This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Good Shepherd Montessori School2
Posted June 06, 2014
- a parent
I am incredibly sad, but GSMS school has essentially fallen apart. The staff have been wonderful, but my son has had 4 different teacher leave for various reasons. I'm getting the feeling staff are being paid less than promised and asked to work longer hours than they are being paid for. His head teacher left, effective immediately thanks to the owner. Apparently it could not wait 6 weeks. Just a poor decision. All the turnover was separately explainable, but altogether it's just too much and tells me that something is wrong. Now, of the remaining 8 staff at the school, 6 are leaving, even teachers that have been there for over a decade, which is a definite red flag. Also, the owner announced at the last PTO meeting that the school will no longer have mandatory chapel or be a Christian school. I'm so sad things ended like this, but the staff are in no way to blame. Maybe one day this school can get back the the wonderful place it once was, but without new ownership, I do not see that happening.
My son has been in the lower elementary program for about a year and a half. After a very bad experience in public school, I have seen him blossom with Mrs. Austin. She is such a dedicated and kind-hearted teacher that loves all children. He also loves the addition of Mrs. Amy in the after school program so much that he gets upset when he is picked up early because he doesn't want to miss her daily craft. We came during the transition of the new owners and I admit that in the beginning I had concerns, but now I feel like we are apart of a family that has my child's best interests at heart. Change is tough. Leonie and Deb in the office have been very proactive in concerns with my son (regarding him, not the school itself) and I feel like all of GSMS rallied around us as we went through a rough patch to ensure his success. If you are looking for state of the art, shiny and new you will be disappointed. This is an older school but well loved. It feels like home. We are truly blessed to be at GSMS. Beth M.
If you are looking for a school environment where your child is nurtured and encouraged to be who he or she wants to be while discovering the joy of learning, then GSMS is that place! The children have a very strong sense of confidence, leadership, and are accepting of each other. Our children have benefited from this great learning and community-building experience at GSMS. They are doing well academically which is very important to us as parents, but when you also consider the value to a child of a great foundation built on kindness, acceptance, and self-confidence - to a parent, that is priceless for the child's future! The teachers and staff at GSMS are all very caring, nurturing, and great with the children! I think this is a place that every child should have a chance to experience, and I encourage any parent searching for a school to visit GSMS!
We began the enrollment process six months ago, fully disclosing our son s dairy allergy, his care plan, and other food sensitivities. Staff expressed no concerns; our deposit accepted. We began planning his transition here; thus discontinuing current child care arrangements. Less than two weeks before our son was to begin, we received notification from GS that per the Department of Licensing; he could not be admitted because they would have to become dairy-free. Receiving this information at such a late date caused undue stress regarding our son s childcare. Food allergic kids attend school daily with epi-pen plans. We have not found any school required by licensing to be dairy-free for admission; an unreasonable accommodation vs epi-pen plan. After more commutation with staff, it was apparent GS was reluctant to accept him evident by: request we sign a liability waiver; assertion that Licensing required they become dairy-free; initial notification that our admission was being rescinded and deposit returned. Last minute notifications and several decision reversals show administrative capacity lacks. Coupled with reluctance to accept our son, he will not be attending here.
Curious, creative, confident, compassionate, considerate, and independent - aren't these the qualities we would all like to see in our children? My husband and I are very happy to note that these are the qualities we see in our child who has been a student at Good Shepherd Montessori for the past 6 years. We did a lot of school-searching before selecting Good Shepherd and we are glad we did. Yes, there have been many changes at the school in the time our child has been a student there (especially in this past year with new ownership), but none of those changes has ever interfered with his learning or his school experience. What excites us (and many other families and faculty members) about the new ownership of the school is their whole-hearted commitment to sustaining Good Shepherd as a classical Christian Montessori school here in McKinney, and their vision for the future in terms of improved facilities and growth. Our child's education is always a top priority for us, and choosing Good Shepherd has been one of the best choices we have ever made.
My family has been with Good Shepherd for a number of years, through the original owners and now with the new owners. GSMS is an exceptionally good Montessori school. No, it is not perfect. The changes that have happened, and have needed to happen, began before the new owners retired and sold the school. After 30 years in education, the 2 owners have left. Also the long time Primary teacher left after about 30 years of teaching Montessori. Those things sadly do happen. When the original owners suddenly left, they did leave the new leaders with a lot of work. Although the new owners don't have a lot of experience with Montessori, from what I see they have a lot of respect for it and want to do all they can to keep GSMS outstanding and Christian. The changes in staff that have happened this past semester were positive changes. There needs to be a Montessori certified teacher in every class and now there is again. The people who don't understand about loving and respecting the children in a Montessori way (by encouraging the child to independently shine instead of the adult entertaining the child) are those who have complaints. GSMS is beautiful,improving, & your child'll love it.
I am very sorry but I have to give a no star rating for GSMS. We have been there for a few years now and are so unhappy with all the changes that have happened this year and all of the good teachers leaving. We have just had enough as we now learn that two more teacher are now gone. It was very hard for our children to learn that more teachers are gone. We tried to stick it out as they were under new ownership and like one of the statements below, you have no idea who is the director. One person in the office claims to be a director, but then you have one of the lead teachers sending emails as director. So many of the parents are also unhappy and just like them we are going to be looking elsewhere. This school used to be great under the old owners, but I don't see them lasting long with who they have running it now and with all of great teachers gone.
The school is in transition. The ownership change over the summer has resulted in an tumultuous year with a great deal of turn over. One primary class lost their lead teacher abruptly (students were not able to say good bye) and the school put a replacement teacher in without telling any of the parents first. That teacher resigned and there was a substitute and now there is another teacher in there (she seems great). The other primary classroom lost a teacher at semester and have a new teacher. The poor toddlers started the year with two teachers and are finishing the year with two entirely new teachers. In the interim, someone who was hired to work in the office was placed in the classroom. She is neglectful at best with the students and harmful in some ways - yelling at students and being too harsh with them physically. The PE teacher abruptly left this past week after two successful events that she organized. Consider inquiring about turnover before joining. We are leaving this year after several years at the school. I think the potential is there, you just have to be willing to work through the struggle. We did this year and hoped it would settle. It has not so far.
Unfortunately I must agree 100% with the previous parents negative review. Not only do I agree I have a feeling our children were in the same class. I let my husband read previous review and he asked, "did you write this?" We have two children at GSMS and have been enrolled for 3 years. Problems started with the new owners shortly before the school year began. Teacher turnover has been concerning to say the least. Most of the loving teachers have left or been let go two awesome teachers just this Friday. GSMS prides itself on being " classic Montessori ". Someone at GSMS has redefined What true montessori teaching means and to the disadvantage of these precious children. Pre school age children need a love and also need positive afirmations to grow and mature. After most of the loving teachers left the school feels stern and very rigid. By no means would I ever recommend this school to ANYONE. I have spoken with other parents who have the same concerns and who also will NOT be returning to GSMS. If you want your child to be in a safe loving environment where they can thrive this is definitely not the place.
I thought this was a great school at first. I could not be more wrong. My child was at first very excited and would say she wanted to go to learn more" works". Now she does not want to go to school. I have asked why and all I could get from her is that she is scared. I decide to go and observe, which was pointless because they make you schedule a visit. This made more red flags go up for me. They make you watch in another room through a window and you can't really hear what is going on. From what I did see, one teacher is stern the other teacher looks scared. I could clearly see why my child seems to only talk about the one teacher and not the other. I have talked to other parents in the class and have found that a lot of them are not coming back. The school has a new owner and most of the good teachers have left. The few that are still there don't seem to look happy. I want to talk to the director in the office but I get emails from one of the teachers and she states that she is the director. I don't know which one is really in charge or who to talk to. I am very frustrated and will not re-enroll my child. Other parents should go somewhere else too.