After 10 consecutive years with children at Montclair, I can share unequivocally that it is a treasure. The faculty are loyal, committed, highly qualified and care tremendously about kids. Montclair features a wonderfully diverse student population and a commitment to all students. The enrichment program is unique and powerful.
I have had children in Montclair for 7 years now, and I will be the first to admit there have been ups and downs. This being said, under the current administration, the school has stabilized and grown to become a truly great school. Some parents may have been cliquish in the past, but have really come together for the community and students. I cannot say enough about the global thoughtfulness, enrichment, and academics at the school!
Sadly could not get my kids out fast enough. Heard so many great things but once we were there, it was another story. Overcrowded, kids with so many needs not met. Under-qualified staff sealed the deal. many of us left last year. Feel awful for the kids who need a good school and have no where else to go. Only reason for 2 stars is the parent community. Nice but divided byrich/poor.
Montclair has been an excellent school for my children so far- we're in our 4th year here now. It's a great community- incredibly diverse, yet close-knit and supportive. The teachers here are really what makes this school so special though- my kids have adored each new teacher and they're all their "favorites". Having also experienced a "typical" suburban elementary, I do feel that Montclair's struggles & weaknesses aren't much different: budgets/fundraising & volunteer/engagement.
We have been at the school since our oldest (now a fourth grader) was in kinder. We choiced in from a nearby neighborhood and have been very happy with all that Montclair has offered our two daughters. The teachers are phenomenal and are committed to making sure that every child gets the best possible education. I've seen many of them go above and beyond in their dedication to their students. We also appreciate the diversity (over 20 different languages spoken and a very broad socioeconomic mixture), the fact that we offer all three specials (gym, music and art), and that we are an innovation school. Also, a big draw for us was the unique enrichment model at the school - our students experience many more field trips than the average school, have many in-school experiences, and can explore topics more in depth through a program called Explorations. Overall, it is a wonderful community!
Our son recently finished his first year at Montclair (in first grade) and we are very pleased with this school. The teachers are enthusiastic, caring, and seem to really enjoy their work. Also, there are many opportunities for parent involvement. Activities such as International Night and the Fun Fair help create a sense of community. Our child greatly enjoyed the special learning opportunities available at Montclair- clusters and brown bag lunches. This allowed him to learn more in-depth about topics such as the Olympics. In addition, the diversity (racial and economic) at this school is wonderful. We also appreciate the fact they are an Innovation school which means they have more independence and decision-making capacity than regular public schools. Our child had a bumpy year in kindergarten (at a different school) and a good year at Montclair- we contribute this to Montclair's supportive, caring environment and its focus on the positive. As with most other public schools, critiques can be made (more funding! smaller class sizes!) but overall this is a terrific school with great teachers.
I attended Montclair Elementary School from 1954 to 1958. Had it not been for the excellent teachers I may never have discovered both my academic and athletic abilities. Also, I remember the extracurricular activities which were available and so very valuable at that formative age. I still live in the Montclair neighborhood and pass by the school quite often reminding me of those wonderful days of so long ago.
I had an exciting experience with this school. They advanced my two kids into higher levels. They were patient and cooperative. They involve the parents always for the sake of their kids. Overall this school is one of its kind and it is advancing further looking at CSAP results.