I am a former parent of children that attended both campuses. This is an excellent school! I have never met such caring, attentive, and supportive teachers and administrators. This school is a model of how education should be in this country.
My 5-year-old is entering his third year in the 3-6 program, and I have a duaghter the todder program. We are very happy with the school. I'd like to respond to a few of the comments below and add some of my own. --Broad age range within a classroom: This is typical of many montessori schools. I find it creates a flexible learning environment where younger children are motivated by their older peers, and the older students master the material they've learned by "teaching" the younger students. (This happens during "partner time" and doesn't replace teacher instruction.) --Flexible learning approach: One of the things that I love about the montessori approach and this particular school is its flexibility towards the learning styles and levels of different students. When my son was ready to read, they started him on Bob books. He's slower to write, so they are finding other, OT-like approaches to strengthening his grip and coordination. --Range of activities: I actually find there are a lot of activities available. If a child is doing a lot of a particular activity, it is because she is working to master it (and become more focused, which is key to doing other work.)
I currently have two children enrolled at Dupage Montessori. My daughter is in Kindergarten and my son has recently turned three and is in the 3-6 program. Both of my children are excelling academically and socially because of the Montessori method of teaching and challenging cirriculum. The staff is wonderful, knowledgable and at the same time nurturing. Parent involvment is encouraged and DMS has an excellent PTF staff. DMS also offers many extracirricular programs at the school such as art classes and piano lessons. If you looking for a school that exemplifies strong community, emphasis on leadership and individuality and challenging academic cirriculum, than DMS is the great choice!
This review is only and strictly for the lower elementary and in no way meant for the 3-6 and upper elementary. The lower elementary program uses strict curriculum, similar to traditional schools and just uses Montessori materials for the same. The teachers are new and I don't think they have the energy and passion which I had seen while my children were in 3-6. The rigid curriculum, inability of the teachers to identify strengths and weaknesses of the children and plan individualized courses is the biggest minus. It seems to me that the teachers just follow the rigid curriculum. The lower elementary has 32-35 children with one teacher and 2 assistants. So, I would consider it a ratio of 1:35. If you want to select this school for individualized attention and the true benefit of montessori, then I will not recommend this. The upper elementary looks very promising, as the teacher is very passionate. But, can I hang around till then, I don't know.
DMS has dedicated and talented teachers. My two children have been at the school for 3 years and every teacher they've had has been focused on my children and their growth and development. My children are now in 3-6 and lower elementary and both are thriving and love the school work they do. The teachers regularly talk with me about how my children are doing so if there are issues we address them quickly. The school has had some changes in the office staff which is positive. From a parent involvement perspective, I've seen an increased interest in parents getting involved. I think the challenge is the school draws a lot of people from different - often far away areas - and that doesn't always lend itself for ongoing parent involvement. All in all the teachers and staff are great educators who are passionate about what they do and the directors are equally as passionate and dedicated.
DMS has the makings of a great school, but do your research before choosing a Montessori to see if it's AMI certified or International Montessori certified, and learn the difference. DMS is an AMI school - therefore the elementary portion is trending towards more 'traditional' school, which isn't why I was paying $$$ for my children to attend. My two children attended DMS for 2 years. The 3-6 year old classrooms have amazing head teachers who are all very experienced and most have been with the school for a number of years. The lower-elementary classroom (gr. 1-3) was almost completely new staff this year. I have nothing to compare it too since we weren't in LE last year, however, while the head teachers are great teachers, and really nice people, they came from 'traditional school' backgrounds - which as the year went on, you could feel those 'traditional' rules and guidelines creeping into the classroom. Getting parents to participate in school events, fundraisers, etc. is like pulling teeth. This school has a decidedly "daycare" feel from the parent involvement side. The office staff can be less then helpful at times as well.
School is great but need more activities for the kids. Same old activities and very less team work. Not very fond of mixing 6 year old with 3 year olds in the same class. It causes chaos and lot of confused kids. Also, the admin office staff are not very helpful. They are very rigid and sometimes difficult to deal with them.
DuPage Montessori School opens the door for your child to have a lifetime of opportunities. The curriculum is above and beyond the average preschool and elementary programs and the teaching staff consists of teachers who are warm, intelligent, and put your child's best interests first. I have 3 children enrolled in this school and I live in one of the best school districts in the state. Each of my children have different personalities and academic abilities. The teachers here work with them as individuals and meet their needs everyday. Love this school!
My son attends DMS. I did extensive research before deciding on DMS, and have not regretted my choice yet! The teachers are great, there's diversity, and classes are small enough. It a school is claiming to be 'Montessori' then the basic elements and teachings apply. Become familiar with the Montessori Education and philosophy and then rate your schools. My son will continue at DMS through Upper Elementary.