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Milwaukee, WI
Students enrolled: 710

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6415 West Mount Vernon Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53213

School website
(414) 935-1400
(414) 935-1415
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Map of MacDowell Montessori School address.
October 10, 2014
I would like to address two concerns that a poster made. First, the test scores of ALL schools in the state significantly went down because the state increase the proficiency levels, so that accounts for much of the reduction in proficiency rates. Also, the state discontinued the WKCE after last year because it was not an accurate measure of student knowledge. Based on the 2013-2014 MAP scores, our Seniors had the highest reading scores in the district and the third highest math scores (only scoring behind King and Reagan).

- submitted by a teacher
October 10, 2014
The second point: In regards to the concern about the amount of work time, this is the first year that it was implemented. The structure is more like college. The instruction time functions as a lecture. The students come to the lecture space, and the teacher does a presentation about the concepts that the students are expected to master that week and assign the homework. The work rooms are not just a standard "study hall" that most of us remember. There are generally around 8-12 students in a workroom at a time and never more than 20. Also, there is a certified teacher in each of workroom who makes sure that the students are on-task and to provide individual or small group lessons when students need help. Since we implemented the new structure, student work completion has significantly increased and student discipline issues have become nearly non-existent. It's amazing how much student behavior changes when you shift from: "you must work on math now" to "you have math, English, and science work. What are you going to choose to work on right now?" I would suggest coming in to see it. I was really supportive of changing to this structure, and it has exceeded my expectations.

- submitted by a teacher
September 26, 2014
Wow- 3 to 4 hours of study hall while only having Math 2-3 times a week and English 2-3 times a week. That is ridiculous when you look at the significant decline in test scores. WKCE Reading scores reflect a proficient or better back in 2011 at 58% declining to a shocking 4% in 2014. WKCE Math scores reflect a proficient or better back in 2011 at 48% declining to a shocking 12% in 2014. Perhaps there should be some instruction in Reading and Math rather than 3-4 hours of study hall. Just a thought.

- submitted by a community member
September 24, 2014
Recently, I made a 1 star review on my school regarding last semester which in my eyes was terrible. But this year ive noticed alot of good changes. Although the school still has a few heavy flaws like the schedule which consists of having 3-4 hours of study hall but 30 minutes to sometimes longer than a hour classes. We only have english and math 2-3 times a week because of the wasted time of study hall which is often not usefull. And another heavy flaw is they drop homework on student like CRAZY, the first day of school consisted of packets of homework in every subject. I may sound like a teen who's just too last to do homework but im seriously just trying to provide the best information for parents looking into this school.

- submitted by a student
September 10, 2014
Some of these teachers lie. Five teachers at the high school left and my teacher told me three or four more left from upstairs. History art English math special ed teachers. all gone. More teachers are talking about leaving. They aren t retiring. They went to other schools.

- submitted by a community member
August 25, 2014
The former teacher clearly embellished the numbers off staff who left. They stated that 10 staff members left when it was really only 5 out of 30. That includes a retirement and someone who moved out of state. I also strongly suspect that this disgruntled former teacher wrote several recent 1 star posts posing as students and parents. I love this school and wouldn't work anywhere else.

- submitted by a teacher
August 24, 2014
This school is not at all a good school. I was luckily able to leave for my last year of middle school and this year I am going to a different school. This school is not clean, it's unsafe, smells bad very often and the education isn't all that great. If you want to bring your child to this school, do not. I repeat, do not! It's terrible.

- submitted by a student
August 23, 2014
I was one of the ten staff members that left MacDowell. I, like some others, left because of concerns regarding the safety of staff and students, continued poor academic achievement, and a serious lack of leadership in regards to communication, follow-through, professionalism and vision by the current principal. There used to be a solid staff at the school (at all levels). Now some of the highly qualified staff have left due to the disruption of having a principal whose skill-set does not meet the many demands of principal position. Staff members have documented their concerns to the MPS School Board and to MPS administrators. Due process is a lengthy process. Serious changes need to occur in that building to make sure students are receiving the very best MPS has to offer. If you have concerns regarding this administration (or any staff member) please contact MPS Central Office or your School Board representative. Previous negative comments by other community members in this forum document what I have personally seen and/or have reported.

- submitted by a teacher
August 13, 2014
I'd give Macdowell a 0 if I could. I dreaded everyday of this school and sadly, I have to return for my last year of middle school. As a student I can tell you that the review before mine is point on accurate. I would not recommend Macdowell to anyone that is serious about their child's education as well as their safety.

- submitted by a student
August 10, 2014
I agree with the person who posted regarding the staff yelling at students. I have heard the screaming of the after school "camp" director from OUTSIDE of the building. We pulled our son out of the school. The camp program is nothing but movies in the library. The woman who runs it will be the first tell you that the program is not Montessori and according to her, no one can make her DO Montessori. The older kids swear constantly and the security do nothing but hangout with the kids at the front desk. Seriously. Why would you need three security guards all sitting behind the front desk?Why don't they say anything when the kids are yelling profanity down the halls. It's true about the principal always being on her cell phone! We wanted quality and compassion - MacDowell didn't have that.

- submitted by a parent
May 01, 2014
The best staff are leaving this school as if it were on fire. Principal never returns emails or calls. If you stop in to speak to the principal, you will have to ask her to stop looking at her cell phone. If you are thinking about enrolling your student here, don't. Visit the office and you will hear the vice principal screaming at students- SCREAMING!

- submitted by a parent
August 28, 2013
I am a former student who first attended MacDowell in the early 90's. I have stayed connected with the teachers, fellow classmates and Administration throughout my high school and college careers. I am a recent graduate of Alverno College and I contribute my collegiate success to the educational roots I established during my years as a Montessori student. For traditionally educated parents, the Montessori method may be hard to understand and that is apparent by the previous comments regarding the children "playing with blocks and making bead necklaces." These tasks, although they may seem irrelevant, are actually strengthening the child's hands to hold pencils in the future and developing their concentration skills. I would not recommend this school to parent's who do not do their research on the Montessori curriculum as a whole. When the time comes, I will be sending my own children to MacDowell because I feel that the quality of Montessori education is high, the student body is diverse and the teachers care about their students in a way that goes far beyond the classroom. Base your decision about this school on your personal research, not how up-to-date their website is.

- submitted by a community member
January 30, 2013
I am a Alumni. I am now in the 10th grade. I loved MacDowell when i was there and still do. My 2 nefews go there. I now attend the #1 school in the state (Rufus King) and i would recomend it to anyone who wants their kid to not only learn when their being taught a lesson but independently.

- submitted by a community member
June 04, 2012
My daughter is in K3 there and we are pulling her out. Her teacher is horrible, rude and acts like the younger kids are a burden. She won't work with them. When my daughter got bored and asked to learn something new she was told that she was not old enough for a new lesson. Instead of dealing with 3/4 year old's behaving like 3/4 year old's, they call you to make you discipline them over the phone. I've heard that she has grabbed students leaving marks. My daughter HATES it there and is constantly bored. We never had a problem in traditional preschool. She is stacking blocks and making bead necklaces instead of learning anything useful. We liked the idea of k3-k5 so she could move on to more advanced lessons but as I said before when she try's to learn something more advanced she is shot down. I wouldn't recommend this school after seeing what my daughter went thru for a year. The office staff, while nice, do not have it together and don't return calls. They have found guns on the playground and have had problems with the bus drivers having criminal records.

- submitted by a parent
May 31, 2012
My daughter has been attending Macdowell for the past three years and will be graduating K-5 this year. We love her teacher; she has helped give my daughter a strong base in reading and math. I would't put much stock in the previous reviewer's comments about the website. Milwaukee has faced many cuts to MPS and maintaining a website is, I'm sure, does not top Macdowell's priority. My daughter will not be attending the school for the 2012-13 school year which due only to the fact that the school is moving out toward Wawautosa and is not convenient for us as we drive her to school each day. Had the school not opted to move, we likely would have kept our child there for years to come.

- submitted by a parent
January 26, 2012
If your considering sending your child to this school take a look at their website first. The school calendar is blank. Their most recent newsletter is from May 2011. It says view pictures of past family events at the bottom of the page but the bottom of the page is blank. It lists Ken Wald as the principal......but he's not anymore. I could keep going but I have a limited number of characters I'm allowed for this review. Anyway, it's not just the website that's disorganized; rather it's a reflection of the school as a whole. If you value education do yourself a favor and choose a different school.

- submitted by a parent
January 12, 2011
I have three students enrolled at MacDowell and I love the teachers here. They are dedicated to the well being of the students. Also, there are activities available for the students.

- submitted by a parent
July 12, 2010
We love MacDowell. Our daughter is in 5th grade, and has attended MacDowell since 1st. She has had AWESOME teachers, and has absolutely excelled and blossomed. The work she is doing is very challenging, and has been since day one. Since is it a Montessori School, learning is encouraged as an active, dynamic process. In addition to great academics, she has enjoyed chess club, drama club, and Spanish club.

- submitted by a parent
May 25, 2010
I really love this school.My children have learned so much. my first grader is doing 3rd grade work and my 3rd grader is reading at a 6th grade level..The teachers are awesome.

- submitted by a parent
May 28, 2008
Still unsure,as a parent it is hard to see your child so willing to learn, and wanting to learn to do new things, yet cant do other lessons because they havent mastered 'the polishing ' lesson yet... it hard to see the progress, when other kids his age are maybe 'doing more' and your child is not. I think teacher are deticatied, and love what they do, but some times it feels like they forget the fun time, my child once made a comment to me about brign silly time, and there is 'no silly time in school' and thats hard to hear as a parent- school should be structured and fun! Agian, I am fairly new to the school, and it hard to see if its a fit for my child.

- submitted by a parent
no rating January 02, 2008
The quality of education is average. This school does not set high expectations for students. I have had a absolute different experience putting my children in a different school district.

- submitted by a parent
September 22, 2007
I have three children attending the school They are happy and thriving and love going to school. The teachers are professional and very dedicated. It has been nothing but a positive experience. They have a very active PTA.

- submitted by a parent
August 28, 2007
MacDowell has got to be the most academically deficient school. I'm working diligently to get my daughter out...working with her over the summer I've discovered the gross incompetence of this educational system. Off to 4th grade severely lacking in basic grammatical and mathematical skills. The montessori methodology may work for some, but unfortunately, this one isn't good for anyone.

- submitted by a parent
August 14, 2007
Wonderful, positive learning environment. Many opportunities for parents to get involved. Staff works as a cohesive team focused on increasing student progress.

- submitted by a parent
January 09, 2006
MacDowell is a great school. We have two children enrolled. Both of their teachers are ideal Montessori-type teachers: concerned, engaged, intelligent, passionate. The principal is excellent. The PTA is very active here. With limited funding the school has been able to start a Chess Club, an Environmental Club, send its 8th graders to overnight camp, and create a Drama Club, plus other activities. This a true testament to the principal's, teachers', and parent's creativity & enthusiasm.

- submitted by a parent
September 18, 2004
This review submitted without content.

- submitted by a parent

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MacDowell Montessori School
6415 West Mount Vernon Avenue, Milwaukee, WI  53213
(414) 935-1400
Last modified MacDowell Montessori School is a Public school that serves grades K-12. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 1 out of 10 based on academic quality.
MacDowell Montessori School Rating: 3 out of 5 based on 26 reviews. Top