My husband and I completely disagree on how to educate our children but, for the time being, he has agreed that they should attend MSR. MSR is a fabulous, safe place that gives work at the child's pace. My 4 yo has been dying to read and MSR makes that possible. She brought home her first book this week. My son is absorbing it all and learning about time management and setting goals. What a valuable life skill. MSR prepares our children to be good citizens of the world. Under the new Head of School, watch out. MSR is only going to get better. Yes, it is costly compared to public school but not to private school.
The Montessori School of Raleigh is a truly remarkable school. We are thankful for every dime we have invested in our eight years on campus. Each of our three children are immensely grateful - as are we - for the opportunity to live, learn and grow in the company of such richly talented, diverse, compassionate, intellect, hard working parents, staff, teachers and students. Our eight years in various classrooms ranging from Toddler to 5th grade have not been without challenges. There are different personalities, strengths, learning styles, weaknesses, talents, etc. That said, we have been heard and responded to with good will, decisive leadership and honest intentions whenever any issues have arisen. I've believed in the mission of our school and the values and learning methods instilled throughout the learning environment since we began. It is a delight to see that belief and the work of so many committed MSR employees pay off as I watch my 5th grader transition into young adulthood with a profound respect for and commitment to lifelong learning.
Do your homework if you want to invest money in your child's education....no different than your investment portfolio or the dog you buy. All schools have a theme, a belief system and a process for learning. So figure that out before you invest your time, your talent and your treasure (your children). MSR is a wonderful community of passionate and intelligent staff, faculty and families. It's a philosophy that works...if you believe in it and you embrace it. I am EXTREMELY happy with my child's progress - and education anywhere is a road map that requires and open mind and adjustment as necessary. The beauty of MSR is each child is valued for WHAT they are - how refreshing. The faculty and staff are very involved...engage and you will find a treasure not found anywhere else. The new head of school is focused, driven and has high expectations. She delivers!!!! The best improvement would be an extension into high school grade levels. I am fortunate to have found MSR....and so is my family. My child is thriving and the experience at MSR has been everything I had hope for....and more. What a nice thing to say...it has exceeded my expectations. :-)
This school was SO impressive on the outside, but once in not so much. It soon felt like the school tour was a magic trick and the reality was far from what we expected. Honestly wish we would have moved out at Kindergarden level. In that respect it was a safe warm fun environment EXCELLENT for your PRE K child. But go elsewhere after that. Our child still struggles with spelling because (MSR does not believe in correcting misspelled words). I base my opinions not just on our own experience, but we know many other families who's kids were not helped. Some held back an ENTIRE GRADE LEVEL transitioning to other schools , others who invested in 100s of hours in tutors just so their child could pass first year of high school. Plus leadership was a mess while we were there. Just couldn't recommend especially considering there are other phenomenal private schools and public schools to choose from for K-8.
As the parent of three kids - two of whom are in Children's Houses at MSR; the third is a baby - I am so happy I chose MSR to start my children's formal education. When it was time to look at schools, I knew I wanted Montessori, so I checked out all of them in this area. The teachers, administration and parent community at MSR are so strong that it feels like a home away from home. And that positive feeling carries over into the classroom. My kids are thriving - learning academics, grace and courtesy - and are laying the foundation for a life-long love of learning (I hope!). If you are moving to the area, I strongly recommend checking out MSR.
I would not recommend MSR to anyone. I moved to raleigh few years ago and put both of my kids there. For the amount of money you are paying, your kids will not be learning much. My son would jokingly say I finished all my non-challenging work! The kids are way too spoiled and the teachers do not communicate well with the parents. Unless you are heavily involved in the over the top community!!. My older child, went to a different montessori as a preschool 1 before he moves to MSR. I felt that the education he got as a 1st year montessori student in that school was much better than the one given at MSR. This school is always asking for donations for classroom, teachers, picnics, snacks or just whatever. They will not open the doors for your child if he/she arrives a minute or two earlier than 8:30 because they want to force parents to use the early bird program which parent have to pay for! (and it isn't just few dollars extra! its hunderds of dollars extra) All they care about is money! We know a few parents who are physicians like us, they also decided to take their children out as they felt that MSR is not providing the quality education necessary for success.
MSR has been an excellent choice for our two young children. They started attending this year and love going to school each day. The teachers are experienced, caring, and very knowledgeable about Montessori methods. Our children are flourishing there and have made tremendous gains in both academics and life skills since starting. We have had nothing but positive experiences!
If you are relocating to the Raleigh area, my advice is to look for a home in North Raleigh and strongly consider this school. We are a new MSR family who has been welcomed with open arms by the staff and administration. What a pronounced difference in their practicality, responsiveness, and organized approach to admissions. We had been trying to work with a Montessori school in the ITB area where our nephews attend for around a year, who were rigid to the point of defying common sense. At MSR, our daughter was matched with an instructor with over 20 years of Montessori teaching experience, who came in from his summer vacation for a 1:1 observation and parent interview. She loved him, and he was very positive yet astute about her personality and growth areas. The front office processed our paperwork and payments swiftly and in a friendly manner. When I expressed interest, they even found a spot for her in two summer camp sessions. They arranged for another directress to privately tutor her to help her acclimate before the school year began. At one point she popped her head out and said, 'Mama, guess what. I LOVE this kind of school.' Honey, so do we.
I am a grandparent of 2 kids at this school, and I believe that the Montessori style of teaching is the way of the future. I retired from public school teaching and unfortunately most public schools are no longer providing our kids with the skills they need to be a successful part of the 21st century. By its very nature, the Montessori method fosters collaboration, critical thinking, respectful communication, teamwork, intellectural curiosity and self-motivation. All important tools heading into this conceptual age we are now in when many of our jobs are being outsourced to Asia or eliminated due to advances in technology. Please come and check out the Montessori School of Raleigh, as it is the premier educational setting if you are a believer in the tried and true Montessori method. I was a doubter until I saw it in action, and see in real life what it does for my grandkids. As for the negative reviews below, to each their own. I am glad these parents have found a better setting for their kids. We all love our kids and want to do what is right by them.
It would certainly be upsetting if your child was miserable and you did not know it until after the fact. It is unfortunate that some former MSR parents have that experience. The school is now under new leadership, and hopefully some of the things that contributed to the below complaints will be better-managed going forward. As for my wife and I, we have been really happy with the school and are excited for our second child to start in the Fall of 2012. As an aside, neither my wife nor I are board members or serve in any volunteer roles for the school.
I'm a parent at the school and have been for 5 years. I am not a board member, as I work full time and do not have the extra bandwidth to serve the school in any volunteer capacities. MSR has gone through a difficult but much needed transition in leadership, and as a resulf this has been a great year. The upcoming 2012-2013 year promises to be even better, as our new Head of School takes over her role full time. In addition, some exciting new hires were just announced (one is coming to us from Yale!). I encourage any prospective parents interested in the Montessori method to check out the Montessori School of Raleigh. Like the other parent said below, you owe it to yourself to come and see the campus, the positive energy, the community culture and the fabulous prepared classrooms yourself. Love This School!
I actually agree wholeheartedly with the parent who felt that her son was shortchanged by a teacher who failed to understand her son was miserable and not learning challenged. Parents reading these reveiws need to keep in mind that many of the positive reviews are being posted by the parents who sit on the school board and in many cases contribute to the problem.
My child has attended this school for more than 6 years and has loved it! All schools will have ups and downs and not all schools are right for all people, but I am very pleased with the education my child has received. As a whole, the faculty is excellent and has cared for and educated my child very well. But don't just take my word for it, go visit the school and ask more than one person about their experience. By all means, don't listen to a few bad reviews on sites like these. Take them with a grain of salt.
One of the biggest mistakes I have made as a parent was selecting this school for my children. While it was barely adequate for one of my boys it was a colossal FAILURE for my other son. My super sweet, shy child was bullied by the students and belittled by the teachers. One teacher, who is still at the school in upper elementary, kept trying to attach labels to my child. This teacher insisted my child had a learning disability! Even after testing, which showed above average intelligence, this teacher kept insisting my child belonged in a special school!!! It never occurred to this "trained professional" that my child was desperately unhappy, and therefore not trying academically. Shocking! I challenged the teacher and the head of school, who had gotten involved, and tried be an advocate for my child but they were adamant that my child was learning disabled. I didn't believe their label and I was 100% correct. From the very first semester after leaving this school my child has been on the "A" honor roll every semester. Leaning disabled? Laughable. I'm quite sure other reviewers will refute my claim, but how can they? It happened to my family not theirs. Be afraid, be very afraid!
I've had children or nieces/nephews at many of the elite private schools in the Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill area. Due to re-marriage, I became affiliated with MSR. I can honestly say that this school is the cream of the crop. It is so worth checking out. Go on a Wednesday morning when you can observe the students and teachers in action, and you'll see what I mean. "The proof is in the pudding."
My two children have been at MSR since the toddler program, and we're now in our fourth year at the school. I am amazed every day by the quality of the teachers and my children's growth and development. I could go on and on about my passion about the Montessori philosophy and how that is benefiting my 3 & 5 year olds, but it is really best to just go to the school for an info session and tour and see for yourself. The sense of community created by the teachers, students, families, administration, facilities and class environments is so compelling to our family, and our continued role in that community is something I never question. It is the best decision we've made for our children, and are so fortunate for this amazing school to be a part of their early lives.
The Montessori School of Raleigh is a leader in providing a first rate education, preparing children as critical thinkers and life-long learners who will be most successful in our rapid evolving world. My child has attended since age 4 and is now rising into the capstone 9th grade at the Middle School. What a wonderful place to grow and become, aided all along the way by truly excellent faculty!
As a staff member at the MSR Middle School, I feel compelled to elucidate the combined life & professional experiences which allow us to help shape our students in & out of the classroom. The MS has 6 main subject faculty & 2 resource faculty. 1) All faculty have worked for at least 8 years in direct experience with teens at the Middle or High School level. All are professionally certified in adolescent education. Some have dual certification, some Masters. One PhD. 2) Two have teenagers at home. 2 have children in college. 1 has a child in Medical Residency. 3) All have worked extensively with teens out of the classroom (summer programs, coaching varsity and JV sports, camps, clubs, class sponsors, camping trips, school trips, etc) 4) At last survey, all were potty trained and could zip coats unassisted :) Truly, the combined experience & insight/compassion of our staff allows us to respond exceedingly well to students & serve as mentors. We offer guidance and counseling, small group peer mediation & resolution, & a safe place in which to try on adult roles. Our goal is always to help students navigate the sometimes choppy teen waters & come through stronger.
I am at parent at the MS. My experience is that there is so much that is right about about the place BUT the teachers are not mature. Most of them have very young children and no experience with teenagers. Any teen that speaks out or is seen as too strong is the one that is troubled while the sneaky girls are held up as leaders. Glad that we are almost totally done with MSR.
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.
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