A school clearly at a crossroads. New Head of School that is promising but here are entrenched long-time faculty who hold he school back. Financially in trouble, declining enrollment and a challenging culture make the school a risky bet. Also, I would be wary of the last 5 reviews done by a teacher all on the same date.
There's time to reinforce at home what's been learned in school and our homework is intelligent and not worksheet driven. It allows time to learn and play an instrument, engage in art and sports outside of school. Homework does not sacrifice time for extracurricular activities.
The Montclair cooperative school is a treasure of a school that educates children both inside and outside the classroom. Our commitment to a stellar constructive education along with a genuine commitment to social justice educates children to become students and citizens of the world.
this place is falling apart. they cant deal with people who have listning issues. i was there when a friend of mine got suspended for tipping over a chair. that should be enough info to say that there are problems there
We sent our daughter to the COOP and became disenchanted but are proud to call ourselves alumni. The school's greatest asset and biggest weakness is its teachers. They are very dedicated and some of their practices are solid but as a group they are against being held accountable and some of the teachers are ineffective. In addition, a select group of the teachers collectively work against the best interests of the school unfortunately. Understanding the curriculum can be difficult. The greatest asset is the passion of both the teachers and the members. The school is a cooperative and the members are the key to making it all work, although some parents do much of the work. Overall, great community of parents. Hopefully the school can find its footing and take off.
The Co-op is a great little school, especially for the nursery-K grades. The early ages teachers are some of the best teachers I've ever seen. They are warm, creative, and nurturing. Unfortunately the Co-op lags in the later grades. There is no curriculum, every teacher has a different agenda and there is no accountability for what the children are learning. The Co-op lacks qualified teachers for their foreign language program and there is no organized sports program or theater/arts program. Unfortunately the school seems to hire a lot of relatives or friends rather than more qualified candidates. In theory, parent involvement is encouraged because it is a "cooperative", but there is a very small clique that runs the school and makes it difficult and uncomfortable for new parents to really get involved. We knew our kids would go to public school and so weren't too invested, but there are parents who are there that are very disappointed by this dynamic. On a positive note, the Co-op is a warm, progressive environment for children with mild special needs/ADHD/etc.
As a past parent of children at the Montclair Co-Op School, I wanted to share how wonderfully open and creative this school was for my 2 children that are now in their 30's. The thought process, and ability to question and navigate, math, social studies and english courses was individually based and also used team co-operation. The basis of this eduation helped many children to become THINKERS and DOERS as they went on to colleges and life. As a former parent, even I learned many Co-operative ways and used them in life. Thank you Montclair Co-Op for all that you have given to the children who enter your gates.
Our family moved to Montclair for the proximity to the city and the strong reputation of the public schools. Our children started in the public schools, and we switched to the Co-op for smaller class sizes, a warmer, more progressive environment, and a more challenging academic program. The public schools are good, but the lack of resources and large class sizes are a detriment. The Co-op teachers are incredibly gifted. They work to reach and push each child to their fullest potential. The small ratio of teachers to children allows for enhanced, leveled learning within the classrooms - we get individualized learning that works hand in hand with the cooperative approach brilliantly. The Head of Schools is a deep, critical thinker who is working to push the Co-op to become even stronger and to ensure the children are being successfully launched into the world as critical, creative thinkers themselves.