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Safety Harbor Montessori Academy

Private | PK-8 | 215 students

 

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Living in Clearwater

Situated in an urban neighborhood. The median home value is $98,800. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $920.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
 
Last modified
Community Rating

4 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
Based on 1 rating
2013:
Based on 7 ratings
2012:
Based on 2 ratings
2011:
Based on 1 rating

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19 reviews of this school


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Posted May 23, 2014

My child has attended this school for several years & my experiences were consistent each year. Plusses - It has a beautiful environment, & the extracurricular activities & options are strong (hot lunch, gymnastics, music lessons, sports). Festivals & other programs are well done & very cute. However, most attend a montessori school for the montessori methods, which are loosely followed at best. Several issues occurred each year, sanitary/proper hygiene issues with toileting routines (several years); teaching methods (a curriculum was followed & not the child; no push to excel); favoritism (those with the most money & multiple children get the best treatment - if this is not you, your opinion or input doesn't matter). Teachers push their own values/expectations on the students versus the school having policies (ex: dress code). Raising issues with administration will get little or no attention (based on personal experience). The school definitely has its positives, it was ABSOLUTELY not worth the tuition to attend. I am sharing because those looking at this school need to know to look beyond the "shiny exterior" before making a decision to send your child to this school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 25, 2013

I have had a fantastic experience at Safety Harbor Montessori Academy. My two daughters both attended SHMA from 2nd/3rd grade through their middle school years. They both then went to a public school system and were well prepared for the transition. I can't say enough about the caring teachers, administration, and the philosophy of learning that this Montessori school provides. I feel blessed to have had the opportunity for my children to attend this school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 21, 2013

Safety Harbor Montessori is a wonderful school! My son has been there 3 years in the upper elementary program. I find the curriculum is so much richer and comprehensive than the public school that he attended previously (which was the #1 school in the county by the way). The public schools have become too focused on "teaching the test" to children and have forgotten what real learning is-SHMA teaches kids to be self-motivated learners rather than just test takers. My child is happier, less stressed (no more headaches and stomach cramps) and oh, yes he scored well above grade level on the Stanford Achievement Tests. We are very happy with this school and especially Ms. Cindy, Ms. Robinne and Ms. Kay who truly care for my child.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 15, 2013

My daughter attended this school from kindergarten through eighth grade. She left the school well prepared to attend the rigors of the International Baccalaureate program as well as receiving a full scholarship to college. The personal attention she had from teachers, the ability to plan and execute her own schedule, and the lessons in respect and responsibility all contributed to her success. Thank you Safety Harbor Montessori Academy for well preparing my daughter for college and life.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 14, 2013

My children have attended this school for the last five years. I love the small, community feel of the school. The teachers individualize the curriculum to meet each child's needs, which is really nice when your child can work above grade level but still be with their age classmates. Every classroom has two teachers and they keep the class sizes small. I think it is about 1:10 even in the higher grades. I like that all the families are involved, welcoming, and care about their school community. The teachers get to know the children really well and I feel like they really care about my children. I love that my children get to spend the day in a place that values kindness and acceptance of others and meets individual needs so well.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 1, 2013

Safety Harbor Montessori, used to be a great school but in the past 2 years it has declined to mediocre. The money they charge for the level of education they provide is not justified. They move teachers around like ping pong balls. My child has had 4 different teacher in two years and she is about to start her 3rd year with a new teacher, yet again. It seems strange the the cost of tuition keeps climbing, while the owners of the school continue to make poor decisions, including: regularly changing teacher in the middle of the school year and giving the front of the building a face lift, while completely ignoring the parking and car line dilema. Way to prioritize. Shortly after school ends you must sign a binding contract for the next year. Meanwhile, they make changes without letting the parents know. There is no refund once your deposit is received, so if you disagree with anything the school does. You are still obligated to pay the whole year tuition. I feel a good public school would do a better job and for a lot less money. Go figure.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 6, 2013

My daughter attended SHMA from age 2 through the 8th grade. She has developed into a very good, self directed young lady. She has not only thrived academically, but also has become a responsible, caring person as a result of her education at SHMA. On graduating SHMA, my daughter had the opportunity to choose between several good private schools, and the public school's IB and ISTEM programs. I was able to volunteer, drive and observe my daughter in the class room. As with any school environment, my daughter occassionally encountered conflicts, and it is true that the faculty does encourage students to work things out among themselves. However, I have also seen the faculty and administration intervene when a situation warrented it. Initally, I was concerned about the middle school, but my daughter found it to be the the most amazing experience. The teachers were very creative in developing lesson plans and were supportive with the students, with a very clear understanding of the students strenghts and weaknesses. I worked in the classroom on several occassions throughout my daughter's years, drove and volunteered. It is a great school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 8, 2013

I attended this school k-8 and for young children I recommend it but for older children find another girl. I started high school completely unprepared. I had no idea how to study. I was a great student at Montessori but in high school I had to teach myself how to manage multiple classes. As much as I would love to say the Montessori method works, it does not. High Schools are getting more completive. The world today isn't what it used to be years ago. In order to succeed you must have a good foundation and Montessori cannot provide that. On a side --- being a girl at this school was very difficult, especially in middle school. It's extremely clique and the teachers don't like to intervene. I also disliked "person reflection" time in 8th grade, like should't we be doing something more productive for an hour?


Posted May 22, 2012

The primary classes were overcrowded. Even with an extra adult in the classroom, my child did not get enough attention and spent too much time doing nothing. There is overt favoritism towards certain children which could be fueled by the school s practice of letting teachers privately tutor their own students after school on school grounds. The extra money these teachers earn gives them the incentive to provide extra attention to the tutored students in the classroom setting, unfortunately at the expense of the other students. In such a small school, it seems odd that the administration doesn t know about this issue and do something about it. Academics depend on the teacher and how much time the teacher is willing to put into your child. There doesn t appear to be much of a standardized curriculum, and it seems like an awful lot of the students are getting some kind of outside tutoring. This gave me the impression that either the school accepts a high percentage of children with learning issues or that the school does not meet the academic needs of the children. On the positive side, there is cooking, gardening, and lots of crafts. But overall, I cannot recommend this school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 13, 2012

Excellent teachers. Excellent teachers. Excellent teachers.Excellent teachers. Excellent teachers. Excellent teachers. Excellent teachers.Excellent teachers.Excellent teachers.Excellent teachers.Excellent teachers.Excellent teachers.Excellent teachers.Excellent teachers.Excellent teachers.Excellent teachers.Excellent teachers.Excellent teachers.Excellent teachers.Excellent teachers.Excellent teachers.Excellent teachers.Excellent teachers.Excellent teachers.Excellent teachers.Excellent teachers.Excellent teachers.Excellent teachers.Excellent teachers.Excellent teachers.Excellent teachers.Excellent teachers.Excellent teachers.Excellent teachers.Excellent teachers.Excellent teachers.Excellent teachers.Excellent teachers.Excellent teachers.Excellent teachers.Excellent teachers.Excellent teachers.Excellent teachers.Excellent teachers.Excellent teachers.Excellent teachers.Excellent teachers.Excellent teachers.Excellent teachers.Excellent teachers.Excellent teachers.Excellent teachers.Excellent teachers.Excellent teachers.Excellent teachers.Excellent teachers.Excellent teachers.Excellent teachers.Excellent teachers.Excellent teachers.Excellent teachers.Excellent teachers.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 27, 2011

I really liked the PE, art, music, library and Spanish programs. I did not care for the fact that the teachers were allowed to tutor their own students (for pay by the parents) on school property. I think that is a conflict of interest and can result in favoritism in the classroom. I also didn t care for the instances when the number of parent drivers for class trips was limited. Several times I wasn t chosen by the teachers to drive and I had to decide whether to let my children be driven by parents I didn t know, or keep them home from the trip. There is individualized learning which is a positive. A child s learning experience is highly dependent on the teachers she gets. Parents can request certain teachers, but choices are not guaranteed, and you don t find out your child s teacher until after you sign the non-refundable tuition contract. The school atmosphere can be cliquish since children spend 3 years in the same class and strong bonds are formed. Add to that the fact that some parents have several children in the school who have all had the same teachers. It s hard to come in as an outsider and not feel that there is favoritism shown towards certain families and children.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 27, 2010

Those who criticize this school don't know enough about Montessori teaching or didn't allow their children long enough to experience the benefits of it. I have two children here & absolutely love this school. My children are thriving without teachers being being obsessed with "test scores". The skills they are learning in this environment will be used their entire lives to become well-adjusted, productive members of society. The years of experience of the staff at the school & how long they've stayed working there speaks volumes as to how wonderful the head of the school is & how great your child's education experience will be.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 19, 2010

My children attended for the past two years. For the highly-motivated student who is self-directed, this is a great school. That type of student does well because there is so much academic choice in the classroom. Also, the teachers are caring, and the students are generally well-mannered and nice.Snack is provided on a daily baisis. But, there are some caveats: Lots of school trips which require parent drivers. Students in my children's classrooms were allowed to do a "work" for as many days as they wanted even if they had mastered the work on day one. So the unmotivated child may choose to use his time doing "easy" work rather than more challenging work. Each child has his own work so the easily distracted child may find it difficult to focus. The school can also be cliquish
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 28, 2010

Administrative leadership of school not qualified educators; it shows. Why the TV's available in preschool rooms, don't children get enough tv in our society? Classrooms packed up very early for the 'off' seasons, not enough of Montessori materials are available at elementary and older levels even in primetime. Hardly enough room in preschool classrooms for gross motor development, have to go outside or to gym for that. Children don't garden the gardens very much. How many school accreditations? Looks good on the surface, but suffers from cliques and lack of educational expertise, and lack of some essential Montessori materials, for this level of cost. Better as a 'club' experience.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 21, 2008

Awesome environment for kids! Excellent place for learning! We loved this school!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 17, 2008

Best school ever. I attended this school for 10 years, kindergarten thru eighth grade.
—Submitted by a student


Posted September 27, 2007

Our son was in this school for a year. We were not very happy with the communication from the teachers and administration and the level of education he received. When we decided to remove our son two weeks prior to the first day of school they refused to refund any of the tuition.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 12, 2005

My children attended safety harbor montessori for eight years. They were the best years we ever had in schooling. They learned so much in a pressure free environment which aloud them to grow at their own pace. Great school
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 20, 2005

Wonderful school. Dedicated teachers. Works well with gifted children as well as children with learning differences. A physically and emotionally safe environment. Pre-K to 8th grade; all you have to do is worry about high school and college. Have had three kids in the school.
—Submitted by a parent


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About these ratings

The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

We currently do not have any test score information for this school. Unlike public schools, private schools are not always required to report data about their schools or not required to take the same tests as public schools. Many private schools take different standardized tests; however, that information is often made available only to families of enrolled students. We strive to acquire additional private school data whenever available.

Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
White 73% 42%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander 15% 3%
Hispanic 5% 29%
Black 2% 23%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 2% 0%
Two or more races 2% 3%
American Indian/Alaska Native 0% 0%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

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School basics

Gender
  • Coed
Affiliation
  • Nonsectarian
Associations
  • AMS
Fax number
  • (727) 724-0289

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  • Montessori

Resources

School facilities
  • Computer lab
  • Library
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2669 North McMullen Booth Road
Clearwater, FL 33761
Website: Click here
Phone: (727) 724-1767

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