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1-7
Public charter
Land O' Lakes, FL
Students enrolled: 250
 

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5852 Ehren Cutoff
Land O' Lakes, FL 34639

School website
(813) 996-0991
(813) 996-0993
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Map of Countryside Montessori Academy address.
November 24, 2014
Cmcs is great. Bridgette, Holly, and Nancy make a great office staff. I always feel welcome to come in and ive never had any problems. I am very happy my child is in the best school of all of Pasco county! i know that my child is truly getting the advanced education she needs.

- submitted by a parent
December 15, 2013
I am so glad to have been part of the Countryside Montessori family for the last four years. Both my sons have thrived in the Montessori environment and I could not ask for more caring teachers and administrators. They truly focus on the "whole child."

- submitted by a parent
November 15, 2013
I moved my son here in 2nd grade after having issues at a different school. Best decision I ever made. The teachers and office staff are amazing. My daughter is now there too and we love it!! The level of education my kids receive there far surpasses anything they learned in a tradional public school.

- submitted by a parent
November 10, 2013
I went to Countryside for many years and had no problem transitioning into High School or Middle School. I believe the experience I had helped me to adapt, learn, and grow outside of Countryside. Being in the same class with the same teachers/students gave me a solid foundation and kept my learning on track. I can't speak to fundraising concerns, but I can say that my teachers and the administration showed my nothing but respect and caring. And by the way, if your child can't transition into high school, it's not a Montessori problem!

- submitted by a community member
November 06, 2013
Our child went to this school 5 years-good experience with the lower elementary teachers. The upper elementary are primarily bullies, gossip openly to one another about other children in front of students, and are condescending to parents. Owners are concerned with pushing "cougar cards" ad nauseam and have a "what have you done for us lately" attitude. Our child has thrived away from this place. Plus, good luck with transitioning into high school when you have had the same teacher in the same room for years. Drank their kool aid, but we see the light now.

- submitted by a parent
October 27, 2013
CMA is not a Montessori school it is a charter school with good marketing. If you get a great teacher you are going to enjoy your experience. If you have power and influence like a Radio DJ and can move your child into a better classroom then you will be ok. This could be better than the alternative of a public education. However, CMA will run you out of the school if you go against their will. We left and it has benefited our child tremendously. It is all marketing, hype, and very risky for the future of our child. SInce moving into a good school district in another county our child has caught up to proper education levels and is much happier. We too are much happier with the programs provided by the district. I am glad we are not longer a part of this program and we were for 5+ years.

- submitted by a parent
August 07, 2012
My Child is going into 4Th grade and has excelled in all of her test scores. the teachers are attentive and caring. It is the best free public school education out there. we travel 30 minutes to bring our daughter to school and feel the trip is well worth it. He reading and math comprehension is far above that of her friends in other public and private schools.

- submitted by a parent
July 19, 2012
I have two children, one who was in Montessori all his life and completed school at CMCS from 1 grade to 6 grade and a fifth grader currently in the school. The school is what every parent wishes for their child, well trained staff that care for the students as a whole and NOT only about academics.They are caring and go above and beyond their call of duty.Very often I will pass the school way after school hours and I see the teachers are still in school working, they are trully pascionate about the child. My oldest child is now in a traditional Pasco County High School and the biggest achivements noted by his teachers are his self confidence, organization , how kind and respectful he is, advocacy ,leadership. All this adjectives describe the student CMCS molded and developed. Now I can see my fith grader following his brother footsteps. The principal drives over 45 minutes daily from her residence and she is quoted often saying that she will drive even more because she loves her job and her family at CMCS. Lower and upper Level Teachers are simply amazing. We are static with the opening of the new middle school program for 2012-2013 SECONDARY 1. GOOD LUCK CMCS and THANK YOU!

- submitted by a parent
December 08, 2011
If you have a child with a learning disability or ADD/ADHD, steer clear of this school. They have no idea how to help your child. We have a child with ADD who is quiet, bright, well-liked and well-behaved. Her lack of progress was missed as she got Ss as grades for 2 years before a standardized test let us know that she was not at grade level. The failure to see her attentional problem set her back a grade level in school. We now have her at an A rated public school where there is caring and support and she is performing well. I've heard a number of stories from parents of kids who don't thrive in this particular school. All LD kids are weeded out by grade 4 in a less than sensitive manner. (A sense of superiority from those with the normal kid too. ) Yet, Maria Montessori is known to have adapted her guidance for ALL kids--especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds. Our child is from a well educated family who needed repetitive exercises to master skills . This school had no clue how to help her learn best. Thank goodness we moved her in time.

- submitted by a parent
October 17, 2011
My child attended Countryside Montessori Charter School for the last 2 years. She received an excellent education that put her ahead of her peers when we had to move to LA. When moving to LA, she tested above average for her reading and writing skills and as a third grader she is reading at a 6th grade level. These successes would not have been possible without the guidance and leadership of her teachers. The staff at CMCS works on deveoping the whole child, academically and socially. We are very pleased with the level of education that our daughter received while attending CMCS.

- submitted by a parent
July 17, 2011
This is a direct response to the review posted on June 30th... Montessori does take a child that has focus. If your child is all over the place and is not self motivated, then you're right, that child will have a hard time with the curriculum. As for the administrator, this position has been taken over by an amazing woman who lives and breathes this school. There have been so many wonderful changes that have made a positive impact on teachers and students. I would not have my child any place but CMCS.

- submitted by a parent
July 07, 2011
CMCS is an excellent school very child and parent oriented. We have only lived in Florida for a year now and were very disappointed with the initial school our child was enrolled in. Since transferring to CMCS We have noticed our child has started to love school again and we are very involved in all the activities of the school. Our child has even scored perfect on the reading section of the FCAT this spring. We couldnt be happier with the school.

- submitted by a parent
June 30, 2011
Two years ago, the new director made a dire mistake. She combined the 3rd grade with the 1st and 2nd. What ended up happening is that many 3rd graders fell way behind where they should be and teachers became overwhelmed with FCAT pressure. (See past 2 years reading FCATS...more kids left behind.) This school is montessori but must also contend with Sunshine State Standard benchmarks. The school has a tense atmosphere as a result because its' identity isn't clear and leadership is lacking. If your child is orderly, quiet and left brained, they will do fine here. If they are more expressive, right-brained, have difficulty with quiet focus, this school will cause much heartache. Many kids have been switched out of here for falling behind and are now happy and thriving at Academy at the Lakes and Grade A public schools. These schools have more educated administrators/teachers who understand learning styles & learning differences. With, higher level degrees in administration and teaching, educators implement theory that is proven effective for all children. While many educators at CMCS have good intentions, they only have one system to implement because they lack knowledge.

- submitted by a parent
June 29, 2011
My daughter went to this school and excelled both during her tenure at Countryside, but also after she moved on into high school. Currently my son attends the school and it has been an even better experience. The school emails once a week with upcoming news and events and calls with the "Monday message". Communication is excellent and the class sizes are even better with two qualified teachers per classroom. The quality of education is that of the most expensive private school and it is free!

- submitted by a parent
October 27, 2010
I was looking for a great school for my two wonderful overachieving girls. Just moved to the area. I guess this wont be it. Thanks for the feedback, parents. I know how stressful can be to be in a system that doesnt work properly.

- submitted by a community member
March 09, 2010
I agree with the previous reviewer, the teachers in the 1st-3rd grade classes have seemed overwhelmed this year. My child is in the 3rd grade and we have been mostly happy with the school up until this year. My child has made little progress this year. I think it is hard for the younger kids in the class too, so much developing goes on in the first and second grade and to expect them to behave as third graders is unrealistic. There have been numerous times when my child said they were not allowed to talk at lunch or sit by their friends because of the younger students talking (or simply acting like 6-7yr olds) during work cycle.

- submitted by a parent
March 08, 2010
CME is a mixed bag. There are some fine and talented teachers here and the lwr stdnt to teacher ratio (26 or 28 in a class w/2 teachers) allows for students to progress faster. However, many classes in the lower levels are extremely strict & the expectation is that kids not speak or socialize all morning 'til lunch (12ish)...easy for naturally quiet kids and hard for more naturally expressive children...discipline is harsher than should be. There should be recess to allow expenditure of energy but it's twice per week after lunch. There is a secretive environment here and the secretary isn't very mature in dealing with parents--it's just common knowledge not my opinion. A new principal has been implemented--hope she will improve the openness and friendliness of this school. ( This year 3rd grade was added to the combined 1st-2nd and seems to have overwhelmed teachers...my childs' wkbks are not corrected).

- submitted by a parent
February 05, 2010
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- submitted by a student
January 27, 2010
Countryside is easily one of the best schools in the county, both in academics and child development. They consistenly score in the top levels of the FCAT without 'teaching the test' like most schools. The faculty are extremely well-qualified and the student to teacher ratio is an amazing 10:1, with 2 faculty in every class, all day. CME is a small school with a far more close-knit community than you would find in nearly all public elementary schools. Certainly there are some parents whose expectations have not been met (a few of whom have posted here), but there is simply no school in the area that compares to the quality of learning and personal growth that is offered at CME. It is an exceptional education and tuition-free.

- submitted by a parent
no rating January 26, 2010
My child had a chance to be at this school due to opinions about CME being so great. Well our first hand experience was a grave dissapointment. The feeling you get with the staff and teachers is as if they are doing you a favor by accepting your child in the school. Terrible communication with the staff. We were new and yet unable to understand their communication system. If you emailed, you did not get a response. If you left a message or wished to speak to someone, again no answer. They seem to not care what the parents think. Very secretive, non involved environment at this school. After school activities expensive and lacking. Teachers are more observers than teachers. Dissapointed with their ice cold attitude. Don't bother with the school if you want a warm friendly environment, where your child is taught to love to learn. This is not it!

- submitted by a parent
no rating January 26, 2010
Big Regret saying the least! Bad with communication with parents, very rude with having time for parents/administration meetings, very rude secretary, and not getting back with parents concerns over multiple request made via e mail and letters. If you belive in Communication then Countryside is not the place to learn it or expect it. Just avoid it ,that's what they are expert at.

- submitted by a parent
November 25, 2009
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- submitted by a parent
no rating November 24, 2009
This is the worst school we've ever attended. This will be our last year. The Cougar Card pressure is unreal. I don't mind putting in time on the weekend, put I have yet to see any of the money go into the classrooms. Last year we were told the money was helping to cover salaries. If thats the case, perhaps they should rethink their salaries. Last year aftercare was a nightmare - we've made other arrangements for this year. Admin is unfriendly and rude. We miss Ms. Jean.

- submitted by a parent
November 16, 2009
I would first like to start off on a positive note, CME deserves all the positive reviews that it has received. You get the benefits of an expensive private school at a tuition free school. All we are asked as parents to do, is put in time to volunteer and help out with 2 fundraisers a year. As a person that attended a private school from kindergarten through 12th grade, private school's ask not only for tuition, but expect you to participate in numerous fundraisers throughout the year. Your spot in the school depends upon it. If you would like a school where you are not expected to do anything or fundraise at all, maybe you should look into your local public school. CME is a school of choice, and if you are unhappy as a parent, it is your choice to remove your child.

- submitted by a parent
November 04, 2009
Biggest turn-off: Constant requests for money, despite their denying this was commonplace. Even their cheerleader (3rd party) program costs $175 in 2009 of which $80 goes directly to the school. Pressuring parents into selling 'Cougar Cards' despite people having lives on the weekends or other obligations. Their option? Buy all the cards yourself, despite the school's claim that this year's cards sale set an all-time record.

- submitted by a parent
May 20, 2009
Excellent - this school is wonderful. The staff is friendly and helpful and the teachers have been amazing. This has been a very good experience for us. The principle has been very kind and helpful as well.

- submitted by a parent
March 09, 2009
This is a very good school for us, but I have to admit that is not for every child. We love the fact that kids are allowed to move at their own pace and for our kids it means to move ahead faster. Most of the teachers are great.

- submitted by a parent
March 04, 2009
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- submitted by a parent
February 05, 2009
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- submitted by a parent
February 05, 2009
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- submitted by a parent
January 31, 2009
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- submitted by a parent
January 29, 2009
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- submitted by a parent
January 23, 2009
There's a reason that this school gets a rating of '10' from greatschools. They are excellent in academics, administration, and teaching. Countryside consistently scores in the top tier of the county (often 1st) of all 50 elementary schools on the FCAT. The ratio of students to in-class faculty is an amazing 10:1, when nearly all other schools are 20:1! The previous principal was too lax in allowing parents to go in and out of classrooms and slow down the staff by chatting with them. There are some parents who don't realize how disruptive this was. This year, it is much easier for the staff and kids to focus on their work, with much fewer interruptions, since the new principal has improved the process for parents to get involved during the school day.

- submitted by a parent
January 18, 2009
I have to agree with some of these reviews regarding the new administration. I am very happy with the teachers that my children have this year. Both of my children are doing well and earning high marks so I am not overly concerned. I was unhappy at the beginning of the year due to the fact that the atmosphere is ice cold. I think the owners pick personnel that mirrors their own personalities. If the owners were not involved and did not make hiring decisions, then I think the school would have a terrific chance. The teachers are good, the students are kind. The new principal lacks personality and the secretary does act like a child. The owners are similar, however. There are many parents that would like to do right by this school, but there are a few key people that would do the school a great favor by leaving!

- submitted by a parent
January 18, 2009
We chose a charter school with the hope that the school would have a higher ratio of parent involvement & more of a family friendly atmosphere than the traditional public school. We didn't know that charter schools are privately owned, & although partially funded by the public school system, don't have to answer to the county & have as much accountability as a trad. public school. We've been met with much resistance from the principal this year. She exhibits an attitude of 'It's my way or the highway,' & is not receptive to parents who question new policies that don't make sense. A minimum # of volunteer hrs are expected from families each year, but it's increasingly difficult to be involved b/c she has shut us out of activities that we've always been welcomed at in past years, like holiday celebrations & field trips. The principal is not accessible by phone.

- submitted by a parent
January 17, 2009
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- submitted by a parent
January 15, 2009
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- submitted by a parent
December 20, 2008
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- submitted by a parent
no rating November 30, 2008
My child graduated as a sixth grader from this school and he received a fantastic education! The school has good teachers, although they lost one of the best, Ms Carmella, she was awesome! Please bring back Ms Carmella! She was so caring of the kids and their learning. my only complaint now is that the school is too strict about parents coming in. This makes the school feel very cold to me. it's lost the family atmosphere it once had. The new principal is very strict and I'm afraid to even talk to her. She never smiles. The new admin assistant Jenny is a little disrespectful to other parents. The front office person should be someone cheerful and pleasant. Overall this is a great school and I'm sure it will continue to get better with each new year!

- submitted by a parent
no rating June 13, 2008
My children do not attend CME but I serve as a volunteer to the school. During the past four years, CME has obtained an 'A' rating from the FDOE; student scores on the FCAT are among the highest on Pasco County, and the Pasco County School District director said 'this is what a charter school should look like.' The teachers are extraordinary and the adminstrator has created a learning legacy that will positively impact students for generations.

- submitted by a parent
May 29, 2008
My child has received a top notch education from this school. The teacher are all fantastic! The school is a Montessori school but, yes because it is a charter school they are bound to the fcat requirements. All schools have testing of some sort. I love this school! I'm greatful to have this school in my community. This school has everything a school needs and continues to improve and grow with each new year.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 16, 2008
In response to the review posted on 4/14...this parent could not be more wrong. First, all the teachers are Fl state certified. All the classrooms have at least one teacher and one assistant, but most of the classrooms actually have two teachers. One teacher is Fl state certified and the other is Montessori certified. In no way does this school teach to the FCAT. That's why the students are, almost across the board, above grade level, and why Countryside's FCAT scores are so high. Library? There is a library. Has this person even been in the building?! The fencing? If that fencing wasn't there, the complaint would be that there wasn't enough security. Do you even know why it was put there in the first place?

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 14, 2008
I have been a parent in the school for several years, the quality of school continues to fall. Administration is very unorganized and unfriendly. Some teachers are really good but others are not good at all. The school has moved from a Montessori to a traditional teaching for FCATS. Another big problem is most of teachers are trained montesorri teachers and not traditional teachers, as a result the FCAT cirriculum is not their cup of tea. What school runs without a library?? The owners do not take any interest. Problem solving is not an art in this school. The administration continues to give excuses, instead of finding solutions. Arrival and dismissal is a nightmare. The school is so secure with fence (ike a jail) that in case of real emergencies I wonder how they will get the kids out. The unfriendliness of staff continues to grow too.

- submitted by a parent
March 02, 2008
The principal is excellent and very caring. The owners are uninvolved, and not very proactive. Theteachers in grades K-2 were excellent, but the 3rd&4th grade teachers are much less supportive; also, while Montessori si supposedly supportive of Mastery Learning, the main focus appears to be on putting as much work on the kids as possible, whether or not they have understood it. If a child has not yet mastered a subject, they are not allowed to work at their own pace and given extra support or time to master the topic. instead, the teacher just hands them the next worksheet or chapter - the curriculum is too lockstepped, which I was not expecting.

- submitted by a parent
May 02, 2007
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- submitted by a parent
April 08, 2007
Good but... this school still has a few growing pains to overcome. The beginning of the year was somewhat rough, but we hung in there and I must say that I'm glad we did. There is a quality difference in the faculty and I can say that my child was placed with the superior teacher and assistant for her grade level. She has progressed tremendously this year. The administrator is a nice lady. The school is too indolent w/ kids w/ chronic disciplinary issues. Montessori is not a one size fits all teaching method! I think fund raising is absolutely vital but could be handled with more tact and less hounding by certain parent committees. Some things can be made better, but I prefer it to our choice of public elementary as is! My child has learned curriculum that wouldn't have been taught for 3 more years in public!

- submitted by a parent
January 03, 2007
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- submitted by a teacher
August 13, 2006
I really love this school. The small community feel gives my children the ability to thrive and learn. Montessori provides self discipline and lets the children work at their own pace.

- submitted by a parent
July 21, 2006
I can't imagine a better school for my child! The cirriculum is advanced, and the teachers/staff treat each child as an individual. The children work at their own pace and are made responsible for themselves and their success at the school. The main problems this school faces are the discipline issues. And the majority of that comes from children that cannot handle the responsibility for themselves that they must have in order to thrive in a Montessori classroom. I would suggest that any new parent seriously research the Montessori Method and evaluate whether or not this is suited for their child. Charter schools face many financial obstacles, so the need for fundraising is paramount. We have a limited budget which has been stretched to accomodate a new facility and an assistant in every classroom! Countryside has given my children the foundation they will need to carry themselves into a successful adulthood!

- submitted by a parent
July 12, 2006
The teachers are wonderful, all degreed and Montessori certified. Lower elementary teachers are especially good at determining academic/developmental level of students and then allow children to work at their own pace. This is an excellent atmosphere for children who are bright and self-motivated. However, this may not be the best placement for a child who is easily distracted or has severe behavioral and/or academic issues. Upper elementary curriculum utilized for this year ('05-'06) was new and very challenging. Definitely some kinks that need working out here. Both upper elementary teachers were new to teaching this level and to this particular curriculum. All students have Spanish 2-3 times per week and P.E. every day. Music and Art were offered a few times during the year relating to holidays, cultural fairs and the end-of-the-year celebration. There is a library but volunteers man it, sometimes making it difficult for children to utilize.

- submitted by a parent
March 16, 2006
Not very impressed with School. There are no outstanding type teachers. Unorganized. Owners are 'NOT' very involved. They seem more obsessed with collecting 'Money'. Upper Elementary is not that great. Problem children continue to disrupt classes with little consequences. The behaviors of some of these teachers and aides are not according with the 'MONTESSORI' way. There is too much drama in this school. I would steer clear and consider a PRIVATE school if at all possible. Before registering at this school, request to speak with several parents and get their opinions! I have nothing personal against school, I think this school could be great if they acknowledge their weaknesses and make positive changes!

- submitted by a parent
June 15, 2005
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- submitted by a parent

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Countryside Montessori Academy
5852 Ehren Cutoff, Land O' Lakes, FL  34639
(813) 996-0991
Last modified Countryside Montessori Academy is a Charter school that serves grades 1-7. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 9 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Countryside Montessori Academy Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 52 reviews. Top