Potential Parents please be aware! My 10-year-old son was enrolled at Starwood Montessori school and all was well until he spoke up and told his teacher in the classroom that he was being bullyed. Directly after that the end of school day he was expelled from the school without discussion, investigation, or explanation. Upon my arrival at the school the head of school was not available to discuss the situation nor was I allowed to speak to the teachers and my tuition check was returned to me and my son was escorted to the front door. He did nothing wrong but be further victimized by speaking up to bullying. So I’m writing this to inform other parents of this issue because bullying behavior is dangerous to our children and that’s is exactly why there are laws against them. Potential parents please be aware!
Both my children have attended Starwood Montessori since they were toddlers. My children are thriving and are last ahead academically versus other peers in more traditional daycare settings. The attention to education and children's individual needs is amazing. The after school activity choices offered during aftercare hours is really great as well as it allows for children to gain other skills and really helps manage the family time. The teachers are great! The staff really puts a lot of thought into which teacher is the right match for your child.
I have both of my children at Starwood, one who has just entered the toddler program and another who has been there for 4 years. After very disappointing experiences in other schools, Starwood was a godsend. My children's development has been carefully monitored and nurtured, and the environment is intensely focused on their individual growth. There are after school programs available every day (for a separate charge). The administrative staff is remarkably attentive and responsive. The grounds are always immaculately presented, as are the teachers. Every classroom is well organized and kept tidy (mostly by the students, no less - it's just part of the culture). On the downside, parking space is limited and attending parent-student events can be frustrating. Also, plan of packing lunch, because the catered service is, like anywhere else I've seen, mediocre (that is if you're shooting for health and not simply trying to please kids with pizzas and sloppy joes).
I am absolutely in love with this school! After having a bad experience at a private daycare in Frisco, I checked out every Montessori in Frisco and narrowed it down to Starwood and another. But, what set Starwood apart is the service and courtesy that was shown to me before I even went to visit. The Director was the first person to contact me from the online form (which was very nice). She answered every one of the 20+ questions I had before I got without getting frustrated or inpatient. Once I visited, there was no question as to the care & education my daughter would receive at Starwood. The Admissions Director, Sarah put us right at ease, the school is top notch and they keep an open door policy. The Director is accessible any time you have questions. I think she even answered one of my emails late in the evening. What I also love about Starwood is they treat you like family. Because I love it so much, I have already reserved a spot for my 13 month old to enter in January and am trying to talk my 9 year old to moving over next year. My three year old has come home super happy every day this week and I have even noticed that her behavior problems have almost disappeared.
My child was in a primary classroom for a calendar year with a break for summer. Academically, the program has been excellent for my child, who is reading and doing simple math prior to kindergarten. The school is clean, orderly, quiet and calm. On the down side, lunch has to be packed because the hot lunch provider is not good. They do refrigerate lunches. The outdoor playground in very small and there isn't a big enough outdoor space for bigger kids to really run around. They have a gym and movement class once a week, but the class didn't go outside to play every day; only when the weather was perfect, rather than not going out only when the weather was bad. The car pool lane available to non-Starwood residents is too small and crowded, creating dangerous congestion on Lebanon, and there's usually nowhere to park in the too small lot. The school has a lot of days off. This is difficult for working parents. They set up expectations for a lot of parent participation in activities resulting in disappointment for kids if parents can't be there. The excellent academics may justify the inconvenience and inadequately sized facility if Montessori methods are a good fit for your child.
Both of my grandchildren are a part of the Starwood family. Their experiences have been positive ones regardless of the level or rooms in which they are placed. As an educator, I know what to look for and Starwood has everything that is good for kids. They learn how to learn, which is paramount to success in school and life in general . Establishing good study habits and learning how to explore central ideas is the root of all learning. I ve had several students who attended Montessori schools and all of them had good study habits, which aided in their overall success in school. While some may see the school as sterile and cold, I see it as a healthy environment for learning life skills. As for the director, I had the privilege of having her in my class many years ago. She is smart, caring, and dedicated. She runs a tight ship because she has the lives of our precious children in her hands and those of her teachers. I am about to have a new grandchild and when she is old enough, she too will attend Starwood until she is ready for public school.