This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
The Cornerstone School5
Posted October 10, 2014
- a parent
This school inspires children to love to learn for the love of learning, not because they know they have to take a test but the genuine knowledge of what they can achieve. I recommend Cornerstone to any parent in the area.
My child has had some amazing experiences at Cornerstone and is looking forward to what comes next all the time. The teachers at Cornerstone have been great at every level. His current teachers are especially wonderful, and I always appreciate the thoughtfulness and wisdom of the Head of School. I would recommend Cornerstone to any family looking for a Montessori education.
My children attended for two years. Some of the teachers were EXCELLENT!!! Unfortunately, some of the teachers were not. And the administrator was unprofessional with parents and lacked the interpersonal and administrative skills necessary to deal effectively with questions and issues. I also know of a few parents who moved their children to different schools who were told that their children were behind in math and reading. Hope for the best if you place your child in this school.
My child started preschool here and will be graduating soon to attend high school somewhere else. It's the best school in this neighborhood and I wish everyone in the world could afford to send their kids to a private Montessori school like this one. Most children will thrive here, where they are treated with respect like tiny adults and taught with classic Montessori methodology. Result: Independent, smart, thinking children. I have seen this school accommodate kids with learning problems, but those with extreme learning disabilities leave for specialized schools. The school is a close-knit community. Resources are used wisely. No bureaucracy games, even the director teaches classes. b.s. not tolerated: The only time I noticed something negative was when there was a group of parents (led by a public school bureaucrat) that tried to bully the school to create surveys similar to the way public schools are surveyed. Their children ended up getting uninvited back due to the negative atmosphere these parents created in meetings and emails - obviously their goal was seat(s) on the board. They were so aggressive, they even created negative press campaigns and sued the school.
Our children attended Cornerstone at the same time as many of the parents who chose to leave the school due to difficulties with the school administration. This was not our primary reason for changing schools, although it did play a role. In my opinion, there was fault on both sides. Many of the parents who left were making demands of the school that we found unreasonable and behaving in a very condescending manner toward anyone who disagreed with them. The school administration, for its part, chose more of a "circle the wagons" mentality rather than trying to engage more parents in the discussion and build consensus. In the end, I think it's fair to say that there were no "winners". It was the students who were asked not to return who suffered most. It was sad to see, because we adored the majority of the teachers that our children had in their two years at Cornerstone. Even worse, one teacher who was the focus of many parental complaints left the school after the end of the year. I do think that Cornerstone's administration needs to open up and become less insular, but the overall educational experience is still very good, albeit pricey.
Our child has grown into an incredibly self-motivated, successful student at Cornerstone School. The child-centered Montessori approach, combined with deeply caring and innovative teachers, offers children opportunities to blossom academically and as conscious individuals every day. The life skills gained from planning and executing field trips, including abroad, are fabulous. The Junior Class teachers offer enthusiasm, expertise and an unmatched team approach that blends curriculum across the board. Before enrolling my child in Cornerstone, we were told by a graduate that she "hated school vacations" and that Cornerstone prepared her better for college than the private high school she attended. We have experienced just such a place, where real writing skills are honed, high-level math, history, reading and science is taught with unique approaches, hands-on learning abounds, all led by individuals who teach from their heart and soul. We have an eighth grader who has mapped out his future with such enthusiasm and attention to detail, we could not be more blessed. And we have Cornerstone School to thank for this love of learning and innate curiousity. There, it is cool to be smart.
Our daughter is in her second year at Cornerstone and we couldn't be happier. At aged 5 she is not only learning literacy and numeracy skills, but is growing every day in confidence, independence, and respect for others. Her teachers are not only closely involved in her progress in all aspects of her school day, but also are proactive in sharing that progress good or bad with us; on many occasions they have called us to tell us about something that happened in our daughter's day, whether that thing is happy and exciting, or not so great and concerning. The school as a whole is happy, peaceful, and nurturing. Teachers respect all the children, whether or not they are in their classes; and kids aged 14 in the senior class know, look out for, and interact with kids aged 4 in the primary class. As parents we were new to the Montessori world but our experience at Cornerstone has convinced us that it is a great system and this is an exceptional school.
Our kids have attended this school from preschool through 8th grade and we cannot praise the virtues of Cornerstone's faculty, staff and administration enough. Cornerstone's employment of the Montessori Method is superior to any other comparable school. The faculty's love of teaching is clear from the moment your child enters the classroom and the love and nurturing provided by each and every member of the Cornerstone community is exceptional. My kids have grown to be independent, nurturing and loving children themselves and I cannot thank Cornerstone enough for that. We have found the administration to be very open with any concerns we have had and they have addressed the issues promptly and thoroughly. Our kids are praised by all individuals that meet them with regards to their manners and their incredible knowledge base in math, science, social studies, business and cultural studies. We are confident our kids will be prepared for any high school or college from this point forward. Talk to any graduate of Cornerstone and you will find they all say the same things - "Cornerstone couldn't have prepared us better for high school and college!"
Cornerstone has been everything I could have wished for in a school for my children. They have been going since they were 3 and are now in the upper levels of the school. The school has taught them to be inquisitive, observant, sensitive, and empathetic. Their teachers are caring, engaging, and clearly love to impart their knowledge. I would recommend this school without any reservations.
I am saddened to see some poor reviews of Cornerstone school. Last year, a group of parents started to make some unrealistic requests of the administration. Because my background is in independent schools, I thought that the school was absolutely justified in all actions they took pertaining to this matter and these families. I have never been at a school with so much POSITIVE parental involvement! Although I know I am welcome at school anytime, I also understand that there has to be a level of trust. I know my kids are actively learning, socializing and growing at Cornerstone - I do not need to be involved with any administrative issues or board reports to see that my kids are in the right place. Cornerstone is a very happy and healthy school. The teachers are open and friendly, incredibly patient and willing to work with all kinds of kids. I think it is a bonus that our wonderful head is a teaching head of school, as it keeps her involved and in touch with all aspects of her school. Whenever I have been at school for part of the day, interacting with the students and teachers, I always leave feeling elated and so lucky that my kids get to go to Cornerstone School!