What school do you know of that only spends what it brings in for tuition each year? That sold me.
Alternatively, the staff and faculty take turns greeting every child each morning when they arrive at school--treating each child with respect and grace and welcoming them to this warm learning environment.
The teacher's resisted the utilitarian urge to force my son with shame techniques to achieve work completion--instead they used a combination style over a long period of time which used occasional adult pressure, participation consequences, sometimes peer/social consequences. But they also have used natural consequence to eventually train my son into a positive habit of planning and managing his work. His willingness to learn and engage has definitely been preserved despite his fierce demand for autonomy. Using a developmental timeline took a leap for me but it's definitely turned out!
Both of my children have attended school at Bowman and for my son especially the experience transformed him from a distracted--perhaps bored--going toward rebellious person into a young man who engages his work with personal initiative. Once I asked him "What consequence do we need to set for you if you don't get this work done" and he said "Mom, the consequence is that _I_don't_get_my_ work_done"--said in a way that indicated that his self respect would be injurious enough. Not for all kids perhaps but definitely a great school.
Curriculum is a major problem. Yes the kids are confident, but the maths course leaves your kid years behind public school, and the teachers do not correct spelling, apart from one journal which is supposedly used daily by the children, but if the child chooses to write only a couple of lines that is all that is corrected.
If you look at the number of kids at each grade you will see the numbers drop rapidly. One of the reasons is many find they need to send your kid to remedial maths class outside school hours.
If you want your child to be an actor in school plays yes this school is great. But this is the Bay Area, and to survive here you need to know maths. The cost of tuition also goes up yearly by very LARGE percentages.
Both of my daughters have been attending Bowman for the past 7 years and we couldn't be happier! Our children love going to school every day! Bowman teaches kids to be curious and love to learn. Every child is valued and is able to learn at their own speed. The teachers are wonderful and the atmosphere at school is very friendly and inclusive. Kids have smiles on their faces. I only wish I attended a school like this when I was a child!
Just to name a few great things about Bowman - we love the small group instruction, the individualized learning, the daily PE, art, music and theater, yoga, Mandarin and Spanish lessons. The school focuses on teaching the student master the subject. Even though education is not focused on taking tests, Bowman students understands concepts well and manage to score high on tests. So glad we found a Montessori school that fosters our son's curiosity along with giving him a solid foundation in academics!
Our child was attending a traditional academic preschool when we started our search for a kindergarten and beyond program. We went looking for something different, an environment where our child could come out of their shell and become a confident and expressive young person. We came upon Bowman without any specific expectations as we were not familiar with Montessori. We were quite impressed with our tour, observing how the kids were learning and how the middle school students were active participants.
Now 2 years later we are pleased that we chose to enroll our child at Bowman. They offer a very balanced curriculum with a focus on nurturing your child’s independence. In addition to a challenging academic program, children are exposed to theater, music, art, yoga, two languages (Mandarin and Spanish), and daily PE. With multi-age classrooms the younger students benefit from interacting with the older students in the class, and the older students gain confidence in teaching the younger students.
Bowman is a year round school, which is great for working parents. You choose when you want to take your child on vacation, since it is a self-paced program. Bowman also has a flexible drop off time from 8am to 9am, which is great if you are commuting from further away.
A Montessori education may not be for everyone and can be more difficult to navigate as your child works at their own pace and does not have homework or grades at the lower levels. However, from our experience so far it appears that our child is adjusting well to this style of teaching and education. Finally, the teachers are readily accessible to addressing any concerns and give timely progress reports. Take a tour and experience Bowman for yourself.
This is a school with a very poor headmistress, a very poor curriculum and a very high turn-over rate of students.
If you are thinking of going to this school ask any parent who has been at Bowman for a while how many of their friends have left over the years. Then consider how many replacement students they get, but the school still has so few students at the upper years.
Bowman teaches the way all students are meant to learn! My current 8th grader joined in December of 7th grade and immediately fit right in! The teachers and students were beyond kind and welcoming to him. I love so many things about Bowman ... no homework, no grades, late start time (9am), school day ends at 4pm, small class size, individualized instruction, each student in middle school has a one on one check in teacher (no advisory with 20+ kids), it is also a year around school so when your child misses school - for any reason - there are no nasty e-mails or guilt trips. The teachers and administration at Bowman are good and kind people, they really know my son and they really care. My only disappointment with Bowman is that we didn't know about it when my son was starting Kindergarten and that it doesn't go up to 12th grade! We need more schools like Bowman!