This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Desert Garden Montessori5
Posted January 23, 2013
- a parent
We waited two years to get our son into this school and I can truly say it was worth it. What truly separates this school from others is that you genuinely experience and feel the great support the school has for your child. They almost bend over backwards to ensure your child is happy and is in a nurturing environment. The teachers are not condescending or tired like you experience at other schools. They are cheerful, enthusiastic and genuinely love their students. They go out of their way to accomodate students from nearly every angle. They offer vegetarian, vegan and diet specific meals. The school is very diverse and that is reflected in it's students and faculty. The class sizes are small and there is a great deal of one on one teaching. There is a real sense of community and that is apparent in the Harvest festival and other events. There is a lot of demand for this school so if you are interested, I would be aggressive about interviewing and getting on the waiting list early.
we have 3 kids in 3 different classroom at this school and we love it. After trying out 2 other "good" Montessori schools in the valley before coming to DGM, this one is tops. For starters, the environment is always clean and organized---evidence of "walking the walk", how can a school have expectations of order for a child and have a messy school environment? You wont see that at DGM, but will likely see at the other "good" schools that emphasize testing. The children are highly communicative--emotionally healthy, spirited, engaged, and in harmony with their environment. we love the teachers we work with--we are partners, real partners. we'll be leaving for a 1 year for work and cant find another school that comes close to DGM. DGM has definitely raised the bar for Montessori education! The principal is also wonderful--she's quite a brilliant and compassionate educator/social worker--which means she looks at the whole picture in making decisions. Also, I have no idea where else teachers have a choice to debrief before an optional Yoga group session, after school, on campus--as a part of their job. Lastly, great location for ASU Faculty/Students to consider.
I have two daughters who have been attending DGM since they were two. We have been at the school for over 7 years and absolutely love it. The academic environment has been continuously evolving and now they have an excellent music and art program as well. DGM offers a warm and caring community where the children thrive. The teachers are amazing and they truly care about every child's development. The organic lunch program is a blessing as it teaches the child to eat healthy and also exposes them to a variety of food options. The school offers a true Montessori environment which celebrates the uniqueness of each child and. The teaching in the earlier years is signed to capitalize on their sensitive learning periods. The curbside cafe run by the children and for the children is a brilliant entrepreneurial venture wherein the money raised is used towards the annual Big Trip. This is also a great opportunity for the kids to learn first hand how to run a business.
DGM is a great school, an outstanding environment and a strong community. My daughter was enrolled there from grade 1 until grade 5, when she went into the public school system for grade 6. She was extremely well prepared academically at DGM, receiving straight As from the first month in the public system. However, my daughter and I made the decision to return to DGM for grade 7 as she was missing out on life skills development, community focus, and giving back. She loves being back at DGM, still getting As, and is developing great life skills and great lifetime friendships. ;
We have 3 children in this school and we are in our first year. I read the reviews before my children started attending DGM and was concerned about the tuition cost and the remarks regarding the quality of education. Currently I have 1 in the infant room and 2 in primary. I couldn't ask for better teachers and staff. DGM has options for payments and if you or family members have time for volunteering they are more than happy to work with you. This is more than a great education, it is a community that embraces children and offers wonderful experiences that encourage kids to grow to their fullest potential. For those parents who felt their children didn't do as well in a 'normal' education system I have to believe it was because they didn't' fully understand the true building blocks of a Montessori education.
My son has been at D.G.M. since infancy. He is now in his first year in the lower elementary program. All the teachers that he had are still there and when they see me, still ask me how my child and family are doing. Although I have to admit that I miss the closeness I felt in the primary with teachers and other parents, elementary has been exciting. My son is blossoming each day. Parent involvement is centered on me being their to support my son in any way they feel is necessary. My family is looking forward to being at D.G.M. as long as it meets our sons needs.
This is my family's second year at Desert Garden Montessori, and my son continues to grow beautifully in his understanding and awareness of the world, himself, and how he relates with others. He is still quite young, and the kindness and emotional nurturing he receives every day from his teachers and everyone at the school is incredible; I feel it's a second home for him, and he loves going in each morning. The staff are friendly and professional, responsive to feedback, and really seem to welcome the ideas of parents. There are many involved parents who make the community strong, and the teachers really know how to reach students as individuals. Every child should have the chance to learn and explore in a school like this!
My children attended this school for a few years in both primary and elementary programs. Our experience was very disappointing. DGM is very weak academically. Now, at a Kyrene school district, they are learning a lot more then they ever did at DGM. There was never any homework and the teachers were not willing to give more challenging assignments to kids who where strong academically. In addition to this, DGM raised its tuition last year to pay for its 'organic garden', for which most parents did not care for. I never liked their lunch program. Kids would eat outside all year long, in the heat with temperatures of over 100 F in the summer time, and in the winter time, when it was too cold to do so! I know many families that left the school this year.
My child attended this for the elementary program. There was a different teach each year. Also, after we transfered to a new school our child was academically behind all of the o the students. After talking to othe ex-DGM parents their children were also behind. I am very disappointed in the education standards at the school and feel like I was ripped off.