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Waterfront Montessori

Private | PK-8 | 193 students

For creating independent and self-directed lifelong learners.

 

Living in Jersey City

Situated in an inner city neighborhood. The median home value is $480,000. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $1,780.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
 
Last modified
Community Rating

4 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
Based on 1 rating
2013:
Based on 20 ratings
2012:
Based on 11 ratings
2011:
No new ratings

Teacher quality

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Parent involvement

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33 reviews of this school


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Posted May 28, 2014

My child went to this school for two years starting age 3. Overall, school experience in terms of education was okay. However my encounter with the administrative staff was horrible. We made a deposit for an upcoming school year (7 months before school start) only to find out two months later that we had to move out of town. The school claimed that we must pay the full tuition of 25k for the upcoming year because the deposit check was sent in and they cannot find a replacing student. Whatever...I learned later that another student's mom who had her child on wait list got a call from school saying that one spot became available. Moreover the staff told us to send the child to school for the first two weeks in September of that year in order to get tuition insurance coverage. We ended up paying 10k for the education that we didn't even get. This is definitely a school after money.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 13, 2013

We are extremely happy with this school. After going to several preschools in the NY area and another Montessori school in Jersey City, we have finally found a place to stay. Founded by a very talented and passionate Montessori mom, you can feel how every aspect of this school is inspired by her vision. The curriculum is very strong, diverse and true to the Montessori spirit. The teachers are highly qualified, experienced and passionate about their work. There are many activities involving the parents and the community, and most importantly, just watching the students in action, in school and outside, demonstrates what a high quality of education, academic and otherwise, is provided here. Our oldest child has been going there for 2 years now and our younger child is just about to start as well. We even chose to stay in Jersey City because of this school. In short, we highly recommend it!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 7, 2013

I'm a parent of a primary school child. He loves going to school every day and always comes home with a smile. We can already track his progress based on the little things he does at home; he puts on his own jacket and shoes, cleans up after using toys, and spends long periods of time engaged in puzzles. The teachers are kind and truly care about each child. Any questions or issues we've ever had have been addressed promptly.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 2, 2013

The curriculum is fantastic! the children are constantly involved and learn to be independent and all perform at a grade level that is much higher. Our first grader reads fluently already for quite a few months, handles numbers and knows geometrical shapes , and most importantly enjoys learning. The teachers are fantastic, in the elementary school - very attentive and intelligent - and have been so in the primary years, where our child thrived. it is a great school overall!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 29, 2013

My child goes to Waterfront Montessori, and, as other parents, I have good and bad things to say about it. ** Good: Most of the lead teachers are good, in fact, some of them are exceptional (caring, knowledgeable, involved, motivated, dedicated individuals). The students (in higher grades) are getting great results and tests scores. ** Bad: There are too many changes in the faculty, which impacts negatively to the kids. Some of the teachers are not up to part (long faces, lack of engagement and proactivity, poor communication skills, non-fluent in English). The teacher aids are definitely not up to part. There's a major difference among the teachers. The installations, especially for grades 1 and up are below part as they are (not much green area, old building, many stairs....). The school has to move next year as the lease is up, and the parents haven't been notified about the new location yet. The principal's involvement is low in the toddler and primary programs. Her demeanor to parents (and staff) is condescending to say the least. Communication with parents is a major issue, it's always late, non-existent, lacking, or incomplete. There's no parents association at all.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 29, 2013

Our son started going to preschool at Waterfront Montessori, and it is amazing how much progress he has made in 2 months. He has adapted really well to his teachers and the Montessori way. He seems to really like it. He is a lot more independent and wants to do things on his own. We receive updates on happenings at the school and the types of activities the students do on a regular basis. This is a great way to keep parents in the know of what's happening at the school. There are also a lot of opportunities to be involved in discussions about the education of children and be part of the Waterfront Montessori community. The teachers and staff are also very professional and friendly. A great experience so far!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 28, 2013

WFM is a warm and inviting school. The teachers are great! My daughter is excelling here, having the experience of her life and is developing a healthy and strong work ethic and a love for learning.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 28, 2013

Our daughter is in her first year of the toddler 2 program at WFM. She constantly surprises us with the depth of knowledge gained through purposeful experiences within the classroom and socialization time with friends. We couldn't be more pleased, she looks forward to going to school everyday and we look forward to the weekly pictures in "The Flow" which allows us to further discuss her activities. We are highly impressed by the curated learning atmosphere--calm, consistent, prepared--and the quality and astuteness of the instructors.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 28, 2013

My children have been going to waterfront montessori for 6 years. It is truly a school that inspires them to want to learn and gives them the freedom, support and encouragement to learn at whatever level they are ready for. I have one child who is far ahead and another who has had some learning challenges, and the school has been incredibly supportive and on top of both of their needs. It is a wonderful group of teachers and administrators who always go the extra mile for the kids.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 26, 2013

We've been at the school five years and we have two children at the school -- one started in the primary program and the other in the toddler program. The experience depends a lot upon the teacher the child gets. While all the teachers are very good, some are just enough better than the others that you can tell a difference in results. (Since we have two kids in the school, they are never in the same class, so we've experienced two primary teachers and two elementary teachers.) Overall, we think the montessori concept as practiced by Waterfront has been very effective for our children. We do have concerns about the lack of homework and lack of testing -- our children will have homework and tests at their next school, and I worry that they are not being adequately prepared. I am also not sure that the teachers push the students as much as they could, either with regard to subjects on which they lag behind or with regard to subjects on which they are advanced. It likely would be much worse in public school, but, then I'm paying a lot of money for a better education with individualized attention. But our kids are learning and seem happy, so we are generally satisfied.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 25, 2013

It is awesome. The teachers are very good, and the classes are a bit small which promotes single-child focus.


Posted October 25, 2013

Waterfront has been a home to our two little children for 6 years. It provides a great community and the staff members/teachers/principal are extremely respectful, accomodating and professional. The school is very strong academically and the children are eager to learn more and focus on the areas that they are most interested in. The school environment is extremely safe and clean and children-friendly. We will stay at Waterfront Montessori for as long as we can. We highly recommend it.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 25, 2013

Every school has a crying child... my child had one every year.. if you are uncertain of the circumstances than don't hold it against the school or their hardworking teachers! The Administrative staff has given us a voice for any concerns we have ever had. I love what my child is doing and find her way ahead of her peers from other schools. I will never understand why people attempt to destroy their school rather than focus on bettering it through voicing their concerns and allowing them to get fixed. If you are in the business of finding fault with your child's school than do us all a favor and pull them out! Otherwise, help work with us to grow WFM to the amazing place that it already is!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 23, 2013

Save your money and go elsewhere. Yes, the bathrooms are dirty. The teachers can be cold and insensitive and to young impressionable students it hard on them. Students still cry going to school in the morning. Get a hint WFM, you need to change. Parents constantly complain the changes/patches are temporary.


Posted July 8, 2013

The kids BATHROOMS in the ARE DIRTY. My child has complained about the bathroom being dirty- pee on the seats etc, have heard other kids say that as well. So I decided to find out and found a chance to go in- YES, its dirty by any standards.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 7, 2013

Definitely consider this school if you are interested in the arts for your kids. They have an incredibly strong arts program with really talented music, movement and drama teachers. They work towards performing a musical every year that truly has exceeded expectations for the past three years in a row. This year's production of The Wizard of Oz was outstanding. The director of the musical is an ex-broadway star which happens to be the mom of one of the students. Lucky them, and lucky us!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 7, 2013

My daughter transferred to Waterfront Montessori at the beginning of this school year and the change has been absolutely incredible. I was a little apprehensive at first because of the smaller-sized classrooms in the upper elementary and middle school grades, but was impressed when I spoke to staff members and recognized how passionate they were about education. They focus on all the things that a parent would want and work hard to develop students in an incredibly balanced way. I'm a bit shocked sometimes when I see how much my daughter has grown academically, socially and emotionally. She now has a thirst for knowledge that is incredible to be a part of.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 12, 2013

I absolutely think that the teachers that work with the younger children and lower elementary grades are wonderful, caring people. Although my child does not participate in the after school programs the quality and selection tend to be top notch. Administrators are always on hand to assist and often go above and beyond to offer support, so that is also a plus. The bad: Communication is a major issue. Notification comes last minute about school events and email inboxes are flooded to the point that it can be overwhelming. Things seem to pop up on the calendar on a whim. It seems that there are many changes to the calendar to the point that it makes planning outside activities difficult as your child may be penalized for not attending an event. The higher grades (4th -8th) are small and there is a noticeable drop in the number of students that attend. The teaching quality does not seem to be of the same quality as the lower grades and the general attitude of staff at this level could use improvement. My interactions have been less than positive as the coordinator s attitude could be interpreted as condescending at best most of the time.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 25, 2013

My son is nearly through his second year at WFM and I can't say enough great things about the schoold, the teachers, administrators, the program, etc. I have seen a tremendous difference in his abilities and skills from when he first started. He is patient, logical, caring, and comprehends more than I expect at his age. Mind you, I am not one of those mother's who thinks her child is the smartest, most talented, etc. I'm simply saying that he has evolved at a rate a lot quicker, and I'm speculating, than I presume he would have if it weren't for WFM. The teachers have taken the time to really understand what my son is like so they can figure out how to best educate him (within the guidelines of the program, of course). The administrators of the school go above and beyond to make sure that excellence is achieved, that everything that goes on at the school is made transparent and provide challenging
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 1, 2013

I agree with the parent here who says not all Montessori schools are the same.This one has definitely failed my expectation.We moved to this neighborhood from Southern NJ and my son is almost repeating what he learnt in his previous grade there.They have failed to provide any incentives to young learners.I was very impressed after taking the tour and was happy to pay 3 times the money I was paying in his previous Montessori school.I am very disappointed with my decision as I see his standard falling.
—Submitted by a parent


Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

About these ratings

The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

We currently do not have any test score information for this school. Unlike public schools, private schools are not always required to report data about their schools or not required to take the same tests as public schools. Many private schools take different standardized tests; however, that information is often made available only to families of enrolled students. We strive to acquire additional private school data whenever available.

What is the GreatSchools Rating?

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Breaking down the GreatSchools Rating

Unfortunately, this school doesn't have sufficient data to generate an academic rating.

Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander 48% 9%
White 36% 51%
Black 10% 16%
Hispanic 6% 22%
American Indian/Alaska Native 0% 0%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% 0%
Two or more races 0% 1%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

Teacher resources

Special staff resources available to students Assistant principal(s)
Art teacher(s)
Computer specialist(s)
Dance teacher(s)
Gardening teacher(s)
Gifted specialist(s)
Librarian/media specialist(s)
Math specialist(s)
Music teacher(s)
PE instructor(s)
Nurse(s)
Poetry/Creative writing teacher(s)
Reading specialist(s)
Robotics/Technology specialist(s)
Special education coordinator
Teacher aid/assistant teacher
Tutor(s)
Foreign languages spoken by school staff Arabic languages
French
German
Italian
Japanese
Russian
Spanish
Tagalog
Urdu
Portuguese, Tamil, Hindi
Read more about programs at this school
Source: Provided by a school official.

Special education / special needs

Level of special education programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students
Extra learning resources offered
  • Differentiated learning programs
Staff resources available to students
  • Special education coordinator

Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM)

Staff resources available to students
  • Computer specialist(s)
  • Gardening teacher(s)
  • Math specialist(s)
  • Robotics/Technology specialist(s)
School facilities
  • Access to farm or natural area
  • Computer lab
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Science lab
Clubs
  • Robotics club

Arts & music

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Dance teacher(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
  • Poetry/Creative writing teacher(s)
School facilities
  • Art room
  • Music room
Visual arts
  • Design
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
  • Photography
  • Printmaking
  • Sculpture
Music
  • Instrumental music lessons
Performing and written arts
  • Creative writing
  • Dance
  • Drama
  • Poetry
Media arts
  • Computer animation
  • Graphics
  • Video / Film production
Clubs
  • Art club
  • Drama club

Language learning

Foreign languages taught
  • French
  • German
  • Japanese
  • Spanish
Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • Arabic languages
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Portuguese, Tamil, Hindi
  • Russian
  • Spanish
  • Tagalog
  • Urdu

Health & athletics

Staff resources available to students
  • Dance teacher(s)
  • Gardening teacher(s)
  • Nurse(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
School facilities
  • Access to farm or natural area
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Gym
  • Multi-purpose room ("cafegymatorium")
Clubs
  • Martial arts (judo, tae kwon do, karate, etc)

Gifted & talented

Instructional and/or curriculum models used
  • International Baccalaureate (IB)
Staff resources available to students
  • Gifted specialist(s)
School leaders can update this information here.

School basics

School start time
  • 8:30 am
School end time
  • 3:15 pm
Before school or after school care / program onsite
  • Before school: starts at 7:30 a.m.
  • After school: ends at 6:00 p.m.
School Leader's name
  • Karen Westman
Best ways for parents to contact the school
  • Email
  • Phone
Age at which early childhood or Pre-K program begins
  • 2 years old
Gender
  • Coed
Special schedule
  • Extended/longer school day
  • Year-round
Boarding options
  • Day school
Is there an application process?
  • Yes
Associations
  • American Montessori Society
Fax number
  • (201) 333-5009

Programs

Instructional and/or curriculum models used

Don't understand these terms?
  • International Baccalaureate (IB)
  • Montessori
  • Multi-aged
Specific academic themes or areas of focus

Don't understand these terms?
  • None
Bi-lingual or language immersion programs offered

Don't understand these terms?
  • No
Level of special education programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students
Foreign languages taught
  • French
  • German
  • Japanese
  • Spanish
Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students

Resources

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Assistant principal(s)
  • Computer specialist(s)
  • Dance teacher(s)
  • Gardening teacher(s)
  • Gifted specialist(s)
  • Librarian/media specialist(s)
  • Math specialist(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
  • Nurse(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
  • Poetry/Creative writing teacher(s)
  • Reading specialist(s)
  • Robotics/Technology specialist(s)
  • Special education coordinator
  • Teacher aid/assistant teacher
  • Tutor(s)
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • Arabic languages
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Portuguese, Tamil, Hindi
  • Russian
  • Spanish
  • Tagalog
  • Urdu
Extra learning resources offered
  • Differentiated learning programs
  • Mentoring
  • Remediation
  • Tutoring
Transportation options
  • None
School facilities
  • Access to farm or natural area
  • Art room
  • Audiovisual aids
  • Cafeteria
  • Computer lab
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Gym
  • Internet access
  • Learning lab
  • Library
  • Multi-purpose room ("cafegymatorium")
  • Music room
  • Playground
  • Science lab
School leaders can update this information here.

Sports

Boys sports
  • Judo / Other Martial Arts
  • Soccer
  • Tennis
Girls sports
  • Judo / Other Martial Arts
  • Soccer
  • Tennis

Arts & music

Visual arts
  • Design
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
  • Photography
  • Printmaking
  • Sculpture
Music
  • Instrumental music lessons
Performing arts
  • Creative writing
  • Dance
  • Drama
  • Poetry
Media arts
  • Computer animation
  • Graphics
  • Video / Film production

Student clubs

Clubs (distinct from courses)
  • Art club
  • Chess club
  • Drama club
  • Martial arts (judo, tae kwon do, karate, etc)
  • Model UN
  • Robotics club
School leaders can update this information here.

School culture

Dress Code
  • Neither uniforms nor dress code
Bullying policy
  • This school has a bullying and/or cyber bullying policy in place.
Parent involvement
  • Attend parent nights
  • Chaperone school trips
  • Join PTO/PTA
  • Organize cultural events
  • Organize fundraising events (school auction, bake sales, etc.)
  • Present special topics during curricular units
  • Serve on school improvement team or governance council
  • Volunteer time after school
School leaders can update this information here.

Apply

 

Submit your application by

January 20, 2014

 
 
Apply now
 

What are your chances?


2 out of 10students were accepted for the 2013-2014 school year.


Students accepted for the 2013-2014 school year
51
Applications received for the 2013-2014 school year
262
Students typically come from these schools
None

What does it cost?

Tuition range for the 2013-2014 school year
$12000 - $20000
Vouchers accepted
No
Financial aid offered
Yes.
School-based aid

Planning ahead

Students typically attend these schools after graduating
Dr. Ronald E. McNair Academic High School
High Tech High School
St. Peter's Prepatory School
Notice an inaccuracy? Let us know!

150 Warren Street, Suite 108
Suite 108
Jersey City, NJ 07302
Website: Click here
Phone: (201) 333-5600

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