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Montessori Center School

Private | PK-6 | 280 students

MCS is best known for offering a quality Montessori education since 1965.
 
 

 
 

Living in Goleta

Situated in a suburban neighborhood. The median home value is $505,000. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $1,470.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
 
Last modified
Community Rating

4 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
Based on 1 rating
2013:
Based on 1 rating
2012:
Based on 2 ratings
2011:
Based on 6 ratings

Teacher quality

Principal leadership

Parent involvement

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15 reviews of this school


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Posted June 10, 2014

I am so glad we found this school for our daughter who has now done about 6 months in pre-primary and 1 academic year in primary. The teachers are the heart of the school and they put a ton of effort into knowing every kid and their needs. The kids are known not just by their own teachers, but by all the teachers. Instruction is individualized and true to the Montessori method of following the child's interests (with some teacher prompting in the right direction of course). Kids, parents and administration staff are wonderful. The campus is beautiful, stimulating and safe with great classroom set up and inviting outdoor spaces. We feel we are getting our money's worth and more with this wonderful learning and life experience for our young daughter. All the classrooms are known by the color of the door. We are in Blue Door and thrilled. Quality seems very consistent across all the classrooms. Thank you, MCS!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 4, 2013

My son has been at MCS going on 4 years. He is in the Lower Elementary program at the school (1st-3rd grade) and my husband and I honestly couldn't be happier. He is so academically prepared and loves going to school every single day! The teaching staff is so experienced and well trained. The individualized learning and Montessori approach really does work. Outside of the academics I love that there is such a strong emphasis placed on emotional development. The teachers work with children on social skills and modeling peaceful ways of communicating. I so appreciate that he is an environment where he feels safe, heard and respected. The Montessori hands on materials the children get to work with are amazing! They truly seem to make learning fun and exciting. I also like the multi-age aspect. There is so much inner mentoring going on in the classrooms. We really do love Montessori Center and would urge anyone to check out this school for their child.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 23, 2012

Both of my kids are in this school this year and up until now I'm comparing it to our previous school experience. First, my oldest kid teacher is a non-native speaker. She's nice and kind, but I would hire as a music teacher not primary one. I don't see how my child will improve his/her English like that. This is still ok with me, but the fact that my kid is a 3rd grader combined with first and second graders is way bad. Some of the younger ones can't even read on their own so the whole teacher focus is mostly on them, what am I paying for then??!! My other child which is in primary didn't have this problem as she's in the youngest level. However, the situation is reversed here. The teacher expects her to do everything on her own and keeps complaining to me that I should teach her that at home. Again, my question is why am I then paying ?!!! I've heard good things about the school from parents who are not working, so here is how I see it. The school is great for parents who are not busy, meaning willing to volunteer and be in school at least 5 hours/week . So it's more fun for parents to go to than for those who want to see their kids learning new stuff.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 7, 2012

My daughter recently graduated from Montessori Center School and was so well prepared for Jr. High she received high marks in all of her honors classes. Academics were only part of the success; she learned how to learn, be independent, how to care very deeply about others and her community, how to enjoy music, dance, and sports, and I could go on and on. She felt a great connection to all her teachers and they took a personal interest in my daughter's success. The school grounds are beautiful and inviting. The classrooms are filled with engaging materials.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 16, 2011

This school is a special place, providing a nurturing learning environment that provided "Process" oriented learning. Small class sizes, and a full time assistant in each classroom. In addition to providing a Montessori approach to learning the school provides wonderful specialists from art, music, Spanish and PE. Our Public schools have lost focus with "authentic learning" and are pushing for a one size fits all. I am thankful for Montessori & its commitment to continue a child's natural thirst for knowledge, curiosity & "Love of Learning"
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 16, 2011

Great school - our children have been there from 18 months and are now starting third grade. Academically, this school is above the rest, while children have a true joy for learning and are not just taught what they will be on the test. Great small class size for extra attention.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 16, 2011

I am a father with 3 children at Montessori Center School. We started with our then- 5yo who was too young for public school. My wife did extensive research and after we had him there she was duly impressed and wanted me to observe a class in action with an eye towards enrolling our other two (the then 7yo and 3yo). I resisted. I'd attended public school and felt we had a very good one where we lived. I went to observe the classes and was so impressed. The children were all engaged and worming independently in a manner I'd certainly never witnessed in my schooling or in the school. I immediately "got" the difference. Rather than having a teacher in the front teaching to a whole group, the teachers were mingling with the kids, each of whom were working on tasks in order to accomplish their daily goals. This avoids having 1 child derailing the class. I am enamored as well with their approach to math and grammar and public speaking. The start kids at a "concrete" understanding of numbers and work up, rather than simply doing it abstractly on paper right away. I also think having 3 ages in a class is brilliant- teaches kids to participate in different ways and teasing is nonexistent!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 16, 2011

MCS is truly a special learning environment that is unlike any other. Our children are able to explore and learn at their own pace. It's truly the best education in town with a very fair price!! The teachers are outstanding and have a true passion for the Montessori philosophy! We left MCS for one semester and returned because our daughter said she was not using her mind and it was not interesting. Since returning to MCS our daughter is thriving!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We plan on keeping our children at MCS till 6th grade.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 16, 2011

Montessori Center School is a wonderful school. My two boys started in the pre- primary class at 2.5 years old. The older is now 9 yrs old. I describe the Montessori method as learning how to learn. It is hands on understanding of all achedemics. The children phisically understand why things work the way they do. Children ages 3-6 understanding the physical concept of 10 cubed is amazing! Realistically, some teacher student combinations don't work (as is the case of of every school and camp). Spending up to 3 years in a class, if the match is good, it is a fantastic opportunity to develope and grow. If the match is not good - switch classes! That being said. It is possible that the Montessori style of learning is not for every one. But I see the intimate and personal interaction the students have with the teachers, shows up daily in their ability to confidently converse with people of all ages and cultures. They are taught the bigger picture of the world, life and learning. A recent article quoted the creators of Amazon.com, Wikipedia and Google thanking their Montessori education for teaching and allowing them to think out of the box. My family is already thanking Montessori!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 25, 2011

We spent two years and tens of thousands of dollars at this school. Although my child learned concepts that helped in grade school, primary level was a nightmare. Labeling was rampant and expectations were not clear and would change from child to child and day to day. Learning disabilities were not identified by a teacher with over 20+ years of experience. Many teachers have been teaching too long at this school and are burnt out. The Montessori model of teaching is not followed - teaching to the teachers expectations is what we found. Montessori - especially this one - is not for all children, especially if you have an active child - beware! My child went from "the problem child in the class" with low ratings to an A student with excellence in behavior by switching schools.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 14, 2010

How you rate the school may depend on the age of your child. Its a great school for the older kids but I was disappointed to hear teachers express 'limitations' regarding toddlers. For example, toddlers don't go to the special music sessions because they 'aren't ready for it'. (To be fair, they do do music in their own class). And there are no animals in the classroom because they 'don't know how to be gentle'. I find it worrisome that youngsters are being told what they are not capable of at such an early age.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 11, 2009

It is a place where children and adults can explore and learn together in a safe and caring environment.


Posted November 24, 2008

fantastic...our daughter has been there since preschool. she is in 4th grade now and has thrived there.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 5, 2006

Wow, now I really do believe in the montessori method thanks to this amazing center for young people
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 20, 2005

My daughter loves her school. We were put in lower elementary for kindergarten, which I wasn't as happy about since the day was longer. But, in general, we are very satisfied with the school. I would highly recommend the school, but would not recommend putting the kindergarteners in with the lower elementary as the playground is not quite the right size for them and the day is longer.
—Submitted by a parent


Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

About these ratings

The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

We currently do not have any test score information for this school. Unlike public schools, private schools are not always required to report data about their schools or not required to take the same tests as public schools. Many private schools take different standardized tests; however, that information is often made available only to families of enrolled students. We strive to acquire additional private school data whenever available.

Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school
White 75%
Asian 18%
Hispanic 5%
American Indian/Alaska Native 1%
Black 1%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0%
Two or more races 0%
Source: NCES, 2009-2010

Teacher resources

Special staff resources available to students Art teacher(s)
Computer specialist(s)
Librarian/media specialist(s)
Music teacher(s)
PE instructor(s)
Reading specialist(s)
Robotics/Technology specialist(s)
Speech and language therapist(s)
Teacher aid/assistant teacher
Foreign languages spoken by school staff Arabic languages
Spanish
Read more about programs at this school
Source: Provided by a school official.

Special education / special needs

Level of special education programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students
Extra learning resources offered
  • Differentiated learning programs
Staff resources available to students
  • Speech and language therapist(s)

Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM)

Staff resources available to students
  • Computer specialist(s)
  • Robotics/Technology specialist(s)
School facilities
  • Access to farm or natural area
  • Garden/Greenhouse
Clubs
  • Robotics club

Arts & music

Specific academic themes or areas of focus
  • Arts (all)
Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
School facilities
  • Art room
  • Music room
  • Performance stage
Visual arts
  • Ceramics
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
  • Printmaking
Music
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Instrumental music lessons
Performing and written arts
  • Creative writing
  • Dance
  • Drama
  • Poetry
Clubs
  • Origami club

Language learning

Foreign languages taught
  • Spanish
Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students
Staff resources available to students
  • Speech and language therapist(s)
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • Arabic languages
  • Spanish

Health & athletics

Staff resources available to students
  • PE instructor(s)
School facilities
  • Access to farm or natural area
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Multi-purpose room ("cafegymatorium")
School leaders can update this information here.

School basics

School start time
  • 8:15 am
School end time
  • 2:30 pm
Before school or after school care / program onsite
  • Before school: starts at 7:30 a.m.
  • After school: ends at 5:30 p.m.
School Leader's name
  • Patricia Colby PhD
Best ways for parents to contact the school
  • Email
Age at which early childhood or Pre-K program begins
  • 2 years old
Gender
  • Coed
Boarding options
  • Day school
Is there an application process?
  • Yes
Affiliation
  • Nonsectarian
Associations
  • AMS
Fax number
  • (805) 683-9384

Programs

Instructional and/or curriculum models used

Don't understand these terms?
  • Individually guided instruction
  • Montessori
  • Multi-aged
  • Project-based
Specific academic themes or areas of focus

Don't understand these terms?
  • Arts (all)
  • Global
Bi-lingual or language immersion programs offered

Don't understand these terms?
  • No
Level of special education programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students
Foreign languages taught
  • Spanish
Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students

Resources

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Computer specialist(s)
  • Librarian/media specialist(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
  • Reading specialist(s)
  • Robotics/Technology specialist(s)
  • Speech and language therapist(s)
  • Teacher aid/assistant teacher
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • Arabic languages
  • Spanish
Extra learning resources offered
  • Differentiated learning programs
  • Mentoring
  • Tutoring
Transportation options
  • None
School facilities
  • Access to farm or natural area
  • Art room
  • Audiovisual aids
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Internet access
  • Library
  • Multi-purpose room ("cafegymatorium")
  • Music room
  • Performance stage
  • Playground
School leaders can update this information here.

Sports

Boys sports
  • Soccer
  • Tennis
Girls sports
  • Soccer
  • Tennis

Arts & music

Visual arts
  • Ceramics
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
  • Printmaking
Music
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Instrumental music lessons
Performing arts
  • Creative writing
  • Dance
  • Drama
  • Poetry
Media arts
  • None

Student clubs

Clubs (distinct from courses)
  • Chess club
  • Origami club
  • Robotics club
School leaders can update this information here.

Upcoming Events

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School culture

Dress Code
  • Neither uniforms nor dress code
Bullying policy
  • This school has a bullying and/or cyber bullying policy in place.
Parent involvement
  • Chaperone school trips
  • Join PTO/PTA
  • MPO- Montesori Parent Organization
  • Organize fundraising events (school auction, bake sales, etc.)
  • Serve on school improvement team or governance council
  • Volunteer in the classroom
  • Volunteer time after school
School leaders can update this information here.

Apply

 

This school accepts applications on a

rolling basis

 
Apply now
 

What does it cost?

Tuition range for the 2013-2014 school year
$10000 - $15000
Vouchers accepted
No
Financial aid offered
Yes.
School-based aid

Planning ahead

Students typically attend these schools after graduating
La Colina Junior High
Goleta Valley Junior High
Santa Barbara Middle School
Notice an inaccuracy? Let us know!

401 North Fairview Avenue
Goleta, CA 93117
Website: Click here
Phone: (805) 683-9383

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