The Barrie school is a very competitive school to gain admissions. Having said that, I still firmly believe that the school takes students based off of a level of success they seem to display upon "the visit". If you have a child that doesn't "shine" they won't take her/him. They seem to only want kids that have the highest potential and that's NOT at all what Montessori is about. Sadly they do rely on and try to maintain a reputation. I just think they should be honest with parents and caregivers about what they are looking for and why instead of having parents and kids go through an admissions process that's really a dead end street.
We enrolled our toddler in the new pre-K (18 mo-2 yrs) program this year and we have been thrilled with our experience. A typical day has involved classroom work time squeezing fresh orange juice, exploring the creek, making milkweed mud balls to plant food for Monarch butterflies, and feeding the ponies. He just turned 2 and has developed language and gross motor skills through the roof and the ability to verbalize his feelings in surprisingly complex and delightful ways. He has weekly class time with Spanish, music, and phys ed specialists, as well as extraordinary full-time early child development educators. He was pottying and dressing himself at school by the time he was 2. We also love that they have a full-time nurse because he has asthma and food allergies and she has always been very vigilant. The older students come to occasionally work with the little kids, which is mutually beneficial, and students of all ages know our child by name. By the time Spring Carnival rolled around, we realized that our toddler had a social life that far extended beyond his little class of 6 kids. We love Barrie School and are blessed to have it in our neighborhood.
Barrie School provides a supportive, innovative, and peaceful learning environment. Once you step onto the campus, it is evident that the students enjoy learning. It has a wonderful 45 acre campus which serves as a classroom for the students. Faculty and staff at Barrie are very supportive and clearly enjoy teaching and learning.
Our experience has been the exact opposite. Faculty and staff are mostly concerned about reputation and self preservation. Meanwhile the student culture has gone way down hill.
Sensational facility! I have never seen a more compassionate group of teachers and I can honestly say that I think I looked at almost every private preschool in Montgomery county. This school blew my socks off and continues to daily. The campus is every kids dream. They have nature trails, stables, a pond, and all of it is incorporated into their daily teachings. Barrie has been the perfect match for our family!
BARRIE SCHOOL is a great school! The teachers are highly skilled, nurturing, and very involved. AFter 8 years at Barrie we are consistently impressed wtih the high quality of the teachers. The education is balanced with academics and the arts allowing the children to tap into their creativity. We highly recommend it.
Do not waste money by sending your kid to this school. This is one of the worst experience I have ever had. The kids enrolled at other Montessori schools are equally or more smarter. Teachers think they are smart and do not take care of the kids and their education. This school is interested in only making money from fundraising. Teachers never take any responsibilities but would want gifts and encouragements. I would never recommend this school for any class since it is a waste of money. I would prefer my kid to go to a place where the true world is projected. Millionaires might disagree with my comment but I would not recommend this school for a typical middle class family. I would recommend to put their hard earned money in good Montessori schools elsewhere.
Upper School Review: Barrie provides an utter lack of academic rigor and a paltry electives component - especially in the arts and athletics department. Disciplinary actions are inconsistent and lack follow-through. For a school that emphasizes the harmonious development of the "whole child," I find it bizarre that teachers will often curse at the students and gossip about them with other parents. 6 weeks before an international study trip, there is no curriculum or schedule in place. Over-priced tuition, declining enrollment, high staff turnover, poor curriculum = a bad deal. Invest elsewhere. If you have a well-behaved, self-directed teen who doesn't like sports, art, music, theatre, or challenging assignments, this would be the place for her.
My only regret about Barrie is that I did not send my son there sooner. He came in 8th grade after a terrible experience in public middle school in one of the "best" school districts in the nation. At Barrie, he got the individual attention he needed. His ADHD was understood and taken into account -- not like public school where they stuck him in a room by himself and told him to "learn." At Barrie, the experiential learning and hands-on classwork was perfect for him. Barrie allows for exploration and learning. That said, the courses are rigorous and challenging. Many Barrie graduates say their course work at Barrie was more difficult than their freshman year courses in college. Barrie will work with your student. There is no bullying at Barrie because the school is so small it cannot be hidden. Administrators are often in the classroom and teachers also coach and handle extracurriculars. There are always people looking out for you at Barrie. The most amazing thing is that the STUDENTS look out for one another. Barrie is a caring place. Students both with-- and without --learning differences do very well here. Oh, and the diversity is AMAZING.
My daughter started Barrie this year in the mddle school and we are very happy. Barrie is a perfect fit for her. She is thriving both academically and socially. We have found the teachers to be exceptional and very accessible. The teaching staff sets the kids up for success which is so important. My daugther describes Barrie as a place she can really be herself. She really like the kids and loves going to school.
Barrie School should be concerned with its poor academics and lack of discipline rather than bragging about their green buildings.There are much better schools out there that cost less.
Commenting on two schools based on a visit? My kids have attended both Barrie and SSFS. You can t compare the two schools. SSFS is by far superior to Barrie on every issue that the previous reviewer raised. You can t compare a school that has ~15 students/grade (Barrie) to a school that has 45-55/grade (SSFS). . I ve had kids enrolled in multiple schools and there was more bullying at Barrie than any other school. The teachers just don t address the issue.
Barrie School is an excellent school for all children of many different backgrounds and all ages. My son has been there since he was 2 years old, my experience has been nothing but wonderful. He is in first grade now and he enjoys the wonderful campus, the horses in school, the teacher and his friends and his education. We are determined to keep him there til college. The new headmaster is a masterful leader and a great communicator who makes the school even better than it has been. The teachers have been there for a long time and have incredible experience. I rate Barrie school one of the top. I got into the school by a child counselor friends advice where she said, If you want cream of the crop you send your son to Barrie. I agree, I agree.
My son has been at the Barrie School for the past 4 years and loves it. He thrives in the small supportive environment. The Middle School program set him up for success in High School. We have been impressed with the dedication and professionalism of the teachers. The new Head of School is moving Barrie in the right direction. The academic program is challenging and engaging. The Extended School Week program is fantastic.
I have two children at Barrie - one is starting high school and one is in Pre-K. Both levels offer tremendous hands-on experiences. The teachers really attend to the needs of each, individual child. They have loved and nurtured my children, and my high-schooler, who started as a Pre-K as truly thrived at Barrie.
Both my daughters attended Barrie from elementary school through high school graduation, and they have thrived in college as a result of the education they received there. When faced with a choice between the public g/t program and Barrie, we chose Barrie because we wanted them to be challenged and engaged, not overwhelmed and overworked. We never regretted the choice. The teachers at Barrie are amazing, and their hands-on philosophy of teaching ensures that kids stay interested and invested in what they re learning. When Barrie 4th graders learn about how mountains are formed, they hike up a mountain. When middle schoolers study buoyancy, they race cardboard boats across the swimming pool. When 9th Graders study cells, they make edible cells, where each part is represented by a food product. Beautiful campus. Great student-teacher relationships.
I have 2 sons who attend Barrie and the school has been an excellent place for both of them. They both started school as Montessori students at 3 years old. One son is a 4th grader and is a serious student in class. He is also athletic, kind, active and fun loving. At Barrie all of these traits are valued. He loves math and is able to excel at a perfect rate for him. My older son is an 8th grader. Barrie's Montessori program officially ends in the Middle School (6th grade). Barrie's Middle School was the perfect place for him to transition from the Montessori program. In middle school he has become more independent and responsible. Barrie has helped him discover new interests like mythology and drumming. He is a conscientious student that finds the perfect blend of enjoying life and getting his work done. Barrie has great teachers that love teaching and are excited about teaching kids from 2 years old to 12th grade. Barrie has a great Head of School always willing to listen to parents and work on ways to improve the whole Barrie experience. Barrie is an excellent academic institution that is diverse, safe, healthy, encouraging and enriching.
Barrie was the best choice for all three of my children. The school s philosophical approach to educating its children of all learning styles. Unlike some of the other comments I ve seen about the school, you don t have to be a ceratin type of child to flourish here and small class sizes prevent students from getting lost in the shuffle. If anything, the older students feel like they can t hide from their teachers. The students, themselves, have to learn to get along with one another because they have to be in such a close-knit community. Kids who need more time to attain a skill have the time to do so, and students who are ready to advance are supported to the highest levels of achievement. This is not your typical private school. If you want challenging education and a highly supportive community, Barrie is great! More than just teaching to the test (or prep for college), Barrie supports children in all aspects of their life.
My daughter has been at Barrie School for 3 years and I love the program! The Montessori program is such a wonderful enviornment for children to become self motivated, curious and caring. It not only encourages the child to learn but also become respectful and kind to their classmates as well as adults. These traits are often lacking in todays society. These traits continue up through Barrie's high school students. The campus is beautiful and Barrie has a wonderul equestrian program and riding team. Barrie even uses the horses and ponies for classroom lessons which really engages the students.
This school is only good for children who are self-directed learners. The class sizes in the primary and elementary are huge which allows the children to not receive consistent instruction. The children are allowed a lot of choice in deciding what they will work on, particularly in the primary, which means that they may have a math lesson every now and then. Please do not send your child to this school if they have any learning disabilities or challenges because the administration/counselors are not helpful, encouraging, or receptive to different learning styles.
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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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