I student-taught at MMS and there I encountered the most self sufficient, mature, and ready-to-learn students I've seen in my teaching experience thus far. This can be attributed to a stellar staff that is dedicated to the Montessori method and creates wonderful learning environments in every room. I was constantly amazed at how advanced and knowledgeable all students seemed -- from toddlers through Junior High. I truly wish every school could be like this.
We applied to MMS when our daughter was in 7th grade. She lacked study skills, stamina for work and was not motivated to learn. The quality of the MMS website helped us decide. It’s well-organized and comprehensive; we later learned the school is run the same way. We were attracted to the entire Junior High portrait because it puts focus on the whole person. A little video under the ADMISSIONS section is what tapped our decision to apply. It described our teen’s diminished motivation to learn. Our daughter was assessed to be about a year behind. We welcomed the advice to take a back seat and let the professionals at MMS do their job. Tutoring, individualized attention and frequent communication helped a great deal.
When our daughter’s work got off track the Head of School, Junior High teachers and parents collaborated. Our daughter compared her public middle school experience to that at MMS. Her description of classmates and the social atmosphere was not without age-appropriate issues. What impressed us, however, was her description of the other students raised within the ranks of MMS. She described them as unusually kind and impressively smart. We suspect having a child enrolled in MMS during the formative years has much to do with the current culture of kindness at the Junior High level. The Junior High staff consistently championed our daughter’s success. Her success became a new norm and her intrinsic motivation returned. In addition to core academic improvement we learned our daughter enjoyed writing, debate, public speaking and acting. The opportunity for students at MMS is unique. We didn’t expect enrichment in so many areas in so little time with such positive impact to her person. By graduation, assessment indicated she was working at and above grade level. She recently transitioned back into the public-school system. Recent high school conferences reveal confidence and a maturity unlike many of her 9th grade peers. In a year and a half, our daughter transitioned from a likely drop out to “getting it.” In our estimation, MMS well-prepared our daughter for high school and life. We hope this review helps other parents decide about MMS.
Integrity, compassion and respect naturally flourish from the school's strong character. In the middle of the 7th grade our student was given the opportunity to make a real life decision: succeed at MMS or fail elsewhere for free. Our student chose to stay. We watched as her development boomeranged.
Junior High homework isn't a "thing" for parents to monitor or worry about. If there's a problem, teachers resolve it with the student first. This approach offers the student autonomy and prepares them for the rigor of high school.
I have 2 children that attended MMS. As they (my children) have gotten older, they have both spoken to me about their education. Simply, MMS made a difference in their life(broadened their thinking) and are grateful for those adults that were involved with them. They were given opportunities to experience natures classroom, current event field trips as well as my favorite parent/teacher/child conferences. When children are young and they enjoy something that's great. However, now as they talk about their MMS days I hear the love, the laughter and their shenanigans (oops - I mean adventures) and the difference MMS made in their lives.
As for the Head of School, I found her straightforwardness refreshing and her willingness to listen appreciated. Many administrators play games, she does not. I wish more Head of Schools were like her candid and honest!
Toddler program was uncaring and judgmental of parents. Children's House was overcrowded. The principal is rude and arrogant. Would not recommend this school unless your child is always easy and you have great amount of money above and beyond the hefty tuition.