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Skinner Elementary Montessori School

Private | PK-6 | 73 students


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Living in Vancouver

Situated in an urban neighborhood. The median home value is $150,000. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $800.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
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4 stars

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26 reviews of this school

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Posted September 8, 2014

My daughter has been going to this school since she was in preschool. She is now in second grade, she loves all the teachers that she has had so far. The school is great academically and they cultivate a loving and caring environment for their children. The teachers has been great, we have been very happy with the way they communicate with about anything that is happening in the school and in my daughter's classroom. I got to say, it has been a very good experience when I needed to talk to any of the teachers. There has been many occasions where I needed to talk to her teacher about certain assignments/activities and they are always there with an open ear and open heart! Can't do any better when the school staffs and teachers are willing to hear and discuss any concerns that you might have. I'm a firm believer in this school!!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted April 30, 2013

The school is generally decent, but it's run by a rude and incompetent owner, who is also a teacher. As a parent, I was expecting the school owner to have a reasonable conversation with me regarding an issue I was concerned about, instead, she simply said she can decide what ever she wants, but she said it in the most offending and unprofessional way possible. This woman obviously lack the very basic communication skills any business owner should have. I'm definitely taking my kid to a different school next year and thank God the school year is almost over.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted September 10, 2012

in 1974 my daughter began her pre-school experience at skinner...she was 3 years husband and i could not have made a better choice...she continued at OES as a 4th grader with confidence and love of learning... she loved the staff as if they were her aunties...and they loved and nourished her as well as i could ever dream...she enjoyed learning and became a very bright and resourceful young woman and mother of 4...she made sure that her oldest received that initial head start and now it's time for the three year old to begin his skinner experience ... i am so excited to have another child to share this wonderful experience with....

Posted June 8, 2012

We have attended with our children for several years and have gone from believers to completely frustrated like many others before us. If it was only a school for PreK and primary students I would give the experience 5 stars-they will have your child reading and writing well above grade level. The problem is if you continue into the upper level (K and up, more $$). There used to be more choice in teachers so you could avoid the one with a bad reputation but that is no longer the case. The teachers left are the owner and her sister and it is a no win situation. The sister teaches K-2 and shouldn't be teaching anyone but adults (and would have a hard time succeeding at that if not for the family business) Parents are leaving in droves each year once they experience her: she cannot tell you your childs progress; she doesn't reply to phone calls, emails, notes; she refuses parent volunteers and uses those of us who do insist on volunteering as secretarial staff instead of working with our children as we did on the primary side; she is inconsistent, contradictory, emotionally insensitive and borderline abusive to parents and children. Children are traumatized and afraid. Avoid.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted August 24, 2011

My 4 year old is starting her 2nd year of Pre-School at Skinner and I can't say enought great things about the school!! She is the only 4 year old we know who can read, write, and speak french! As we see our friends kids struggle with knowing their letters and numbers our daughter is reading books and doing simple math problems. The staff is wonderful and caring and they give me a daily update about her progression and what she is working on in class so we can encourage her progression! Be prepared though...with knowledge comes opinions...Skinner allows students to make choices and they are accountable for their choices and the transition was harder on me than it was on her! Give your child the best and get them to Skinner!!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted September 30, 2009

My 4 and a half year old son has attended for over a year and truely loves his school. He is the first to tell everyone that he attends 'Skinner Montessori'. Beyond that I have found it and his teachers to be excellent, caring and compassionate. They inspire confidence and creativity in a true Montessori environment (they only accept AMI certified instructors) and produce remarkable results. My son is well above his peers who don't attend Skinner both socially and intellectually and I know so much of the credit goes to the safe, consistent, stimulating environment his teacher, Gina, provides. I have found Skinner to be far more racially diverse and tolerant than the public school environment (I am a former teacher) and ditto for our preschool experiences locally. I have always found all staff to be polite and interested in trouble shooting & any pushy rude parents don't stay long.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted August 26, 2009

Excellent school! My daughter spent last year at Skinner after having spent 2 1/2 horrible years in public school(Orchards). She would cry for several hours a day several times a week at the old school.The school and homework were very substandard. At Skinner I was continually impressed throughout the year by what my child was learning and the projects they were doing. My daughter loved the French class. I have also been very impressed by the behavior changes-my daughter is so caring and polite now after being in that nurturing enviornenment.Venus is an excellent, loving teacher. I am sad that I have to put my daughter back in public school this year because of the cost-but, if I have any problems at all I know it will be definitely worth it to bring her back.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted February 4, 2009

My child had been at skinner for two years and the first 18 months were great. The last six months have been very sad, they just raised the rates and cut the hours. It looks like a once sold school is almost out of business. We will be pulling our little girl as soon as we find a solution.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted January 22, 2009

The staff is sooo rude. They care about the donations but not the kids. Espesially if you are foriners - expect even worse attitude! My child was at this school for 5 month and get no any progress. My son hated the school. Now changed the school and have no problem. We feel so happy that we get rid off that nasty place.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted January 12, 2008

If you are looking for a school that encourages learning, provides self confidence for the child, teaches the child who they are and where they are in the world, encourages creativity, this is the place for your child. Good structured environment for learning. And as a parent if you have a clue that a public school gets more than 7000 dollars per student per year to educate a child. And you are paying less than 7000 dollars a year to educate your child in a private school, you wonder how they do it? Yes they have to have an auction to raise money. It's a private school they have to raise money.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted January 12, 2008

Both of my sons attend Skinner and love it. My older one has been there since pre-K and I can't imagine a better foundation for him. Gina is a wonderful teacher...both of my sons adore her...and it's been very gratifying to watch both of my boys flourishing.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted January 7, 2008

I am what they call a Skinner believer. My two kids have attended for over 4 years. My experience has been extraordinary. The first thing you note about the classrooms is the quiet (independent) learning undertaken by about 20 kids in various grades (the classrooms are multi-grade or multi-age). The second is that the kids are polite to each other and their teachers as well as encouraging of each other. They celebrate each others' successes constantly and in various forms. As one reviewer pointed out, there is little room for disruptive conduct in the classroom. And you will find no other school with the racial makeup of this school. The staff is great and caring.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted December 21, 2007

My Daughter has went to Skinner for six years and I can't begin to explain how amazing the experiance has been. Her reading, math & spelling skills are beyond my expectations. I would say that its a very structured enviroment but the over all feeling is one of caring & compassion for all. There is little tolerance for disruptive kids.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted October 31, 2007

Our daughter is attending her second year at Skinner Montessori and we couldn't be more happy! I feel that Skinner is a safe and encouraging environment for her and she is flourishing! Not only is she far ahead in academic areas but also in practical life skills and social skills as well. I feel the staff at Skinner not only treat our daughter with respect as a student but as a whole individual person. I am thrilled with the level of interest and concern for personal problem solving techniques that our daughters teacher and teacher's assistant have shown. They have gone above and beyond! I wish that communication was better from the office, BUT, the positives at Skinner FAR out weighs the negative! Skinner has been a great choice for our family. Good luck in your search!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted October 25, 2007

We are not new to Montessori schools and were extremely disappointed in Skinner. My daughter watched a great deal of television. The office staff is rude and aloof to parents with poor communication. The school is run in a militant/punative manner - so contrary to Maria Montessori's teachings of respecting the child! Watch out parents and trust your instincts.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted March 26, 2007

My child attended Skinner for 5 months. We found the overall experience to be awful. School administrationand teacher have poor one on one communication skills. All school/teacher communications are done through a folder system Parents are requested to check the folder each day for school updates. My child suffered due to information not being put in her folder.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted November 16, 2006

Mandatory 'donations' and impossible parking, oh my. This is our last year at Skinner. There are some *great* teachers here, and some not so great.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted August 31, 2006

Our child attended Skinner for approximately one year and while some academic progress was acheived, our overall experience was poor at best. The office/administration staff are stiff, non-approachable and at times just flat out rude. I think that at times they forget not only are they dealing in a customer service capacity, but also with small children and their families. After attending a year, we felt the main objective of the office personnel was to run interferece for the owner/principal of the school as several messages were left regarding issues and alas, all were ignored. The breaking point was the proposal of a new policy that parents would be required to attend the annual auction and donate money to the 'For Profit' school so that capital expeditures could be made on playground equipment, building improvements, etc. No thanks.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted June 9, 2006

After having my 2 children at Skinner for a year we are disappointed. The school follows its own 'Skinner' version of Montessori which does not follow traditional Montessori. Not all activites are educational (including regular kids movies like Finding Nemo and Muppets during class time) and their is no support for art and musical expression. The office staff actually locks their door to avoid parents and communication between the parents and school is very poor. It is no wonder that fund-raiser turnout is low. The Skinner answer to this was to 'require' a $100 'donation' in addition to tuition. The administration is rigid and unfriendly and I have seen a high teacher turn-over in just one year.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted April 21, 2006

Two of our three children have attended (or are attending) Skinner - and our third will start next year. The staff is very warm, friendly and encouraging. The children are respectful, well-mannered, and bright. This school truly embodies the Montesorri philosophy of 'child-centered' education. I have recommended Skinner to many of my friends.
—Submitted by a parent

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About these ratings

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.

We currently do not have any test score information for this school. Unlike public schools, private schools are not always required to report data about their schools or not required to take the same tests as public schools. Many private schools take different standardized tests; however, that information is often made available only to families of enrolled students. We strive to acquire additional private school data whenever available.

Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
White 81% 64%
Black 7% 6%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 7% N/A
Asian 2% N/A
Hispanic 2% 16%
American Indian/Alaska Native 0% 3%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander N/A 9%
Two or more races 0% N/A
Source: NCES, 2009-2010

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School facilities
  • Computer lab
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School basics

School Leader's name
  • Nikki Skinner
  • Coed
  • Nonsectarian


Instructional and/or curriculum models used

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  • Montessori


School facilities
  • Computer lab
  • Library
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5001 Northeast 66th Avenue
Vancouver, WA 98661
Website: Click here
Phone: (360) 696-4862


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