With 9 years in and 6 to go before our youngest finishes, we continue to be amazed and impressed at what a wonder place NNM is. We feel truly privileged to be able to give this experience to our children.
Most people love montessori for little kids, but now that my children are in middle school, I can assure you that montessori is even better as children grow into adolescence. Unlike stories I've heard from friends with children at other schools, my children literally RUN into the school when I drop them off in the morning. My children are age 9 and up and they LOVE school. What more could I ask for? Looking ahead, I recently saw the list of high schools where our students have been accepted over the past few years and it was impressive -- mostly selective enrollment and top-tier schools. We are very grateful to be a part of this supportive, soulful community.
My family was a part of NNMS for over 12 years. It has been & continues to be the best experience we could have had as a family pursuing a unique academic experience. I have observed that when parents do NOT partner with the school, but seek to impose thier own academic understanding to this proven Montessori approach, they tend to be disappointed. I have never felt that my children were compelled to compete, except with themselves. The one brilliant gift that NNMS gave my chlldren was thier own unique sense of curiosity and nutured in them a sincere desire to learn. My husband and I put ourselves into the hands of the gifted and caring individuals, the teachers, directors, office and maintenance staff. We always felt in true partnership with NNMS and our children have grown into thinkers and doers, still eager to learn and teach! Bravo!!
Montessori education focuses on creating a healthy community that teaches children not just how to take tests but how to live productively in this changing world. Near North is the best of the best in the Montessori world, a national showcase. Teachers are guides, not lecturers, children are leaders and the home life is integrated with the education. It is a beautiful way to learn and grow up. It's hard to consider standard education when you see the depth of learning that goes on at Near North.
Wonderful place to spend your days. Incredible staff, amazing teachers, fortunate children and cool parents.
My four children went to NNM and it was a great experience for each of them.
I am kicking myself for not checking this page earlier - I wondered if I was all alone. I absolutely agree with the other reviewers comments noted below. The executive staff do not seem to practice what they preach, which is problematic for the Community as a whole, but it definitely trickles down to the kids as well. I'm considering other alternatives.
This is a great school. The Montessori method is finely tuned at this school. It is a happy place, with creative kids that have fun and enjoy learning. The parents are very friendly. The facility is being improved, thanks to generous parents. The administration is in transition but seems to be doing well. There is no doubt though that the school succeeds because of the outstanding teachers very committed folks. My only concern is that the fees are getting higher in a souring economy and some families have to move. Because of the long waiting list, it doesn t ultimately hurt the school finances, but it is unfortunate.
We have 3 children at NNMS and couldn't be happier. Yes, the school has been undergoing some growing pains, but I am thrilled that my kids can have all the benefits of an authentic montessori education while also being part of a community big enough to participate in sports like basketball, swimming, volleyball, etc. The music program is also outstanding. I think they have 3 different bands beginning in 4th grade!! And the children can take their lesson during the school day which is terrific...the after-school activities are also amazing. Most importantly, our children aren't overloaded with homework every day so they go to school eager to learn and are always coming up with new experiments and research projects....beginning in 1st grade! I also find the school population to be increasingly diverse...which is hard to find in a private school. We love it!
We sent two kids all the way through NNM. There were many times we thought about changing schools for academic reasons, but we didn't because we really like the school community. In hind sight, we should have. Its a great school for kids who would be inclined to do well in school anywhere, but sorely lacking for anyone who is not naturally gifted. Most disappointing was the jr. high. Stakes are high in the Chicago HS derby. NNM responds by focusing on the top students to make sure they 'get in', while neglecting the others. Administration is quixotic and sets a very poor example of fair and rationale behavior -- again, Jr high. Others are too young to pick up on this, but Jr high kids have a heightened sense of 'justice'. Lots of lost learning opportunities. Take Away Lesson: 'sometimes life just isn't fair.'
Another reviewer took the words right out of my mouth. The changes in the school are extremely detrimental. Especially the executive staff members. It is becoming an authoritarian establishment- very un-Montessori. In my belief the school has become too high on it's success and now seems to want only children that fit a mold. I have been an active parent within the school community and most the staff is exceptional but once you need to deal with the executive staff or parent board things get very political, inflexible, and sometimes down right mean. Our search is on for a new school but we will miss the truly wonderful parents and kids there.
I was a student at Near North for many years and at a different Montessori school before that. I would strongly recommend sending your child there. It was a great experience and I have learned more here than I did in high school. The teachers are great. The principal knows almost all the students and parents names. The most important thing in your child s education is getting involved. It really makes a difference. I wish NNM went up to high school. There is before and after school, so parents can go to work. I will hope to send my children there some day.
NNMS is one of the best kept secrets in all of Chicago. The community of parents, children and teachers create a tremendous learning environment that cannot be matched. Children emerge from that environment as responsible, engaged, well-balanced, respectful and curious lifelong learners.
While I love the teachers and the programs, it's administration I have a HUGE issue with. In the past few years there have been a couple changes that have really impacted the feel of the school. The current administration is making the school too sports-orientated and competative with the testing and the sports and that is not what Montessori is about. Many families who have been there for years have recently pulled their children out. My child is almost done there, but I think I may be pulling her out before then. The teachers and assistants are wonderful, however.
we are a moroccan family. our daughter have been going to near north for three years. we did search a lot of schools before deciding and this one and we feel that we are very lucky to be part of such welcoming community. we praise her teacher and the assistants for their kindness, support and commitment. our daughter is happy where she is and we couldn't ask for more!
I have been going to this school since I was two years old, now it is time for me to graduate, I am excited to go to High School but am sad to leave this great place. Although I am a little bummed that the year that I am an eigth grade is the year that the administration decided to turn into 'experiment year', I will tough it out. We do lack diversity I have to say. The staff here has always been around to help me and I have always been grateful of this. The teachers really do pay attention to each student indiviudaly. Over all I think this school is wonderful, but I am ready for my next step in life.
We are an African-American family and have 2 children attending Near North; the 3rd starts in Sept. We would never leave this school. In terms of preparing our children academically, we could not have asked for a better program. Each child receives individualized work at the proper level so they remain challenged and interested. The social environment is great and the parental involvement in the school is key to it's success. I feel that there are many activities, speakers, performers, field trips, etc. that expose the children to different nationalities, customs and beliefs. The school is located in the heart of Chicago where cultural learning opportunites are abound...Museums, libraries, theater... so I feel that it is the parents duty to also do their part outside of school to reinforce any religious or cultural beliefs of the family. Also...please, get a clear understanding of Montessori before you apply!
This school has impressed me with its dedication to socioeconomic and racial diversity. It's a big school, so it's hard to please everyone, but there is definitely a sense that diversity, in every sense,is important to parents and staff and there are great things going on to accomplish these goals. I attended the diversity book club meetings this year and they were great! Individual classrooms have also done some wonderful cultural celebrations, and the plays that children do (beginning at age 6) often have very big, important messages, including the value of individuals. My children have a great respect for different kinds of people and different ways of doing things. I attribute much of this to their experience at this school.
I have one child at this school, and I must admit that I am very disappointed with the lack of racial diversity at the school. The board and administration lack sensitivity to anything identifiably African American/Black, and their curriculum is extremely biased and out of touch with todays global issues. They have no cultural celebrations except for an annual Latin festival. Unfortunately, we will be taking our child out of the school due to its failure to prepare children to function in the real world and their lack of cultural awareness. They are not committed to increasing cultural awareness, or to making the school one that honors students of all backgrounds.
I have two children at Near North, a second grader and a fourth grader, I drive all the way from Oak Park (8 miles each way) to take my kids to school each day because of the quality of the education my children receive. They are excelling academically, and also they are developing as great people. There is the opportunity to study Spanish that begins at 3, music lessons, after school sports and computer classes, class presentations and performances that give each child the opportunity to be comfortable speaking to large groups of people and expressing themselves,and a committed and caring staff. I also appreciate the schools commitment to diversity, my children are bi-racial and I feel this is an accepting environment inside of which they can flourish.
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The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.
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