It's a great school! It has everything an elementary school has to offer! Great teachers that really care about the kids! A principal who is fantastic! My child is getting a well rounded education there.
We have had a wonderful experience with the Montessori program. My child just completed 5th grade and went K - 5 in the Montessori program. It is great that children can learn at their own pace, use materials that give them a bigger understanding than just rote memorization, and with 2 teachers in a class (one assistant with each teacher) it makes for a 1:9 ratio until 4th grade and then 1:11. Great! My suggestion for those who have heard not so positive things in the past, or who are wondering about the program is to "get involved". If you are active in getting to know your teacher, going to the PTA and school events, and seeking information, you will resolve any concerns you have. While my initial concern in entering kindergarten was the school within a school portion, the Montessori classes go to music, art, etc with their own classes. PE is typically all Montessori on the field at once, but can be combined some years where schedules don't permit. There is a great music and art program. Lots of extra activities through the years - yoga, soccer, football, etc. Try it for yourself, get involved, and you will love the personal connection both you and your child experience.
We liked the Montessori program, the teachers were nice and our kids did well. Unfortunately the atmosphere in the cafeteria is pretty tense, just like at many other public schools that we have seen. The kids are not able to eat in a nice, relaxing atmosphere.
My children attend Gulfport Montessori and I couldn't be happier. Another commenter complained about the Kindergarten program. In the past, this may have been true, but this year there are different teachers in the Kindergarten classroom. Yeah! These are not new teachers - they are Montessori teachers who have moved from other grade levels to teach Kindergarten. It is a new day for the Kindergarten program at Gulfport Montessori! If you have a child entering Kindergarten, you should DEFINITELY check out Gulfport. Your child will have a 1:9 teacher/student ratio for K-5...something that you will NOT find at any other school (public or private). And the Montessori method allows your child to learn new concepts without ever finding them too hard, or feeling defeated that they "can't do it". The Montessori teachers work with your child to teach new concepts in a way that makes even harder tasks something that your child will not be overwhelmed by. I highly recommend this school! Also, the Montessori method teaches respect, grace and courtesy in many small ways...something we all need more of these days.
Very disappointing for kindergarten. Thought it was supposed to be an exciting time for your child and it was derogatory, sad, and no positive reinforcement. Children are 'fired' from tasksand made to feel like they failed. I would not recommend this school to new little children who need a positive experience for their first years in school.
This is a new school with emphasis on hands-on learning. My mother sends all of her foster children to this school because of the laid back environment. She can't say enough good things about this school.
Gulfport Elementary is Pinellas County's first and only Montessori school. Their new methods won't be fully integrated thru 5th grade for another 2 years so the posted statistics and grades do not yet reflect its potential. My twin kindergarteners are adjusted, happy and thriving. My 3rd grader transferred last year from a traditional school he hated. He makes all A's at Gulfport and looks forward to everyday! That's all the proof I need. I would have homeschooled rather than settle for an average traditional public school for my kids. What an amazing opportunity for them now since they would have never had the chance to attend an expensive private school!