E-1 teachers are great. E-2 feels like a "clique"- staff is all related. Students are great though. Administration needs to be better equipped to handle new ideas. Constructive criticism is politely listened to but rarely embraced. Not sure about Middle school -no experience here.
My oldest daughter graduated from Villa a few years ago and we loved it. I wouldn't have done it any differently. The middle school was the best part of our Villa experience. The teachers were amazing and it is all because of them that the middle school is what it is. My younger daughter is still at the school, in 6th grade. While I see the school trying to advance, they are doing it very slowly and I think at the expense of the students happiness. Teacher turnover is horrendous! Its very disruptive to the students needs to seriously be evaluated on how its handled. It makes me wonder what is going on that they can't keep their good teachers. Through the years i've seen things that i truly dislike and I think they could handle better. While I'm still a big supporter of Villa and I wouldn't put my child anywhere else, mostly because of the Middle School, I am starting to have my doubts as to whether I would recommend the school in the future. Really depends on the future, they seem to be making a lot of changes that are extremely disruptive and a lot of families don't agree with. All in all though, I'm very happy with our Villa experience up to this point.
Like the montessori style, but the school is lacking in basics. They have no foreign language as part of the daily class-time curriculum, which in today's day and age puts my kid at an extreme disadvantage. Plus, studies show the best time to learn a foreign language is when you are youngest. Was also disappointed with a lack of a real arts program (other than clay sculpting.) We ended up going with a preschool nearby, Little Big Minds, which teaches Spanish and feeds into a FREE public school, Biltmore Prep Academy that offers dual language education. We are very excited to have the opportunity for early language learning. Plus the traditional school also has a real art program.
My daughter attended Villa since 3rd grade and the best part or their curriculum is the Middle school. They go beyond academics, which are excelent since my child was accepted to every school she applied into the Honors, AP and IB programs, but the way the teachers and staff approach the personal growth of each child is what makes this school so unique & special. They integrate education as a whole and care for each student individually. The Land Laps and The Heroic Journey are simply fabulous experience for each child to learn about themselves as well as their classmates and community. Communication is open and if you really want to be listen there is always a door open for parents and students to express their minds. They prepared the students to go into "the real world", after being part of the small Villa community, and wherever they go they excel thanks for all the effort and time offered during those two years. Thanks Villa for the wonderful experience!!!
We have been with Villa Montessori for 9 years now and LOVE it! The teachers are incredibly caring and communication has always been easy between myself and teachers as well as administration. My soon to be 9th grader has been very well prepared for HS more than academically. The middle school pays an enormous amount of attention to the student and all the changes they are going through and they have wonderful programs to acknowledge those changes and celebrate them. I have also had kids who have had teacher changes mid year and it is always handled as best as possible. And while choices are not always perfect, this school goes above and beyond to help the kids be successful.
Our daughter just graduated 8th grade and has been attending Villa since she was 3. I am sad and excited for her as she leaves this wonderful community to move into high school. For her, Villa has given her the opportunity to excel academically and socially. One of the best things about Villa is the adherence to the Montessori teaching style which places the children in control of their day. It's their decision what to do when much of the time and the teachers are there for guidance. There is also a big reliance on natural consequences which my husband and I stress at home. If our daughter doesn't do the work, she may get poor grades. I'm not one to do projects for her. The sooner she learns to stand on her own and accept responsibility and consequences for her choices, the better off she'll be. I admit that the lack of sports and foreign language offerings is an opportunity for improvement at Villa. There were also times when teacher turnover affected the classroom environment, but let's be honest, no one stays forever at any job, and to expect teachers to do so is unreasonable. We'll miss Villa immensely and are absolutely certain our daughter is prepared for what lies ahead.
I have been a Villa parent for several years and now have my son attending the middle school. Despite my initial concern about staff changes and the intense workload, I have been very pleased to see the growth in my son. The program is rigorous, but well worth the effort. The overall growth I have seen in my child is remarkable. Thank you Villa Montessori.
The middle school is awful. The teachers are overwhelmed and so are the students. There is no direction or communication between the teachers themselves or the teachers and the parents. They try too hard to cram the academics into tiny spaces of time inbetween, expensive land labs, adventrue trips, projects and other events. The trips are great! You get what you pay for. But my child has so much homework that, I might as well be home-schooling.
The middle school is a mess. The teachers have been quiting all year. No direction, no leadership and frustrated parents. Students are cramming at the last minute, given very little direction. My daughter attended a private junior high and comparing the two is night and day. The only advantage to this middle school is the great land labs, small class size and good kids. Although the teachers are all working hard, they work alone and are trying to keep their heads above water. Two week cycle classes are all about cramming at the last minute. Day planners are given out but no one follows up to make sure these kids know what to do with it. Prep for IB courses? What a joke. Looking back on elementary school, the kids were not properly prepared to flounder in this disorganized agenda. Because these kids are achievers they will get back but what a waster for two years.
uugh this kindergarten year stinks...why is it most other school still offer full day kindergarten at no charge, but not here. Here, you only get 2 hours (NOT even a half day!) and part of that is eaten up with lunch and pickup. To stay all day costs over $700 a month. That's ridiculous. My child is missing a ton of learning time. I wish we'd gone to one of the other dozens of schools in the immediate area with full day kindergarten.
I wish I could rate the school in different categories. While I liked the Montessori approach and gentle/respectful teaching style, and I liked the community with the other parents, I was very disappointed the school has no sports teams (at least not at my child's grade), absolutely no foreign language (they have only a fee-based, after-school program that is weak) and no real music or arts program (they do have a ceramics class, but that's it.) We moved to another school this year that has the arts and sports and especially offers foreign language so our daughter can learn at a young age when it is easier.
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
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