I have attended three CMP campuses, and have been in the program since kindergarten. I am now a sophmore in highschool, and reflecting on my CMP experience, this was my favorite campus. I started at the Carmichael campus, and loved it until about 5th grade, where my issues were not properly taken care of. I was constantly being disciplined, and falsely accused of things I didn't do. In seventh grade, the school had moved, and my parents found the campus unsafe due to a school for sex offenders right next to the CMP campus, and even though we had security and gates, my parents felt moving me campuses was a better choice. I did not get in to the AR campus, and I was devastated I had to come to capitol. However, looking back, seventh grade was my favorite grade by far. I had a class of 19 kids, the teachers cared, and helped me when I needed it. The kids in the class were all like a family, and almost everyone liked and respected everyone else. We went on several immersion trips (one each of the 5 cycles) and there was almost no drama. Unfortunatley, I only got to stay at this campus for most of the year, due to family problems. I transferred to AR and constantly wanted to come back.
We are in our first year at CMP and LOVE it. The teachers and administrators are amazing. I had heard the principal did not have a great reputation, but she is working very hard to change that. We came from a Montessori Preschool and are very happy with CMP's program.
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.