This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Villa Montessori - Phoenix Campus5
Posted November 05, 2014
- a parent
I am shocked by the negative comments - both my children have excelled at Villa, and absolutely love the school. Having moved a few times when they were younger, we were able to see several schools. Villa is BY FAR the best. I can't stress enough how much they love going to school now. That alone is fantastic, but combined with their high test scores, the incredible teachers, the after school programs (especially art and science club), it all makes Villa a standout school. Easily one of the best public/charter schools in Phoenix, AND just won Arizona Charter School of the Year. Is Villa for everyone? No. The whole point of Montessori is to let students learn as much as they can, at their own pace. Learning self discipline and time management is critical. Some students might not thrive under those conditions. Others will love that they can keep moving to the next 'level' once they complete their current level work. Between my 2 kids, we've seen teachers at every level from age 3 up to 6th grade. The teachers are almost superhuman with their time & effort, the parents are very involved & supportive, and my kids LOVE going to Villa. Best. School. Ever.
We have switched to Madison and are much happier. We liked the parents a lot at Villa and the atmosphere was gentle & nice, but the kids were missing out there. Didn't love the math program and the lack of foreign language was a big negative for us. Now that we moved, we have a great math program, awesome Spanish classes, PE 2 x a week, and even a real art teacher (not just ceramics all the time). Think I'd give more stars for just the pre-school at Villa, but if I'm rating the grade school, I can't...the school just isn't competitive with other schools academically. No Spanish or Chinese and the ancient math program just puts our kids at a comparative disadvantage. Stick with Villa for preschool only.
I am amazed by some of the negative remarks here - Villa has been amazing for my children. My son just graduated from 8th grade and the middle school transformed him from a boy to a young man. His character and academics all soared this past year and he is already doing activities at the public high school near us and he is doing fine. His AIMS scores were through the roof and I have no doubt he will reap the benefits from this school for his entire life. My oldest son (who graduated from Villa 8 years ago) said he wished he could have gone to a Montessori high school. It seems that there are issues at all schools but the ones listed here have not been witnessed by me, or anyone that I know at Villa.
Lower grades=Achieving Middle School=Falls Far Below Please notice that there was no Excelling. This does not happen at this school. My child was not prepared for high school by attending Villa. Because of this she had to be placed in a remedial math group and she was unable to take one of her electives. She is now so lost in math and it breaks my heart that she feels this way about school. She loved math in the lower grades, but middle school did nothing to help her move forward with her peer group. In fact, she is father behind than ever. Villa's math classes are so behind the times. Saxon math does nothing to help your child. The parent involvement is great, but you can find this at other schools too. Please really look at this school (ask for an all day observation) before you jump on the Villa bandwagon.
This school is amazing for the younger students. However, as the children move up in grade level, the expectations of the children are very low. If your child is willing to meet these minimum expectations but capable of exceeding the expectations, your child will be passed over.
I do not agree with the last review. There are a few issues that need to be discussed. First, Villa is a public school, yes a charter, but they receive monies from the state. Second, Villa must do the same state testing, AIMS, to receive state monies, so the theory that they don't need to test the kids is off base. Yes, the kids do have an unstructured learning environment, but that doesn't make it better for all kids. You said that there is no creativity in public schools (again, villa is a public school) you haven't looked very hard. There are so many amazing teachers and schools that are being creative every day. Your blanket statement is off base. Glad your daughter has found a place that fits. That's what we all hope for all kids. Good luck at the middle school
My daughter attended regular public school most every year, including both the top district in Phoenix and a poor title 1 school. She did not come to Villa until 6th grade (this year) which is rare but I can honestly say that the change in my daughter is nothing short of amazing! She is confident, her mind is overflowing with creativity and she is more sure of who she is and wants to be then she ever has been. I believe that Villa teaches our children important life lessons that none of us ever learned in school and in fact are lucky to learn even as adults. Academics are NOT everything. Children learn at their own pace at Villa and that is proven to make children lifelong learners who naturally love learning. I have seen it happen right before my very eyes. There is so much focus on standardized testing in public schools now and therefore a lot of drilling for texts. There is no creative hands on learning going on at all anymore. This is the best choice I have ever made for my child, not just in her education but for her future as a productive, CARING community member. The teachers and staff at Villa truly love their work and want to see ever child succeed. Villa rocks!
My child completed 8th grade 2 years ago. All I can say is that this school did NOTHING to prepare her for high school. She had not idea how to take a real test, the teachers were all right, but the outdated curriculum was laughable. Come to find out, almost all of the middle school teachers that were worth anything are leaving this year. Parents send your kids to a REAL School.
I am a parent at Villa Montessori for the past 20+ years. Both kids started the earliest they would take them and have gone all the way through. Children thrive here in a supportive community. I am so grateful for all their experiences --both the good and not so good. Villa prepared them well for life and I notice (as do others) that my kids have such a strong sense of who they are and what matters to them. Many of the teachers were there when we started and even many years before. It is true that asst. teachers who seek to advance have to leave because of the lack of turnover of lead teachers, and it is always sad to see them go. But the new ones quickly become part of the family and all is well again. Someone here said that Villa is "Montessori lite" and I sort of agree--but that is primarily due to the testing requirements for charter schools and the attitudes of parents like those who are giving Villa lower scores because they like the "idea" of a Montessori education, but also want them to have "grades" and constantly compare their kids to "standards" and "others", expecting their children to always be "advanced" so they can "compete". That's not what Montessori is about.