I love this school. It is a small community and you get to know each other pretty well. The principal Ms. Keener and the teachers are great. I love the camping trips twice a year. For my kids the Montessori education is perfect because my kids are English As a Second Language learner. One child is a faster learner than the other one but both can learn in their speed and that helps them a lot with the typical, hands -on Montessori materials. The school offers art, music and for some grades some weeks of ballet.... I just love this school.
SF Montessori is such a fantastic school for so many reasons. The leadership is top notch and all of the teachers are enthusiastic, young, well-trained, and eager to improve. I mean every single one of them.
The school itself is beautiful and located in Pac Heights next to a half dozen or so private schools which is nice because it makes that area very kid aware and friendly. We even have a wonderful woman who volunteers from the neighborhood; pulling weeds, helping with the garden, interacting with the kids.
Principal Keener makes everything work, it's hard to imagine that the place was ever any other way. She's created a very rich, loving, respectful culture that offers great comfort when you're driving away from your little one.
The Montessori method is also a great benefit, offering kids mobility and agency over their own learning. I like that the classes are of mixed age as it seems to inspire everyone to be more aware of each other's needs. There's a lot of natural mentorship happening on a daily basis.
Spend a little time finding out more about Montessori. There's a lot of information on-line that inspired us three years ago, but we learn more about it in our morning "Montessori Coffee" sessions and PTA meetings.
One last thing, SFPM's fundraising is robust and supports on-going teacher professional development, field trips, arts supplies, trips to ACT, and a lot of other things. The SF Ballet is offering it's classes to our 3rd graders this year, and our after school programs include Mandarin, Spanish, Lego Engineering, Tree Frog Treks, and a few others like Hip Hop dance that I seem to see my daughter flying through from time to time.
The school focuses on peacefulness and learning about the world and people around us from all over the planet. Learning about different cultures, and how we also have the same needs fosters empathy development and connectedness.
This is our 4th year at this school and it just keeps getting better. The staff, the kids, the parents, even the building itself. It's a nurturing environment that fosters a love of learning in my kids I never dreamed possible. The teachers are supportive and engaging, the kids are sweet, smart and peaceful, the parents are cohesive and friendly. The breadth of subjects my kids have studied is unmatched at other schools. The language immersion after school program is fantastic. This has been an ideal match for us!
What a difference a couple years make? Major if you have a great leader like Ms Keener taking over. While she is very mindful, she leads the teachers, staff and the entire school. I give her a lot credit for putting together a young, vibrant team that I hope stay for a while. Our son is in second year of preK, we've had two different head teachers, both amazing, one moved up to kindergarten and our new one is great at taking care of and giving behavioral lessons while affectionally hugging our children and referring to them as loves...she is amazing. The support teachers at my son's class bring nearly two decades of experience each, they work very well as a team with our head teacher who is young. They collaborate and provide consistent care for the kids. I am the type of parent that will take things year by year and so far I am feeling absolutely lucky that we even got a spot at this school even though the commute is challenging. As long as Ms Keener and our sight administrator Ms Marylin are here, we are not going to change schools. Hopefully our second son will be in when he turns 3 next year!
This is our second year at the school and we've been amazed by the incredibly responsive and stimulating curriculum and strong community. We didn't seek out a Montessori curriculum but now are very impressed. Individualized work plans are put together and students are allowed to excel beyond normal lessons without having to be put in a special "advanced learning" program. The after school program has a very rich offering. Students are taught to be responsible, open minded and worldly. This school is rocketing upward and we are thankful to be a part of it.