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Julia Brown Montessori School

Private | PK-3 | 76 students


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Living in Columbia

Situated in an urban neighborhood. The median home value is $280,100. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $1,400.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
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3 stars

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36 reviews of this school

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Posted November 5, 2014

Julia Brown is second to none in the area. Our child was at JBMS from preschool until the 3rd grade and it was one of the best decisions we have made. The fundamentals at JBMS were so excellent that our child could read and do simple multiplication in kindergarten. The teaching is done in a fun and supportive environment. He was always happy at the end of each day and I was amazed at the depth of the learning he has experienced. The teachers are exceedingly caring and warm. The Columbia site administrators were so helpful to us during the years and family/child centered. I always appreciated how flexible and accommodating they were. The other students were wonderful and the children had a great peer group. Our child transitioned from the school successfully, doing very well in the standardized state tests as well as excelling in a new school environment. Teachers in the new school commented on how good his prior training has been. I credit JBMS for teaching fundamentals to give tools to succeed as the students move forward. If you are looking for solid skills taught in a supportive and nurturing environment, that is what we found at JBMS.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted June 17, 2014

We have been sending our daughter to this school for the past two years and are very happy with the quality of education provided here. Our daughter has developed well and is learning a lot of stuff from the Directress (Ms. Anderson) and the Assistants and has a good group of kids to learn and play with. Clearly the communication style practiced with the parents is different here compared to other schools and might add a bit more anxiety early on for parents that are sending their kids to a school for the first time (and might expect frequent feedback on how the kid is doing each day/week). Once they are past this phase, this is no longer an issue. Of course, the school encourages parents to set up meetings as often as needed with the Directresses. The one suggestion we have for the school is to add a few more "play area equipment" for the kids. We absolutely plan on sending our son to this school when he is ready.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted May 30, 2014

Parental involvement: When I visited various other Montessori Schools, they all seem to have varying degrees of limited access to the classroom and teachers. It seems they all feel that the parents presence can often be an intrusion or distraction to the daily process. Expulsions: I do agree that the school should give reason for the dismissal of a child. However, in majority of private schools you will find that the schools are able to terminate a relationship at any time if they believe that a child/ parent is not in line with the schools mission. However if no specific reason was given for the dismisal upset feelings are understood. My personal experience: The classrooms are in good order, the teachers & assistants are all involved and the tone is very calm. This is a school environment, so the happy go lucky tone of a daycare would be absent here. The school is on the older, more lived-in side, however due to the fact that the tuition is much (significantly) less than surrounding Mont. schools, give me the clean older environment over a new building any day. I will update as my experience goes further but as for now, I am more than pleased.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted April 28, 2014

Great schools! For those of you who are complaining, remember, you had your chance to check the schools out before YOU enrolled your child! My child left for public schools and could have been placed 2 years ahead of where we decided to place her! Maybe trying to be a parent at home and working with your children on things for their development would be a better idea instead of expecting teachers or schools to do so for you! All I will say is the staff is almost always professional, and the children seem to really mature and develop abilities beyond their years! My advice is to research what Montessori is! It's about teaching children to be more independent, the way the classes are set up, just look into it more! You would be very surprised. My children were in more than one of the locations due to the purchase of a new home and never had anything but positivity and professionalism! They are not a day care center, or parents, they molders of young minds!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted December 18, 2013

JBMS has a history of kicking out students on a whim for any reason. It happened to me and I don't want it to happen to you! I was left without daycare for two weeks and had to stay home from work until I found something for my child. I could do it, but others could lose their job! My BIG offense??-- I asked the beforecare teacher about what activities my child does in the morning. That one question got my daughter thrown out without warning or discussion. I was in disbelief. Then I read on here how they have done the same thing to so many children. They are complete wackos and should have their licensed revoked. I'm considering a lawsuit. Please don't send you child here. There is no stability or security for your child here!!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted August 22, 2013

I am very disappointed with the school. The concept of the school is not right for kids. It is just like a small prison. Parents are not allowed to talk to teachers directly which is ridiculous. The school cares their business much more than kids.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted April 17, 2013

I am a parent of two children one currently attending JBMS and one who has graduated. My family has been a part of the JBMS family since 2006 and we are very pleased to have chosen JBMS for our daughter s early education. My oldest daughter now 9, began attending JBMS at age 2. From the first day she absolutely loved it. We were new to the area and she was able to meet lots of friends and form bonds that are still tight today. The Montessori method of education was a perfect fit for my active and curious child. Being able to learn at her own pace was exactly what she needed. During the 6 years at JBMS she flourished. Now as a fourth grader in a public school she is doing excellent. She is on or above grade level in all subjects. She has a strong foundation, established at JBMS. My younger daughter age 2, is beginning the program for the first time this year. She is recognizing sounds, shapes and colors. More importantly at that age, are her manners. She is learning how to be polite, follow instructions and how to play effectively with her peers. Before choosing JBMS we toured other daycare facilities. None were as clean with such polite staff and well mannered children as JBMS.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted September 6, 2012

I am extremely impressed with JBMS. My daughter has been there a little less than a year and the staff has stayed consistent thus far. Every time I had an question or concern my I have never had an issue with speaking with anyone. My daughter is very excited when going to school and has made a lot of friends. I would have to agree with the other parents that if you are considering enrolling your child definitely do your research about the Montessori method because it's not for everyone. Please go visit the school yourself it's a very good school.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted December 6, 2011

My daughter has been attending the Columbia location for 2 years now. I've never seen the rudeness that people mention. One thing I don't like is all questions has to go the directress and not the teacher/assistant. My daughter (who is 4.5 now) has learned a lot over the last two years and especially under Ms America since Fall'11. I think the class size has fallen to about 15 from 25 last year and I think that has given a chance for the teacher to spend more time with the kids. My daughter's reading, counting, adding, singing has improved dramatically in the last 4 months. I gave 2 stars for the policy of not letting parents talk to teachers/assistants directly except for the bi-annual PT meeting. They also have two observing sessions a year where you watch your child but not interact with them during class hours. Also the fact that they serve Vegetarian lunch makes it convenient for us to let her eat at school once in a while as we are vegetarians. I might let my second daughter also attend JBMS if we are still in this area in another 2 years.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted August 29, 2011

I'm shocked at the negatives reviews and I believe many of these must not be for the Columbia location. We have been at JBMS in Columbia for three years and have had an extremely positive experience. We have had amazing communication with all staff members, to include receiving notification from the staff for every bump and scrape on the playground to having telephone messages promptly returned when we had a question. The Montessori approach may not be suitable for everyone and I would encourage anyone who plans to consider this school to read about the Montessori approach prior to visiting so you'll understand the environment and how it differs from "daycare".
—Submitted by a parent

Posted July 19, 2011

I've read through a number of reviews and I'm shocked by the comments. My daughter has been attending this school for 4 years now and is thriving in this challenging academic environment. I have had no problems communicating with teachers and/or the principal. My daughter is WAY above grade level in all subjects. In fact, parents who have switched schools regret their decision. This Montessori school stresses independent thinking and provides a challenging academic environment for its students.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted May 27, 2011

The worst school in Maryland. The environment is prison-like and I can't figure out what the $1000 a month is for. My niece will NOT be attending!

Posted March 16, 2011

Seems to be a trend on this board and one I agree with, the management and turnover at JB Montessori is quite absurd. We met with 2 nice folk at Columbia's JB school in considering enrollment. When enrollment time came we found out both had been fired and a new soon to be on maternity leave replacement had been chosen. We are so glad we got our application declined and money back, since the school refused to take our phone calls. We were shocked to see so many like minded parents on this site. We can definitely recommend St. Mary's of the Mills and Pallotti Early Learning Center for your children, they have been very easy to work with over the years.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted March 13, 2011

This "montessori" school is more like a rigid daycare. The owners do not care about educating children. They run the school more like a dictatorship.The children are not allowed creative expression, they are trained to be "well behaved" robots. If you really care about your child's education then DO NOT send your them here!
—Submitted by a teacher

Posted February 16, 2011

I would not send my kid to this school if you want to find a caring school for your kid.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted February 10, 2011

I received a phone call on Monday dismissing my child from the Columbia school because I questioned the high turnover rate of the administrator position. We are on our 5th or 6th administrator in 1.5 yrs. I was told that Monday was his last day, we should pick up all his belongings and he is not to return to school the next day. He is nearly 4 yrs old and has been there for more than 1.5 yrs (since he was 2.5 yrs old) and has made a lot of friends. I had to explain to him that he did not do anything wrong, he is being expelled because they are mad at mommy. He does not understand why he cannot see his friends or favorite teacher anymore. Why dismiss a child in the middle of the school year and disrupt his schedule if your main interest is childhood education? Especially since he did nothing wrong! I am very disappointed. After reading the reviews below, I realize that there is a pattern of dismissing kids as desired at this school. The children should not have to suffer because the adults disagree.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted January 26, 2011

Please DO NOT enroll your child in this school. I recieved a phone call last night at 10:45 PM and was told my child could not return EVER and i was not to come pick up her belonings. My child only went here for 2.5 weeks. I had yet to meet her teacher and to see how she was doing, I am not an overprotective parent, but I think I should at least know my childs teacher. He said I was not to interact with anyone but the directress. They also sent my child home with a 99.1 tempurature last tuesday. She was in school for 2.5 weeks and never brought home an art project or anything. She isn't even 3 yet, she should clearly be doing something creative EVERYDAY. These are children that should be having fun, not programmed into little robots. Please take all of these reviews VERY seriously. I wish I would have known about this website BEFORE i enrolled my child. No one should be recieving phone calls at 10:45 p.m. that there child can't come back to school.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted January 12, 2011

I've read through all of the other reviews and would be remiss if I did not post. My children have been with JBMS for 5+ years now. Both are thriving academically and are happy. The environment at JBMS is nurturing for children to grow and learn. I can say that my children are almost 2 academic grades ahead in certain subjects and I attribute that to the teachers, etc. If either of my children are hurt, sick, whatever, the school calls and informs me. JBMS is absolutely open to parent involvment and communication. I can speak to any teacher, administrator or Julia Brown herself if I need to. Overall, JBMS is an OUTSTANDING school and I am sad that they only go to 3rd grade.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted January 11, 2011

Giving this school 1 start is and overstatement. WORST SCHOOL EVER!!! I am not sure how they are still in business. Its is a business only not a school. The owners are a disgrace to Montessori Education and should have their licensee taken away. PLEASE do your family a favor and remove your child from Julia Brown and never consider this a form of childcare/school. It makes me ill knowing what goes on in that environment.
—Submitted by a teacher

Posted November 22, 2010

My daughter was expelled because I asked to be informed on the days when she didn't nap. They strongly discourage parent communication.
—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.

We currently do not have any test score information for this school. Unlike public schools, private schools are not always required to report data about their schools or not required to take the same tests as public schools. Many private schools take different standardized tests; however, that information is often made available only to families of enrolled students. We strive to acquire additional private school data whenever available.

Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
Asian 44% N/A
Hispanic 44% 10%
Black 6% 40%
White 6% 45%
American Indian/Alaska Native 0% 0%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander N/A 5%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% N/A
Two or more races 0% N/A
Source: NCES, 2009-2010

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9760 Owen Brown Road
Columbia, MD 21045
Phone: (410) 730-5056


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