This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Anchorage Montessori School5
Posted February 23, 2015
- a parent
My children attend Anchorage Montessori School's elementary program. It is the only elementary school I have ever experienced that offers a completely customized curriculum for each student. The staff truly live the Montessori motto to meet the child where they are at and develop them into lifelong learners. The classrooms are multi-age which encourages student leadership and lessens the stress of a new teacher every year. The curriculum is focused on global and cultural awareness and tolerance and respect for all people. There are several non-native English speakers in the class which adds to the diversity. You simply could not find a more ideal setting for your child to recognize their strengths and flourish in a supportive and nurturing environment. It is a gem.
My four year old son has been attending AMS since June of 2014. We have decided to enroll him in the program after he simply outgrew the traditional childcare development center's methods. He was restless, bored and miserable while being dropped off in the morning. Everything has changed since he started at AMS. He loves his teachers, he takes pride in the "work" he does, and it never ceases to amaze me how much he learns every day. The good habits established by a quality Montessori education translate into every aspect of his life - whether putting his toys away, assisting us in dinner preparation or simply being able to pick up a book, a puzzle or an activity book, find an appropriate place, and purposefully occupy himself. I really appreciate getting a verbal feedback from his teachers, as well as a weekly classroom-specific newsletter depicting and describing all the wonderful activities that the children have partook of. The happiness of my child is the final confirmation that we have made the right choice.
Anchorage Montessori School has been serving the families of Anchorage since 1977. This program houses children from 19 months to 12 years old and uses the time tested Montessori methodology. As an educator for over 35 years I find this approach very effective for reaching a child's potential and letting it blossom in a natural manner. By and large there are not many reviews of this program listed in Great Schools. That is unfortunate because the one or two negative commentaries overshadow the general satisfaction the clientele maintains. I invite anyone to visit this school to see and feel the positive, professional, and child centered approach to learning and living.
I have had two children attend AMS and am very happy with their development and with the school. It is a very welcoming environment and both of my children have taken to it. Both of my children started as toddlers. I looked at other schools in Anchorage and felt that AMS had the most to offer. From what I can tell there seems to be very low staff turnover. I would encourage others to visit the school and take a tour. As a side note: when our daughter first started attending this fall at 3 years old, her teacher offered to come to our house after work for a short visit. It was a very nice thing to do and helped to make our daughter more comfortable in class.
We've had our children in AMS since they were toddlers. They are both now in the elementary program and are thriving. I am amazed every day at how much they are learning. We attempted public school with one of our kids, but that didn't last long as he wasn't being challenged at all. We transferred him back to AMS and haven't looked back since. At AMS the students are taught to be self-motivated and learn by self-direction and leadership. By learning at an individual rate, this allows children on both ends of the learning spectrum to not only succeed, but to excel. The teachers, administrative staff and executive director are all dedicated and passionate about the Montessori philosophy and in making sure that each student gets the very best education. I have been so pleased with AMS and how it is instilling the love learning in my children, with not only the core subjects, but also music, art and language. This will last a lifetime for them.
Although I have faith in the Montessori Method, I don't believe this school is equipped to deliver it faithfully. Every time my son had the slightest physical problem, I would get a call to pick him up. My son got his first scar at AMS due to a lack of supervision. My son would have a tantrum and nobody at AMS knew how to handle it. And I would get a call to pick him up. I don't believe AMS provides any different quality of care for the money than any other childcare provider in Anchorage. And for much less money, I believe there are childcare centers in Anchorage who provide a much higher quality of care. Not recommended.
My child has been attending since fall 2011. This school is very expensive for the quality of education provided. There is a serious problem with the consistent and fair application of policies and communication with parents. Substitute teachers are undereducated and have little or no training in Montessori methods. Despite that there is a general commitment to Montessori principles and it is worth getting to know the parents. Overall I'm disappointed in the price of this education but am satisfied with the benefits to my child. I am seriously considering not applying to enroll my second child when she reaches the age of matriculation.
I don't recommend applying here if you are not well-connected. Their application process is really convoluted and shady. Requiring recommendation forms for two-year-olds to me really is a sign of the apocalypse and the sad reality that childhood has become a vestigial stage in human development. Really? I am pretty sure we were judged more on our address then anything else. I was not impressed with the forthrightness of the staff either. I would actually call them down right unprofessional. Send your kid here if you want them to go to an elitist yet mediocre Alaskan school with bad interior decorating and unprofessional staff.
My son has attended the full day preschool program since August 2009. We've been very pleased. He loves his teachers, classmates, and the activities he gets to do. The class is very well organized and safe. The teachers hold high standards for behavior, but are respectful and gentle in their interactions with these young ones. Students are invited to choose activities that are developmentally appropriate and interesting to them. Learning is supported with individual and small group lessons as well as class circle time. The math manipulatives of the Montessori approach are especially good.