My child attended only the upper grades - 6th through 8th and graduated from the Middle School. We could not have been happier with the teachers, the school leadership, the Montessori and IB format, and everything about the education this school offers. Too bad they had not started an Upper School yet because this education far surpasses anything we have experienced in a traditional Independent high school. Dallas is so lucky to have Alcuin as a choice in high schools starting next year; it will be one of the only private IB schools in town and I have no doubt it will be the model for IB schools everywhere.
Both my son and daughter attend Alcuin school. My son is in last yr of Primary and my daughter in her first yr of primary. I must say the school has far exceeded our expectations and it shows in our kids. They seem very well behaved and able to have a conversation with an adult about a variety of topics at age 3 and 5. Most importantly my kids love the school and we love the homely feel there. It seems that its been a while since someone wrote a review as the last one is from 2010. With all the good changes since 2010 and with our new principal Walter Sorenson's leadership, I can say the school has com a long way already.
We had our son attend from toddler through Primary and though traditional academics are not as strong as traditional private schools, he learned much more than he would have learned elsewhere. When he was 4 years old he knew all the capitals and flags of South America, even 6th graders don't know that! Geography and Math asides from practical life and culture are their fortes, but now our son who goes to another school has very high standardized test scores, is an incredible human being, extremely well behaved and respectful, everywehre he goes people compliment that about it, and we owe it all to the character development education he received here. At least let the kids finish Primary. There was an article on Dallas Child magazine a few years back that most national leaders (CEO level positions) had Montessori training in their earlier years. What does that tell you?
We have been at St. Alcuin for 13 years and have had an outstanding experience at every level from toddler through middle school. It is extremely important for parents to learn about and understand the Montessori philosophy in order to fully appreciate their child's education at St. Alcuin. The Montessori philosophy can make you a better parent if you make the effort to absorb it. Montessori can benefit every child, but it's not for every parent. If you want your child to develop into a self-confident, compassionate, independent, self-reliant, creative thinker who is ready to take on any challenge, this is the school for you. If you're looking for an academic pressure cooker that will teach your child to perform well on tests without thinking for him/herself, then you should look elsewhere.
My children had excellent education here it was highly focused on individual learning and development as a traditional montessori learning environments are. My children can read and write in essay format at age six. They were able to do basic algebra and were ahead of most of their peers including ones in Highland Park. My daughter got right into Hockaday School for girls after the first testing process. Her teacher at St. Alcuin gets plenty of credit for her development. I was pleased with the primary years especially at this school. I decided to keep my son longer and he has recently been accepted to St. Marks. If you want your children to succeed and be ahead of other kids this is the place to start and go up to 8th if you wish.
St. Alcuin is an amazing and unique learning environment. It offers a Montessori-based education which nurtures the whole child. I have 2 children there- one in primary and the other in toddler. In our 4 years there, I have only positive things to say! Our teachers have been caring, responsive, fully engaged and aware of my children's progress level. As a former educator, I know my children are receiving the ultimate education. My oldest child is working years ahead of her age range and the independence that my son shows from his time in toddler is astounding! Before applying to this school, it would be best to research the Montessori philosophies. Families that are knowledgeable on this type of education have the best experience here.
the Toddler program is truly unique and the young children's curiosity is fostered. The campus is lovely and each classroom has its own garden. The parent community is energized and contributes greatly. Primary on up, the student numbers increase dramatically -- 25+ children to a class with only one teacher and an assistant who is mostly a playground monitor and doesnt teach the children lessons. In one Elementary class there were 28 kids! It's not humanly possible for one teacher to monitor closely, nuture and assess that many students who make up three different age levels. As a result, the parent/teacher conferences lack specific information on how the child is doing and the teacher is vague and defensive. If the child is having any kind of behavorial issues and the school can't resolve it, they'll freely diagnosis your child with some kind of 'problem' and suggest having them evaluated.
My child studied in this school for just one year in the lower elementary. More than 22 students in that class and one teacher. I do not think that my child has learned anything from this school. Done an ERB test, in the report, school average is below national average. There is no regular feedback about the student, two conferences that is it. Even when the neighborhood schools have classes this school doesnot have class. This is a money milking unit. As a montessori school there is no activity that makes him/ her independent. These kids are taking home sheets of paper for money collection from parents rather than their school work. Computerised conference reports hardly give any feedback about kids. After the second conference in March 2nd week there are no new lessons to these kids who goes to upper elementary. I will not recommend this school to anybody.
St. Alcuin is an incredible place to be. It is the school I wish I could have attended as a child. The students are very happy and they love learning. When they graduate in 8th grade, they are able to attend the high school of their choice.
St. Alcuin is an outstanding school! The Montessori environment allows students to be introduced to very complex concepts at a young age. My five year old is doing division and my three year is spelling words phonetically. The teachers are knowledgeable, conscientious and kind. It is a great place.
I attended Saint Alcuin for my whole life and i enjoyed and found helpful the primary/toddler years. Every grade past that was filled with under qualified teachers, and was extremely lacking structure and discipline. I am 14 years of age and just graduated from this school. My middle school years were spent under the care of teachers so under qualified that one sudent was forced to re study 'Algebra 1' because the teacher was not able to teach him 'Algebra 2'. I would never refer this school to anyone i know.
Communication with the teachers is non existent. Not a friendly environment for a child. Classes are way to big for any one on one time. My son had 33 kids in his class age 2.5 (his age) to 6. I placed him in another school and he's excelled. He's writing and learning to read at age 3! St. Alcuin is more for the parents than the students.
We have been at St. Alcuin for 9 years, through the Toddler, Primary, and Elementary programs. Our children's experiences have been amazing...they have progressed extremely well academically, and they are becoming the self-confident, thoughtful, aware, questioning, well-rounded, self-reliant individuals we want them to be.
Our family found the primary program to be wonderful, but the elementary level left little to be desired. After one year in the elementary program we moved to another school. We were disappointed with the level of academics as well as the communication with the teachers and elementary director. We also felt the after school activities were poorly planned and not worth the money.
St. Alcuin is a wonderful school with a dedicated group of parents that are very involved. The school itself is very good at keeping parents informed about the various events going on at the school. However, communication with the teachers is very strict and limited, making you feel as the only time you are allowed to talk to them is during the 2 x year conferences. I had many problems with communication with one teacher, asked for my child to be moved to another classroom, only to get a teacher who was just as bad at communicating.
This is a school that impacts the whole being of the child. The true education of a citizen of the world is definitely the carefully laid out plan; beginning with the infant all the way through the middle school years.
St. Alcuin was a wonderful school for our son, especially the Toddler & Primary years. However, his 1st & 2nd grade experience was terrible, and we transferred him to a traditional private school. There is a big difference between the quality of the Primary program & the lack of structure & feedback in the Elementary curriculum.
We loved this school for our 3 year old. The school is AMI certified, and the best Montessori school that we have found (CA and TX). We loved it for preschool, but would have probably transferred after Kindergarten (we prefer more traditional approach after Kindergarten)
Great school for toddler through primary, not sure about lower elememtry.
This is an excellent school with great teachers and staff, as well as a wonderful, highly involved parent group. It is a Montessori School, therefore, it is highly recommended you research what Montessori is really about and judge for yourself if it is a good fit for your children and your style of parenting. It is not unstructured but it teaches children to think for themselves and make decisions on their own, and respects each child's learning level rather than telling everyone in the class, for example, it is 10 o'clock so it is time to learn addition. Some children will be past addition and working on division, while others are still working on the concept of addition. The children choose their work and are expected to complete certain learning tasks in a given time period, which allows teachers to focus on the individuals rather than just the entire group.
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