We were fairly happy with NMS through the primary program, but our experience with the elementary program exposed not only the functional weaknesses of this school, but also of the Monetessori framework in general. It takes a very unique child to succeed in an unstructured classroom with at many times unacceptably limited supervision. Some members of the school community are so high on the Montessori lifestyle that they become belligerent when parents raise reasonable concerns about the actions of teachers, classwork, the facility, or a lack of standards-based evaluation of progress. Ultimately we were told they do things their way and they make no attempt to adjust to individual needs. Our child's current school administrator stated she had "never seen such a hatefully negative review of a child" as was provided in the transfer paperwork, and given how well our child has excelled in their new school we have come to the conclusion that sending them to NMS was the biggest educational mistake we have ever made. Add to that the constant stream of money requests (on top of the tuition) and a total disregard for the schedules of working parents, we cannot recommend this school.
My child has attended Newton Montessori for the full primary cycle and is now in Lower Elementary. We made the decision to keep our child here because of both the academic challenge as well as the nurturing environment. We are waiting to see what the Lower Elementary teachers will be like, but the Primary teachers were extremely good at developing our child socially as well as academically. Our child asks to attend aftercare and the after-school enrichment classes every day of the week. Yes, there have been problems with transparency and a very defensive response to constructive criticisms. I am hopeful that the change in administration will change this. It appeared, under the previous head of school, that there was visible strife amongst the adminstration. I hope this goes away - there are some incredibly talented and, especially, dedicated individuals that need to feel empowered to do their job well. I recommend this school highly to my friends and colleagues regularly.
I have seen this school through several eras across my three children, first under Educare (which is now a distant memory), second under the early years of Ellen Kelley, and now again under Joe Ferber. What has remained completely consistent is the outstanding experience of my children (all in Primary). While some of the previous comments are insightful regarding administration, the school seems very strong today. Also, I don't think the turnover stats are any different to comparable schools (an industry dynamic, unfortunately) My older kids are now in Newton public schools and I only wish I could have had them stay here through the elementary level. Overall, I compare this experience to what some of my colleagues and friends are experiencing in other Newton schools as well as other top area private schools and I think Newton Montessori really is at the top of the heap.
As a parent, I just wanted to say what a good job the new Head of School has done in his first few weeks, communicating with the community and making some much needed improvements. A great change in the right direction that is much appreciated.
Both of my children have been to NMS (not the old Educare) during the past 5 years and this is definitely our LAST year. The situation has gotten worse each year, high teacher turn over, much younger and inexperienced teachers replacing the ones left (or driven out), poor quality of enrichment programs. The head of school and director of admission have no respect for the parents and did very little when there are a different opinions than their own. The teachers are less and less motivated in caring for the children's learning and the development of social skills. As once loyal NMS parents, we have been thoroughly disappointed and saddened.
I disagree with the last reviewer. There are several negative reviews in this site to confirm that parents (and TEACHERS) are not venting but stating facts about what works and doesn't work in the school. Everybody should be free to state the facts whether others like it or not. The administration doesn't work (and you seem excited to see a new principal coming on board, that says something) and the teachers are young and lack experience in general. Unfortunately, many specialists around the area know the shortcomings of the school and are vocal about it. My kids know how to read, write well, and do carry-in additions in part due to the school but a lot due to our interests. Newton Montessori is a decent school but has a long way to be an amazing school.
As a parent at the school for the past three years, I am sad to see disappointed parents venting in this forum (instead of through more productive avenues). In my experience, the school is AMAZING, the community is caring and supportive and the teachers are A++. The school is using an emotional literacy program from Yale University that is well above and beyond what I have seen at other schools. My 5.5 year old reads chapter books, does multiplication and LOVES to go to school every day. As for "punishment," the school is VERY Montessori in its approach and I have never seen a traditional "punishment," but rather appropriate redirection and behavior management in the Montessori style. Visit the school and the classrooms and you will see what an amazing place it is. And we have an exciting 2012-2013 ahead of us with a dynamic new head of school!
Very disappointing experience that had to do mostly with the head of school Ms. Ellen Kelly who is not willing to accept parents feedback or any kind of constructive criticism. She is dictatorial and arrogant and assumes that she is the only one right. She does not allow the parents to provide suggestions and shuts you down the moment that you mention that something can be improved. She is leaving the school. There is an absolute lack of transparency coming from administration down to the teachers. Lack of processes and a teachers turn around every year is very significant. Most of the teachers are very young and inexperienced. The school is specially bad in getting the kids building up in their social skills. The philosophy is to punish the kids without looking at the contest or having the teachers giving them directions to resolve conflict. With their old fashion punishment techniques the school damages the self-esteem of kids. Kids don't get enough run around time. If you are a big donor to the school chances are that your kid will get away with bad behavior while others won't. Extremely unjust school with inconsistent practices applied as the head of school feels like.
One son is in his 4th year at NMS and my other son is in his 2nd year. We love the school and our boys have done so well here. My 4.5 year old is reading and doing addition and subtraction and loves going to school every day. My 6.5 year old is in Lower Elementary and is doing advanced math that he wouldn't have access to in some other schools. He loves school and has asked to stay late. The school has grown and new teachers have been added. We did have one teacher leave and was replaced with an amazing teacher with 20 years of Montessori experience. I have found the administration and teaching staff to be very very open to discussing any issues or concerns I have.
We would welcome the opportunity to listen directly to your concerns either via email, or better yet, in person. Please feel free to contact me or drop by my office anytime! We strongly urge everyone considering NMS for their children to speak with a variety of parents about their experiences both educational and social in our learning community. In an open forum such as greatschools.org, we expect and encourage a range of opinions and the opportunity for response and discourse. This exchange is not only an essential part of building and maintaining a connected community, but an integral part of the Montessori philosophy. Sincerely, Ellen Kelley, Head of School
It is indeed suspicious why the overwhelmingly positive reviews all came out within a few days. As parents of a current student, we are actively seeking alternatives for our child for next year. We have been very disappointed with the school officials, who are distant, secretive, and not interested in learning about students needs. The school seems to be extremely focused on fund raising events and not so much on other social and educational activities. If you are interested in NMS, please make sure to talk to current (and past) parents, not just the admissions office. You will learn so much more about the school.
Prospective parents, read past the first page. It's a little suspicious that overwhelmingly positive reviews were written within a few days of one another. If you go back a little, you'll see that parents' feelings have been mixed.
We have loved the NMS experience. Our daughter (now age 4) started there at age 2.5 and her teachers made the transition to school extremely smooth. Her current primary teachers are an excellent team and communicate with the parents regularly about what is happening in the classroom. They answer emails promptly and are always very responsive to questions. We explored many different school options before choosing NMS and we have absolutely no regrets. Finally, we believe that our daughter's experience at this school has accelerated her overall learning, and, more importantly, it has fostered her independent thinking, critical reasoning, and other life skills, all in ways that make us feel very fortunate that we found this environment for her.
We feel fortunate to have found Newton Montessori for our young children (5 and 2.5 yrs). Our daughter is in her 2nd year at the Primary level, and our son just started Pre-Primary. Both of our children are very happy and love their teachers! I especially love the continuity in our teachers. My daughter's Primary class has had the same teaching team for the past 4 years and they compliment one another SO well. My son's class's teachers have been at the school for approximately 15 years and really bring an amazing teaching spirit that nurtures curiosity and self-independence in these little guys (ranging from 2.9 -3 yrs. old.) The classroom set-up is truly reflective of the Montessori philosophy, with all materials carefully chosen to promote each child's self-development. I am amazed at how far our daughter has come with her math, specifically with addition. I wish every child would be fortunate enough to learn the basis for math through the Montessori philosophy; it just makes sense for this age range. This school has extremely strong parent involvement; the community feels very like-minded in that we all want a safe & nurturing place of educational discovery for our children.
We are having a wonderful experience at Newton Montessori school. Our teachers have years of experience and really love their jobs. I have a primary student and a lower elementary student and we are seeing amazing academic as well as personal growth. The community is diverse and friendly with lots of opportunities to get involved. My husband and I would highly recommend this school.
We love Newton Montessori! Our children have blossomed there, and they feel cared for and supported by the teachers and administration. The teachers are open to discussing students' progress and respond promptly to emails and requests for meetings. The administration has always been very willing to sit down with us if we have questions about the curriculum, the teachers, or our children's education. If you're looking for a high quality Montessori school, we highly recommend NMS!
I agree with all of the comments. The teachers work very hard to provide a safe nourishing environment for the kids. I also agree that the administration is not open with the parents and does not back the teachers. Hence the high turnover. From the events during the last two years, it is clear the administration is doing a terrible job. The principal included administrative coordinators and this is making it difficult for the teachers and parents. There are lots of rumors amongst parents about unfair treatment, adminsitration favoring one teacher against the other teacher and so on. We were promised a lot when we were looking at the school but the administration has been disruptive and we feel bad for the teachers and the children. The school has an elected board of directors, but they seem to be under the control of the administration. Strange things have happened during the last two years and we are disappointed that the board of directors has not taken any steps to correct the situation. I agree with the former employee's comment that something must be done quickly to stop these negative comments and safeguard the hardworking teachers and the school's reputation.
I have to strongly agree with the previous postings. The school administration does not want to hear parent feedback. There is a total lack of transparency. They are not really forthcoming about what really happened or why it happened. This is a complete sham, behind all the "respected, educated and cultured" look of the school. Parents, please be aware. Do not assume that just because newton is a good school district, that all the schools will follow ethical standards. There are lot of other options available.
Our daughter went to the school for three years and stayed in the same class, with teachers come and go more frequently than we can remember their names. The schooll adminstration has not been open-minded in listening to parents' feedback, and seems to prefer young, inexperienced teachers than the more senior ones. Overall we had a very poor experience with the management team of the school, and decided to transfer our child to a different school. we strongly suggest that before you commit to the school do your homework !!
I have to agree with the previous postings on the teacher turnover issue the school has had in the past several years. As a current parent, I have no clue which teachers will be assigned to the class next year. Even though the transparency level has been low and the school management team does not care too much about parents' input, it's been difficult to pull our child out of the school. As many parents would know, kids do get attached to one place and to their friends, regardless how poorly the school is managed.
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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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