After 2 years at a public school, we have been very pleased with our experience at Tuscawilla Montessori. Instead of feeling like our child is just a number that needs to be perfect on tests, the Montessori method allows the child to grow and explore in their own way, with guidance from well trained teachers. He has gained knowledge in language arts, math, science, and history as well as fine arts and music. More importantly, while our son dreaded every day at public school, he has blossomed into a wonderful young man, who dreams big. I wish every child could have our experience.
My daughter has attended 2nd and 3rd grade at TMA following two years in a public school system. It has been wonderful to see her come out of her shell and excited about learning. My daughter is not a traditional learner so the Montessori way of teaching is a perfect fit for her. The hands on experience and the endless subjects they are given to research is priceless. She is not only learning your basic math, language and reading but she is also learning about other cultures, public speaking, animals and basic life skills and many other things not taught in the public school system. Most of all I love how they allow the kids to be kids!! Her teachers are encouraging and make the learning fun!! It is also nice to see how all the teachers and staff know the kids individually. TMA is a great school!!
We have had our child at TMA since V-PK and is now currently in 3rd grade. It is amazing how our son has thrived being at TMA. The teachers are devoted to making sure each child is nutured to reach their individual potential. They are wonderful at communicating and updating us with our child's progress. We know our son is able to explore and learn about vast subjects that he would not be able to experience in a public school. This is his last year in lower elementary(Elm Room) and he will continue at TMA for upper elementary.
We've been at TMA for 5 years and had a very positive experience. We have attended and visited other schools, but TMA has been the best option for allowing work at an accelerated/individualized pace using engaging materials. A few things to clarify...class sizes may be larger, but the lower elementary rooms at TMA have TWICE the space of a traditional classroom and each room contains TWO fully certified teachers who also have specialized Montessori training. This makes the teacher-to-student ratio less than 15:1, which is still better than a classroom with 18 students and 1 teacher (public schools no longer have aides in the rooms). TMA students do participate in computers, art, PE and music each week and there are extracurriculars. They are currently constructing a new administration building so admin. is temporarily sharing space with the computer lab and art room. I don't know of any school, public or private, that doesn't ask for a supply contribution from parents at the beginning of the year. I encourage anyone interested in learning about the school to visit TMA but it's also important to read about how the Montessori philosophy differs from traditional education.
Very disappointed of this school. Overcrowded! 30 plus students in the Lower Elementary classrooms. Children are crammed in two classrooms. Teachers lack ability to manage big class size. Aside from tuition, parents must purchase at least one shirt and a long list of classroom supplies. Parents are expected to purchase cleaning and disinfectant products for the classroom. Administration is disorganized. With the exception of a few, they are all related: father mother, sister, brother, sister in law, etc. The Administration failed to deliver what was offered during orientation: small class size, as well as, Art & Computer Rooms. Said rooms were eliminated indefinitely, and replaced with Administrative Offices. There is a huge gym for a school with no team sports. We only got responses to e-mails we sent that were happy in nature, but failed to receive a reply when a delicate matter needed to be addressed. We removed our child after being bullied by teachers. Our child is very happy and striving at the new school, with a maximum of 18 students per classroom.
I was extremely disappointed with the school. The class my child was assigned to was led by a teacher who lacked creativity and who seemed overwhelmed. The classroom was dreary and bare. My child's folder, when it was sent home at all, was frequently sent home with other students' work. I would make sure you know which class your child will be put in and tour that room. I feel like I experienced a bait and switch. I regret sending my child to this school.
All I can say is Wow! Unfortunately I had to transfer due to my job and withdraw my daughter from an awesome montessori school. Luckily I found Tuskawilla Montessori Academy is a rare gem. Her two teachers are experienced and went above and beyond. Their enthusiasm was felt especially in the holiday play. My daughters teachers are creative in their homework assignments and I could tell they enjoyed teaching science because my daughter could retell her science lessons. The teachers even teach sign language! Anyways, this is the perfect school fr my child.
NOT GREAT. My child was in 4-5-6 grade last year, and is now at least a year behind in math. Was doing more advanced math in 2nd and 3rd grades than at TMA. Classroom disorganization, lack of communication, and an administration that goes out of its way to let parents know the school is a business, first and foremost. Look elsewhere for your children. Now that my child has started at an A rated public school, I see what a costly and truly unnecessary mistake I made. Alienation of arithmetic! Spanish class... a joke. Band... not so much. No real musical training goes on unless the student's already advanced. Low student-teacher ratio... nope. Classroom size of 21 vs. the 22 child cap in public elementary school. It's easy to post here, and I suspect that the glowing posts may be administrative plants, esp. the ones referring to the administration. To the good side, some teachers/staff were caring, + some interesting field trips. And I don't think my child lost IQ points outright. Skill loss yes; curiosity, critical thinking, love of learning (somewhat) nurtured and still intact. Highly suggest you reconsider if you're evaluating this school for elementary child.
This school is fantastic! I love the family atmosphere. In fact, my husband wants to move and I won't let him until my youngest is finished with 6th grade and he's only 4! I have two complaints....they need a high school program & a more organized communication program. Sometimes I get a one or two day notice on needed party supplies or upcoming school programs. Unlike public schools, all responsibility falls on the child.(Which is great!) If you are looking for an overly structured, rote memorization type of education for your child, this is not your place. If you want a self responsible child who is allowed to be curious and learns from many different platforms, then this is your place!
We absolutely LOVE TMA! Our son has been there for 2 years in Mrs. Fisher's class and we've seen him excel. He also is part of the extended care program as we both work out of the home. We are big supporters of the montessori education and hope and pray we will be able to continue to be able to afford the tuition. We receive regular emails from the teacher, school, newsletter, and I also keep up with all the activities via TMA's facebook page. The entire staff is tremendous and we are proud of our son's montessori education!