This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Fraser Woods Montessori School5
Posted February 02, 2015
- a parent
We have been part of this school community since 2006. Both of my children began attending the school at the age of 2.5 and my eldest is now in 5th grade. Both of my children love school, and are eager to get to school each day. The school is accredited by the Connecticut Association of Independent Schools. Each head teacher in grades Toddler through 5th grade is an American Montessori Association certified teacher for their grade level. Because of that and a Head of School that was trained by one of Maria Montessori's original students, the research-based teaching method has a strong foundation at this school. The classroom environments are well-kept and full of beautiful, interesting and highest quality authentic Montessori materials. I am especially impressed with the language and mathematics materials--learning complicated multiplication is interesting, fun and completely logical. My children have an understanding of the basic principles of mathematics that is an unshakeable foundation. I look forward to next year, when my eldest begins in the middle school!
My child was in this school from kindergarten through 6th grade. When he went to public school for 7th grade, we found that he was behind in every way with the exception of math. His writing, reading, organizational skills, time management skills and music knowledge were all behind his public school peers. It was a very expensive lesson.
Understand who your child is before you decide to place him/her in FWM. For preschool, if your child is not a "self-starter/cookie cutter child", they will get lost in this maze of "figure it out yourself". There is rampant bullying, even at a young age and teachers usually choose not to see this but rather focus on the child who is "loud". It is a very polarizing environment and the head of the school has no idea what business she is in. Enrollment is way down and there is a reason for it. There are many other great education choices in Newtown. My child after only one month out of the FWM environment and in another preschool is blossoming and make huge strides with more confidence, skills sets and is genuinely happy and learning.
Fraser Wood students evolve into bright, articulate, and caring young adults, with amazing skills and characteristics to succeed in their studies, and in life. My own kids and their friends love to go to FWM. The teachers meet each kid where they are academically and emotionally, and help them move forward at their own pace. It is incredible to see the multi-age classroom in action. They also provide a non-competitive environment in classes, sports and throughout the school. This allows the students to work together in a supportive and cooperative way, to develop intrinsic motivation to excel, and to build skills to get along in the world when they move on.
Fraser Woods Montessori is a great school! My daughter has been here since she was 3 and she is now in Middle School. She has had an amazing experience both academically and socially. I really like the way the curriculum is set up, the way the teachers guide the students and I like the way classes are set up as I think the students are more productive than in a traditional setting. If you've never seen a Montessori classroom you'll be amazed. I think they let you do classroom observations so go check it out. All the kids are busy working on their own. This way of learning teaches them to really follow directions and work independently. I saw another post about bullying and I was surprised as we've never experienced it or seen it here. Being respectful of each other has always been encouraged in my daughter's classes, in fact that is why we chose FWM over any other school. Wish they had a High School!!
This school is the best! I'm so thankful I found it. My children would have been "fine" in the public schools. But having gone through eighth grade at Fraser Woods, they have developed a love of learning, confidence and a strong sense of self that has served them well in the Newtown high school and college. Thank you Fraser Woods!
The teachers at this school are amazing! I love that they came to me with great excitement to share a wonderful moment with my daughter. My daughter was ready to be pushed to the next level and they pushed - she is now soaring. It is not about grades and comparisons to others, it is about how my daughter is doing, how she is progressing at her own pace and how the school is able to answer her individual needs. They are helping to create an independent thinker, respectful young adult and a responsible student. I am grateful to Fraser Woods for being an institution that provides the structure that my child needs, educates her to a higher level than provided by the local public schools and allows her the freedom to pursue her own interests. The school has also been wonderful in supporting our family to continue at Fraser Woods.
This is an excellent school! I never knew what a "Montessori" school was but decided to look into it when I was looking for a pre-school for my first child. I ended up sending all three of my children to Fraser Woods -they all graduated from the middle school. It was the best choice I could have made. Mixed age classrooms, and having the same teacher for three years in a row was instrumental in their success through high school and college. They will keep their love of learning that they developed at Fraser Woods with them forever.
My daughter continues to have a great experience at FWM. She started when she was 2 1/2 and has loved her many friends and teachers for the past 9 years. As a parent I LOVE the Montessori way of educating her. FWM has been respectful of her as an individual while teaching her to become an avid learner as she adapts study skills that will help her throughout her life. Anyone thinking about a Montessori education for their child should do their research. Although Montessori has been around for over 100 years, it is a scientifically based and progressive method of learning very different from public school where every child does the same work at the same time. Montessori is not "rigor" but the children learn to conduct themselves and don't require a "collaboration" of teachers and parents to push the child. While her neighborhood public school friends were doing 1-2 hours of nightly homework with their parents my daughter and I were free to play because she had done all her work at school. Now that she is in MS she has substantial homework but she is organized and on top of her responsibilities.
Parents, Please read the negative reviews before investing in your child's education here. The teaching is "creative" and enriched by literature and art. What is sacrificed is rigor, consistency in education. Once my daughter left this school for public school, she praises her public school. She says," They teach us here. At Fraser-Woods, the teachers said to figure it out ourselves and wouldn't teach us." The head/principal is rigid and has a tight rein on the teachers, always fearful of losing tuition dollars (students). Therefore, there is a lack of communication and collaboration between the parents and the tightly controlled teachers. There is Favoritism towards children of parents who donate generously to the school. These students are extolled, given leniency, showered with attention (you will find these same children in the majority of school photos. cherished.. Those whose parents 'only' pay the $13,000 annual tuition are shuffled along and do not receive the same degree of attention and focus.