Don't make the same mistake I did and overlook the clear examples of bullying I saw while visiting the school. I dismissed obvious cliques formed in preschool because of the reputation and school setting. In certain classes, mean girls rule. Moms at playdates actually tell their 5-year-old not to eat too much because they will get fat. Montessori education only works if the parents and teachers are onboard to treat each other kindly. This is just not the case here.
Probably the worst school this side of the lake. Long overdue for a new director, ineffective "teaching", and bullying by the teachers. The other students and parents are nice, it's the administration that is lacking. Be prepared to supplement your child's education with tutoring or having to hold him/her back once you get out in the academic world. This school scores terribly on standardized testing and doesn't seem to care. Blaming Montessori is not the real answer there are other montessoris that score well.
I am a former teacher from WhiteRock, who taught in the Pre-School for 4 years. After working in several Montessori schools in Dallas and North Carolina and England, I feel I need to comment. WhiteRock is the most professional school I have worked out, out of 20 years teaching experience. Contrary to several comments that the teachers training is lacking - I found that the teachers at WhiteRock had more prior academic training (degrees especially) and a great wealth of Montessori qualifications. Montessori is not patented, so many schools can say they are Montessori, but they are not - WhiteRock is an authentic Montessori environment. It is also the only Montessori school I have worked in where the Director observes the teachers regularly, assess them and is fully aware of what is going on in the classrooms and has a daily hand in situations that may occur. I had never witnessed any bullying - on the contrary, it was a most peaceful and exemplary school, always leading the children by example.
MY SCHOOL ROCKS!!!! I am currently an eighth grader at White Rock Montessori, and the school is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I have gone there for eleven years and my sister went for eleven years before me. I thoroughly enjoy going to school every day and love my teachers. There has never been any staffing issues, and the vast majority of the kids love their teachers. Not only do we have amazing programs (just one example: BBBS- where the older kids get a preschool buddy and get to play with them once a month) we have amazing assignments. I have never said I don't want to go to school in the morning except when I feel bad. Do not listen to those people who say our school is bad- they have never gone. And by the way, our Principal is amazing, we all love her. Hippy chicken school all the way!
The grounds and facility are beautiful, however the director is cold and judgmental. The pre-K teachers vary greatly.
White Rock Montessori is a poor example of what a Montessori school should be. After taking a tour with the school director, I was less than impressed. Many of the teachers have minimal Montessori training. More emphasis seems to be placed on the look and upkeep of the school than on a solid academic foundation. Check out the Stanford scores for further proof.
Don't waste your money or one year of your child's education at this school. The director is cold and unwilling to listen to concerns reguarding bullying issues. Most schools have bullying policies,this school does not. If the emotional well being of your child is important to you, look at other Montessori schools that have effective leadership.
I will sell my blood to keep my kids enrolled at WRMS. My daughter has such a love of learning, respect for individuals, animals and nature. She is bilingual and so she is not on the same level as some of her other peers but now with age I can see her catching to the others and we have been very happy with the school. Our youngest will start next year and we are excited!
I am please with the priceless education my daughter in getting at WRMS she just talk about her school all the time can't wait to get their the next day.This is an expireance that she will loved with years to come.
After reading the various reviews on WRMS, I felt the need to address a few comments. Saying this school does not measure up academically and is basically for 'gifted' children is totally not true. I have two daughters than attended this school (from age 3 through 8th grade). They have both excelled by attending WRMS even though one of them was dyslexic and struggled through reading and math. Thanks to the support of her teachers and especially Mrs. Newman (who works with dyslexic children) along with the high level of curriculum offerred by White Rock, not only is Anna taking advanced classes at the BTWPerforming Arts School, she makes the honor roll. Her favorite classes are math, english and physics! She has come so very far thanks to this outstanding school!!!!!!
This is truly an exceptional school. The teachers are so warm and loving. It's about as close to home school as you can get. We love the fact that the school is also on a beautiful creek lot which encourages the children to be in nature. We are so happy that our children are allowed this wonderful experience.
Our daughter is entering her final year at White Rock Montessori. She has been enrolled there since age 3, she will be leaving the 8th grade this year; 2009-2010. The freedom that she has experienced in all areas has provided her an excellent opportunity to grow and excel academically as well as socially. There is no doubt that this type of educational opportunity is not right for every child or even every family. It has been outstanding and will continue to be so for those that get involved in the educational process of their child. If you are looking for an opportunity to give you child a safe, warm and friendly place to learn and grow, I doubt you ll do any better than WRM.
My daughter attended WRMS for two years. Whether or not WRMS works for you completely depends on your unique situation. If you have a gifted child who is in need of social development, by all means WRMS would be a great place. I agree with what many have said about weak academics, emphasis on kindness and respect 'touchy-feely', and I would add to that that WRMS tends to really encourage individualism. I would not recommend this school for most kids, as I feel most kids thrive from the sense of satisfaction they get from achieving goals that have been clearly set out for them. They will not get this at WRMS.
I have a daughter in her second year of preschool and have been very impressed with the school as a whole. There is a strong emphasis on the natural world and ensuring that the kids really understand what they are learning. My daughter attends a daycare/preschool in the afternoons, and consequently, I have had the opportunity to see how she reacts to different environments. At WRMS, she is more confident, independent, outgoing and calm. I also appreciate the lessened emphasis on competition, which is already apparant in the daycare environment.
My daughter has been enrolled at WRM since age 3+. She has flourished at the school, done extremely well on standardized testing that is required. If parents need a program that place importance on listen and repeat learning styles, this may not be the best place for them. If however, you are looking for an environment that is pleasant, and allows the foundation of thinking to be developed in a sound way, I can highly recommend it. While I did feel a bit overwhelmed by fund raising efforts the first few years we were there, you realize it is all going to the school. The school also has an off site facilities that allows the students experiences in nature. Located a few hours drive south, the students can spend from a day to a week learning in an outdoor environment.
The academics are lacking. There is a great amount of emphasis on the fluff that should accompany academics (kindness, respect). It would be great if the fluff accompanied a solid academic foundation. The school community repeatedly 'sells' itself to itself, celebrating itself in many ways. The parents are very nice overall, as are the teachers and children, but be prepared for egotism/one-upmanship in areas such as who is more organic or eco-friendly. Fundraising is a major priority.
Our eldest child attended WRMS from age 3 to age 9, and those preschool years were wonderful for her. The program changed over time, however, with an enrollment of 22 kids and 2 teachers in preschool, to 30 kids and 2 teachers. The elementary program is lightweight academically, zero challenge for a child who is ready to learn; there is no writing in lower elementary, no memorization of math facts, and the children flounder on standardized tests. The school will tell you it is b/c of Montessori's method of learning. This school would be wonderful if it would simply strengthen its core academics. We ultimately had to leave the school b/c the curriculum was so poor that we feared our children would face real gaps in their learning if we stayed. The people and environment were wonderful and nurturing. The tuition was high and teachers were underpaid.
This school is safe and nurturing, with nice facilities. The staff/teachers are empathic. Montessori is about a child learning at his/her own pace. What happens at WRMS is that the child who learns at a slower rate is celebrated, while the child who is ready for accelerated learning is neglected. If a parent raises the issue, some of the elementary teachers are defensive and are not flexible enough to be receptive to modifying their approach, based on the child's level of learning. Overall, the people are great there, but the academics are just lacking. The elementary curriculum centers around peacefulness and respect, not writing, literature, mathematics. It felt like a great, open-minded, non-denominational Sunday school class, rather than an academic institution.
We have two children- a set of twins- in the preschool program at WRM and we love it. The kids get very personalized attention. We share the values of other parents that sent their children to this school. Our twins have grown so much in just one year!
Both of my daughters are in pre-school at White Rock. All of those preschool teachers are kind, respectful and very sweet. Even to the little boys who can be a handful. The rest of the school is amazing. White Rock is a hidden jewell being behind CasaLinda. I observe all the children there - they seem so confident and peaceful. Highly recommend anyone looking for Montessori to tour & do an observation and make their own judgement - it's a great place!
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