This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Valley Montessori School5
Posted September 11, 2013
- a parent
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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!