Posted May 29, 2014
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To the "teacher" who posted below: I for one am grateful for all the extra work and dedication that the teachers at Island Village give to my daughter. The extra comments you complain about are VERY much appreciated by me and other parents. How pitiful that you are using this as a negative for working at this school. I just want to commend all of the teachers currently at IVMS for their hard work in making my child's experience wonderful and let you know how thankful I am that you are there. I know the pay for teachers is never enough for what they do . . . but please know that there are many of us out here who are grateful that you do!
Teachers are overworked and underpaid. If you are thinking about working here, you need to know that you'll be paid less than at a regular public school. You will also be expected to write comments for your students 8 times a year! (Sarasota County public schools only need to do this 4 times). I feel that there is a higher than average of special needs students here, and it seems that the ESE department only makes suggestions but provides no actual help. I have heard about over a dozen teachers let go, and I don't think any of them were ever observed. At the middle school level, teachers are expected to teach specials in addition to their core subject. No extra compensation and little planning time overall. I feel that the founder only cares about working miracles with the "problem" students, and does not appear to be concerned that this inordinate amount of time spent on one student detracts from the other students. New teachers are also expected to take online Montessori classes created by the founder. I spent one whole day every weekend working on this. I like the philosophy but I feel like I have no time to breathe.
In my 14 years of teaching, 2 of which have been at Island Village Montessori School, I have never worked in a better Montessori school than this. The Head of School is a great driving force here who embodies the principles of Maria Montessori. The support for both students and staff here is second to none. I have taught in 3 Montessori schools in England and 2 in Florida:Sarasota and Venice. I couldn't be happier in this school.
After attending the Island Village Preschool for years, the elementary school left a lot to be desired, My daughter came out of the preschool ready to learn and excel in Kindergarten. Unfortunately she went backwards for the first half of the year. Walking in a number of times, and seeing her sitting on the floor, doing absolutely nothing was appaling. When I addressed my conerns -a number of times, I got a head nod and no action from the teachers or the staff. The number of children with special needs are extremely high in the regular classroom setting, which requires all of the teachers attention. When requesting a different classroom, one of the office staff said to me, and I quote "well, there are 36 children in that classroom, I guess we can start hanging them from the ceilings!" Disgraceful! Needless to say, she won't return.
This is such a disappointing school. My children have grown up in Montessori Schools. This is not a true Montessori School..it is like a daycare center. The student behavior is horrible, and classroom time is spent on discipline, not learning. My child has wasted an academic year. The teachers in some of the grades are unresponsive to parents and actually quite combative. I would urge parents to spend a lot of time observing and speaking to other parents before enrolling a child in this school. I have never written a negative review before, however, the horrible experience that I had made me want to save other concerned parents the same outcome.
The teachers and staff are great. I have two daughters that attend IVMS and they love it there. Their educational goals for the school and my daughters are wonderful.
I am so pleased with our family's experience at IVMS. Our son was initially placed in a clasroom that I didn't think would work for him, so the placement director put him in the 'little house' where our son has flourished! The teachers (all five of them!) have facilitated such positive personal growth in my son that I hardly recognize the person he is at the end of the year compared with the anxious, shy little boy he was in the beginning of the year. Academically he has grown so much. I am a teacher and I value this exceptional school and its exceptional teachers so much. My husband and I moved from California to put our son in this school and we consider ourselves fortunate to have a Montessori education for free!
Island Village Montessori School is a great Montessori Charter school. I still can't believe it is free. What a privilege for all that embrace this way of being. The academic program is strong in that it allows the child to learn and grow at his or her own pace. The principal is excellent in that she listens and responds to the needs of the individual. She is a strong leader who allows children, parents and staff to be who they are. The art department is strong and music is good. Parent involvement is always encouraged. The students have a wide variety in their curriculum which is refreshing. The older students help the younger students. The faculty is good, but interviewing is key. Not every teacher is the perfect fit for your child. Observe, listen, ask questions and get involved. I think Maria Montessori would be proud! Go IVMS!
From what I have seen and observed, this school does not seem to fully embrace Maria Montessori's vision and purposes in her method of teaching.
Poor academic standards. Leadership is evasive, nonexistent, the atmosphere punitive and non-supportive. All in all a waste of an academic year - our first and last here.
Overall, I have been very pleased with the education my children have received at Island Village. My children are intelligent and self-motivators. These are keys to their success. A montessori education is not for everyone, but it works well for my children. The teacher quality, however, can vary from classroom to classroom so it is very important to know how the teacher teaches and whether or not that teacher's philosophy and teaching style fit your children. The school requires parents to be very involved in their education.
Wow! i am soooo glad that we found this school. Island village offers a free montessori education to children residing in three counties. As a publicly funded charter school - it has offered our family an outstanding opportunity to provide our kids with an exceptional education. There are great opportunities to be involved through their parent action committee and i am constantly amazed at the dedication of the faculty and staff! this is a definate 'must see' if you live in the manatee, sarasota, or charlotte counties!
Island Village is a positive, nurturing place where students learn and grow in a positive and challenging environment. My child has grown in so many ways during his time there. He excels in many areas, and receives the extra help he needs in the areas he is not as strong in. If your child enjoys hands-on learning, check this school out. Oh yes, the principal is awesome, she works way too hard.
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