My youngest child attended Cascadia for just the 4th grade. It was hard for her to leave all her friends and the familiar routines of her previous school, but by December she was very well integrated. By June, she had formed many deeper and more lasting friendships than she had found in her three years at a private school three times larger. She was also well ahead academically and socially of where she would have been had she stayed at the old school. She is thriving now at a local prep school.
Having had children at one Eastside public and three private elementary schools, Cascadia is hands-down my favorite. Both students and family are treated with respect. At all levels, expectations are high for academics and behavior. Even better, the staff actively work to enable the students to meet those expectations. They incorporate social-emotional learning, utilize a variety of learning styles and techniques, teach the kids to budget time and set mini-deadlines for extended projects, and so many other things.
Cascadia doesn’t need parent volunteers to give spelling tests, file papers, or make photocopies, because the teachers have plenty of support and everything is well planned in advance. At Cascadia, parents chaperone small groups on field trips, chauffeur on library visits, serve as audience for student presentations on special projects, join in with annual events (Halloween party, holiday meal, etc.), and appreciate musical, theatrical, debate and other performances. And if you have a special talent or story, just ask and you’ll be invited to share it.
Don’t be turned off by the small grade span at Cascadia (K-4th). When my oldest moved to private school, I thought that a K-8th grade school would be perfect: one admission process for eight years of school. But now I believe that K-4th or 5th is really better socially for the kids. 6th graders are totally different creatures than 1st graders, and both groups are better off when they don’t have to share staff, space, and rules of behavior. And the Cascadia staff are very experienced in helping parents and students with the transition to 5th grade at a new school.
Cascadia Montessori School in Redmond, WA is a great school. My daughter attended this school from Kindergarten to 4th Grade. It is a close knit community with small size class allowing the kids to bond well with the teachers and fellow students. The teachers were awesome, supportive and played a big role in bringing my child out of her shell. The students participated in a variety of group projects that helped them learn working with peers to problem solve. Focus is on providing a solid foundation in Math, reading and writing concepts. Apart from a well rounded academic program, the students enjoy field trips to the Seattle Children's Theater, Mercer Slough etc. My daughter enjoyed Hip-Hop, Music and Soccer and French. We are very happy for having had the opportunity to get to know CMS. Like all other reviews, our only regret is that it does not go all the way to 8th Grade.
We are thrilled to have found Cascadia Montessori School for our children. It has delivered above and beyond every statement it makes on its informational materials. Cascadia is a rare type of school in today's world: It does not advertise itself, preferring instead to impress parents and educate kids over time with real, excellent results. (Its graduates get accepted into Lakeside, Overlake, Eastside Prep, Forest Ridge, the gifted programs, etc. every year.)
At this school, we have been lucky to have excellent teachers in every single classroom for our two children. They all have long tenure with the school and have truly insightful familiarity with each and every student. The school is kept deliberately small because the director, who also teaches in the classroom, insists on knowing each child. This “being known” has an invisible but very real effect: Every kid is confident that he/she is respected and cared for as an individual and is thus freed up to focus on learning and exploring his/her interests.
As a former Montessori student myself, I can say that Cascadia delivers that critical influence on each child's learning and imagination. Its curriculum is a combination of topics and activities that are naturally fascinating to children at each stage, yet the daily work is organized by the children themselves under the teacher's firm but gentle guidance. The attention to detail here is impressive. Kids acquire skills at a steady clip but it never feels hectic to them. They progress from block writing to cursive writing to keyboarding in a few short years while mastering the mechanics of spelling, grammar, and writing.
Aside from skills, students here acquire REAL knowledge at an advanced level and yet structured and thorough manner. They are patiently and consistently guided to apply that knowledge in ever more challenging ways while keeping to a high standard of work. By 4th grade, they are learning debate skills in the classroom. All of this happens in a warm and supportive environment without any artificial academic pressure, resulting in true lifelong learners.
We didn't realize until two years in what a truly excellent choice we had made for our kids as we kept seeing all sorts of unadvertised benefits of the school. Our only regret is that it doesn't go on until 8th grade. Our own kids agree!
We liked Cascadia primarily because of the close knit academic environment - it's a smaller school and the principal, knows every child and their parents intimately. The teachers are highly experienced and they have been with the school for a long time. As our daughter grew from a nervous pre-kindergartner to a confident 4th grader, her teachers ensured a smooth transition from one class to the next.
Cascadia offers an accelerated academic program, often the children learn concepts at least 1 (if not 2) grade above their standard, yet the friendly and supportive environment ensures that they learn in a fun and challenging environment without adding undue pressure that would alienate them.
At Cascadia children are introduced to technology at an early age. Each of the 3rd and 4th graders have their own laptops (thanks again to being a smaller school). 4th grade writing assignments need to be submitted online as word documents of PowerPoint presentations. One of their 4th grade group assignments was to operate a candy store - children were required to prepare a budget in Excel, create promotions in PowerPoint and to bake and sell goodies while adhering to a strict budget. 4th graders also write and maintain a school blog where they discuss topics and exchange e-mails with supervision from teachers and parents.
Cascadia makes learning fun thru various school activities. Spring time school concert, Mother's day tea party, Father's day dessert, Halloween party and visit to local farms and arboretums to name a few of them.
There are options to sign-up for after school activities such as Chess, Coding, Art and Bollywood dancing - we found these activities helpful, especially when we could not pick them up right after school. In addition, there is after school care which includes time for reading and homework. Cascadia also organizes summer camps and holiday camps for children,.
As parents, you must be prepared to volunteer for school activities such as help with reading, science, chaperoning for school trips as well as volunteering for extra-curricular activities. Although it may seem as a chore- volunteering is a way for parents to be in sync with school and support children at home.
Looking back at her 6 years at Cascadia, we could not have chosen a better school. Our only regret is that it only goes up to Grade 4.
Our daughter attended Cascadia from Pre-K to 4th grade, and we are thrilled by the caliber of her education. The environment is very warm and nurturing; the kids learn to be responsible, caring and respectful. The curriculum is strong but well balanced, preparing students for any school admission and for the future. Educational programs beyond academics include Music, Art, Drama, Soccer, Hip-Hop. The director and the teachers are the best, very dedicated, engaged, and with the amazing talent of motivating the students to LOVE learning. Our daughter and all kids in her former class at CMS are looking for any possible opportunity to go back and visit the school. We are highly recommending Cascadia.
This school is a hidden gem that offers an advanced curriculum in a nurturing and supportive environment. We were looking for a small classroom environment that focused on teaching the fundamentals where children are kindly challenged to do their best and retain what they learned. Spelling matters here. Grammar matters here. Math facts matter here. At the same time, the school also infuses French language, sports, music, arts, IT into the curriculum for a well balanced program. Our only regret is that the school does not go all the way to Grade 8.
Don't be fooled by the latest 5 starts reviews. They were written by a few loyal families who formed a committee for figuring out why so many kids are leaving the school.
Visit the school, talk to families who left the school, ask the hard questions (teacher's qualifications, demographics, enforcing discipline, kids "failing" kindergarten, getting your kid's records if you want to leave the school, ... ). This school it's definitely not a Montessori school. Mrs. Franklin is not a good principal or teacher. Kids, teachers and parents fear dealing with her.
Both of my kids went to Cascadia - one is now in middle school and another in high school. Cascadia has had a very positive, long-lasting impact of both of them that we are able to sell well after they graduated from CMS. It is a fantastic school that is focussed on the well-rounded development of the students. The academic standard are high with real focus on helping each student learn and apply the concepts. Mrs. Franklin is an inspiring teacher and leader. She sets high standards and cares deeply about the students. She is at the heart of the wonderful community of students, teachers and parents at Cascadia. We couldn't be happier!
Cascadia is a unique and special place. The teachers at Cascadia are experienced and don't just teach the curriculum. They are creative and find ways to help each child flourish. The key in the curriculum is the fact that the director teaches second grade herself. This is the time when the child is prepared for the intense writing skills and complex math, like pre algebra, that are taught in the next two grades. She steps in at 2nd grade to provide each child individualized attention to assure successful transition to 3rd and 4th grade. The students are respectful and supportive of each other. Kindness, respect and a love of learning is fostered here. My son is now 15 years old and he is academically successful at a college prep private school because of the foundation that Cascadia has given him. Socially, the eight kids from his graduating class still keep in touch and recently united to spend time with the director. Cascadia guarantees not only academic success, but it encourages bonds that last beyond the elementary years. My son tells me that Cascadia years form some of the most powerful memories of his childhood. Cascadia produces impressive long lasting effects.
Cascadia Montessori School is one of the best private elementary school on Eastside. Our kids study in 2nd and 4th grade. What we like about Cascadia: 1. Academically focused. Curriculum is very focused, advanced and rigorous 2. Solid foundation: School provides a very strong foundation and teaches the kids to be eager to learn, respectful, focus on thought process 3. Small class and school size fosters life-long relationships, individualized teaching plans, strong bond between students and teachers 4. Reading and Writing: Strong emphasis placed on reading, writing and penmanship 5. Community: Students are taught and encouraged from an early age to help the community Mrs. Franklin, the Director knows each child personally. She guides & interacts with them and is wonderful. She has dedicated her life in building this school and maintaining the standard and guiding principles. All the teachers at Cascadia are wonderful and a delight to interact with. They are very accessible, provide detailed feedback and shape our children into wonderful human. To summarize, from our perspective, Cascadia Montessori School is the best school for preparing your child for the future.