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PK-8
Private
Decatur, GA
Students enrolled: 291
 

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2998 Lavista Road
Decatur, GA 30033

(404) 321-9304
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Map of Arbor Montessori address.
Amount of homework: Not enough
July 22, 2015
There needed to be homework in Middle School that was supportive of what happened in class. The middle school did not seem to have a clear goal of what it was teaching and I did not feel it prepared our child for high school. We heard the same statement from other parents and the tutors of multiple students from middle school.

- submitted by a parent
Teacher effectiveness: Ineffective
July 22, 2015
While there has been high teacher turn over, that isn't the only reason for teachers not being effective. If your child isn't liked by the admin or the teacher, or they have a minor LD (with parents being very proactive in supporting child) , then forget it. The admin hires teachers they "like" not teachers who really are qualified or will work hard to support the children. Most of the students have a tutor. Either the tutor who works on campus (that should tell you something right there) who seems to not be much help to students, or the students have a private math/science/language tutor (we have one now who also tutored several Arbor students and they all have the same math issues after 8th grade). I can say that there is one Lower Elem teacher who is actually good, she has been there a while and is nice and tries very hard. But the rest of the teachers could be there because they are family, friends, or just plain "fit the Arbor ideal" but that doesn't mean they can teach.

- submitted by a parent

July 22, 2015
While we believe in the Montessori method of education, we found that Arbor was not responsive to the child or to parents. If the Admin doesn't like the parents, watch out. Having a child who is bullied will get little to no response from Admin or teachers. There were incidents of sexual harassment of girls by boys (yes, it happened in 6th and 7th grade) and very little was done about it. Girls would bully and exclude on a regular basis. Our experience was that teachers either were unwilling or did not know how to support children with LD. Other parents also experienced the school giving push back. No child is going to be perfect, so schools need to understand how to support children who have minor learning differences. We were Arbor parents from the start and went through Middle....and now we are out and do not miss it. Be prepared to pay for a tutor in math, explain important language/grammar concepts, and make sure your child learns about science. Lower Elementary is great, Upper Elementary needs teachers who have experience and understand that the children need more repetition and application of concepts. Middle school...well, as my child told me, and as we experienced on a parent night, the math teacher went too fast, had no patience, had no idea how to teach to any student who did not get it the first time. The other teachers had a lack of communication with parents about how the child was doing. And yes, our child has an LD, and now is in the top of traditional school classes across the board. Not because of Arbor, but in spite of Arbor. We paid tutors and worked after school with our child. We did not realize this fact until 6th grade, and hoped Middle School would be better and were disappointed. In response to parents who are upset that Arbor would suggest their child needed to obtain an evaluation due to struggling in class. That is what teachers are supposed to do. IF a child is having a hard time then the teacher needs to know why so that the teacher can make accommodations or the parents will need to seek out additional support so the child can do well. That is not an Arbor issue, and all private schools will ask for the parents to pay for one of these because only PUBLIC schools do them for free. It is better to have the evaluation done and your child being supported in school rather than hiding from the issue and the child fails.

- submitted by a parent

May 18, 2015
We found the administration to be quite responsive whenever we had concerns, though the overriding approach is often to "neuter" parents and to defensively defend the pedagogy based on ideology rather than actual student learning. Several new teachers recently hired are, quite frankly, not good enough. You'll find much better elsewhere. We found the approach increasingly ideological. For example, a new teacher told parents that Arbor does not recommend revealing test scores to students and asked parents to not discuss them with their child (a previous, more experienced teacher simply said that each family has its own way of discussing test scores and encouraged sensitivity to others). Another newer teacher told us it was "up to the child" to apply spelling rules. It is unfortunate that such a warm, nurturing place is moving in this direction and will, no doubt, lose more students and whatever credibility it still has in Atlanta's independent school community.

- submitted by a parent

May 13, 2015
We did not find a child-centered educational approach at Arbor. The physical environment is child-friendly, but we generally found that the teachers do not have the experience or the capacity (due to large class sizes) to meet the child at his/her level. For children who learn well from interacting mainly with educational materials, Arbor may be a good choice. The tuition is lower than most secular private schools in Atlanta, the classrooms are bright and airy, the grounds are nice. For children who do not learn well from materials, and need to discuss concepts as they re learning them, question what they don't understand, and explore new ideas, Montessori is not a good approach. Unfortunately, many of the teachers at Arbor do not have any other tools in their toolbox, and are not trained or willing to recognize when their approach is failing. Instead they will suggest that you spend thousands of $'s to "identify" and "fix" your child's learning issues. We have also found that emotional bullying is a problem, which is either ignored, blamed on the victim, or mildly addressed with ineffective methods. For girls, the general attitude is girls will be girls .

- submitted by a parent

May 04, 2015
High teacher turnover makes this a tough time for Arbor. Look at teacher backgrounds and you'll see many of them all went to the same colleges. Friends and parents are hired as teachers. The school is more concerned about re-building its faculty than student learning and teacher competency. The school will tell you about all the kids who go on to other private and public schools successfully, but if you talk to the tutors and parents of those who went on and struggled because they didn't learn writing mechanics, math or science (all weaknesses at Arbor), they will tell you you'll have a lot of catching up to do.

- submitted by a parent

May 04, 2015
The problem with Arbor is that if you continue through the upper elementary and middle school program and decide to leave, your child will not be competitive applying to other good schools. No transcripts, no standard grades-- even the schools that "understand" Montessori will not take you as seriously as other applicants. Many parents are finding this out the hard way, particularly now that application numbers are up significantly around Atlanta. Admissions teams will say, "Where's the transcript?" It will be clear to you that your child's academic achievements are not taken as seriously as those from traditional schools. The upper year academics are considered "soft." I agree with other reviewers that for little kids, the Montessori method is second-to-none. But the problem is, where do you go from there? Run, do not walk from upper year programs at this antiquated school.

- submitted by a community member

April 29, 2015
A fantastic school for the lower years and a very weak academic school after about Grade 4. High teacher turnover, hiring friends and family to teach rather than those with subject matter expertise and demonstrated teaching effectiveness seems to be the way here. No real meaningful measurement and evaluation in the upper years 5-middle school and extreme defensiveness if children are not learning basic things like math and science. Outmoded, but again, just wonderful in those early years of discovery for the child.

- submitted by a parent

April 21, 2015
Arbor's administration lacks good communication skills and treats any parent with a question as an adversary. They refuse to listen to the parent Board. They play favorites with the children of their friends/friends of their children. They do not deal well with bullying behavior, especially in girls, relying on outdated and widely disregarded methods such as mediation between bully and bullied child. If you decide that your child needs a different learning environment, the school will torch your child's recommendations. As everything is subjective, their version of your child's abilities will be all you have to show for many years of time, money, and energy you and your child have poured into his education. The classroom materials are adequate, but the facilities are outdated and overcrowded both inside and out. They have not adequately prepared for growth or change. There remain a couple of dedicated, skilled teachers, and if you get one of them, your child will have a beautiful experience in that one classroom. The school has had a very high rate of teacher turnover in the past 3-4 years to date. This instability further accentuates the administration's shortcomings.

- submitted by a parent

April 16, 2015
The poor spelling and lack of almost any punctuation in the student review below should tell you all you need to know about the academic standards lacking in the upper program at this school. Buyer beware.

- submitted by a parent

July 23, 2014
Arbor montessori is an ok school. There's an issue with there system they advertise freedom for the adolescent program. The issue is there isn't a lot of freedom at all and honestly the 8th grade math teaching skills aren't great and she is not very supportive we are treated like 5 year olds sometimes and I think they need a lot of help with some things and there is also an issue with bullying and it's troubling they let things get out of control I wouldn't recommend the school

- submitted by a community member

September 23, 2013
Arbor Montessori School. If you did not attend a Montesori school as a kid, the Montessori approach is different from what you know. Arbor does a great job explaining and displaying the teaching approach for the different age groups. All the teachers work hard to educate the children. Along with the parent involvement, the Arbor community is great and inviting. If we have more kids, they will go to Arbor

- submitted by a parent

September 23, 2013
After being at this school for primary through first year of middle school, we can note the following strengths: promotes enthusiasm for learning (our kids HATE to miss school), promotes independent and critical thinking skills, promotes compassion. We would do it all over again!

- submitted by a parent

September 17, 2013
Arbor provides an incredibly rich learning environment for children of all ages. The primary class curriculum is amazing and it just gets better from there. Love Montessori, and love Arbor!

- submitted by a parent

September 16, 2013
Despite the rhetoric thrown around by media pundits, there is no one-size fits all education solution. And this is exactly why Arbor Montessori has provided excellent education for my two children who have very different learning styles. For my "big-picture" learner, movement through elementary in into the adolescent program has enhanced her focus and strengthened her courage to experiment with disciplines in which she does not naturally excel. My "sweat-the-small-stuff" child is being nurtured to include empathy and patience alongside justice in her repertoire of tools for learning. No school is perfect, and misunderstandings sometimes arise. When I assert an alternative viewpoint at Arbor, I find teachers and staff willing to listen and willing to learn from my experience as well as to share their insights. The respectful environment at Arbor is very much aligned with Maria Montessori's assertion: Our care of the child should be governed, not by the desire to make him learn things, but by the endeavor always to keep burning within him that light which is called intelligence.

- submitted by a parent

September 10, 2013
This is our fourth year at Arbor with one child in upper elementary (4th through 6th) and one in lower elementary (1st through 3rd). Having the same teacher for 3 years really nurtures a strong relationship between student/ teacher as well as the entire family! Here, the whole child is cultivated, not just academically, but also supports social and emotional needs. The grounds are beautifully and thoughtfully maintained, including class gardens and even beekeeping at the middle school level. With extensive outdoor programs and multi-level geographic research, Arbor does a great job at exposing our children to environmental and global mindfulness.

- submitted by a parent

September 10, 2013
Arbor Montessori is one of the premier Montessori schools in Atlanta, and with good reason. They are passionate about Montessori education. Our children love going to school every day and are disappointed when summer time comes. We have two children who started in the primary program and are now in 5th and 2nd grades. We have found the school to be accommodating to our specific needs (ADHD and reading difficulty) and have tailored our children's education accordingly. While the Montessori method is strict and not for everyone, we have found it to be a wonderful fit for our children.

- submitted by a parent

September 10, 2013
Arbor is a fantastic place for children to grow and learn in a very nurturing, but academically strong environment. Children excel because they love learning!!!

- submitted by a parent

July 18, 2012
LOVE IT. Arbor is truly a place of peace and kindness to all. The admin team and teachers are passionate about what they do. They don't 'DO' Montessori they 'ARE' Montessori

- submitted by a teacher

May 29, 2012
Our daughter just finished her first year at Arbor in the LaVista primary class and we cannot say enough good things about the school Although we wanted to continue our daughter in a Montessori school, Arbor has further sparked her desire to learn and become engaged in the classroom. Arbor is also good at encouraging parent involvement - - whether in the classroom, in committees, or at a Board level. You will always be welcome. We look forward to several more years at Arbor.

- submitted by a parent

April 01, 2012
We are very happy with Arbor. Our daughter is 4. She is reading, working on math, writing in cursive and print. She holds her pencil correctly too. She is learning about the world & important figures through history. She also has opportunities to cook, draw, and appreciate nature. She has wonderful teachers that encourage & challenge her. Montessori is kind of like the Karate Kid. Its based on building blocks. They start out working with tools that will prepare them for other lessons later on. People should definitely check Arbor out. You will be impressed.

- submitted by a parent

March 09, 2012
Arbor is the epitome of a school community. In our family's view, Arbor is at the pinnacle of what a strong school+teacher+parent community should be -- with a central focus on doing what is best for the child. Arbor is deeply rooted in the Montessori method of educating children, which seeks to allow each child to pursue their own pathway to embed a lifelong love of learning. Our family has been deeply engaged in the school since joining in 2010. The teachers we have experienced have been terrific educators and allow for great parental interaction. Ditto for the administrators. The parental involvement really helps to complete the circle. It is just the right size (about 300 children) to have the resources of a large school, but is small enough to allow for deep engagement w/ other parents or your child's classroom. From a value perspective, Arbor is a non-profit & tuition is extremely reasonable by private school standards in Atlanta. If you are seeking a Montessori education for your children, then Arbor is a great place to start. If you are not sure about Montessori, then Google "Montessori Madness" & watch the video. Or, go sit on a classroom to see why Arbor works.

- submitted by a parent

February 16, 2012
We enrolled at Arbor Montessori when our oldest child entered first grade (she attended primary at another Montessori school). Since Day 1 we have been so impressed with the teachers, administration and parent community. Our children LOVE to go to school. The teachers passion for teaching, enthusiasm, experience and commitment is unmatched. If you want an outstanding and authentic Montessori experience, Arbor is the place.

- submitted by a parent

May 02, 2011
When I moved to Atlanta I hoped to enroll my 4 YO in a Montessori school based on recs from my 2 sisters (both teachers). I was advised by Arbor admin to attend the parent information classes and did so, a long day. But on submission I was informed my child was "too old" for Arbor, and although she had attended a Montessori-like program that was not sufficient. One teacher recommended I try other "less stringent" Montessori schools. OK... they have rules. But imagine my chagrin when a co-worker reported his older 4 YO had been accepted to Arbor!! It seemed clear to me that financial situations speak volumes at Arbor. I hear it is a good school, but needless to say I am not a fan.

- submitted by a community member

March 10, 2010
Arbor is a great school! It's a nurturing educational environment, and has top notch teachers and staff. My son is in his fourth year. He loves school and loves learning. I am amazed by the progress he's making. We couldn't be happier!

- submitted by a parent

January 11, 2010
My son was at Arbor for one year, and we pulled him out after we realized that the Montessori approach, especially in this very strict style school was not a good fit for him or for our family. Overall, communication, lack of creative outlets for play and art, odd and negative social dynamics of teacher and older children with younger children were reasons things did not work out. My advice is, trust you instincts, and if things are not working, don't be afraid to pull your child out!

- submitted by a parent

November 23, 2009
We did not have a great experience at Arbor Montessori. Our child was in the Primary classroom, and we switched schools this year. Positives: Montessori method; diverse student body. Negatives: Student / teacher ratio even at the youngest levels; communication; flexibility to accomodate the learning styles of all children. Montessori was not the right method for our child - not Arbor's fault. We felt liked we had a wall versus a partner when discussing educational requirements / options for our child. In essence, it felt as if our child 'failed' Montessori - which I did not think was possible in a child-centric approach.

- submitted by a parent

October 12, 2009
Such a wonderful school! I'm so glad that my children love to come to school everyday. The staff, teachers and parents help to contribute to a strong sense of community. The teachers nuture each child's gifts while achieving a strong academic foundation. The classes are beautiful and welcoming. I never cease to be amazed by the Montessori curriculum and materials. Truly breathtaking! My family is blessed to have found Arbor! Hmmm...hey one star parent...when is it ever ok to come to school in anything other than daytime clothing? My pjs, no costumes...just clothing...Montessori prepares children for life and life isn't wearing whatever you want to school (or work). Sounds like the match wasn't right for you and that isn't Arbor's fault.

- submitted by a parent
no rating
October 04, 2009
It is an extraordinary educational system that meets the child where they are in order to promote life-long independent, and thriving lives!

- submitted by a parent

November 06, 2008
Our daughter (almost 3 yrs.) was placed in the N. Decatur location. At first she and we loved it, but as weeks went by, it was very obvious to us that the dynamics in the classroom for our daughter were not a great fit. She picked up numerous negative attitudes from the older children, became very self conscious or what she was wearing and how her hair was done- at age 2 and 3/4! She thrived very much on the materials, but the social aspect of the classroom proved to be draining on her. She was also never very comfortable with her teacher- who was quite dry. She was even pulled out of class for choosing to come to school in a set of pajamas that she loved. Half parents seemed overly competitive and not very genuine. If there is a mismatch between a teacher and student, you're out of luck!

- submitted by a parent

June 11, 2008
My child just finished her 1st year at Arbor. She is in the Primary Class (she's 4). Arbor is a wonderful school. The teachers really care for each of the children as individuals and work to bring out their potential. The tuition is HIGH, but we're confident that this is a good investment in her future. The classrooms are clean, well organized and orderly (not a small feat with 25 little ones). It's been a joy to watch the children learn and build a community together.

- submitted by a parent
no rating
January 27, 2008
This school is amazing. The children enjoy learning. The student look forward to school everyday.

- submitted by a teacher

November 04, 2004
This is a wonderful school! I have been associated with Arbor Montessori for nine years and feel very fortunate to have this school as an option for my children. Although the monthly tuitions range rather high, the education the students recieve is uncomparable. This school promotes diversity and independence. Starting off teaching toddlers to clean up after themselves, cook, arts, sports, Spanish and gradually over the years to be completely self efficient, Arbor educates kids in fields other than academics. One of the best qualities of this school is that children teach themselves through experience or study. They are not foced to learn but develop their own need to for knowledge. Studies are followed with real hands-on experience so that the children understand not just mentally how things work but physically. This school encourages awareness of the environment and around world. A very good school that prepares your child for life.

- submitted by a parent

November 04, 2004
I am currently in the middle school class, but I have been at Arbor since I was three. Parents rarely hear kids say this, but my friends and I really enjoy going to school, we actually WANT be in class! The middle school teaches us how to do business and cook by having cofeehouses and selling pizza to the students, to give back and help the environment by recycling and doing community services, and has great sports like crosscountry, track, basketball and soccer. I also really like how we take trips. We learn how Native Americans lived and practice archery, tree climbing, connoe rowing and identify wild greens. Also, we have end of year trips to Coasta Rica and Boston. We (the students) are in charge of ourselves. It's great how we're so independent and don't have to sit in desks everyday. We can socialize!!!! And learn at the same time!

- submitted by a student

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Arbor Montessori
2998 Lavista Road, Decatur, GA  30033
(404) 321-9304
Last modified Arbor Montessori is a Private school that serves grades PK-8
Arbor Montessori Rating: 3 out of 5 based on 39 reviews. Top