We send our daughter to Dater and love it. I can not say enough about her teacher and the classroom environment. She attended preschool at a different school. And in comparison, Dater blows the old school out of the water. We hesitated to send her to preschool at Dater because the tuition is expensive for us but no regrets.
After having a bad experience with a private preschool, my wife and I decided to send our son to Dater's preschool program so that he was guaranteed a spot in Kindergarten. The waiting list is VERY long and it's hard to get in. This proved to be an EXCELLENT decision. All of his teachers (especially Eillen Morgan-Hof) are WONDERFUL. The school is freshly renovated, complimenting the wonderful staff. Above and beyond the education, the community is fantastic. As devout Christians, we struggled with whether or not to send him to a Christian school. I can tell you that this school operates with decidedly Christian ideals. In fact, when I decided to read Maria Montessori's main book on her teaching method, I found that most of her ideals were based upon Catholic Church doctrine! Great school. Great principal. Great teachers. Great community. Great kids. Great decision.
We stayed in the CPS district when we bought our new (to us) house so that we could send our child to Dater Montessori. We have no regrets. Her teacher and IA are fabulous! They are both very willing to work with us and help find solutions to any problems we encounter. The school has moved back to their newly renovated building and it is beautiful! The teachers are planning so many new learning opportunities in the larger space. The principal is approachable and friendly, and knows a huge number of students by name. This is my first experience with Montessori and I am beyond impressed! It is really amazing to see a Montessori classroom at work. I cannot say enough good things about Dater Montessori, and I wish I could give it more than 5 stars!!
So thankful we found this school!! Didn't know too much about Montessori philosophy/curriculum when first son started 4-and-a-half-years-ago, but it's exactly what we needed. The kids spend 3 years in a 'community' with their teachers. This alone has deepened the educational experience, where a true learning relationship is developed and personalized learning strategies can be employed. Older children 'review' material by helping introduce the younger ones to concepts. Since this is a public magnet school, the kids are exposed to an enriching diversity, which is a reflection of our city. When the school community comes together for events and programs there is a very nice energy and positive atmosphere.
Our kids just started there this year after transitioning from another school and they love it! We were afraid it would be tough for them to change from a Catholic school to a Montessori one but it wasn't at all. Like the diversity, also, since our kids are 'minorities' and that is good for them to see that families come in all different colors.