The departure of this school's leader for 30 (out of 40) years leaves this school up in the air. The dedicated and loyal teachers may or may not be able to stay once new leadership is in place, whenever that may be. It was the worst mistake to let such a leader go. The way in which it was handled by the Board has left a large amount of parents so dissatisfied, they have pulled their children out of school.
SJMS has well-equipped Montessori classrooms, with all of the materials you could hope for. The parent involvement is very strong, but the principal's leadership is poor. Any concern that we had was dismissed by the teachers and ignored by the principal. I can not recommend this school at all, especially for young children.
This is an excellent school - the Montessori approach to learning is hands-down the best method regardless, and the principal, teachers, environment, etc., make SJMS one of the best schools around. Parent involvement is high, teacher attention to students is remarkable, facility and supplies are well-kept and well-suited to the school's needs. Our children have done very well at SJMS and have developed a love of learning. The major disadvantage is cost. It is very expensive and there is a lot of pressure to contribute much more than tuition -- annual appeals, lots of fundraisers (something new every week in their mailboxes it seems!), etc. Tuition assistance is available, but you have to be pretty poor to qualify. This is the only downside to an otherwise phenomenal school. I know of many who pinched pennies to send their children there, but had to leave after kindergarten because of cost.
This school is GREAT! We loved the music and drama programs. The staff is fantastic - responsive, caring, very supportive of students and parents. My son had great experiences here. Simply the best!
Excellent school, the teachers are the best I've ever seen and are very involved with the children. The opportunities for kids to achieve their ultimate potential are abundant. The parents are also extremely involved and there never seems to be a problem getting volunteers for anything. The only downside is the cost.
Excellent Children's House Program (pre-school through kindergarden); mulit-aging in classrooms a plus; ethnic and socio-economic diversity a plus; While kids are encouraged to pursue their interests in the classroom, all 'necessary' material gets presented and adopted by the children over the course of the 3 years. It's amazing how kids will connect with concepts when they are ready! Montessori materials promote learning through multiple approaches (auditory, writing, tactile, etc.). Materials have deliberate intentions and even seemingly 'play' items build basic concepts that lead to more complex concepts (sorting and pouring that leads to size understanding that leads to math expressions). The classroom 'work' materials are added throughout the year in a way that encourages exploration and mastery of concepts. The environment and teachers foster responsibility and mutual respect that is clearly demonstrated in the home as well. You have to see it in action to get the added value.
Academic programs are very strong. The music program is great-- Parents are very involved.
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