This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Milwaukee Montessori School2
Posted September 03, 2014
- a parent
My child attended MMS starting with the toddler program through the pre-K years. When we enrolled our child we expressed concern that our child's previous care provider had high staff turnover. We were told there was little staff turnover at MMS. However, in our child's first year there were two caregivers let go - with no prior notice to parents - and replaced with new faces. This trend continued through the next phase of the toddler program, Stepping Stones. Overall, the care in First Steps was very good but the quality of care declined when our child reached Stepping Stones. Upon reaching the pre-K grades, we found the quality of the morning Montessori classroom instruction to be good. However, the afternoon caregivers - not Montessori-trained, which is not as we expected given the high tuition cost - were generally lacking. Feedback to administration was met with charges that our child -a toddler - needed to show more "impulse control." Beyond that were unmet promises that our feedback would be presented to the caregivers and a plan of action put in place. We saw no changes. The administration seems more concerned with running a business than with running a school.
We had both positive and negative experiences at MMS. The positive: academic achievement is high and the strong technology focus gives kids an advantage in today's world. The negative: the school staff and administration are on average extremely unfriendly, inflexible rule followers to the point of never accommodating kids and parents and never using any common sense or independent judgment to fit different situations. Also, the school is constantly fund raising despite high tuition prices and other costs of attendance, and they seem to assume that every family has a limitless budget. Finally, there is sometimes an odd disconnect on the part of the teachers and administration. This last is more difficult to explain, and was more of a feeling we'd get when interacting with them, as if they were not always responding to or hearing what we were saying in conversations. The biggest problem is that the school seems to have little ability to teach kids who are not naturally high achievers and who are not as inclined to be self motivated. Overall the school is good, but I think it only works for one type of student.
When I first came to the Montessori system in first grade, I was way behind my peers in every core subject. However within a couple months I had caught up and even surpassed many in my grade. The key to Montessori and what has been firmly instilled in me is an unwavering love for learning. This concept is so foreign to students not in a Montessori environment that it shocks others when I talk about wanting to come to school every day. Milwaukee Montessori School created that desire to learn new core subjects and encouraged me to explore other fields of study. From exposure to drumming and photo developing, the school never ceased to provide me a new adventure daily. The teachers at MMS were never satisfied with simply presenting new material, but insisted on challenging me to have mastery before moving on. I continue to see other schools fine with a student taking a test and regardless of there outcome move on with new lessons. My Montessori experience at MMS will always be something I will be proud to share and encourage others to partake in. I am blessed that my parents placed me an environment where I could reach a potential I might not otherwise have achieved.
I have one child that has attended MMS for two years and we are so proud of all his accomplishments. He is very energetic and social. He gets excited to go to school and cheers when he arrives. He loves his teacher and can't stop talking about all the new things he is learning. jAfter one week there he initiated housework and often wants to do everything independently. If he was at public school I think he would be bored either waiting for all the discipline problems to be eliminated. I have done therapy for seventeen years with MPS students due to severe behavioral problems. Kids at MPS say they have to be bad otherwise they will get beat up and bullied. The kids say they focus on survival and there is no room for learning. The teenagers I worked with barely could read. My five year old can read quite well. I have always had pleasant and respectful interactions with everyone I have encountered especially the administration. I have always been heard and gotten response within the day. We are proud of our school and the community within it.
My son was shamed and made to feel that he was unwelcome. He was diagnosed with ADHD after leaving this school and is now in therapy and taking the appropriate medications to thrive in another school. The administration and teachers were asked many times if they thought that his inability to sit still and pay attention were due to ADHD and they adamantly claimed that he was doing it on purpose because of my poor parenting skills. I read recommended parenting books and went to love and logic seminars only to have his contract terminated by email. He now is being treated not only for ADHD but also for poor self esteem that can be attributed to his experience at MMS. For the amount if money spent on tuition, I would expect the staff to be able to recognize something as common as ADHD. Despicable.
We have 3 kids at MMS & never intended to be here longer than "preschool" with our 1st child. We've invested 11+ years here and cannot speak highly enough about the diverse faculty, strong Administration and amazing "child-centered" community. As parents we've learned from the teachers - these kids are all capable of MORE than even WE think! They foster that independence here. While we have friends/peers who have left at various ages, those transitions are natural. MMS is not a universal fit (sometimes child/sometimes parent). Hopefully parents researching schools do their own investigating and not base their choices on the unfortunate experiences of disgruntled folks. While it's disappointing that not everyone has had the outstanding experience that our family continues to have, MMS makes leaders, thinkers, compassionate achievers out of those committed. While I may not agree w/ all Admin choices - I believe that as professionals that THEY KNOW BEST of what they are doing in this educational setting (not parents). That is why we CHOOSE to pay to send them to this private school. It's UNIQUE and like none other, and therefore - not for everyone. PROUD PARENT!
I visited several schools for my son and this school stood out among them all as the best choice (of public and private options). My son came here from another Montessori school that only went through 5K and entered his new room 1-3 grade room with warmth and support. He loves school, loves his teachers and loves his classmates. While the school has some not traditional or not strict Montessori components, it is a good blend of traditional and new. As a first grader he writes in cursive, divides and multiplies, reads chapter books, builds robots, has great attention to detail, respects himself, others and property, questions, observes and thinks. All of this with very little homework (flashcards and reading) at night. I have visited the school often and see students engaged, respectful and working hard. Students are very independent and are motivated to work hard. While a Montessori school is not for everyone, if this is the type of teaching you are looking for I would not hesitate to recommend MMS.
There is no school like the Milwaukee Montessori School in the Milwaukee area. If you seek diversity, respect, and empowerment, this is the school for you. When I look at the bleachers at school events, no two skin tones are the same, and yet an overall atmosphere of "one great big family" and inclusion permeates throughout. Everyone loves and respects one other. I am continuously amazed at the support from the teachers and the entire staff. Each and every one are vested in the success of my children. If there is a problem, I am notified via phone call, or e-mail, that day. It's no surprise with an environment like this that the average intelligence level of each student is extraordinary. My 11 year old's class is doing the math and science I did in 10th grade! Intelligence and creativity are "trendy" in this school, and celebrated by all-very unlike the public school I attended as a child. Communication and life skills are taught above all else, which is remarkable and needed in our schools. I am grateful that this school exists, as it is the perfect fit for our family. Thank you, Milwaukee Montessori School, for succeeding in being the change Milwaukee needed!
This is our tenth year at MMS, and the school continues to strive for excellence each year. My nine year old son continues to benefit from the wholesome curriculum that includes art, music and technology along with core subjects as math and language arts. Some of the observations that my friends shared with me regarding my son are fascinating, making me a proud mother. My friends pointed out that my son can strike conversations with adults, greets people looking in their eyes , and is extremely caring and kind to the young ones around him often entertaining them, giving adults time to socialize during social visits. I am positive that MMS played a vital role to achieve these qualities along with our support. I am so grateful to be a part of this community.
As a parent at this school, I read some of these reviews with confusion. I don't understand why people choose to dash comments off on this website rather than use the many avenues for communicating with the faculty? We continue to stay in this outstanding school because my children are miles ahead of their peers in practically every area, including social, and every question or concern I have ever raised to their teachers has been answered in a prompt, professional way. The school responds to the needs of the children by teaching them skills that will be truly useful in their future educational and social lives. I mean, what other school in the area has a 3D printer? What other students are learning to program educational games, rather than just be consumers of them? My kids are also physically fit and have learned manners and grace that continually make me proud. I actually become more and more grateful for the contribution MMS is making in my kids lives, and I hope the bitter words of a few will not keep people from visiting the school and making the decision for themselves.