This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Posted April 22, 2015
- a parent
My son currently attends the school in lower Elementary and loves most of the curriculum. I think he's getting a great education there - learning self motivating skills, working in groups as well as learning academia. We got used to the Montessori methodology on parental involvement which is something I missed from Preschool and Kinder. Our main issue (as parents) was with the Director, including her approach to bullying. With regard to bullying, we complained about our son getting bullied (head locks, getting his head shoved to the desk, etc.) and there never was a defined plan. They stated that the bully was separated when he acted out but that was about it, I'm not sure if he was actually disciplined in any other way (i.e. parent conference, one on one discussion with bully). With regards to the Director, she accused us of providing a verbally abusive environment because my son was withdrawn, angry. A very bold statement since she doesn't know our family life. My son doesn't exhibit these behaviors outside of school - at home, with play dates or with teammates in sports activities. We are putting him in a public school next year which he's very excited about!
I'll agree with what several others have said about The Montessori Schoolhouse. They DO NOT want any parent involvement in the school. There is zero communication with parents about students' progress outside of parent-teacher conferences, which are once or twice a year. And there is no electronic communication of any kind about school events or school updates (dates for conferences, dates of days off, holidays, etc.). So if you miss the white board of paper handout, you are out of luck. Academically, I found the teachers to be conscientious, and my child learned a lot. But there's much to be desired in terms of communication and parental involvement.
Took my 3 year old for a month and that was all we could take from this school!!! the teachers may have had good intentions but they really don't know what they are doing, from a Montessori school the only thing is the name and the educational materials but the essence and believes that Maria M. had are not respected at all if you really want a Montessori education DO NOT bring your kid to this school my son ended up emotionally and even physically abused by the teachers in this school. I will even prepare a lawsuit against this school ... that bad really.
Both of my children went to TMS and received good educations, but I know now that they would have been just as well served in TUSD or at any other charter school. The teachers at TMS were wonderful, but the administration less so. There is no sharing of information and consistancy in how the school is run or how diverse families are treated. TMS was not an open or responsive environment for parents. There are better schools in Tucson, keep looking.
I find the post that was left on December 17th baffling. If you are familiar with Montessori that is exactly how the schools are run. They expect that you are continuing the same type of independent philosophy at home. They do a lot with the children and care very much for them. They promote independence, so yes if they need to wash their hands they get to do that themselves. I, too, was surprised by what seemed like, little communication BUT when you understand the philosophy behind Montessori you will begin to understand. When you drop off and pick up your child the teachers are all there for your questions. I have heard this concern with the lack of sense of community, but I ask you, what would you like for them to offer? You can reach out to the parents that are there and chat with them over lunch. I think that if you do not embrace the Montessori lifestyle then you will not understand and appreciate how the school is ran. I had my girls in the school for almost 6 years collectively and left for an AMI school in a different state and they were right on track academically. You should be thrilled to have your child in this school!!
Our daughter went to Montessori schoolhouse for preschool and we were not happy with her year there. First of all, there is no communication with parents. I found very odd never to get an update for a three year-old s day and general progress. The only time I did was during the scheduled parent-teacher conference. Whenever I asked about my daughter, I would get monosyllabic or brief, uninformative answers. I found this lack of communication unacceptable. Parents were discouraged from being involved in any way, the teachers preferring to leave the preschool experience entirely to them, the experts. There was no attempt to socialize the parents and allow them to get to know each other to create some sense of community. Second, the 'child-led development' philosophy is an excuse for them to not spend too much time with kids. My daughter played with the same toys every day for an entire year, did not really learn anything or became interested in anything new. At her new school after Montessori, she learned more in her first month than in a whole year at Montessori. There are better options in Tucson.
Our son attended the school for preschool, and we put him at the public Montessori school for Kinder, after we observed some very odd educational procedures. First of all, the 6th Street location routinely held kindergarteners back for an additional year of "pre-1st." Now, what exactly that "pre-1st" was, I do not know. But disturbingly, we observed that only children who did not quite "fit in" were required to stay behind, and most of their parents pulled them from the school when they were asked to hold back their child. It seemed to me it was a "weeding out" tactic, designed to get rid of students who could not perform to the level expected to mainting the Ft. Lowell campus' high academic achievement standards. Which is fine - you can get that at any private school that charges tuition. But as parents, we never knew how the school's money was being spent, even though we were required (not asked, mind you, but required) to give a $200 tax credit each year (we have other children, who attend other schools, and were told that didn't matter). The director was strange, but we had few, if any, interactions with her, nor did the students.
My child has been at Montessori Schoolhouse since preschool and is now in upper elementary. This is a fantastic school! I have personally observed the classes on numerous occasions and have always been impressed by the fact that all the children are always on task and are joyful about their learning. My child has loved all of the teachers, especially Regine Ebner, who is the director and teaches lowere elementary, is excited to learn, has had wonderful guidance on peer relations. Another wonderful thing about this school is that they use the Virtues Project and each week focus on learning a different virtue, such as compassion, curiousity, justice, etc. My child is excelling academically both in the school and on the standardized tests, but far more importantly he loves to learn and solve problems. I have heard negative statements about the director from other parents, however I can see another side to the story in the cases that I am familiar with. Most parents here seem to be very happy with the teachers and the education their child is getting and overall it is a lovely community.
I currently have a child in the Upper class and have great things to say about this school. The circle time is a concentrated period of instruction each day and is kept "distraction free" for a reason (you must be on time or you might have to sit out of circle). It helps the kids stay focused on what the teacher is presenting that day. But parents are allowed, even encouraged to come visit/observe the classroom but they are advised to schedule a visit and minimize interactions with the students while they are working. It is not a traditional school setting but I have not ever felt that there is any secretive stuff going on as the last review noted. Also I believe that financially they must be audited each year according to the AZ Dept of Education. Montessori is not for everyone but most children I have seen come and go through the school in my 10 years of having a student there, love being there and go on to be great students at the next school they attend.
I agree with the review of 8/30/09. Parents are not encouraged to be part of their childs education. Little if any feedback is provided on an ongoing basis, except for the twice a year parent teacher meeting. We removed our daughter from this school due to bullying. We reported it to the staff, which acknowledged the "bully", but told our child to "work it out with the child". After repeated attempts to resolve the problem, both in person with teachers, the owner/administrator and via a letter of concern, we met with the owner/administrator. She was adversarial and defensive, and indicated that it had been dealt with and no more was to be done. She claims to have a degree in counseling but lacks the skills to utilize the education she has received. We strongly DO NOT recommend this school.