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PK-8
Public charter
Golden, CO
Students enrolled: 381
Before care: Yes
After care: Yes

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581 Conference Place
Golden, CO 80401

School website
(303) 231-9801
(303) 231-9983
Nearby homes for sale
Map of Free Horizon Montessori Charter School address.

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HONOR ROLL

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October 15, 2014
Pros: Free Horizon Montessori (FHM) engages the individual child on a journey of learning - the teachers are really good at meeting the child where they are at both intellectually and socially. My child's teacher last year spoke of how each child in the classroom has a "big work" for the year - my child's was "sitting still long enough to complete an assignment". The teacher wasn't upset or worried about my child's wandering mind or body - she simply, and gently, worked every day to help my daughter be a bit more independent. Cons - While the turn over at FHM is low for a charter school, families and teachers leave the school more often than they would a neighborhood school because people have choice.

- submitted by a parent
October 15, 2014
Free Horizon Montessori Charter School has exceeded my expectations. My 3 year old and 6 year old are learning so much and enjoying every minute of it. The parent participation is very strong and the principal is committed to the school and the children, as is every teacher there. Teachers, principals, and parents go above and beyond here because we all believe in it and want to make it the best place for our kids to learn and grow.

- submitted by a parent
October 14, 2014
My family has been at Free Horizon Montessori for many years. Several years ago there were many changes that happened at FHM all in a short period of time and it was a challenging time for the school. I can say without a doubt that for quite some time things have steadily moved in a positive direction for Free Horizon Montessori. The Board of Directors, Administrative Team, and Teachers are all working well together to create an optimal learning environment for the students at Free Horizon. It is an amazing learning environment that produces creative, critically thinking, responsible students that will be life long learners because they aren't just learning facts, they are learning to love to learn. I encourage you to take a tour of Free Horizon Montessori to learn more about the Montessori teaching method and to determine if FHM might be a good fit for your family. I can't imagine a school that would be a better fit for my family!

- submitted by a parent
October 14, 2014
I am a Montessori kid, and as such, was looking for a school that met my high expectations for inspired learning, while balancing my son's natural ability to learn, and very normal learning challenges. In our 5th year at Free Horizon, we have embraced a vibrant, caring community. My son couldn't be more delighted about jumping into school every day, learning and most importantly learning to function in a community. His latest parent/teacher conference reported that he had outstanding citizenship --- really, what more could we ask for? This doesn't come from a test, it doesn't come from homework, it comes from trusting calm adults who understand and support children and their natural ability to learn and thrive. Montessori is about guiding, not about cramming in facts and figures. As a Montessori kid, turned into an adult, I wouldn't give back that educational experience for anything. So glad that my son is able to share that same experience.

- submitted by a parent
October 14, 2014
My daughter went to Free Horizon for preschool and is in kindergarten there now. She LOVES school. At her age, we really want a school that will foster her love of learning and let her explore things that interest her while still having structure in her day. Her teacher is awesome, and the assistant teacher is an integral part of a fabulous classroom environment that promotes personal growth and learning. We have no experience with the upper level grades at this point.

- submitted by a parent
October 14, 2014
FHM does not just pay lip service to individualized learning they actually put it into practice. There has been lots in the news about teaching children to think critically about the material they are learning and I have found this to be the case for both of my children at FHM. Balancing a Montessori curriculum with the demands of a public school system can be tricky and challenging for teacher and administrators. FHM strive to balance these sometimes competing interests. If you are looking for a school where standardized test scores are placed at a premium this may not be your school as there is no teaching to the test and materials are not presented in the same order or modalities as more traditional public schools. However, if you are looking for an enriching environment that challenges your child to be their very best this could be the right school!

- submitted by a parent
September 30, 2014
In my experience, they didn't understand the needs of my child, were not willing to work with my child, and communication between the teachers and staff involved was non existent. They knew what to say to get us to sign up. Their action reflected none of their promises.

- submitted by a parent
August 11, 2014
I can't say enough about how this school's approach to learning has benefitted my children. My daughter is extremely high achieving, a little OCD, and tends to stress herself out seeking perfection. The Montessori model gave her a weekly to-do list, which allowed her to feel in control, structured, and focussed. She has been so successful there (I still remember the day she brought home a division worksheet in Kindergarten, her teacher just wanted to see if she could do it - she aced it!). My son has a completely different learning style. He is more social, and easily talks himself out of hard work. And yet somehow, the same education model has worked wonders with him. He has become a little leader, helps his friends, and works on the same "work" over and over again until he gets it. I think the teachers spend an unusual amount of time evaluating each student (compared to other education models). They stress individualized learning to the extent that two very different kids can both be extremely successful - academically and socially. I am so impressed!!!

- submitted by a parent
May 01, 2014
My child attended PreK and Kindergarten at FHM. We will be attending a new school beginning in Summer 2014. After being tested for the 1st grade level, my child may have to repeat Kindergarten because she is so unprepared after her education at FHM. Two years and over $12,000.00 in expenses to educate her and we have absolutely nothing to show for it!! I would never recommend this school to anyone who is serious about their child(rens) education - you will be incredibly disappointed with the results. They hide behind the "Montessori" philosophy as an explanation to why their students can't measure up to the rest of the county when in fact they just don't teach your child anything. I truly believe that this school should be shut down and the attending children be moved into better learning environments. TERRIBLE!

- submitted by a parent
March 28, 2014
My child has been a student at FHM for 4 years. 4 years ago, FHM was ranked as one of the best schools in Jefferson County. Sadly, this is no longer the case. Although my child continues to rank in the 90th percentile on standardized testing, I no longer feel confident that this will continue to be the case. FHM's proficiency ratings continue to fall the higher the grade level. The turnover rate of their teachers is horrific and the quality of their teachers along with their test scores continue to decline. I can no longer trust that my child's education is a priority at FHM. We will be leaving this school at the end of the school year.

- submitted by a parent
October 27, 2013
After touring 11 different Montessori's on the front range, we are happy to say that Free Horizon easily measures up to, or exceeeds, even the best private Montessori's. The staff is caring and responsive and the communication is excellent. After-school activities have been really enjoyed by our student, and their gifted programs have also been very enriching. Highly recommended.!

- submitted by a parent
October 21, 2013
FHM gives our family a well rounded world view within education. I feel like I get my questions answered and my and my kids needs met in a warm, peaceful and loving environment.

- submitted by a parent
October 18, 2013
Free Horizon Montessori has been like a magic wand for my daughter. She joined FHM as an unsure student with little confidence. Now, after 3 years @ FHM, she is thriving - she is happy, confident and proud. As I've read the other comments posted about FHM, it is accurate that no school is perfect, however, FHM does a terrific job of doing their best with limited resources. We are extremely thankful for FHM's spirit, community and commitment.

- submitted by a parent
October 18, 2013
We came to FHM after a rough couple of years at a very test-focused, heavy homework school where we saw our son's love of learning and self confidence get worse every day. In just the 3 months he's been at FHM he is happier, healthier, more excited, and more in love with learning than I've ever seen him. This isn't a school for you if you think that test scores are the only thing that matters, or if you are an active participant in the sport of competitive parenting. But if you want a school that nurtures your child as a whole human being, and if you want a child that is in school to become a lifelong learner, not a test-taker, then this is a great school for you. And the long term evidence with Montessori shows that by high school these kids are doing better on the ACTs, getting into the colleges of their choice, and finishing college in 4 years - all without hours of homework at night and weeks of rote test-prep during the day. We are very happy with FHM - we wish they had more money for building repairs, etc. - but that's the district's fault, not the school's.

- submitted by a parent
September 16, 2013
Our family has been at Free Horizon for 6 years. Our two kids have thrived in the Montessori environment at Free Horizon due to the focus on individualized learning. We have always felt that our kids are being challenged on a daily basis. They are encouraged to "go deep" and truly understand their work. Free Horizon has even helped to enrich our home life through the school's focus on peace and global citizenship; we have learned so much by becoming a "Montessori family." Free Horizon educates the students in more than just reading, writing, and arithmetic; the school helps the students see the "bigger picture" of life through cultural studies and a peace curriculum. Our school's leadership and staff are fabulous! Our principal is *AMAZINGLY* dedicated to and passionate about Free Horizon. Parental involvement is very high at Free Horizon, which makes for a great school community and helps our staff in innumerable ways. Parents, want to make your school a better place? GET INVOLVED!

- submitted by a parent
August 25, 2013
I have at times been impressed and at times disappointed with the schools ability. There seems to have been a challenge bridging the gap from 3rd grade to 4th grade in terms of skill level as measured by standardized testing and in our own experience. The school has struggled to maintain consistent leadership and staff in part due to the desire for Montessori background and training. The community though is supportive, diverse and interested. We have not been aware of any significant bullying and my child feels that he is cared about. Communication with home could be improved upon. They do have a reasonable plan to address their performance measures. It just appears to be a daunting process to mesh both a Montessori curriculum with state guranteed viable curriculum requirements. There is not enough consistency yet to address special or outside the box needs of students who would have them.

- submitted by a parent
August 23, 2013
I moved my daughter to this school her 2nd grade year because I was not at all happy with the results at the public school she was in. She, like many other children did not thrive in the standard classroom and was academically far behind. She is now in 6th grade and is doing great and loves going to school. Free horizon has been the best thing I have ever done as a parent for my kid. We have moved in the last year and I make the 45 minute drive round trip to keep her there because it is that important to me.

- submitted by a parent
July 09, 2013
My feedback was also removed! Good early childhood option, but the 1-5 combind classrooms are very large. Crisis of leadership and high faculty and staff tuenover make for a difficult environment. Teacher quality highly variable. Excellent in some cases and abysmal in others.

- submitted by a parent
May 28, 2013
Had high hopes for Free Horizon as I my experience with their pre K-K classes was great. When it comes to Lower elementary (1-3rd grade), that is a different story. I feel my kids have not learned a whole lot this year at FHM. Learning was below average, and there was not a lot of Montessori teaching going on. We had to do a lot of supplemental work at home to feel like our kids were taking anything away from this school year. Between the bullying issues that seemed to go ignored by staff, the turnover of principles mid- year and the turnover of a classroom teach after 3 weeks, we cannot take any more and will not be returning to FHM next year.

- submitted by a parent
April 25, 2013
Our school is excellent with regards to helping my children excel. Reading is a major focus, as is encouraging children to love learning (rather than having to study for tests). Communication with the school is ... well... terrible (failure to return phone calls, newsletters and school info isn't passed out until the last minute, etc), but that is my only major complaint. We love the staff, the majority of the teachers, and the montessori method that is embraced here.

- submitted by a parent
April 25, 2013
FHM used to be an amazing school and while I am still happy there for the majority (my children love it and are excelling in reading and math), I remain disappointed in the communication problems, the concentration on expanding the school rather than expanding the quality of education, and the high turn over. For the past 2 years, we've struggled with whether to find a new school or not, because the emphasis on individual learning and montessori methods had significantly reduced here.

- submitted by a parent
April 25, 2013
Free Horizon Montessori (FHM) is a place where you can see the light of learning in the children's eyes. My children have been going here since they were both 3 years old (6 years now), and while it has not been without its bumps, they are truly thriving. The teachers, principal and parents really care about student engagement, learning and autonomy. In our culture of school choice, it is very easy for a parent to bounce their children around from school to school rather than invest in the quality of the school they have chosen. Many parents and teachers at Free Horizon Montessori are investing in this school for the good of the children, the school community, and the community writ large. One example of this is teachers donating funds at the school fundraiser. It is common knowledge that teachers are not overly wealthy, but many teachers were willing to donate money back to their employer in order to further the mission of the school. It is impossible to remain completely true to the Montessori methods in this era of high-stakes testing, but FHM is close. (You can't expect to only use Montessori methods AND have kids know how to take the TCAP/CSAP/etc.). We <3 FHM!

- submitted by a parent
April 09, 2013
This is a school that somehow balances individualized learning, while promoting teamwork; all aiding with growing the entire student. I have two strong learners that enjoy being challenged in certain subjects. Free Horizon provides this option allowing for students to work at their own pace. Administration changes in the last 3 months have also led to some huge improvements; teaching assistants are back with budget dollars planned for next school year as well. The assistant principal (6+ years with the school) has moved into the principal role with the staff happy and excited about this change due to her strong commiment to children, and staff at FHM. From an improvemennt area, the school could use an actual gym (they currently use a room that is more like a classroom on days when PE outside isn't an option), as well as updated computers. Both of these require money that would need to be raised.

- submitted by a parent
March 20, 2013
Sadly, the quality of this school continues to decline with each passing month. Staff turnover has become a huge problem, and with it, test scores have drastically fallen, enrollment is dwindling, and a financial crisis is eminent. This is no longer a montessori school, and it no longer offers a viable alternative to traditional schools.

- submitted by a parent
March 10, 2013
One of the magical elements of what Free Horizon Montessori offers my children is the connections that teachers make between subject areas. It's not just Language, Math, Science and Social Studies taught in isolation. Rather, the content is intentionally woven together. The learning is rich and purposeful. Talk about 21st-century learning - I love it!

- submitted by a parent
February 20, 2013
We are extremely pleased with FHM after 18 months. Education is an important value in our family (my wife and I both have Masters degrees) and we've seen our daughter (grade K, age 6) flourish with planning her day, being a leader, getting help from older kids, and having a high degree of freedom to explore her world. FHM will make sense if you wish to play an active part in your child's education- daily attention to homework, volunteering, frequent community events, and being actively engaged in the school. As a charter school, we do have to work harder than mainstream schools (i.e. fundraising for capital projects, school expansions) but this also presents the opportunity to create and develop the classrooms and community we know is possible.

- submitted by a parent
February 15, 2013
As a parent of two children at Free Horizon, I cannot tell you how happy I am about their growth and development here! They are curious, eager learners - supported by their teachers and the positive educational climate at school. Free Horizon Montessori rocks!

- submitted by a parent
February 15, 2013
Free Horizon Montessori is the real deal! It is far better to walk with children as they learn, than to push them through concepts that they are not ready for. Joining the school community has been amazing for my family - not only my children. Living the "Montessori way" gives a life-enriching and life-affirming perspective to all that you do. I can't thank Free Horizon enough for the work they do with my children, and how that work has helped to shape our family.

- submitted by a parent
February 07, 2013
My two children are in their second year at Free Horizon Montessori and are excited about learning- what a dream for a parent to watch. The teachers and staff are amazing at inspiring them everyday. My child, who is on an ALP, is challenged and feels very successful and validated. The school administration has displayed exceptional Montessori Leadership. I am looking forward to assistants back in the classroom to help out the lead teachers and the continued success and growth in the school.

- submitted by a parent
January 14, 2013
I love this school! My Kindergartener (her 2nd year) is thriving - reading out loud, skip counting by multiples of 2, 4, 5 and 10 and writing in her journal every day. K has a max ratio of 1 teacher to 10 students (30 max), which is unheard of elsewhere. The new administration is acting on people's comments immediately in 2013 - student: teacher ratios are improving as assistants are being reestablished in 1st-3rd grade this year (4-6 is goal for future). FHM is refocusing on Montessori fundamentals going forward - including a Montessori principal and Montessori certification (plus specials will move to the pm for an uninterrupted am work cycle, and Montessori-certified staff will be favored in hiring). This means more emphasis on individualized learning - advanced in reading and writing? Your child will be challenged - even several grades above their level. Need extra help in math? Coaches are offered to get kids up to the expected level. Yes even test scores are being addressed - new work cycles are going to address the practical life skill of test-taking. Things are improving - right now. The future is Very Bright!

- submitted by a parent
January 12, 2013
After less than a month of enrollment, we also removed our son. We've posted our dis-satisfactions only to find our feedback was removed. If that isn't a sign.... I don't know what is....... we rec'd mis-leading information from the beginning and rec'd much appeasement from coordinators and instructors. Our son learned nothing and found it a waste of his valuable 3rd grade education.

- submitted by a parent
January 11, 2013
Oh man I can't tell you how happy I am that we got out of there in time! Really too bad because this school had been a great school at one time. However, with all the changes made for 2011-12, it was no longer Montessori (Marie is rolling over in her grave) and the student teacher ratio was just not acceptable. Also lost several very valuable teachers. Please be very careful about this school...academically it is not acceptable nor will your child actually be receiving a Montessori education. Very sad indeed. It had such promise.

- submitted by a parent
January 06, 2013
FHM matches our parenting value system: emotional growth, critical thinking, appealing to all learning styles, exposure to the wonders of the world and preparation for life and personal responsibility. Montessori education is focused not only on teaching "how" to learn (as opposed to learning "facts" and taking written tests). Recent state funding budget cuts have posed huge problems to FHM and all schools. It's a tricky business making it all work. New administration and Board of Directors is focused on lowering class ratios and creating the optimal environment for kids.

- submitted by a parent
January 05, 2013
This school continues on its precipitous slide from somewhere just south of acceptable to downright awful. An unresolved financial crisis and three different principals over the last three semesters continue this school on its downward trajectory. There is no accountability at any level from head of school to the student level, and I fear much standard knowledge is not passed from teacher to student due to unqualified educators, massive class sizes, and the misguidedly overused excuse of "self-directed learning" (read: teachers stretched too thin). This school is losing enrollment due to declining scores, and with it funding. It's a self-feeding problem with no solution in sight. Stay clear of this school if you want your children to receive at least an average education.

- submitted by a parent
December 12, 2012
My son is in his third year at FHM and has really taken off. He comes home every day excited about the engaging work he did that day. Every day he reports he finished his work plan for the day. I remember when I was his age and I can tell you that this was not my experience. He is focused, responsible, self-reliant, and is absolutely charged up about learning. I am continually amazed with what he is learning. The staff does have to content with higher than desirable class room ratio s but they are extremely dedicated and skilled and work extremely hard to make sure the kids are not impacted by this. They are absolutely the best.

- submitted by a parent
November 17, 2012
Academically ,our first grade son has progressed rapidly from No reading, writing or math skills to third grade math and second grade reading and writing in the recent 5 months. I credit his teacher, who is an experienced Montessorian, and fabulous peers in his classroom. He is so excited about learning and Free Horizon Montessori has been a god-send!

- submitted by a parent
November 17, 2012
I have noticed Free Horizon Montessori's new principal demonstrates calm, fair discipline practices. He has a gift for positively influencing struggling people (students & staff), and I have not seen this quality in every principal I have ever met. He brings humanitarian values to the forefront of how the school should run, and I really appreciate this. It means I can trust my son will be treated fairly in all parts of the school.

- submitted by a teacher
November 16, 2012
Free Horizon Montessori School has challenged our family to meet our child's academic needs and to be engaged in the academic process, which is a very positive thing - and associated with positive academic outcomes. With classrooms that support advancing beyond grade-level work, if a child is ready, our son has been able to advance in areas of strength (without being constrained, only supported!) and to focus on those areas on which he needs to practice more. Needless to say, as a first grader, he is doing addition, subtraction, multiplication and division all well. He is reading books. He is learning geography and science....and - most importantly - he is LOVING EVERY MINUTE and brings all of it home to do more! The classrooms of multiple ages offer social learning as well as greater academic learning. The staff and parents are high quality. They are there because they believe in the model of individual learning - while also understanding and respecting rules and believe strongly in developing strong, independent thinkers (vs. reciters!) A very strong school community and strong educational model. It is very geniune!

- submitted by a parent
March 05, 2012
We live in very different world today than when I was in elementary school, one in which the quality and value of something can easily be made or broken by the power of the internet. My son is in his third year at the school and I will say that it hasn't always been easy and many times my wife and I have questioned whether we are making the right choice to invest in this school. But, at the end of the day, everyday, we feel confident that the parent/teacher/administration collective at this school is bar none. Every parent and teacher and administrator has made a conscious choice to be at this school and to devote themselves to the learning and caring of each child. Parents and teachers everyday volunteer time to the sustainability and growth of a school as they have for the last 10 years and he school will continue to grow and evolve always striving to offer the best education to develop caring, smart, strong and whole young adults who will improve our communities and change the world. If you don't like it, leave, you have a choice. Or you can stay, get involved, and be the change you hope to see.

- submitted by a parent
January 11, 2012
MY SON IS READING!!!! i couldn't wait to write a review for this school, i am so impressed and in love with it! my son has been at free horizon for a year and a half and has really thrived, at the beginning of this year, kindergarten, his teacher asked us what our goals for our son are and we said we would love to see him reading, something he was quite resistant to with us at home. low and behold, she hunkered down with him and worked on letters and words everyday with him and only 3 months into the school year he is reading like a champ. i am so proud i could cry! we will continue to support this school until they kick us out! such an amazing group of teachers and administrators to do what they do everyday with all of the challenges they face.

- submitted by a parent
January 08, 2012
This is a school committed to meeting each child where they are at and helping them grow and excel. Teachers genuinely care about each child's success. Our daughter loves school, receives advanced scores on state assessments, and enjoys opportunities for leadership. She is learning more than academics - she is learning about social responsibility, cultural similarities and differences, technology, and arts. As parents, we love that this is a school community. As working parents, we appreciate opportunities to volunteer outside of school hours and always feel appreciated for our time. As a charter school, all families choose to send their children to Free Horizon Montessori. Montessori isn't right for everyone, and any parent considering enrollment should take a tour and ask plenty of questions to make sure it will work for their child and mesh with their parenting philosophy.

- submitted by a parent
January 07, 2012
DON'T send your child here. Learn from our mistake! We have two children that have been going to this school for 5 & 3 years, respectively (includes pre-school). The school is not interested in teaching kids actual usable information, such as reading or multiplication. They are too busy doing yoga, learning hebrew songs, cooking and making sure nobody is bullied. The kids here are socially awkward and the administration will tell you the scores are low because they graciously took in misfits who pulled down the scores. Look at the finances of this school-they only have enough money to cover the next month's expenses and are constantly begging for money and more supplies. There is NO gym, no real playground for kids beyond kindergarten (a converted parking lot directly adjacent to I-70), and the school is always a mess. Our 2nd grader's job for 3 years has been to clean toilets every week. Both kids will be pulled from this awful, ridiculous school so they can actually learn something. Any question you may have on sending your kid to this school can be answered by reading the post from the student noting how ill-prepared they were for middle school.

- submitted by a parent
December 19, 2011
I am SO IMPRESSED with this school! My two children thrive, and every time I enter, I feel warmth, professionalism, and high levels of dedication from all staff members. Teachers, leaders, and administrators share a passion for educating the WHOLE child - cognitive, emotional, social, spiritual, physical. They are facing state budget cuts with determination to keep the focus on a well rounded education for all students. I cannot believe THIS is public education! It is at its finest!

- submitted by a parent
December 14, 2011
This is a wonderful school. Each staff member cares for every child like they are their own. Education is definitely of importance, however not the only thing focused on. The school embraces the whole child focusing on education, social skills, and the inner self. I highly recommend this school to any potential community members.

- submitted by a parent
October 12, 2011
Our son went there for 2010 and 2011. His teachers were fantastic and he was thriving, but I gave the school only a "below average" due to the administration and parent council. The parent council means well, but is too focused on expanding rather than keeping the current elementary strong. As for the administration, the director of communication is probably the worst communicator I've ever encountered in my professional career or my kids' school career. There is almost oo much communication - but none of it is of use outside the teachers' weekly newsletters.

- submitted by a parent
October 03, 2011
Yikes. Don't know where to start. To sum it up: It's a mess! We're moving our son at year end if not sooner. Am sorry for how this has turned out but we can't deal with it anymore. Lost some great teachers this year and as said below, we are putting money in areas that are at a detriment to younger students. There are a few parents who tend to run things and perhaps decisions were made for the best interest of THEIR children but not the whole. The big flaws for us is that the school really is not Montessori; the respect level of kids and how they treat each other is horrific and yet tolerated; scores are declining; teachers (some there a long time) are now leaving as well as families. I hate the thought of school shopping but must do the best for our child. I hope that the school admins/teachers read these comments. It might be eye opening to them as they seem to look at everything through rose colored glasses.

- submitted by a parent
September 26, 2011
An email from great schools, "Is science a failing experiment at Free Horizon Montessori Charter School?" prompted me to comment on Free Horizon. We pulled our children from the school for the same reasons listed by other parents - overcrowding, oversized administration, constant teacher turnover, ignored social issues, etc. A few years ago, the population of elementary students was increased to provide funding for the expansion to 8th grade. Once additional funding sources became unavailable, the school continued with the goal of creating the technology/science middle school at the expense of the elementary students. It is difficult to understand the strong push for a technology/science middle school when the current program has only received a 56% to 65% on science CSAPs (5th grade - 2011 score is 62%). For a smaller population of elementary students and administration, the school would have been a beautiful facility with many quality montessori materials. For us, the school could no longer meet the needs of our children. Our current school has a much smaller administration base that is more involved in setting a tone of respect and caring throughout the school

- submitted by a parent
September 21, 2011
I too am very concerned with the changes this year at FHM. It may say Montessori on the outside and may look it around the classrooms but, that is where it ends. The teachers can't teach in a traditional Montessori setting with one teacher and 30++ kids. The new model looked like it could work as of last year but, I am not seeing it happen very well in real life.

- submitted by a parent
September 20, 2011
I pulled my child from FHM because of the format changes and the teacher turnover. I also was very disturbed by the bullying and the inability to stop it. We heard from the administration that they were implementing an anti bully program. That pretty much was limited to the school sending in a person to the classrooms to say that bullying is bad. In addition, my poor child would get all worried during testing because the administration would tell the children to do their best or the school wont get the money it needs. If you test poorly the school will suffer--- wow, no pressure there! The school is not about the children, just an administration bent on growth.

- submitted by a parent
August 20, 2011
We have been at FHM for one year and are going to try it for one more year, but I have been largely disappointed, not with the teaching faculty, but with the condenscending administration and unwelcoming atmosphere. There are a lot of expectations placed on parents that do not align well with those of us in a regular work force with a standard work day. I think there are a lot of quality teachers there struggling to do the best they can with enormous class sizes. I hope to be able to update my post next year with a more positive review.

- submitted by a parent
July 12, 2011
After moving to Colorado while my son was in 1st grade and starting at the local public school my son was struggling from being board and unchallengend. We started FHM in 2nd grade and love the progress that he has made, hIs teacher is totally tuned into his learning abilities and works with him everyday on his level. I could not ask for any more out of her. My daughter will now be in 2nd grade and is above and beyond her grade level. Her teacher has noticed that and is challenging her on a daily basis. The previous posts do not take into consideration that the cuts are not all die to FHM but they are coming from budget cuts. They had no choice but to let teachers go. Parent involvement is wanted for mor that just fundraising. Parents are welcomed in the classroom on a daily basis. I have had concerns that have been adressed imediatly. I would refer any family to FHM.

- submitted by a parent
June 20, 2011
I am surprised & diappointed with all the negative comments. FHM is a charter school and therefore, families choose to go there. Yes, there have been significant changes in the last several years but growth and change are a part of all Jeffco schools due to budget cuts. One of the main reasons we don't have a gym or a larger playground is because FHM must rely on private funding that non-charter schools take for granted. FHM had to purchase its own building. Fact: Montessori education costs more and charter schools in general have to be more creative with their budgets in order to survive. If all families were willing to commit a fraction of what it costs for a private Montessori education , 95% of the problems would disaappear. If you're unhappy with the school then please find a school that is a better fit. Please don't blame everything on the administration for lack of parent support financially and high expectations for Montessori schooling. I feel blessed that both my children recieved such an outstanding education. My son made the honor roll every quarter at the neighborhood middle school even though he had an IEP. I know his success is in large part because of FHM.

- submitted by a parent
June 02, 2011
We are leaving FHM after several years because the academic environment has significantly declined, staff turnover is extremely high, classroom management is poor, and classrooms overcrowded. The board of directors has permitted the Principal to restructure the instructional model, fire top notch staff who disagree with her, while at the same time maintain a huge administrative staff. Teacher-student contact has steadily decreased as had the academic progress for most students. Parent involvement is permitted only for fundraising. A hostile work environment for the remaining staff exists and will only continue to decline if the principal continues to be re-contracted by the parent board of directors.

- submitted by a parent
May 23, 2011
After only a year at the school we have elected to move our daughter to an environment that provides and subscribes to a more traditional Montessori education and does not treat involved and curious parents as nuisances. The class sizes are overwhelming at Free Horizon and impedes lead teachers to maintain strong connections to a student's progress or honest relationships with parents. The education being provided is inconsistent in the classroom, between classrooms and not aligned with traditional Montessori principles. The administration wishes to grow the school but cannot manage communication with the current student body, parents and staff. When you enroll at Free Horizon they only let you see what they want you to see to get you in and once you're in they do their best to keep it that way. The teachers are not empowered to be real people but rather followers of administrative policies. Chaos abounds at the school and in the classroom while an air of hypocrisy veils the schools true motives.

- submitted by a parent
May 15, 2011
We had been part of this school from the begining and have watched the quality go steadly down under the current Principal. Free Horizon has lost all it's original teachers because they dared voice an opinion other than the principals. These teachers where good, experinced teachers many of whom had been there from the begining. The current Administration is more concerned with growing and ratings than they are with the children. We are sad to be leaving this school after so many years, but we wanted a true Montessori education for the children and feel this is not a priority anymore at Free Horizon. We are just hoping we can find a school that is like Free Horizon used to be, a warm loving environment for children to learn in.

- submitted by a parent
April 26, 2011
The administration is most concerned with growing the school and standardized testing then providing an actual montessori education for the children. This is not a montessori school

- submitted by a parent
May 08, 2010
We have been a part of this school for four years and have watched the quality decrease dramatically over the years. The administration is on the fast track to grow the school as quickly as possible. Extremely crowded classrooms (some without windows), use of the cafeteria only on certain days, inadequate bathroom facilities, tiny recess play areas, and dangerous construction going on. Also high staff turnover.

- submitted by a parent
August 22, 2009
We were at the school for a number of years and left this year, even though I feel it is very hard on kids to switch to a new school, there were just to many problems for us to stay. The teachers we had were great, but the problems we had with the administration, and getting the kids the services I believe they were entitled too became a battle. I don't believe I was the only on with this problem as the IEP rates dropped dramatically. Also of concern is two or three head teachers have left in the middle of the year the last few years, and a lot of the kids friends and teachers have chosen not to return. There was also very limited communication from the school about my kids. Problems went on for months before I was notified, despite talking to the staff regularly.

- submitted by a parent
no rating August 20, 2009
Awesome school. I switched my daughters from the regular public schools to FHM

- submitted by a parent
May 25, 2009
I am currently in the seventh grade at one of the top middle schools in the state and was so unprepared for such hard work after attending FHM for six years it's unbelievable. Everything was unsatisfactory and nothing about this school prepares you for what's ahead in middle school.

- submitted by a student
May 18, 2009
Our son has been at Free Horizon for two years, and we are extremely pleased with the school. Not only has he made great strides academically, he has also learned how to work as an individual and in teams. Most importantly he is learning to treat others with respect. In a Montessori environment, the curriculum is catered to each child, and I have been truly impressed with his teacher's ability to accomplish this. We look forward to many more years at Free Horizon!

- submitted by a parent
October 01, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
July 28, 2008
I'm sorry that one parent was so disappointed with FHM. We too have been there since the beginning and believe our children have received an excellent education. Our new Head of School has raised the standards and expectations of the teachers, students and parents. FHM provides a peaceful, nurturing learning environment. If there are problems, I have always addressed them with the appropriate individuals and they have been resolved. Please take the time to tour the school, meet the teachers, talk to parents and make your own decision about what is best for your child. Also check out FHM's website to see what is going on. We feel blessed to have such a wonderful school for our children to attend!

- submitted by a parent
November 08, 2007
This is our 4th year at Free Horizon and we are so pleased with our new principal, new facility, and wonderful staff. I have 3 children at the school and they are thriving in their respective classrooms. Although FHM is a public school, my children receive the academic excellence of a private school. In addition, they are learning to be responsible, independent and self motivated as well as respectful of themselves, their environment and each other. My family loves FHM and recommends it highly.

- submitted by a parent
no rating August 11, 2007
I transferred my child here after years in our neighborhood school, frustrated with teaching to the lowest common demoninator. The classes are small (1:15 max), and the Montessori philosophy allows the kids to explore (with guidance) academically and socially. I love that the homework here is truly the childs, not the parents. The environment fosters respect, responsibility, and love of learning. The curriculum seems truly integrated, and they appeal to every learning style, so the kids can 'get it' whatever way they process it best. If you're looking for a better way, you'll find it here!

- submitted by a parent
October 03, 2006
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
September 24, 2006
Both of my children attend Free Horizon Montessori, and we are very happy with their academics. The teachers are dedicated, and communicative. The CSAP scores show school-wide marked improvement over prior years, and the new principal has wrought such positive change in the short time she has been with us. Music, Art, Spanish, and PE are available as part of the Montessori curriculum. The new facility is huge, with space for growth. Parent involvement is very high, and is part of what makes this school successful for the children.

- submitted by a parent
August 13, 2006
Both my children attended Free Horizon last year. We were extremely pleased with the teaching staff, our children's progress, and the community of parents we meet through the school. In response to an earlier comment, perspective parents should know that the school now has a new and very capable principal, a new, just renovated, spacious facility, and the previous staff problems have been resolved with the addition of new creative and dedicated teachers.

- submitted by a parent
May 07, 2006
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
February 12, 2005
This is our second year at FHM and we are very content with the educational progress of our children. The teacher quality is outstanding and the community is wonderful. The school facility is limited but the education my children recieve out weight the 'size' of the location. My children have developed into independent leaners and 'think outside the box.' Music and Art are a part of the cirriculum and parents are an intergral part of the school. FHM is a small and tight knit community offering authentic montessori cirriculum.

- submitted by a parent
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About this school

Free Horizon Montessori, a public charter school serving children in preschool through 8th grade, is a richly diverse community nestled in the foothills of Golden, Colorado. We are a growing school with more than 375 students and a strong, supportive parent body and passionate, committed faculty. FHM utilizes Montessori philosophy in balance with the rigor of Colorado state standards in providing individualized instruction, delivering an engaging curriculum, and supporting a strong community.

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Free Horizon Montessori Charter School
581 Conference Place, Golden, CO  80401
(303) 231-9801
Last modified Free Horizon Montessori Charter School is a Charter school that serves grades PK-8. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 3 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Free Horizon Montessori Charter School Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 70 reviews. Top