My first grader at Holliday is reading well above his grade level, and writes in cursive. My 4 year old brought home an easy reader about Max the Cat and proudly read it aloud to us. Holliday offers art, music, PE, computers class and library. The teachers there are very dedicated. The test scores (for whatever they are worth) are above average for the district. The school is new and attractive. Each wing has a small courtyard garden that the children tend to. They have lots of field trips. Because of Kansas City's lousy public school reputation, we thought we would have to move across the state line to send out kids to school. Holliday was a wonderful discovery. Holliday is struggling right now under the new District superindendant, who either does not understand what Montessori is about, or just doesn't care. His draconian approach to closing schools, firing teachers and cutting programs may appeal to some, but I am not at all pleased with him.
We left this school in 2008 after there was a major administration change in 2007. Both children started as P3 and attended for many years. We would not recommend this school to anyone because of the current leadership as of fall 2009. The school has taken a terrible turn for the worse since the administration changes. It was such a great school for so many years. It is a shame since most of the teachers are very qualified and caring but without strong leadership they can only do so much.
I am a former student now parent. My child is not school aged, however, I fully intend on trying to get him into Holliday when he does become that age. I received the best education a parent could ask for. When I moved on to high school, I felt like I was overly prepared. I was far more advanced the some of my fellow classmates. I still come back periodically to visit the teachers that were very instrumental in my education. I felt it was a group effort amongst the staff, not just by my teacher, but the entire staff.
I have a child at Holliday, this is her second year. While I do believe she is receiving a quality education, there are a few areas where improvement is needed. Safety and discipline policies should be clearly and strictly enforced. There have been instances where I feel the school is to accessible. Parents/guardians should not be allowed to pick up children outside in the playground area after school. All parents should enter the front door and sign their children out first, then pick up their child. Children should not be allowed to misbehave or 'act out' without serious consequences. Also, there should be a less tolerant uniform policy. Holliday provides a warm, nurturing environment and a great educational opportunity. I would highly recommend this school to parents looking to place their children in this kind of environment.