At Hermosa, students are responsible for their own work and encouraged to persevere through their tough areas. If the child needs extra help in a certain area, they receive the extra services, but it is still "up to the child" to conquer and master their difficulties.
This is our fourth year at Hermosa. I have a child in third grade and a child in preschool. We have been very happy with the authentic Montessori environment of this school. The school has high training standards for the teachers it employs. My older child has needed extra help in a couple of areas. I know that about a third of the current school population receives Special Services (Special Education). The fact that this school is still excelling in spite of that number really speaks to the quality of the teachers and the Special Education staff. Our teachers get paid less than their district counterparts (unfortunately), and work at Hermosa because it's what they are called to do. Family and friends always comment on how polite and conversational my children are, much of which I definitely attribute to the Montessori environment.
The only complaint I have about the school is the administration. At times, the principal and administrative staff do not do a good job of communicating clearly with parents. While disappointing, this complaint pales in comparison to the whole-person education that my children are receiving.
I am a new parent at Hermosa. My child came from a co-operative pre-school prior to transitioning to Hermosa. This school took very pro-active measures to ensure my child had a gentle and intentional phase in to full day kindergarten. This made all the difference for our daughter to feel secure with her new environment, caregivers/teachers and community. I have only been met with a community and staff that has the highest emotional quotient of any school I have researched. I spent two hours with the director who also addressed all my questions regarding all the new neuroscience and neuropsychology in education. It was important to me to find a K-8 school to minimize transitions and provide her the tools she needed to be not only a critical thinker but a creative one. I have no doubt that this school takes the time to address the needs of all at a level that supports their individuation and long term growth.
I have been associated with Hermosa Montessori in more than one capacity for more than thirty years. My history with the school includes two generations of children in my own family attending Hermosa, as well as providing special education support services to the school community. As an independent contractor I provide professional services to countless Tucson schools. This position allows me to have a 'front row' seat view of administration and staff practices. Without exception, Hermosa Montessori is outstanding in every way. I believe it is completely inaccurate, and borderline slanderous to state that this administration discriminates against any child. There is in fact, an unconditional acceptance and regard for all children at Hermosa Montessori. For years I have observed the administration and staff extending far beyond what is required of them. Consistent effort and care is extended towards children, and families. As previously stated, I believe the above review is both inaccurate, and borderline slanderous.
My son is a Kindergarten student at Hermosa right now, and he's about to move into the first grade class. My son has special needs and we were worried that he would not be ready for first grade. We got an evaluation and the school went over it with us and explained to us how the transition to first grade would work. They really went above and beyond to make sure he was taken good care of. My older son is also a student in the upper elementary class. He loves it and has learned so much about science. Anne is a wonderful teacher.
This is our second year at Hermosa, with a child in pre-K and another in early elementary. After an initial adjustment period, we are all very happy with the school. Our preschooler has grown by leaps and bounds. Our second grader has had some pretty significant issues with her performance level--Her teachers identified the concerns right away, and we were met with a caring and knowledgeable multi-disciplinary team and timely and appropriate services. The staff at Hermosa has a long history of attention to seeing the child holistically and stays in touch with current brain and educational research in order to assure their teaching methods are effective -- The parent community is intelligent, involved, and supportive. This is a school environment that is true to all that is wonderful about Montessori and a fabulous school for so many reasons...
I am actually a student of Hermosa Montessori and this year I will be attending 8th grade. My school is quite unique compared to other schools and isn't for everybody and sometimes it can be challenging completing work, but that only happens if you don't try or open your mind to this style of work and teaching. My teachers teach a year above our grade level so all of the students, including myself, learn above the standard. That might be another reason why people find it challenging. The only problem I have with this school is some of the teachers in the Middle School, which I am currently attending. The teachers at the Middle School are somewhat rude and lazy (slow, if you will). One of the teachers actually left the school to pursue a different carrier leaving us with a rude teacher, a slow teacher, and a new teacher who is hopefully really good as a teacher. Another problem I have with the school is that everyone just seems to retire or leave including the students. Other than that Hermosa is a great academic school and has excellent teaching standards in a friendly environment.
Double standards run rampant at Hermosa, there is absolutely NO consistency in regards to disciplinary action taken by the administration. Teachers will "write up" one student for an infraction and "look the other way" on the same infraction by another student. This is also the case when disciplinary infractions are reviewed by the administration. Teachers go out of their way to help a few students and ignore the needs of other students, leaving them behind. What would Maria Montessori do?
As a parent of a preschooler at Hermosa, and a parent volunteer in the classroom, I was so disappointed to read the negative parent review about the school and teacher. I don't know how long this family has been at Hermosa, but there are always 2 sides to every story. I have witnessed my child's teacher (Mary) handle many situations with children in the classroom. Each time she handled with love, patience and genuine concern for the children. Many other parents say the same about the other teachers. I do not know who their child's teacher is, but I have been around the school and involved in the parent organization long enough to see that the teachers at Hermosa are the most dedicated and loving teachers I have ever met. They go out of their way for the school and children and often on their own time. I have been so happy with my daughter's education and look forward to sending my other children when they are old enough. I am sorry this other parent has had such a negative experience, but I would consider that there are more issues going on than we know and the teachers need to look out for the entire community as a whole. As for me, I will continue to be an advocate for Hermosa!