My two kids attend Northglade Montessori Magnet School and it is amazing. Northglade is revolutionary because it offers a Montessori quality education to an at-risk population.The Montessori theory is holistic: It addresses the student's entire person, rather than just the academic aspect. Northglade students are not just studying traditional subject areas, but they are also learning responsibility, manners, grace, and courtesy. Northglade students learn how to make proper introductions, look people in the eyes during a conversation, and set their places at the table. Northglade students learn to communicate effectively and resolve conflicts peacefully. These skills are not generally taught in traditional schools, but are invaluable tools that will benefit Northglade students as they build their lives and careers. Northglade Rocks!
I love this school. It recently became the first nationally accredited public montessori school in the state of Michigan (2008). I transferred my children to this school when I heard that it was the best kept secret in Kalamazoo. When I visited the school, there was soft, calming music playing and the school was quiet with children walking in the halls orderly and respectfully. I was amazed at the cultural diversity with staff, students and displays on the walls. They have 'global' lessons where children learn about the different cultures, languages, and geography of the world. My daughter's teacher was very loving to her students. There are support staff in the classrooms to assist in the montessori way (individualized learning). Classrooms are set up in learning stations where children work on their 'work plans' and I love the calm atmosphere. Teachers gently ring a small bell to get their student's attention.
The 2004/05 school year is the third that Northglade has been a magnet Montessori school. All teachers and the principal underwent special training and received master's degrees. Faculty, then, is extra-committed and enthusiastic about their work to excite all children--as individuals--about learning. My 5-year-old started kindergarten this fall, and we as parents are thrilled so far with her teacher, fellow students, and school culture. Northglade has a wonderful spirit and commitment to diversity of all kinds. We are also very pleased with the small class size, especially when we hear that other, 'more attractive' schools have much greater teacher-student ratios. Kalamazoo, the state of Michigan, and the nation need many more schools like Northglade.