This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Summit-Questa Montessori School1
Posted March 02, 2015
- a parent
I agree that this school is a threat to the Montessori philosophy. My son came from an actual Montessori outside of Florida. He appreciated the freedom and self confidence they gave him. He did things like cook his own meals, take care of animals, and had every resource within arms reach (which is really a core principle of Montessori). At Summit my son is constantly struggling. He has no personal freedom. The day is mandated more like a traditional school day. Teacher directed activities constantly interrupt his time devoted to personal lessons. The teacher complains that he is falling behind, but when I compare his work against other students, he is doing more then they are. He is in constant conflict with a teacher who yells at the students like a drill sergeant. When he needs help, he is told to talk to the older kids. They have 38 kids crammed into a tiny trailer and the apathetic teachers are herding them around like cattle. I get 2-3 fundraising emails PER DAY. The teacher and principal asked us not to enroll again next year because of the personal focus our son requests. This is not Montessori - it's a military school. Tow the line or don't come back.
My son is in his 5th year at Summit-Questa and I can't imagine him being anywhere else! We were only going to enroll him for one year because the Catholic school we were looking at didn't have a Pre-K 3 program at the time, but we fell in love with the school when we saw the effect that just one school year had on him. He looks forward to going to school everyday and is completely engaged by the Montessori curriculum. His teachers have all influenced him in such positive ways, not just as a student, but as a person. He is flourishing academically, but the amazing thing is how he is growing as a classmate and member of the community. The kids in this school work together daily to accomplish their goals - whether it be completing a challenging math lesson or tending to the classroom gardens. It is a beautiful thing to witness. The principal, Ms. Judy, has created a loving, nurturing and inspirational environment for her students. From the office staff and teachers, to the security and maintenance personnel, everyone is invested in making the campus a safe and happy place for the kids to do what they are meant to do - learn, grow and evolve as individuals. Thank you Summit-Questa!
REVIEWING SUMMER CAMP ONLY. Underused campus! My child - 4 yrs old - comes from a different Montessori school that has an excellent curriculum but small playground. I wanted a change for the summer, a nature/ outdoors environment, and loved the campus/classes. Sadly, campus is underused or reserved for school year's children maybe? My child's class was allowed to see the animals once but could not get near the fence or pet them (too dangerous!) and was granted water play with a sprinkler hose every other week. Pool is nice but no access for children unless you pay for swim classes that are extra (and young kids swim early in the morning and are brought back to class with their hair wet in the freezing AC). Most teachers were nice but not warm and changing each week. They did maintain a bit of a Montessori curriculum which was nice. Afterschool was in a small, urine smelling overcrowded classroom. Gym in the gymnasium once a week was very nice though. Ms Judy was very nice but her staff could use some warmth, flexibility /customer service training. Overall it was not much of a change from his regular school year activities as he did not enjoy the campus as much as he could have.
What attracted me to this school was it's strong base in Montessori teaching. However, I found the school administration is extremely disorganized and several of them to be rude ( please trust I had many personal experiences before I came to this conclusion). For one, they lost my enrollment packet and later blamed me. My daughter was put in a situation where she could have been in harms way. The school quickly wrote an incident report and in it blamed HER! I guess they wanted to cover their tracks. Security is an issue.The individual classrooms are exposed to whomever wishes to drive in. (You hope the classroom door is locked at all times while the children are in there). I was happy to see they started having a guy at the main gate to screen those who entered during the day. However, I found that he was not there half the time. The Montessori teaching was just average. Certainly not like the one we came from, which unfortunately did not go into the higher elementary grades. The principal seems like an A quality educator, and kind hearted person. However, those who work below her and help create a positive image of her school, have grossly failed in doing so.
We were super excited about this school after a tour and ready to enroll our child into the pre-K program, but first wanted to observe the other children to ensure their level of satisfaction and contentment. We called 3x and were repeatedly told someone would return our calls to schedule the observation. We gave up and eventually found a better fit at a different Montessori preschool. I give this school 3 stars because it seems like a great place just needs to have a better communication process.
This is a wonderful school. My child was on McKay scholarship and excelled there. Ms. Judy the principal is an amazing human being who radiates kindness. The school has a strong focus on positivity and environmentalism. They truly focus on the whole child with plenty of time outdoors, taking care of animals, and physical activities. Every teacher I encountered was wonderful. It is a very unique school environment. Some of the kids are cliquish, but this comes from their parents, not the school. The school is very down to earth. Excellent experience.
Summit Questa has neen a part of my family's life for 12 years. My grandson graduated with Honors and now is in his second year of high school. My granddaughter still attends and will for the next four years. We connected with Miss Judy's vision and with great enthusiasm have watched SQ grow and grow. When a teacher doesn't follow Montessori methods, that teacher is allowed to move on somewhere else. The students come first, consideration is given on a personal level and the students learn responsibility and integrity, good manners and empathy along with top educational subjects and results. If a child isn't a genius upon enrolling, if they stay with SQ, the best that is in him or her will be found and encouraged. Our graduated students are invited to the most prestigious high schools and colleges. So proud to be a SQ family!
EEducation is very good, however I do agree this school needs some maintenance. Paint inside and out, needs new flooring, bathrooms should be remodeled a bit dirty. Gardens could be cleaned up a bit, playground could use some new equipment too. I do agree a bit dingy and dark. Makes it very hard to decide to keep my children there. Great education, wonderful teachers, but property could use sprucing up. Especially in the younger side of the younger children.
My son has been in Summit Questa for 3 years . This is the best school for him . He was ask to leave a school in kindergarden , and my husband and I where so upset til we found Summit it has helped him turn into a delightful student and person. Thank you to Mr.Jose ,Ms June,& Ms.Caroll and all Family Staff
My daughter has been attending SQM for the past 12 years, since she has been two. My son has been attending for the past 5 years. The teachers and the staff are so loving and caring, always willing to help and always have the time to listen. The foundation that is established in your child is unbelievable, I can definitely say it is because of this my children stand out in any crowd. They are loving, grateful and extremely bright. This is my daughters last year, we are so grateful we have been so blessed to have been part of this wonderful SQM family. It is because of this school my daughter has become the beautiful young women she is today. Thank You Ms. Judy, Ms Gabi and Summit staff.