LIke the previous respondent, I carefully considered my answer. I gave Spady 4 stars because we had a wonderful experience at the school. For the most part. Yes, Spady is no longer the school it was. The new principal has removed a lot of the Montessori from the school, and took away a lot of what was special about the program. That being said, there are some extraordinary things: 1) Some of the teachers are true Montessori, and try their best to get the Montessori materials and teachings into the classroom. I applaud them! If your son or daughter attends the school, be sure to note on the green sheet the type of classroom you envision for your child. Administration is well aware that there are Montessori teachers and non-Montessori teachers. 2) The Peace Program! Peace day is a beautiful. Very little bullying. Students, for the most part, are polite and accepting of others. I spent a lot of time in the classroom as a parent, and I saw this again and again and again. 3) My daughter had much less homework than students we knew who were in other elementary schools.
The negatives--1) ART AND MUSIC AT SPADY ARE JOKES. Bottom line. Music is the worst. If your daughter or son can sing, then they will receive Mr. Clark's attention. They will receive a music education. If they cannot sing, they will not get into Chorus. The music teacher spends time with chorus students during regular class hours. My daughter did word puzzles in music class time and again while the teacher spent time with his chorus students. It is maddening that an elementary school teacher would not allow all interested students in the chorus. Especially at a Montessori school that touts being inclusive. It is ridiculous, and I urge incoming parents to ask that this be changed. Mr. Clark should retire. His legacy is getting kids into Bak, and not giving any other student any sort of worthwhile music. Maddening. If your child attends Spady, I recommend some sort of outside music education. All kids can learn to carry a tune. 2) The art program is just dull and boring and not very creative. The art teacher is a nice person, just not very inspired. 3) Once a student reaches 3rd grade, most Montessori leaves the classroom. 4) Test prep increased with the new principal. But it is still way less than I was hearing from other families in other public schools.
Good luck with your decision.
Before writing this review I asked myself: Is it true? Is it kind? is it necessary? A review is subjective but my intent was to be truthful and give necessary advice to perspective parents. Spady is not the school program it pretends to be. If you are looking for Montessori (even at the Early Childhood level) this isn't it. Visit your homeschool, sit in on their classes, talk to your neighbors. Spady is a regular public school and if you are coming from Lake Worth, like me, it isn't worth the drive. Most teachers aren't Montessori trained, the principal isn't trained, and the district/state just care about tests and CC. You can get that at your regular school. Spady teachers are great, but there are great teachers at every school. Do yourself a favor and consider other options.
S.D. Spady used to be a great school but the current administrators are not Montessori trained or certified and are hardly advocates of the philosophy. The new state standards have been allowed to tear this program apart and for a very involved parent population at the school, we're hardly "in the know" due to transparency and inclusion issues with the admin. There are great teachers but most are burnt out and others are tired of the fight against leadership and departing in flocks...The same for parents and students who see what's going on. It's a real shame that potentially new parents and students are being manipulatively "sold a bill of goods" about the Montessori program that is being stripped away consistently in any way that is true to its foundation. Unless you're just looking for free public daycare for your Pre-K students and don't care about whether they're following the Montessori philosophies, develop a relationship with your home school and give them a try. I highly doubt you'll regret it.
I attended this svhool from 2001-2006 and still to this day my experiences and memories at spady are still with me today. I have kept the same friends that I met at this school and went to 2 other elementary schools before. Hands down the best.
I've been a parent at S.D. Spady for 3 years now and we have been generally very happy. I have two daughters there, one in K and one in Pre-K3. They are always happy to go to school, they are happy to see their teachers and they seem to be learning at a very fast pace. Where I think it gets complicated is on the parent involvement side. Since this is a choice program, you get a mixed bag of families. Some are very involved, some never even read their children's homework folder. If we could improve parent involvement I think Spady would be a 10/10, no questions. The more involved I am, the better education I feel my daughters get. The teachers give me personalized comments on my daughters' progress, every time I've been in the classroom (and this year only I've already logged over 20 hours of volunteering and I work full time) I've been really pleased with the work my children are doing, with the Montessori material and with the sense of closed community Spady gives us. I think in this world you get what you put in, too many people complain without investing the appropriate amount of time. Not saying the school is perfect, it is not, but we the parents are not perfect either.