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Montessori Early Learning Center

Private | 200 students

 

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Living in Columbia

Situated in a suburban neighborhood. The median home value is $99,200. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $740.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
 
Last modified
Community Rating

5 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
Based on 5 ratings
2013:
Based on 2 ratings
2012:
Based on 2 ratings
2011:
Based on 12 ratings

Teacher quality

Principal leadership

Parent involvement

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53 reviews of this school


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Posted Sunday, July 20, 2014

I am the owner and facilitator of Rhythmic Memory LLC, in which I bring group drumming sessions for health & wellness, self-expression, and team-building to schools, churches, seniors, support groups, and other venues. The Montessori Early Learning Center and School of the Arts recently had me bring this opportunity to their students. I was immediately struck by the polite and respectful behavior of the students as they entered the building -which also continued throughout our hour together. I was also impressed by their confidence, as they readily jumped into starting our group out with their own beat for us to join them in when I asked for volunteers. This eagerness was also present when I asked for volunteers - of all ages - to act as the facilitator of our drum circle from the center of the circle with cues they had learned during our session. It was obvious their learning was equipping them with such important life skills as respect for self and others, self-esteem, and an eagerness to learn. They were a JOY to work and play with, and I am looking forward to returning for another session with them!


Posted June 19, 2014

The Montessori experience has been great for our daughter and I seriously doubt that she would have done as well in a traditional school setting. We would whole-heartedly recommend the Montessori Early Learning Center to anyone and sing their praises. They have an outstanding program and a great staff that not only care about the education of the children, but also their overall well-being.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 2, 2014

My daughter attended MELC from 2 -8 years old. It was an amazing experience! Taylor learned a lot at a very young age. I am forever grateful to the MELC staff for the time and energy they put in to the educational growth and social maturity of my daughter Taylor. I grew as well. Taylor just completed her first year at Crayton Middle School! Her grades were exemplary! She is a year younger than her peers. She has been chosen to go to Africa next year with the School District. She demonstrates the team spirit that she learned at MELC. The one word I can use to describe MELC is Life Changing ! Trust the process, it works!!!!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 16, 2014

I'm so thankful we decided to put granddaughter at this Montessori School for many reasons. Kaiya just turned 4 and is in her 9th reading book. She's doing math, kiddie music,strategy class, just to name a few things . She even wants to do homework on the weekends.This method of learning is amazing. The teachers are so patient and loving with each child which is important. Thank you for all you do.


Posted April 29, 2014

Montessori Early Learning Center has provided both of our children with an amazing educational foundation. We feel confident that their curiosity and love of learning will continue throughout their lifetime. Our children have felt loved, respected and empowered in this environment. And my husband and I know they have been safe and nurtured, while being challenged to do their very best. We could not have designed a more perfect educational experience for them.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 14, 2013

So glad I found this school! My Daughter just turned 4 and has been attending since she was 2 1/2. She loves learning the Montessori way. Her teachers and staff are warm and caring. She is so independent, respectful, and confident thanks to the way they inspire the children to learn. My daughter is reading and doing addition and subtraction. She is passionate about learning. She also loves the playground and the friends she has made there to the point if we try to pick her up early in the summer she does not want to leave because she is having so much fun. I have nothing but positives to say about this school, I wish I could have attended this school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 18, 2013

A wonderful school with wonderful staff & administration. I think that being in business since 1976 speaks volumes in itself.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 6, 2012

I am a 57 year old grandmother who has a grandson at MELC. If you are not familiar with the Montesorri theory of learning please do yourself a favor and research the subject. I wish that I had done so earlier because of the amazing progress that my grandson is making in all areas of personal and scholastic development. I love the independence that he displays as a result of being allowed to explore the environment of the classroom which is set up to intrigue and capture the interest of young exploring minds. MELC offers parent education classes so I understand how my grandson is learning. Ms. Ina is a fantastic educator and I feel confident that my grandson is receiving the best possible education under her professional expertise. Also, my grandchildren are my life. Everything that matters to me in this world evolves around their well-being. My grandson was at a previous daycare center and I had concerns about his care. Today, I go to work without worry as I am certain that Ms. Ina and all of the staff at MELC have my grandchild's best interest at heart. Do yourself a favor and take the MELC tour. See for yourself! The proof is in the pudding!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 5, 2012

Thank you to Mrs.Ina and the great faculty that follows the path of montessori's learning methodology. Both my kids (ages 6 and 4) are in in this school. Me and my wife are very happy looking at the steep learning curve of both our kids.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 1, 2011

MELC is an amazing school! We have two children who attend MELC and we are constantly impressed by the well-rounded education they are receiving. Ms. Ina, Mr. Lee, Ms. Keisha, and Mr. Anthony are outstanding individuals who constantly strive to create a wonderful, nurturing educational environment. We also find that the importance placed on social responsibility, i.e. being helpful to others, doing the right thing are values rarely stressed in most environments these days. At MELC, these values are modeled by the leaders and teachers and fostered by the children in the classes as a whole. It brings us great joy to see our children in such a wonderful environment! I would trust their care to no one else.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 31, 2011

I attended this school as a child for 3 years, and now I have 2 of my own children attending this school. I also have a third child waiting to become old enough to attend. It is a great place for them, and they learn so much. I feel blessed to be able to have my kids attend this school. The pool is great for them in the summer, and they learn how to swim. All included in the cost of tuition.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 31, 2011

I have three grandchildren currently attending MELC and have been closely associated with the school since the oldest started over four years ago. I have been consistently pleased with the wonderful academic education they are receiving, as well as with their training in the arts and social responsibiiity.The warmth and support given each child from teachers, administrators, and other students often bring tears to my eyes at school events. I feel that my grandchildren will carrly the positive effects of their early school experience at MELC far into their futures. I do not believe anyone could find a better school anywhere.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 30, 2011

My daughter attended MELC for 6 years. We had a great experience! My daughter's math and reading skills are excellent. She received a solid academic foundation. She has great memories of the arts program. She studied ballet and drama during her time at the school. It is a very warm and loving environment. One in which, e you can rest assured that you will be given the truth about your child's progress. We have only been gone a few months, but there is not a day that passes, that I don't think of the school and thank God for finding such a place for my daughter to grow and develop. Ms. Ina is very focused on accommodating the needs of the children. She accepts responsibility for their academic and social growth. My family is a 2nd generation family and I would not have it any other way!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 28, 2011

My four children were raised at MELC and my grandchild is enrolled there now. Thanks to the arts program and the school, they all have a wonderful education and a sense of self confidence that I'm not sure they would have received elsewhere. The arts program is fantastic as it offers everything from ballet to hip hop to gymnastics and the low cost of the programs assures me that they are in it for the love of it - not for the money. Thank you to Mrs. Fort, her wonderful staff and for the standards she runs that school by and I look forward to watching my grandchild grow and blossom in her school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 28, 2011

MELC is the best and most pure montessori school in Columbia. I visited many schools before deciding on where to put my children and I can say that no other school could provide the range of opportunities, both Montessori and extra curricular that this school has to offer. The teachers are excellent and truly care about the children. The Facility is beautiful and made just for the children. I don't think you will find a better school for your child in Columbia.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 28, 2011

I am a proud mom of a recent college graduate. I have no doubt that my son's graduation was due in part to obtaining a mastery of reading, writing, arithmetic, language and reasoning while attending MELC. Owner/Administrator Ms. Fort has loved, taught and guided many children in the 30+ years MELC has been in business. She and her dedicated teachers/staff have introduced children to a world of learning that allows them to grow into intelligent, well rounded, confident young people. It is the oldest, largest and in my opinion the best Montessori school in Columbia.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 27, 2011

Best Montessori School in Columbia! I have had my children at MELC for over 5 years and I can tell you they are the only school to go to. The Directress Ina Fort has been in business for over 30 years and truly loves all of the children. As a parent I have truly come to appreciate: 1. The parent conferences 2. The first class staff 3. The full after school arts program 4. The Authentic Montessori training 5. The after school care program. I would HIGHLY recommend this school to ANYONE who is seriously considering a quality montessori education in Columbia. They have been in business for over 30 years for a reason and the results speak for themselves.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 27, 2011

We love MELC. The entire staff has been very encouraging to our children. The facility is first class as are the teachers. The BEST Montessori school in Columbia!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 27, 2011

Thank you Ms ina! The may music recital was fantastic. Thanks to your school my child has learnt how to sing and also dance. Your school is one of a kind and I recommend the parent tours to anyone.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 27, 2011

Great school! i've had my kids there for 2 years now, we tried the public system and it was awful so we swtiched to here. Everybody is very loving and caring to the kids. My daughter liked to walk in the office everybody to give the Miss Laura a hug. i am cofortable my kids are in a safe and loving enviroment. Miss Ina knows each of the kids and love them. she might appear tough but that's what a good school need, she has a great heart behind her toughness.
—Submitted by a parent


Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

About these ratings

The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

We currently do not have any test score information for this school. Unlike public schools, private schools are not always required to report data about their schools or not required to take the same tests as public schools. Many private schools take different standardized tests; however, that information is often made available only to families of enrolled students. We strive to acquire additional private school data whenever available.

Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
White 67% 50%
Black 18% 43%
Two or more races 10% N/A
Hispanic 2% 6%
American Indian/Alaska Native 1% 0%
Asian 1% N/A
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 1% N/A
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander N/A 1%
Source: NCES, 2009-2010

College readiness and student pathways

Students typically attend these schools prior to attending this school home
church nurseries
small in home centers
Read more about resources at this school
Source: Manually entered by a school official.

Oops! We currently do not have any teacher information for this school. We rely on the state Department of Education, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), and in some cases school administrators such as registrars and principals for this data.

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Special education / special needs

Specialized programs for specific types of special education students
  • Hearing impairments
  • Other health impairments
  • Specific learning disabilities
  • Speech and language impairments

Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM)

School facilities
  • Computer lab

Arts & music

Visual arts
  • Painting
Music
  • Choir / Chorus
Performing and written arts
  • Dance
  • Drama

Language learning

Bi-lingual or language immersion programs offered
  • French
Foreign languages taught
  • French
  • Spanish

Gifted & talented

Instructional and/or curriculum models used
  • Gifted / high performing
School leaders can update this information here.

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School basics

School start time
  • 7:30 a.m.
School end time
  • 6:00 p.m.
Before school or after school care / program onsite
  • After school
  • Before school
School Leader's name
  • Ina Fort
Gender
  • Coed
Special schedule
  • Year-round
Affiliation
  • Nonsectarian
Fax number
  • (803) 772-4414

Programs

Instructional and/or curriculum models used

Don't understand these terms?
  • Gifted / high performing
  • Montessori
Bi-lingual or language immersion programs offered

Don't understand these terms?
  • French
Specialized programs for specific types of special education students
  • Hearing impairments
  • Other health impairments
  • Specific learning disabilities
  • Speech and language impairments
Foreign languages taught
  • French
  • Spanish

Resources

Transportation options
  • None
School facilities
  • Computer lab
  • Library
School leaders can update this information here.

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Sports

Boys sports
  • Soccer
  • Swimming
Girls sports
  • Soccer
  • Swimming

Arts & music

Visual arts
  • Painting
Music
  • Choir / Chorus
Performing arts
  • Dance
  • Drama
School leaders can update this information here.

Upcoming Events

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School culture

Dress Code
  • Uniforms
Parent involvement
  • Parent booster club meets monthly to enrich the school and help with special projects such as sorting valentines, hiding easter eggs, etc.
More from this school
  • The Montessori Early Learning Center and School of the Arts is an unmodified, pure, European based,Montessori School for children 30 months to 3rd grade. We have a 31/2 acre playground with peaceful, landscaped areas, as well as a splash park for children too young for the in ground pool. All of the artists in our Arts school are conservatory trained. We develop the total child.
School leaders can update this information here.

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What are your chances?

Students typically come from these schools
home
church nurseries
small in home centers

Planning ahead

Students typically attend these schools after graduating
St. Peter's Catholic School
Heathwood Hall
Hammond Academy
Notice an inaccuracy? Let us know!

1101 Balsam Road
Columbia, SC 29210
Website: Click here
Phone: (803) 772-2262

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