With 3 children at varying levels at Villa, I would say that some teachers have been very effective and others much less so.
There do not seem to be uniform standards across classrooms and certainly not in effectiveness.
What is true is that every teacher cares deeply for each child. They just may not be equipped with the skills or confidence to execute their job with each child effectively.
The parent community is outstanding at the school and the teachers offer a safe and inclusive environment for the children to learn and grow.
As the parent of 3 children at Villa, the academic rigor has wildly varied from teacher to teacher. There does not seem to be consistency from classroom to classroom in delivering the curriculum.
The administration is not responsive to feedback and does an exceedingly poor job of communicating to parents.
Villa offers an extremely nurturing environment for the kids. They instill a love of learning and I can see it in my daughter everyday. She is always eager to go to school and most importantly is a happy, engaged learner. She is in 3rd grade but reads at a 7th grade level. I have Villa to thank for that! We love this school.
My daughter enrolled here for kindergarten and I had to pull her out after 2 weeks because they kept the kindergarten room totally dark so that the younger children could have their post-lunch naps while the 5 year olds received their academic lessons. As a result, my daughter had her Montessori academic lessons in "quiet-talk" in the dark while the younger kids napped. We went to the administrator about this matter twice and she assured us that it was a "teacher mistake" and that everything was already rectified. Bottom line: it wasn't... and the classroom continued operating in the dark. I felt like the administrators were intentionally duplicitous and misleading. Once I announced we were pulling our child out, they offered us a different Kinder classroom where the lights would be on. By this time, it was already too late. We were so over this school because if you can't trust the administration, who can you trust. Also, a true Montessori school needs around 3 hours to get the kids really immersed and into full learning mode. The Kindergarten here was under 3 hours so it is not in compliance with Montessori philosophy. This is not a fully accredited Montessori school either and that's really important because they hold themselves out there like they are. They are an "Associate School" not a "full member school." I have been in contact with The American Montessori Society
https://amshq.org/ because I think this school gives all Montessori schools are bad reputation and they are doing the true Montessori Way a great disservice.
I went here from PreK to 6th grade. At first, I was able to excel really well for the most part and the teachers were able to challenge me adequately. I was already reading some when I started here and was able to quickly learn more and more. However, as I got to E1 and E2, things got way worse. I had extenuating medical circumstances surrounding a parent that caused me severe stress and anxiety and my teachers were NOT supportive about it, and did not give me the proper tools to process what I was feeling (I was in first grade at the time and I would randomly cry and panic). One of my teachers got Margo O'Neill involved and they basically tried to kick me out of school, and failed, and we stayed because I was still getting a good education and they transferred me to a better teacher. My last year I was in pre-algebra and the teacher only came once a week and none of the other teachers were qualified to explain it to me? After that, we decided it was time to leave, as math was too important to let slide like that. Obviously I dont have a lot of good things to say about the administration, but it was mostly just my lead teacher in E1.
The campus is lovely. However, we had an absolute horrible PK experience. Our child's teacher would tell us one thing and do the opposite, she quickly became uncommunicative, very unprofessional and the class was fairly disorganized.
I would highly recommend completing your OWN due diligence before signing your child up.
We are so happy to have our son attend Villa. I highly recommend Villa. To the review about the AZMerit. They hold prep classes and prepare the students and parents for the tests long in advance.
My son struggles with reading but has come a very long way in a very short time. His teacher works with him independently daily as well with the other students. Some of the children in my son's kindergarten class were reading harry potter books and able to multiply. To say the learning is behind is not something that I have observed.
As for the money. The school releases a form letting parents know how much they are funded, how much is fund raised and how much is paid tuition from parents and where it all goes. My child gets to do weekly ceramics, soccer, gardening and lots of extra circular activities. The campus is kept up very nicely. I am not the least bit concerned about where their funding is going.
My sons first grade class is already learning and doing presentations on other continents. I learn new stuff from him often that I was failed to be taught as a child in a public school environment. We plan to enroll all of our children into Villa when the time comes. I am so thankful that they will have this type of learning structure. It's much better than my public school experience. Sitting in one desk all day freezing watching the big clock on the wall waiting for 3:00.