Because we moved from San Francisco, where my other child had already attended The LIttle School (which we loved), we needed to find a new preschool for our toddler. How lucky we were to discover MMS. The school is very child-centered and a deep respect for young people is at the heart of everything they do. We will be staying here, with gratitude.
Maria Montessori envisioned an oasis for children - this is it. A real gift. Marin Montessori School has provided both education and identity for my children, connecting an all-important social bedrock to their academic pursuits. The key is a well-defined curriculum and value system - no "experimenting" with progressive techniques like we experienced with other schools. The setting is beautiful and the facilities are top-notch. AMI teacher certification keeps the goals and techniques consistent across classrooms and years. We have been down other alternative and traditional paths and have observed two VERY different children. I believe that the MMS learning style is appropriate for ALL children. There is no "type" of child that benefits from respect and freedom. Education just gives the illusion of knowledge until an active mind makes something useful of it. MMS really brings out the "active mind" like few schools can.
All three of my daughters have thrived at this school. They are all very different in personalities and learning styles, but have each had great experiences and have truly learned to love learning here. The teachers are inspirational and the staff is beyond dedicated. Also, the parent community in general is very committed to the school and the Montessori philosophy in educating and developing the whole child. We are in our sixth year at the school and couldn't be happier with our experience at MMS.
This is our family's seventh year at MMS, and our experience at the school has been beyond compare. Our children have been inspired to learn, love going to school, and have developed into kind, empathetic young people. We credit the school with supporting their academic studies as well as encouraging grace, courtesy, and their development as important contributors to their community. My wife and I often wonder how our lives would have been different had we, too, been blessed with such a Montessori education.
I am absolutely thrilled with the progress that the MMS school Board has made in overcoming the challenges of a few parents dissenting over one controversial decision. They have scrubbed clean the Board Practices, the teachers are happy (very important) and the children continuing to thrive in what continues to be one of the best private schools in the country, let alone Montessori schools. Our children are happy, self-assured children who love to learn, and we are better parents, all thanks to the leadership, past and present, of MMS.
This is a school that once seemed to have great vision. They embraced Maria Montessori s vision and embodied all of her ideals. However in the past few years the board has come to be dominated by a group that seems more interested in preserving their own legacy than the day-to-day operations of the school. Loyalty is strongly rewarded and dissent punished with academic rigor and student well being the victims. This school has a strong foundation and excellent potential but until the board issue is resolved and a strong, visionary administrator put in place--one willing & empowered to stand up to the board--I would recommend considering a competing private or one of the excellent local public schools.
Both of my sons graduated from this school, and have done very well since. My personal opinion is that Montessori education is not for every child, but if a student does well in that system this is an outstanding school. I highly recommend it.