This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
The Montessori School2
Posted January 26, 2015
- a parent
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!
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.
Absolutely one of the best decisions my husband and I ever made was choosing The Montessori School for our daughter s education! While the exterior of the school is not very exciting, the school more than makes up for it with their curriculum, staff and education experience. The TMS program operates true to Maria Montessori s principles and is delivered by one of the most dedicated faculty and administration staff. I am constantly amazed by the results this Montessori education has awarded my girls and all the graduates. It provides our children with a foundation of knowledge and skill sets that prepares them for higher level education. Our children learn to master research, collaboration, public speaking and time management all by the sixth grade! In addition to the curriculum, TMS teaches our children the importance of respect for others and peaceful behavior. In comparison to what other school s offer, the tuition is a bargain. I couldn t imagine my girls going to any other school. We are so happy to have found TMS!
Our family feels fortunate to have found this hidden gem. Our son is a kindergartner and has attended The Montessori School for 3 years so far, and we are amazed at how and how much he is learning. For example, while we were on vacation last year, he was begging us to write out three and four digit addition and subtraction problems for him, which he quickly solved. This summer, he was adding in his head and singing "2+2 is 4, 4+4 is 8..." up through "4,096 + 4,096 is 8,192." As much as I want to brag about my own child, it isn't that. The environment and method used at TMS is the magic. Each child is able to investigate what they are interested in and ready for. Also, with the mixed age group (age 3 to 6) kids learn to help and be helped, and are both challenged by and respectful of the achievements of others. Incredibly, my son and his young peer group at TMS already have developed an ability to concentrate, and they know how to write, read books, know continents and countries, have a strong understanding of numbers operations and geometry, etc. I highly recommend TMS to any parent hoping for their child's love of learning to be nurtured and to give their child a head start.
TMS is an amazing gem! It has the most wonderful faculty of any school - public or private - that I know of. The facilities are, in candor, ugly, but the low active buzz in the air, the quality of work and interest of the children is palpable. You can tell they put their money where it matters - in the teachers and the materials. The school provides a deeply caring environment where academic rigor is accomplished through each individual student's own interest and drive. It is really an extraordinary thing to see. I feel so lucky that we found the school for our two daughters! Plus, it's a bargain compared with other independent schools!
A Montessori education is designed to support and endorse children's natural styles of learning. The Montessori School (formerly called New Horizons) is Montessori done right. I have a child in kindergarten and one in second grade. All along the way, their skillful guides encourage them to take risks, make mistakes and get messy. That mentality helps ensure that children maintain their curiosity and eagerness for learning. At this school, kids are permitted to explore what interests them most, but the curriculum also makes sure they learn everything they need to succeed. My kindergartner is thrilled to be reading books, writing journal entries, and learning about fractions. My second-grader can't wait to complete her "required work" so she can move on to the "fun" task of researching, writing and orally presenting a report on her favorite animal. She also is competent with several math concepts that I didn't think a child of her age could grasp: square roots, word problems, basic algebra. I also love the mindful consideration given to the fact that children (and adults) need time outdoors to feel happy. I can't say enough good things about this school.
This school provides the strongest elementary level academics we've found (18month -6th grade). Students have strong bond with their teachers. There is a heart-warming, vibrant energy in every classroom and the students seem quite happy.