Council Oak Montessori provides a stellar education to my children. They both learn so much and test so well. Council Oak Montessori provides a homelike and welcoming feel. The teachers and staff provide a warm and nurturing environment, that children thrive in.
Words can't express how wonderful I feel about this school. It is the only school my kids have known. My son started when he was 4 and things went so well that my daughter goes there now also. It is my son's 3rd year there and my daughter's 2nd. Ms. Lila and Mrs. Dobalitits in Children's House are exceptional instructors and the faculty are great at handling things. The Montessori education gives individual attention to the child and develops their interests, and that is what makes it so special. I highly recommend this school to any parent who wants their child to have an excellent educational experience, especially if they are just beginning their journey into school.
As an alum of COMS I can tell you that I still look back on my education there as the foundation of my love of learning. I was always happy in school and never dreaded going. That's not to say COMS was not challenging; the exciting part about the Montessori Method is that it allows children who are more advanced to move forward and excel, and also allows children who are struggling to focus on what their own needs are. I went to a competitive college prep high school and had no problems keeping up with the kids who'd been there since first grade. The difference was that I cared less about "just getting the grade" and more about learning the subject. After graduating from high school I attended a rigorous college and received a big scholarship from an independent organization. I'm very proud of my roots in Montessori and find that, everywhere I go, I meet intelligent, motivated, and successful people who have Montessori educations. Although, to me, it's not surprising!
I absolutely LOVE this school and the staff - especially Ms. Lila in the Children's House! COMS provides an effective and well-rounded, academic foundation for children. I not only say that as a parent, but also as an educator. The staff are ALWAYS professional and the parents are very involved. Having gone through the U of C Lab School's admissions process, I can easily say that the quality of the programs is comparable (yet more nurturing) for a fraction of the cost! If there was just one thing that we could have taken with us when we moved out of state, it would have undoubtedly been COMS!It is indeed one of Chicago's finest institutions and one that I recommend for any parent who seeks the BEST for their child.
I am the poster from January 3, 2008. It has been four years and we are still here and loving it. My daughter is in Lower Elementary and my son is in Children's House. Both children love Council Oak and couldn't imagine going anywhere else. Both children are working at or above their level in all areas. As far as I'm concerned, the staff at Council Oak has been nothing but supportive. My suggestion to new parents...ask questions...not only when you are looking into placing your child in a Montessori school, but also after they're enrolled. Do whatever you need to do to truly understand the Montessori method. I've read back over the comments to date and it appears that some parents just never 'got it' and that's a shame.
RE: Disappointed with the level of teaching..10/ 2/2010: Parents need to investigate the method of education before making evaluations like this. Council Oak is a Montessori school which applies the highly researched principles of education originally formed by Maria Montessori. In Montessori education, the teachers are not teachers in the traditional sense. They are guides, directing the children through the use of materials, especially at the younger ages. The children are guided to become self-directed learners. The peer teaching that occurs not only builds social skills but reinforces the skills of the children who already understand the particular material. I have 3 children who have been through this school and I can attest to their success and the dedication of the staff of Council Oak.
I am disappointed with the level of teaching. The teachers do not teach, but hope the children will learn on their own. My son has to ask two other students for help before going to a teacher. This only confuses the child when the other students also do not understand how to complete the assignment. I wonder if the teachers actually know what they are supposed to be teaching. Also, I agree with a previous post that the school seems to spend too much time on focusing on field trips and painting.
After two years of research, I decided on Council Oak for my child and I couldn't be happier with my decision. As an educator, I wanted to make sure that I chose a school that was strong in multiple areas. This school is diverse, nurturing, and provides a strong foundation for future applications. The greatest benefit is the fact that my daughter is excited about school every morning and loves telling me about her day at pick up time. I love it!
Council Oak Montessori School is excellent! The teachers are highly qualified - most hold masters degrees, and all are trained through accredited Montessori programs. When we decided to put our four year old in private school we did extensive research. COMS came out on top on every level - caring & qualified teachers, a dedicated administration, and an academic program that surpasses almost everything else out there. COMS tuition is far below other Montessori schools in Chicago and well-worth the money.
My child currently attends COMS and we love it. It was important to us that she attend a culturally diverse school that focuses on the whole child, and COMS provides that. Our daughter is learning things that I don't remember being exposed to until I reached high school. Also, the school is committed to keeping enrollment to 100 students, which provides a wonderful student/teacher ratio (my daughter is in 2nd grade and there are always three teachers in the classroom!). She has attended for three years now, and we are planning to keep her there through 8th grade.