All three of our children have attended the Montessori School of Syracuse (MSS) since they were three years old. Our oldest graduated from 6th grade last year, our middle child is now in 5th grade and our youngest in 1st. We never intended to keep them there past kindergarten, but the more we learned about Montessori education and MSS in particular, the more we loved it. MSS graduates are far ahead of their classmates from other schools academically when they enter 7th grade, but it is the non-academic stuff we love most about MSS. The multi-age classrooms and open environment (no desks, no front of the classroom) provide lots of opportunities for the kids to learn to work together, to think independently and to lead. The music program is phenomenal. The community is great.
When I hear horror stories about chaotic and overcrowded classrooms, stressed teachers, persistent troublemakers, indifferent administrators and (shudder) the Common Core, I thank my lucky stars for Montessori School of Syracuse.
Mixed bag. Montessori materials and classrooms are beautiful. Unfortunately, materials aren't used consistently by all teachers; they are often displayed only at public events like open houses or parent-nights. The teachers range from mediocre to great; where they fall on that spectrum is mostly due to the type and amount of Montessori training they've had. These shortfalls are especially glaring because the school is promoted as--and parents are paying a lot of money for--a Montessori school. The administration consists of family members and friends and, while very personable, they're main focus is not education, it's money. Despite these shortcomings, there are good aspects to this school: small environment, safe social setting, and the family community. If you are considering this school, do your homework and ask questions: How many of your teachers are Montessori trained? What kind of training do they have (correspondence course or other)? What is the teacher turnover rate? Are the administrators Montessori trained? How are the Montessori materials used at every level? Is there a school-sanctioned parent group soliciting input/involvement?
Very disappointing experience for my kids and family; glad we left before they were too far behind. The school is run by a family who does as they wish with no concern for the children or families, just the money they bring. The administration seemed to spend all of their time spinning the various "issues", expelling families and teachers. The teachers are spotty at best, with some great and others awful with poor (correspondence) training. Know your Montessori before you observe at this school, ask to see all of the classrooms, not just those for "show". Have specific questions with required specific responses in mind, don't let them steer you away from the quality questions you ask. None of the administration has either education or Montessori training, so you need to know what to expect before you shell out thousands of dollars.
We have two children at MSS and I really can't imagine them thriving as well anywhere else in Syracuse. One of our children is very advanced academically ("gifted & talented" or whatever) but he is getting the individual attention to stay challenged. I've always felt that the administration and the teachers have been very accommodating and genuinely interested in our childrens' success. We had initially put our children in the primary program uncertain about whether they would continue to the elementary classes. Now, we're convinced we should keep them at MSS as long as possible. Teachers and administrators aside, our childrens' classmates are confident, articulate, curious, and intelligent. I think the best way to see for yourself about the school is to visit the school during one of the Open House events. Talk with the students there. It's a great learning atmosphere where the children are actively involved in helping one another.
My experience with this school was primarily in the youngest classroom (3-6) yrs. Some aspects of the program are great...foreign language immersion, lots of outdoor time, small community, etc. But...there is also a strict adherence to rules and rigidity that I feel has little place in a preschool classroom. A lot of this school seems to be a big dog-and-pony show for the parents and a lot more outcome than process oriented. For the amount of money that is spent to attend this school, I believe it is not worth it. I taught at a Montessori school and would not have sent my child here for free. I have also heard administrators refer to "money parents", which should not be the point. The two best teachers here left a few years ago.
unexceptional school. We've had our children in Montessori schools all over the U.S. The directress at this school is one of the most clueless leaders we've ever encountered. The Montessori materials are taught in such a rigid fashion that there is no room for individuality.
Excellent School. We've been to montessori schools in different states and different countries. The directress at this school is one of the kindest, caring school leaders we've ever encountered. The montessori materials are taught in true montessori fashion and the children each learn at their individual pace.
fantastic school. So much creativity of the teachers, so many great Montessori resources, so much individual attention for the children, so much opportunity for growth. I am so grateful that we have a school like this in Syracuse for our children to enjoy.
My children, who are now 8 and 11, have spent their entire school careers, starting at age 3, at the Montessori School of Syracuse, and it's been wonderful. School for them is a pleasure, not a chore. They work independently, are taught responsibility, and love learning. The outdoor nature education is outstanding. Their teachers have been wonderful, from preschool, right through sixth grade. The negative review from December 2010 is very far from our experience. We have found the teachers and administration to be warm caring people who deeply care about our children. We don't always agree with every decision, but that would be the case at any school. We are convinced that our children are receiving the best education available in the Syracuse area, and we owe MSS a great debt of gratitude for being there for them.
I went to MSS until I graduated in 6th grade. Montessori does more than teach the material required by New York State, it instils a love of learning in children. I loved going to school, and begged my mom to take me there earlier. I loved doing work in the morning and all my specialty classes, like Music and French, in the afternoon. I loved my teachers, I loved my faculty, and I loved my classmates. Some parents are worried about Montessori because there's a lack of tests and report cards. But I went on to graduate high honors from CBA and I am now a dual major in Newhouse and Whitman at SU and am on the dean's list of both schools. I am not an exception. I went to their annual Gala two years ago and found out that 100% of their graduating sixth levels that year went on to be on the honor roll at their next school. The Montessori School of Syracuse is a great school with a great community. I feel lucky that my mom valued my education enough to send me to MSS and I would recommend it to any parents.
My wife and I have made a commitment to our children that they may all attend the Montessori School of Syracuse for their entire elementary grades. Why drive forty minutes each way from Oneida to bring our children to MSS? It is easily the best school for our children in central NY. We both agreed that the Montessori method was the type of education we wanted our children to experience: stimulating one's curiousity, encouraging one's independence, nuturing one's love of learning. Many schools talk about these qualities however MSS actually promotes them AND allows parents to observe them in action. The Montessori Method of using a child's natural gifts to learn and explore and building on them are amazing to see. At MSS, our oldest daughter has become more self-motivated to attempt new task and "assignments." I can't even call the "assignments" because she doesn't even view them as a chore. Instead, she views them a new challenge to accomplish or a fun thing to learn. Her teachers are very adept at steering her when she occasionally gets frustrated but they in no way force her.
This school offers something that many public schools do not or cannot: flexibility for the child. At MSS, our child is given freedom to learn at her own pace, while still covering all the important topics. There is no homework (so far), so she can enjoy the freedom to think and play on her own at home (more important than any extracurricular). The concept of testing is radically different from the public school format, so there is less (or no) pressure to "test well." The focus is on learning and loving to learn. Does MSS lack some of the fancy things other schools have? Maybe, I'm not sure. But there is no evidence that children ages 3-12 need those extras. A child who is kept busy with computers and multiple extracurriculars may look good on paper, but do they regard learning as fun or work? At the end of the day are they truly happy to discover, or are they just trying to add to a resume? The resume-stacking educational system is no longer sustainable; only those who have developed a true love of learning will survive what changes may come. MSS fosters that love of learning.
Montessori School of Syracuse is excellent choice for a learning environment. I have three children that attend MSS and they are all treated as individuals. The entire staff knows all my children from the youngest to the oldest. The school offers a good balance for the children they serve. It s not for everyone! My oldest child has been there for seven years, he has grown so much both academically and socially. It s a great school and has been wonderful community for me and my family!
When I enrolled my daughterat the Montessori I was just looking for a place which would take my three year old &which would not be just a daycare. This great school gave my child not only a school setting but is a plcae where my child and her learning ablities are nurtured.She is given a chance to learn,explore and experience the world.Not only this she is growingup to be this well rounded, confident and focused child. I was amazed how my three and a half year old was able to talk about Metamorposis and Amphibians with total confidence and ease.If you are looking for a great learning enviornment for your child ,The Montessori School of Syracuse should be in your top three list.
As a former teacher in elementary education, I was very disillusioned with the Montessori School of Syracuse. The quality of the teachers was mediocre, and the response of the administration to our concerns was poor.
The Montessori School of Syracuse is the finest private school in Syracuse the only school I would consider for preschool and elementary education. My children attended and graduated from the school, and I cannot say enough about every aspect of its operation. My children are very different in their personalities and learning styles, and the teachers at every level were able to meet their needs and guide them towards excellence in all areas of the curriculum. The friends I made among the parents are still some of my best, as we share values about education and child-rearing. I loved doing volunteer work there, sharing some of our family celebrations and cultural background when they were young, and later doing cooking projects and assisting with school-wide celebrations like the Harvest Festival with the older students. For such a small school, they have very high quality art, French, Fitness, and of course the music program is exemplary. My children starred in plays that brought their very best qualities out, and enhanced their self-esteem. The Nature Education Program is amazing, and I have never seen anything like it at other local schools. All in all a wonderful community to be part of!
As a former student at MSS, I had an acceptable experience, although it was far from stellar. I've attended both public and private schools, and MSS was mediocre in terms of quality. The teacher was nice, but the facilities and extracurricular activities were poor. I was not afforded the same opportunities that my local public school offered, and I left MSS to return to my neighborhood school.
I read all the reviews and realize that each person has to make up their own mind about what is best for their child. I have children with two different personalities -- one serious and the other, goofy. I was concerned that the goofy one could not handle the Montessori rules. Boy was I wrong! Both have thrived in this environment, developing far beyond their cousins of similar age both emotionally and academically. The best part is that they love learning, music and their school. Any social problems between students are handled swiftly and are considered teachable moments by the staff. The teachers and staff are extremely caring. I keep in contact with the teachers by email and always get a response within a day. I couldn't dream of a better school than MSS.
Awful school! Disappointing at meeting the needs of gifted students, and little or no flexibility in meeting different learning styles. Also, a very closed community--try breaking in to volunteering in the classroom, it is ridiculous. I tried for over a year before I finally gave up. My advice? Go somewhere else!
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