My twins are in a primary montessori class. This school has been wonderful in their approach in making the whole school one community. It has a small but active PTA and the teachers have been amazing. Very responsive to questions and concerns. This school is very diverse in socio-economic areas, as well as hosting various programs for special education, including a MIPA class. Drew also offers a peace program with a peace room that allows students to work out conflicts on their own with an adult moderator.
We have been really happy with Drew. Our child is in the Montessori program and her teacher is top-notch. Contrary to the previous poster, we have seen no issues with bullying. The school administration seems to work hard to make sure this isn't a problem. Also contrary to the previous poster, my child's montessori experience last year included multiple (5+) "going outs" -- experiential learning in the community. My child ate lunch in her classroom. Drew is still in the process of forming a strong community. However, I think it is well on the way to doing so -- the PTA is now quite robust. The school is incredibly diverse, and if you value the opportunity for your child to learn in an environment with children from many different backgrounds, this is it. I'm not sure you can find this level of diversity in any other Arlington school. But most importantly, my child learned a lot, and is getting a great, student-driven, well-rounded education -- not the cookie cutter experience of many other elementary schools.
Drew has alot of issues that they are working through. Compared to other Arlington schools, I think it is well below average. Just this year I know of at least 5 parents who have pulled their student out of the Montessori program at Drew because of issues relating to bullying and the qualtity of instruction. I know of at least 3 others that might do the same. There is a disconnect between the philosophy of Maria Montessori and the actual practice at Drew. The principal is well aware and is trying to address the issue of rudeness from some of the teaching and office staff towards the children. Multiple parents have complained about this. There have not been any going outs in the 4 years my child has been at that school (despite that it was in a promo video of theirs), and most of the Montessori students eat in the crowded loud cafeteria, not the classrooms due to a previous mouse problem and the teachers preference. There is a lack of community and the PTA struggles. Their budget is way below other N. Arlington schools. There are great Montessori teachers at Drew but some really bad ones too. I love Montessori but think Drew doesn't deliver.
I have 2 kids in the Montessori program and could not be happier with the quality of their teachers. Drew has an incredible faculty. Both my kids are excited to go to school every day and totally thriving. The librarian and library are excellent, and the school has a fantastic arts program bolstered by a relationship with the Kennedy Center. The Montessori program is a welcome alternative to traditional education with mixed-age, diverse classes where each child learns at her own pace and the teacher never has to teach to the middle of the class. There is far less homework than in a traditional school, and the Montessori math materials that teach even complicated math concepts through concrete beads, checkerboards, and blocks mean students really understand the concepts rather than simply memorize math equations. Housing the Montessori program within a traditional school is not ideal, but the building and grounds are spacious and kept up relatively well. Because it is a county-wide school, there is less cohesiveness and parent involvement than there might be in a neighborhood school, but since the PTA was established 3 years ago, parent involvement is improving each year.
Don t like the way some of the new teachers at Drew handle things with their students. wish things could change bt at this moment we don t recommend drew to any one anymore.
Our child is attending the Montessori program at Drew as a first year student. We have been impressed by her development and constant motivation to learn new lessons. The staff is amazing...from when the children enter onto to the school grounds to the follow-up call from the office making sure your child is missing a day from school with your permission. Great place to have a child start their education and develop life friends.
Drew is a unique county-wide school offering both a Montessori program and traditional graded program. We feel fortunate to be a part of the Drew and Montessori community. It is wonderful to have the option of Montessori education in the public school system. We also appreciate the school's diversity. The programs at Drew are thriving and growing because they are in such demand in the county. In my experience, the teachers are dedicated, creative and well-qualified, and the administration is responsive and caring. The Library and its staff are top-notch. The PTA has a small but very committed group of parents and is actively working to increase parent involvement (frankly, this a challenge for any school that draws children county-wide with a large percentage of bus riders). A school is more than just test scores, so if you are interested in Drew I highly recommend looking beyond the numbers. Ask to see the data of test scores by program, and in particular look at the improvement in scores in the last several years. I am completely confident that my children are getting a first-rate education at Drew.
One very impressive aspect of the Drew total education program is the unique integration of special eduction students with those in the Montessori classroom. On a daily basis, the Montessori children host one or two of the Special Education students, accompanied by a teacher or an aide, I have observed this process for three years, and I salute both the Special Ed as well as the Montessori teachers for making this an incredible learning experience for all. And thanks to the Principal for fostering this kind of an environment.
My granddaughter recently transferred to Drew in order to participate in the Montessori program Drew offers. She is very happy there and we are impressed by what we see and hear.
Albeit, the Montessori philosophy/program is wonderful for many children(!) (And this is the main attraction for Drew), the school academic curriculum is lacking in expectations of achievement in core studies as well as in competition. There is a lot of focus on what otherwise are extracurricular activities, in the classroom. Teachers, when they stay, are wonderful and always have their doors open to parents. The PTA is new and growing strong.
Drew houses an incredible public Montessori program for children ages 3 through 5th grade; there is also a popular traditional program in the school. My children attend the Montessori program and the Montessori teachers are top notch. When choosing elementary schools, I observed at nearly a dozen public and private schools in the area, and Drew was by far my favorite. The children are actively engaged in their learning at this school and the teaching is very individualized and child centered. It is an excellent school, in a beautifully renovated building, with large playgrounds, an amazing arts program, and some of the best teachers in the D.C. area.
Not sure why shool ranking is low....This school is definately deserve good ranking...my kids are in Montessori program and they are loving it
Drew has a wonderful new Principal and the school is shining. Extracurricular activities have blossomed this year. The Montessori Program, through 5th grade, is unparalleled in public AND private schools. We have been thrilled with the quality of education and the performance of our child. We're amazed this is offered in a public system.
Amazing Montessori program for 3 year olds - 5th grade. One of the only Montessori elementary schools in the DC metro area, and it is free/public. Also arts focused, with most teachers specially trained to integrate arts into the curriculum. The teachers are incredible. Highly trained, student focused and committed to their students. There is a hum of excitement about learning from all the kids. The school pledge focuses on peace and self-discipline, and it really shows. In 5 years as a Drew parent I have never seen a fight between children, or even seen a teacher yell. The multi-ethnic, mixed income, international student body inspires each student to learn about the world, and discover more about themselves. The new principal is energetic, dedicated and warm. Beautiful new building is a plus.
Not pleased at all with the overall education of my child and other children that I have witnessed. Especially children within the special education program, I had a lot of trouble have some of the teachers that I had to deal with follow the childs IEP, not fair to the child. Looking for a change.
Drew Model school is two schools housed under one roof. There is the montessori school that my daughter participates in and the regular graded program. My daughter has been in the school for two years. The quality of the montessori teachers is high... special recommendation for Mrs. Carmack -- a strong guide for young learners! Though this school is one of Arlington's 'lottery' schools, it's not full to capacity -- something I stuggle to explain. I think it has to do with the economic conditions of the neighborhood immediately surrounding the school... though I personally think it's a close-knit community with a great deal of neighborhood pride. The school was recently re-built and it's quite a nice facility -- the children have a high-tech tv studio, computer labs, and an excellent art program. The fifth graders in the graded program write and produce an opera each year!
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