As a parent of two children at BMPCS and a longtime believer in both Montessori education broad curriculum and public school education, I feel that Baltimore Montessori is doing a great job at educating our children, looking beyond the barriers of testing to the social/emotional needs of each child and focusing on real world connections on a daily basis. The leadership shows a great deal of trust in her community both within the school and surrounding the school. She is outside the front door every morning to greet both parents and students each morning with a smile. She entrenches herself in issues beyond the classroom, focusing on the needs of students and the surrounding community. The teachers seem to be constantly learning and growing from each other and the surrounding community as well. It is a welcoming environment that allows parents into classrooms for a variety of activities. In regards to the comment that my children's school is unaware of white privilege seems very off in my opinion. The staff does a great deal to educate themselves on race and class issues. The daily community meetings that happen in my child's class seem to not only focus on present day issues, but help students look beyond their neighborhood or community to a larger world view. I would recommend this school to anyone looking for a balanced education for their students and for themselves.
- BMPCS Parent
The school spends a lot of time working with students on social and emotional needs. There are daily classroom community meetings, there are conversations in regards to grace and courtesy as well which happen each day. Teachers take a great amount of time helping each student find their place in the community. There is no one size fits all way in helping students find and receive the respect they each deserve.
School leadership is generally unaware of white privilege and is off theark when it comes to addressing race issues. There is a clear divide inside the school and the ainistration feels its being addressed but clearly its not.
Furthermore the curriculum is so underwhelming, children will not go one to succeed at a more competitive school without a lot of external extra curricular support.
This school has wonderful parent involvement and a really friendly staff. There's a dedication to the flow of the school that you can't help but to appreciate. When in the office I feel completely welcomed and at random kids walk around to offer warm cookies they just made in the kitchen with the cooking aid. I love that about the school. Also the parents have the same goals for their children's learning environment that bring us supportively together. The only reason I gave my school 4 out of 5 is because there are challenges for new families to get the hang of the pace of the Montessori curriculum especially if you don't start you kid at a pre-k level. It can be hard to gage where your child stands right away because your not going to see graded work. It would be helpful to have a workshop to coach new families on tips and tools to improve the overall understanding of the learning method before school starts. I would suggest doing research on the lifestyle and learning style of Montessori teachings before you start this school so you can have the tools to encourage your child from home also.
BMPCS is an amazing school. My family and I are so fortunate to have this gem in our backyard. The staff are dedicated , caring , and extremely knowledgeable. I have 5 year old twins, who have attended BMPCS for 2 years, and every day they literally run top speed to school. We LOVE BMPCS!!
Honestly, this school should have been shut down a long time ago. My son is exceedingly bright, and did well above advanced on the MSA. One year at this school, and he became basic in math. How could this happen unless the staff was negligent? And how can we, as parents, help our children when there is no homework and nothing to study? Great concept, lacking appication.
This is an absolutely wonderful school. I love the Montessori style of education and Baltimore is so privileged to have a public Montessori school that students can attend free of charge. The teachers and staff are amazing, the school is extremely well run, and it is a wonderful learning environment for children.
I can't figure out why the school does not offer a full-day program for the 3 year olds. Where is the extra cost? 3 year olds are part of the 3-5 year old classrooms. When they go home, no teachers or aides from those classrooms leave. They stay with the 4-5 year olds. So if there is no additional personnel cost, what is the issue? I understand the difficulty of finding an aftercare vendor for 3 year olds (staff ratio problems for that age), whether the kids are released at noon or 3pm, but with those children already in the building, they have the ability to create their own aftercare program. There are other inner city, public Montessori programs in other cities where the 3 year olds are included in the full-day program, and have an aftercare program. Only certain families can afford and arrange the logistics for the 3 year old program, and it shuts out working and middle class working parents especially. As the entry point to the school, the design of this excludes children of working parents from the school long-term, as those 3 year olds move into the 4 year old slots.
I wish I could abstain from the star rating as my child does not attend this school, but I am not able to do that. I do want to chime in regarding the 3-year-old half-day issue. My 3 year old was accepted to Baltimore Montessori via the lottery, but the fact that it is half day for the 3-year-old class WITHOUT ANY AFTERCARE made Montessori not possible for this working mom. And while it is true that there are no other public school options for 3-year-olds, a 2.5 hour day is harder logistically and more expensive for working parents (assuming you have to hire a part-time nanny) than most day-care facilities. I do wonder what is behind the half-day/no aftercare policy and what effect that policy has on the demographics of the families who accept places in the school.
I have to say in response to the 02/09 post that I have never seen open wires in the school and that I know for a fact that the leadership does send there children there since two of the kids are in my daughters class. Also, where else can you send your 3 year old ALL day? five days a week?? besides daycare. I would venture to say it may be BCPS policy that three year olds can not attend an all day 5 day a week program but I do not know for sure. I don't think it exists which is one of the reasons this school is so popular because it is a free pre-k program.Regardless, its too long of a day for a 3 year old anyway past 11:30. I feel genuinely welcomed.