Our child attended one year at Cornerstone, but unfortunately it took too long for us to learn that, although it may follow the Montessori method academically, it most definitely does not in application of Maria Montessori's whole-child approach. Having experience with three other Montessori schools before this, we know the difference.
This school is incredibly insular and extremely unwelcoming to new families - at least if you are not starting from preschool. Our experience in the upper elementary program was horrendous, which started with one of the teachers having no child development experience and a serious lack of understanding the age group she was working with. Until she gets proper training and experience (and not at the expense of another child) she should not be teaching. The saddest part was that her inability to treat all students fairly contributed to an environment which fostered student behavior that was unacceptable - especially what is supposed to be a Montessori school.
Unfortunately we didn't know that our child was not the only one suffering (this school makes zero effort to connect families - where in all of our previous Montessori experiences we've felt like family...) until after we left - it was only then that we learned that at least 5 other families had also left for similar reasons.
How sad it was to watch our previously confident, friendly and happy child turn inward due to the constant criticism from her teacher and poor treatment (an understatement) from many of the other children.
Thankfully we found a MUCH better school and now that we are a few months into the school year, we are relieved to find that she is returning to her former happy-go-lucky self, having made friendships easily and having been welcomed with open arms, by her teachers and the other kids in her class.
If you are considering this school, do talk with other parents before you enroll. This is only our experience but it was poor enough to warrant posting this review.
I can attribute the great education to the staff and teachers. . They have been great on every level. This makes my child's experience pleasurable. He is always happy when we drop him off to school. We highly recommend.
My son has been at The Cornerstone School for about 8 years now. He has had a wonderful experience there and the teachers have been great throughout all of his years. He is even excited to get dropped off at school in the morning. I would highly recommend them to my friends and family.
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.