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GreatSchools Rating

Geist Montessori Academy

Charter | 1-8 | 326 students

We are best known for Montesorri education aligned with state standards

 
 

Living in McCordsville

Situated in a suburban neighborhood. The median home value is $187,200. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $790.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
 
Last modified
Community Rating

4 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
No new ratings
2013:
Based on 11 ratings
2012:
Based on 6 ratings
2011:
Based on 4 ratings

Sweep tile
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30 reviews of this school


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Posted October 27, 2013

My school is the best because kids truly do come first!!!! The staff cares about every area of their lives.
—Submitted by a teacher


Posted August 26, 2013

We are new this year and very happy with GMA. My children thrive in the individual relationships with their teachers. They love making their work plans and fulfilling them within the flexible extended work times. The basic academic experience for my kiddos is superior to their previous public school. The school struggles, it seems, to provide consistent art, music and gym "specials," but that could be resolved with the right personnel. I wish there were more schools like this in and around town.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 22, 2013

This school offers a small close knit atmosphere. Students and staff work cohesively together in order to provide a quality education for all ability levels. Everyone is friendly and that makes learning and going to school here fun!
—Submitted by a teacher


Posted August 22, 2013

GMA is built on Montessori principles that help children develop independance, confidence, and responsibility for their own education. They have a strong community feel where teachers, students, and families work together to do what is best for each child. Students at Geist Montessori Academy are treated as individuals, both academically and socially. Their educational path is created to fit their needs and to meet their personalized goals. Students and families come from all walks of life and their differences are embraced and celebrated for their uniquness. At GMA everyone is free to be themselves, and they can focus on get the best education possible.
—Submitted by a teacher


Posted May 14, 2013

I really wanted my children to go to a Montessori School over public school. However, after the end of the year my child who has had two years of Montessori before entering kindergarten is way behind my friends children who are in public school and have not even had preschool! I believe in the teachings of Montessori but after this year I know there are huge variations in the teaching that vary and if it is not done right can really hinder our children. This attitude that any Montessori is better than public school is just for those that really have not witnessed what they are actually doing in public school. I went to watch in on my friends kindergarten class and it amazed me what the children were learning and they all appeared so happy. My child is never this happy coming home and I think it is because most of the day they are isolated and made to teach themselves. I want to point out before all the Montessori pit bulls come after me that I believe in Montessori but just because it says it on the building doesn't make it such. This is my opinion and my experience that I am entitled to.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 10, 2013

My oldest child is in kindergarten at GMA and so far I have been very happy with this school. The teacher and teacher's aide are terrific! I like the size of the school, the weekly newsletters, the class updates, and love the responsibility taught to the children in addition to academics. I have not had any bad experiences with GMA.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 24, 2013

RE- Last Post: How can anyone say anything negative about this school. It is wonderful now ( my children have attended GMA for two years now). There has been zero teacher turnover this year and enrollment has increased 20%. It is such a known desirerable school, that they even hold a lottery for new enrollment. I would say that the previous poster has problems everywhere they go, hence they shop for schools everytime there child has an issue. All I can say is; as an active involved parent, check it out for yourself. The South campus is awesome!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 10, 2013

This is literally the worst school any of my children have ever attended. I'm convinced the good reviews are rigged. I had my child in this school for 2 years, and in that time not only did her self esteem and confidence plummet, but her academics slowed to a halt. We have had great montessori experiences prior and since, but this school was not even good for a traditional public school. There is a huge turnover every year in both staff and students. The teachers typically have little to no experience in any type of teaching, and are very young and immature. They regularly ignore IEPs. They don't allow students to work at their own pace or level, which is a cornerstone of montessori. Complaints from parents are treated as nuisances rather than an opportunity to resolve problems, and I would even suggest that any issue makes your child s target for punishment. All the parents I knew coming in have since pulled their children out, and that includes us. My child has soared to wonderful new heights since leaving. I wouldn't recommend this school to my worst enemy.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 7, 2013

An ok choice if you can not afford a true Montessori school. School needs to work on parent communication and fostering a more positive environment.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 24, 2013

My child started 1st grade in one of the renowned public school. It felt like he was being molded into the "norm," stripped of his individuality, and coming home with piles of repetitive homework papers. Halfway into the year, his public school teacher knew NOTHING of his strengths/weaknesses and showed little concern for challenging him. We found GMA and have been nothing but delighted with the leadership, his teachers, the passion for learning that they instill, and the celebration of each child's individuality. He is no longer stuck at a desk, lost in a crowd, or passively listening to teachers lecturing. Instead, he's researching, working on teams, learning life skills, exploring, and ultimately developing a love of lifelong learning in a manner that's much more consistent with the real world. Although other comments reference the teacher turnover, I will say that the teachers I have come in contact with teach because it is there passion, and they are given the freedom to teach to the children's needs and NOT just to ensure certain test scores are met. It's a beautiful place.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 8, 2013

This has been a great fit for my son and daughter. This type of atmosphere is great for all self driven learners. My only complaint is high teacher assistant turnover.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted December 16, 2012

GMA is our school. This year, GMA is under the jurisdiction of a new principal, as well as around 75% new faculty. It is so much better this school year.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 25, 2012

OMG! I was so excited to win the lottery and get into this wonderful school. All my friends were bragging about how their children were so happy and learning so much. The staff was great! Mrs. Trisha spent so much time with my husband and I talking about this school. I seriously cried when I got in!! Today, I just found out that the leadership has changed and most all of the teachers have quit! I've been reading the facebook page and I am very concerned! I am not taking my child and my friends are pulling out too! Parents should be informed of all the changes!!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 19, 2012

GMA was once a good Montessori school until about 2 years ago when the school ran into management problems. They lost ALL the Montessori teachers, and moved to the current location. Most of the newly hired teachers are fresh college grads. Not only do they have no knowledge and experience of Montessori, they have no teaching experience. Since then it is one crisis after another; every month someone quits: teachers, special ed. staff and support staff. This is a strong indicator of substandard management of the school. The ISTEP test may still look OK, but it is trending downwards from previous years. Check their NWEA scores for the last few years too. Because the students do not have to sit at their desk all day and the school has a more relax curriculum, it seems to work well with kids with autism or ADHD. Most parents with special needs kids are happy with the school. Got Montessori? I got it at GMA is the slogan for the school. A marketing campaign using incorrect grammar to draw attention to a product is one thing, but a SCHOOL doing that? It just sums up the academic standards of GMA.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 30, 2012

I have gone to nine schools in my life, and I transfered over to GMA in eighth grade. GMA was my favorite of all nine schools. The middle school program was wonderful; a great alternative to your average public school. I feel that GMA's middle school prepared me for high school very well. I learned many skills not taught at most middle schools- leadership, teamwork, and independent learning, to name a few. The middle school took monthly trips to help out at a farm, and had many other hands on learnig experiences at other field trips. Academically, GMA is very strong. We worked very hard to do our very best in all subjects of school. The eighth graders passed all of their ISTEP tests. This was all thanks to the encouraging environment created by the teachers. All of the teachers at GMA care a great deal about their students, and love to teach. The other students are all very friendly, and never leave anyone out. I thought of the other students as family. Overall I highly recommend this school to everyone. I love GMA!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 21, 2012

Awesome is the best word to describe this school. Our son has a great teacher and assistant. We have been so blessed to find this school. We wouldn't think of going anywhere else at this point. Our son loves school. He is very active, so being ENGAGED in learning is fun for him. He would struggle with busy work because it doesn't tax his mind. I do not understand the negative posts because everything in our experience has been positive. As for the staff, I would like to know what a previous poster is talking about. I've been to many school meetings where the head of school answered many questions well. Her answers were very detailed and accurate. I have never heard her "talk in circle's". By the way, our son's teacher keeps us involved with regular updates on progress. As for academics, our son is reading 2nd grade material and is half way through 1st. He excels in many area's because of the learning environment that has been created. Please, don't take my word for it. Come tour Geist Montessori Academy and see for yourself.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 11, 2012

This is our first year at GMA. I could not ask for anything more! It has been the greatest experience. My child's teacher is so dedicated! My child loves going to school and learning! The entire staff works together to make sure that students and parents are known and welcome at all times! We are truly bessed to have found GMA!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 11, 2011

We are so pleased with GMA! There are a lot of new teachers but my son who has some learning difficulties has flourished. We gave regular public school a chance k-2 and this is not public school with montessori materials as another suggested. It may stray a little from hard core montessori education but they are doing something right! My son's reading level jumped a full grade in 3 months and he looks forward to school everyday instead of breaking down in tears. Looking forward to Upper Elementary next year!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 8, 2011

Not a horrible school but not montessori and not much different than regular public school. Most of the teachers are new and most don't have Montessori Certification. Probably better for younger students or older students that don't need much instruction. If you have a different learner this is also probably not the best choice. I heard that previous years were much better and a google search of Istep scores support that.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 27, 2011

I am glad that some families have found this to be a good option, but it is NOT Montessori. The administrator cannot answer the most basic Montessori questions and tries to cover her ignorance by talking in circles. Clueless about how to run a Montessori school and uses we are a public school as an excuse not to try. The teachers have the materials, but they still use lots of worksheets because that is all that they know. It might be better than a regular public school and may include some Montessori instruction, it is not even close to a Montessori atmosphere.
—Submitted by a parent


Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

About these ratings

The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

The test results by subgroup show how the designated group of students is performing in comparison to the general population.
English/Language Arts

The state average for English/Language Arts was 85% in 2013.

41 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
76%

2012

 
 
94%

2011

 
 
89%

2010

 
 
88%
Math

The state average for Math was 80% in 2013.

43 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
63%

2012

 
 
82%

2011

 
 
82%

2010

 
 
83%
Scale: % passing

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Indiana used the Indiana Statewide Testing for Educational Progress-Plus (ISTEP+) assessment to test students in grades 3 through 8 in English language arts and math, grades 4 and 6 in science, and in grades 5 and 7 in social studies. The ISTEP+ is a standards-based test, which means it measures specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Indiana. The goal is for all students to score at the passing level on the test.

Source: Indiana Department of Education

English/Language Arts

The state average for English/Language Arts was 84% in 2013.

40 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
88%

2012

 
 
84%

2011

 
 
78%

2010

 
 
79%
Math

The state average for Math was 84% in 2013.

40 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
68%

2012

 
 
84%

2011

 
 
72%

2010

 
 
58%
Science

The state average for Science was 74% in 2013.

41 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
66%

2012

 
 
89%

2011

 
 
83%

2010

 
 
68%
Scale: % passing

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Indiana used the Indiana Statewide Testing for Educational Progress-Plus (ISTEP+) assessment to test students in grades 3 through 8 in English language arts and math, grades 4 and 6 in science, and in grades 5 and 7 in social studies. The ISTEP+ is a standards-based test, which means it measures specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Indiana. The goal is for all students to score at the passing level on the test.

Source: Indiana Department of Education

English/Language Arts

The state average for English/Language Arts was 79% in 2013.

17 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
88%

2012

 
 
67%

2011

 
 
82%

2010

 
 
55%
Math

The state average for Math was 87% in 2013.

17 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
82%

2012

 
 
94%

2011

 
 
79%

2010

 
 
55%
Social Studies

The state average for Social Studies was 74% in 2013.

16 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
88%

2012

 
 
61%

2011

 
 
79%

2010

 
 
64%
Scale: % passing

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Indiana used the Indiana Statewide Testing for Educational Progress-Plus (ISTEP+) assessment to test students in grades 3 through 8 in English language arts and math, grades 4 and 6 in science, and in grades 5 and 7 in social studies. The ISTEP+ is a standards-based test, which means it measures specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Indiana. The goal is for all students to score at the passing level on the test.

Source: Indiana Department of Education

English/Language Arts

The state average for English/Language Arts was 78% in 2013.

18 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
72%

2012

 
 
87%

2011

 
 
n/a

2010

 
 
88%
Math

The state average for Math was 84% in 2013.

18 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
72%

2012

 
 
93%

2011

 
 
70%

2010

 
 
69%
Science

The state average for Science was 69% in 2013.

18 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
78%

2012

 
 
93%

2011

 
 
n/a

2010

 
 
75%
Scale: % passing

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Indiana used the Indiana Statewide Testing for Educational Progress-Plus (ISTEP+) assessment to test students in grades 3 through 8 in English language arts and math, grades 4 and 6 in science, and in grades 5 and 7 in social studies. The ISTEP+ is a standards-based test, which means it measures specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Indiana. The goal is for all students to score at the passing level on the test.

Source: Indiana Department of Education

English/Language Arts

The state average for English/Language Arts was 74% in 2013.

13 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
92%

2012

 
 
n/a

2011

 
 
94%

2010

 
 
n/a
Math

The state average for Math was 81% in 2013.

13 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
92%

2012

 
 
n/a

2011

 
 
88%

2010

 
 
n/a
Social Studies

The state average for Social Studies was 69% in 2013.

13 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
77%

2012

 
 
n/a

2011

 
 
94%

2010

 
 
n/a
Scale: % passing

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Indiana used the Indiana Statewide Testing for Educational Progress-Plus (ISTEP+) assessment to test students in grades 3 through 8 in English language arts and math, grades 4 and 6 in science, and in grades 5 and 7 in social studies. The ISTEP+ is a standards-based test, which means it measures specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Indiana. The goal is for all students to score at the passing level on the test.

Source: Indiana Department of Education

English/Language Arts

The state average for English/Language Arts was 76% in 2013.

2013

 
 
n/a

2012

 
 
87%

2011

 
 
n/a

2010

 
 
n/a
Math

The state average for Math was 81% in 2013.

2013

 
 
n/a

2012

 
 
87%

2011

 
 
n/a

2010

 
 
n/a
Scale: % passing

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Indiana used the Indiana Statewide Testing for Educational Progress-Plus (ISTEP+) assessment to test students in grades 3 through 8 in English language arts and math, grades 4 and 6 in science, and in grades 5 and 7 in social studies. The ISTEP+ is a standards-based test, which means it measures specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Indiana. The goal is for all students to score at the passing level on the test.

Source: Indiana Department of Education

Algebra I

The state average for Algebra I was 70% in 2013.

2013

 
 
n/a

2012

 
 
n/a

2011

 
 
n/a

2010

 
 
n/a
Scale: % passing

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Indiana used the End-of-Course (ECA) assessment to test students in middle and high school in Algebra I, Biology I, and English 10. The ECA is a criterion-referenced assessment developed specifically for students completing their instruction in Algebra I, Biology I, or English 10. The goal is for all students to score at the passing level on the test.

Source: Indiana Department of Education

  • In 2011-2012, this school received a grade of "A".
  • In 2010-2011, this school received a grade of "A".
  • In 2009-2010, this school received a grade of "A".

About the tests


Indiana uses the A through F School Grading System to assess the overall performance of a school. For the 2011-2012 school year, schools were graded based on performance and participation levels in state standardized tests and student growth using the Indiana Growth Model. In addition, high schools were graded on four-year (on-time) graduation rates and college and career readiness indicators including Advanced Placment exam results and industry certification exam results.

Source: Indiana Department of Education

What is the GreatSchools Rating?

The GreatSchools rating is a simple tool for parents to compare schools based on test scores, student academic growth, and college readiness. It compares schools across the state, where the highest rated schools in the state are designated as “Above Average” and the lowest “Below Average.” It is designed to be a starting point to help parents make baseline comparisons. We always advise parents to visit the school and consider other information on school performance and programs, as well as consider their child's and family's needs as part of the school selection process.

 
Average

Test score rating
Student growth rating

1-3 Below Average

4-7 Average

8-10 Above Average

 

How schools in the state rate:

20%
of schools in the state are Below average
55%
of schools in the state are Average
25%
of schools in the state are Above average

Breaking down the GreatSchools Rating

The graphs below compare this school's results in each area to other schools in the district and state.

Test score rating 20131What's this?

Test score rating examines how students at this school performed on standardized tests compared with other schools in the state.

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District
State
1
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3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10

Student growth rating 20132What's this?

Student growth rating measures whether students at this school are making academic progress over time. Specifically, the rating looks at how much progress individual students have made on reading and math assessments during the past year or more.

Close
This school
District
State
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10

Math growth at this school

Below Average

Reading growth at this school

Average


1 Test scores are based on 2012-13 ISTEP and End of Course Assessment results.

2 This rating is based on 2011-12 and 2012-13 Median Growth Percentiles in Math and English Language Arts

Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
White 82% 72%
Black 7% 12%
Multiracial 5% 4%
Asian 3% 2%
Hispanic 2% 10%
American Indian 0% 0%
Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander 0% 0%
Source: IN Dept. of Education, 2012-2013

Student subgroups

  This school District averageState average
Students participating in free or reduced-price lunch program 12%N/A46%
Special education 17%N/A14%
English learners 1%N/A5%
Source: IN Dept. of Education, 2012-2013

Teacher resources

Special staff resources available to students PE instructor(s)
Music teacher(s)
Computer specialist(s)
Art teacher(s)
Nurse(s)
Special education coordinator
Speech and language therapist(s)
Teacher aid/assistant teacher
Foreign languages spoken by school staff None
Read more about programs at this school
Source: Provided by a school official.

Awards

Academic awards received in the past 3 years
  • Best Elementary School by Indianapolis Monthly Magazine (2010)

Special education / special needs

Level of special education programming offered
  • Moderate - the school consistently offers a full program for particular special education needs
Extra learning resources offered
  • Differentiated learning programs
Staff resources available to students
  • Special education coordinator
  • Speech and language therapist(s)

Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM)

Staff resources available to students
  • Computer specialist(s)
School facilities
  • Computer lab
  • Garden/Greenhouse

Arts & music

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
School facilities
  • Music room
Clubs
  • Yearbook

Language learning

Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students
Staff resources available to students
  • Speech and language therapist(s)

Health & athletics

Staff resources available to students
  • Nurse(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
School facilities
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Gym
  • Kitchen
School leaders can update this information here.

School basics

School start time
  • 8:30 am
School end time
  • 3:30 am
Before school or after school care / program onsite
  • Before school: starts at 6:30 a.m.
  • After school: ends at 6:00 p.m.
School Leader's name
  • Susan Fries
Best ways for parents to contact the school
  • Email
  • Phone
Age at which early childhood or Pre-K program begins
  • 3 years old
Gender
  • Coed
Is there an application process?
  • Yes
Fax number
  • (317) 335-1265

Programs

Instructional and/or curriculum models used

Don't understand these terms?
  • Montessori
  • Multi-aged
Specific academic themes or areas of focus

Don't understand these terms?
  • None
Bi-lingual or language immersion programs offered

Don't understand these terms?
  • No
Level of special education programming offered
  • Moderate - the school consistently offers a full program for particular special education needs
Foreign languages taught
  • None
Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students

Resources

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Computer specialist(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
  • Nurse(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
  • Special education coordinator
  • Speech and language therapist(s)
  • Teacher aid/assistant teacher
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • None
Extra learning resources offered
  • Differentiated learning programs
  • Remediation
Transportation options
  • None
School facilities
  • Audiovisual aids
  • Computer lab
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Gym
  • Internet access
  • Kitchen
  • Library
  • Music room
  • Playground
School leaders can update this information here.

Sports

Boys sports
  • None
Girls sports
  • None

Arts & music

Visual arts
  • None
Music
  • None
Performing arts
  • None
Media arts
  • None

Student clubs

Clubs (distinct from courses)
  • Yearbook
School leaders can update this information here.

Upcoming Events

No upcoming events found for this school
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School culture

Dress Code
  • Dress code
Bullying policy
  • This school has a bullying and/or cyber bullying policy in place.
Parent involvement
  • Attend parent nights
  • Chaperone school trips
  • Join PTO/PTA
  • Organize cultural events
  • Organize fundraising events (school auction, bake sales, etc.)
  • Present special topics during curricular units
  • Volunteer in the classroom
  • Volunteer time after school
School leaders can update this information here.

Apply

 

TIP: Don't forget to ask about documents required for enrollment, such as your child's birth certificate, proof of address, or a record of immunizations.

 
Apply now
 

What are your chances?

Students typically come from these schools
Mt. Vernon Schools
Hamilton Southeastern
Lawrence Township

Planning ahead

Students typically attend these schools after graduating
Herron High
Hamilton Southeastern
Heritage Christian
Notice an inaccuracy? Let us know!

13942 East 96th Street
McCordsville, IN 46055
Website: Click here
Phone: (317) 335-1158

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