This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Casa Esperanza Montessori5
Posted September 29, 2014
- a parent
After spending two years at a traditional public school we were accepted at Casa for my oldest son's 2nd grade year. The difference in education, attention to who my son is as a child, and just not another student, is very apparent. Our youngest son started in the Children's House program and is speaking more and more Spanish everyday. The caring teachers and staff are no match for what we have experienced before. The teachers work with you and communication between parents and the classroom teachers is fantastic. I can honestly say this school is the best thing that has ever happened to our family and our boys will be there until high school. We will be forever grateful to Casa.
We have both our kids going to Casa my son since kinder he is now in 6th grade my daughter is in 1st grade. Its a wonderful school, great teachers, and a safe supportive environment, that teaches kids excellent life skills.
There are only two or three Montessori teachers left on staff this year at Casa. To say this is a strong Montessori program is a farce. How they keep their charter as a Montessori school needs to be challenged. The majority of dual language teachers are not NC certified teachers. Great Montessori Dual Language education?! The extremely high number of "IEP" students is now creating serious classroom management issues. Charter schools are a big draw for parents with adhd kids, high anxiety kids and many others kids who do not function in public schools. Unfortunately in large numbers, if your child is not special needs, this is a bad learning environment for them. Ask Casa what percentage of IEP kids would be in your child's class. You could be shocked. Many of these positive reviews have been written by Casa front office staff. This once was a truly great school, but I would ask a lot of questions before I sign up now.
If you want a Montessori education for your child, do NOT pick this school. Montessori is not a priority and is phasing out. If you do not want to know any of the politics of the school and how the money is mismanaged and only goes to the top business and admin people and the teachers are underpaid, burned out, and fired for no reason, then yes, this place will be fine for you. If you don't mind a large turnover in staff every year, then feel free to jump onboard, because there isn't much of a waiting list, and you are sure to get in. If you are absolutely okay with longterm subs, especially at the middle school level, rather than teachers who are actually certified and highly qualified in their teaching areas, then by all means, put in for Casa! If you want a school with a rapidly growing special ed program where students "get away" with quite a few misbehaviors, such as screaming, hitting, cursing, etc., because no one there knows how or wants to deal with it, and if your child is an angel when it comes to behavior, but you do not mind him or her putting up with many children who are not, then yes, this school may be just the one for you.
Our children have been at Casa for many years and we are very happy with the education they have received. I believe the Montessori and Dual Language mission of the school is strong. I would caution people to read the negative reviews with a grain of salt. Sometimes leaders have to make difficult decisions and parents may not understand all the reasons. This year I see strong teachers who are implementing Montessori philosophy and pedagogy at all grade levels, I see students and adults that are respectful to each other, I see a community that is working together. I would not have my children at any other school.
We have been at the school for many years. My fourth child started kindergarten this year. It is a wonderful environment for children and parents. Many opportunities to be part of the community. I have two older children, one which has aged out of Casa. The education he received at Casa has allowed him to successfully transition into high school. He has been very successful in all honors classes. The independent learning and time management skills taught at Casa really help the kids as they get older and the curriculum becomes more rigorous. In addition, the immersion program is a wonderful way for children to learn a second language. The teachers are native speakers, and it is obvious they love what they do. I love that my kids have the opportunity to learn a second language now and become fluent speakers while in elementary school. Casa is Raleigh's hidden gem. Robyn Bennai (parent)
This school now has only 2 Montessori teachers left on staff. It has had almost 50% teacher turnover in 2 years. This was once such a good school but it is no longer. I was a long time parent who is leaving for the good of my children. Good news is, it is probably easy to get in this year because of all the children who have left!
We are a bilingual Montessori program. The school when it started was wonderful. We currently have a weak leader and a lack of clear direction in the teaching staff particularly in the upper grades. Many good teachers have left or are leaving. It is a shame to see this decline,
Casa Esperanza Is the best thing to happen to our family concerning our children's education. We currently have 3 children at Casa. I have one child with "challenges" and Casa has helped him SO much in his first year of school. I am positive he would have been heavily labelled and regarded as a "problem child" if he had gone anywhere else. The support staff at Casa helped us to give him the guidance and help he needed to be successful. Nothing short of a miracle! Casa has had some bumps in the road with some hiring/firing stuff, but what school doesn't, right? Overall, I am very pleased with Casa and my children will even be earning High school spanish credits so they can skip it in high school!!!
We are a proud Casa family of the past 8 years. When our children had issues in the classroom, the staff was responsive and provided solutions that were effective. We feel comfortable bringing concerns to Administration, if needed, and they will be addressed. At times we may not understand all of the decisions made by the Board or Administration, however, we have many years of outcome evidence that decisions were made with the best interest of the students' education in mind. The community is diverse but close-knit; families support staff and each other. Our children feel safe and free from bullying or mistreatment. Our children have learned to manage their work independently and effectively organize their own projects. The love for learning is a daily experience--the passion of the staff is seen in the exciting, diverse curriculum and the nurturing approaches of the faculty . The individualized guidance and instruction is outstanding. The commitment to striving for excellence in both practical life skills as well as academics is apparent. We believe Casa is paving the way for our children to be successful and confident in their future educatsional endeavors.