We transferred our 1st grader from a private school to Oscar Mayer this school year and could not be happier with the results! The Montessori approach has been a perfect fit for our son, who is a more hands-on learner. The teachers are dedicated, supportive and responsive. Ironically his class size (26) is the same as it would have been in his private school, plus every EL1 class (1st - 3rd grades) has an assistant, so his student/teacher ratio is low (13:1). The parents seem very involved and welcoming! We also love the sense of community that revolves around the school. There are a lot of opportunties to get involved and Friends of Mayer is very committed towards fundraising to keep OM one of the most sought-after schools in CPS.
We have just transferred our child from another excellent LP elementary school, purely because of moving into the Mayer boundaries. We also have a child in the Early Childhood program. So far, we are really very happy with the school. The teachers are friendly, dedicated and responsive, the parent body very committed to creating a topnotch school, and the initiatives to develop the children into leaders and caring individuals, truly impressive. Yes, it has taken a while to adjust to the Montessori way (totally new to us), and possibly more difficult for some children to adjust to smaller groups of same-grade kids in their class (mine is an example), but I believe the benefits of what they learn outweighs this. The current Greatschools ratings and descriptions are not reflective of the reality in the school. I predict a big change in the test scores and ratings this year.
Well, Oscar Mayer is OK. I am a student who is in 7th grade. Many of us upper grade kids feel that the whole school revolves around Montessori. We feel as if we get less attention for our needs, such as we need to change our schedule many times for the little kids nap time. Every year we need to donate money. There are no upgrades for the older kids. All the upgrades go to Montessori. There are like 15 Montessori classrooms but 3 7th and 8th classrooms. There are split grades. That sucks. The only thing that doesn't make it a terrible school are the out of state trips.
We just moved from the suburbs to the city and Oscar Mayer is our "neighborhood public school". We LOVE it! My kids have adjusted really well. Their teachers are wonderful and the parent involvement is overwhelmingly cool! :)
This is our first year here and we are continually disappointed with how the school is run. Yes, many parents are happy, but that seems to be because they have children that "fit the mold" & have acclimated to the classroom without problem. I have a higher needs child & instead of giving mindful focus to her good qualities in order to bring them out, focus is on behaviors that are undesirable for school (yet still completely age appropriate) and are dealt with negative reactions that include threats and punitive punishment. We wanted our child to attend Montessori so her spirit could be nurtured, but instead, our 3 year old has faced a variety of non-nurturing emotions ranging from disappointment, abandonment, discomfort and isolation. Since starting school, our once happy child now calls herself "bad" & has exhibited a series of behaviors related to stress including nail biting and bed wetting. Other behaviors that we would only see occasionally, like hitting and nonsense talk, have increased. Majority of faculty is very young and inexperienced. Instead of looking for the root/cause of a behavior to help children having a problem, they seem to view the child as a problem.
I am a parent of 2 kids at Oscar Mayer in the 3-6 year classroom. So far, it's been terrific. I understand the Montessori system very well. OM does a good job with it. Some issues I'd like to address: Class room size: The class rooms are a bit small, and yes, the kids sometimes do their work in the hallway - this is NOT a big deal, as I know of another private school Montessori that does the same thing. Class size - This is tricky. remember, in the 1st class room, the 3-6 class, there's going to be a need for a solid child-to-teacher ratio, however due to CPS regulations, it is sometimes difficult. OM does a solid job, using assistants, and sometimes special needs assistants to help out. It is a tough situation, but OM is doing the best they can given their resources. Diversity: This makes me laugh. I'm not white. Here's the deal, if you want the school to be successful, you NEED the neighborhood to fill all its spots. Have you seen the LP Neighborhood that OM is in? It's 90% white, but here's the deal, the parents are educated, middle to upper class, and work pretty hard. That's really what you want, I think. Ok, I think the school is great. I hope it continues!
I'm an 8 year old currently attending the third grade.So far each and every teacher I've had has been excellent especially my current one Ms.Sankey who I'm starting my third year with. The parents and principal have been great!