This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Escuela Del Sol Montessori4
Posted April 02, 2012
- a parent
My son has attended EDS for one year. I do think it is too expensive and I do not feel that I understand the excessive tuituion cost. However, the school is excellent and has been a great fit for my son who was struggling socially but academically solid. He has surpassed my expections for lessons and I have been impressed by what he has learned. I feel he is doing lessons above his grade level (he's in in kindergarten and starting multiplication and has brought home maps of all the continents with all the contries labeled, for instance) and he really understands the concepts. The teachers are amazing, and I have learned parenting skills from them in the short visits I make to the school. (I wish I could be that calm and collected all the time.) I have never seen any signs of bullying, not caring or inattention in ANY form so disagree with the parent who had that experience. My main complaint is the expense which includes not only the tuition and fees, but the lunch menu at Robyn's kitchen, before/after care and holiday programs. Also, it seems the administration is a little disorganized.
I have 2 girls at Escuela and have been with the school for 8 years. I am constantly amazed by the incredible dedication of the teachers, staff, and community of families at Escuela. My children are developing a deep love of learning, conceptual thinking, and creative problem-solving skills. They look for questions, not just correct answers. The environment is collaborative rather than competitive, building their confidence and self-esteem. They absolutely love their school and can't wait to do lessons and projects. I believe they will truly be prepared to meet the unforeseen challenges of the future with curiosity, enthusiasm and success, because of their start at Escuela.
Escuela was a great fit for our family. My child attended for the primary years and loved every moment of it. His teachers were gracious, caring, well-educated and very experienced (with almost 20 years teaching at EDS). We looked at other schools, including Montessori programs, and found Escuela to be the best
Unfortunately, this school has great potential that is not being met. We had children here several years ago. We loved the primary, and the multicultural focus. We also loved that the children went at their own pace, and our children flew through materials. But, there was a complete lack of ability to discipline the boys in elementary. The principal really seemed focused on the "at risk" (or learning challenged) children, not the "regular" children. Our child ended up being traumatized after a year in elementary from bullied (verbally and physically) and begged us not to go back. We were actually sad, since we really think the teachers are good-hearted and mean well, and we believe that, if instituted properly, Montessori is a tremendous method of education.
My two boys, ages 3 and 4, both started in the toddler program and are now in the primary program at EDS. They love and respect their teachers (they are not in the same classroom), and so do we. Our friends are always impressed with how well-educated and capable our kids are already. We love the Montessori method, but beyond that, the teachers use the Positive Discipline method with great success. There are also lots of parent workshops, and my husband and I both attended the one on Positive Discipline, which was taught by one of our sons' teacher. It was amazing. Our sons have a balanced group of friends (male and female, ranging from ages 3-6) from their classes. The school is incredibly diverse. I estimate that greater than 50% of kids in the primary program are minority students. Couldn't be more pleased.
Teachers are overwhelmed and do not pay attention to the children - the ratios are way to high. Play is not allowed at all and children are taught and expected to be little adults. Most of the kids are bullies and physically threaten and hurt each other. The teachers do little to prevent this from happening and the school does not take safety seriously. Academically the school is lacking and completely not flexible and not-Montessori like at all. They do not meet children where they are and will not change there methods. I am so disappointed and sad for my child that we exposed them to this environment. I would not wish this school on anyone.
We have three sons, two who have graduated from Escuela's elementary program and one who is currently a student. We are thrilled with the education they have received. After Escuela, their middle and high school teachers marveled that they actually understood concepts and theories versus memorizing factoids and spitting them back out. Our kids were doing algebra in 5th grade! We attribute this to the special Montessori materials found nowhere else.
Be careful! This school has some excellent, caring adults who do a wonderful job working with with children. However, academic accountability is lacking. Some kids do well, but some kids fall behind academically. Parents aren't always provided adequate information to determine if their student is on track academically.
I have two daughters at this school and am unable to say enough good things about it. Escuela del Sol is a fantastic school that will nurture your child in an environment of creativity, open communication, kindness and respect. Be aware that the Montessori methods are sometimes very different to traditional teaching methods so there needs to be some understanding on the parent's part about this. The teachers and staff will help educate and guide you. Instead of making the students aggressively compete with each other, they allow each child to grow and excel in their own unique way. I am convinced this school is preparing my daughters to succeed academically, emotionally, and socially.
We were very unhappy with this school. We had been to two open houses and were sure this was where our child would be thru 5th grade. After one year we pulled him out. We don't know if all classes are the same but there was little parent/teacher communication. Big disappointment!