This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Villa Montessori - Phoenix Campus1
Posted January 15, 2015
- a parent
Charter school of the year??!! That is a complete joke. Did you see the schools that were runners up? I don't know if that is something to brag about. Who is judging this? How much does Villa pay to be part of the Charter School Association? Has the question been asked what is Villa doing to prepare for AZMerit? How is this school going to abide by the state testing when they don't have the infrastructure to even support the test? They sure do like to take the money that the state gives them for my child being enrolled there. Are they going to opt out and have their kids be further behind? These are the questions I asked as an informed parent and was given the run around by the administration. This school is falling further behind and I can't let my child suffer because of them. She has been pulled and placed at a school that is planning for the future, not just talking about it.
We had very high hopes for this school but ended up withdrawing our child after three months. Class sizes were much larger than what we were told on initial tour and the aids in the classroom had extremely limited childcare experience. We were placed in a classroom with a teacher new to the school who seemed perpetually stressed and unavailable to interact with. Resolving issues in the classroom did not appear to be the goal. Rather, they "managed" challenging kids out. Three other children left the same classroom prior to us in a very short period of time. We left a school we loved to come to Villa based on the rave reviews we heard. Be cautious of the hype.
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.
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.