As a staff member who has taught at a number of other schools, both Montessori and non-Montessori, I can without hesitation say that the staff at Mountaintop is, as a group, of the highest quality and most professional that you will find at any school. I also have a child who has been attending the school for a number of years, and I have been completely pleased with the environment, teachers, and program that my child has experienced. Mountaintop offers a truly unique educational experience, and I would urge anyone to go and look for yourself.
Run, don't walk, as fast as you can away from this school! There is little to no community among the parents and families, policies are inconsistently enforced and rarely consider the students' needs (screaming children are pulled from cars during "car line"), and while there are some great teachers, there are also some who are actually rude to parents and students. Add to that the fact that on school tours they will show you amazing facilities that younger children will never even see (the music room, the greenhouse, cooking classes, etc, etc) in most cases unless you pony up the money to pay for a Montessori education through middle school, which is not even what Montessori was designed for at all. The poor middle schoolers are running a school store while many of them lack even basic arithmetic calculation skills. They are mostly nice kids, but there are some misguided practices in place at this school.
My children have spent a combined total of nine years at Mountaintop Montessori. They and my husband and I have been extremely pleased with their experience at Mountaintop. Mountaintop is a school where all members of the community -- children, parents, guides, and staff -- are treated with respect and dignity. My children are thriving academically and socially, and I appreciate their school every day.
My children have thrived at Mountaintop Montessori for five years running, and we are grateful to be a part of the school.
I am a former student of Mountaintop Montessori, although when I went there it was known as Montessori Community School. Now I an undergraduate at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. I would not change my time at this school for anything in the world. The teachers and the community atmosphere changed my life and helped me to find my life's passion. From time to time I visit Montessori and I have never seen happier children in a school environment. These teachers really do care a great deal about each and every child. As an alumni of this incredible school I can truly say that any child would be grateful to their parents for enrolling them in this school.
My five year old daughter is in her third year of Children's House and we couldn't be happier about her experience at this school. She is always so excited to go to school every morning and comes home confident and with new knowledge and skills every day. It really is a positive learning atmosphere where all the kids in her class seem to thrive. The guides are absolutely wonderful and the school seems to be well run with plenty of interesting facilities (the relatively new greenhouse/dome, for example). The Fall festival is always a lot of fun, as are the assemblies and shows put on by the kids. We've also taken advantage of a couple of after-school classes such as hula-hooping and an art class, both of which were loved. I really don't understand the hateful messages directed towards the head of school. She has been very professional and seems to take her responsibilities seriously. The spiteful blogger that took over the dot-org version of the school's domain name seems to have a personal issue with her. Judging by his anonymous, comment-less blog he apparently never learned the "grace and courtesy" that comes with the Montessori method.
I hope that any families considering the newly re-named Mountaintop Montessori School will review all of the available information before committing to a so-called "community" that, in my opinion, does not truly follow the child. I am writing as a parent of a former student. Our family left the school at the onset of the new leadership for reasons that still cause difficulty for our child today.
We are so very happy with Mountaintop Montessori - the administration, faculty and parent community have been wonderful. My children are learning in such a safe, inclusive environment and it gives me piece of mind. I frequently read about bullying problems in the local public schools, especially cliques and "mean girls." At MMS my 3rd year daughter is a wonderfully unique individual who is accepted by all of her peers. She is confident and can truly be herself. This school has been such a gift for our family. I only wish it was more affordable for more families to have this kind of experience.
My daughter began at MCS (recently renamed Mountaintop Montessori) in the Toddler program this year. I was very nervous about having my 18 month old begin school 5 days a week, but soon realized that this was a gift for her - she 100% loves coming to school each day, has learned so much, and we as parents have learned an incredible amount of valuable parenting skills as well. The school campus is beautiful and the children are very involved with programs like gardening, cooking, ecology, art, and African drumming, all of which trickles down even to the youngest toddlers. Being that the school goes through Middle School, the older and younger children have many opportunities to interact and learn from each other, which is really unique. It is a warm and exciting school community to be a part of.
Our son attended montessori for 7years and it was once a truly great school. Unfortunately the current head has driven out some of the best teachers. the school is now run by a small group of parent/administrators who retaliate against families who raise criticisms. Plans for changes are kept from the community at large and parents are not welcome to comment. There are still some wonderful dedicated guides so maybe there is hope for the school to get back on course if there were to be a much needed change in adminstrator.
Our family is a member of the MCS (soon to be Mountaintop Montessori) community, and we couldn't be happier with our experience. Our daughter has flourished in this environment where the faculty, staff, and administration are committed to both her personal development and academic success.
We have a child in Children's House - and we absolutely love it. She is flourishing; we could not have asked for a better experience. The guides are wonderful, and the administration have been nothing but supportive. It truly is a great school - we would recommend it to anyone. Please do not listen to those vindictive individuals who hide behind an anonymous blog to voice their concerns from years ago - a blog which does not allow us to comment and address these hateful posts directly. They need to let go and move on. Please listen to those parents who currently have children in the school, and please visit and ask questions.
Sadly this once wonderful school has been spirally steadily downward since the controversial head took over in 2005. Budgets for education are slashed while professional perks for the admin team grow. unqualified friends are promoted via quickie summer programs giving them 'certification' while professional career educators have been driven out. Some dedicated quality teachers remain but one never knows until one returns in August who will be teaching the class and how the student teacher ratio will be that year. We are taking our child out and will not return so long as the current administration is in place.
We have had a excellent experience at MCS. From Children's House to Middle School it is a wonderful community and the education is superior.
Some levels work very well and the teachers seem very high-quality, such as in Children's House and lower elementary. The upper elementary level is problematic and the teachers are lacking in several areas (academic, interpersonal, organizational, etc.). The middle school has some wonderful aspects, but seems tenuous--next year will be very different. Stability is lacking. Tuition is climbing. Parents are asked for a great deal of support. Be aware and ask questions.
Bravo! Our children have been at MCS for 9 years. The younger 2 of of our 3 are in the elementary program and the oldest one has graduated and is now at a big public high school in the area and doing very well. We were educated in public school ourselves and did not expect to have our children in private school for so many years but seeing them so engaged in learning and gaining such confidence each year, we've wanted them to stay in Montessori as long as they could. The program gets more and more interesting as they get older. They are 3 very different kids each of them has had the distinct kinds of support they needed at MCS.
We have two children at MCS, one in Lower Elementary who has been there 4 years, and another in Children's House who has been there 3 years. We, and more importantly they, love the school! They eagerly look forward to school each day and come home happy and excited about learning---what more can you ask for! The school is committee to a genuine Montessori approach and this is excellent---the way these math is amazing. I wish I had the opportunity to learn math with materials and objects that demonstrate the principles, rather than the memorization so often encouraged in traditional school settings. Two thumbs up!
I enjoyed my first year here, but the next year (07-08) had a change of teachers and was one of my worst experiences in education. However, once I came into our schools Middle School (7th-8th grade) I was happy all over again, this classroom is almost like a separate part of the school, I feel that I am truly being prepared for my adult life. We all run the school store collaboratively with students working three shifts a-day along with taking administrative roles of the store, such as the financial work, with a mentor tutoring and assisting us.
My children are happy and they love to learn. I feel part of a special community that believes in childhood at MCS.
Happy, joyful, purposeful students! AMS and VAIS school! Amazing guides (teachers)! Wonderful sense of community! Genuine Montessori approach. Deep commitment to mission to steward the earth and its future.
Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.
The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.
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