Charis Sharp, November 30, 2009
Cedar River Montessori School serves students ages 3 through 6th grade. We provide a thorough yet nurturing academic, social, emotional and physical learning environment founded in the Montessori philosophy. Students grow into self-confident thinkers, creative problem solvers, and lifelong learners. They develop a respect for self, others, the environment and their community. Please contact us if you have questions or would like to schedule a tour.
I want to concur with the previous poster's comment that the teachers are excellent and the families are wonderful. In fact, this school has one of the most supportive communities we've ever seen. Where I would disagree is with the comments about the head of school. In my point of view, the firm decisions of our Head of School have created the exact environment that attracts excellent teachers, and wonderful families. Those things don't happen by accident. And the community of this school has improved immensely since she was hired. That's a head of school's job first and foremost, in my wife's and my opinion, to steward the learning environment of the school and foster its growth in positive ways. We couldn't be happier with her decision making, and refusal to give in to demanding parents who have since moved on from Cedar River. We love this school, and are thrilled they've added a middle school!
The teachers are incredible, the families that attend are wonderful. The head of school should be replaced. Too many reactive decisions and unprofessional choices. Her poor management effects the parental involvement and teacher moral.
We love this school. Our son is in his 3rd year at Cedar River and is simply in love with learning. The school does a great job of honestly pursuing the Montessori ideal, fostering a love and interest in learning I'd never seen before with kids as young as our son. The environment is beautiful, the staff are warm and very approachable-- the family community is excellent-- but bottomline, I can't imagine our son having a better experience at any other school, at any price.
Just an overall terrific experience! The teachers and staff really are great and actually care about my child's learning. I love the individual pace that has allowed my child to work ahead of his grade level. For a private school I have never experienced such a well grounded and diverse group of parents. The community here is really is outstanding! Also the summer program is awesome:)
We've been at Cedar River Montessori for almost 4 years now and have seen changes that have enhanced the campus (complete remodel of the classrooms), addition to the farm animals that are used to teach the kids about responsibility and kindness, as well as to teachers/staff. The Head of School has taken the program and staff to a new level of quality education from previous years. The new teachers not only bring the Montessori principles and experience, but fresh perspective and ideas to make the school even better. The PTSO (Parent Teacher Student Organization) is a strong partner of the school & staff and have recently worked collaboratively together to create a survey to guage education excellence. Parent involvement has been always welcomed and encouraged- with a small schoool and community - it's essential! I look forward to my sons to attend Cedar River through Middle School to become the best individuals they can be.
I sent my child to the school last year, but the teacher who I liked and who was there for a long time was fired or something and my child was told before me. While the replacement teacher was good, the parents like me got very little information and many were visibily angry at a board meeting several days after the teacher was let go. For the rest of the year, a lot of parents were disappointed and frustrated with the staff and board and some parents seemed to have gotten mixed in to the school troubles. The school is in a great setting, and they have cool llamas and goats, but the buildings outside of my child's classroom were visibly dilapidated. When there was a plumbing problem one time it stunk something awful. The rest of the year was OK, but something changed and the community that I felt before seemed to disappear. I didn't re-enroll my child and we are at a differerent private school now.
We have been at this school for two years and I couldn't be more happy with our choice. The school has been challenged with many changes it had not experienced in its past so I do see some learning opportunities for the overall leadership. Despite the challenges though my child continues to learn and grow because the overall community is outstanding! The children are truly learning fantastic things as well as the importance of being a kind and compassionate human being. There is a diverse group of fantastic parents and every single member of the staff is available to discuss whatever might be on your mind regarding the school. The best part is that students learn accountability for their work as well as being able to move at their own level whether advanced or not. I wish I had this experience when I was a kid so I didn't have to wait until college to realize ultimately the individual controls what they learn and exploration beyond the cirriculum develops a love of learning. My child is truly happy and I don't get the "I hate school" comments I hear from many elementary age students we encounter. We have a fantastic public school but CRMS provides us with so much more.
I m very disappointed in the leadership and overall direction this school is heading. Our child attended for over 5 years and although the education from the teachers has generally been great, something that has kept us there; the attitude and treatment towards parents has definitely been poor and inconsistent. For instance, as a parent, I have shared ideas & suggestions for improvements, fundraising and other things, which were encouraged and supported by a large part of the parent population, but then ignored when it came to implementation. Another scenario where previously approved projects were discontinued without discussing with the parent volunteers owning the effort, after countless hours of contribution. I have continually seen favoritism for some families efforts over others, especially if you go along and don t question processes. The board shares very little information about what parents want to know regarding the operations, direction and vision for the school. I have experienced a significant lack of transparency in the board s actions. Over the years our family was unable to confidently share concerns with the board or administration without fear of retribution.
Crms is a great school and wonderful staff. Its a great school and they have been wonderful for both of my children they have both grown in so many ways. They have a wonderful campus. It is so peacful and love the animals. The parents are great.
The summer program here is EXCELLENT. It has a good balance of play, learning, and SWIMMING! The teachers are gentle with the students and VERY caring. My child loves coming to school. She loves Ms. Sarah. We have seen lots of "growth in her" at the Pre-K level. The price is right and we're glad to hear it's a non-profit school so we can write off dollars over the tuition. Great job, CRMS! (One quick suggestion for the school: We came from a very parent friendly school to this one and we miss the warmth of the teachers and administration and parent to parent that came with the other school. I wonder if there is anything that can be done with this. This is just a minor observation and maybe thought for those in charge. Otherwise, great job!)
We did a great deal of research into local schools when our son was born. We were referred by other parents and fell in love with the beautiful campus. From that point forward we had our hearts set on Cedar River Montessori. Our son started at age 3 for half days and is now moving to Lower Elementary for First Grade. It has been a wonderful experience being a part of this very special community. The Montessori methods are amazing and this school's approach has been especially enlightening. I am so grateful to have my son learning at Cedar River.
Over the course of the past 5+ yrs, CRMS has had inconsistent leadership. Unfortunately, this inconsistency has led to a lack of accountability with parents. In addition, I question the decisions that have been made. Many decisions do not seem to have the children's best interest in mind. While it may have appeared to be a great school initially, upon further investigation it failed to impress.
Our child attended Cedar River Montessori for several years and did have a nice experience there, but we are disappointed by the direction the school has taken. Cedar River relies heavily on the volunteer hours and financial contributions of its families in order to maintain daily operational needs, however fails to have any accountability to the families when it comes to major decisions that affect the children. There are some wonderfully caring teachers on staff, but the administration and board have failed to show the caring and compassion that should be present in a school setting.
Our family has been at the school for 4 years and feel that things just keep getting better. Our son has confidence in completing tasks. We have seen him grow from a young preschooler to a leader as a kindgergartner and this year looking for guidance from the 3rd graders. We really like that the kids are with the same teachers for three years. As he moved into the elementary classroom his new teachers were aware of who he is as it is a small school. The hands on approach to learning has kept our son interested in learning and enjoying school. They truly follow the Montessori philosophy. The school is set in the woods with animals. This is our second backyard since our yard at home is small. Our son said recently that he wants to go to college at CRMS! He feels safe and comfortable at this school.
Not the best Montessori school compair to other school in Seattle and Bellevue. My son has been attending it and haven t see any progress. Talked with other parent they have same concerns. Staff is not friendly and they are always doing fundraise for something every other week. School in the middle of a jungle. Giving it one start.
I sent my son to CRMS for summer program, because i like the swimming lessons they provided. Overall, it went OK. I like the rural setting, big playground and animals, but the disadvantage is too much insects and bugs around the campus especially, during summer time. My son was strung by a spider on right arm, and swallened badly. Administration seems cold, but some teachers are very friendly and helpful. Lack communication, as mentioned above, when my son was strung by a spider and swallened badly, but nobody told us anything and we just did not know what happened until we found out ourselves. The tuition is on the high end, but the school is too cheap to provide milk for lunch. We have to send milk to school in a cooler, otherwise, it will go bad at lunch time. OK for summer program, but not for long term regulars school.
We love love love this school. This is a small school that really has a great family atmosphere, and great teachers. One of the best features is the barn and all the goats and alpacas that live there.
We can't say enough good things about this school. The academic program is great thanks to the great teachers at the school. The learning environment is taylored to the kids so they fell invested in what they are learning.
Excellent early childhood education, committed teachers and parents. In a beautiful, bucolic setting.
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