Like many others, we decided to not to renew our contract at Richmond Montessori. We were happy with primary (preschool/K), but found the lower elementary (1-3) curriculum lacking and it is a cold environment for a young grade schooler. Theschool blames the birth rate for the declining enrollment, but there is an issue with retention as many long term families have moved on. And even after the birth rate hit an all-time low, the school engaged in a massive capital campaign to build a new building for the upper elementary students, projecting that the school would grow substatially and add several classes. Several years later, they have eliminated a preschool class and a lower elementary class. We are not sure where it went wrong -- weak administration (3 different heads over a 2-year period), lack of consistency between classes (your experience here really depends on the teacher), poor decisions and projections by Board as to future enrollment and leadership? But we think our private tuition money is better spent elsewhere.
Richmond Montessori has been on a steady decline over the past few years. I was excited to see Grainne Murray take over as head of school but have been wildly disappointed. The school has lost all the warmth that drew us to it originally. There is much more focus on the growth of the school rather than the growth of the child. That added to the emergency room visit our child had to make after being injured while in the school's care and I would have a very hard time recommending the school to anyone.
We went through the enrollment process in February for the 2015-2016 school year. We found the experience to be insightful, open, informative and the perfect place for our family. The admissions process can be quite overwhelming, however each member of the staff walked us through every step... learning about the Montessori method, assessing our child, creating an opportunity for us to observe, integrating our child into the classroom during our visit, answering all of our questions about the financial aspect, and just being open and honest about the community at Richmond Montessori. We saw first hand how the students are valued and we know Richmond Montessori will be a wonderful learning environment for our child. We thank you.
I was going to enroll my son into the toddler program that they said they had availability in. Well they had me fill out a financial aid application and pay for it upfront without going any further. Okay, so I did. They never followed up with me so I called them. Turns out they had NO availability in toddlers...but you told me yes and I already paid the application fee...hmmm...okay. Then they suggested for me to enroll my son in primary 1 after he turned 3. Convinced this was the best school (in Richmond) for my son I waited and they finally followed up. So my husband and I attended another parent interview in which then I told them that my son started receiving speech therapy because he has delayed speech. Grainne, the head of school acted shocked and concerned (not something I would've expected from such an elite and free thinking school). Well they scheduled my son his interview. At the time of interview he was 2 years and 7 months. To be in primary you child has to be 3 minimum. Why they scheduled his interview so early??? I will never know. In his interview my son, the toddler who was used to being at home with me only did not want to participate with the other kids during circle time. Apparently this was enough for RMS to decide that my son is anti-social and is not a good fit for RMS. Wow! okay...thanks for wasting my time and taking my money. I don't know if my son was discriminated against due to his speech delay or what; but over all our experience was bad with RMS. It showed me that RMS is nothing but a snobby pretentious school who do not care about what is best for the children just about their statistics.I am not raising my son like that so I am glad he is not attending.
I was impressed by the classrooms and the happy, engaged buzz that the students have while working. I toured and the kids were interested in their work, but they were also very respectful. One asked me how I was and another rushed to open a door for us when we were on the way into her classroom. The best part was getting part of the tour from the eighth graders and listening to them talk about their experience. I had a lot of questions about Montessori and the Admissions Coordinator took time to answer them all.
We have been blown away with the excellence at RMS. The authentic Montessori taught by all accredited teachers is refreshing. Graduates of RMS walk away fully prepared to handle the world and are well on their way to being poised young adults.
The Richmond Montessori School (RMS) provides a terrific alternative in Richmond's private school arena. The Montessori curriculum nurtures confident, independent learners who go on to consistently do well beyond 8th grade. I have been impressed with the graduates from this school, who seem far more mature and self-directed than middle school students I meet elsewhere. I see similar growth and development in my own children as they progress through the program, and am thrilled we landed in this environment. RMS is truly a gem.
I have had three children go through RMS. The academics are superb, and I feel that the kindergarten and elementary levels are the best kept secret in town! This education encourages the spark from within the child, resulting in intellectually curious, academically motivated students. What's more, their ability to communicate with their peers and adults is superb. The administration is committed to continued growth and development of the school. My children have gone on to transition easily at highly ranked collegiate preparatory schools in the area. Their RMS background has helped them to become analytical thinkers, and to develop social skills that create an empathetic young adult who is able to contribute to our community in a meaningful way.
We moved to Ricmond last year and it is second year for my son in this school. Since age 2 my son has been going to a Montessori school and this is our third Montessori school. So far this is best school I have experienced. School provide a community environment which helps your child to thrive. As there are 3 age group kids in one class, your child always know what to look forward to and also learns to help the younger one, which is such a confidence booster.