I am a parent of a child in the elementary classroom at MSA. I have read the previous poor reviews that were recently submitted and was dismayed. In my opinion, these reviews are not an accurate representation of the school, and in at least one case totally overblown and misleading. It is true that there have been issues, as happens at every school, but it's completely unfair to slam the school and the elementary program. I agree that some things may be handled better but to give such dire statements about physical assault is frankly ridiculous. I have another perspective on the situations they have mentioned. You can be assured that there was culpability on all parts, and that nothing rose to the level mentioned. My child was not a party to the events mentioned, but was attending the school and I can assure you that there's another, more balanced view. The teachers are as dedicated and caring as they come. My child has absolutely thrived at MSA and I cannot imagine a child receiving a more individualized, stimulating or complete education anywhere. This is a great school that will make sure your child is challenged while also working to their strengths, learning how to work cooperatively and in collaboration with others. If there is one thing I feel the school could do better is they need to upgrade the facilities. I would also appreciate a better use of social media and their website to get information out, showcase the school's programs and strengths and a more complete, professional administrative structure. Bottom line though, the school and staff are dedicated to the true principles of a Montessori education and care deeply about nuturing the whole child while giving them the best education possible.
My child attended preschool, kindergarten and elementary school at MSA. While the curriculum is excellent, it is important for prospective parents to know that multiple students in the elementary class in 2013 and 2014 were repeatedly bullied and assaulted (including pants being pulled down, etc.) over the course of several months. Despite repeated attempts to get the school to implement policies and disciplinary procedures, nothing was done and some parents ended up pulling out their children during the middle of the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 school years. If you are considering sending your child to this school, please ask to see the written policies of bullying and assault behavior and take every measure to ensure your child is safe at this school.
MSA was a great school in the past and continued to excel at the preschool level. But in recent years, the elementary classroom has gone downhill. It has the potential to be a great program, but the administration refused to listen to parents when there are problems, which has resulted in a mass exodus after about 2nd or 3rd grade. Many families who gave this school their all through volunteering and PTA leadership positions have given up and walked away. (Ratings are hard to do because the preschool is excellent - I'd send my children there again and again for preschool. But think twice before keeping a child there past 2nd grade).
This is an amazing school full of wonderful caring people. When I was researching preschool for my daughter I read some earlier reviews and was concerned about the care she may receive. After visiting the school and meeting the teacher, and the support staff I felt this was a great place for my daughter. My daughter has been attending this school for almost a year now and I have not been disappointed. Everyone from the head adminstrator to the bus driver are amazing. They all are very attentive and caring. My daughter has learned so much! I am so thankful we found such a wonderful school.
MSA has been a great school for my children. My son started at 3 1/2 and went through kindergarten. If we would have stayed in the area I would have hands down put him in the Elementary program! LOVED THE SCHOOL. My daughter started at 2 1/2 and went to the school two years before we moved. Both my children had a very positive experience. The staff are always very responsive and helpful in everything we have needed. My kids were both writing their name by 3 1/2 and learned so much at MSA. We miss the school and staff dearly!
Up until Spring, 2010 I would have happily and wholeheartedly endorsed the other comments here. Then, my 2 year old was left unattended in a locked classroom for an unknown amount of time. The staff's response was so far from professional, compassionate, and appropriate that I can't find the adjectives to describe it. My 5 year old got a concussion on the playground, and the staff endangered him by treating it improperly. Neither incident was reported to our family or according to VA's legal requirements. We had been with the school for 3 years and my son had excelled academically. My daughter was thriving in the pre-K program, but lack of regard for basic safety is untenable. Daycare staff have become lazy or just refuse to take standards of care seriously. The results of the state inspection can be found on Virginia's DSS website.
We love this school. Our son has attended since age three and is now 6 and completing Kindergarten. We will continue his education there for 1st grade and most likely through 3rd grade and move him into a G&T program in public school. He is doing math problems that I don't think I did until I was in 2nd grade. He adds and subtracts into the thousands. He reads books normally assigned to 2nd grade. He studies a variety of cultures and learns earth science. He has a Spanish class, a music class, takes gymnastics and has PE weekly. Most importantly our son loves going to school every day. The teachers are devoted to the students and the families are devoted to the school. The administrative staff is extremely helpful and caring. It is a great family atmosphere.
My daughter attended this preschool from age 3 through Kindergarten. When she left at age 6, she had had the benefit of a warm, nurturing environment and was reading two years above grade level. The teachers and staff here are warm, nurturing, and wonderful, and my daughter was exceptionally well prepared for the academic challenges awaiting her in public school in first grade.