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.
I agree with the previous posting saying the meanness and cruelty would not be tolerated at public school and also those who say the administration is difficult to deal with. Some of the teachers also model unkind behavior. We will not be returning. I recommend anyone considering the school really listen to their gut and observe whether the children look happy. I also recommend that if you do choose this school you 'drop in' to visit your child in class, PE and at recess. Don't just listen to the teachers and pep talks, listen with your own ears to what is going on at Villa.
The previous reviewer referenced 'over the top fundraising'. That is nonsense. Of course there are fundraisers (the main one being the auction)--such is the reality of trying to run a charter school with poor funding from the state--but there are no 'high pressure' calls to your home asking for money or anything like that. On the other topic, I'd like the Head of School to be a bit more visible around campus, but she is certianly a million times more capable than leaders that you will find at a typical district school...
Our experience matches those who previously expressed disappointment with the Head of the School (inattentive and unprofessional), unmet academic expectations, and over the top fundraising. Certainly there are problems at any school...some schools self evaluate and correct them, it's called accountability.
Villa is only great if your child does not have special needs. I have fought with them for so long to provide the proper education for him. Unfortunately their only solution was for him to be taken to a different school.
I was fortunate to find Villa Montessori 13 years ago when I was looking for childcare for my then infant son. In our time at Villa, my son has become a self assured young man ready to take on the challenges of high school next year. I believe he has received a superb education from the well trained teachers he has had. He has also learned about a multitude of topics that he might not have learned until high school had he attended any other school. I count myself lucky that Villa has been there to educate my son and I would highly recommend it to any parent seeking a high quality school that has a great family like atmosphere.
Villa Montessori has been the best experience for 2 of my children. Both my children excelled and thrived afer changing from other schools. For a child, the environment and influence at Villa elementary and middle schools provide a strong foundation for compassionate leaders and lifelong learners.
Villa was great in the younger grades but my kids lost ground after 3rd grade. When they hated school, I knew it was time to look elsewhere. Their classes were wildly out of control in terms of discipline and order. My eldest child just reminded me that for his entire 6th grade he 'got away with doing nothing.' We have found a school that is far more organized and challenging and my kids finally love school and learning.
I have put trust in the teachers and administrators at Villa Montessori for 10 years and found that they are helpful and honest. It is this honesty along with knowledge about the Montessori philosophy that makes the administration effective and good for the community. I know that Montessori isn't the perfect place for all children with it's need for self-direction, but it has been great for both of my children.
I think this is a wonderful school and have been nothing but happy. My child has attended for many years and he is excelling in all areas, but more importantly, he loves school. The teachers are wonderful, caring, supportive and well trained. The parent community is like a family and full of support. Bravo Villa Montessori!
The common line at Villa is trust us. Okay, I will trust you when you respond to parents concerns begin providing consistent education and provide a classroom of learning that stimulates my child. I say this to perspective parents. Margo (principle/owner) has a long history of being inattentive to parents concerns and is unable to offer or provide any substance beyond philosophical Montessori practices. Her conflict resolution skills are horrendous and she would rather you leave the school then question how she runs the school. Our problem is that we have expectations that a school has experienced consistent teaching practices, administrators that are responsive and a curriculum that can be taught consistently.
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