Before Brush Creek Montessori, I was at my worst, I probably wouldn't be in high school if it weren't for them. You see, I have ADHD and OCD, which made middle school very hard. At Brush Creek, my teachers helped me to deal with my ADHD and OCD and even use it to my advantage. I was always too energetic, not focusing at all in class, and now I'm as attentive as they come. The main thing I love about Brush Creek is how the work is done. For one, it's at the student's pace, not the teacher's. If the work was too hard or too easy, all I had to do was let them know and I'd get something different. It allowed me to perfect my strengths and strengthen my weaknesses. My only regret is that I wasn't going there for my entire academic life. I highly recommend this school to anyone, I am confident that you will find it improves study habits, intelligence, learning speed, kindness, and responsibility. I offer a final thanks to Brush Creek for making me the man I am today. -Sascha Cory-
Brush Creek Montessori School has played an instrumental role in our family and children's lives. I can't imagine having sent my children to any other school here in Sonoma County for early education. We felt supported by all of the staff through the difficult toddler years and truly appreciated learning and implementing the Montessori ways in our home. Both of my children had phenomenal experiences at BCMS. It has been a few years since we moved out of Santa Rosa and are attending another school; however, our hearts still remain at BCMS. My children still feel an incredible admiration towards their "old" teachers and regularly remind us of all the things they learned there. They speak of how great they are in math now because of what they learned at Montessori. I also believe that my daughters passion for saving the environment began at BCMS where she learned that "everything counts." While there are many choices of schools, very few offer the same kind of loving, academic, and beautiful atmosphere!
My son's teacher gave him tons of worksheets (against Montessori theory) below his level to make her day easier. When I called a meeting to say my child was doing this the year before, the work was changed for only that week. My child referred to EVERY Friday as "Fun Day," b/c a different, fun teacher comes that day. The next level teacher also takes off once a week. The students in this school are left doing what they would like, mine was allowed to read Harry Potter for hours during school. As for the upper grade teacher, he was teaching preschool and has no experience to teach above. They do everything for the convenience of their super small staff, nothing for the benefit of the children. People go there, b/c their children had problems socially in public school. Almost every parent wishes there were better options for schooling, nobody thinks it is a great school. They lost 30 children from last year. The reviews below cannot be accurate, b/c they have a student body of under 55 students. You will have to spend $ to supplement your child's education once you leave. You will be miserable while you are there. They are desperate to recruit new students.
We have very much enjoyed our collective family experience at Brush Creek Montessori. Our girls attended preschool with Jed and Jessie, and benefitted not only from the Montessori teaching methods but also from the nurturing environment that encouraged our girls to be both independent and compassionate. As parents, we enjoyed watching our kids grow and learn in a positive and safe learning space. We also appreciated the feedback we received from the instructors, and felt we were very involved with our children s experience. While our kids have moved on to public school, they remain connected to Montessori by attending summer camps and we continue to be pleased with the instruction. It has been wonderful this summer to watch our girls excel in math and geography with Jed and Susan, and to further their interests in yoga and cooking with Pauline and Jessica. For our family, Montessori provides a balance to our girls education in both academics and spiritual growth. We feel the instruction and care our girls receive from the teaching staff has been, and will continue to be, integral to their development as strong, independent, creative, compassionate and curious human beings.
Our daughter went through the primary program, and we couldn't have been happier with this school! She grew into an independent, curious, and thoughtful learner. The staff were so caring and wonderful with her that we chose to send her back for summer sessions even after we moved on to public schools. The skills she learned at Brush Creek transferred beautifully to her work in public school. We are especially grateful for the conflict resolution skills she developed through the Peace Education program. These skills will stay with her for life. I would not hesitate to recommend this school to any parent looking for a quality Montessori school.
My children have been fortunate enough to experience the Toddler, Primary and lower Elementary classrooms in Brush Creek. The Montessori methods and high caliber of teaching staff have allowed my children to thrive. I understand that Montessori might not be right for everyone but our experience has been outstanding. The school has gone over and beyond to help us with our specific challenges and the teachers do whatever it takes to help the kids reach their full potential.
Though we haven't attended BCMS for 4 years, we still hold BCMS very close to our hearts and appreciate all that they did to set our two daughters up as curious, life-long learners. One of the things that we've heard time and again about our older daughter is that she is an enthusiastic learner, and an asset to a classroom as a result. Her enthusiasm is infectious. I credit her teacher, Jed, Jessica and Pauline at BCMS for having a big part in that!! Our younger daughter continues to be well ahead of her peers in school, and that head start happened at BCMS in the preschool program, which she attended for 3 years. We feel so fortunate to have been able to provide our girls with a true Montessori experience and count the teachers there as part of the village that set our girls up for success.
Brush Creek Montessori adheres to Maria Montessori's philosophy of developing the whole child. Children are encouraged, from the time they can walk, to become independent learners who are capable and happy. The classroom environment, with low student to teacher ratios, are deigned to help students learn at their own pace and follow their own interests. Mixed age classrooms foster a cooperative rather than competitive atmosphere. Brush Creek has Art, Drama, Spanish, and Music as integral parts of our program, from pre-school through 8th grades. Our elementary students develop respect for one another and their larger community by learning by an interdisciplinary approach that shows that all of humanity is connected through ingenuity, economy, and industry. Our Adolescent students design and run enterprises to pay for a yearly class trip. Conflict resolution and Peace Education is a key component of BCMS. Set on a beautiful 2 acre wooded campus, you'll feel transported into nature even though we are on a thoroughfare close to downtown Santa Rosa. Visit our school, speak with our staff, and observe how our children are becoming life-long learners.
I am sure this school is great at the preschool and perhaps K level. At the upper grades, I truly caution anyone from putting there children in this school. They use the "Montessori Method" as a defense to parents for when they (choose) not to entertain valid concerns or requests from parents about the educational curriculum, social protocols, and the like. Regardless of what philosophy/ teaching orientation, certain basic understanding of math, science, differences of learning style, and willingness to expand on what's working and take a good look at what's not - are signs of a good teacher, school, classroom. BCM will use the Montessori Method as a way to abdicate responsibility and put it 100% back on the parents when there are challenges or learning issues. MANY children who 'are doing well' at BCM have parents who have been willing to supplement the 8K a year with private tutoring (another 1-2k a year) and are willing to overlook, ignore the overall deficits of this school because they like it for their children. That's fine. Just beware this school has serious issues in terms of math, science, and language teaching at the higher grades in particular.
I understand some of the frustration posted earlier. However,the administration and staff have held Informational night meetings for parents to explain the "Montessori method." It's different from what I had for sure - classes are geared toward the individual student, not by age (so transferring to public school can be problematic if the student is not up to the grade level there). My son and his friends are well-rounded and interested children/students! My son scores well above the national average on all subjects. The enrichment programs are outstanding (Drama, Art, Music/Band, Creative Writing et al). Also there is Philosophy and Latin in the Middle School - a true Humanities-focused academic environment. The Middle School, grades 5 - 8, are rigorous indeed. My son flourished in that environment. Students are well prepared to move on to other schools and high school. We encourage all interested to visit the school and watch a class - you will be impressed!
We have been at BCMS for 8 years and are extremely happy with the Montessori education and what this school has to offer for our 2 children. Great extra curricular activities such as Science, Spanish, Drama & Music. This unique program fosters independence, leadership and prepares the children for life. There is also a great sense of community here among the families, teachers and staff.
If you are looking for a school where your child will enhance their learning abilities in a highly customized and enriching environment where their spirit and aptitude will be celebrated on a daily basis then this is the school for you. We were looking for a school we could trust and we found it! It is a place where you can have full confidence in the study programs your child will receive. My child loves going to school everyday, the challenge and the staff. As a parent I can relax knowing she is being watched over carefully and 1:1 with her teachers daily. She has tested consistently above her grade level on STAR testing (standardized testing). She has been developed academically, socially, creatively, physically and received numerous awards in the community from assoc. for her leadership, conflict resolution, creativity, volunteer work, and responsible citizen. This is all a direct reflection of her role models who look out for her best interests at BCMS. Every parent who has left the school tells me it was a mistake and I notice the light in their child's eyes is not the same. There is simply no other school like this. We are very fortunate!
Montessori is an amazing teaching style. Our children have benefitted from it with their creativity and reading. Unfortunately, the school lacks the organizational structure for us to continue. While one of the teachers has wonderful teaching ability, the rest of the organization is unable to provide an acceptable learning environment. Supplemental teaching was required. My kids had to catch up. Testing scores are deceiving. While scores are high, students are not matched with equally involved parents. Communication with the teachers and administration is challenging at best.
My two children went to this school for two years. If you are looking for academics, this is not the place. We now have to have our children tutored over the summer, just to be at the same level as public schools in our district. There is NO Science or PE. Free recess is not PE. The kids just play by themselves, with no adult supervision. If someone gets hurt, the teachers, who would sit on benches far away are available for emergency. They wouldn t be bothered for one and a half hours, unless someone cried or screamed. The tour is great, but the actual academics and educational leadership were HORRIBLE. Our child s teacher was there 4 days a week. Friday was considered fun day by the children. This goes on for 3 years. I would not sign up my kid for this school without talking to parents that have had kids in this school first.
BCMS is an outstanding educational setting for your child. It is NOT owned by 3 teachers as stated, several teachers own the buildings and grounds(LLC), the school operations are nonprofit. Located in a pastoral setting with lots of green space, the school just celebrated 40 years, so it has educated generations of local families. This school is a certified Montessori training school, the ONLY one of its kind in the Bay Area. The Montessori philosophy is truly child-centered, so work is assigned at different levels, not by age/grade. Some 8 year olds can complete high school algebra and some 8 year olds still are struggling to read. ALL children are taught to their individual skills/abilities. There are many/diverse opportunities to volunteer for parent involvement. PE has improved over the years, but recess time is significant. Homework is given in the elementary classes, grade 2 and up. School highlights include Drama- for K - 8, Spanish-ages 3 - grade 8, Band- grade 4 and up, Art - ages 3 and up, Creative Writing - K and up. Our students are well prepared when they move on to high school. BCMS students are some of the most well behaved and calm children.
I was a parent of 2 children at this school. They truly provided a terrible education. We spent a lot of money for very little return. There was no Physical Education there, and that is the way it is through 8th grade. Our son's work was hardly ever corrected or checked. We have kept his work to share with others. He was given tons of worksheets below his level to keep him busy. I know other children that leave there behind grade level. They are brought up to grade level in public schools. We did the research, and public schools spend more per child than this private school. When we tried to speak with the teacher, she would tell us what we wanted to hear. After they knew we were upset with the school, we were treated really poorly. We were stressed most of the year. This is a very honest review from a previous parent. This school is owned by 3 teachers, so it is very hard to disagree with anyone there. My friend just took her 2 children out, and will have to have them tutored all summer b/c they were 2 grades behind in math.
We specifically chose this school out of all the private and public schools in the area after interviewing almost all of them. Everyone in administration and staff has been excellent and absolutely as advertised. Our daughter has made many friends and done exceptionally well since we started here. It's very important to point out that the grouping of negative reviews in the past month or so (below) came from a small group of parents who clearly did not understand what Montessori was before they signed up their kids and are frustrated that it doesn't fit their rigid ideas on what a "private school" should be. If you need progress reports, report cards, grades, and constant weekly updates, then Montessori probably isn't for you. If you understand the methods and approach and can see the big picture, I highly recommend Brush Creek. As to the "no physical education" comment; the kids have 75 minutes a day of outside play time. That they're not being forced to play dodgeball seems irrelevant to me. (I'm a parent of a current 4th grader and have every intention of staying at BCMS through 8th grade.)
My son, now at another school, had a similar experience to the parent below. When you first see the school, it is warm and inviting. What you will receive is the opposite. There is a lack of communication, the staff is cold to the children and my son left behind in kindergarten. In his school now, he is fine. That is b/c they focused more on him, and basic skills. I have spoken with a few people, and they have told me that this school has a bad reputation. I am a father, and this is my first review. I feel it is important to let other parents know about our experience. Once your child is in, it is hard to make a change. We were very impressed with College Oak, but they were full.
My child went here for one of the most miserable years of her life (preschool). Went from being a happy, active learner to having night terrors. She still blocks that period out of her memory. Everything got better after switching her to another Montessori program in the area.
My child was failing in public school. I attempted to homeschool him, but he missed having friends and I am not the best teacher for him. We entered BCMS mid-year (2nd grade) and my son immediately made quality friends, his teachers are/have been working around his learning disability (dyslexia) but they don't focus on his flaws. He is taught as a whole person, he is taught respect for other people, nature and education. We are very happy at BCMS and plan on staying to the end of 8th grade.
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