We have had a great experience at Barrie this year. Our son was enrolled in the toddler program this year, and we were nervous about sending him to school since he had never been in day care. The team at Barrie worked closely with us on the transition and our teachers even came to visit with us at home to make our child feel comfortable. We have seen him develop in such a positive way and we feel his time at Barrie will leave a lasting impression.
Communication with the faculty, staff and administration is excellent. We got daily notes, photos we could share, and helpful parenting seminars.
Aside from the beautiful campus, the horses, Spanish and yoga, the thing I valued most was that they truly cared about my child. I'll never forget how excited my child's teacher was when my child used the potty at school for the first time. They are definitely invested in this kids.
The only negative about this school would be the price tag. The toddler program is reasonable, but the cost rises dramatically for the primary program. I understand it takes a lot to maintain a school like this, but price was definitely a factor that made us decide not to return for the fall.
I would highly recommend the toddler program to any family looking for a inclusive, caring, and developmentally stimulating place for their child.
I have two boys at Barrie one little one "up the hill" at montesauri and one teen "down the hill" at Barrie Prep.
The campus is incredible which makes the toddler Montessori program a wonderful atmosphere with a lot of outdoor exploring time and caring teachers.
As for the upper school, i don't recommend it. If your child has any learning difficulties they are not trained nor staffed. My older son fell behind academically compared to his peers at public school, especially in Chinese. The language program is terrible after coming from Alice Deal DC public school. For children who enjoy small class room size and who are not that academic, Barrie is a good fit. However if your child has an IEP or 504 plan, Barrie is not the right school.
For the amount of tuition, I would expect to not be harangued so much for money every step of the way. That said, Barrie has some great points and negatives as well. Humanities and Foreign Language is where I feel that Barrie really shines. Both are handled in a novel way that can not be readily found elsewhere. Math is the worst. It is such an important subject, but my child's math teacher regularly acted like she hated teaching, and disliked the students. She barely taught, didn't grade homework or bother responding to requests about grades and talked around pretty much every issue. I consider the math class a waste of the school year. Other subjects, like art, were nice but nothing super special. Low focus on field trips, but they do a lot of hands-on stuff on campus. Science is mediocre at best. Kristin works really hard for everyone and I think she has an even hand in dealing with the students. I also felt that she really understood what it takes to be a good administrator. Some issues, like chronic theft were left unaddressed. There was some bullying as well of exchange students and that was a tragedy for a school that is otherwise so very open and tolerant. You can get most of what you get at Barrie for much less elsewhere. Fall trips and hopeful the Spring study week (off campus activities, many overnight or overseas) were a highlight. The high price just isn't justified, however, especially with the growing class sizes. Don't believe what you read elsewhere about 6 kids per teacher…in some of my child's classes it is over 20, and at this price point, that shouldn't be the case.