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.
My granddaughter attends kindergarten - her teacher GiGi Hummel is an excellent teacher. my granddaughter has had 6 teachers before Ms Hummel and thinks she is the best yet.great to hear that for parents and this grandmother.
Our daughter is in first grade, and this is her second year at Montclair. The teachers are fantastic. Loving and attentive people who are also solid professionals. My daughter has loved all her teachers, and loves her friends and the sense of community. She feels this is 'my school' in every sense of the word. 'Specials,' 'clusters,' and the great DU student teachers.... we love Montclair!
Two of my children currently attend Montclair. They are both very different people and the school serves their needs. My son has special needs they have met each and every one of them with kindness. I love the Clusters. Read to Achieve, which both my children have been identified as needing, is a daily reading program that help them read. I am a teacher and a parent and I have high standards. I volunteer at the school and see behind the scenes. It's a wonderful staff and community at Montclair. And, the children are truly learning!
they have done such a turn around from where they were a few years ago. Both my children (now grown,) my husband, his mother and grandmother graduated from this fine school. It deserves all it can get.
My daughter is completing her first year at Montclair. I recently asked her how she felt about the school, and she happily shouted, 'Everything!' I chose this school over a private school because I felt the population more accurately reflected the real world and because I was aligned educational philosophically - that learning should be fun. It has paid off My child has grown so much this year and we all look forward to returning.