We have been at the school for 5 years. Overall, it has been a good experience in the lower elementary Montessori program. We have had some terrific, responsive and caring teachers. It has been an excellent fit for our child. As a parent, you know your child best- so look at the school with her/him in mind and ask yourself whether they would thrive in such an environment? It is a beautiful, calm, safe environment, with small classes and Montessori through 5th grade. Definitely a unique school in the hustle-bustle dc/md/va area.
When I decided to go to the barrie school it seemed like a good idea, but it was the opposite. It's so flipping disorganized I never know what's going on. I am currently a sophomore, and I feel that teachers are always coming down hard on me and my classmates. Their ability to plan lessons is pathetic, and I get scolded too often for not knowing EXACTLY what's going on. I hate the bad attitudes some of them always seem to have, and I'm tired of being in constant confusion.
Barrie's student body changed drastically a few years ago under pressure to maintain enrollment. Students not normally admitted were brought in with issues and problems, some of them severe. Barrie was not equipped to support these students, and results in some cases were disastrous. Most surprising was their lack of awareness of the precarious position in which they put themselves and their students. Shocking examples of student-on-student behavior were know to the staff, but nothing done about it. A dangerous way to run a school.
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.
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.