MCDS is a wonderful community of hard working teachers and an incredible administrative team.
My son is thriving in his environment,and it is due to the passion and commitment of the teachers.
The families make an effort to include ALL children in birthday parties, etc...and the admin team organizes several events throughout the year to help families come together. I am grateful for the experience with MCDS and will continue to trust this network of educators with my son until he moves on to first grade.
I will start with the good. There are a lot of good lead teachers and aides that care for the kids. The Montessori methodology is applied well, but they can use it to mask disorganization and loose leadership. The administration is HORRIBLE. They do not take feedback well, and for all that you pay to go there they aren't very customer service oriented. It's a very "we know what's best" mentality and any questions will be treated as "not a good fit" for the school. The school does not promote community and it appears it doesn't do so because they don't want the parents comparing notes or providing feedback to improve the school. There's lots of turnover for the lowel level personel and I hear they aren't treated very well. There are better schools... sad to say we thought paying alot here meant quality.
The head teacher is excellent & is the only reason I gave a star to this place, but she leaves at 3 every day. There is high turnover for the rest of the teachers. Expensive. They charge ~$1600/m + extra fees. They ask you to bring snack every couple of weeks for 20+ kids. If you are late to pick up your child, it's $1/min, however if there are multiple teachers who stay until you get their you get charged per teacher. Who needs more than one teacher for a toddler? The area is undergoing gentrification There are some sketchy apts across the street & construction behind the school. We were only invited to open house. The daycare my son attended before this one (which we were sad to leave) invited parents to events twice a month. They had potluck parties for the parents, pumpkin picking, etc. This place doesn't do any of that. ADMIN is just terrible. We were working with someone on a bill discrepancy and she called in sick one day so the person covering for her left us a msg to either pay or pick up our child immediately. I was IRATE. They are closed on the most random days as well as 2 wks for xmas & a week during spring break. They don't open until 7am.
My son was there for over 2 years, and it ultimately was traumatic. He had an undiagnosed hearing issue, & looking back, the chaotic house-style school full of background noise explains his behavior. Older kids constantly telling kids what to do (but wrong) when teachers weren't in that 1 of many rooms (lots of unsupervised interaction). High pressure (from academic-demanding parents & from teachers checking boxes) meant he had to only pick "challenging" work & could never play with cars. Only lip service for modifications for individual kids. Not good for "different" kids. Attitude was very "don't do it your way, we'll do it our way," about potty-training until they failed 2 times. Then it was "he can't move up to the 3-6 class until he's potty-trained, so you have to find a new school." I kept him home a week and trained him myself. When I finally moved him to a different Montessori with a calm atmosphere (all kids on rugs at same time, same room) he was fine and happy. High turnover in teachers. Kids seemed stressed & unhappy.
I am giving 4 stars to the teachers and -5 stars to the administration at MCDS. When I first visited the school in 2012, the director was flexible and explained to me that even though there was a one-week standard transition, we could extend or shorten the transition period based on our child's needs. However, a new director took over in 2013 when my child started and I was told that we had to stick to the one-week transition, regardless of whether the child adjusted well or not. The new administrators do not believe in individuality. If your child is precocious or lagging behind, they will NOT go out of the way to help advance the child. If your child can master what is required to advance to the next class before he/she turns 3, the school will not allow your request to advance the child. On the other hand, the school will not provide extra guidance/attention to your child if he/she cannot master a certain skills by the expected age. This school will for if your child is an average Joe. The teachers are caring but turnover at the school is high. We have had at least 6 different teachers in the short year that my child was with MCDS.
I cannot say enough about MCDS. Our children started attending at 18 months and have steadily grown with regard to social, verbal, and motor skills. We have developed a great partnership with their teachers, who are SO good at what they do. The school does a great job of keeping parents involved; I have found the parent education classes to be particularly valuable. Maybe most importantly, my children love to go to school!
Our daughter has been in this school since she was an infant and is now two. They are amazing in every way. When she started, she refused to take a bottle instead of nursing. She couldn't sleep without being held. They loving coached her (as an infant!) to develop those skill and start doing more. The children drink from cups, sit in real chairs, use their words (or sign language) to express their needs, and learn to be responsible for cleaning their materials and bodies. The potty training system is amazing, and makes it almost effortless. She already has many more school skills then I would have thought possible at this age. Their parent education classes have helped me learn about brain development and positive discipline, which have made a huge difference in alleviating her two-year old struggles with frustration, anger, and independence. We have a lot of friends who send their children here, and everyone is very pleased.
My son just completed his program (4 years! ) at MCDS. I cannot imagine that I could have found a better environment for him. If you are fortunate enough to get a spot at MCDS, be patient and believe in what they are doing. The more open you communicate with the staff, the better they can help your child prosper. My son emerged from MCDS with a love for learning, is well rounded culturally, academically, and socially. He is strong academically, and his new teacher has already commented that he is well advanced. I'm amazed that there are negative reviews. It may not be the best fit for everyone, but you could say that about any school. It was clear from the beginning that they were very focused on the child and the learning environment. They are not going to coddle you or your child, but trust me you will be thankful and looking back in admiration. I never had any problems with the administration, faculty, or staff. Over the years I have come to know many families at MCDS, and none of them have ever posted a review. We all agree that MCDS has provided a solid foundation that will shape their lives and propel them into wonderful people and citizens.
We started off liking this school, but over time became unhappy with several things. The thing we are most unhappy with is that he broke his arm at school. We also noted a high teacher turnover. Some of the teachers are working toward their Montessori certification, so there is a finite point at which the teachers will trade age groups. We have now switched schools to a more structured program, and our child is thriving. At MCDS, I received very little art work, as the claim was that he was not interested in working with the materials, which I know to be very important for working with fine motor skills. Now that we have changed schools, I get some sort of art work every day! He is now writing his name and working with all kinds of materials. Montessori is not the right environment for everyone. It certainly wasn't for my child, and he now does quite well.
I would like to echo the comments from the previous post. My son who is 2 and a half has been going to the wichita campus since he turned 18months. He did not know one word of english before starting (we both speak to him in a different language at home) and he is now fluent. He also knows his colors, numbers and abcs in english. He has developed amazing social skills, is potty trained and has great maners. He is always happy to go to school and even tells us ok bye its time to leave now mom :) I would like to thank the teachers at the wichita campus, especially patiricia who is amazing with children. Good job! My only complaint is the high teacher turn around at the begining of the year but this seems to have calmed down. Teachers need to be given better incentives and encouragment from both parents and management, after all they are in charge of our most precious person, our child.