This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Montessori School Of Syracuse5
Posted March 08, 2015
- a parent
I could never say enough about how wonderful MSS has been for our boys. We actually tried our oldest in the local public kindergarten at the beginning of this past school year and switched him back to MSS after a week. Both our boys are confident, kind self-directed learners and for that we give so much credit to the Montessori school Of Syracuse and the amazing people who dedicate so much of themselves to our children.
Our daughter has become a solid public speaker, and advocate for herself in her new classrooms (she graduated from MSS last year). We attribute these skills to her experience with the staff, curriculum, and extracurricular activities over her three years with MSS. Her ability to be a strong advocate for her own needs has been remarked on by her teachers, as she's comfortable approaching them for help, works well on group assignments, and adds to classroom discussions regularly.
December 19th, 2014. This was the last day of the first semester of our daughter s first of many years of peaceful, meaningful and educational journey. Montessori School of Syracuse (MSS)- staff, students, families and friends came together for a Peace Celebration. The Peace Celebration included families from diverse cultures and backgrounds representing several religious traditions. These families were gracious enough to share with those of us present, how this time of year was celebrated according to their culture. In addition, children sang about peace along with several Christmas favorites in different languages. Our daughter s grandmother, who was visiting from Puerto Rico along with her aunt, had the opportunity to enjoy this celebration and experience the environment of peace, harmony and acceptance that MSS provides for their students every day. Our family was so impressed with the discipline, organization, logistics, love and care of all the MSS put into this school. We feel very proud and privileged to be part of such rich community!
Our son just graduated after 8 years in Montessori. He has transitioned to Middle School and is doing great academically with a 97 average. In addition to academics, the school has a strong emphasis on music and arts and we credit his teachers with instilling his love for playing piano and saxophone, singing, and acting, as well as the confidence to speak and perform in public. More importantly, our son has a real love for learning that we believe was fostered during his years at Montessori. This is a great school with caring and dedicated teachers. We are grateful for their role in nurturing our son's growth and development. I would recommend this school to anyone.
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.