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."
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
CMCS could be a great school IF your child gets the 'right' teacher. There are couple of really experienced teachers in the elementary grades and couple in the middle school. These teachers get to teach the kids of the staff and the owners of the school. If your child gets another teacher it's a 'hit or miss'. You'll be told that kids get assigned to teachers based on personality. Not really. Wonder why all the staff has their kids with the best , most experienced teachers?! Kids that don't get their weekly assignments competed, get their recess taken away. The school performs well on the FCAT, but most of the parents have their kids in Kumon or other after school learning centers. If your child is gifted or has ADHD/ ADD or any learning disability, stay away from there! The school administration doesn't like parents talking to each other and exchanging opinions/ experience. The director loves the school but she is walking on eggshells( between the parents and the owners of the school). She has a good understanding of how you feel as a parent, but not much power to change anything.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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).
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.
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!
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.
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