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Austin, TX
Students enrolled: 318

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5006 Sunset Trail
Austin, TX 78745

(512) 892-0253
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Map of Austin Montessori School address.
December 04, 2014
The program from 18months thru 5 years old is solid and by far the best Austin has to offer. You will be amazed at your young child s development; he/she will have the best beginning possible at AMS. The early elementary program (1st-3rd) depends on the campus and the instructor; if you stay closely involved as a parent you will be fine. Be wary of keeping your child at this school past 5th grade if he/she is more mature than same-age children. The upper elementary program (4th-6th) is not currently equipped to meet the needs of an adolescent. Instead of nurturing the development of soon-to-be teenagers in a healthy way, the response instead is to apply more control, more rules, and most unfortunately, using the beloved montessori methods as a deterrent to minimize independent thinking and discourage questioning of processes and rules. I observed a decline in self-esteem in multiple (more mature) 5th and 6th graders. I'm told the adolescent program (7th-9th) is tops and the guides are well equipped to deal with adolescent changes: I wish they would do the same with early adolescent (intellectual, physical, behavioral) development in the 5th/6th grades.

- submitted by a parent
November 20, 2014
I originally wrote a review on AMS in April 2010. Our older daughter was then two years old in the Youngest Children's Community where we were having a wonderful experience. Fast forward to November 2014 and she is now in Early Elementary, every step of our journey thus far being fruitful. Our younger daughter has been in the AMS Parent-Infant program since she was three months old and is about to enter the YCC. Based on our experiences at the school thus far, and having attended the Silent Journey and Discovery (http://mariamontessori.com/mm/?p=1488) this past weekend, we cannot imagine our children at another school. Its founder, Donna Bryant Goertz, has left Austin Montessori School with a great legacy and we look forward to the new Head of School, Grae Baker, taking it to the next level.

- submitted by a parent
June 03, 2014
Few words for rating this school: THE WORST SCHOOL EVER!!!! Horrible experience for both our kids and us!!!!!

- submitted by a parent
September 24, 2013
Both my daughters attended AMS through 8th grade. Some of our experience was wonderful. They are both comfortable speaking in front of large groups, they did not have excessive homework in elementary and the camping trips are impowering. Because we wanted to protect our children from popular culture garbage and lousy food, it was wonderful to be surrounded and supported by a like-minded community so my children weren't "weirdos". The down side is the math curriculum is weak and, more importantly, they have problems communicating with parents. My youngest daughter was not doing well and it was not communicated to us at all. We finally had her tested at the end of 6th grade and she has learning disabilities. We stayed with the school for 7th and 8th grades but that was a mistake. They could not seem to meet our daughter's needs and they didn't communicate when she was having difficulties. They just left her to struggle. She was depressed by the end of 8th grade and we decided to remove her from the school.

- submitted by a parent
May 14, 2013
The only good quality this school has, is that it is aesthetically pleasing. Sadly, more thought is put into that, than any other aspect of a child's education. If your child is disruptive, and might be expelled from elsewhere, or you want to protect your child from grades, this is the school for you. The founder thinks of difficult children as learning material. Idealistic, and sad for the other children to have to put up with this. The teachers we experienced here, were not even competent in basic Math, although the Montessori manipulative material itself is brilliant. Don't confuse the 2 things, as many do. The teachers get away with it, because they're not held accountable. Most teachers here do not send a child's work home. If you ask for it, they make you feel guilty for not trusting them! This is not isolated, but routine here. They play down the end of year standardized test. No one is told a child's grades except parents. If a child does poorly, they blame the test itself. They routinely expertly bash traditional education. And that is how they sell themselves. This school is a severe over-reaction to the problems of public schooling. They misrepresent what they are about.

- submitted by a parent
January 14, 2013
The Austin Montessori School should not be an accredited Montessori school. My daughter started her schooling at another Montessori in Austin for 3-6 year olds, and then she spent one year at Austin Montessori's Great Northern campus. What a disaster. She left her first school full of joy and confidence and both were dashed summarily by the teacher at the Great Northern campus. While the materials and methods the school employes are consistent with the Montessori approach, the teacher is the anti-thesis of the Montessori philosophy. Hateful, impatient, condescending to children and parents, punitive and clearly challenged personally, this teacher has been allowed to remain at the school for 16 years. I really wanted to keep my daughter in the Montessori program and transfer her to a different classroom at the main campus. The administration completely ignore my request and never responded to me. Basically the teacher tried to hold my child captive. Of course I removed my daughter from the school. If you want to witness the transformation of your spectacular child to one who is scared, timid, and lacking self-esteem and confidence, be sure to send him/her to this school.

- submitted by a parent
July 23, 2012
Our child attended AMS for 3 years. The reality about this school is that it has very serious issues. First, there is a complete lack of effective administration. Teachers are left to do their own thing with very little supervision or guidance. Second, the environment is completely devoid of emotion. Many of the teachers are robotic. The classrooms are very sterile, very quiet, and very somber. Outside play time is kept to a minimum. Laughing or having fun is frowned upon. Third, the school's academics are questionable at best. After 3 years of AMS, our child was not prepared for public school, much less a private education. Fourth, the administration and teachers treat parents with disdain and egotism. They spend a lot of time lecturing parents (just attend any of their parent nights and you'll see this first-hand). Parent communication is basically non-existent. You cannot visit the school except when invited for two pre-arranged visits each year. I strongly caution anyone considering this school to think twice and to look elsewhere We wish we had.

- submitted by a parent
July 15, 2012
This school sadly suffers from a severe lack of leadership. Its staff is a bane to parents and teachers alike. Most of the longtime teachers have left. Parents are treated with disdain. The school is full of itself and boasts continually, but it is empty of real value. Academics are an afterthought. Bullies are rarely kicked out or given any consequences, forcing victim after victim to leave the school to get relief. The founders proudly state that conditions like ADD & ADHD are not "real." Therefore, kids with these issues and dyslexia, autism, etc. are not identified and instead languish in the classroom, creating havoc for everyone. At most, they spend their days in the office, where they learn nothing. Parents are rarely informed if their kids have academic or behavioral problems. Most of my friends who have left the school have discovered huge holes in their kids' academics. This is a school where some of the 4th graders can't read. Parents can only visit the classroom for two prearranged half-hours per year. There is no parent community. There is no music program. There are no sports. The academics are awful. There is no reason to send a kid to this school.

- submitted by a parent
April 19, 2012
We love this school! Our children have attended Austin Montessori for the past six years and we look forward to many more. Our children love learning and have made many wonderful friends. We have found the guides and administration to be very earnest and responsive to our questions and concerns. Though our children are very different in personality, each has thrived and I feel like the school has really nurtured their inquisitive natures while helping them develop their focus and sense of compassion for others. The school has also supported the children's development as members of a community (learning to work with others, resolve differences with respect/empathy, etc.). In addition, the parent education has been phenomenal and has helped us to be better parents in so many ways. I don't think you could find an environment that is more respectful of the child than at Austin Montessori. The school has helped in the development of our children as whole people (not just academically) and that has been an incredible process to watch and participate in.

- submitted by a parent
April 15, 2012
My two boys have attended Austin Montessori for the past eight years and they are thriving! My only regret is that my older child missed out on the Youngest Children's Community as we moved here from out of state and he was already past that age. One is now in the Adolescent Community and one in Upper Elementary and I would literally spend my last penny to keep them there. They are amazing readers, strong in math, compassionate and work beautifully in a group. They're both self-motivated and pursue interests beyond the school setting (for example, the Early El child did a report on Russia and is now teaching himself Russian at home). I wish I could take credit, but I have to hand it to AMS. Thank you, staff and guides!

- submitted by a parent
March 26, 2012
A friend's child attended this school for a year. If you like an authoritarian preschool, devoid of emotion, this is the place for your child. The school for the youngest children employs a "Trustee System" where the older kids police the younger kids. Civility is not a basic tenet of classroom instruction and the older kids enjoy their power a bit too much. Most distressing, disciplinary problems are not effectively addressed. Expressions of concern about your child's safety will be met with bland deflections by staff. My friend felt compelled to give her child a daily warning to stay away from one particular little boy. I can only surmise that children who grossly misbehave are allowed to remain enrolled, and terrorize other children, because their parents contribute a significant amount of money to the school, over and above the over-priced "tuition". My observation is that the overheated rhetoric about the Montessori Method is just a dog-and-pony show to get that high-priced, non-refundable tuition up front. It is for parents on visitation night, not for children in the classroom.

- submitted by a community member
December 20, 2011
We were so excited when our daughter got into this school - what a disappointment! Perhaps it was once a better school, but the directors are near retirement and seem to spend their time jetting around the world lecturing on Montessori methods. Very young teachers are working virtually unsupervised, especially at the Great Northern location, which is clearly an afterthought, and not the heart of the school. Worst is the arrogance of the staff. The attitude seems to be that they know best for your child, and parents are not welcome (except at the endless meetings where we are lectured on Montessori philosophy). Combine that arrogance with a healthy dose of pretension and the lack of experience in the teaching staff and you a recipe for disaster. And then there's the total lack of physical activity (walking only in the "outdoor environment"), the 30 student classrooms, and the incredibly unfriendly parents. After trying to make it work for two years, we were so happy to get out.

- submitted by a parent
November 20, 2011
AMS is school devoid of rules, resulting in the most embarrassingly self-important group of kids I've ever seen. Our child was severely bullied for months; faculty far more interested in giving longtime bullies additional chances than protecting kids being victimized. Kids are nasty and vulgar to each other and to teachers (oops, 'guides'), spitting and yelling at adults, refusing to be removed from the classroom, etc. Further, they DON'T ACTUALLY TEACH ANYTHING! The kids hang in a room full of books and microscopes, where they supposedly suck knowledge out of the air (which they don't - my high schooler has several ex-AMS classmates; she reports their most common way of solving problems is repeatedly guessing). AMS administers state standardized tests at the end of the year, but quietly files the results away (you have to proactively ask to see them). Why? Because they prove your kid's so far behind it's ridiculous. Faculty promises remediation; but you'll see reviews going back to 2008 describing the EXACT SAME PROBLEMS, so obviously there's no bite to their bark. If the above is good enough for you, save your $10k and send your kid to the public middle school on the corner.

- submitted by a parent
no rating March 09, 2010
My child has gone through the elementary and middle school programs at AMS, and I am sure he would not be half the person he is without that experience. Montessori claims to educate the 'whole child', and this school really delivers on that claim. They ask a lot of parents to learn their philosophy and parenting style (but give a lot of support, too), so be aware that it will be a challenging educational experience for the whole family if your family is anything like mine was when we started Montessori.

- submitted by a parent
November 16, 2009
I think all parents would agree that no school is perfect. We have been at Austin Montessori for almost 9 years and I feel very lucky to be part of this special community. My three daughters are thriving personally, academically and most importantly they LOVE to learn!

- submitted by a parent
November 03, 2009
Austin Montessori has been part of our lives for nearly 11 years now, and we are so grateful to have had such loving, caring & devoted teachers and administrators. The philosophy and curriculum have been a perfect fit. Thank you AMS for all of your dedication over the past years!

- submitted by a parent
no rating September 30, 2009
We have been in Austin Montessori for a while, and it is a great school. So much attention to every detail, such professionalism combined with a passion for educating and turning out brilliant, self-driven, mature, and compassionate citizens. Academically, the material/work is brilliant, the guides very involved. For a motivated child, the sky's the limit. And they educate parents on how to partner with the school to keep the children motivated about learning with frequent and fantastic parent education classes.

- submitted by a parent
September 03, 2009
My daughter is in the Toddler Community at AMS and we are thrilled with her growth and independence. She is developing her own will and is highly supported in this process. We are excited for her begin Children's House in the Spring and know she will continue to grow and develop in a healthy, natural environment. As for the parents who said their children were behind.... thats a relative statement and, actually, Montessori children tend to learn long division by 6 years of age. Please remember it's the parents responsibility to be an advocate for their child and to know what is going on in their child's social and academic world. To blame administration is not productive. Every school has its challenges AND challenging families. Either the philosophy works for your family or it does not.... be involved and watch your child- know your child. You'll know what is right.

- submitted by a parent
June 23, 2009
In 7 years at AMS, we saw both campuses, toddler thru elementary. We found many inconsistencies. AMS insinuates that families leave because they don t adhere to AMS culture. This is rarely true. Many love the culture, but leave because children fall behind academically, and/or because of bullying. Parents are rarely allowed in the classroom. Without homework, parents don t know where their children are academically. We pulled our child from elem. She was not getting any lessons. 11 other families left that class in less than 12 months, yet the abusive guide stayed 4 more months. AMS is on auto-pilot. AMS founders built a strong school but are almost retired. Some guides are outstanding, some are horrific. If a guide goes off the rails, there is little oversight. That said, overall we were very pleased. Our children learned to read & write by 5, and we loved the AMS community & culture.

- submitted by a parent
May 24, 2009
All three of my children started at Austin Montessori School long before they turned two, and have thrived academically, socially, and emotionally. All of their Guides (Teachers) have been especially gifted at working with children wherever they are in their development. The variety and depth of work is truly amazing. They look forward to going to school each and every day.

- submitted by a parent
February 18, 2009
I heartily agree with the the two reviews posted below. I am also in the process of tutoring my three boys who left Austin Montessori two years ago. Along with the academic issues, all three of them found the atmosphere stifling and depressing. I have been forced to take personal responsibility as a parent for subscribing to the Montessori philosophy while failing to acknowledge that my kids were unhappy.

- submitted by a parent
December 20, 2008
I cannot recommend Austin Montessori School beyond kindergarten. While the school's philosophies work well in theory, they do not translate well into the real world. My child was bullied in the classroom for months, both physically and verbally, by another child and the administration was unwilling to intervene. Over the four years that my children were enrolled, I have seen many families remove their children from AMS in frustration with the administration's refusal to acknowledge chronic problems. However lovely the Montessori philosophy, children need to be safe from bullies to learn.

- submitted by a parent
July 20, 2008
I would not reccomend AMS for any grade past kindergarten. The chasm between the schools academic philosophy and what actually happens is vast. During and since leaving AMS I have had to tutor all of my children to catch up in math ,writing and reading. We were told all along that 'it would all come together later', it did not. We trusted the experience of the 'guides' and administration to give us feedback, but we found them resistent and often uncooperative . If your child is extremely self motivated and does not need structure, this school may work for your child. Now that we have finally left the school two of my children are 2-3 grade years behind their peers and we are working to catch them up.All of the tutoring has been expensive.If you think your kids aren't where they should be academically,you are probably right.

- submitted by a parent
February 04, 2008
We have been at Austin Montessori School since my children were each 3 years old. My oldest is in 9th grade. The academic standards are very high. Sometimes it is hard to know what your child knows since there is not regular testing, but the children score well in standardized testing. My children have been involved in outside academic activities, and they have the tools that are required to do well in these activities.

- submitted by a parent
January 11, 2008
As a former staff member and future parent at Austin Montessori, I must say I have seen this school from the inside out and am excited about my child going there. I have met many wonderful young adults who have completed the middle school, and I think a more wonderful environment would be hard to find. I know as a former staff member that the school not only does extensive staff training on Montessori philosophy, but also puts forth real effort to address any parents' needs and concerns. I can't wait until my children can begin.

- submitted by a community member
no rating January 11, 2008
Great school! Great staff! Great community! What more can I say? Austin Montessori School is outstanding.

- submitted by a parent
July 24, 2007
I am amazed at the wonderful things going on at Austin Montessori! The teachers and staff are all highly trained, qualified educators with many years of experience and training in child development, education, and Montessori approaches. No other school in Austin respects a child's development more than Austin Montessori! I absolutely recommend this school for any parent.

- submitted by a parent
June 27, 2007
We chose AMS because it =offers parenting guidance in how to build children's competence and support their character development; =encourages planning and independence, outfitting children for the real world, =focuses on emotional development as much as their academic development. This is often more important in r The director has 30 yerars of experience helping children explore, learn, and develop their character. TV, Video games are discouraged. Children are instead encouraged to study, participate in family life, serve their community. There is a STRONG philosophical underpinning to the school..respect for the child's thoughts, feelings, and abilities (though parents set the rules.) Grads go on to public high school success. Elementary students work in small groups. Children progress in a different pattern from their standard elementary peers, but progress they do, and they gain greater maturity in the process, I think, than standard elementary students. Learn more before you decide either way.

- submitted by a parent
May 23, 2007
This school offers a wonderful environment - for students and parents. Parent education classes are a HUGE bonus here; helping to deal with issues of raising children, what is happening in their education and how to be integrate your parenting with their education.

- submitted by a parent
August 02, 2006
hi i was a student a AMS from kindergarten all the way too 5th grade. i left the school for kirby hall but my time their was enjoyable and unforgettable!!! the teachers are great and their are great kids their! you will make friends quickly!!! i love AMS and im said to leave it. they have a north campus for kids who live north for grades kinder-3 and a south campus for grades pre-k-6 then they have a middle school for grades 7-9! it is hands on learning and you get a lot of teacher/student time in their. i would recommend this school to anyone!!!

- submitted by a student
May 27, 2006
Amazing school. Very respectful of the development of the child. Changed our lives.

- submitted by a parent
April 28, 2006
This review submitted without content.

- submitted by a parent
April 22, 2006
Supportive staff , individual attention, creative freedom with good academics makes AMS really stand out as a private school. AMS parent for 8 years.

- submitted by a parent
November 09, 2005
My children have attended Austin Montessori School for five years. The experience has been fantastic. The school's approach is to develop a close-knit community of parents and children rooted in the values of care for one another, care for the environment, care for the person, and care for the mind. There is a lot of parent involvement in this school, and the guides are truly dedicated people who love the children and love their jobs.

- submitted by a parent
September 27, 2005
This has been the most wonderful environment for our daughter. She's attended the primary (preschool -Kindergarten) and elementary 1-3grades. She attends the upper elementary program now in the 5th grade.

- submitted by a parent
September 15, 2005
This is a wonderful school with great parent education programs and an extremely high level of parent involvement. Their philosophy is that the school is in partnership with the parents. My son wakes me up to get ready for school.

- submitted by a parent

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Last modified: December 04, 2014

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Austin Montessori School
5006 Sunset Trail, Austin, TX  78745
(512) 892-0253
Last modified Austin Montessori School is a Private school that serves grades PK-9
Austin Montessori School Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 36 reviews. Top