The parent below who says that MSR does not provide an academic challengnig environment had a very different experience than my 2 children, and than most all of my fellow parents' children. I've had 1 child graduate MSR (currently 9th grade, but we are hoping to build a high school within 3-4 years!!) and he was beyond-prepared for more traditional high school. He had zero problems transitioning academically to his current high schoool. In addition, my other child (a 5th grader) has exceptional scores on the Iowa Basic Skills Test. Finally, for personal preference reasons, my husband & I have had both our kids administered the complete battery of IQ/psych standardized tests, and they are at or far ahead grade level on the academic-based tests. This school is a beautiful environment in all ways for your family, academically, socially, emotionally and culturally. It's a gift to provide your kids with this sort of learning haven.
I have 3 kids at MSR and have been a parent now within the MSR community for a decade. The school has always been above par, but over the last 3 years, and under the new leadership of our committed and dynamic Head of School, the school is now the premiere Montessori school in all of NC in my opinion. It is worth the investment in your children, not only academically but in terms of their character development as well. The community is a respectful, caring, safe and natural one that provides freedom within a framework. The emphasis is on the whole child and not on test scores, homework etc. The kids get to learn to be highly-functioning empathic global citizens who are beyond-prepared for the REAL world---- the ever-changing, interactive REAL world we now live in.
MSR is a safe place for children at the Pre-K level but if you are looking for academic, you will not find it at MSR. Please make sure you know what you are getting yourself into! MSR has recently hired a curriculum coordinator to redo the elementary curriculum, this tells me that their method was not working and parents complained. I know teachers who teach at MSR that do not have their own children enrolled at MSR!!! That in itself should say a lot! I will be taking my daughter out next year. Also, Please notice that all the below five star reviews were posted on one day this month! seems strange to me! they are trying to prepare for enrollment in January since they are losing too many students. Please beware!
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!
Our mission is to inspire and support families to champion their children's education - at
school, at home and in their community. We are a national non-profit with offices and programs
in Oakland, Milwaukee, Washington D.C. and Indianapolis.