We have 2 kids at Keystone Montessori; one in Toddler classroom and one in Primary (moving up to lower elementary this year). We moved them from another Montessori school and could see a big improvement in them. Both classrooms provide excellent care, education and practical life experience. We grew up in a traditional school setting and at first we were concerned about their academic abilities. To our surprise, our older son shows great math and ready skills. With authentic Montessori experience the school provides, I feel my son does the math with thorough thought process and deep understanding, rather than memorizing. He also started to read a chapter book himself when he was about 5 years old. The toddler classroom is also excellent. We are pleasantly surprised to see how much my little one can be so independent at such a young age (feeding, dressing up, cleaning up himself). His communication and concentration are also excellent. I give all the credits to the school for such a great job they have done to my kids!
My daughter began attending Keystone in first grade and is now in the school's "Adolescents" class for 7th grade. So far, we have been very, very happy with our child's academic progress and the extra-curricular activities, especially music and Spanish instruction. The transition from "Upper Elementary" to "Adolescents" was pretty rough because of the sudden shift from no homework to what seems an awful lot, but after a few miserable weeks, things are going more smoothly, and my daughter has learned some important lessons regarding time management. I'm certain that when she moves to the local high school in a couple of years, she will be very well prepared.
Montessori school should be the way every child is taught. Not only does it teach a love of learning, but it also teaches how to love and respect all others. Our daughter loves Keystone and so do we. The teachers, staff and administration all truly care about every child. We could not be happier!
Keystone is incredible. My daughter has been there since February of this year, and bounds in there every day. The staff are warm, genuine, and take they're jobs as educators very seriously. There is an amazing vibe about the school, and loved it so much that I applied for a job! Now they're not only the best school for my daughter, they're the best school for me. Amazing colleagues.
We cannot tell you enough how much we appreciate all of the caring staff and wonderful teachers at Keystone Montessori. Keystone Montessori helps each of our children grow to their full potential. We have a child with special needs who knows they are loved in their schooling environment. While our typical children are thriving academically, our special needs child is thriving socially. We are very thankful to be part of this wonderful community and amazing school.
Our family has been with Keystone for many years. Our children have had the opportunity to excel academically while they grow socially with their peers. They have developed a true love of learning with the Montessori philosophy. We have been extremely happy with Keystone and highly recommend this school.
I can't say enough about how happy my whole family is with Keystone. The teachers are so dedicated, the administration is well organized and fair, and the school has a caring and respectful tone. Parent involvement creates a supportive environment and a community feel. Most importantly my children are happy, challenged, and passionate about learning. We have been at Keystone since preschool and on and I would recommend the school with out hesitation. We feel truly lucky to be there and know the school has something very special going on. The only area I feel could use some improvement would be in communicating changes. They do a good job but not as strong as they are in other areas. To reference some comments I saw below, I have never witnessed favorable treatment to families who are able to donate more money, that has not been my experience at all in the five years we have been here. Also, this is a true Montessori school. To avoid a mismatch in schools where comments like I read below come from, "great if your kid wants to be a janitor" please make sure you understand the Montessori philosophy before you pick Keystone and you won't be disappointed.
Keystone is an amazing school with outstanding students, teachers, administration, and parents. The school is an authentic Montessori program that nurtures each child's individuality. My two children have attended the school for 6 years starting in Children's House and it is the only school I see them going to through the 9th grade. I have spoken with other parents of children who have transitioned out of the school and into high school and they have all had wonderful things to say about their children's smooth transitions, social adjustment, and academic accomplishments. This school is an authentic Montessori, privatel like quality school that depends on donations to operate at this quality level. I personally feel that parents need to understand that public funding does not provide the means to deliver a quality program; this is why people are unhappy with public school. I chose Montessori and I chose Keystone.
I recommend Keystone without reservation. In addition to becoming lovely human beings, our children are thriving. Our 5 year old is reading, writing, and comprehending mathematical concepts. What I love is that the children have a deep love and understanding of all that they learn, rather than simply the ability to memorize and regurgitate information. As a result of their time at Keystone, our children have an inextinguishable love of learning and respect for the world around them. The Keystone campus is lovely and the teachers and staff are very caring and dedicated. Keystone is a traditional Montessori school that follows the teachings of Maria Montessori and uses traditional Montessori materials. Parents considering a Montessori school should consider reading up on the philosophy and methodology before enrolling. Montessori schools develop character AND intellect on an individualized basis. Children develop at different rates. Montessori schools provide an environment to facilitate self-motivated activity where the mastery of the work is its own reward. Children spend 3 years with the same teacher. This creates a meaningful bond between student, teacher, and parent.
Reviewer below could have been me ( see July 27th review). Her experiences at this school are similar to mine. I also believe that parents who donate are in a league of their own and their kids are better attended to. I pulled my kid in mid-year because she was not showing much academic progress at all, although teachers assured me that my child us "progressing at his own pace." My child seemed to enjoy his time in the classroom, but was never eager to go to school. My biggest complaint is that our teacher was not willing to listen to my worries about lack of progress. Default position of this teacher was that she knows best and that I should patiently wait to my child to start showing motivation to learn. I regret my decision to enroll my child there. When we moved to another school (mid-year) my child showed sudden interest in learning. But the reviewer below was right: our learning curve was steep. My child is now excelling and is doing quite well. Don't be deceived by attractive, well-dressed surface of this school. Other people seem to have much better experiences, but like the reviewer below said, "hit or miss" is also a theme at Keystone.
The teachers at Keystone are hit or miss -- some are good, although many have no formal college education. As other reviewers mentioned, there is high teacher attrition. In the classroom, there is a strong emphasis on "practical life" learning which includes things like cleaning, cooking, and tending to the outdoor environment. Unless you aspire for your child to be a janitor, cook or gardener, this isn't where you'd want your child's focus. When I transfered my child to the Kyrene School District there was a steep learning curve because of deficiencies in his learning at Keystone. As others mentioned, there is a constant pressure to donate money. Those who donate are favored and get better teacher assignments.
This is an amazing school! The teachers are great and really care about the children and always want to make sure that they become the best that they can be. My daughter was at Keystone from Kindergarten until 8th grade. The transition was very hard for her because she went to a large high school in the area. I wish that the adolescent program had prepared her a little more for high school and gave a little homework- even though thats not the Montessori philosophy the children are going to need to do homework in all the other schools that they go into. This is an amazing school and I think that my daughter learned how to be kind to others and how to help others that could be in need of help. True life skills were learned at this school. We are truly appreciative of the staff and teachers at this wonderful school!
My child was in a Montessori preschool and did well. I then placed her in Kyrene Public Schools for kindergarten. Although our Kyrene school was rated a 10 and was "fun" for my daughter, she was totally bored and unchallenged for the entire school year (even after talking about it with her teacher)! We finally got her into Keystone and the transformation in learning has been extraordinary! I can't believe all the things she is learning and all well beyond what she would be doing in public school if we had left her. I feel like we lost an entire year in Kyrene but at least she's making up for it now. Her teacher is amazing and although the fall fundraiser was a bit steep in price, they only do it twice a year and my child isn't bringing stuff home to sell every week. Much worth the donation in my opinion.
Keystone is nestled in the foothills of Ahwatukee but is miles away from ordinary. Children are directed through learning without being forced, making them eager to take on new challenges while learning at their own unique pace. From first grade on, students are also treated like young adults, resulting in engaged, well-rounded, community-minded achievers. Every day our son comes home saying, "I love school," we're truly thankful that a better way thrives in Arizona. And yes, you will too...
Our child attended Keystone Montessori School from Kindergarten - 9th grade. We are so fortunate for the education and life skills that he gained. He was very well prepared when he transitioned to high school as a sophomore. In high school, he has been enrolled in honors and AP classes, he is a member of the National Honor Society...and he enjoys learning! He is now a senior and looking forward to furthering his education even more next year in college. The school definitely has high academic standards, however, the beauty of Keystone is that along with academics, learning revolves around the "whole child". Children are respected as human beings; they learn to make good choices; they are confident and they are surrounded by cultural diversity. We believe that all of these aspects combined make it possible for students to be successful in whatever path they decide to take in life!
My family transfered to Keystone from another valley montessori school a few years ago. I did alot of research and fact finding in order to make the decision. My children have gone through all levels now at the school and have received a very authentic Montessori education. The fact that donations are requested is due to the low State funding, and for a premium program a donation is truly worth. I have never felt pressured. As for test results all Montessori students do well, they just know this stuff due to the great program. It just might not be for everyone.
I can't say enough thank you's to all the amazing staff at Keystone! My children love school and are always eager for the school year to begin again. Keystone is Montessori 100% and I can't imagine my children anywhere else!!!
I really feel like the teachers & staff really care about my child, it should be voted as America's Favorite School because of the awesome curriculum and wonderful experience they provide to their students.
Last year my family joined Keystone to find the most wonderful staff. We moved from out of state and having attended, what I thought was an authentic Montessori environment, only to learn that I had found an even better place for my children. The entire community, from parents, faculty and administration has met my expectations in every way. We couldn't be happier.
We were very dissapointed with the school's ability to retain their AMI quality teachers and the adminstration is judgmental towards families who can not pay extra to their financial campaign
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