This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Posted May 28, 2014
- a parent
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.