The way home work is distributed allows the child to develop the skills to plan and execute home work over the course of a week. the homework is also meant to help them master the topic- math skill or literature analysis through repetition. As long as the child learns to do their work when they have the time rather than at the last minute - they are very capable of completing it. it has taught my older child invaluable time management skills and planning skills to be able to figure out what they need to do and when they need to do it.
The school has taught my children to respect the opinion of others even though they may not agree with them. They have taught my children how to communicate and work in a community. This began in toddler where they taught children to settle disagreements with words on the playground , and in circle time in the class. To the classroom discussions they have in the upper elementary classroom to settle disputes and agree as a classroom community to a solution. We should all learn this skill.
I have had 2 children at this school. One is now in high school, the other is still at Khalsal. The strength of this school is the commitment and dedication of the teachers and staff to the Montessori education they provide my children.
My children have not just excelled academically. What I find invaluable is the way the school has taught my children to respect the opinion of others even though they may not agree with them. They have taught my children how to communicate and work in a community.
The teachers have guided me as a parent in countless ways. As a small school parent participation is very important for the schools ability to take every class on a field trip every month. As a parent chaperone, it was fun to be able to hold my child’s hand at the field trips when they were younger and the teachers guided us all through the process of letting them go to be part of the classroom community as they got older (and not holding their hand on field trips) In so many ways if we follow the guidance of the school philosophy- the Montessori philosophy- we let our children do their own 'work' They then get to have pride in their 'work', are responsible for their own 'work' and it truly becomes their 'work'. Whether that is the work of the classroom where they learn to pour water out of a pitcher in the toddler classroom, or their end of year research presentations in their final year, they truly own their effort and are capable of doing their own work. As my child left Khalsa at the end of 6th grade and went on to middle school, the work habits developed there never left. I do not have to worry now in high school about the homework or any other projects due. And I see the ability to work with others still present. Academically my children have done very well. the concepts they learn in the higher grades (even now in high school) are concepts they began learning in Preschool and kindergarten- especially the math and algebra concepts. My children truly understand the concept of a number squared or cubed and what that means.
I did not know what a Montessori education was before my first child joined Khalsa. I am so glad I stumbled upon it. Khalsa has been the best thing for my kids. The school does pre-assessments on the children and families. I am so glad they did. We were told of the commitment needed to provide, as the recommendation is to allow children to complete the 3 year cycles. I am so glad we did. The children go from being a beginner, learning, and then being the expert and the teacher in the class- gaining mastery. A wonderful experience and a great confidence booster- they see that at every stage in life you may start with little knowledge and then learn more and get to mastery - it is a normal progression that my children have come to expect and will always fuel their quest to learn. The teachers evaluations of the children's skills occurs every day and contributes to the plan of the next lesson for the child. We are lucky that we have such effective experienced teachers that implement the Montessori philosophy and teach so well.
So far my experience with this school has been through tours, observations, and meetings with staff and it has mostly been positive. I'm a bit concerned that they may be cherry picking students since they do an assessment prior to admission (even for charter grades) and that scores may be higher simply because of the number of students who repeat a grade. I'm writing this review to correct what I keep seeing the in other reviews, though. Khalsa was not #2 in the state for AZMerit scores. As a whole, 92% passed the English Language Arts portion of the exam. This is a great score and it might be what other reviewers are referring to. On the math portion, though, 77% of students passed the exam. In both cases, females didn't perform as well as males. This is very different from how scores fell across the rest of the state, where females greatly outperform in ELA and stay even with males in math. These scores are still far better than the rest of the state and should be celebrated. It's worth mentioning that Khalsa values independence and self sufficiency far more than other schools and should be given more credit for that than their test scores.
It is with great pleasure that we have the opportunity to be a part of this amazing school. Khalsa Montessori has enabled my son to exceed far beyond the expectations of a child his age. My friends and family always ask me what I've done to ignite such academic interest with my son, and I give full credit to his learning environment at Khalsa, with Ms. Carie, Ms. Jodie, and the staff. He has discovered, and continues to learn how to be self-directed, focused, and in control of his actions. I never need to wonder if he's receiving the best education available in Phoenix... Just look for yourself if you're in doubt; Khalsa's students rank 2nd in the state for achievement! Way to go, Khalsa students and teachers!
My child's teacher is knowledgeable about child development and this helps us in knowing what is expected. Rather than just looking at the behavior, the teachers try to understand why my child is acting a certain way and helps my child to take ownership for his/her actions.
Giving children limited choices and helping them reflect upon the choices they make daily develops responsible decision making, which then leads to honesty and integrity. The beautiful part of Montessori philosophy is that mistakes are naturally looked as teachers. In an environment where my child learns that it is okay to make mistakes, but also learn from them, my child is learning to "always do the right thing".
In the time that our child has been at the school, my husband and I have seen immense growth in his/her sense of order, independence, confidence, social skills and most importantly patience and perseverance. All the teachers in our child's classroom are respectful and hold her/him appropriately accountable for personal actions. We wholeheartedly support the school's vision and see how hard the teachers and other staff, including assistant teachers, work to create consistency and a respectful environment where our child is nurtured as a unique individual. Suggestions and feedback are given us from a place of honesty and love, which helps remind us to be open to looking at the feedback objectively in order to help her/him reach his/her optimum potential. Congrats on your rating of #2 elementary school in the state, Khalsa Montessori - your work is yielding amazing results!
I would say it's 4 1/2 stars. We have had our children at this elementary school for over 5 years (and 3 years before at the primary school) and they have thrived in its supportive environment. All along, they have been partners in our challenges to address our kids' special needs and at the same time, they have expected them to challenge themselves. Our children know themselves and their capabilities at a level that I did not experience as a child.