I led the HSA group at TMS for two years. I am also a former Board of Trustee Member and a trained Montessori Guide. We withdrew our 4 children from the school because we feel that the school cannot be trusted to act in the best interest of a child’s education or well-being. TMS fosters a culture of retention (holding children back), not based on standardized academic benchmarking data, but rather on gut feelings, anecdotal evidence, and whether the child acts “young” for their age. A preponderance of evidence in the published educational literature suggests no academic benefit to be had with the retention of a child – only psychological damage. TMS Administration should know this but they do it anyway – more tuition money. We are now trying to undo that damage in our child. The TMS Administration routinely oversteps boundaries and expertise by recommending therapy for children, or suggesting that a child has a psychological disorder (no one in the administration is a physician). These unethical practices are increasingly causing families to leave. Our situation is not an isolated incident.
My children have been at The Montessori School in Dresher for all of their schooling. My spouse and I believe fully in the Montessori method of teaching, especially the idea of meeting the child where he is in his learning and development and not trying to shoe-horn him into a prescribed mold. This is a powerful method, in that it allowed one of my children to move with math skills as far and as fast as he was ready. It allowed another child the extra time needed to learn to read, without the pressure of trying to keep up with the group. I expect that when my older child graduates, he will be ready for algebra one in 7th grade. The school gives the children a strong foundation in math, verbal and public speaking skills. It also promotes tremendous independence and responsibility in students. But, best of all? My children s love of learning and curiosity is still as bright and evident as it was when they entered the school as 3-year-olds. I can t think of a better thing to say about a school than that.
We decided to change our daughter s care, from a daycare to TMS almost 2 years ago (she is now 4) when we felt that she was not getting the best possible care. When our daughter started at TMS, the difference was obvious and remarkable. She started in the Children s House classroom, and was gently and carefully introduced into the class. Personal attention was given to her during that time of transition, while her highly trained teacher quickly gained a sense of her most subtle qualities and strengths. She was introduced to the excellent Montessori lessons one after another in a very personalized way, based on her interests, strengths, and potential. We immediately noticed the attentiveness, personalization, and incredibly caring nature of each teacher and staff member atTMS, devoted to the progress of our child. Her teacher encourages us to be involved with her development through emails and intermittent one-on-one meetings, with ideas to reinforce her lessons and education at home. She has impressively started to read simple books at 4 years of age and loves doing simple addition and even an appreciation for nature, art, play, and mindfulness.
Our son is a student at The Montessori School. His experience began as a 3 year old and he is now in his 5th grade year. He has thrived academically, is an independent thinker with a healthy self confidence and good character. The falculty is the heart of the school, truly remarkable. The Head of School is a hidden gem. The environment is welcoming, clean and cared for. Our experience for nearly 8 years convinces us that this was/is the best choice we could have made for our son. It's worth the investment, you won't find better.
Excellent for Toddler (2-3) and Children's House, CH, (3-6), but look elsewhere for elementary school. The Toddler Guide is very experienced and loves the children. Each of the 3 CH Guides are experienced and have their strengths. Unfortunately, there are 2 lower elementary (LE) classrooms, 1 with a very experienced and 1 with a very junior Guide. There is a significant difference between the education a child receives between these two classrooms. Each LE Guide is paired with an assistant, but one assistant also teaches the art special and aftercare, so she leaves the junior Guide alone each day to manage a classroom of more than 22. The website boasts max 15:1 ratios in LE, but that's not the case for part of the day in one LE classroom. The specials, with the exception of art, are dreadful. Spanish is 1x per week. That's not enough for functional fluency --indeed, after 2+ years, my children can't answer basic questions. Although the website says STEM is offered, it is only held after school hours. It is free, but space is limited. That doesn't allow equal access for all kids. The school is not forthcoming about these issues. Great for little kids, but not elementary.
If you are looking for a REAL Montessori school....authentic materials, uninterrupted work cycles, three year age spans, expertly trained guides....then you need to visit The Montessori School in Dresher. I can not say enough great things about the solid academic foundation this authentic Montessori school provides. My oldest child who attended the school since the age of 4 recently graduated and was accepted into a very competitive local independent school where she was more than prepared to the point that her transition to 7th grade was virtually seamless. I credit the guides with preparing her and all of their students to be engaged, self motivated learners who partake in in-depth studies and learn complex concepts to the point of mastery and not just for a passing grade on a test. The depth and breadth of knowledge that these students acquire and retain with this hands on individualized method of teaching is truly remarkable. We are so grateful to this school for providing our children with the skills and confidence that they can take risks, make mistakes, learn from them, move on and flourish! My kids have the tools they need to be independent life long learners!
This is the best school that my children every attended. The staff is warm and loving yet at the same time, the ulitmate professionals. They know Montessori well and really live each time to implement it with their minds and hearts - always placing the developing child first. The teachers or "guides" as they are called at TMS really strive to understand and work with each child's strengths and weakness socially, emotionally and academically to help each child grow as a whole person. They welcome parent involvement at whatever level you can participate, but I can tell you that you will want to contribute where you can to be part of this wonderful environment yourself. It is the kind of school that I wish I could have attended as a child.
My children started at The Montessori School at age 3. I am beyond pleased with the academic work and the wonderful relationships the teachers (guides) have with their students. Classes are grouped in 3 year cycles, so my kids have the same teacher for 3 years. They are able to get to know my child and form a relationship of respect. Academically both my kids are above their peers in every subject. My 2nd grader has no required homework but is expected to read something every night, and we are encouraged to help memorize multiplication tables. So different from the hours of homework friends in other schools have. Yet my child and the other 2nd graders at TMS, are ahead of them. I was so impressed that the 1st graders were doing research reports about an animal of their choice, including 3 references and an oral presentation. The teachers undergo a rigorous training program that is evident in the classroom. Each classroom is a community of students who are expected to respect and teach each other. The older children in the classes have responsibilities to teach and assist their younger classmates (3-K, grades 1-3,4-6). They are creating leaders at TMS. And my kids LOVE TMS.
AMAZING, AMAZING, AMAZING! Our children are in the Lower Elementary program (grades 1-3) and we are constantly impressed by the quality of the work they do each day. The academics are far superior to what we have seen anywhere else - public or private. From math to science to creative writing to geography - the concepts are presented in an interesting, individualized/customized manner using the Montessori materials. Students are introduced to engineering concepts, public speaking, research papers, environmental studies.....you really need to stop in to see how challenging the work is - yet how much the students LOVE it and thrive in the classroom. Our children are truly learning life lessons here in a peaceful and caring environment. We cannot say enough about the staff - the teachers and the administrators are caring, approachable, and knowledgeable. The Montessori School is the best thing we have ever done for our children.