My family currently has one child in lower elementary at BMPCS and she has been at this school since 4 yrs old. We are consistently impressed with the teachers and staff involved in her lessons and amazed sometimes with the level of math and reading she's doing at that age. We like also that the Board is mainly comprised of former teachers and also includes others with finance, legal and real estate backgrounds.
Charter schools generally, and this one in particular, are about property, not education. It's a shame, because it could have been a great school. But the founders and many members of the board are real estate developers or related to developers, not educators. They leave critical educational needs to volunteers or completely unfunded and undone, but seem always to have enough money to chase the next property purchase. Don't send your children here. Stay in the district schools, even if dull and uninspired.
I have been involved with this school for the past several years and find that this is a welcoming, nurturing community of people that are working pretty hard to educate and inspire our children. It is too easy to make blanket statements of why you think it is a success or not. But I find the real worth of this school in the small things-for instance, in the happy smiles of children walking to / or being dropped off at the start of their day where they are greeted by many staff who know their names, or in the wonderful smells from the kitchen where students work together to prepare a healthy school snack. Those are just a few examples of what makes this school unique and wonderful.
Baltimore Montessori Public school has many issues that it needs to work out. While there seem to be some good teachers at the school, the leadership does not understand the needs of the community. The school also doesn't run well. When visiting the school, it is chaotic and the principal doesn't seem to know how to handle the issues. Each year many of the good teachers leave, and it is a bad sign that the school cannot keep good teachers. The leadership has many nice words to say, but they are not truthful. As a member of the community, I find this dishonesty to be the most problematic, and want to warn parents that they need to have both eyes and ears open when visiting the school.
I currently have 3 children at Baltimore Montessori. They are in both lower and upper elementary. We are very happy with the school overall. I feel that both the teachers and administartion truly care about the well being of every child. The school strives to teach not just academics but social and physical well being as well. The whole child. I think it meets this goal. The children are not taught to the test - if this is what you want, and you are not willing to teach to the test a little at home - than this may not be the school for you. We love this school because our children are not only getting a fantastic base for all the traditional subject areas, they are also getting truly amazing lessons in art, music, community and being inspired to make a good contribution to society.
A 3 star school that could b/c a 5 star school. B/c of the intelligence & dedication of the school leadership & the talents of many staff, there is a good chance it will. My 2 daughters b/g attending 3 years ago. Much good will & effort has been hampered by the realities of starting a new public school, of absorbing children w/ a wide range of social & learning delays whose parents sought this school out in droves because of its progressive approach, &, I think, b/c of some dogmatism about Montessori practices devised for a world no longer in existence. The Upper El. curriculum should be updated to provide kids w/ the kind of intellectual anchors & frameworks that were not needed before the web-age. More direction needs to be given today than was 100 years ago so that students may construct a framework of core knowledge, concepts & skills enabling them to understand their complex, fast-changing world. The plethora, subjectivity & superficiality of information today make it crucial that thoughtfully sequenced & linked knowledge be offered. Use of the best textbooks would assist this & would reify the value of books in the Google Age. Self-directed learning w/in parameters.
I am very happy with this school. It is very well organized and they strive to make sure each child's needs are met. As a parent of one returning child in the Children's House and a new student going to the 3rd, I feel that Baltimore Montessori Charter is a Community Building School that wants to teach the children what they need to be successful workers, enthusiastic life long learners, problem solvers, and young people who have a desire to give back to their community and build a better future. Not a limited future ; but a future that is uniquely their own. I believe this school can and will allow room for pioneers and visionaries to grow and give something inovative solutions to problems of today and tomorrrow.
It amazes me that this school is allowed to expand to include middle school-aged children. A previous responder talked about the changing demographics, but he stopped short of saying that more Black children are enrolling and that throws a wrench in the plans of the founders who wanted to cater to well-to-do white children from the surrounding affluent neighborhoods. The staff has not demonstrated cultural competence and instead of meeting the needs of the Black children, the staff labels these children as problems, angry, disobedient and frustrated. The demographics of the school on the City School s website says it all. How is it that a public school in a poor Black neighborhood end up with a majority white affluent population? Most of the White families are pulling their children out in droves because the school is not living up to the Montessori philosophy. The slots are filled by poor Black children and even more Whites pull their children out. Pattern? When you look at the MSA scores, only the Black students are failing especially the Black males that get labeled. What is wrong with that picture? At this rate, the school only has a few more years of existence.
I don't feel these posting are inaccurate. The test scores speak for themselves, the children are not learning and/or thriving as they should. I found some staff to be racist, students were being bullied with staff present and the ratio of children being transferred out of this school is as high as staff turnover. Do the math!!! This school is well known by North Avenue, because of the numerous complaints!!! If you dont' care about your child's education this is a GREAT school. If you do, don't even bother stopping - a true waste of time!!
The mission is great. The initial plan was terrific. However, it is changing as the demographics are changing. The school is great for the younger ages, however once kids reach an age where they need to know certain work techniques it is not happening. There is the love of learning but also the actual process that needs to happen. There are a lot of new teachers (which is good & bad). New teachers have to learn how to be receptive to parents. A better city school but not a huge gem in the rough.
There are some wonderful things about BMPC, but also very serious flaws that threaten to undermine its mission. They are currently failing to meet the needs of a great many students. Certainly the faculty are dedicated and work hard. But many faculty are inexperienced, with an irrational devotion to principles that are not working in the classroom. Frankly, some faculty believe in their approach to the point of arrogance, dismissing parents' concerns, even blaming us for the problems. Some children do well, especially in the younger grades. Some kids really enjoy the school, and so their parents are thrilled. But, there is a serious failure to teach skills and work habits. They neglect anything that requires repeated, consistent practice. Parents have no way to meaningfully track their kids' progress other than the MSA! Reports provide only a subjective impression of whether the child can work independently in an area. But teachers do not know if students are LEARNING, or even if they are finishing any work. My kids are HAPPY there, but the school is a failure so far. The open classroom and individual work plan is so promising, but their implementation shockingly naive. So sad.
Honestly, there is so much inaccurate information in some of these reviews, that I'm surprised they haven't been pulled. This is a completely unmoderated site and a great example of why the internet can be both a boon and a bust. It is so obvious that these slanderous reviews are from the same person!! If you are honestly interested in this school, do yourself a favor and attend one of the information sessions/open houses held in January/February. If your child is fortunate enough to be offered a space in this school, come back and meet with the director, then have your child shadow for a day and meet the teachers. See this school in action firsthand and decide for yourself if it's the right fit for your family.
My child was picked on, not just once but to be exact-6 times by the same girl since the beginning of March 2011. She told the administrators about it, they stated that they are taking it seriously and will make sure that her parents will be informed about it. But then, she started picking on my daughter again. The person who was in charge during that time was informed. But she stated that since she did not see that the girl hit my daughter in her left leg, my daughter has to go to peer mediation. I was flabbergasted. Disciplining a student at this school passes through a student and not through an adult. Correct me, if I am wrong, then when does an adult intervene? This is a school setting and these are children. Children need guidance and since they have very limited experience in life, I feel that an adult should have talked to both students to find out the truth. This school is truly a waste of tax payers money. the school calls their teachers guide, but they sure don't guide their children. They let their children get away with anything. The good children are leaving and they are left with chaotic children who badly need guidance.
Ms.Debika is the one true asset to this school and the only reason I am giving this school any star at all is for her. She has greatly improved my childs education. As for the rest of the school, it is horrifying to see public school education and realize that it keeps getting worse and worse. Thank goodness for Ms.Debika with her 37 years of experience! This school is lucky they have her, because 95% of the staff they currently employ have zero or very little experience. The principal is incompetent and she is the worst pricipal I have ever seen in my entire life. She has no experience and she only ran a daycare center before this school opened up. The only reason she got the job was because she founded the school and that was the worst choice Dr.Alozos ever made. She lets bullying and and other things happen right under her nose without lifting a finger. I am appaled any one in their right minds could possibly give this school a 5 star review. Imagine 6th graders doing 2 digit multipulcation and not knowing how to spell "press." Absolutely HORRIBLE!!!
My belief is that the testing scores speak for themselves. How will these children ever survive academically once they leave this school?
I totally agree with the submission made the teacher below. Too much nonsense happens at this school. Be prepared tp teach your child combat techniques as a means of survival and to teach your child at home because the school's learning environment is completely disruptive. The school's leadership does absolutely nothing to enforce discipline or correct unruly, disruptive, direspectful or abusive behavior. If you are looking for a school that values the arts but nothing else, not education, not discpline, not respect or common decency then this is your school. The school's high turn over rate of quality educators and quality students is indicative of same. The clustered copious rosy pcture comments are obviously not self directed because the dates are very close together.interestingly enough all of the negative comments that previously existed are no longer present. In true Montessori schools none of the above would be tolerated. -Soon to be former parent
I don't have a child in this school but a very dear friend of mine has several. I myself find the children to be quiet, well mannered & very respectful of each other, their instructors & visitors. I absolutely love the art teacher & think that she's the greatest asset the school has. This is because she's fun, energetic, loves her vocation, loves children & loves to use her imagination! I wish that I could take her class! I think that the majority of the staff are awesome & that they really get a kick out of their jobs. I only ran across one instructor (Ms. Debeker) who really grinded my gears because she was not only very rude to my friend but to my friend's son as well. The Principal seems to be a really kind lady who tries very hard to bring the very best to her school. I wish that my own son could attend this school but he's too old. Education begins at home and ANYONE who thinks that it's solely the job of any school to teach your child(ren) are sadly mistaken & income bracket doesn't determine a parent's dedication to their childs learning! To me This school utilizes things to interest the mind, body and soul of it's pupils!
I want to relay a recent example that illustrates the dedication the principal of Baltimore Montessori PCS has for the children attending the school: on Saturday, Ms. Allison attended the city-wide public schools chess tournament that some of the students participated in and on Sunday she attended the Bridges (string program) concert that some other Montessori students participated in (along with students from several other city public schools). It should be noted that her own three children do not participate in these programs but she took time out of her weekend to attend these programs. I watched as children ran up to her excited to see her and proud to share with her what they've accomplished on their string instrument. We need more leaders in education like Ms. Allison for city schools!
If the parents of the students knew half of what goes on in those classrooms there wouldn't be a school anymore. This is not opinion it is fact. There is no discipline in this school. I personally believe deeply in Montessori principals but one has to be a realist when considering that this is an inner city school and discipline is necessary. In general, the school survives because of the demographic. The wealthy children from Roland Park have parents who won t let them fail and can tolerate the lack of basic education because they force their children to do homework at night. The impoverished children from the immediate area have negligent parents who aren t really paying attention. Please be careful with allowing your children to go to school here. I'm disappointed that my tax dollars are funding this experiment.
I second Dr. Alonzo's call for opening more schools like this in Baltimore City. It's no surprise that he would say this about Baltimore Montessori Public Charter. The city and all of the parents I know at the school love what is happening there. I have one son at this school and he has really taken to the challenging curriculum and the engaging surroundings. The principle, Allison Schecter, works tirelessly at knowing every child and their families. The involvement of the parents, teachers, staff AND the local community, make this school a gem. Intensive academic instruction is exceptional and teaches kids to really understand the depth of each track. (Not simply staring into a textbook and reading back the words) I'm also very impressed with the exposure that the kids have to everything from planting organic vegetables, doing yoga, learning to cook healthy meals, and the list goes on. I'm incredibly grateful to everyone at the school and the leadership that Allison shows on a daily basis. Locking down plans for the new middle school is yet another example of her dedication and creativity in a part of the city that needs it. If you can, get your kids into this school!
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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.
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