I searched specifically for a good Montessori school, and Brickton definitely stood out. There is a strong sense of community that even the youngest children appreciate. The tuition is on par with other private schools, which is to say it is expensive, however Brickton does offer financial aid to those in need. We have only been at the school for about a year, but in that short time we have come to feel like part of the Brickton family. My older son will be 3 in the fall. When we first enrolled I wasn't sure we would stay past age 6, but now I can't imagine sending him someplace else. I have even started parent/infant classes with my 9 month old, and I can tell he already feels at home in his classroom. Overall we have had a wonderful experience with all of the teachers and staff. It is obvious that everybody involved has the best interest of the children in mind.
We were a Brickton family for many years. In addition to being creative, sensitive educators, Brickton's teachers excelled at giving us a complete picture of the different factors of our children's social and emotional development as well as how they fit in to the classroom dynamic. We really appreciated how strong the communication was between teachers, giving us confidence that the big picture was never lost in the details of the moment. Additionally, the sense of community and, by extension, the awareness of personal responsibility and one's impact on others gave Brickton students great maturity. It is a respectful, supportive environment where students are empowered to respond to challenges with creativity, flexibility, and tenacity. It's exciting to watch Brickton's children grow--from toddlers discovering all of the interesting things they can do, to preschoolers intrigued by numbers and language (Montessori math rocks, btw), to elementary students mastering academic challenges, to middle schoolers demonstrating maturity, depth, and resilience. It's not always a conventional path, but Brickton's students are certainly on a valuable journey.
The programs are OK but not outstanding. Considering the price tag they charge, not sure about the real value. You get a decent education up to Kindergarten, but anything beyond that is questionable. As a matter of fact, they never dare to release test scores. So if academic performance is of priority, look else where - you better off enroll your kids in top neighborhood schools plus private tutoring. Also, be prepared of that they will constantly ask for annual fund and all sorts of contributions...
Brickton has good teacher/student ratio and up-to-date curriculums. However, the school is way too compact - there is no real estate for even a decent gym. Not sure if this is universal, but somehow the way parents are treated is often associated with how much they contribute to annul funds. They also try their best to close as many days as possible in the form of club days, conferences etc., and charge as much as they can. The commercial atmosphere is a bit too much from time to time. Do your homework before making your decision.
I have three children and two of them go to Brickton; my third daughter will be part of the school in two years. We have been part of the Brickton community for the past three years and it has been wonderful. Not only do my kids love to learn and be at school, but Brickton is also fun and inclusive for parents and friends of the students. The experience at Brickton goes beyond the school hours. It truly is a community in which children thrive in ways I could not have imagined. They learn to be part of the "world"community, to be responsible, independent thinkers, helpful and kind people. I strongly encourage anyone who wants their child to maintain the love and excitement of learning to consider Brickton to become part of their lives.
Both of my sons are Brickton graduates. The lessons they learned here went far beyond the 3 R's. They learned how to cope with the good and difficult times in their lives. From College scholarships to getting over the loss of their home in New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina chased them away.
As an employee, I know that Brickton is all about the child , their development, education and growth. The desire to learn becomes a natural as breathing.
My daughter has been in the Toddler House (2 and 3 years olds) this year (09-10). I am so impressed by how much this school stresses independence, my daughter's ability to do things for herself and how very gentle, peaceful and kind the staff is. It is a small school, so there are no strangers. It is warm, respectful and calm. Toward the end of her first year, my daughter is 2.5 years, she shakes hands with adults she meets and looks them in the eye. She cleans up after herself. She plays well with others. And she is happy. What more is there?
Both of my children have attended Brickton since they were 3 years old ( now 1st grade and 4th grade) and we couldn't be happier. It is such a wonderful learning environment - my kids LOVE school and are thriving academically and socially. Great extended hours, lots of after school activities. I can't say enough good things about it.
Best school I have ever attended. Peaceful community, enough freedom, and you actually get to interact with everyone there.
My son started here in Children's House at the age of 4. He struggled at a traditional preschool so we knew he needed an alternative solution. He has made tremendous strides - he was behind in a lot of areas but his teachers worked with him at his pace continually encouraging him. He has come out of his shell and looks forward to school. The school is a community which makes you feel you are part of a big family. Everyone talks to each other - it really goes beyond a traditional school environment. ALthough it is very expensive it is worth every penny to see how much my son looks forward to learning.
Having had the privledge of being a student myself and now the parent of children attending the school, I have a unique appreciation of this particular montessori program. I attended BMS from it's opening until I graduated 6th grade. At the time, the current middle school program was just a dream. I currently have 2 children attending the school, one in the Toddler program (ages 2-3) and another in the Children's House program (ages 3-6). I love that my children begin a program with the help and guidance of not only the well qualified and caring teachers but also the older children in the class, and as they grow, they become helpers to the younger children. It is quite a unique experience. The after-school programs are on-site, which is lovely, and they correspond nicely with their after-school program. Parents can be as invloved as they like. Overall, this school is wonderful.
Brickton Montessori is a wonderful school where kids actually look forward to learning. My child is discovering and understanding concepts that I didn't figure out (in my traditional schooling) until much later. It's incredible. The student teacher ratio is quite good, each child is valued for his/her own uniqueness and contributions. Extracurricular activities are offered after school, on school premises which makes it convenient for working parents who can't schlep their children to/from drama or band or art classes. Gym class consists of a series of swimming lessons, ice skating lessons, soccer and usually some kind of dance lessons -- last year it was Flamenco. It's pure joy for my child to go to Brickton. She began at 2 1/2 years old and is now a 5th year student. She feels safe, respected and part of the Brickton community in a way we could have never gotten at ourlocal public school.
Academics and discipline are good. Strict adherence to Montessori principals. My daughter has thrived there (has attended from age 2 1/2 until age 6). Very expensive. No athletic programs. Great field trips. Caring staff. Excellent extended care options. Diverse cultural student mix. If you can comfortably afford it, the best option on the Northwest side of Chicago.
Wonderful option for pre-k through K. Also offers Elementary but we haven't gotten there yet. Small class size, individual attention, can't say enough about how comforted I felt leaving my little girl there knowing she would be well cared for and she has learned so much! Tuition is pricey.
quality of academic program - very high. available of music for all children and also school band ,music lessons, a lot of extraculliculum activities- art classes, yoga swimming lessons included in regular program. parent are involved in all activities.
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