I cannot speak to the younger levels, but the new administration and faculty are doing a terrible job with the elementary. They are not working in the best interest of the child and are giving Montessori a bad name. What they call "authentic Montessori" is NOT how Montessori is supposed to be. My family has had a horrific experience with this school and I would strongly advise anyone looking for elementary age children to look elsewhere!
My son is currently enrolled in the Toddler program so I can only speak of that. When my husband and I was looking for primary schools in the area, we immediately realized that no other school we looked at came close to the class room environment that we observed from GMS. I appreciate the fact that they give us weekly updates and photos taken from their classroom. I am also grateful that the community helped us when it came to potty training our son. If not for the push & encouragement from them, we wouldn't have been able to potty train our son this early. It was my son's guides who told us that our son is ready and willing to learn to use the potty. There are regular coffee & conversations that catered to the various needs of the parents, an avenue to air out concerns. I just wish they were at a more convenient time because I do have to work my schedule around it. Most important of all my son is happy and thriving. The only down side we had to deal with is the expense and flexibility of pick up for working parents like us and we regretfully had to make a decision to move our son to another school because of that. GMS is a great school and I wish we could stay.
I am blown away by some of the comments posted on this site. It goes to show the different experiences that people have. I could not be happier with my experience with GMS. I have a child currently enrolled. My child has been here for a little over a year now. This is our first experience with Montessori and I could not be happier. I have older children as well, and, to be honest, I am not sure it would be the best fit for one of them in particular. The Montessori method of teaching may not work with every child, especially if they are coming from different learning experiences or have different needs, but it is indeed the best fit for my child currently attending GMS. The love and care demonstrated by the guides in the classroom is unmatched. The skills taught in the classrooms go far beyond ABCs and 123s, they develop our children as thoughtful, caring, independent, confident young people. I could not be happier with GMS and am so grateful to the administration and the staff for all they do for our children.
I am so sorry to say how disappointing and honestly incredibly upsetting my family's experience has been with Greenspring Montessori. The new administration and some of the elementary teachers are creating an incredibly unfriendly atmosphere with a complete lack of community or desire to work with families.. Any child who dos not fit their mold of the "ideal Montessori child" is told Montessori is not right for their child. This is completely contrary to Maria Montessori's true philosophy, vision and teachings. Greenspring is giving Montessori a bad name. Montessori education is supposed to be about community, empowering children, meeting the needs of each individual child and supporting their learning and growth in every area of development. Greenspring "Montessori" has warped the vision of "authentic Montessori," done an terrible disservice to many children. Please do not judge Montessori on his horrible school. Sadly there are not many Montessori schools for elementary in the Baltimore area. To see Montessori elementary the way it is meant to be visit Chesapeake Montessori School (AMI) in Annapolis or the Montessori School of Northern Virginia (AMS) in Annandale, VA.
My children are very happy at GMS. It is definitely a different way of educating - and a different way of thinking about what our children are capable of. I find myself learning from the community outreach - and self-reflecting - often on ways I could be supporting my children in thinking more on their own, developing and seeing through their own ideas, and even in supporting the people they are developing into. I am so grateful for GMS - and how they see and believe in my children. Montessori has really facilitated my children learning to think for - and be - proud, confident, and compassionate - and themselves!
Greenspring Montessori: There is something wrong with your child, they can't learn. Parents: Seek professional help, have the child tested. Nothing out of the ordinary. Greenspring Montessori: There is something wrong with your child, they can't learn. Parents: Not a single professional outside the school has found a learning issue. Greenspring Montessori: There is something wrong with your child, they can't learn. Parents: New school Child: Leading class participation, no issues, no homework problems, teachers consider the child to be more mature than classmates. Parents conclusion: Montessori has a problem. Every child is unique, but if they can't learn here, they are the problem. There are some very good teachers at this school, but for the most part leadership can't get past the righteousness of Montessori being the best and most successful teaching method on the planet and come to terms with the simple idea that not all children are the same. Ironic.
My daughter is finishing her first year in the Children's House Spanish immersion class. While visiting her grandparents, she recently said "My teachers love their kids." A simple statement, but it meant the world to me, to know she spends her days where she feels loved and secure. I love the sense of community. Even aides from other classrooms know my daughter from the carline, and even her little brother (who is not yet a student there). Everyone is friendly and approachable and my daughter loves her school and all of her friends. In terms of improvement, we have struggled with communication in terms of events or activities, especially in the upper elementary where my stepson attends. As a split household, there has been some struggle with keeping every parent in the loop. Even with my daughter's teacher, it helps to be proactive in contacting them. However, I truly feel that each teacher I have met and especially the head of school, Ms. Balis, genuinely cares about the well-being of each child and is committed to providing them with an excellent education. I highly recommend this school and its philosophy to other parents.
Our daughter will be starting in the Children's House at Greenspring Montessori School this fall. We feel strongly that the Montessori approach is the best fit for our daughter. We have been well taken care of through each step of the Admissions process, from our first visit to the school through the enrollment process. We loved the prospective parent education workshops (we are already implementing some of these Montessori techniques at home!) and the Welcome Playdate for new students was a wonderful way to start building a sense of community for new families. We have been treated with professionalism and warmth every step of the way. We can't wait for the new school year to start!
My child is completing her 3rd year at Greenspring Montessori School and will be going on to the lower elementary class here next year. We have been pleased with the kindness, efficiency and professionalism of the staff at all levels. I continue to be amazed by the guide's true understanding of my child and her academic and social capabilities - and needs. The new head of school has earned my support by taking a good school and pushing it to be better. We have seen improvements in infrastructure, teaching standards, curriculum alignment, faculty support, parent education, and communication with families. As the school settles into these rapid changes, we will hold the five star review for the coming year. I would and do recommend this school.