My daughter attended CMS from the tender age of 17 months to 6.5 years and I honestly can't say enough good things about this school. From the administration staff to the teachers to the directress, all involved are unified in their goal to make CMS a place where children can become self-directed, life long learners. One of my biggest regrets of leaving the Tampa Bay area is having to leave this school.
Our daughter attended CMS from age 2 through 9th grade. She is currently a junior at the local Magent High School and a straight A student with all classes being Honor or AP level. She is in the National Honor society and #1 in her Honors pre-caluclus class. Her study habits are directly attributable to the Community Montessori School education she received, as she is self motivated, organized and works for her own sense of personal acheivement. We could not possibly be more satisfied with her education at CMS!
Excellent, small, warn, nurturing environment that opens the door to life-long learning. The teachers, traditional Montessori methods, materials, and programs are awesome. Average and above average kids can really excel here. There's always so much activity and the students make a lot of their own learning choices which can all be overwhelming for unmedicated ADHD kids, but once they are on medicine, they too can excel.
The teachers are well trained, knowledgeable, and extremely caring. The school has a very large property, and the grounds are beautiful. They also have chickens, organic gardens, and a butterfly garden. They offer after-school clubs like Bricks 4 Kids and drama club. They do optional violin lessons during the school hour. The upper elementary students are in the orchestra/band, and each of them plays a difficult instrument like cello, guitar, drums, etc. The PE classes are very good, also. The head of the school knows everyone and is always there if you want her advice on parenting or education. I feel very confident that this is the best place in the Tampa Bay area.
We have 2 children who started in primary and now are in elementary at CMS. We tried public school. We also looked at other private schools. CMS offers so much more. Our children are truly excited and happy to be at CMS. They are learning high-level math, reading, cooking, and hands-on science. Because the day is organized so efficiently, they still get to spend a lot of time outside and be physically active. They learn about being a responsible member of the community. For example, they set their own table for lunch, wash their own dishes, and launder table linens. In December, they get heavily involved in community service. The children are also encouraged to solve problems and disagreements on their own. From what I saw in public schools and other private schools, if you only want academics, I think an A grade public school is just as good as private schools. If you want more than that for your child, I highly recommend CMS.
Thanksgiving is one of many occasions that I feel so thankful that my kids are at CMS. They put together a great event that teaches the kids the true meaning of Thanksgiving and show that they focus on the whole child, not just the academics. (Although I am happy that my 1st grader can multiply 6-digit numbers.) All the children participate in the event and even make decisions preparing for the Thanksgiving event. They get to choose if they want to be a Native American or a pilgrim. They make the costume, learning how to sew with hands. They prepare the food. They peel and chop the vegetables for the soup and shake cream to make fresh butter. They practice and put on a show in front of a large audience learning how to do public speaking at an early age. Above all, the kids have a great time while learning these skills. CMS is one of a kind, and we are glad to be a part of this wonderful community of parents, caring teachers, and students.
Community Montessori School has provided both my daughters with a warm, loving and safe environment that promotes such a love of learning. My one daughter started CMS at 4 yrs old and graduated from the 8th grade with 3 high school credits. We could have not been happier with how they helped prepare her for her high school years. My other daughter continues at CMS and now is in the Adolescent program as a 7th year student. If you are looking for an atmosphere where students are treated with dignity and respect and have the ability to their own pace, CMS provides that. They are also introduced to music (guitar, violin, etc), art, organic gardening, beekeeping and love for the environment and planet.
This school is a hidden jewel in Tampa. Organic gardening, beekeeping, guitar lessons for older students, coupled with caring and highly trained teachers make for a unique and exciting learning environment. We are in our second year here, and I find students are much more respectful of each other, so the issues that can surface with most middle school aged kids, seem to be minimized in this more personal environment.
I find the post on July 10 most odd. I have been a parent at CMS for 8 years and have always enjoyed a positive, productive relationship with the directress and teachers. Whenever issues have arisen the directress has been open and supportive in ensuring the best interest of my child - at times it hasn't always been in my best interest but then thats what I love about CMS the child's need comes first. The teachers are trained to observe children and can often pick up issues that as a parent you don't see at home. So sometimes its hard to accept that your child may have an issue. However, I have always been dealt with in a respectful manner. I highly recommend the school. They do a great job at educating parents.
The children are treated respectfully at CMS, but not the parents. The directress does not like interference and defends her staff & her own actions rather than listening & trying to make improvements. It's her way or the highway. If you insist on Montessori & this one is the most convenient, then it is a very good school for the kids. But prepare to put up with some stuff from her.