Our child came to CMP from an aggressively rigid private school. His test scores were top of his class however he was very anxious and being constantly being disciplined. We were cautious about him slipping academically with the switch but he has continued to excel in the montessori environment and most of his anxiety issues have subsided. Children need the space and movement. We recently provided childcare for our child's friend who is still at the private school and his mother asked us to work on vocabulary words for a test. I was pleasantly surprised that my child already knew 80% of the words (spelling & definition) whereas the other child was just learning them. Our child is learning at his peers level without all the tears, phone calls from the principle and massive amounts of homework. The school administration have improved their communication and we feel we are aware about what events are happening and are informed to our child's progress in the classroom. The office staff is friendly, approachable and responds quickly to requests. The principle is visible and seems more personable. Be sure to visit several classrooms as teaching styles vary.
My son started kindergarten at this school and he is now in the 6-9 class. His teachers have been attentive and caring, and his social development has been impressive. There is a strong emphasis upon having the students treat each other with respect which has helped him a great deal. Staff responded promptly to a minor episode where my son was upset with what a couple of other students had done to you. He looks forward to going to school, does his homework and is progressing well in all of his subjects.
We are starting our 4th year at this school and I have nothing but praise for the teachers, staff and parents here. It is not for everyone, of course, but I have found the gentle Montessori approach has been a great help for our son, who tends to be a sensitive to harsher teaching methods at traditional schools. He has learned the importance of self-motivation and organization. Class size is another motivator. The teacher-to-student ratio is much lower here than at other schools and the teachers are here because they believe in the Montessori method... which makes them much more compassionate leaders. They do test here, since it's a public charter, but the difference is they really do NOT make a big deal about it. Unlike Phoebe Hearst, where the STAR test is all important, the teachers here encourage the students to get a good night's sleep, eat a good breakfast and do their best. That's all. It's a breath of fresh air, as far as I'm concerned.
I strongly disagree this is not a good school for children who are easily distracted. My son was diagnosed with ADHD and has excelled in a Montessori environment. The smaller class size allows for more one on one attention from the teacher and teaching assistant. Students can focus on areas that they excel and love while still learning other subjects.
We are rounding out our first year at CMP Capitol Campus. While I will agree with the previous comment that Montessori isn't for every child, I disagree with the statement that a "normal child desires not to work hard." Our individual motivators & intrisic deires vary from person to person~& I don't think that's a solid theory. Montessori works well for a specific "type" of person. I have been an educator myself for over a decade & I definitely can describe some of the attributes one needs to have a successful Montessori experience. You need to tour the school before signing on. That said, yes, there are parent participation hours. If you don't like participating-or you simply can't, this isn't for you. If you can afford to "buy out" your hours, you can do that too. Yes, there are lots of fund-raisers. We buy/sell what we can, & we've never stressed about it, & never gotten the message or impression that what we've bought/sold isn't enough. We use & appreciate the clothes trading closet, a nice perk about school uniforms here. The staff work well together, planning & coordinating-evident in the festivals & celebrations throughout the year. The older kids are a bit rowdy- I agree.
This isn't the right school for our child. We were very inspired by the Montessori values and teaching methods, and I think this could be very good for students who struggle in traditional classrooms. However, our child needs to be challenged by an authority. The teachers here try, but let the child decide if that is what they want. Our child has too much potential and normal child desires to not work hard. Putting the child in charge, teaching younger students, and conflict resolution skills are some of the high points of the Montessori way. Just isn't right for our child.
My child comes home saying their class is out of hand and the students are becoming more and more disresceptful to the teachers. My child says their teacher doesn't have control of the class and it's affecting their concentration and ability to learn. I've addressed concerns with the teacher and the principle only to be ignored. I;m looking into other options if things don't turn around by the winter break. Crossing fingers.
This is our second year at the Capitol campus. It is a wonderful school with that really honors each individual child. Class size is small-around 20-with one teacher and one teaching assistant in each classroom. Lessons are taught in small groups or individually-based on the students needs/rate, while acknowledging their successes, in this way, the environment is ideal for both the high achiever as well as children who progress at a slower rate. As a parent with kids at both ends, I appreciate that they each have their needs met! . Every year, API has risen and is above state standards-quite amazing when considering around half of the students newly enrolled are also new to Montessori. Classrooms are beautiful-teachers seem to spend a lot of effort in creating an attractive,comfortable, home like environment with curtains, rugs, lamps, art, etc. using natural materials and soothing colors, often when I am volunteering, I notice the teachers playing gentle background music while the the kids are working. It is a really peaceful environment, and the kids are taught good conflict resolution skills, helping the kids to make their own peace.
This is a wonderful school which is dedicated to educating the "whole child" in a warm and loving community. They assess all the children and provide each child with an individualized work plan, instead of teaching everyone the same thing. The Montessori approach is great if your child is academically advanced, interested in learning, and independent. I could not be more impressed with my child's teacher and the enrichment my child receives at this school. My child's attention span, attitude, and social skills have improved greatly as a result of the teacher's patience and classroom environment. I can't believe that this school is tuition free!
So far I'm not impressed, I know it's early on in the school year but I wonder if my child is even learning anything yet. This is not a school for a child who doesnt have self motivation when dealing with school work. Also, if your child is easily distracted by others these classroom might not work. As these are child-driven classes, whereas the teacher doesn't seem to have any authority in the class. Very lax and laid back, go with the flow enviroment.
I'm not impressed with the rude admin staff, teacher and principal was hard to get a moment with/return phone call/email.You re not allowed to come to the class before & after school the teachers have duties or meetings so no time to wait = SOL.There is a lot of turn over with the teachers, it seemed as if my child s teaching assistant 9-12 wasn t up to par, she was often mia . However even with the lack of parent/teacher/principal communication the parents and students are very resourceful and a great community. There is a great amount of parent participation and everyone is always willing to help where needed. Unfortunately the parents are not the ones I want to always hear from. I absolutely loath the afterschool pickup car line which always seems to lack order&consistency. Takes about 15 minutes for my child to be corralled out. Another good aspect is they offered lunch program, after school extracurricular activities,club before/after school care,focus on respectful and environment. My child enjoyed the assemblies,field trips,culture night,science fair,continent party&harvest festival.
I love this school but it's not perfect. In my experience, everything that goes on in the classroom is wonderful - supportive teachers, a curriculum that is challenging and moves at the pace of the child, includes lots of art, science and music and instills a sense of responsibility and community. I have major issues with the principal. She doesn't answer emails, she consistently ignores the parents and it feels like she is running a private school with zero tuition (which is the justification for the repeated requests for donations and the reason many low income families feel marginalized here). I wouldn't move my kids to any other school so I'm hoping that the parents can band together to make the administration reflect the passion, cooperation and sense of community that is present in the classroom.
The teachers in the 6-9 classes are wonderful but most of the teachers in 9-12, the rude office staff and the absent and out of touch administrators at this site are the main reasons we are looking elsewhere for the next academic year. My student's current teacher never returns my emails and you have to have a computer ( Yes, there are still people who do not have access to a computer at home) and keep abreast of the newsletters on Fridays to find out what's going on in the classroom and when projects and assignments are due. If you have questions about assignments, projects or about the field trips, good luck getting a response. I'm very disappointed in the direction the school has gone and we are sad that we have to look for other options.
My daughter started Kindergarten here and will continue next year. We've had a fantastic experience. The teachers have all proven to be passionate, caring and responsive. I've never had an issue that wasn't resolved. The parent participation here is phenomenal. Everyone pitches in; whether it's time, volunteer work, purchasing items, donating, etc. We are in true partnership with school staff, which is what a charter school is about. I am very well aware of what happens with my daughter as they send out weekly newsletters. Not only has my daughter mastered her required academics, she's also being taught to be a responsible, productive member of her community. Love it!
We started looking into other options besides traditional public school when we realized how limiting they are in Sac. City. My child gets art, music, and science weekly, plus PE and yoga. There's a new gardening program in place that is looking into composting. He performs a full play every year. He goes on about 7 field trips each year. The school offers more music, art and sports teams after school. Each class uses a computer program and each child learns a language chosen by the parent. He participates in the science fair. Only some of these things are offered at public school, and usually, it is very limited. Teachers are open to suggestions and send out weekly newsletters. Most important to me, curriculum can be adjusted by teachers if needed. Not traditional Mont. education (due to charter regs) , but we love this school and are so happy with it!
My child has been in the school since kindergarten and unfortunately, I am not in a position to have him change schools due to custody issues. However if I could I would, yes the school is tuition free but it does not fail to ask for money every week and offer times to pay off your parent participation hours with cash. I highly object to that and find it offensive. The school has too much going on all at once which makes it overwhelming to both parents and students, The staff has a high turnover rate both in the administration, before/after school program and teachers, every year there has been new teachers in both of the 6-9 classes. Now with the relocation of the school they are changing the format once again.What I find most concerning is that they do not operate, as a Montessori should, teaching to star testing.
This is a charter school with a principal & staff who are truly passionate about teaching & children. The parents are also awesome in going beyond the required no. of parent hours. Kids not only learn the academic stuff but also learn how to be responsible for the choices they make & how to be part of the community they are in. Parents have to be involved for their child to be successful in this school. It's not a perfect school as there is none but it certainly is the best for my kids.
I have a child in 2nd grade and one that will start Kindergarten next year. I am very happy with the school and all the parent participation. The teachers are definitely great and have an appreciation for the Montessori Method which makes it a great experience for my child and my family. If you are looking for a great Montessori Charter School, this is it! We love it!
My kids started here this year 8-2008 in 1st and 3rd. I love it so far! The kids are having a really good experience as well. They were coming from a Public and this school is doing great. The teachers are awesome. The parents are wonderful. The parent committees are great to help with the parent hours. I love everything about the philosophy and the way that creativity is still offered here. My son started piano afterschool> They do arts & crafts, music, art docent program, theater, sports, and all things that had been CUT from their previous public school. The best part is that it is Charter so that it is tuition FREE.
My child started here as a Kindergartner and is now in 1st grade. I've given her the choice (something Montessori-trained children are very good at by this age) to switch schools and she's chosen to stay. I didn't like the school at first because I was new to the whole school thing and didn't feel they were tending to her needs as well as I'd like. I then realized that no school is going to revolve around my child and this campus is a great compromise between home schooling and public education. The reason is that parent involvement is huge and the campus is so small that we all know each other. My biggest complaint would be all the whiny parents who think it is THEIR child who should be receiving more attention. This school has done a beautiful job of teaching us all to work together as a community.
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