Copy from email to parents on 3/15/2012: At our most recent sanitation inspection we were cited for not having the kitchen door locked at all times. The reason for this official notification is a requirement of the Department of Health and Human Services because we have had three provisional sanitation classifications within a 12 month period . : white-out, rubber cement, WD-40, air freshener, and whip cream were in a teacher cabinet but not locked up in one of the classrooms with 6-9 year olds. The kitchen door was not locked. There was a controversial type of latch and lock on one of the preschool classroom cabinets with hazardous products. I could have appealed this, but it would still have been a total of three 6 point The toddler house bathroom had a Clorox cleaning solution under the sink which had a child proof zip tie type safety latch and a heavy wooden step stool in front of the cabinet doors. This type of lock is not approved. The cleaner was removed to a different locked cabinet that was approved.
To address the "Math" issue here, I informed the director of "not much Math" coming home or as my child stated "in the classroom". He is now at Broughton "doubling up" on Algebra II and Geometry because he was in only Algebra I in 9th grade when he "should have done that at Daniels". Well, Heartwood did not prepare him properly for a good math foundation - today this has knocked him out of Orchestra so he can "catch up" as they recently told him on the Math situation.
My 5 year old attends Heartwood and has for 2 years, and his younger sibling, at near-3, is now also attending. Both approach learning differently and, in the Montessori setting, are valued for their unique approaches/personalities and respected for where and who they are. During these critical self-esteem building years, this is powerful. Throughout our time at Heartwood, we have friends whose children went on to traditional schools in later grades to find themselves well ahead of the "curve" academically as well. Parents are welcome and encouraged to be an active part of the school, in many ways and degrees, and they take full advantage. I recommend Heartwood with no reservations, and enthusiastically any time I have a chance to!
I want to address the "daycare" issue and other claims that the teachers are not skilled or properly trained. Those reviews must obviously be from people who never attended the teacher trainings, saw teacher demonstrations, or looked to see what credentials were and the work demanded to obtain them. Just today I was able to sit an enjoy a presentation on math for the 6 to 9 group by two of the teachers. The process, from a pedagogical standpoint, is complex, but designed using Montessori's brilliant techniques so children can approach the math concepts in visually accessible and fun ways. To the untrained eye, it looks like the kids are just "playing" all the time without any teacher instruction or interaction. To the trained or observant eye, of a person spending a day in the class and being shown the technique behind the practice, the children are learning concepts in creative and repetitive ways that will allow them to internalize and eventually memorize the building blocks needed for advance math and writing/reading. These teachers know their craft.
I hope parents searching for a great school will read all the reviews so they can clarify what is a "parent issue" and a school issue. I want to address the claim that the school is a "dirty daycare;" it is inaccurate and untruthful. I have been a parent with the school for over 6 years and I have done and still do quite a bit of handy man work to help out when needed. I am at the school weekly, helping with projects, making improvements, and fixing unexpected problems. Like all schools, this school is visited by the health department and fire department to inspect it for cleanliness and safety. Most inspections pass without a problem and one's that find a problem ... well ... the problem gets quickly resolved. To point of fact, the school is made of a main building and several small houses, all built over 30 years ago. They are not new construction or "state of the art," so if that is what you are looking for, then the school will not meet those expectations. However, kids feel very comfortable in an environment that looks more like a home than an institution. We picked Heartwood for its "character" as much for its educational excellence.
Totally agree with the previous report. The school is essentially a dirty day care for that much money. The parents do a lot of stuff but the teaching quality and the facilities are SERIOUSLY lacking. If you want to *hear* a lot about 'nurturing & caring' while not learning anything with seriously under-qualified teachers, then go here. For the money you pay there are a lot of better schools in Cary. If you fall for their spin on things and do send your kids there, trust me, you will come to this conclusion as soon as you start visiting daily. Save yourself the trouble and go to other private schools. AVOID - in one word
This is our 4th year at Heartwood and we love the school. The teachers & administration are wonderful. I'm so impressed with the quality of education, educational materials available in the classroom, and the individualized educational plan to meet the needs of my child.
Our sons have been at Heartwood Montessori from age 3 in their preschool and now their Extended Day/Kindergarten programs. Even though they are fraternal twins, we have kept them in separate preschool and now kindergarten classes at Heartwood and have been very pleased with their education in both classes. The curriculum is straight Montessori with all of the works and philosophy that goes along with it. Our children have not only learned appropriate mathematics and reading skills during their preschool years, but have also learned to help others in their classes and socialize with their peers. The school environment is warm and inviting with classrooms that are designed for the children to experience new things while being comfortable. The teaching staff is outstanding and are very involved with the learning of each of the students.
I have nothing but positive things to say about Heartwood - great Montessori curriculum and teachers. We have always felt welcome by the staff and families and the outdoor space is amazing. They have inspired my son to learn which a traditioaly school was unable to do
My son is starting public high school this year. He has always been in the AIG classes since starting public school in the 3rd grade. He attended Heartwood from preschool till second grade. We had a wonderful experience. The teachers are dedicated to the students. A very loving and nuturing environment. They really emphasis reading and interactive learning
We are finishing up our 2nd year at Heartwood and are looking forward to the third. The school gives so much respect to each child and I am amazed at how my daughter has grown and thrived during her time at the school.
I attended Heartwood for five years in elementary school. Upon moving into a public middle school I found the work to be much below my level, and I feel that I owe that largely to the dedicated teachers and loving environment provided. I have since returned to visit and observe the school, and it is just as wonderful as it always was. The teachers are very attentive and nurturing. The staff encourages children not to just learn, but to want to learn.
My daughter has attended Heartwood for four years. Her three older brothers are alumnae now attending college. Heartwood has a caring. loving staff and a homelike environment. The school is not new or shiny and the tuition reflects that fact. You can pay much more for your child to go to a newer building, but you wont get a higher quality education.
Our son is attending his second year of preschool at Heartwood. We looked at several schools in the area and decided Heartwood had all the components we were looking for in a school environment. All of the teachers and staff are committed and caring individuals. And it has been an absolute joy seeing our son grow and mature at Heartwood. The different curricula offered in the classroom have been outstanding. It is amazing what the children here are learning. In our opinion, Heartwood is a special place and it has been a great fit for our family. It makes us feel really good to see how excited our son is for school.
My children spent 7 years at Heartwood. Teachers are exceptional, passionate, very smart and caring. Leadership is committed and unwaivering. Academics are challending and tapered to the student, allowing them to excel beyond what public schools allow. Parents are very involved. Kids are fantastic!
I have four childen,each of whom began school at 2 years of age,giving me 64 school years of having children in public, private, Montessori, parochial, and boarding schools.I have seen everything there is to see in school enviroments.My granddaughter is in her second year at Heartwood and our family is completely satisfied and happy with the care and education she is receiveing there..She loves going to school.Communication with school is excellent.At Heartwood the teachers and staff members are well trained and sensitive to each child's unique strengths,needs,and talents. As a preschooler, my granddaughter learns music and Spanish, in addition to age appropriate academics.. She also is learning vital life skills such as cooperation, compassion,self-discipline,and respect for herself and the rights of others,and an appreciation of nature, the environment,and the diversity of our shared humanity. Heartwood's environment is relaxed,caring,supportive, and nurturing. Heartwood children and families are treasured.I recommend a visit to Heartwood.
Heartwood Montessori has been my childrens' school for the last 5 years, and the school has retained basically the same staff the entire time, which is great considering the children spend 1-3 years with the same class, so the teachers really get to know them. The fact that the playground has actual grass instead of just mulch or asphalt or concrete as the play surface was one of the things that sold me on this this school; what one parent below calls a campground, I call a paradise for kids. I feel the teachers really enjoy teaching in the Montessori method, and to some that may look like goofing off, especially for the preschoolers, but all the works have a purpose in developing the child.
If you are considering Heartwood Montessori, I would strongly suggest going in person and checking out this wonderful school for yourself. My two sons attended Heartwood; I was very pleased with the Academics. Both were well-above grade level when they moved to public school. Heartwood is so special because of the staff. The teachers love what they do, and care about the children. Each child gets attention. The school s buildings have been updated into a creative learning facility. There is a large, well-supervised fenced yard with age appropriate play structures, and gardens that students tend themselves. There is an excellent after-school program, and my son always begged to stay late and play with his friends. The school has an active Parent Support Group, and the administrative staff has been the same, caring individuals since we started at Heartwood 13 years ago. This school is a wonderful learning environment.
Heartwood is an amazing school! From the Principal to Teachers to Parent Volunteers, everyone at this school is there for each child. It is a warm and caring learning environment. The school understands and correctly implements the Montessori method. As a dad, I was very impressed with my son s education in the kindergarten and elementary classes he excels in Math and Science, and has a true concern for the earth and the world around him. The teachers are well-qualified, and the facility cultivates learning both indoors and out. I was always pleased that when I dropped in to my son s class, the children were busy with learning activities and all seemed happy and content. If you want your child to sit at a desk all day, following a strict schedule, and studying only to take tests, this is not the school for you. Heartwood is Montessori at its best.
Heartwood Montessori school is a wonderful school. The teacher's are very attentive to their students' needs.
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