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1509 North Pierce Street
Little Rock, AR 72207

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(501) 603-0620
(501) 603-0905
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Map of Arkansas River Valley Montessori address.

September 01, 2015
Take your time and read all of the reviews in the last year. I think that you will find that the ones that are the most "wordy" and supportive were written by alums who have personal ties to the school and kids there now. The owner and Head of School is someone that at first seems endearing and caring (and she can shed tears at end of year celebrations with the best of them) but then you get to see the reality. I will not try and discredit the intelligence of the lead guide in the AC classroom. She is quite bright. However to say that there appears to be even a modicum of preparedness or organization in the classroom, you would need to check your own observational skills. Better yet, spend day in that chaotic environment or go on a overnight/weekend trip with the group and witness firsthand the lack of respect by the students and disorganization from any angle. Our son was "part of the family" here until about two weeks ago when we had an epiphany. He was behind his twin brother, had known diagnoses of ADHD and Autism Spectrum Disorder (high functioning), and we were not doing him any favors allowing him to stay with his peers for the sake of having friends and the detriment of his ability to function in society or to transition out of this chaos to any semblance of normalcy and respect in a traditional classroom. We made the move and it has been a struggle to place him in a graded class that is one year behind where he was at Montessori (he should have been in the 8th grade as he and his twin brother who is attending another private prep school started school at the same time)- he is now a 7th grader and struggling to keep up. There are not enough trained professionals in the classroom spanning 6th to 9th grade to justify paying the tuition. The amenities are non-existent. Bare minimum facilities that are outdated and not well-cared for. There have been great struggles since leaving but it was all worth it when my son said after his first week away " I learned more this week at my new school than I did in MONTHS at my old school (ARVM)". From the mouths of babes.

- submitted by a parent
Develops honesty: no rating
August 29, 2015
Divided into age groups that span several traditional grades, students in Montessori classrooms gain several key benefits from being part of the larger group. The youngest students in each class observe and are helped by the older students both in academic lessons and social skills. The middle group sees themselves as traversing towards the responsibility of the oldest group and also serve somewhat to help the younger students. Finally, students in the oldest group in each class assume leadership roles in classroom jobs and responsibilities and also serve as social and academic leaders.

- submitted by a school leader
no rating
August 29, 2015
The Montessori method was developed by Dr. Maria Montessori in the early 20th century. The method is centered around the specific developmental needs of the child. Montessori believed that every child learns in her own way and at her own pace. She created a new kind of classroom, called the prepared environment, designed to stimulate the individual interests of the student. Montessori is the only method of education that was developed from observing the child and following the natural desire and needs of a child at every age. More than a century later, River Valley Montessori is honored to be part of her legacy.

- submitted by a school leader

June 26, 2015
I discovered this school halfway through its first year of operation. I had already enrolled my child in another Montessori when I discovered River Valley. I was so clear about the difference I saw that I moved my child immediately. We've been part of this school for 12 years. My children have grown and thrived here, having learned social and academic skills I don't see in other kids their age who attend other schools. We love the school and the guides, and have close friendships with parents. Experience and dedication to real Montessori education is what you'll find at RVM. They aren't interested in so-called "fluff" here, and the students are all the better for it!

- submitted by a parent

June 23, 2015
We chose River Valley Montessori after carefully visiting and observing all of the Montessori schools in Little Rock. The difference at RVM was astonishing! The children were calm, peaceful and so engaged in the lessons. There was simply no chaos in any of the classrooms, nor was there the stilted look of students using textbooks or worksheets. My husband suggested we "drop in" a second time and we popped in at lunch. This sold us on RVM, right then and there! We love having teachers who are very experienced and also that the school founders are teaching in the classrooms. We love this school and are happy to be part of a dedicated family community.

- submitted by a parent

June 14, 2015
We couldn't be happier with a school than we are with River Valley Montessori! The school was recommended by a friend a while back and we liked their page on Facebook and were blown away! After observing the classrooms we were sold! Our child loves it there and can't wait to go back when summer is over!

- submitted by a parent

June 10, 2015
We love RVM! Our child is receiving an authentic Montessori education in a warm and caring environment. After touring other Montessori schools around town, we saw something special at RVM. Most of the faculty has been there for a very long time and they are very dedicated to the work they do. This school offers a great education and has a wonderful parent community!

- submitted by a community member

June 08, 2015
Not only is this the best Montessori school in Little Rock, but also the only one that truly follows the Montessori Method and Materials. I was blessed to watch this school blossom from merely an idea to what it is now. This school has the most devoted faculty and staff, a beautifully prepared environment, and deeply values the best interest of every single child that attends. RVM is not just a school, it's a family. It's roots are firmly planted and Little Rock is LUCKY to have such a wonderful place for children. I could not have imagined going to school anywhere else and not only was I academically advanced due to this school's thorough methods, but I also had a much deeper desire for learning, working, independence and responsibility. This school works extensively to build strong, honest, independent and responsible beings, and does so in such a tender way. The primary classroom is carefully prepared and child-centered. The three to six year olds work independently and find much joy in their accomplishments and work. They are also highly self sufficient for what most consider them capable of. This is a direct impact that the primary guide has had on this classroom. She is wise beyond her years and her experience (as well as her heart and compassion) cannot be found anywhere else. They have an amazing and unique elementary classroom, in which upper and lower grades are combined - a transition that has been MORE than successful and practical. This classroom is rich with materials and beautiful lessons from one of the wisest teachers since Dr. Montessori and having such a wide age span allows the older children to soften and guide the youngest in the class. The Adolescent Community also sets RVM apart from the rest. The guide for this class has been with the school for nearly a decade and not only is she brilliant but she deeply understands adolescence - a rare trade. She values their many strengths as well as gently guides them through operating a business, peer relations, and strong academics (and a great deal of humor). Never have I seen more smiling young teenagers than in this classroom. If you are looking for a place that will guide your child towards independence, responsibility, honesty, kindness and a sound moral compass, you have found it - OBSERVE and ABSORB, because nothing like this exists anywhere else.

- submitted by a parent

June 08, 2015
One of the most authentic Montessori Schools in Little Rock. Excellent faculty and staff, proper use of materials, wonderful outside play space. The children are also thriving and happy. Schedule an observation and see it for yourself.

- submitted by a community member

September 29, 2014
This school is truly lacking. There are so many other Montessori school options in the Little Rock area that offer better programs, kinder more well trained guides and updated facilities at a lesser cost. All you have to do is tour a few other schools to realize how outdated the school is in most areas.

- submitted by a parent

August 02, 2014
River Valley Montessori is a great school that takes Montessori education very seriously and does everything by the Montessori book: three-hour work periods, legit materials, trained guides, real self-care responsibilities for the children, and on and on. The best proof of the effectiveness of this school is the grace and courtesy shown by the students, who are always helping each other, and their parents and the school as well. Our five year old has thrived in the primary classroom, and we are re-arranging our family's life plans to enable her to continue to attend this school through high school. If you're looking for an authentic montessori experience and a staff that deeply loves the children it serves, you owe it to yourself to schedule an observation of the classroom in action at River Valley Montessori.

- submitted by a parent

July 13, 2014
My name is Sam Piazza. I am a member of the staff at River Valley Montessori and I am proud to put my name with what I have to say about the school. After reading some of the comments on this page I wanted to set the record straight. All lead teachers at River Valley Montessori have certification from resident training programs, which is how the school maintains its full membership with the American Montessori Society. That can be found at amshq.org. If you come by the school, ask to see our certificate, as well as those of our teachers. I am very sad to see reviews like these, but we spend our time focused on the children in our school. Our Early Elementary guide has more training and more years teaching than any other Montessori teacher in Little Rock. Our Primary teacher was Montessori certified in 1988 and has taught Montessori ever sine. Our Adolescent Community (middle school) guide was trained at the AMI based NAMTA (http://www.montessori-namta.org) and has two masters degrees. I hope that those interested in our school will come by and see for themselves, as well as hear what our parents have to say about us. For testimonials from our parents visit arvmontessori.org

- submitted by a teacher

July 02, 2014
We were so excited to find this school but it has unfortunately taken a turn. They have slowly become more concerned with profit than the children and now have lost the BEST teacher they had and the only certified Montessori Teacher. For the amount you're going to spend on tuition you are paying for a glorified daycare provider. While I understand Montessori method is about letting the child lead and work with other children, at the end of the day a child needs direction and the staff here takes a lazy approach in the teaching department. We won't be going back and as a parent I felt I should let others know our experience as we looked at these reviews while looking for a good school as well.

- submitted by a parent

June 26, 2014
I am very unhappy with the Lower Elementary teacher and program. In contrast (I have one student in each) the Upper Elementary Teacher and program are world class. Many parents can not stay with the school long enough to make it into Upper El (3th 5th & 6th grade aged students). The facilities are quite poor with hot summers and cold winters. All the kids a re bundeled up inside the class room in the winter and the winters in Arkansas are not servere. It is hot and sweaty in the class rooms for summer and spring. Only one staff member is a fully qualified Montessori International Teacher (Upper Elementary of course) the other so-called teachers are AMA summer-school and corispondence (non-resident) Montessori wanna-be teachers. This will be my childrens last year at ARVM.

- submitted by a parent

August 28, 2013
My daughter attends ARVM, so I am honestly very interested in other parents observations of the school. Reading your review however, I was left wondering if you indeed reviewed the right school? You say that you had experience with the pre-K classes. There is only one Pre-K class at ARVM, referred to as the primary class in Montessori terminology, and it encompasses the late toddler, Pre-K and K years. You also go on to refer to ARVM as a boarding school, which it is not. Could you clarify these points? Additionally, as a point of interest, large primary classes are one of the cornerstones of Maria Montessori's philosophy; 30 children, a directress and an assistant in one classroom is not uncommon. Of course, you must have a well trained, confident and compassionate directress to guide such a group.

- submitted by a parent

August 14, 2013
Sorry to say I have to agree with the negative reviews of this school. While it was clearly a poor fit for our family, there appear to be much deeper, more serious problems with the school. We had direct experience with the Pre-K classes and were really unimpressed. The student to teacher ratio exceeded 13 to 1, leaving the teachers overwhelmed, completely apathetic to teaching and, at times, bitter and rude. When discussing the teachers with the schools administration, they admitted that some of the teachers had known behavior issues, though it didn't appear they would do anything about it. While I really wanted to like this school, it ultimately proved to be an un-nuturing, punitive environment that didn't seem to foster any learning whatsoever. My overall impression was a class (and school, to be honest) that was much less boarding school and much more Island of the Flies.

- submitted by a parent

September 19, 2012
We love this school! Dropping my 5 year old off every morning while the polite, sweet, and caring older kids unload her from the car, I just have a great sense of well being about leaving her there. We have had her at another private school and she just completely fell through the cracks. At ARVM she gets the attention and education that she needs and has just soared. She came in a "leader" in her classroom, which means most of her peers had already been together for 1-2 years, but they embraced her and she has made the sweetest friends. I cannot say enough good things about her guide - what a gift she is to those kids! GREAT school!!

- submitted by a parent

July 06, 2012
Amazing School! Completely changed my child! He loves going to school! His guide is extremely professional and caring. She is an exemplary teacher who underwent difficult training to become a Montessori guide. She is pure with the method. Her teaching has transformed him. My husband and I are public school teachers. We have always felt welcomed. The school has been like an extended family. The administration cares deeply for the students. They are constantly seeking ways to reach the children and families in their care. The building is complete with all of the Montessori materials. These materials help the children grasp abstract concepts. The grounds has a lovely place for the children to grow plants. The children are also involved in jobs that allow them to grow in their responsibility and become active members of their society. The hot lunch program has also become a favorite with my child. Healthy lunches are served. The music program is lovely. The children are taught different instruments along with reading music. The art teacher has given the children wonderful projects where they are able to be creative. They havemany field trips and guest speakers.

- submitted by a parent

June 24, 2012
I am responding to the posting on April 3, which I think is a "complete joke." I am a parent, a real parent that has had her kid go to ARVM for 5 years. I chose this school because the Montessori method is clearly followed and the staff is qualified to teach the method at its purest form. I appreciated the person who included a website link (which did not work, btw) so that I could at lease search the correct website to see these supposedly "scary" lists of cited violations. It seems to me if the school covers a few more electrical plugs and moves a couple of napping cots around for "emergency exits," they will be fine. And I am sorry this person feels that "average hardworking people are not welcome." I am a public school teacher. I work hard. I have never felt anything but welcomed. And I am sure if this person was as bitter and rude at this school as s/he is here, in his/her review, there was a reason why s/he was unwelcomed. ARVM is a small Montessori school whose guides and staff make my child feel loved, accepted, and they have given her an environment which makes her cherish her learning and grow further in her understanding.

- submitted by a parent

April 03, 2012
This school is a complete joke. Not only is the Montessori Method not adhered to, but the teacher's so-called degrees were obtained ONLINE! They have been cited with multiple violations by DHS. Violations that I as a parent have never been informed of. Some of these include hiring teachers without a background check, contamination issues, fire hazards, really the (very scary) list goes on. They must have forgotten that its public info and I'm sure someone will come behind me and try to rebut this comment. (probably a staff member posing as a parent) So I encourage all parents to check the website for themselves. In fact here is the link. You can't argue with cold hard facts. https://dhs.arkansas.gov/dccece/cclas/FacilityVisits.aspx These "educators" have absolutely no idea what they are doing. The building is falling apart and is filthy. I would only recommend sending your child here if you have no concern for his/her safety, wellbeing, or intellectual stimulation. It is all about the bottom line. Money. If you aren't a doctor,lawyer, or exceedingly wealthy don't expect to fit in here. Average hardworking people are not welcome.

- submitted by a parent

November 02, 2010
Both my children have soared in this school. They are happy children...happy to go to school and happy at home. Their performance is excellent on standardized tests. They are passionate about the earth, the world around them and the treatment of others with respect. Bullying is not a concern because if it happens, it is dealt with. They spend alot of time outside, they have a school garden, amazing lunches. It's too bad more schools do not provide this type of education. They have real-world responsibilities around the school that most schools don't provide. One downside is that I wish they had more technology instruction and more robust music instruction. The fundraising is also excessive, but you're going to get that everywhere you go. Structure is helpful for children so they know what to expect. I have not experienced a closedminded faculty. They CAN and DO talk at lunch!

- submitted by a parent

October 10, 2010
Visited the school twice. Staff was nice. Told that students were not allowed to talk during lunch. On both visits separated by many weeks, the smoke detector beeped often because no one had bothered to change the battery. I still liked the school in many other ways.

- submitted by a community member

October 20, 2008
On the plus side the campus is beautiful, the children seem calm and relaxed, the restrictions on diet and commercial characters are a plus. However, the faculty is extremely rigid and close-minded. Also, many are out of touch with developments in educational theory. A pretty school, but prepared to be frustrated by an unhelpful faculty.

- submitted by a community member
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About this school

We are Montessori. That is the guiding principle at River Valley, because Maria Montessori's principles and discoveries don't need to be supplemented, altered, or combined with other methods or philosophies. When Dr. Montessori's principles are the driving force in the classroom, the children flourish. We invite you to come observe our classrooms.

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Arkansas River Valley Montessori
1509 North Pierce Street, Little Rock, AR  72207
(501) 603-0620
Last modified Arkansas River Valley Montessori is a Private school that serves grades PK-9
Arkansas River Valley Montessori Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 53 reviews. Top