We are a departing family from MSR, and our child expressed these concerns based on her experience: The UE classrooms do NOT prepare the student for Middle School. There is too much free time, not enough transition preparation and little structure. The Middle School is now led by the faculty, not by the students. There are too many special situations that don't seem to be based on equity or true need, just on what parents squeak loudest for special treatment. This is the student's perspective, which in a Montessori world is very important. From a parent view, end of grade testing seems to be down for most students. We are increasingly concerned about the end-to-end curriculum at MSR and ensuing preparation to advance to the next level, whether LE to UE, UE to MS, or MS to any high school. This is a significant improvement area for MSR to address.
I am not sure if the last review by the MSR alumni is talking about "The" same school that I attended. As I prepare for my final year in high school, The Montessori Middle School prepared me for college level courses. I can truly thank Montessori for my study skills, my ability to tackle any challenge large or small and find answers to tough questions. It is unfortunate that individuals do not see that in order for growth to occur that change must happen. If Maria Montessori was alive today, she would expect this on MSR.
The Montessori School of Raleigh is unquestionably a great school; however, not infallible. The school does offer a nurturing sense of community that is apt for the growth of your child, but falls short of making its students as special in reality as the administration and teachers say they are. As an alumni, I can say that I benefited from a Montessori education, but could have benefited from an education that better prepared me for the real world--not a world of cushy ideals. In fact the majority of graduating students from the middle school, go into high school unable to get the spectacular grades they did at Montessori. These truly special kids, who are "better than the average student" at the time of their graduation, are not in fact going on to spectacular universities for the most part. Perhaps every other year a person from a middle school graduating class will go on to a college that is considered truly exceptional. This school is great up until middle school. I would strongly caution how much stock one puts into their perception of how great the school is.
The Montessori School of Raleigh is the best private school in town if you want your children to become independent thinkers with a true love of learning. The grace and courtesy demonstrated by the children at MSR is so constant and complete that I often have to remind myself just how young those amazing little people are. The teachers at MSR spend their days observing the children and learning what makes them tick, then directing them towards works they will find both enjoyable and challenging. And it works. If you are even considering MSR, I suggest you do the orientation -- I promise you will be amazed.
Our 7th grader is at the Montessori School of Raleigh Middle School and what a great year we have had. The middle school experience at MSR is amazing. The middle school campus is beautiful. The academics are challenging, the atmosphere is supportive and the social environment fun, safe and respectful. Our child is thriving and has incredible support from the terrific teaching and resource staff. Each of the teachers takes the time to really get to know the children. There are opportunities outside of the classroom to grow and mature as well with several sports teams and Montessori Model UN. Our child is challenged each day and is developing wonderful critical thinking skills as well as being prepared for any high school he chooses. He is not only being taught the scholastic components he needs but also learning how to learn in preparation for the future. MSR has given us a great gift of a wonderful middle school experience.
My family's Raleigh roots go back to the early 1900s, so we have multiple generations of experience with the area's schools. We started our first child in Children's House (pre-school, starting at age 3), and were so impressed with the school, the staff, and the curriculum that we transferred our older child from public school to MSR. The teachers at MSR are simply a cut above what we have experienced elsewhere. Their knowledge of each child's talents, and their ability to help the children excel with those talents, is simply amazing. Academically, our children are performing far above grade level, and well above the Honors curriculum that I took at the same age. But the magic at fMSR is not just academic. Our youngest exhibits grace, courtesy, and a concern for others that is shocking in the best of ways! Our oldest is able pursue electives that suit his artistic personality - without feeling like a nerd. MSR kids know how to think outside the box, and their Montessori training will help them become the visionaries and leaders of tomorrow.
The Montessori School of Raleigh is an incredible institution where my children are thriving. We have been at MSR for four years, and look forward to being there for many many more. During a recent reaccreditation team visit, representatives from the American Montessori Society referred to MSR as a "beacon for other Montessori schools." They expressed their awe for our incredibly talented faculty; our beautiful and well maintained facilities, classrooms, and materials; and diligent Board governance and administrative processes. My children learn and grow every day academically, they are encouraged to discover and challenge, they learn grace and courtesy, and they are celebrated as individuals. I would strongly encourage others to consider the enduring benefits of an education at MSR.
Montessori School of Raleigh has significantly deteriorated over the last few years. As one of - if not the - most expensive schools in Raleigh, it has less and less to offer each year. There are no sports facilities for the kids - despite having 30 acres at the middle school campus. The school is quickly earning the reputation of a "special needs" school for both physical and mental handicaps. There seems to be less and less focus on the kids. There is significant strife within the school, with many parents opting to leave.
This school has been and amazing institution for so many years. The commitment of the staff has been exemplary and we have been honored to be a part of the wonderful community. I have come away from conferences so many times commenting on how well the teachers know my children. Unfortunately due to a negligent board the school has strayed far from its mission. Leadership is appalling. Unless you are on the board (which is clearly handpicked) you are a "little person" with no right to an opinion. They have been completely derelict in allowing the school leadership to run the school astray. It looks good on the surface, but unless leadership changes-send your kids where the ONLY agenda is what is in the best interest of "the child."
When I moved into the area (several years ago) I picked MSR as the perfect place for my young children to learn and grow. At that time the faculty members exemplified the teachings of Maria Montessori and imparted not just knowledge but also wisdom. Please ask yourself this: why then are parents and teachers now spending time and energy warning you to consider carefully your choice? It is really very simple, the overarching leadership of the school is demonstrably and factually acting without the best interests of the strategic future of the school in mind. Serious complaints are surfacing surrounding the leadership at the school and instead of taking action the MSR board of trustees are trying every measure to stifle the facts. Today the board even contacted every member of staff asking them to keep their mouths shut! We are currently very frustrated and feel the need to warn others.
I'm not sure what the last reviewer who claims to be a teacher at the school is talking about. I am a teacher at the school and the allegation that our head of school manages with fear is completely puzzling to me and inaccurate. I have found her to be very supportive.
MSR is an incredible place for children to go everyday and be excited about learning. MSR has a strong leadership who is always making efforts to improve the quality of the school. It is my opinion that The Montessori School of Raleigh is one of the best schools in the area
We have been at MSR for 6 years and could not be any happier. The incredible teaching staff go above and beyond. The current Head of School is wonderful. She greets us each morning and seems to know everyone that is at MSR by name. Our family has run into her in the community and she knows us by name and makes our children feel like a million bucks. They love her adn love going to school - that says it all. She has brought many great changes to MSR since she arrived - a breath of fresh air. Are there less expensive schools? Yes. - but none with the level of caring, compassion, quality and committed administration you will find at MSR!
My two children are thriving at MSR. IMHO, the best thing about Raleigh is MSR. The Children's House teachers are fantastic and the large classrooms are filled with wonderful learning materials. The real test comes when my children play with other children their age and my children are so academically and socially advanced. The Head of School doesn't just know everyone's name, she truly cares about each student and parent.
I rated this school 3 out of five stars. As a former student, I can say it was one of the best decisions my parents made for me. Up until Middle School. There are some serious problems up there. The original and loved teachers have all left or been forced to leave and there are truly only 2 or 3 good teachers left. There are also some seriously bad teachers. Don't believe the show that is put on at the prospective parenting meeting either. Its a huge show to get tuition money and I hate that that is what the school has come to be about. In the "golden years", it was about having the best educational environment for children. I also do not like the Head of School as I feel she is a large part of all the negative change, but that is somewhat of a personal opinion.
I am a former student of this school it is an excellent school. It gives everybody a lot of learning oppurtunities and social oppurtunities.
I cannot believe there is a better school in the Raleigh area. I am a parent of two pre-K students. We toured many and have just happily enrolled our second in Toddler House. Beyond the benefits of the Montessori education, there are specifics about this school that make it special. If you visit, you will see the wonderful classroom environments. My wife and I are both architects and we appreciated all the details in the service of the child's learning, working, playing and interacting. You will also see children working productively, mostly independently. Our daughter excelled in this self-motivated environment that engages all the senses in the learning process. The Head of School gets highest marks. If access is valuable to you, she greets all the children every morning, and all by name as far as I can tell. Any time we had a concern (all small) she addressed it.
I am a private bullying consultant who has worked with the students, staff, and parents at The Montessori School of Raleigh. Having worked in almost 500 different schools throughout the country, The MSR is one of the finest schools with which I have ever worked. The character of the students and parents, the dedication and excellence of the staff, and the total commitment to children by the Head of School are unsurpassed. I found it unbelievable, and almost a form of bullying, that someone posted that the Head of School bullied staff. I continue to work with the Montessori school that she left in Ohio, and I can say she is still missed dearly there by all of her old staff. As an expert in this area, and knowing your Head of School well, whoever wrote the bullying post about her must have misinterpreted passionate child advocacy for bullying.
One or two of the negative reviews (e.g. complaints about no report cards, etc.) sound like families that do not like/understand Montessori. We have 3 children at this school and absolutely love it. We are huge fans of the Montessori method and MSR is (I think) the only AMS accredited school in Raleigh and let me tell you, accreditation makes a difference. We had to pull the kids out for a few years into the public school system and decided we had to find a way to get them back to MSR. I think this gave us a lot more appreciation for the school. There are lots of comments that it is not perfect, yes, any parent that does not have at least some small complaint about their child's school is not involved in the school. Although you may find a peer to MSR, you will not find better Montessori School.
We moved three years ago to the Raleigh area. We are most fortunate to find a school that feels like home for the whole family. Our daughter could not be happier in this great school that supports the strengthens of each individual child and truly partners with students and parents. The administration and faculty are top notch. What more can we say - you have to see it to believe it!
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