This unique school has had a history of quality education. We were excited to enroll. Our experience was not positive. An overall defensiveness around meeting specific needs of students and following DCFS guidelines for young children, in this small home-like atmosphere, was unexpected and concerning. Management considers itself a benign dictatorship and it is instead experienced as a passive-aggressive chaos by parents trying to work thru meeting their children(s)' needs. Management choices and inaction resulted in long term set-backs for our student(s). For the dollars involved there is much competition and many other fine school options to consider. Be aware school expenses far exceed tuition costs. New families experience a sink or swim entry with no facilitation. If you want an early start, a late finish, and someone else to parent your children and insist they know best, this school may be a match.
What a refreshing change after experiencing the public school atmosphere. The staff at Carmel truly sees each child's individual strengths and learning styles. My child not only grew academically but was also challenged to examine his character and his relationship to others. The kids here really love each other and are supportive of one another, so different than other high schools we had encountered
My child graduated from Carmel's high school a few years ago and is now in college with a mid-B average. This would not have been likely had we remained in the restrictive, needlessly competitive public school environment, where all emphasis was on standardized testing, conformity, and rote memorization. Montessori emphasizes both individual exploration and teamwork, which is more consistent with "real world" adult expectations. At Carmel, weekly essays encourage thinking and analyzing as well as hone writing skills, individualized math instruction focuses on the child's particular learning style, and lively social studies and literature discussions from multiple perspectives (and with respect for all cultures) are part of the lessons. These aspects of the curriculum have proven to be very useful to my child's college performance. It's a very welcoming, family-oriented school, and graduates are invited to return frequently to participate in special events and trips. You simply won't find a better environment for learning at any grade level. As another parent said, our only regret is that we didn't begin sooner. Highly recommended.
My child absolutely loves Carmel! It a unique environment for learning and growing as a person. The teachers are very dedicated and I appreciate their passion for the Montessori method. The class size is ideal and promotes a small teacher/student ratio. This is the only school I know that goes on field trips every week! My favorite part about this school is that it promotes family, and treats everyone who walks into the door as family. Would recommend to anyone, at any age level!
This school is great for younger children in pre-school. But it does not provide the academic requirements that would be satisfactory for children in 6th grade and up. The lack of teachers created an environment that was not suitable for learning, one teacher would be overwhelmed teaching 5 classes in several different subjects and the students would suffer academically. It is true that school does provide younger children with strong moral values but it does little for older students. It seemed as though some of the teachers pushed their values towards older students creating a tense environment. Which leads to more conflict between teacher, student and parents. Therefore I would recommend this school only to parents with children under the age of 6. This school DOES NOT provide the academic, social and psychological needs of students from 6-12th grade.
Incredible! My child has attended previous Montessori schools prior to her experience at CMA. You simply won't find a better school for your child. This is the most talented, hard working, dedicated staff ever...Mrs. Carmen and her staff exemplify Maria Montessori's methodology beautifully...A true privilege and honor to be part of this ACCREDITED school. What are you waiting for? Our only regret is that our child didn't attend sooner. Your child's life and education are priceless. Please don't take a chance with your child's precious future. You and your child(ren) are in the best of care...truly a treasured experience!
This is a gem in the rough - excellent staff, amazing farm/family atmosphere. The school is in a house, with a huge yard that has a barn complete with horse and donkey etc. Competant, caring teachers, happy kids, not too many students crowded into classrooms like I see elsewhere. The building is a bit run down and could use a regular cleaning crew, but if you can get past that, it's a great school. The only accredited Montessori school that goes all the way through high school! My child loves it.