This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Monocacy Valley Montessori School5
Posted April 04, 2014
- a parent
We are very fortunate to be one of the lucky ones to get into the charter school we have been at this school for over 5 years. Yes it's a charter public school (free) not a private school so there are Obstacles to our funding. I ask my children if they are happy and that's what is important for us. The teachers here have been wonderful and I have never been dismissed by the faculty with questions or concerns. I will never forget how fortunate we are:) they have learned a lot not just on paper but as a good person in life.
If I could give this school a negative rating I would... it's very sad, because the environment of Montessori is so positive, yet the administration and the newer teachers at this school do not live up to that. My children do not use the fantastic manipulatives that are part of Montessori, they rarely get a lesson (maybe 1x per month) and complete packet after packet of math materials vs. the hands on learning that is part of Montessori. The school is not the same it was when the founding families started the school, nor is it living up to the vision that the founding families had for the school. The administration does nothing to address teacher issues or student issues. Complaints or concerns are ignored unless escalated. My children have been at the school for many years, but it has gotten so bad recently, I will be finding another alternative for them because this is not a positive environment.
We were overall pleased with our first year at this school--our child was happy and made great progress. I think it's a good teaching method that accommodates her restlessness. One thing I especially liked was the large number of field trips--this made school extra fun and interesting. I also appreciate the Spanish instruction and wish there could be even more of that. Good emphasis on theater and music. This school has a high level of parent involvement, and there are lots of fun events throughout the year (plays, picnics, swaps, etc.) I thought the principal was good--seemed hardworking, not "goofing off" as one parent said--I didn't encounter any problems. One downside was some rude infighting among parents over the music program that spilled onto the school's list serve--very inappropriate. I think charter schools have a tendency to attract people who aren't happy with the school system for various reasons--and some of these folks will be unhappy no matter where they are. Building has its charms, but the biggest downside is no gymnasium.
Well, the school has a terrible principal, and she did these TERRIBLE things: Didn't provide a student the strings program, and she also tore apart a good terrific strings program. Plus, there's been no AP (assistant principal) since the old one there left. The principal and another teacher don't care about their jobs, so they just goof off to get their paycheck.
We just finished our first year at MVMPCS and love it! My son was in Kindergarten and learned so much - not just learned it but actually understands what he learned! Small community feel to the school and a lot of opportunity to volunteer in the classroom.
We have attended this school for several years. Since Mrs. Bowan left, the school has gone down hill. It used to a school governed by the parents, the teachers the board and the principal. Now, it has morphed into a school that has the same problems most public schools have and then some. The current principal does not support the parents if there is a problem in the class room. This school may be better than some of the local schools but it is no longer the gem of Frederick County Public Schools. It is very sad to see something that was once so special turn into something that is only better than the worst performers in the county. We will not be returning next year.
Great school, my kids love going. From everything I have seen on visits to the classes and what my children say the staff is great. The school has a real community to it and the parents are heavily involved in the school
My daughter & her husband were 2 of the original founders of this school. I know how hard it was to establish this school, but the people were so committed and excited. I remember the tears shed on the first opening day--how proud and excited everyone was. Two of my grandkids still attend this school, the oldest is now in high school. The kids love this school and have thrived in its environment. All three have taken the violin lessons and my granddaughter has performed in 2 plays. The parent involvement is fabulous and contributes to the success of the school. Currently, it is housed in an old church--not the average school building by any means--but i think it adds to the charm of the school. It has had it ups and downs throughout the years, but I feel it deserves a lot of praise for the courage and stamina of all those who dedicate themselves to this school. I am so grateful that my precious grandkids have had this opportunity.
Our family loves this school! My middle-school child really likes her teachers, and works hard to meet their expectations. She loves the small class because the peer pressure is low, school support for unique talents is high. Our 5th-grader is struggles with reading, but gets the special help he needs without being called out as a slow student, or placed in the snail reading group. The teachers are so dedicated, but also fun, cheerful, and seem to really enjoy their work and the accomplishments of the students. I couldn't be more pleased with this school and wish every child had the opportunity to excel at his/her own rate, meet his/her own potential as my children do.
We love MVMPCS because of its uniqueness. Our children are able to experience a Montessori education at a public school where parents have more involvement in the running of the school. The Montessori pedagogy coupled with unique programs (such as the Suzuki Strings program where students start playing as early as the first grade), and an excellent staff have fostered a love learning in our children.