Ended up taking my daughter out of the school mid way through her first year at Casa. The communication with the parents is very minimal. We only get a brief summary once a month about class activities and her weekly folder always had very few work items in it. Tried to be an active parent and participate in all school functions. Teacher was not receptive at all with communicating to the parents of the class - we (the parents of the class) ended up depending on each other to try to find out what was going on at the school. Even parent/teacher conferences gave very little clue to my child's learning or progress. Met with the principal who seemed receptive at the time but never followed up. 29 Students enrolled in the class by December four already left Casa to go to another local school.
My two children have been attending Casa Esperanza Montessori going on four years.They have an awesome,experienced group of teachers that makes the quality of the academic programs excellent!The only downside to the school is that there is no music/art program.The children still have plenty of opportunity to participate in their regular class with art projects and singing music.The school has a small community feel,like you're with a big family.
My two children use to go to Casa. I was unhappy with the lack of structure and holding the children accountable for their learning. Your child needs to be a self starter and push themselves to learn. There is not a good discipline plan in effect.
We are on our 4th year at Casa and think it is Raleigh's best kept secret. There is a unique culture and philosophy you see in the students and teachers at Casa--one of respect, peace, acceptance and a love of learning. Children can work at their own pace, in groups or independently, and are free to move around the room, as opposed to being lectured to all day. A 1st grader can be exposed to 3rd grade work because of multi-aged classrooms. I am glad that Casa does not follow the 'traditional' Montessori curriculum. My children will probably be in public school in the future so I want them to be comfortable with End of Grade Tests and worksheets and not be dependent on Montessori materials to learn. With uniforms, it is about one's character, not one's clothes that matters, there's a reasonable amount of homework, and the Spanish is phenomenal!
Because this is a charter school (public) it doesn not follow an authentic Montessori philosophy of education for children in first grade and above. There are a lot of workbook type activities going on with more focus on traditional curriculum rather than montessori curriculum. With the rapid growth of the school there has also been more shuffling of teachers and classrooms then is desirable in a montessori school. While the children's house teachers are well educated and experienced, not all upper level teachers are certified or have many years of montessori teaching experience.
My child is in her 2nd year at Casa Esperanza & we have been overwhelmed with the kindness of the students, the invidualized education they are able to offer. They have made extra efforts to cover the simple, basic skills in math, reading, & writing while allowing each student to pursue more complicated, Montessori works at their level. The parent involvement is phenomenal. I've also substituted in a few classes & have been impressed by the work ethic of the students. The teachers are very qualified, capable, caring & many are bi-lingual. What a great resource in our area!
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