Posted November 12, 2012
"I do not believe there is a method better than Montessori for making children sensitive to the beauties of the world and awakening their curiosity regarding the secrets of life." Gabriel Garcia Marquez: Author, Nobel Laureate, Montessori Alumnus. I have known and loved the NewGate School since 1993, when I first met this extraordinary community of teachers, students, and families. From 1994 to 2000, it served as the Montessori Foundation s Lab School, and I served as its Head of School. During those years, NewGate blossomed, grew, and established an international reputation. For me, leading NewGate was, and is, a labor of love. I appreciate the depth of NewGate s international curriculum, the patient guidance of its Montessori teachers, and the spirit of kindness, warmth, and mutual respect. This is a gentle way to learn that leads to a world-class education without the stress, pressure, and needless competition found in most schools. It is a place where young minds grow organically in an unhurried atmosphere of inquiry and discovery. In 2000, the NewGate board concluded that the parents of the school were ready to resume governance on their own. The Montessori Foundation returned its full attention to its work with Montessori schools around the world, and NewGate went its own way for the next ten years. Neither my Associate Head, Lorna McGrath, nor I work for NewGate. I am the President of the Montessori Foundation, and Lorna is one of our Program Officers. For many years, the Foundation has worked with hundreds of Montessori schools around the world. For us, working with children, teachers, and parents to build excellent Montessori schools is a passion. Returning to NewGate has allowed us to help revitalize a school that we love and has provided a Lab School, where we can develop a model for Montessori middle and high school programs around the world that will integrate Montessori with the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program. Our goal is to refine a replicable model that will be internationally respected, rigorous, and compatible with Montessori principles. Our program is defined by an international course of study and a high emphasis on research, discussion, and field experience. Whereas most existing public school IB programs are limited to only the most gifted few, Montessori-IB programs are designed to succeed with a wider range of college-bound students. Recognizing that the school had an existing secondary program, made the decision to return to NewGate absolutely compelling!
For 12k per year, I expected better. Maybe my expectations weren't right. As a professional, I thought I would receive communication and feedback. There are no report cards, no assessments and the only feedback is parent-initiated conversation. Is my child learning enough? I really don't know. There is never any homework at mid-grade level. Are there home reading assignments? Not sure. Did my child turn in every assignment? I don't know. It is a very positive, supportive environment, which is great. We will find out when she changes schools if she learned as much as she should have.
Montessori is a great philosophy, but this school does not have the best interest of the kids at heart. This may have once been an excellent school, but now the quality of education is not up to grade level standards. Many students that leave this school are in need of tutors to catch up when they join another school.
We are firm believers in Montessori for early education & our 2 older children in Montessori from 18 mths to 4/5 years of age in the NorthEast. Our goal was the same with our youngest. When we moved to Sarasota we placed our youngest in New Gate (he was 3 & turned 4 during the school year). HUGE disappointment! The class had over 25 students & the primary teacher had zero kill or energy to help the children learn. Our child was allowed to wander outside without any supervision & we only learned about it from another parent who frequently volunteered & was worried about our child because the teachers didn't notice or care when our child was repeatedly outside unsupervised. Additionally, when we inquired why our child still didn't seem to know his ABC's, we were 1st told he did but he was just stubborn, a month later we were told he may have a hearing problem, & their final excuse was that he may have a learning problem. Both doctor & psychiatrist said he was perfectly healthy & intelligent. Apparently, 2 other sets of parents had the same experience. Montessori YES - NewGate NO- this school is overcrowded w/ incompetent or uninterested teachers.
As a long time parent at this school, I've seen many leadership changes. With all those, the bottom line still remains the same. Great for the younger children, still trying to "figure it out" for the older children. This school can't be beat for the younger children, hands down the best in town. From middle school on, it's just the opposite. Montessori is done well in other parts of the world right up through college. Not here! It's a "labratory" school in the true sense of the word. You don't have the time to waste with your childs education, once they're a certain age, you must leave or your child will fall behind students in other programs around town. Sad but true. As for the "pending" IB program, they have along way to go.
Last May a parent wrote a review critical of the school's leadership. NewGate was, and continues to be an excellent school. It lost its way for a time, in part because of the economy, but also because there was a strong perception that NewGate was drifting from its Montessori roots. Independent schools must have a very clear identity and offer an educational experience that is distinctly different from what is found in other schools. In 2010, NewGate's board asked the Montessori Foundation to take the school under its wing as its Lab School. NewGate is once again under the same leadership that originally developed the school into one of the best known independent Montessori schools in the US. Montessori does not appeal to every family, but it works! When done without compromise, it prepares students exceptionally well for both university and for life.NewGate sees each student as an individual, not a number. It teaches students to think deeply, enjoy the process of discovery, and find their own voice. The school is a community of people who share common values. This is the sort of school that most of us wish we could have attended. Come see for yourself.
Very poor leadership here. They have a new headmaster now... and I believe it has perhaps even merged with another school (?) or something to that effect. I wish them better success. Montessori is definitely a great approach to high school academics and self esteem.--this school just needed some real leadership with some more vision. Perhaps they have it now. Love the idea of Montessori. Wish I had done the same with my son when he was younger, as opposed to traditional public schools. It makes a WORLD of difference. Try montessori based schools. They are not for everyone, but I like the whole idea and think it helps build self esteem as opposed to what they very often do in the public schools ( often tear down any self esteem).
At the heart of this school is a community of teachers, parents and leaders who truly care about their students and who are dedicated to the Montessori philosophy. You will not fully understand this approach until you have spent time in a classroom observing. Take an hour out of your day to see what it's all about. I am so proud to be a New Gate-Field School parent!
My son has been attending The NewGate-Field School for the last three years. I can't say enough about the quality of the education he's received. The schools commitment to helping each child reach their own potential is truly commendable. Montessori's focus on self-control and self-respect make for a wonderful, kind and nurturing environment. We are very happy.
NewGate-Field is one of the best known Montessori schools in the USA. It serves as the model school of the Moontessori Foundation (www.montessori.org). It offers an authentic Montessori program from the infant-toddler level through secondary Its curriculum is international, and its graduates speak to its success. The culture of the school is warm and close-knit. Fundraising is deemphasized, and the school attracts a diverse and very committed parent community.
There are so many wonderful aspects of New Gate School that it is hard to sum up in a few short words. My child has been attending New Gate since 2003. The teachers, staff and community are amazing. The environment at New Gate is safe, secure, peaceful, facilitates learning and encourages children to respect and help one another. When observing the children in the classrooms it is wonderful to see how happy and confident they are. If you are looking for a school that provides superior academic, social and emotional needs for your child then New Gate is the place for you!
We have two children who have attended New Gate School since they were 2 and 3 years old. They are now in upper elementary classes and my son is looking forward to joining the First Cycle (7th grade) class in the fall. The sense of community from teachers, administration and families is wonderful. The ability for each child to learn how to learn, plan, research, communicate, collaborate, and enjoy the experience will forever benefit them and the world around them as they develop into adults who can do wonderful and creative things. As my children have grown in the Montessori environment, I've appreciated this opportunity even more than when we first joined in 2000. I look forward to continuing our education experience with New Gate School and seeing the enthusiasm with which the children learn.
Respect, Responsibility, resourcefulness. Three additional R's that are taught at New Gate School that adheres to the concept of not just focusing on academics but educating the whole child. Character,inner drive, motivation, esteem, independence, conflict resolution, social skills and confidence are developed throughout the entire program. Children have no 'fear of failure' - if the problem doesn't work they go back a few steps to see where it went wrong. Students are encouraged to take calculated risks in trying out new concepts. From first grade on, students are given their weekly work plan in which they need to individually time manage their week versus a teacher telling them what to do when. All these skills are adherent to the Montessori progam and areappreciated by our college daughter who informed us that she is amazed at how few friends in college have developed these skills.
There us no other school like New Gate in Sarasota. The students in the elementary grades are given lessons in chemistry, biology, algebra, geometry, history of the universe and the history of life on earth. Not only are the students held to an advanced academic standard, but they are encouraged to find their passion, manage their time, and pursue their interests. New Gate has an excellent Spanish, Music, Art, and PE program. There are after school activities in Art, Chess, Athletics and Performing Arts. All the elementary students are given a chance to perform in an annual Musical. Teachers spend 3 years with the children allowing them to truly understand and assist each child on his or her path to excellence. Teachers plant seeds and inspire wonder at the marvels the universe holds. I cannot imagine why anyone would send their son or daughter anywhere else.
What a great experience our 12 yr old son, Elliot, has benefited wonderfully since coming to New Gate. We moved from Northern California in 2003 and have watched caring teachers execute a balanced program of academics and personal development.
Our 7 yr old daughter has been a New Gate for 4 years now and we could not be happier with the experience. New Gate is about helping children understand that personal reward comes with accomplishment not simply test scores. It teaches children that there's no greater reward than feeling good about what they doing or accomplishing and having them feel skilled and competent in the lessons that they are taught. New Gate Students learn how to think for themselves, and understand how to solve problems. With New Gate is more about the process, and not so much about the results that they see on a test paper. To be quite honest, if it were not for New Gate we would be forced to home school our children.
As the involved grandparent of 2 students with a combined 15 years of New Gate education, I can't even find the words to express the joy I find in the bright, confident and kind people they are becoming. The school community is like family, the teachers are amazing and I feel they are being prepared for whatever the future holds for them. The tuition is high, but what better gift can you give your children than a love of life and a love of learning.
As a former parent of 3 children that attended New Gate for 5 years, I have to say the school is very disappointing in several aspects. One, it's in the middle of nowhere. Two, it has LAME facilities and almost no sports, music or after school programs. It basically reminds me of a little house on the h prairie homeschool environment. Some teachers are good, many we experienced were just average. After having moved my children to a NEW private school, I was shocked to discover how far BEHIND they were. I paid over $100k to this school to end up having to pay for tutoring for my kids every day just to be 'average' at their new school. I think Montessori is great for 6 and under...but if you're looking for a college preparatory environment, this isn't it. School has constant financial problems, leadership problems...etc..
We have 3 children at New Gate using both campuses! We love the education our children are receiving in the elementary (6-9yr) age group and the primary (3-6yr) age group. There is no better school to prepare our children for the challenges that they will face down the road. What more can you ask for when your children want to go to school, are learning at an advanced level and love to learn no matter where they are. You are surrounded by other families that know this approach works better than the traditional education, and support the school through volunteering. The school just started an activities program, added a reading coordinator this year. The tuition is on par with other area schools, but the more you know about Maria Montessori and her approach, this is the best deal out there!
Our child has attended New Gate since he was 18 months old, he is 5 now. All I can say is when your child wakes up on the weekends and will ask to go to school you know you have found a great environment. He has accelerated in all aspects of learning because at New Gate they grow with your child and no one is left behind. Yes, we all know the tuition is high but you tell me what private school is not? My Husband and I agree you cannot put a 'price' on a great education!
The New Pricipal's Leadership is incredible. The teachers and staff are some of the best I have ever experienced. The teacher's excitment and enthausiasm is contagious, it makes parents want to be involved, and students want to go to class. Every level at New Gate is one of the Best Programs Sarasota has to offer. The thing that is memorable after a visit to the campus is the quality of students. Their respect, responsibility, and resourcefulness speaks volumns. NG academic programs are challenging and interesting and teach the studnet to think and apply the knowledge. I like the fact they can progress at their own pace in their areas of strength. I am confident this education will prepare my sons for the world. I like the fact they like school and like to learn. It is a safe campus that allows a 12 year old to be 12.
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