Susan Wood, November 8, 2011
We do our best to respond to the comments, suggestions, and needs of parents. Of course, we can only do so when parents bring things to our attention. We have created summer program, extended hours, care on holidays and school vacations ... all at parents' suggestions. In response to parents' concerns about the economy, we created scholarship program, and a tuition refund plan. With a small administrative team, we are able to discuss, adapt, and respond to most suggestions in a constructive way.
After looking around at other local day care centers and comparing prices, programs and teacher quality, I have to admit, I was a bit hesitant to spend the extra money on 'Preschool'. After all, 3 year old just like to color, right? Wrong. I took a leap of faith and enrolled my daughter enrolled at Keystone. For 2 years now she has been in the Children's House full day program, and despite not really understanding how the full breadth of the Montessori philosophy at the time of enrollment, we couldn't be more pleased with the outcome. She has shown me that 3 and 4 year olds are so much more capable then we give them credit for. She was thrust into an environment that focused on problem solving skills and innovative thinking. Her outstanding teachers place emphasis on the importance of grace and courtesy, something I feel is grossly lacking in this day in age, and certainly not emphasized in 'traditional' environments. And at the end of the day, she loves to learn and she loves to go to school. She is successful. She is independent. She knows what a quatrefoil is! She is showing me that every cent I pay for tuition is actually, priceless.
My son has been going here since he was 3 years old and we absolutely love this school. The teacher treat the children with respect. They teach them and discipline them in a loving and peaceful way. My child is flourishing here and is doing great academically and socially. The Montessori way really works. the best thing is in this school kids are not burdened with too much information. Lesson are given to them in small groups or individually. They learn at their own pace which is usually faster that the pace of traditional schools for most kids. At the same time kids are not bored. I love this school...
My family has been with Keystone for years at is point. Both of my children spent their preK and kindergarten years there, and when first grade rolled around, we enrolled our oldest in public school, and he was miserable. So much homework, so much busy work, and too much being shunted from one place to another, with the school pressuring us to get an IEP so they could out additional aides in his classroom for him and the other children with similar difficulty staying focused on the worksheets. Then, though, the IEP was rejected, and the school psychiatrist told us our best bet was to supplement with after school and summer programs for gifted children. Frustrated with the idea of the school day being, essentially, wasted time, we enrolled at Keystone for his second grade year and it has been like night and day. That's not to say that he didn't have trouble focusing at Keystone, he did, but his teachers worked around it and with us and he was definitely interested in the work and came home excited and happy at the end of each day. The elementary program is amazing and we have continued to send him there. It is worth every penny.
The Keystone Montessori School has by far been the best school our family has experienced. Our 2 children joined the school last year and started in the Children's House full day program where they had a fantastic year of learning and personal growth. This was our first Montessori experience and we are so happy we made this choice. Our eldest child experienced the richness of the Kindergarten curriculum, which offers additional learning modules and activities, and both children have flourished there. The quality of teachers is outstanding (compared to 3 other learning/preschool centers we have attended over the years) - they are dedicated, knowledgeable and show through their actions how genuinely they care about your children's learning experience and development. I can't say enough about the dedication and enthusiasm of the Director - she has created a high quality school and a wonderful community around it. We are all looking forward to returning for another year in September when our eldest child will enter the Elementary program and the youngest returns to the Children's House. I thoroughly recommend this school.
This school does a poor job of supporting children with two families. I have shared custody, decision making and a parenting schedule and despite my attempts at having equal involvement with this school, they did not send me copies of reports, bulletins or school projects. I sent numbers emails and visited the school to keep involved but they are not equipped and show little interest in facilitating equal involvement between both parents. In the end, this only hurts the child.
While the preschool program is fine and the teachers at this level are generally good, the elementary program was a huge disappointment. We have since talked to other parents who had similar negative experiences with children in the elementary program -- they're not hard to find, ask around. If your child is gifted, or has a bright and curious mind, think hard about spending your money here. We switched to another school because it was clear our child wasn't being challenged at Keystone -- too much "touchy-feely" programming at the expense of academics, a reluctance to tailor learning strategies, and quick to point fingers at anyone but themselves. Once we switched schools, we saw a huge spike in our child's academic performance and enthusiasm because s/he was finally being stimulated, even though the workload was heavier and more intense. S/he loves school now! Had we known Keystone couldn't hold a candle academically with this new school, we would have been out of there sooner. Let our loss be your gain. Another tip--ask for a school calendar and compare it to a public school's calendar. The days off are excessive! Bottom line--preschool: good. Elementary program: thumbs down.
My 3 yo is currently enjoying her first year at Keystone Montessori and I cannot say enough good things about the experience. The teachers are all very invested and engaged in their work - the children really respond to their enthusiasm. The school provides a large variety of experiences for the children - academic, cultural, social, physical - it is very well rounded. My daughter gets such loving attention from everyone at school - it really has become her "second" family. The teachers and staff patiently and kindly guided my daughter through the trials of potty training and tantrums as well as through the joys of her first written word and her first songs. In addition to a warm and welcoming environment, Keystone is also providing a first class Montessori education to my daughter. She learned so much exploring the "works" - she now brings the intense concentration that she's applied to her school activities to her explorations at home. It's such a joy seeing her apply the "one-until-your're-done" and "everything has it's place" rules to her home environment. We definitely plan to have her continue her elementary education here.
We feel at home at Keystone. From the time we attended the open house to present, we knew we were in the right place for our son. He is in Pre-K and we feel so good every time we drop him off. The school moved across the street to their new and improved location. Their playground is now very close and all of the classrooms and offices are on the same first level. I appreciate the security implemented in the school and the level of cleanliness exceeds my expectations. The administration makes themselves easily accessible to discuss anything and ask questions about anything. Everyone is friendly, informative and organized. We are about three towns away from the school and the drive is worth it for us. I could not have asked for a better first school experience for us as parents and for our son. We appreciate the thoughtful and kind teachers, the professional and friendly administration and the welcoming, warm and safe environment provided for the children who attend. Thank you for your hard work, dedication and passion that is consistent, reliable and a breath of fresh air to any parent wishing the best for their child.
I am a current parent and my experience at the school has been mixed. While most of the teachers are fairly good I wish the administration was more open - to ideas, suggestions - just listening! I also take umbrage at the school's snow day policy. The school will follow public schools as far as closings but will not offer make up days/dates! It is very frustrating considering the steep tuition I pay!
My child's teacher suggested that our 4 year old needed psychiatric help because of behavioral issues (not paying attention, not listening immediately to the teacher's orders). My child's teacher was impatient and was unwilling to listen to parents' ideas. The administration/management was horrible - unwilling to listen and completely disregarded parents' requests/complaints. The playground is far away from the school - children have to walk through a crowded parking lot to get to the playgorund (although I hear the school is now moving to a new facility). The equipment at the playground was old and not clean at all! For some reason, the school looked very shabby most of the time - like it had never been cleaned. The bathrooms were horrible !!!
What a wonderful school! There are some great teachers here, who really connected with my child. He had an outstanding experience. We miss it.
Our son is 3 years old and he is very playful and attention seeker. What we received was negative feedbacks right from day one, and the teachers started passing diagnosis comments and harsh remarks suggesting us that our son was not reaching the behavioral milestones. Later we found out that teachers did not observe or understand even one inch of our son and could not see the best part of our son. We are not the parents who deny if there is some developmental or behavioral issues with our son. He is able to communicate well with us and he is able to respond to a question so well. We did not see the Love and Affection coming naturally from the teachers looks like it is been artificially induced in them. Because, those with real love and affection would not pass some harsh remarks about any child. A couple of more
My children have been attending Keystone for 4 years now and we couldn't be more happy. They are doing so well, the school is so nurturing and the Montessori method suits them so well, we chose to send one on to elementary there. My oldest had the same two wonderful teachers all three years she was in the children's house program. There is very little turnover in the school. To address some previous reviews comments - I speak with my children's teachers regularly, they are always happy to chat about my child. I say hello to the school administrators 3-4 times a week if not every day and if I had a concern, it would be easy to talk to them about it. I've seen them address parent's concerns promptly. Aftercare is wonderful, my kids want to stay longer!
The kids at Keystone Montessori learn a lot more then the average 3-6 year old does. They learn about other cultures and are learning a foriegn language such as spanish at a young age. This will prepare them for elementary school, and would make a much easier transition there.
Keystone Montessori School has outstanding, dedicated teachers. Each teacher works with children individually to bring out the child's talents and interests, and engages each child with the curriculum materials that make learning fun.
I love Keystone because it has the best teachers I've ever come across. They are totally dedicated to help every child live up to his potential, plus the curriculum is so rich with arts, music, science, culture, and also helps each child learn reading and math. This is the way to do education, Montessori the kids love to go to school and they arent getting pumped with information that they will forget and is meaningless to them. Keystone creates an an active learning and teaches kids to think and really use their brain! Don't be enticed by those other bigger Montessori schools in the area, Keystone is a little treasure ! Also the administration is Montessori trained and the founder is on site which makes a big difference to the teachers. I wish this school would go through high school, I'd have all my kids here!
My child is a first year student at Keystone and we love it! The staff is unbelievably caring and sensitive to the needs each child. I have been very impressed with focus on peace and utilizing grace and courtesy - really important life lessons. I am very pleased with our decision to join Keystone!
My children want to go to school on Saturdays and Sundays! Enough said. :) Keystone, Thank you, you are all wonderful!
Overall, we have had a very mixed experience with Keystone. The head teacher phenomenal and my child has really enjoyed being in this class. Academically, my child has done exceptionally well at Keystone. But, I give 100% of the credit for that to the teacher. The administration at the school seems to be struggling, however. There has been a lot of disorganization and I have noticed a higher than usual student turnover rate. A typical Montessori classroom has 1/3 of it's students as 3rd years, 1/3 are second year students and 1/3 are first year students. I have not seen that ratio in my child's room. There are actually quite a few open spots remaining in my child's classroom this year. And despite the downturn in the economy and the cuts made by most companies, Keystone has continued to raise their tuition for next year.
Marrying into a blended family , we have 7 children between my husband and me, so we consider ourselves experts in the education arena! Our older kids went to various other schools , then we moved to Westford and joined Keystone for our two youngest. I can't say enough great things about this school! They have a very stable longterm staff that are really top notch in their field. The curriculum is outstanding, our kids are so empowered by what they can do and their self confidence is amazing now. This school really helps each child be the best that they can be. The head of school is Montessori trained and really knows how to create a top notch school. She has a great reputation in the education field ,we found all the staff to be very responsive to each families needs including all the administation. The best Montessori school around!
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