This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Montessori School Of Syracuse5
Posted September 18, 2014
- a parent
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.