. Staff changes and the exit of some trouble-making families this fall have made the school much more peaceful. I really like the nutritional snacks provided by the school no sugar, salt, fat, high fiber and often organic!