My son got a late start into the Montessori learning style but I couldn t be more pleased with the results thus far. I looked into enrolling my son in the South Congaree Early Education Program and had reservations regarding a required home visit and lack of responsiveness from the staff in returning my phone calls prior to the school year. One visit to MELC for a tour was all it took for me to enroll my son and feel confident that I had made the right choice! Ms. Ina is no nonsense and will tell you exactly like it is. She will not accept a child she feels will not succeed in the program. She is in it for the children and that is obvious. My son is getting the attention he deserves and a quality education. I would highly recommend this school and the Montessori learning style to anyone!
The Montessori Early Center & School of the Arts is fabulous and beyond compare. The opportunities that this school has afforded our daughter over the past 5+ years have been vast. While the school is top notch academically and offers an education in the arts second to none, it is more importantly a safe haven for our daughter. In my experience, there is extensive parental involvement and the administration of this school is terrific. Ina has had 30+ years of success, and the children always come first with her. And, the results speak for themselves...my daughter loves this school, her fellow students, and the faculty. I know that being part of this school will serve her well in life.
Putting my daughter into MELC when she was 3 was the best thing I ever did for her! She received nurturing care that she would not have received anywhere else, while learning reading, math, music, art, ballet, swimming, and how to get along with others. Ina Fort runs a tight ship. If you can step back and let her do what she does best, you will end up with a child that has truly been given all the best advantages early in life. My child ended up a year ahead when she went to public school, which was right for her, but not for every child. She is 9 and still begs every year to go back to MELC for the elementary summer program to get the nurturing she doesn't get in public school.
Montessori Early Learning Center is a GREAT school under the leadership of Ina Fort. All the kids love her, they hug her as she goes by. The teachers help each child to reach their full potential. Parents are given the opportunity to be involved as much as they desire. We highly recommend this school as being on of the very BEST.
Montessori Early Learning Center has met and exceeded our expectations. The teachers and staff are caring, attentive and extremely quailified in the principles of Marie Montessori. The classrooms are peaceful, welcoming environments that stimulate young minds. The programs offered also develop independence, good manners and respect self and others. A variety of extracurricular programs are available at reasonable rates. These activities include art, music, gymnastics, speech and more. These programs are offered in addition to after school care. Our son has loved the summer swim program. The Parent's Club is very active and offers oppurtunities to raise addtional funds to enhance the school parents and students. Finding MELC was a blessing, and we are thankful for the leadership of the directors for establishing and continuing a quality Montessori program in the Columbia area.
My child attends this school, I have read the reveiws and agree totally with them. We love this school. My child is doing great. It is more than 5 stars. Connie Maxwell Cann
Both of my nieces, now age 6 and 8, have attended MELC. My older niece has graduated from MELC and my younger niece still attends. Ms. Ina and her school are amazing!! The girls are confident, outgoing, well-rounded, and self sufficient. I am truly impressed with this school and its programs.
My daughter is a graduate of the Montessori Early Learning School and my husband and I could not be more pleased with how well the Forts and the teaching staff prepared her for grade school. We are so confident in Ina Fort's Montessori program that we have enrolled our three year old son as well and look forward to watching him flourish under the Montessori method practiced by Ms. Fort. This program considers the total child. The students there are self confident, capable, and have a perpetual eagerness to learn more. Mrs. Fort cares for each child at her school as though they were own and we are so thankful for educators like her and her staff. If parents consider this program for their child, they will not be disappointed.
My 5 yro daughter just completed two years at MELC. In that amount of time, she gained a love for learning, learned to read and then read 60 readers, began writing stories and learned cursive handwriting, and found a love for math. She has blossomed under Ms. Mangala and Ms. Heather's guidance. Ms. Ina has been a Godsend to my daughter and I. I would highly recommend this school to anyone interested in having a loving, nuturing, safe, and challenging environment for their child!
MELC is a great school. It is a wonderful learning facility for any child and parent eager to learn new and exciting things. The teachers are great and very caring. Not only is education the main focus but also communication skills and everyday life skills. I am very pleased with the relationships the teachers and the parents have with one another, even the students. I would recommend this school to any parent who wants the best for there child/children.
This school is a fantastic place for children. All 3 of my children have attended, and I would not have considered placing them anywhere else after looking at other programs in the Columbia area. The first thing that made a strong impression on me is the how well mannered and intellectually engaged the children are in the classrooms. My kids enjoyed going to school everyday. Over the last 8 years that one of my children has been attending the school I have loved seeing many of the same staff members who are caring and wonderful teachers. The headmaster Mrs. Ina Fort-Lightner is very hands on and is very engaged in every aspect of the school. She is compassionate, meticulous, good-natured, visionary, approachable, and straight-forward. Whenever I have needed to schedule a conference with a teacher, I just made an appointment. My kids really love learning to swim in the pool.
The academic program at MELC is absolutely exceptional! The teachers are patient and kind. They work with each child on his/her level. I have had a child at MELC for the past 4 years and I could't be more pleased with the atmosphere. The kids have so much fun they don't even realize how much they are learning in the process. The swimming program that is held each summer is first rate as well. There are also numerous extracirricular programs available.
MELC has a wonderful learning environment. The children are encouraged continuously and are taught the joy of learning. The director and its teachers are extremely protective of the learning time. I respect this because I sent my children to that school because of its learning environment. Parents are not allowed to go into the classrooms but are able to watch their children through a mirror at anytime. Teacher conferences are scheduled twice a year, but a meeting can be set up with a teacher at anytime during lunch. I have also found the director, Ms. Ina Fort, to be very accessible and concerned about the welfare of my two children. I would highly recommend this school. Keshia Elder
I'm a grandfather of one of the students and I think this school is absolutely fantastic! My granddaughter learned to read very well and she was great at using a computer. If I were 65 years younger I would certainly enroll in this school and boost my knowledge and social skills as has my grand daughter.This has got to be a No. 5+ rated school.
Both of our daughters attended the Montessori Early Learning Center and School of The Arts. I was drawn to the school due to it's unique approach to teaching children and the Arts program.The concept of focusing on a child's individual learning ability was interesting;they fulfilled that objective.I also found the building to very clean, colorful and well organized. I was pleased with their reading program. The Montessori approach which teaches children to initially focus on sounds and not just learning alphabets,provided the foundation for both daughters to excel in reading. My daughters also benefited greatly from the Arts programs. Both got their start in ballet at MELC, which not only assisted with their social skills, but also provided them with the confidence to perform in public, today. I found the staff, including the Director to be professional,friendly and caring. And,they adhere to strict guidelines to protect the students. The school certainly deserves five stars.
My child has been attending MELC for 4 years and the experience has been wonderful. She has obtained a quality education that that is unbeatable. Parents and administration are encouraged to interact twice a year at the parent conferences, but the director is always available by phone, day or night. The parent club is wonderful, but not a lot of parent participation. I have always been able to get my child's progress from the teacher when I asked. Wonderful extracurricular activities. If they more available grade levels we would certainly continue.
We discovered the Montessori Early Learning Center when our son was 4 1/2, substantially beyond the age at which it would have been best for him to start there. However, the staff and faculty of the school welcomed him and made a commitment to helping him catch up and even excel in his education. Almost immediately, we saw him learning skills he had never even heard of before, and he began to read within months of starting to school there. He still struggled, but the faculty and staff were so very patient with him, and found effective ways to encourage him to keep at it. He developed a confidence in his academic ability that he never would have found elsewhere. Additionally, he had opportunity to participate in multiple arts opportunities that were unique to the MELC, and he discovered skills even we didn't know he had! We love this place!
I wish they would add the next plane of learning here. I would keep my child in this school indefinitely! My daughter has been attending since she was 3 and she has learned how to learn. I am sure she will be able to apply those techniques wherever we go from here. She has never been pushed acedemically. She is allowed to move at her own pace (which has been faster in some subjects). The extracurricular activities encourage the children creatively and socially. Parents aren't allowed in the classroom during instruction, but are allowed during open house with a full explanation of their time well spent. Our experience has been amazing.
The Montessori Center is the best school we found in this relatively depressed area of Columbia. While the location of the school is convenient, and the indoor and outdoor facilities are great, the attitude of the directress/owner is quite unpleasant. She complains about the low participation in the parent club, and at the same time goes out her way to keep parents away from the classrooms. The allowed time for parent-teacher communication is 20 minutes twice a year! If you try to exchange a few words with your child s teacher or make a minor comment, you are rudely reminded of the school rules drop your child at the front door and leave immediately . If you can put up with that, I believe you can expect your child to have good social skills (the Montessori method is great in that aspect), good academics, and participate in a number of extracurricular activities.
We love this school! When our son started at MELC, he was 3 years old and was learning little in public pre-school where the focus was on sitting still and being quiet, not on speaking to a kid's heart. When he started at MELC, we immediately saw a difference in his behavior. The school's teaching method allows our son to control his learning pace, he works on tasks that interest him and is encouraged to interact with the other children in his classroom throughout the day. The teachers are fantastic and care deeply about kids. Every decision made has children's interests as top priority. The teachers treat our son with respect, and in turn receive his respect. 1 1/2 years after starting at MELC, our son is now well behaved, reading, writing (in print and cursive), well spoken on other cultures, and takes ballet and gymnastics. This is a fantastic school!
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