Actually zero stars. My happy child became quite depressed here. He never complains about anything, but did say a few things about his teacher that made me question how she was handling the children. I began to have other concerns with the school as well such as low academic standards, no communication to parents, school in poor repair, etc. One day I heard him playing school with his stuffed animals and suddenly the animals were attending "Mean Academy". When I told him he would be switching schools he gave me a big smile and asked hopefully "tomorrow?" By the way he is a good student, not a behavior problem, and has lots of friends. The stories he has since told me about MA have not been good. He is happy and excelling at his new school.
Sadly, this school is a joke. After almost 4 years there we pulled our kids half way through the year. It is nothing but pure chaos and disorganization. The communication between teachers and parents is awful and the parents never know what is going on. The finances are a mess, there is never any money and the students are the ones that suffer from it. Instead of fixing the problems at hand they have decided to add a high school. This is laughable as they can't properly educate the kids they have now! I know this first hand as we were just informed that our daughter is way behind the average first grade level and now requires tutoring several times a week to try and get her caught up with the rest of her class! They have no business educating children. Stay far far away!!
Truth and honesty....This is a great school. There were a couple of students that left, but there were more that started at the school in January. I know one student left because he moved and was very sad to leave! Two teachers moved out of state and were also sad to leave! The school has amazing replacements! My kids have attended Montessori Academy for years and they have scored high in academics, have a love of learning, travel and are very independent. The perfect Montessori environment for us!
Montessori Academy is finally hitting their stride. The school moved to a new campus a few years ago, and it took some time to work out the issues with the new buildings and some new staff. But they have quickly grown this into an excellent school. They have a 9:1 student to teacher ratio, they promote respect and self direction, and they teach every student to his or her own peak level. Every kid at this school gets a custom fit education. In the 2.5 years that my kids have attended MA, I have never once seen a behavioral or bullying problem from any child. It is simply not tolerated here. On the contrary - the older kids teach the younger kids, if someone drops their lunch, there is no laughing - there are 4 kids rushing over to help them pick it up. My first grader is doing 3rd grade work, and continually blows away his cousin's parents with his drive, motivation, respectful behavior, and inteligence. If you want your kid to have a free ipad, you are going to have to send them to a public school. But if you want them to be well rounded, confident, and smart, MA is an excellent choice.
Our children have been going to Montessori for 3 years now. The staff is amazing and treat the children with respect. You don't see that in alot of the public schools around here. Believe me we have tried almost all of them. My son had a bad experience from another school and they were so understanding with him letting him learn to like school. I don't think any other school would have helped the way they did. I think they teach things that other schools don't it is not just about test scores it is about teaching the whole child. If you want your child to learn to respect others and love learning this is the school for you. I just hope they have the highschool ready when my kids are ready!
My family has been part of the Montessori Academy community since 2002. My daughter came from a public school & was transformed into a curious student who loved learning within the first semester. She has only fond memories of her school days. Not long after she graduated, my son started there. Montessori Academy is like a second home to our family. The teachers & admin are accessible and responsive through emails or in person, handling any issue with careful consideration and competence. Truly, this is a Montessori learning environment that takes a holistic approach while finding the right path to learning for each child. They are supportive & passionate about kids. The school moved from a tiny campus in south Scottsdale 3yrs ago & doubled their attendance. The dedication & determination of the admin to do great things with this transition was palpable. This permeated throughout the school community to form an organic hands on mindset among parents and teachers alike. If you are thinking about trying a Montessori school, I would definitely recommend taking a tour. Also, prospective students may spend a day shadowing a MA student to get a good feel for the school.
It is interesting that the person who posted the previous comment has been keeping track of how many negative posts there have been, and where they have gone. This seems to suggest that they are watching and adding negative comments as needed. This website is great, if used properly. If you are posting more than one comment on your experience, you may be giving a skewed view of how many negative experiences people have had. Please have your say and move on. Many of us love the school and staff. We will have our say once, please only have yours once.
Glad to hear YOUR child is doing well at AZMA. Please try to pull your head out of the sand long enough to realize that your experience is just that, YOURS. MY experience, and that of several of our friends, was much, much different. My child went into AZMA Kindergarten performing at a high second grade level thanks in part to an amazing pre-school, and a lot of hard word at home. In our first year at AZMA, practically all the teacher did was sing songs and have the children color pictures. There was NO academic instruction whatsoever. I know this first hand because I observed the class on several occasions. So you go right ahead and be "appalled" that someone had an experience that did not match your own. I for one, am appalled that this school is allowed to "educate" children at all. As I said, I am very glad to hear that YOUR child had a positive experience at AZMA. Mine absolutely did not.
Our daughter's teachers at Montessori Academy are TERRIFIC! Our daughter is excelling on her AIMS test and in the classroom. We are active at the school and love the teachers and administration. They are exceptional and so devoted to the success of their students. I am appalled that any parent would write rude and untrue statements about this school. Perhaps they should look at themselves if their child isn't succeeding.
I'm so pleased with this school. My children attended a different Montessori School in Scottsdale and came home each day with feelings of low self esteem and worthlessness. My son is very intelligent and active. The principal at Montessori Academy along with his teachers have worked so hard to help my son. On our last parent conference I actually became emotional because of their genuine care and desire to help all students. If your're considering this school you won't be disappointed
I am so happy for my daughter to be at such a wonderful school!! The teachers and assistants are all so great! The administration does an amazing job in communicating to the parents on a very profesisonal friendly level. I have seen all the growth the school has been through, and is still thriving to be the top school in arizona. This is what Montessori is all about, great people all working together as a team for a better future!! Our children.....thank you Montessori Academy for everything you are doing!! All of the negative comments that people put on here are really sad to hear, but it should also make you think about the children they put in montessori. Just because they dont get their way, they think they can talk badly about a school. Instead of putting down the school focus their energy on working with teachers/administrators and their children to have a positive outcome. Really take a close look at the child, sometimes its hard to do! Thank you again to all the hard work you do on a daily basis!
My kids love this school They have never been happier! we love the 2 pools and swimming lessons! Great staff also.
After reading other reviews, I have to respond to the teachers and parents who point fingers at those of us who've had negative experiences at AZMA. Why do you feel that just because *you* had one kind of experience, that *everyone* must have experienced the same? If you're happy with the school, that's great and thank you for sharing your feelings on the subject. There are LOTS of us who are/were not happy with the way our children are/were being educated, and we have just as much right as you to express our opinions. Furthermore, our "claims" are absolutely based in FACTS, which are quite easily verifiable. There is no standardized curriculum, or at least not one that is enforced for the lower grades (We had friends in other classes in the same grade level, and the curriculum taught was completely different in all three classes! The Principal is too busy trying to be everyone's "buddy" to be an effective manager and leader. The communication was improved, but is still severely lacking. There is very little pre-planning or forethought at this school, and the lackadaisical attitude from the administrators is completely unacceptable! This school simply does not set a good example.
I could have written a similar review about remaining positive when there warning signs of problems. Great report cards but other signs of trouble, etc. The principal is a great saleswoman for the school but she is only selling her vision for the school, she does not have any leadership skills to run the school to attain her goals. The reality is that the school is currently a mess. Many mid year withdrawals and now end of the year transfers to other schools may make it hard for the school to survive. GIven the low level of education at this charter school I am not sure if they should. Children should not pay the price for their disorganization and huge egos.
We gave this school a chance, remained positive and hopeful, although our first grader seemed to be learning at a very slow pace in all areas. Yet the report cards were always great and the teacher kept assuring us that everything was fine and told us to be patient every child learns at their own pace etc. Not being sure of the this assessment, we had our child tested by a third party school and was told that our first grade child was at a mid-to-low kindergarten level in all areas and recommended that repeating the first grade would be highly recommended. During our conversation it became apparent that we had experienced a lost school year and really only had been sending our child to a daycare facility. Needless to say we will not be back; and regardless of the positive reviews I have personally spoken with over a dozen parents who have expressed the same concern as ours. Some have left while others have stayed. The teachers are unprofessional, uncaring, lacking proper leadership from the principal who is more interested in whether there are sweets in lunches than properly leading her staff. Teachers avoid parent contact unless you are volunteering to help out in class.
Teachers are the backbone to this country's future and this school has dedicated personelle. The real concerns for anyone who is serious about educating their child; should be around curriculm - which this school needs to prioritize. The public vs montessori student ratios casues issues of frustration for all involved - With time this school could become quality - No patence to wait as our children can not be the byproduct.
I have worked at Montessori Academy for about 4 years. It would be interesting to know from the negative comments how long they have been part of the community. The "turnover" that these posts speak of is totally blown out of proportion. Yes, teachers have left for personal reasons, but that happens everywhere, in all speres of life. The communication complaints have been remedied through email accounts for all teachers and newsletters that are sent out on a weekly basis and voicemail boxes for all teachers to facilitate phone contact,, a homework line so that parents can be aware of the work that their children are doing, as well as an open door policy with staff and adminstration. As for the credentials of the staff at this school all lead teachers have their Montessori certification, and there are several assistants who are currently going through Montessori training for certification. As a staff member of this school I am very pleased with the professionalism of the administration, and the overall environment in which I work. I am very saddened that people are upset with the school, but would say that most if not all of their claims are totally unfounded. I LOVE working at MA
We absolutely love this school and feel so fortunate that our child can attend here for free. For this quality of education along with the beautiful campus you would normally have to play high-price private fees. Our child is absolutely thriving here academically and socially. The Montessori method nurtures the whole child and gives each student a world view and and a thorough understanding of science and culture. There are also many fun and enriching outside activities and a real sense of community.
When my daughter started at Montessori Academy last year in pre-school, she was shy and reserved. A year and a half later, she's blossomed into a very happy, outgoing and bright kindergartener. She's reading at a second grade level and she comes home never wanting to watch tv but wants to read and do arts and crafts instead. She loves learning. I really have no idea if she would be doing this well at any school or if I have Montessori Academy to thank. The school can be a little chaotic but the teachers care SO MUCH. Communication with the parents isn't perfect by any means. It's a little unorganized. But I can deal with this when I know that my child is flourishing. I'm not sure we'll be here through 8th grade, but I'm definitely not moving her anytime soon. I can understand other parents' frustration with the school but most parents I know who are not 100% happy with the school do believe their children are doing well, they're just not crazy about how some things are run.
This school literally changed my daughter's life. After much frustration with the AZ public school system we were seriously considering home schooling, and then we found Montessori Academy, where every child matters and every child is engaged and learning. If you are open to a non-traditional approach, I suggest you check it out. This is not your usual school based on a archaic factory-style system of education dreamed up in the 1950s, but rather it is a nurturing environment where children use their natural curiosity to learn about their world and apply their skills and creative talents in their own innovative ways.
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