This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Brush Creek Montessori School1
Posted February 13, 2015
- a parent
We left. I am a father writing about my experience with my child. Many of the negative reviews below are similar ours. First of all, there are less than 55 students from k-8, so many of the positive reviews are from teachers. They lost an entire kindergarten class while we were there a coupe of years ago. This is a school run to just accommodate the lifestyle of a few teachers. There are not enough families to fund "good" extra curricular activities. The teacher we had, took a day off every week (there was a permanent substitute). The teacher in the other class (1-3) also took off every Friday, b/c she lived far. They begged us to stay, but we are getting so much more at a public school than we ever got there. Their idea of Montessori was lots of worksheets, and VERY LITTLE teacher involvement with "teaching." My child is the happiest ever, since we left. She/he (I don't want to say) has more friends, and the good quality art, music, Spanish and science programs. The children at BCMS were mostly children who had problems at public schools. This school was a total waste of our money.
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.