We moved from out of state to Tampa and wanted to continue our child's AMI certified Montessori education. Our child attended at age 4 and I was greatly disappointed by the experience. The school was disorganized, crowded and the atmosphere was intense rather than joyful. The focus seemed to be entirely educational rather than on play and everyday living activities. My child regularly complained that it was crowded and did not want to attend. My child would bring home 5-6 continent books a week, but did not understand what was being reproduced. It seemed all work and no play.
My child had a minor issue arise with another student during the second week at school and the staff's handling was so intense my child was brought to tears. Then I was told about the incident in detail in the car line in front of other parents and my other children. The school also lacked an emphasis on the environment - both in terms of the calmness and beauty of our surroundings (which I love about the Montessori classroom) and in terms of recycling (especially surrounding lunches). Also, the pick-up/ drop off takes place in an alley shared by other businesses and is not safe. For a price tag of $10,000.yr., this school leaves much to be desired.
My child's experience here has been what I would refer to as an 'exceptional' transition from another popular daycare/preschool. The exposure to different mediums has been priceless. He has really blossomed into the next phase of learning with zeal.