My child has been at this school sine she was three and now she is in 4th grade. Even through the changing of three principals, my child changing teachers every year (which is VERY unusual for Montessori schools) I STILL say that this school has been EXCELLENT for my daughter and I cannot imagine taking her anywhere else. Like every school, I as the parent have had to be very involved in the day to day and will continue to be until I feel that it is time to move on. This year marks our first 8th grade graduation since we became a magnet school. Everyone who are "worried" about our school slipping from tier 1 to tier 2 seem to forget that CPS warned that our scores would decline this year due to the shift to Common Core. Our scores will rise again and we will be back to stronger than ever if we keep working. That is why I stay in the PTA and stay informed through the LSC. Suder will be stronger than never.
How are you gonna say (A parent) that they don't give out "A's" for good behavior, when that's exactly what I've been experiencing for the last 2 years. Not only have I had this experience, but two other parents have had the same experience. One parent has already removed their children and now another parent and I are removing our children. Don't say that it's a lie....just say that that has not been your experience. It is not a lie , IT IS A FACT. All anybody has to do is look at how the test scores have dropped and see how the school has went from a level 1 school to a level 2 school to see the truth. Pay attention potential parents, do thorough research before you make your decision, this is your child's education you're dealing with.....The school is DEFINITELY NOT what it used to be
My child has attended Suder for a couple of years and I am pleased with her progress. My only complaint with the school is that you need to be part of the clique if you want to actually contribute to the PTA. You can join, but the oversight of the parents in charge is stifling. It is a shame, I get the feeling those parents believe there is enough family participation. What there is a lot of, is attrition at the Kindergarten level. Families that feel welcome would stay longer.
Suder is like family and my children have always been treated with great respect by the teachers and principal and assistant principal. The teachers are outstanding and your child will love coming to Suder. Grades are taken every seriously and they are in no way, ever, giving A's for good behavior as the last post mentioned. That is a flat out lie. Suder is a small school that gives great attention to each student and the teachers are top notch, you won't find this at many CPS schools. The only problem is getting in!!
I was once a champion of Suder, however the last two years have been disappointing. Many involved parents and teachers saw the writing on the wall and moved onto other schools. Along with another a parent, i believe the good grades my daughter receives are not indicative of where she should be at her grade level and at this point I cannot wait any longer for things to improve. I think the EC program is still stellar but past 3rd grade is sad. Parental involvement is down and that reflects on the children's behavior. Unfortunately too many teachers are having to play babysitter to unruly children instead of having the opurtunity to teach. I pray things change because when we first came to Suder it felt family and the curriculum was challenging. I believe the Principal does not have or earn the respect of the staff, the kids or the parents.
My children came to Suder 4 years ago and I was so happy. Things have changed dramatically since the new principal was hired last year. The quality of education as declined at an alarming rate. The principal is incompetent and fails to respond to emails and concerns. Peace circle used to be a beautiful thing, but now it is chaos and it's clear the principal has no authority over the students. The school is a sinking ship under this principal and I am moving both of my children out at the end of this year. It saddens me to see this great school fail when there was so much potential. The only chance this school has for success is to get a new, dynamic, competent principal. If you are looking for a new school.
My daughter attended this starting last year and things were just ok. But this year is horrible, there's no organization, all of the good teachers quit last year. The school was a level 1 and now has dropped down to a level 2 and the other marks were really bad. I am looking to get my daughter out of here immediately. The bullying is out of control also which another reason why I have also chosen to leave. Things are progressively getting worse here parents beware!
My children have been at this school since 2010. The teachers, staff, and parents are all dedicated to creating a positive learning environment. Anytime I have had an issue, the teacher or administrator I have spoken with has been very responsive and worked with me to find a solution that allowed my children to thrive. I also really like that the school is so diverse and that the classroom sizes are not overwhelming. This school is little gem that will only get better.
This Grammar School is outstanding and very caring. In the four years my daughter has attended, the school has moved forward and each change has added to the quality of the facility and educational experience. The curriculum is the best offered by any private or public school in Chicago. The Principle and Asst. Principle are both amazing and care for their students as well as communicating with parents. My daughter is very happy, she loves Ms. Essling, and loves every subject she teaches. Communication from and to the teacher and administrators is constant. Although, my daughter was accepted to high rated school, overall this was the school that interest me the most.
My daughter has attended this school since 1st grade. When she got there she was behind a whole grade level. She had the same teacher for 1st-3rd grade. She is entering 5th and is an A student. They worked with her independently by pulling her out of class for one on one reading until she caught up. She has improved tremendously! I love this school! The staff is wonderful! About 3 years ago this school rating was at a 5. Evey year they improve and is now at an 8 out of 10! Now that progress. The only thing I wish is that they had a uniform policy.
My daughter has been in this school for seven years now and I remain consistently pleased with it. The staff is dedicated to the students. The PTA is fantastic and every time my daughter moves to a new teacher (she's had three in her seven years because Montessori is awesome like that), I'm delighted with the new teacher and with the students she shares her classroom with.
Only 7 teachers and the Montessori director have completed montessori education training. And two teachers in the whole school are certified by national montessori associations. Yes there are colorful blocks and little tables. But not the dedication to a pure educational philosophy recognized as a montessori program beyond the 1st grade. (yes unlike a traditional montessori school Suder segregates learning by age) The upper elementary is anything but a montessori curriculum. Until the 2nd week of March passes the upper EC is an ISAT factory. Students sit at cheap Dell computers cranking out hours or repetitive assessments gauging progress towards ISAT goals. The administration is deaf to the concerns of parents except to solicit donations to pay for anything interesting. What's up with the kids dancing wiith toilet plungers, that's HipHop? Suder's administration is actually calling that nonsense music education. No foreign language,no performing arts, remedial technology, art class once a week, no athletics. Is this the education of your childhood, is this the education your child deserves? My children deserve better opportunities and continuity of leadership.
My daughter began the PreK program this school year at Suder. She thoroughly enjoys going to school each morning, and I am ASTOUNDED by the amount of material that she has mastered in only half a year! I think that the Early CHildhood Program is very sound (I can only speak to my experience with the Early Childhood Program). All of the teacehrs in the school are trained in the Montessori method, well beyond a course or two as mentioned in a previous post. Anyone with knowledge of the Montessori method would know that it is not highly developed beyond the early elementary level. Further, all CPS schools are accountable to ISAT testing, so the school is charged marrying two contradictory methods while attempting to maintain some sense of fidelity of the Montessori method. My only concern is with the Administration. Beyond the fact that the school has not had a principal for the majority of the year, the Administration can be quite dismissive to concerns expressed. It is also concerning that there is only one specials area teacher. While I have heard great things about her from my little one, I think that she may be stretched a tad bit thin. Def. great EC Program though.
Suder is an excellent school!!! Yes there have been changes and the upper grades are not really doing Montessori work but the teachers continue to teach. They teach and care for the children. Suder is a CPS school so they do have to take the ISAT test and show the gains that every other public school has to show. Knowing this they do have to prepare the children for the test or they fail both school and students. I see the children here learning to think and become life long learners not just test takers. As far as the Principal the administration is doing pretty good holding the school down until we get a new Principal. I will not lie and say I love everything because I ran into bullying myself buit it was deal with and has changed. I even considered transferring my child to another school because of it. But they took charge and delt with the bullying situation .My child has been going there since the beginning and four Principals I only remember two. But CPS should be ashamed taking the Principal like that the should have waited until the next year. I of course can not force the school on any one but I do recommend Suder.
My child is currently is in the pre-k program. I heard a lot of positive things about the school but don't agree. This school is not Montessori. There are some good teachers and a few great parents who are very dedicated. However this school is very underfunded compared with other schools. There are 2 things that determine a schools' success 1. Funding 2. Dedicated Administration with high expectations for students. Suder has neither. I don't feel the previous principal, although well liked,was able to foster an environment of promoting higher expectations for the academic success of students and was not able to create enthusiasm for teaching among the staff. This culture has remained. Because they are so short of funds there is one person doing 3 jobs. Too many kids in one class:30. Full day preschool classes don't learn much beyond ABC's, Real instruction doesn't start until kindergarten or maybe even 1st grade. The Staff are not trained Montessori teachers but might have taken a few classes if that. My child is not being challenged. This school is a disappointment. I am going to find another school. I feel many parents here are ok with Mediocrity.
Yes, the early childhood classrooms at Suder are very good and mostly true to Montessori...and Multi racial. It is in the upper elementary classrooms where the Montessori curriculum ends. How can you have 4th graders in a compartmentalized curriculum and call that Montessori. Older student transfer to Suder without any Montessori training and to add they come with a lot of catching up to do academically. Unfortunately this Montessori experiment is not succeeding . All the test scores are from a barrage of ISAT test prep that starts in early Fall and goes through till March with Saturdays included. Watch out if your child in 3rd grade because it is Test Prep like you have never seen. The last principal did not have any faith in Montessori and stripped it down to the bare minimum. The only redeeming program is the balanced literacy. I suggest that Suder get an IB program for the upper grades and then families might stay. My family does not have time for this and we are looking for another school. The lottery cannot come soon enough.
My son has been attending his first year in an Early Childhood classroom at Suder. We have been very happy with the school. After much research and a great deal of luck we landed at this school. While we are concerned that the principal has left and that this has put the school in flux, all of my son's teachers and teaching assistants are incredibly professional and loving. What more can I ask for--- a diverse school, with a great, welcoming community of parents and my child is an an educational environment where he feels happy and safe.
School expects kids to enter knowing all the basic skills. When the school first open, they were teaching the kids the Montessori program but once it got combine with CPS it began to fail. They expected the kids to know how to read and wright a.s.a.p due to kids needing to take the tests that CPS schools have kids take(ISAT, etc..). They don't take bullying serious. My child was being bullied for years and I informed everyone (Teacher,Principal, Security) and nothing was done. School let kids wonder around and do independent work(Montessori skills) but expect them to have the learning that CPS reguires the student to have. (CPS is not in any way improving) Don't recommend anyones child to attend. They will fall behind. I feel like I am home schooling my child instead.
Once again Suder Montessori has lost much needed talent. When Principal Bloom left for a career promotion, she took with her the only remaining veteran elementary 2 teacher. Stacy Bagan has only 2 years teaching at Suder's emerging elementary 2 level. Now there are no teacher's with any previous Montessori experience in the upper grade levels. Just another indication how Suder is drifting from a Montessori curriculum to some yet to be determined philosophy. This ambiguity is troubling for a parent evaluating the potential for upper elementary education.
Suder will have its 4th principal in 7 years. The void creates uncertainty at a time when securing the schools financial future is unstable. Fundraising and grant writing have suffered with out an administration focused on securing resources outside of CPS declining budgets. The upper grades (4,5 & 6th) have had a high turn over of teachers. With only one teacher remaining during the three years Suder has offered upper elementary classes. The curriculum of the upper elementary grades drifts further from Montessori each year as the demands of standardized testing conflict with Montessori principles. In order to maintain classroom size quotas neighborhood children with no previous Montessori experience have been admitted. The adjustment to a self directed learning classroom has strained the resources and time available for creating Montessori curriculum for upper elementary classes. The luster of a grand experiment in public montessori education has worn away to reveal a school struggling to maintain the status quo found in neighborhood schools. Will Suder be able to deliver students to selective enrollment high schools? Only time will tell. the clock is running...
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