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Valley Montessori School

Private | K-8 | 286 students

We are best known for authentic Montessori program.

 
 

Living in Livermore

Situated in a suburban neighborhood. The median home value is $325,000. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $1,590.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
 
Last modified
Community Rating

4 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
No new ratings
2013:
Based on 7 ratings
2012:
Based on 7 ratings
2011:
Based on 6 ratings

Teacher quality

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Parent involvement

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41 reviews of this school


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Posted September 11, 2013

This school is amazing. My son came here from the peninsula several years ago. In addition to small class sizes and lots of individualized attention, the curriculum is individualized as well. My son enjoys the other kids--bullying is no longer a problem and he never complains about having to go to school. His standardized tests scores indicate that he is above grade level in most subject areas and it is due to his education here because that was not the case elsewhere. You will not find more caring teachers.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 23, 2013

Valley Montessori School is a wonderful place for our children. This is the fourteenth year our family has been at the school and we are so happy with almost everything. From the philosophy of the teaching method to the awareness that it is imperative to teach the whole child when educating, not only the 3 R's. VMS has always believed what we've recently heard on recent TED talks about educating. In a perfect world, teachers don't educate, especially in the younger grades. It is the child's curiosity that propels them into greatness. The teachers are there to provide learning opportunities and guide the children. At younger ages, this is so applicable. As the children move up to older grades, there is a gradual change to a more traditional approach. This is appropriate since our children will all go on to high school and college and will need to be able to compete with everyone else. In my opinion, The children at VMS learn to think out of the box, rather than just follow. Their love for learning is nurtured at every step. You won't find any of these kids complaining about school. They all love it! We have been so happy at our school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 14, 2013

Valley Montessori preschool is excellent. The teachers are loving and are very focused on the needs and growth of the students and students are well cared for emotionally and physically. They are taught at their individual levels. I love the total environment and trust the teachers and school personnel to do what is best for my child.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 10, 2013

I can't imagine a better place for my children. I urge you to find out for yourself by visiting a classroom. You will be blown away. You ll marvel at the lack of desks in rows, that the children are all quietly working hard without having to be directed to do so. * The kids are in mixed aged classrooms. Younger kids can go to older ones for help, and older students get lessons reinforced by teaching it to the younger ones. * The children are allowed a choice of activity and can pursue their interests. They are never bored and are always stimulated. * Children learn by using hands-on concrete materials helps reinforce lessons and make concepts like math and spelling easier to understand. The teachers are exemplary. They are highly trained and certified in the Montessori curriculum. My kids are happy, caring and imaginative. They will be well prepared for high school. Alumni routinely are placed into advanced high school courses. The test results show that the kids are testing well above grade level
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 10, 2013

Our oldest went through the middle school program and we have our 2 youngest making our way through lower elementary and primary. We really believe in the school and it has been academically a great place for our kids. Socially, we have had some problems with bullying, but the teachers and administrative staff were very responsive and the situations were dealt with immediately and effectively.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 17, 2013

As a member of the VMS community, I am grateful. There are many words for what I feel, but grateful is the one that speaks the loudest. I wanted my child to have a place to learn academics, but also to become a good person. I was unfamiliar with Montessori. I was invited to come and observe. I spent an hour. I watched a classroom with 3- to 5-year-old children who played together happily (later learning that the children were using a material designed with deep thought for children s cognitive development). Since beginning, my child has walked an incredible path--from preschool to Middle School. With a strong group of friends and their families, teachers who care and understand, and an administration that supports and encourages, my child understands respect and shows empathy. My child LOVES TO LEARN. My child has a voice. My child has self-confidence. My child cares about others. My child learns from older children and mentors younger ones. Reviews that you read are the opinions of adults. The proof of what VMS is about lies in the students. I encourage you to talk to them to visit them to see them in motion a picture is worth much more than ANY words.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 16, 2013

We are new to Valley Montessori this school year and it has been nothing short of amazing. The teachers are warm, welcoming, loving and provide an academically rigorous curriculum. They are able to balance various ages in each classroom with their Montessori approach. The student-teacher ratio remains small which is the best predictor for success academically. My daughter is thriving at Valley and is happy going to school. She clearly has gained the "love of learning" that Valley tries very hard to instill in every child. We came from a very well established independent school in Baltimore and worried that trying to find something similar in California would be very difficult. This has been a perfect fit for both my daughter and our family. The families, teachers and employees have welcomed us with open arms and continue to guide us through our transition as a new member of Valley Montessori. I would strongly advise a visit to see the school to make your own judgement call. I am very sad to see poor reviews online. I can't imagine my daughter going anywhere else! I would give the school a 5 star review but believe there is always room for improvement and growth.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted December 2, 2012

I am also a staff/parent. Many families come to VMS because it is a "good school". While that is absolutely true we are more importantly a MONTESSORI school. We follow the child on all levels- social, emotional, mathematical, language, sensorial, practical life and gross motor. As teachers, we foster the child's ability to internalize independence, coordination. concentration and order. These are the core principals of the Montessori Method. If you would like to understand the Montessori Method pick up the following books-The Science Behind the Genius by Polk Lillard, The Montessori Method by Maria Montessori and Joann Deak's research on brain development. We can't normalize/teach your child if you don't understand and internalize the Montessori Method yourself. Please know each teacher has gone through two years of training and one year of internship to be accredited by the American Montessori Society. Our Montessori training is very different from traditional training. We learn the "lessons' with all their steps as Maria Montessori dictated and wrote them down 100+ years ago. All the teachers at VMS have the Montessori Method as their core principle and value. We LOVE TO LEARN
—Submitted by a teacher


Posted June 6, 2012

This school works for some children, but not for mine. My sons preschool teacher told me she suspected he was autistic. I made an appointment for him that day at his doctors. I explained to his doctor what his teacher told me. He asked me what school, I said VMS. His response, 'Not that school again.' Because of that irresponsible comment, and so many other reasons, I could not recommend this school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 4, 2012

Outstanding school, impressive academics, outstanding teachers and administration. My son is enrolled in the Middle School (started there in 4th grade). We came to VMS from a private school in Pleasanton (where there were bullying issues the Board and administration refused to address). We also tried public school before that and we were not impressed with the level of academics. The annual test scores for VMS are off the charts. They differentiate learning on an individual basis. Numerous field trips through out the year enhance the learning for the children. We love the school, the supportive community and the mutual respect that exists between teacher and child, which provides a strong anchor for all they do!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 30, 2012

Really ? No better school in the Tri Valley as reviewed by a parent who has been happy with Toddler to Middle school would suggest they have not actually attended another Tri Valley School? Difficult to make an honest evaluation when you have no other school to compare this to. Many teachers here do not have their credential (not required to teach in private schools). Being a loving, involved parent doesn't make you qualified to lead a classroom! A good majority of the teachers are parents of children in the school which might explain all of the 'fawning' reviews? This school is average in every way from the facility to the faculty. The enrichment that you hope your child is getting (and almost obsolete in California public schools) is very poor. The art, music and language programs at VMS are weak. My children attend a Charter School now and are learning the same empathy & compassion that some feel this school gives their children. Was NOT our experience. The lack of empathy and compassion in the leadership team at this school sets the tone. And the review from Jan 27th - the one with the 'intelligent' children, I believe it's spelled Global?
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 27, 2012

I agree with the reviewer in January who gave this school 3 stars. We have been to several private schools, relocating for work reasons. This is a modest school. I can point to several teachers that are, frankly, not very smart. I understand and respect how some long-time parents have found a warm and comfortable nest for their children. There are few alternative schools, which is why we remain.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 25, 2012

I give VMS 3 stars, which is average. There are a lot of over-the-top, cultish and fawning reviews for this school. The school is fine, you certainly could do worse (public schools), but you could do better (private schools far away in Walnut Creek and beyond; Middle school in Danville). We have found that the Montessori method worked for one child, wasn't so good for another child. Resources are adequate. Outclasses such as music, art and PE are weak. Languages OK. In the end your children will be well-educated, but I believe you will always have a lingering suspicion that they could have been superstars somewhere else.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 6, 2012

Omg!!! I am surprised by the last post of Dec 27, 2011. My child has been going to this school since the toddler program and is currently in the Primary class. I still have to see a class that has only one teacher in the whole class. The student teacher ratio is one of the biggest pro's of this school and the one that wins over all the other schools. While no 1 teaching method is the same for all kids, perhaps your child preferred the new school method to Montessori. while some might not do so well in the new school method but might prefer the montessori. so to blame just the teachers is highly unfair. Yes there are some teachers here that may not fair so well but then which school doesn't have them? Infact, I would say in my experience I have found the teachers to be more nicer than the admin staff. The only reason I give this school 4 stars is because there is no school as the "perfect" school. They all have some room for improvement. I find VMS is open to listening and working on those areas.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 9, 2011

Best school and best staff. Not sure if the Aug. 5 post is talking about the same Valley Montessori School...it sure does not sound like it. Our daughter has been going to the school now for 5 years (since the toddler program - she is now in 1st grade). She is at a second grade reading level and math level. I credit her success to the amazing, very highly educated and experienced teachers. The student teacher ratio is about 4:1 for the early programs and about 10:1 for the elementary programs. After teaching in the public schools for 8 years, I would highly reccommend this school and Montessori Program.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 23, 2011

This is the most wonderful school! Our son goes to a full day of primary then to 2 hours of childcare on most days. This is his favorite place to be! He cannot wait to get out of the car and play with his friends. When I pick him up, we spend an hour trying to leave. This school is like a family. We love it and appreciate it just like family! The staff, teachers, facility and method of teaching is superb! I am more confident in our son being in the care of VMS all day than being with my mother who is a gift from God. VMS teachers and staff have the most up-to-date education and know EXACTLY how to properly care for and educate children. They know the correct and effective way to speak with them and how to teach them to care for themselves. Their patience and peaceful nature are so comforting to both child and parent. Parents see their child flourish in the method of teaching that VMS offers. The child excels beyond ones imagination in such a positive, nurturing environment. The Whole Child philosophy is executed so effectively. This school is such a baragin for what you get. I don't think you can find this anywhere else!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 18, 2011

I am shocked with the review I just read. This school truly is THE BEST of THE BEST! It begins in the classroom and flows out to the staff. It has been incredible over the past 2 1/2 years what our son has learned! There are two reasons to choose a school: How they care for your child & how they relate to you and academics. A++ on both. I have never encountered any staff member that was less than happy, peaceful and helpful! Helpful beyond belief! Teachers and administrators have taken their personal time to assist me and my son in being successful. The school also, often, offers workshops & classes to help parents and their children be successful. Everyone is so kind, right down to the maintenance man who is a father of 2 students. Even he is kind, friendly and takes his time with the children. They know him by name. The school also has a great music program with "Jack" whom the children love. Our son has never had a problem going to school and when I come to pick him up, he doesn't want to leave-along with the other kids. We have been searching for 6+months for a school to replace this one when we move and that was when we realized VMS is BEST of BEST! Irreplaceable
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 5, 2011

My 2yr old daughter has attended this school for 1 year. During that time, she has developed her motor skills, shapes, colors, numbers, letters, and can identify things around her (ie, tree, leaf, car, backpack, paper etc). The teachers are very engaged, thoughtful and patient. We have a large family and my daughter is very comfortable around them as well as strangers but I also wanted her to be comfortable around children her age. Montessori helped accomplish this! This is an amazing school with a wonderful staff. Now, when we are at home or during the weekend my daughter asks to go to school. She looks forward to joining the class and runs down the hall, hugging her teachers and waving goodbye to me.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 24, 2011

The California public schools are in a budget crisis and it is tempting to believe that a private school will offer the answer to the question"where can my child get a solid, well rounded education?" Do not look to this school for the answer. We had 2 children in this school in preschool through the elementary grades and were disappointed over and over again. The Montessori philosophy say to 'follow the child' and they seem to do this well at VMS even when the child goes off into space, daydreams, avoids work time, does not complete work on time and so on. No homework is assigned until middle school, so parents have very little information about what is being taught in the classroom. Our child missed out on learning (early) good study and time management skills. The school believes that home time is family time, a nice idea, but many children need to have the lessons reinforced at home with a few pages of review work each night. For the tuition you pay here, I suggest enrolling your child (ren) in public school and supplement with a tutor at a fraction of the cost. The administration is uncooperative and very much lacking compassion and empathy.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 28, 2011

Our three children have been attending VMS since preschool. My oldest is now in 7th grade, my middle in 5th grade and my youngest is in 1st grade. Words cannot express how much I value this school and its positive impact on my children's lives. It is truly a remarkable place. Compassion and empathy are at the very core of what this school is about. Each of my children have had one learning challenge or another, and every time the school and it's teachers were able to respond to each unique teaching demands. I'm proud to say that each of them are now testing WAY above their grade level on the state exams.
—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 State average
White 81% 26%
Asian or Pacific Islander 15% 11%
Hispanic 4% 52%
Black 1% 6%
American Indian/Alaska Native 0% 1%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander N/A 1%
Two or more races N/A 3%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

Teacher resources

Special staff resources available to students Art teacher(s)
Math specialist(s)
Music teacher(s)
PE instructor(s)
Reading specialist(s)
Foreign languages spoken by school staff Spanish
Read more about programs at this school
Source: Provided by a school official.

Special education / special needs

Level of special education programming offered
  • None - the school offers no services

Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM)

Staff resources available to students
  • Math specialist(s)
School facilities
  • Garden/Greenhouse

Arts & music

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
School facilities
  • Art room
Visual arts
  • Painting
Music
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Instrumental music lessons
Clubs
  • Student newspaper
  • Yearbook

Language learning

Foreign languages taught
  • Spanish
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • Spanish

Health & athletics

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

School basics

School start time
  • 7:30 am
School end time
  • 6:00 pm
Before school or after school care / program onsite
  • Before school
  • After school
School Leader's name
  • Ms. Rosalind Hamar
Best ways for parents to contact the school
  • Email
  • Phone
Gender
  • Coed
Boarding options
  • Day school
Is there an application process?
  • Yes
Affiliation
  • Nonsectarian
Associations
  • AMS
Fax number
  • (925) 455-8002

Programs

Instructional and/or curriculum models used

Don't understand these terms?
  • Montessori
Bi-lingual or language immersion programs offered

Don't understand these terms?
  • No
Level of special education programming offered
  • None - the school offers no services
Foreign languages taught
  • Spanish
Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • None

Resources

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Math specialist(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
  • Reading specialist(s)
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • Spanish
Extra learning resources offered
  • Remediation
Transportation options
  • None
School facilities
  • Art room
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Gym
  • Library
  • Multi-purpose room ("cafegymatorium")
  • Playground
School leaders can update this information here.

Sports

Boys sports
  • Track
Girls sports
  • Track

Arts & music

Visual arts
  • Painting
Music
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Instrumental music lessons
Performing arts
  • None
Media arts
  • None

Student clubs

Clubs (distinct from courses)
  • Student newspaper
  • Yearbook
School leaders can update this information here.

Upcoming Events

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School culture

Dress Code
  • Neither uniforms nor dress code
Parent involvement
  • Attend parent nights
  • Chaperone school trips
  • Organize fundraising events (school auction, bake sales, etc.)
  • Present special topics during curricular units
  • Serve on school improvement team or governance council
  • Volunteer
More from this school
  • Founded in 1976, Valley Montessori School serves children eighteen months through eighth grade. Valley Montessori School educates the whole child and inspires a joyful pursuit of learning. Valley Montessori School is the only school in California accredited by the American Montessori Society (AMS), the California Association of Independent Schools (CAIS) and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)
School leaders can update this information here.

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1273 North Livermore Avenue
Livermore, CA 94551
Website: Click here
Phone: (925) 455-8021

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