LMS has been an education savior for our son. He was struggling with public school's chaos and traditional learning. He is not "special needs" per se, but he learns better by touching and seeing so the Montessori method works well with him. Also, the loud, screaming, competitive environment spurred by public school classrooms is a complete 180 from Lamplighter classrooms. Go in for a tour and you will be amazed at how calm and nurturing the classroom setting is. All of the kids are sweet to each other and have respect for their teachers. Even when our kids have birthday parties somewhere the employee "party host" always comments as to how calm and polite our kids our. If you want to experience a refreshing change of pace amid the unstable re-structure of local school districts give them a call and take a tour. You will be glad you did.
I've heard people talk about what Lamplighter used to be ... Well, I don't know what it used to be but I can tell you that in the last 10 years enrollment has gone from over 200 students in a year to below 100. It seems to have a high teacher turnover rate and hires teachers who are available but not necessarily the most qualified for the position. The head of school lacks leadership and doesn't hold herself or her staff accountable. The standard for excellence is low and the expectation for the staff to perform at a high level is nonexistent. The middle school class seems to be the best aspect of the school and yet all of the 2011/12 6th grade students have chosen other schools for the Fall so there will not be a middle school class next year. If you are moving here and have previously experienced a quality program, Montessori or otherwise, you will most likely be disappointed by what Lamplighter has to offer. It has the potential to be great but under its current board and head of school it is mediocre. They seem to be more focused on what's best for the administration and staff than the development and well being of the students who attend.
My son was enrolled in a great city school but I believed his needs were not being meet due to the large classrooms and other children with discipline issues. The teacher would spend more time settling problem issues and paperwork. My son would come home from school so stressed out he would break down into tears and tantrums. This was not his normal behavior..I decided to return him to the Montessori learning environment and he would come home singing, laughing, and stumping me with questions and answers of the many things he learned. He began to love learning again and enjoys the freedom to learn as much as possible with out the many interruptions. It is fantastic!!!The teachers, staff and parents help enable the children learn independence, life lessons such as cleaning up after yourself and skills that enhance imagination and a childhood full of fun and learning!
My daughter just completed kindergarten and absolutely loves Lamplighter. She is surrounded by other kids of different ethnic backgrounds and learns about different cultures. The teachers are warm and caring. There are frequent workshops that discuss the Montessori Method for parents to attend. The parents are actively involved in the PTA. I am frequently asked by others what school does my daughter attend because her level of learning/social skills are very good. The tuition is pretty steep, but worth it. You just have to sacrifice and cut back in other areas. My daughter is looking forward to the 1st grade.
This school is very expensive, but well worth the money! Our kids absolutely love Lamplighter. Not only do they do an excellent job in teaching the kids what they need to know, but they actually make the kids excited about learning! We love the diversity of the classrooms--boys, girls, different races and religions, and multiple ages. It's great to see kids teaching, and learning from each other. Parents are encouraged to be involved in the classroom, and in school events. Our kids aren't into sports right now, but they do love the art, music, Spanish, and knitting. We feel very comfortable with our children at Lamplighter. I know that they are learning, and that they are physically and emotionally safe. I love that they are able to be in such a positive environment. My only regret is that I wasn't able to attend when I was a child!!