We are big supporters of the Maria Montessori educational model. There's a broad interpretation of Montessori learning depending on where you go and it's really up to the parents to observe & monitor how Maria's model is being executed. There are two schools in Santa Fe that boast "Montessori" in their name. Desert Montessori resembles Maria's vision in name only. La Mariposa is the better and more on target of the two. Any school with farm animals, fresh eggs, and a garden will have my support! My child attended one year at La Mariposa and enjoyed it immensely. Their commitment to a well rounded education is refreshing. Where I found concerns as a parent is their emphasis on a robust (!) amount of homework & overall atmosphere of educational seriousness. Once an excessive intensity is placed on homework and the "educational excellence" catch phrase, there's nowhere to go but serious institutionalized academic procedure. Kids are given a thick 1”+ packet to complete every month. Essentially, I would work a full day, then come home to a second job of getting on my kid about doing the work. If it was difficult to understand, I became a teacher. My nights were drama filled with lots of teeth pulling and negative interactions with my kid. And if my child didn't compete the homework, there were no field trips or fun experiential activities. I paid over a grand a month (there are no scholarships) for learning to be about catching up without living the full experience. No thank you. This is where La Mariposa strays from Maria's vision, which is one of independence, freedom, and student driven learning. Maria Montessori felt at-home time was for family & student enjoyment, not to be used as an extension of school unless the child expressly chooses it. The public school model is really efficient at excessive nonsense homework and punishment for not following the rules, so for free I could just send my kid there. As a former teacher, I can testify homework does little to further deeper meaning and enjoyment of learning. ROTE understanding, perhaps, but nothing further. I completely respect Katrina and her well organized school, grounds, and curriculum. The level of dedication she has to her school is remarkable. I would have like to see more laughter, enjoyment, and playfulness within the classroom with less emphasis on homework.
Top notch pre-school and elementary education in New Mexico. It is remarkable that the children of Santa Fe, New Mexico have such an amazing educational opportunity. The teachers are inspiring. These children are achieving at high school levels because of the tremendous dedication and enthusiasm the school has for learning!
The reviews on this site tell the whole story . . . . You can't educate with courage and conviction without ruffling some feathers. The principle and the educators at the school are not just impressive, but remarkable. They are actually preparing kids for the world they will encounter . . . not a second wave factory education. Hands on learning, field trips (often inspired by the students themselves) as well as quality play time are an integral part of the experience. I was sad to see reviews about racial bias and/or favoritism. We have experienced none of that (nor have I heard any such comments from others). What I will say is that the faculty and administration do not allow the class to be taken over by one or two kids with behavior problems who make it hard or impossible for the other students to learn and flourish. As a parent I appreciate that. I have long believed that people are generally happy with the private schools in which they have they're children. I must say that we continue to be surprised by the level of instruction, the interest our children show in the curricula and the commitment of the staff.Katrina (the principle) is, herself, a remarkable educator.
It's wonderful! I have read some comments about this school that are not accurate portrayals of this school. Why? because its amazing!!! my children enjoyed it so much! they loved the teachers, learned more than i can could of ever dreamed of, remembered all the information they where given!!! and best of all... they where in a place they loved!!! and even now that their out of la mariposa, the habits of working hard- and trying your best, are still their. They have fantastic grades are on the national honors society, and i couldn't be prouder of the kind and caring people they've become!!! thank you la mariposa montessori!!!
Any school community that discriminates between peoples of, color, race, age, religion, teacher, staff, parent or student should be considered & recognized for how they propagate hatred & bias. I found the direction of the school guilty of prejudice, authoritarian control & bias. This can NOT possibly NOT have ill effects on any child & their intrinsic innocence & good nature.
This is an excellent school. My children have attended from Kindergarten through sixth grade and go on to do extremely well in high school. La Mariposa has an exceptional math teacher in Katrina Holder, the founder. I loved the fact that Latin was taught. If your child is not self-motivated then a Montessori environment may not be the best thing. If they are, then there is nothing better.
La Mariposa is a fantastic school. 2 of our children attended, after switching from Rio Grande. Their math and reading skills skyrocketed at La Mariposa. The creative learning strategy employed is phenomenal. My children loved going to school and have gone on to 7th grade at SF Prep. Highest accolades for the teachers and administration.