We were very disappointed with the administrative staff at Mount Lebanon Montessori and the way that they responded (or didn't respond) to our concerns over our child's experience. My sense is that this school is more concerned with pushing children through the system in order to maintain cashflow than the actual children.
I was told Montessori education is for every child. Having been part of this school for a year, I must say, "Montessori Education is for EVERY child. But, Montessori Education is NOT for EVERY family." It takes some will power to modify our traditional methods and mind sets to give room to extend the Montessori education beyond classrooms and into their day-to-day life. Montessori education promotes independence, self-discipline; self-motivation; as well as social awareness, cooperation and internal peace/calmness. Our child was shy and intimidated easily. He has been in school for over a year. In the restaurant, he orders his own food. In the stores, he asks store clerks for item locations or shopping bags. He used to keep his idea all in his head, now, he has plans, sometimes, written plans and drawings of his plans, which allow him to discuss, to modify and to think through the reality of his idea. However, Montessori Education is NOT for every family, if the family does not make substantial effort to encourage, to promote and to allow the child to take what s/he learns from the classroom into their daily lives. I am grateful to be part of this school.
Nothing beats the Montessori method of learning! The teachers here are wonderful! They really get to know your child and are able to tailor the lessons to how your child learns best. No child ever feels left behind or far superior to their peers... it's a community of respect. Children really learn to be self motivated and respect others and their environment. The exposure the kids get to more than just the 3 R's, including science, geography, history, art, music, etc. from Pre-K to 6th grade makes them so much more well rounded. This school also has a great parent association that plans lots of fun social activities for the kids and raises money for field trips and classroom supplies, but it is only for K-6 - which unfortunately leaves Pre-K parents a little bit less engaged and results in many transferring to public for kindergarten. The only down side to this school is that the administration, while made up of very nice and dedicated people, is a little be stale and set in their ways. A changing of the guard would definitely breath new life into the school.
Our child has attended the lower academy for over a year. It was a difficult transition from public school. Like several other reviewers, we did not thoroughly understand the Montessori principles that foster independence--such as mixed age classrooms where students help each other with projects, and teachers allowing children to struggle with projects instead of stepping in too soon. But now that we've seen our child's self esteem and confidence skyrocket, we understand, and are grateful that we found this exceptional school. Our child is learning at least 4 times more than in a Mt. Lebo elementary. Our only regret is that we didn't find this school sooner.
We enrolled our child in the 2's class, but then decided to our preschool after having negative experiences in the 3's class. While many of the teachers there seem to genuinely care about the students, the teacher that our child had was not one of them. When we discussed our concerns with the administration, we were essentially pushed aside. When we discussed potentially unenrolling our child, rather than showing concern, the administration asked us to let them know as soon as possible, so that they could fill the slot that our child was giving up. I was very disappointed. This school is run like a business and not a warm environment where we would want our children to go.
We have really enjoyed sending our son here (first year almost completed). He previously had a difficult time at age three of following instructions and sitting still and he has really gone through a huge transformation. You will not find another school that is introducing such amazing concepts and teaching things that kids in grade school are just learning. We are extremely impressed. The staff is top notch and the directors I'd follow anywhere.
As a teacher of 30 years I feel Mt. Lebanon Montessori School offers a stellar education. The staffs dedication to the Montessori Method and enthusiasm toward the child is to be commended. It is a joy to work with such a diverse and enthusiastic team!
My two children have gone through the school and now attend their local elementary program. They were both well prepared and are doing excellent in the Mt. Lebanon school district. I credit Mt. Lebanon Montessori for their self discipline, and high academic standards. I recommend this school to all families of young children.
We found this school to cold and unwelcoming to parents. We removed our child from the 3-6 class after a number of incidents that occurred on the playground, which we felt were lacked supervision. When we brought this issue up to the administrative staff, they were defensive and refused to listen to our concerns. Ultimately, we enrolled our child in another pre-k program and had a much better experience....at a much lower cost, as well.