I think prospective parents should know that MMS is in someways academically strong, but in most ways not Montessori. Montessori believed in developing the "whole-child", meaning both intellectually and socio-emotionally. A child simply can't develop the latter in an environment where the virtues of kindess and understanding are frequently absent. I think the sterile and stoic atmosphere does stem from the school's leadership, which permeates staff and ultimately the classrooms with the children. I have noted that many children's feelings are often ignored and discouraged, particularly if they interfere with the academic agenda. This deeply impacts children's abilities to learn how to cope and problem-solve their diverse emotional experiences. Montessori envisioned that these problems be addressed and resolved within the social environment. Unfortunately problems are often punished at MMS rather than discussed in a solution-oriented fashion where real learning can happen, or so that a child might acquire the tools to make a different choice the next time. It's safe to say that MMS has abandoned several core-principles of Montessori in favor of academics- a true sacrifice, I think.
This school is one of the worst private schools in Milwaukee. They will ruin your child's self-esteem which they think is doing them a favor. The administration is rude, uncaring and unapproachable. We are now joining a great school where the atmosphere is welcoming, the teachers are caring and the administration wants what is best for our children.
Let me start out by saying this school is not for everyone, no school is. Having said that, and having reviewed several schools since my children were born, I would have to say that this school is the best, bar none, in teaching children who are intellectually curious, academically advanced, and come from diverse backgrounds. If you are looking for a school that teaches things like how government and elections work through mock elections and the creation of bills in the classroom, where children as young as 3 are taught art appreciation or how to play the violin or to speak Spanish, where children learn about the parts of a plant followed by planting and growing an actual plant, where your young child will not be laughed at for loving chess or art or reading or just for being a gentle caring soul then this is the school for your child. I would encourage any parent who is thinking of sending their child to this school, or any other school, to visit the school and take a look at the children that are there, see what they are doing and how they are doing. I would also encourage any parent to look at the children that are a few years older to see where your child could be.
Our son goes to Children's house and we love this school. Teachers are friendly, caring and strict when it comes to discipline. If we don't move out of Milwaukee I'll keep my son till Junior high.
I really don't understand all of the negative reviews... this is my sons third year here, and he has flourished. Do they expect your child to take personal responsibility? YES. Even at 18 months. Are the teachers always respectful to your child? YES, even when disciplining them. Will your child be academically advanced if they attend this school? Most likely. Is the staff bending over backwards to say hi to the parents and making sure that the parents get enough attention? NO, thank goodness. There is something wrong, in my opinion, if the staff, upon seeing your child, does not put your child immediately first. I really could care less if the head of school says hi to me- what I do notice, the few times that I walk my son into school, is that EVERY staff member knows his name, and makes it a point to say hi to him. On the occasion when a staff member stops me, it's to tell me a story about my son, or compliment him- and on yes, tell me about some disciplinary action that has been needed. Life is NOT unicorns and rainbows, it should not be at school either. My YOUNG son can carry a conversation with an adult, clean up very well after himself, and LOVES his school. Add high school!
I waited until after leaving this school and enrolled in another to have something to compare MMS to as I only have one child. I never loved this school, though I really hoped I would. I had read many of the reviews prior to enrolling, and thought that they must have come from people difficult to please, or perhaps from those having inappropriate expectations. Unfortunately, most of the negative comments about the school turned out to hold water and I agreed with them wholeheartedly. While there are likely some great teachers there, my child's was average at best. My biggest concern was the general malaise that seems to encompass the entire program. My child got to the point where she incessantly spoke of how bad it was at aftercare that I had to rearrange my schedule to get her out of there earlier. It's my belief that the attitudes of the teachers do come from the head of school, who appeared on paper well qualified, she ultimately turned out to be elitist and insincere.The majority of the administration and some of the teachers seem oddly devoid of emotion. This is not the kind of environment that instills a thirst for learning at a young age.
MMS students made great achievements once again in the 2011-2012 school year. One MMS 8th grader earned the first ever Joe Lubar full scholarship to University School of Milwaukee. Another MMS 8th grader was invited to the Washington D.C. to take part in the White House Science Fair as a result of winning President Obama's National STEM Video Game Challenge. She was one of only 12 students nationwide to win. The girls' track and field team had an amazing season, and the MMS girls' 4x100 relay team won at State! MMS students earned art awards regionally and statewide, and they were also honored when the Children's Hospital asked to keep MMS student artworks as a part of their permanent collection. The MMS robotics team won the 1st place teamwork award in the First Lego League. Learn all about the MMS student achievements this year: http://milwaukee-montessori.org/About-Us/Our-School/Student-Awards.htm
The most important thing in a Montessori environment are the teachers. How much and what you child learns depends on the teachers. The MMS teachers are very good. There was one teacher in KG who was not good, and my child wasn't learning much, but she was removed the next year and the replacement was very good. The Montessori philosophy itself it good, and then if you have a good teacher you are all set. Your child will flourish. Will likely be confident and will be at an advanced level academically. My child did extremely well so were are happy. The MMS admin is not that nice and arrogant, hence I am not giving 5 stars. Their attitude seems to be that they are doing you a favor by letting you in their school. The fundraisers are annoying too. However, administrators are not that important most of the time. When the teacher is good and the child is doing well, minor annoyances such as administrators and fundraisers are easy to ignore. So, I would put my child in MMS again and would recommend it to others.
Elitist school who "cherry picks" the easiest students then takes credit for their behavior and accomplishments as if the school made them that way. Very arrogant, intimidating, and unapproachable principal. If you do not have a lot of $ (and the teacher will single you out to tell you that everyone else in the class has donated to the annual fund and they wont get their pizza party because of you), are a single parent (you will be referred to as Mrs. Last name of your child reagardless of how many times you correct) or your child has a lot of energy (not according to pediatrician) this is probably not a good fit. Very traumatizing experience for my child and for me.. Happy to report that my child is flourishing in public school. $11,000 a year may not be a lot to some but for me it was a huge sacrifice and all for nothing.
One of the most important things an MMS education taught me was independence. Allowing the child to go about the day selecting the work he or she chooses really encourages a sense of independence and creativity. At MMS, children are allowed to choose their own work throughout the day and even get to select the subject matter of their choice when doing projects or writing reports. This allows the child to pursue what really holds his or her interest, getting them excited about their work. Children end up with a feeling of confidence because they are happy and interested in the work at hand. It might not seem immediately obvious, but one must only look at the oldest children in the school to see that this independence and faith in the child builds personal confidence. I thought about how that Montessori-instilled confidence exhibits itself in my own life. I have forged my own path in life, making choices that were not necessarily always popular or expected, yet I have few regrets. By receiving that faith in my own independence at Milwaukee Montessori I know that whatever life tosses my way, that I ll be able to handle it.
I am a proud parent of two MMS students. Both my children enjoy going to school and bring home what they learn through stories and examples. I often find my oldest sitting in front of the computer researching a topic that was discussed in class because he found it so interesting and wants to know more about it. I find it amazing how much he loves to learn and read about the world around us and that he learns each topic with great depth. This was not the case 3 years ago when he was going to MPS and every morning was a battle followed by the evening battle of homework. My children went from not being able to focus on simple school work to handling complex problem solving with great ease. Along with the benefits of the education, MMS brings my family a great sense of belonging to a community. There is always an event going on no matter what time of year it is. There is always a chance to mingle with other parents and get to know the MMS staff a little better. I am happy to be part of the MMS family.
We came to MMS after a few years of misery in an excellent school district. Our children are really happy with MMS. In fact, our eldest child was looking forward to summer ending so she could go back to school. I agree, the head of school does not exude warmth. Yes, sometimes the policies seem a bit harsh. Overall, though, I have found the staff to be very approachable and responsive to our children's needs.
I am a recent graduate from MMS and I couldn't be more pleased with the experience. Since I was three years old, I was able to share memorable experiences with friends and teachers that were with me from my first step through the doors, to my graduation speech. My teachers were able to thoroughly prepare me for life after MMS academically as well as socially (I was able to transition to a large, public high school without any issues). I fully credit my success thus far to the amazing staff that lead me through all 11 years at MMS! Thank you!
As you investigate schools I encourage you to ask yourself 2 questions: 1) Do I want my child to attend a school that is academically successful. I'm sure the answer to that 1st question is yes, but I know much more will go into your decision. 2) Do I want my child to attend a school where the administration does not listen to legitimate concerns and instead covers up real problems and decides to not offer enrollment to those that do complain? I imagine you would answer no to that question. From my experiences (my child is a former student), and from conversations with many other parents I assert that these are the issues you must consider. MMS might produce children who are successful academically. However, if you encounter staff that make poor decisions that adversely affect your child (as we did numerous times), be prepared to just accept the fact that your concerns won't be listened to by the authoritarian administration. I am so glad that my child no longer attends MMS. I strongly encourage you to seek an alternative to MMS where parental involvement and perspectives are respected as it will lead to a richer, more successful, more emotionally stable educational experience.
I strongly disagree with the comments regarding the administration at MMS. My children all started at MMS when they were very young and my oldest is currently applying to the top colleges in the nation after scoring in the top percentile of the ACTs. Throughout the 12 years we have been here, we have had several incidents that required meetings with the administration (let's face it - my children are great kids but they aren't angels) and we have always found the administrators, especially the Head of School, to be extremely helpful and direct. They really know my children and are able to provide suggestions and support that produce excellent results. They do not always tell me what I want to hear, and I may not always be happy with procedures, but every decision is made keeping in mind what is best for the students. I know too many students who have graduated from MMS and who are truly successful, happy young adults to ever doubt the school or their leadership.
According to MMS Volleyball Coach, the goals for his teams include much more than just winning records. His coaching lessons focus on developing personal integrity in each athlete and developing each athlete's compassion for their teammates, with the goal of building in his athletes a sense of community and an ability to work as a team. Ultimately, he wants players' participation in athletics to be a true extension of the core lessons they are being taught in the MMS classroom. So, being in sports isn't just about winning, and being in athletics isn't just about sports... Read more: http://milwaukee-montessori.org/home/WhatsNew/More-than-winning.htm
My child's contract was thankfully terminated by email and without discussion, and I could not be happier and more relieved. The school would not address a serious teacher issue and instead of working towards a solution, it was quickly covered up and cast aside. The parent-teacher relationship and parental role is not valued or respected by all of the faculty, and contact with the administration is discouraged, so do not expect any collaboration should a problem of any kind arise. Future parents should definitely observe the classroom of their child's potential teacher in order to make an informed decision BEFORE signing the contract. At a minimum, discuss teacher philosophy and approach to ensure it will be a good fit for your child.
Thank you MMS for asking us to leave your school when we confronted you with a huge teacher issue that you were unwilling to take responsibility for. Our daughter (and three other former mms children from last year) are so happy at their new school. Thank you again. Without your poor decision making we would not have found this great new school!
Horrible leadership, horrible school. I would not let my children attend again. There are many private schools in Milwaukee and Brookfield that offer stellar academic programs with leaders who listen instead of scoff.
I have just read many of the review of MMS. I am so relieved to know that I am not the only one appalled by the administration. Recently, I have spoken with some parent of former MMS students and cannot believe some of the stories I have heard about the poor administration. I have signed a contract with them but will not renew. I ran into one of the top administrators at Whole Foods. I said "hello" she snickered and walked away.
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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.
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