The school would be good if it weren't for a few things- 1) the teachers are not highly qualified, many have very little experience 2) the most devoted people in the classroom are the parent volunteers! (who are great, but I wish I could see the same level of dedication from the teachers) 3)poor communication with parents and nit-picky policies Also, while their Montessori model has many strong points, they need to step up the teaching of basic academics. A free, public school education shouldn't do a better job of teaching kids to read than such a well-reputed private school. Other private schools seem to do a much better job of giving kids a well-rounded education, and developing positive relationships with the parents.
As other have noted, this is a hidden gem of a school. Not only does it provide a true Montessori educational expeience, but it does it through a truely gifted staff and a warm caring appoach to student development. My two daughters went there. I am pleased that they have turned out like other Montessori Community School graduates whom I admired before enrolling my children there. MCS children are confident, but not brash. They respect living things and other cultures. They thirst for knowledge and understanding. They respect the rules of society and life, but step out of the box with creativity and purpose. They are strong readers and the ones whom I observe excell academically. If not directly attributable to their experience at MCS, a certain outgrowth of their experience there is that my children have a passion for life.
My sons have attended this school for three years. As a result, they are articulate, creative, happy and love learning. My five-year old is reading, his brother is an avid artist. Additionally, they are confident and independent young boys. We have always received compliments from strangers about their abilities.
MCS is a marvelous school. The Montessori method is invaluable in developing independent and inquisitive minds, and the MCS teachers are tops. Both of my children attended MCS, and gained so much from their time there, as students and as people.
I had 2 kids go through MCS. It is without a doubt the best Pre-K through 6th grade program on the island. Children are taught independence, responsibilty and innovation. I feel this curriculum combined with the the outstanding teachers and 'Montessori' materials, is the best program to prepare children for today's world.
Montessori is wonderful when properly executed. One would assume that a school with AMS accreditation would excel. Unfortunately that is not the case. Pre-K programs are well staffed and surrounded by splendid play areas. It quickly deteriorates in elementary. Outdoors, a bleak asphalt square boasts one very small play structure. Children are taught independence . But only if they do what everyone else does. Innovation is discouraged as disruptive. Questions are not encouraged (and often go unanswered). Children are not given time to absorb materials in the true Montessori fashion. Children's skill levels have been severely misevaluated. It seems like the teachers don t really know the children they teach. Last year, several families decided to move their children to other schools. They were concerned that the curriculum was not challenging enough. Communication with parents is problematic. There are plenty of fund-raising requests. But the workings of the administration are very secretive.
We love the 2 year old program that our daughter went through. She graduated to the 3-6 program and it was very good as well; however, there is such fierce competition with the private schools that they tend to lose the 6 year olds and have a large class of 3 and 4 year olds, which loses a little of the Montessori value. But overall, we've been very happy with the school.