Villa abandoned it's Montessori like customs. Great school for k-3 and 7-8 but 4th 5th and 6th grade fails. The teachers seem stressed and cranky (except for some) and the classrooms are not a fun environment. I would say go to villa for K-8 only because of the wonderful 7-8th grade teachers and campuses. k-3 is awesome also, but it is the 4th through 6th that needs improvement.
I was both a parent and an educator at Villa. There were so many great things about the Montessori environment, but the school does not provide support for parents or teachers who do not do exactly what the administration wants. There is no room for us to suggest improvements and have them received. It is unfortunate because the middle school program at the school is wonderful for children and the school has the potential to be truly great if it would really listen to its teachers (and parents.) I have since moved to another school and found it to be much more open to discussions with teachers. An administration that listens to its teachers is one that will constantly improve the quality of its programs and education for the students. I recommend looking for a school that incorporates this attitude not just as lip service, but real action.
My son attended Villa from 4th grade through middle school and it was an excellent experience and provided him with a quality education. He entered an IB program in high school, graduated with 17 college credits as a National Merit Scholar, and is now attending college via an academic scholarship, majoring in microbiology and computer science. Villa gave him the foundation for this success!
My daughter, now 13, attended Villa from Kindergarten through 3rd grade. Transitioning to Public School was tough; however, now- well, my daughter just won the 7th Grade Math Award for her school!!!! Her social skills, academic capabilities and creativity learned at Villa during those crucial years has enabled my girl to excel in later grades. In fact, she already knows what profession she will enter on college graduation: she wants to be a writer and a K-12 teacher!!!!!! Wow. Thank you Villa, Jennifer, Patty, et al! WONDERFUL FOR EARLY YEARS!
My daughter attended Villa from 2 years all the way through 8th grade. She is now at a large 1700 student public school in all AP classes with all A's the entire year - including Spanish. Most importantly though, is that she has developed seemingly the entire school as friends and is very, very happy and a strong individual. We can't thank Villa enough for preparing her - in all areas of academics and socially! We highly recommend Villa. Valerie Richardson
that school is awsome you could play and do the chekerboard ssbbbd dbdbbbedbd dhhdhhdhhdhd g,,,,, g,,,,,,,,,,,
New rules for kinder stink. It's only 2 hours long in the afternoon (way to break up my day) from 12:30 - 2:30. After having my child in preschool there for 2 years (and paying dearly for it) we weren't grandfathered. We weren't even included in the decision process. Ya, I get the funding has been cut, but the way it was handled stinks. We parents should be included in the process and at a minimum personally addressed when the school decided to pull a switch-a-roo after all these years.
These ladies are wonderful!! I have never attended a place with such a positive environment. You can literally feel the positive energy once you step onto the campus and it is only confirmed when you are greeted with a friendly conversation from any staff member on campus. The staff is not only soft spoken but unique and hilarious in their own way. After meeting Mary and Margo, I see why. Mary and Margo are the perfect model of a peaceful yet diplomatic souls. I not only feel confident and safe to leaving my children at Villa. Though these staff member don t have time for global language issues, etc. (as someone has previously commented), they certainly have time for the things that count, my children.
To Whom it May Concern: This is a letter of appreciation to the Villa Montessori Staff; of note: Lura Amparan(Elementary I Teacher), Mary Orlando(Vice Principal), Margo O Neial(Principal), Christy Cantu(Elementary II Teacher) and Becky Barmore and Thia Lutich(Luras Assistants). The following all happened in the 2009-2010 academic year: We have 4 children in our family--2 of which currently attend Villa Montessori in Phoenix, Arizona. Our eldest son is in 4th Grade--the first year at the Elementary II Campus. No matter how you prepare, it is a BIG, BIG change from Elementary I to Elementary II and does not always go as smoothly as one would want. Our son was having trouble sleeping, did not want to go to school, was isolating himself and having a difficult time finding a group of friends with the same values as he. Christy, his teacher, was open to communicating with him directly in person, via e-mail or via notes. My son did not feel comfortable approaching his last teacher until he had been in her class for 2 years--very conservative with his confidants. Christy helped him learn to communicate in a form he was comfortable with and allowed us, his parents, to gently encourage him while he is embarking on learning self-reliance. She also set up situations in the classroom for him to work with kids at his level academically with similar values. He now has strong friendships, feels safe at school, still having some trouble sleeping but much better than things were at the beginning of the year. I credit much of this to Christy and her experience of helping kids transition to Elementary II from Elementary I. She also had the insight to ask for assistance from Mary, the Vice Principal, who has a wonderful way of approaching children, engaging them and motivating them to reach higher than they thought they could. Mary, also, was open to suggestions from parents. My son I mentioned above, has a friend who had a head injury this year. His friend was lucky and only has minor long-term deficits. I am in the health care profession and suggested a program from one of the local hospitals. This program addresses risk-taking behavior, the physical and psychological consequences and prevention of serious injuries to children from elementary school to high school ages. I am happy to say this program was presented to the Elementary II Students at Villa Montessori within months. Our eldest daughter is in Elementary I with Lura. This is her second year with Lura and she is thriving academically. Socially, she has had a very difficult time this year. She has a group of girls she plays with, some are very good friends of hers. There is a child prone to bullying in the group and this accelerated second semester. We chose Villa in part due to their anti-bullying policy (you may find this in the school handbook). Bullying comes in many forms: exclusion, gossiping, putting someone down repeatedly, telling them they are not doing things right. . . .when it happens consistently enough for a child to come home in tears, it needs to be addressed. Lura was open to my phone calls and e-mails re: this. Lura, Becky and Thia responded by monitoring the groups activities on the playground. They had many meetings at the Peace Pole to help them work it out. Children are very smart, know when they are being watched and adapt to the situation. Lura was very resourceful and able to identify the continuing problem. My daughter knew what the right thing to do was, had been warned there would be retaliation from the bully and was therefore scared to do the right thing . Lura set up a mentor-friend for my daughter--an older girl to help my daughter learn to stand up for herself with supervision by the staff. Even with this, the bullying continued. Once again, Mary assisted the wonderful teachers of Villa. Mary and Lura met with the girls and continue to do so to encourage healthy friendships and to learn how to treat a friend. Marys approach was to encourage the girls to sort out their differences this year as they will be the oldest in the class next year and the younger girls will look up to them. My daughter said, Miss Mary has a way of helping us know what to do in a kind way. Well said, my dear! I am very thankful our children have a safe place to get an education --not just academically, but to learn to be part of community. I highly recommend Villa Montessori to anyone looking for a Montessori education in a charter school setting--it doesn t get better than this! H.M. Newton April 2010
You are referring to languages for young students. I had Spanish 3 times a week starting in 1st grade. By freshmen year in High School I spoke Spanish well enough to spend 7 weeks in Panama with a non-English speaking family. It is funny that you say Villa lacks in 'moving forward in the global world' because I feel that one of the school's major focuses is making global citizens. We learn about children all over the world, have guest speakers from foreign countries, celebrate global holidays and learn to map the world starting at age 3. Villa has such a different way of teaching that some may not 'get it,' but there is definitely a major global focus of the school and ample opportunities for students to learn about many foreign cultures and languages.
We are moving my son to another school that offers foreign language. VM only offers it one day a week, after school and it costs a lot of money. The new school includes it as part of the daily curriculum so he will be exposed to it regularly and at no additional charge.
Regarding the previous review, it may be that the foreign language program disappears in later years, but I can vouch for the fact that immersion Spanish is offered once or twice a week in Kindergarten. It is extra-curricular, however.
We loved the atmosphere and philosophy of Montessori, but have been very disappointed that the school seems unwilling to move forward in this global world by implementing any foreign language program. What little the school offers starts too little, too late. And, when we inquired about the possibility of adding a language program, we were told NO, that was not what the school was interested in. Many schools around the Valley now have extensive foreign language or actual immersion programs that will give kids a better future in the new global economy. We have since left for a school that took our concerns about foreign language more seriously. This school met with us, listened to us and we have felt listened to and valued. I wish we could have had this kind of communication at Villa Montessori.
I am a student of Villa Montessori and have been in this school since the third grade. Not only have I soared academically, but I have transformed from a scared, insecure child, to a social, fun-loving young teen. I am currently in seventh grade, and loving it. We are not only encouraged to do the best that we can, middle school students actually take part in multiple fundraisers, like Salad Bar, the student-run company that orders food from restaraunts, and distributes that food to fellow kids. I am a part of that mini-company, and in the position of secretary, I order food from other companies. In that experience I have learned how to deal with strangers in a professional manner. In the curriculum there are three 'worlds', or classes that teach particular things, like 'Natural World' is basically science class. I love this school, just beware some teachers for the 4-6th
My child has been at Villa since the 4th grade. What seems chaos in the class is actually 'structured freedom'. The children know the assignments and are given the freedom to work on the assignments in the way that it is confortable to them whether it is on the floor or at a table. If any parent spent time in the classroom they would see the creativity that comes from this environment. It's the way Montessori schools were meant to be and I for one love it. The teachers are incredible at handling the various personalities of all the children. My child is not only learning more than she did in the traditional public schools but is no longer bored.
Villa Montessori is a wonderful school. My daughter was moved from a 'gifted' school where she was bored to death and hated school. Now she is challenged and really enjoys going to school. She is happy, feels safe, and adores her teacher. She has been at Villa for two years and each year has been better than the last. Management and discipline are handled better at Villa than the previous school, too. Villa and other charter schools get less money than traditional public schools so there is more fund raising. However, the fund raising is optional and I have never been pressured to contribute but I do because I love the school and want to see it thrive. Villa is truly a wonderful educational experience.
My child transferred in from a school that was 'performing' or worse. It was ranked well below the bottom 1/3 of all schools in the state and it showed. The teacher was a wonderful person but overwhelmed, underpaid, and overworked, especially with the class being a 28:1 ratio. When my child arrived at Villa she was obviously way behind her peers but I was assured that she would make her own progress and never feel pressured to 'catch up'; thanks to the montessori philosophy she has truly begun to thrive. I love the single digit ratios and the relaxed environment. We are thrilled and priviledged to have our child in a top 25 school like Villa and it is worth every penny they might try to squeeze out of us in the near future.
I have two children at Villa. One in preprimary and one in elementary. Villa has and still is providing an incredible education both inside and outside the classroom. Their teachers are amazing. Both teachers understand my children as individuals and teach them based on their academic advances and academic needs. This is the beauty if Villa Montessori! Your child does not try to fit into the school (like most schools need you to do). The school fits around the needs of your child. That is why Villa Montessori is a 'superior' and 'excelling' school. That is why we choose Villa to educate our children!
I have had an incredible experience with the teachers at Villa. I am always made to feel welcome and enjoy my opportunities to volunteer for ceramics, help out with class parties and attend the great variety of field trips that the teachers have set up for the students. If there is a concern, teachers are always available after school or via e-mail. I find Villa to be an enriching environment that allows for opportunities for parents to be involoved.
I've been a great school supporter in the past and consistently given them the benefit of the doubt. Enough is enough with their continued sales pitch and lack of follow-through. The Villa mantra of we love our parents and want them involved in their classroom stops at the classroom door and the car line. My student's upper and lower elementary teachers all talked the talk but do not walk the walk. I've had a student at this school for many years. Parents are not made to fell welcome in the classroom unless you are a big money donator or have free resources they want. They consistently avoid returning phone calls or emails about important issues regarding students, problems or academics. This is common knowledge among the non-teaching staff and other parents I have spoke to about the school. Too much click -i-ness and not enough love of students.
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