This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Four Corners Montessori Academy5
Posted September 11, 2014
- a parent
It is important my children attend a school that nurtures the WHOLE child, and we found such a school in Four Corners. Their teachers care about them as people, respecting their academic, social, and emotional growth. FCMA's focus is on creating an independent learner, and I appreciate the care and attention my childrens' teachers put forth in helping them grow each day. This is a humble, caring school with a staff that is highly committed to students. With regard to the negative comments here, I would urge parents who are looking into FCMA to come to the school and see if it is a good fit for your family. Many of the negative comments are simply untrue, or based on a perspective that illustrates the school wasn't a good fit. And, to clarify, the head of school lead a campaign to encourage parents to write reviews on this site, but said nothing of what types of reviews to write. It's simply not her style. Four Corners is a very special school, one in which my children thrive. I am grateful!
We love FCMA! My sons are heading into 1st and 2nd grade, having started there in pre-school. The teachers are dedicated, both leads and assistants, the head of school really cares about your child and their success, not something that is evident in all schools. The school requires a minimal amount of volunteer hours, on any day you will see parents in the school helping, it is a very involved community, which we love. There is emphasis on character at this school, something that is tough to measure on a test score. While the school lacks sports, it does have after school enrichments like band, cooking, dance classes, etc. While you pay for field trips, my children have been exposed to ballet and the DSO, which have been cool experiences for them. Ultimately, what you and your child put in, is what you get out of this school.
In theory a tuition free Montessori is an opportunity that should not be passed up, but unfortunately if you're experienced with other Montessori schools, you'll see Four Corners does not measure up. All you need is a little online research, like Great Schools, and you'll see how poorly Four Corners measures up in test schores and student performance across the board. Their teaching methods are the loosest translation of Montessori. They rank way below all the public schools in my area, and the success of my kids is the most important thing to me. I think we'll be going back to public school, which offers more in terms of sports and extra-curricular clubs. Yes, the office staff does not seem to want to be bothered with questions, but that's no different from the public schools my kids have attended (unfortunately).
I am disgusted by a principal that offers incentives to bribe parents to write positive reviews! My child encountered bullying from older children that seemed to be attending this charter school because they were no longer permitted in public school! It was frightening! The staff is short and cold, and difficult to talk to. Most importantly, the curriculum is laughable. Instead of encouraging the brightest students to excel, they are kept at the level of the lowest in the class. My child is in upper elementary and this is just not tolerable. And lastly, once a week art is NOT ART, plastic flutes is NOT MUSIC, there is no LANGUAGE, NO SPORTS, not even playground equipment! It's crowded, unorganized, filthy and institutional-feeling. It's absoultely uninspiring. This school is a disappointment.
I amazed by the negative comments. I have 2 kids in the school. One is academically advanced and one has mild special needs. This school is a great fit for both of them. The teachers are wonderful. The front office staff can be a little bit guarded, and not particularly warm, but they are efficient. Each class (of approx. 28) has 2 teachers. Kids have art, gym & music. There is after school care for those who need it, and there are also a lot of after school enrichment programs offered (fee-based). My children bring homework home once a week and have 3 or 4 days to complete it. Neither of them have experienced and bullying, and have lots of friends. There is wonderful diversity and it feels natural and organic. Kids don't seem to clump themselves together by race as is often seen in schools. If your family is looking for something a little different, check FCMA out.
Curriculum is weak. Tests below national average. MEAP scores below average. My child's teacher very pleasant; office staff and principal rude or indifferent. Lack of structure and organization. Parents expected to put in time towards activities or sent a letter at the end of the year reprimanding them for lack of involvement. My child likes her friends and teacher there, but feels she is not getting the "full school experience". ie. lack of sports, cheerleading, band and other school programs.
This is my third grade daughter's first year at the Four Corners Montessori Academy, and she is very happy at this school..Her schoolwork at Four Corners is stimulating and challenging. Her teacher is very involved in my daughter's education, and whenever I see her, I am impressed with the way she interacts with the students. As a third grader, my daughter serves as a rold model for the younger students in the class, and I feel that this is helping to raise her self esteem. The school is also great at communicating with parents. I've read in other reviews that the office staff is unfriendly. I do not find this to be true. The principal always greets me warmly when I see her, and I always see her talking to parents at the school events. I see staff members meeting with parents on a daily basis. Other great things about the school are the healthy lunches, monthly field trips, fun after school events and the nature walks. As for the Montessori method, I would recommend doing research on the subject before sending your child to a Montessori school. It's a perfect for for our family, but it may not be the right choice for other families,
I am very disappointed in the quality of this school. The office staff is unfriendly. The principal is hard to deal with. They pride themselves on montessori method but didn't provide an instruction on the math till March 20th. The human touch is missing from the school. They let children make choices without understanding how the choice will affect them. Our families experience has showed us there isn't much expected from the students enrolled in the school. The math, social studies & science scores are weak. Government education doesn't truly exist here. There is a teacher and a assistant in each room to 28 children. If you child doesn't want to work they will send her home for the day instead of sending her to the office. I truly regret enrolling my children there. If you notice most of these positive comments are in Feb when principal does prizes to write good reviews. Communication with teachers is difficult and getting learning outcomes even more.
I have never seen more polite & respectful students in schools my child has attended or that I have worked in as a sub. Bullying is not tolerated. Teachers do not raise their voices. Classrooms are generally quiet and peaceful. My child's class has 28 kids in 4-6th grade w/ 2 full-time teachers (not para-pros), a very low ratio compared to other public schools. I wish the office staff was friendlier, but they get their jobs done efficiently. Teachers I have encountered are outstanding - respectful of parents & students, encouraging and willing to go out of their way to help students succeed. The principal is all about the "Montessori method" and has years of experience. I don't care one way or another about Montessori and I am tired of hearing about it. I just send my child because he was not able to fit into the boxes his local schools expected him to. He spends more time in areas that challenge him and zips through those which are easy for him to master. He can choose which activities to do in his own order. He can get up/move (not sit at a desk for hours on end), & have a snack/drink if needed.Principal has certain ways of doing things & suggestions are not really welcomed..