I went there for 2 years. Yes, the principal was rather, yeah, not very nice. 5th grade wasn't so bad, but 6th grade was a nightmare. The grades are in groups (Pre-K/K, 1-3, 4/5, 6-8). Grades are given in the junior high. You don't get report cards before that, just an "evaluation". Problem was that 6th graders were expected to know 8th grade material, something I was not prepared for, which wasn't good in terms of grades. Socially I did not fit in very well with the junior high kids, So grades + peer problems = Public school from 7th grade onward. Positives: Gym is every day. In music, kids get to learn the steel drums, which was cool. You do get to freely think and you do learn a little more than other schools would teach for whatever grade level you're in. When you leave school every day, you shake hands with your teacher It is a different structure. For the junior high, the core classes met 2x/week for 3 hours or so (except Social Studies, which was 1 hr every day, since the 4th/5th grade teacher taught it while her class was in gym, and she wasn't exactly one you'd take to a ball game either). You only take the core classes + Music + Gym. That's it.
I live in long island and I pay enormous amounts of tax to public school. My child used to go to public school, and that was great until public school would not work with her. In kindergarten, my daughter could read. In public school, she was forced to do sounding of the letters, and it was holding her back. After a few meetings with the teacher at public school, the teacher would complain about how my daughter wouldn't do the work, and that since there were 20 other kids to watch, and she would not give my daughter any special treatment. Unfortunately, that is just the thing. My daughter is so special to me, and I will not allow her potential to be denied. I am so glad I found the Maria Montessori school. My daughter now reads at her own pace, and the pricing is very reasonable. Thanks Ms. Larcy!
My daughter attends kindergarten at Maria Montessori.At first I was not famaliar with the teaching methods of the school and was more apprehensive then my daughter.I did read three books on the founder Maria Montessori and was still unsteady about the teaching method being a product of the public school system.Well now it is march of 2010 and my daughter has exceeded my wildest dreams in regards to her level of education as a kindergarten student.She is doing all the basic math along with cursive writing.Her knowledge of the globe and pronunciation of extended words and phrases has been astounding.Every day my daughter announces the most intresting facts and past history.I can truly say that the start of her education at the Maria Montessori school will carry her throughout the rest of her life.The administrator and guides are of the finest quality and are second to none.Parent/Frank Cichocki
My son attends this school, my daughter will start in September. This school is not about parent involvement or socializing. The kids come first, not the parents. The administrator lives for the children, she will not cater to the parents and their issues.
3 of my 4 children (my youngest is severely disabled(attended both the Anne Frank and Maria Montessori Schools, I am always amused when parents reference the adminstration and their disliking her as opposed to the quality of education their children received and the life time learning this environment afforded their children. If you are looking for 'adult friends' for yourself you are in the wrong place. This administrator lives and works for one thing only; the children. She will not be distracted from her duty to the children whose education has been entrusted to her to entertain the socially needy parent. She lives 'Montessori'; her mission is to maintain the purity of the method. These are not 'AMA' environments; they are 'AMI' Parents don't realize that they undermine the method by not researching Maria Montessoris' goals following up at home. The long term effects speak for themselves!
I have a child at this school and although a parent may feel that the school discourages parent involvement, that parent misses the point. A very important part of Montessori is teaching children to be self-sufficient, free thinkers, and independent. This is very different from the American system, but it works and has been wonderful for my child. I can say that because of this school my four year old can read in print and cursive, write in print and cursive, and can do addition, subtraction and multiplication. While the director of the school can seem boorish, she has the children's education and future as her number one concern, not the parents' feelings. I know some parents think she is being rude to them, but she is actually trying to help the child, and sometimes helping the child means telling parents what they are doing wrong, but some cant handle that.
I am so disappointed with the way the school is operated administratively. It has good potential, only if the school was not operated like 'a secret society' where parental involvement is non existent or should I say not allowed. To me although the quality is important your child well being is even more important. The location of the school as its surrounding is just as undesirable.