"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!
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The NewGate-Field School5
Posted September 08, 2014
- a parent
NewGate is always focused on the true Montessori method. This means not only the in the high quality of education, but also that families are involved and educated. The learning more individualized than any other school I've seen. After working in various public, charter, private and alternative schools for 15+ years, my biggest frustration was always the inability of schools to change the things that needed to be changed. NewGate is a small school and the administration is always available for discussion. This means that when changes are needed, they are discussed promptly and remedied. The families are so involved with the school that we are all one big family. I'm so happy that I found this treasure for my children.
You know the saying, "It takes a village to raise a child"? NewGate is my village. My son has been at the school since he was 18 months old. He's 9 now. Every day when I pick him up he still begs, "Please, Mom, can we stay a little longer?" Yes, he is an amazing reader, conversationalist and does math that most children don't do until they are 13. But more important, he is happy and confident; He is a good friend, a competent mediator (when necessary), and a fair leader. He doesn't need pressure or stress to achieve, NewGate has given him a love of learning and the confidence to keep striving for his goals, even when they seem out of reach. I know he will be successful because he is not motivated by outside factors (like needing to pass a test), he is motivated by a love of a learning and the feeling that comes with true achievement.
As a former Montessori 3-6 teacher at the largest Montessori school in the Bosron area and former Montessori student myself I came to NewGate with very high expectations. My six year old and 4 year old have been at NewGate two years and have run in the door every day - thrilled to be there. I love the community which has tons of engagement and events making it feel like a family. My kids are thriving and we will be there for many years to come.
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!