I have 3 children at Riverstone and I am extremely unpleased with the level of education I am paying for. Primary is fine, they have 2 lead teachers and an assistant teacher for about 30 kids. Great. The issue is with the lower elementary class. They have 38 kids, 1 lead teacher and 1 assistant teacher. The assistant teacher also uses the classroom as a daycare because her toddler daughter comes to work with her daily. It is impossible for her to focus on the needs of our kids when she has to give her undivided attention to her own infant child who roams freely amongst the active 6-9 year olds. I guess there were a lot of complaints about it and the school decided to hire another assistant teacher but only part time as if it rectify the issue if students were not getting the educational support that us hardworking parents are paying for. Bottom line, this school is not concerned with the education of the kids as they pretend during the recruitment period, only making money. That is evident in the student teacher ratio with the lower elementary class.
I am thankful every day for Riverstone Montessori. I have three children at RMA (ages 7, 6, and 4) and have been thrilled with the school. I am daily impressed with what they have learned there. My seven year old tells me new science facts all the time, and my six year old can name every state in the USA and most countries in other continents. I don't know why other reviews have said this school isn't very Montessori, because that is not what I have found. I sought it out specifically for its AMI certification and it is more true to the Montessori method than most of the other schools I've looked at. My oldest child spent her kindergarten year in public school and I was very unhappy with the experience, which is what prompted me to look at RMA. My kids have loved every moment of their two years there and I am extremely happy with the results.
This school is so bad. It's a joke. The kids aren't learning anything. We've done Montessori before, but these people want your money and nothing else. Put your kids here if you want, they do a good job of socializing them I guess, but expect to spend money on tutors or time AND money on workbooks if you want your kids to learn anything.
If you have a child that doesn't like some particular subject - math, or even reading - they won't be doing any of that subject at Riverstone. My daughter didn't like reading going into 1st grade, so she didn't do any of it; we had to make a huge effort over summer to even try to catch her up. We loved primary, here, but elementary was a huge waste of money. Another parent I know, her daughter was FAILED back into 1st grade when she took an admissions test at another school (in reading and math only) because she didn't like math so she didn't do any of it last year (she had tested as average at the end of the previous year). Bottom line: if your kid's interests are balanced, they'll have fun and learn plenty. If they dislike some subject, don't send them here. They'll have fun, but they won't get an education.
My daughter is in her second year in the Primary classroom. It is amazing to wake up to a child excited to go to school. She may not verbally express all that she is learning, but we we see her progression daily. She will pick up a book or sound out a word on her own, and I am quite sure she knows more Spanish than I do. I believe this is the perfect place for our daughter.
Our daughter has been in Riverstone Elementary program for 3 years and is working far above grade level as well as all her friends there that we know well. Especially in math, she is tested at least 2 grades levels ahead. One of our friends who came to Riverstone from another school had to get some tutoring to catch her kid up to all the other kids, but RMA teachers helped with that.
The primary program is great, but elementary students get ignored. We loved primary, and saw great progress, but in elementary next to no learning seems to have happened. My son has problems with basic computation that are now far behind grade level, and when I went to Kumon on Dallas highway this last Tuesday I met FOUR other parents, one with kids in middle school, all with the same problem. Ask the Kumon instructor, Riverstone kids come in all the time with math problems. This is not the education I was paying for. I refuse to tell the school before the year ends, because I don't want it to damage my son's education, but we won't be returning. You shouldn't either.
As a parent, we always want to make the best decisions for our children, as we sometimes second guess those decisions. When your child does not want to be late, miss a day or leave when the school day ends, you are assured the choice you made was a GREAT choice. My son has attended RMA for 2 yrs and my only wish is that it continue through the 12th grade. He had a 4yr Montessori background, and RMA continue that experience through his education.Expanded it with broader social skills, unique daily experiences, and saturated positive exposure. I am a proud parent of a happy and thriving student of RMA.
Excellent program - uses the same proven method that has been successful for years - teaches children all the content public school does - allows children to express themselves creatively using approaches that speak to them while learning more about the art / culture / science that inspired these methods - preaches tolerance and inclusion providing a safe haven for all children - motivates children to learn and take responsibility for their own assignments through positive reinforcement - in addition to more traditional methods, uses practical exercises (e.g., cooking) to teach principles of science (chemical reactions, biology), physics, etc.