Campbell is a dangerous place for your child, not because of playground bumps and bruises, but because there is currently a leadership vacuum at that school. There is no one to take charge in the event of an emergency. There is no one on campus on a regular basis who qualifies as a boss. It is my understanding that everything must go through the board, which is inappropriate, and yes, dangerous.
Earlier this year, I was picking up my child in the middle of the day, and two faculty members could be heard screaming at each other. They were inside. I was outside. It was obvious it had been going on for more than a few minutes. There was no one in charge to keep them from having a SCREAMING FIGHT in front of the children, and it was only, rather poorly (one of the teachers screamed that she didn't have to listen to anyone because she didn't have a boss) handled once it became apparent that those of us waiting outside could hear it.
There is no real discipline, nor does there appear to be any support, and it bleeds through into the classrooms. I want my child's teachers to be in a place where they are supported and have clearly enforced guidelines. It frees them to be fully present to and supportive of my child and the other children, rather than being forced to have loud, screaming battles in the middle of the day. They then return to the classroom upset, and there is no way that doesn't have an effect on the children. This is not an environment I want my child in, and it is certainly not one I will continue to pay for.
Just say, "No!" to Campbell Montessori School.
There are other Montessori options in the greater St. Charles/St. Louis metro areas, if you are really looking for Montessori. If you just want a decent preschool/daycare/private elementary school, you have MANY other options, and I encourage you to choose ANY of them over Campbell because unless your children are lucky enough to have one of the two good teachers, they won't actually be anywhere remotely decent if they are at Campbell. The community lacks moral fiber, and the majority of the classrooms are lacking in both academics and character development. Children at this school often LOSE skills after changing levels/classrooms, if they even gained them in the first place.
Anyone who says this school isn't run by cliques and whoever currently has the ear of the board is delusional and/or is a member of at least one of those groups. You need to watch your back in this place. It's not safe to trust anyone, including many faculty and staff members. Whisper campaigns are a favorite technique to let you know that you don't belong. They aren't above lying and exaggerating about children either. Don't expect any help or support from the "leadership" either... unless you have money or are willing and able to do all the volunteer jobs no one else wants to do. Then you're likely to get whatever you want, however unreasonable and against the school's own policies it is.
I am extremely pleased with this school. We have two children enrolled. Both have progressed through the primary (preschool) and are now in the elementary school. It is excellent. The teaching is superb. The other families are friendly. One thing I am very grateful for is the lack of cliques and exclusive friendships that I have seen at other schools. (I speak from personal experience with an older child and the experience of my friends at other well reputed public and private schools in St. Louis/St. Charles.) While my children both have close friends they like, the atmosphere of friendship and teamwork in the class as a whole is unbelievable. I am very happy with the academic standards. I believe that especially at the elementary level, Montessori is unique Yes, as we know from our older child, you can have a good education in most standard schools. Montessori offers something special. When you go in the classroom, you see children working happily. The teacher is definitely in charge, but the classroom is not about her personality. It is a children's place. Importantly, the quality of the work displayed by the children is extremely high. Campbell offers excellent value.
This school is amazing. I wasn't sure about Montessori when we first signed on. Kids ... leading themselves? How does that possibly work? But I knew what definitely was NOT working: public school. I was seeing that inquisitive light in my son's eyes grow dimmer each day he stepped off the bus. And I knew we had to make a change. Now I find that as each year passes I am more and more grateful that our family found this school for our children. I know some people see it as day care. Or preschool. But it is much, much more than that. Having spent our time in the Elementary building, I can honestly say that I am blown away by the quality of instruction our children receive there. I say this not to "sell" the school or push any agenda. I say this because I am a parent. I have the same concerns you have. And I wish I had found this school years earlier than we did, because it has made a world of difference in the lives of our children.
The Campbell community of students, parents and faculty is fantastic. Our family felt welcome from day one. The school offers a variety of events and opportunities to participate in our child's education. Campbell is diverse in every aspect of the word. This diversity has greatly enhanced our child's experience. We feel very fortunate to be a part of this community.
We have a 3 year old who has been attending Campbell Montessori School since he was 16 months. The toddler classroom is a very loving, nurturing environment where the littlest students at the school learn to do very big things! At 16 months, our son was clearing his lunch table, feeding the fish, pouring his own glass of water, drinking from an open cup, building towers as tall as his little body, and other amazing things that I didn't know he was capable of doing! They also spend a great deal of time outdoors, exploring their playground and the surrounding areas. The primary classroom has been a step up, and he continues to thrive. The teachers push them to learn new things, and interact with one another with respect and kindness. We are so very happy with our experience at Campbell Montessori School!
I sent an email to the Director explaining why we left with no response. I summarized below. In my opinion this says a lot about the integrity of the school. No milk Lunches- - I'm very conscious of proper nutrition, but felt pressure not to bring carbs, sugar, too much food, food that he couldn't open, etc. I was always worried he wouldn't be able to get into his lunch and would feel pressured to do it himself even if he WANTED a little help. I've observed how these situations are handled and I felt that when he's asked for help the response was a bit curt for my taste. Fall on playground and picking up wet- He fell on the playground scraping his forehead and back. Nobody noticed. He was also picked up 3X with wet clothes. He had wet himself on the playground without anyone noticing. He was visibly wet. No locks on doors Pressure to fundraise Creativity- I would like him to be exposed to more creative activities such as painting, dramatic play, etc. Dropping off at curb- I completely understand the reasoning behind this policy, however it definitely isn't the best option for us. XXX asked me to walk him in everyday and would cry or have to be talked into getting out of the car.
Our children have been attending Campbell Montessori for 4 years now and we are very pleased. The Montessori philosophy is such a natural and positive way to teach children. The calm, hands on environment has made learning exciting for our children. Our 7 year old often says, "I can't wait to do fractions today." They are given the tools and guidance to be life long learners and that is pure joy to see as a parent!
This school is not safe for your children. They are neglectful and safety is not of a top concern! I wish that I had listened to the previous reviewers years ago, but chose to give Campbell the benefit of doubt and send my kids. I truly regret that now. They put my kid's safety in jeopardy, on several occasions, and I paid to send my kids to this school! That is why I'm writing now. Raising money and fitting into the status quo are highly encouraged. And be prepared to have absolutely no communication. I had to fight with them to figure out what supplies were required, and treated like a fool for asking. They are highly judgmental and will call you a bad parent to your face! Rude, is the only word I have for our teacher. Money, money, money reigns supreme. Even if you pay on time and are never late with a payment, you are considered to be lesser than if you do not contribute to the annual fund, etc., etc. We have now chosen not to send our children back into this environment. We were also made aware of the fact that this school's AMI certifications are for the most part a joke. We gave them our best shot, and lots of chances, but in the end they just fall way too short. Bummer.
My child attended this school for 12 years-from age 2 1/2 thru 8th grade. I did MY homework prior to enrolling her here-educating myself on different types of schooling and formats available. I wanted my child to not be encumbered with being made to do age appropriate activities but to be allowed to learn at their own pace which Montessori allows. I liked that children were allowed to be in class with older and younger children- it makes for empathy towards younger kids, not the mindset that older kids reign supreme.I liked that there were not typical "grades"-there also weren't any dummies or brainiacs where kids got labeled. They are all on the same playing field.There is much greater ethnic diversity here which is always an education in and of itself. My child was never bored and never hated going to school. She missed it in the summer time. Every teacher we had was amazing and offered unique things to her education. They want to be there and enjoy what they do which creates passion in the child.They teach the kids to think and use their brain. She did great transistioning into high school and has carried a 4.0 GPA The only negative I can say is they don't have a high school.