June 12, 2015
Can’t recommend. Weeks into the school year, our son (who was a young three at the time) was pushed by MMS onto a hamster wheel of occupational therapy. The primary class coordinator seemed to have an invested interest in pathologizing our son, and we grew convinced that he might have sensory processing issues. Conferences focused on his supposed deficiencies: sensitivity to noise, weak pencil grip, difficulty choosing “work” from those on offer in the classroom. We were warned he’d need two years of Pre-K, before advancing to kindergarten. We didn’t know the boy they were describing!
Our decision to leave came after classroom observations (parents visit twice a year). Our observations, and those of other parents (and a child psychologist), revealed a boy bewildered by too many choices, who was left to flounder for up to thirty minutes (the observation period) without attention from his teachers. It was true he did not move easily between “works,” or activities (MMS avoids the word “play”). Our son and MMS were not a good fit. However, MMS deemed this a learning disability.
The school seeks children who fit their mold, period. There is little emphasis on socialization, and the program has no room for imaginative play. After observations, we stopped OT. We decided to trust our parental instincts (remembering we were dealing with a three-year-old, who was too young to be branded) and to trust in our son.
Since we left, one year ago, three moms of boys from my son’s former class, who are unhappy with the school and want to leave or are leaving, have contacted me. We had moved our son to a play-based preschool, where his wonderful classroom offered more structure and more freedom simultaneously. Our son blossomed in his new environment. Conferences were chances to celebrate his accomplishments. He just graduated from Pre-K, and is excited to begin kindergarten in the fall, at a terrific private K-12. So much for MMS naysayers (and those who say summer boys are at a disadvantage)!
In hindsight, we can’t believe it wasn’t clearer sooner that the only deficiency plaguing our son was MMS. We chose MMS because the classrooms, and the serenity therein, enchanted us. That serenity now seems spirit-crushing. If there is such a thing as educational malpractice, then MMS is guilty of it. Look elsewhere.
- submitted by a parent