I am very surprised by some of the negative reviews on this post. We have not had any negative experience with the school, its teachers, leaders, and staff. I can see that It is not a school for everyone. If you have a child who is self-motivated, values academics, and does not mind minimal sports (on school days), and if you would like to avoid a "preppy" culture prevalent at many of the private schools, then this is a wonderful school. Just look at the exmissions. Everyone in the graduating class got into a respectable on-going school. The school is small and therefore the onsite after-school programs are limited.
Our daughter has been at the school for five years and it has been perfect for her. She has grown into an independent, eager learner, social and artistic. The teachers know the students incredibly well, as the program combines grades such that a pair of teachers stays with each class for three years. Essentially every assignment is tailored for each student. I've never seen the like elsewhere. The school is academically focussed; don't send your child there if sports are paramount for you, and I don't know that they would know what to do with a student who has special needs. But for us it has been perfect.
A school that combines serious academics with a truly nurturing environment is rare. If you look at MMS's exmissions results it's obvious they turn out successful kids. But what has really impressed me is the nurturing side. We have 2 very different children and I have been amazed at how the school has really treated them as individuals and is bringing out the absolute best in both of them. One of our children has some learning needs and every teacher with whom she interacts (which is more than 10) have been involved with helping her succeed. Now over 7 years they just keep proving over and over again what an amazing gem they are.
HORRIFIC!!! School administration is more interested in a being certified as a "socially" relevant competitor to the education options of the elite than embracing of Montessori methods. Our family has a long standing appreciation for the Montessori method and was sadly disappointed with the reality that this school is all window dressing and no substance. Completely unprepared to address the unique strengths and challenges of children. Administration and support staff is beyond incompetent and disguises incompetence and limited credentials/training with arrogant advising to advise parents to seek outside services to assess and address children's needs -- on basic things. Appreciation of diversity is a complete joke -- very, very few minority children, black children are disproportionately diagnosed as ADHD and sent to the special needs learning center, especially male children. Run, very fast, away from this school.
Run away. This school will strip the joy of learning from your kids, environment is strict, kids drop like flies after K, your child will end up having only 8-10 kids of his grade in a mixed class. Passive-aggressive teachers and principals will let you know what is wrong with your child and how many tutors you should hire, when children are totally normal and thrive anywhere else. All the 5 star reviews were solicited by the school, beware. Save your money, consider a real school instead.
I have two children at MMS, and our family has been at the school for 7 years. I strongly recommend the school on every level, and am a big advocate of the Montessori approach to learning. Almost every day my son (who is in the Upper Elementary program) tells me how lucky he is to be going to MMS. He cites his great teachers, who have made him an engaged, flexible, creative and independent learner. He also likes that when he has struggles, the school has created an environment where he feels that he can talk to his teachers directly and that they listen and respond. This is a big deal to me as a parent, as I think it is very important that my children feel empowered to handle issues at school on their own, and it says a lot about the culture of MMS. That said, when I have needed to intervene as a parent, and I have also found faculty and administration easily accessible and great at finding solutions that work, tackling issues head-on or making changes to meet the evolving needs of the community. Other reviews cite the strong academics of MMS, and the diverse community of engaged parents, which I also find to be true and proven by exmissions and sibling applications!
MMS is a wonderful school. Not only is the education amazing (this can be seen by reviewing their exmissions alone) but it is a lovely, diverse community of parents, teachers and administrators. The teachers are diligent and caring and nurture the children to thrive. I could not ask for anything more as a parent.
I wish I could give it a zero. Waste of time and money. My girl is thriving only now, after leaving, they took all the joy of learning out of her. Passive-aggressive teachers and staff will let you know what type of tutoring your child needs, but will not admit that they may be the problem to begin with. Teachers put a lot of pressure, materials learned do not fit the level of the students. Teachers yelled and shut the lights off if kids dared to speak during class (says my daughter), no clarity and visibility into the materials and levels of math and reading learned and required we had no idea where she is and where she should be. Terrible communication. They will accept many foreign students that arrive for a limited period of time without required testing, and many kids are disruptive they will not say anything if you donate money to the school (they do a good job soliciting you to do so.) My child was asked in her current school to name her favorite street in NYC and least favorite street. She wrote: My least favorite street is 85th Street . I asked why, she said because this is where MMS is. We are so glad that we pulled her out, some friends pulled out as well.
We are thrilled with this school! It is academically challenging while still being warm and nurturing. Our children are excited to go to school each day and ask if they can do and learn more. There are always complaints about schools but I cannot think of a better preschool/elementary school In New York City. This school is small so you feel like your voice is heard and your children will too. The Montessori curriculum (which we did not know about before stumbling upon this school) teaches kids to love learning. I could go on and on. This school is a gem.
I honestly cannot say enough about this wonderful little school because I feel as though our family stumbled upon the hidden jewel of the Upper West Side. The academics, focus on the arts and teaching staff are all impressive. I am amazed that my 7 year old is studying geometry that I didn't learn until high school and that when she was 3 she stopped in her tracks upon hearing music from The Nutcracker to say: "Peter Tchaikovsky wrote this". I could sing the academic praises from the rooftops, but really, the exmissions speak for themselves. Most of the graduating class ends up in top-tier middle and high schools. I find the parent community welcoming and close, something that has only enriched our experience and endeared the school to us even more. The retention rate of the staff is high, which is a great indicator of the competency of the administration. Bottom line is that this is a very special place, not one where my husband and I are seen as dollar signs but parents who are part of a very focused academic organization that cares about our child's future. I cannot say the same of the other schools that we are involved in in the city. I highly recommend MMS.