This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Community Mont School5
Posted August 06, 2014
- a community member
My granddaughter has attended Community Montessori for the past 2 years and is entering her third and final year at this school. Janet (director), and her staff; Jocelyn, Helen and Carol have become our extended family. Academically, the staff is robust in introducing a solid foundation in reading and mathematics while interspersing geography, culture and music. There is an emphasis on virtues and civility at this school that is priceless. There is a large backyard which is ideal for play time and the school has a colorful and friendly layout. Janet will often have various professionals visit the school to enrich the program with their special talents. There is an unbelievable sense of community here, which is why the school is so aptly named. The best thing about the entire experience is the way my granddaughter feels about the school. She feels loved and cared about. She looks forward to school every day. She consistently says she loves it. There's the proof. This school and its staff has provided a stability and lifelong foundation for my granddaughter to continue to thrive educationally and philosophically long after she graduates this coming spring.
Owner is too bossy and inflexible. She has an "I know everything" attitude and tends to be disrespectful to the parents. She offers zero scholarship or any type of financial assistance for preschool, but expects all the parents to do whatever she tells them to do. Her expectations for a 4 year old are often unreasonable and her discipline methods are questionable at best - her favorite way to discipline is to raise her voice to the point of yelling, and she has also yelled at me when I asked her normal questions that a paying customer would have. She doesn't like to be questioned and does not accept any form of constructive criticism. I have met several parents, since I removed my child from this school, who have either removed their children or decided not to send their children to this school due to Janet's overall bossy and disrespectful attitude. I believe that the school year is hard as it is - no need to add stressful situations or people in the mix. There are other Montessori and Chartered schools in this area. I recommend doing your research and making sure you can put up with Janet before you sign your one (or more) year commitment to this school.
This school produces results, period. Furthermore, the results are visible not only in each child s academic progress, but also in his/her behavior and in the virtues instilled by the school. The issue for virtually every parent with whom I ve spoken is never whether Community Montessori is the best place for our children to begin their formal education, but where to send our children once they graduate. Ms. Janet and crew have instilled a level of knowledge and curiosity that puts the children worlds ahead of their peers at comparable schools. My son attended Community Montessori for roughly 3 years, recently graduating, and I had the opportunity to witness these incredible results year after year. The culmination is that each kindergartener at the school completes a project, researches and writes a report, and makes a presentation upon graduation. This school is a relatively small and undiscovered gem with no desire to cherry pick the best students. Instead, this school is committed to accepting children of all backgrounds and consistently producing academically precocious students who go on to be overrepresented in gifted programs across the valley.
The staff here is vested in the wellbeing and success of the children and they are more than willing to go the extra mile to serve the individual needs of each child. They do a fabulous job of teaching the academics but they excel at virtue development. My kids have the strongest manners of their friends and by far the best reading comprehension of their peer group. The children are also taught and trusted to identify actions that support a peaceful and loving environment. One of the things that has always impressed me is the school's high level of expectation for what the kiddos are capable of achieving. From a life-skills perspective of making beds and contributing in the household to a high standard of cooperation and an expectation of peacefulness, the director holds the children and families accountable. I've dropped one of both of my kids off at school daily for over 8 years. Knowing that the watchfulness of the staff is keeping them safe is so comforting; but also knowing that they are helping my kids cultivate self-awareness, kindness and a sense of what being in a community means is outstanding.
I have been a grandparent (two students) and volunteer at CMS for many years. This has provided the opportunity to observe the school from an "outside" and "inside" perspective. Most days I'm involved with dropping "The Boys" off and picking them up from school. The volunteer part is listening to new readers each week (This listening is AFTER the teachers have done all the work preparing the students for reading). CMS does does use discipline,which i would expect when dealing with children 2 1/2 years through Kindergarten. However, I have never observed or heard from my Grandchildren anything un-loving or, resulting in the Grands being reluctant to attend school. Both have looked forward to school days and leave excitedly talking about what they learned/did that day. In addition, they have lobbied to stay late or arrive early whenever possible. The progress demonstrated by all the children I've come in contact with is remarkable. And, after graduation many return summers and other school holidays to an atmosphere proving age appropriate learning and life skills training for them. Thank you Ms Janet, Jocelyn, Helen, Carol and Tracy!
For the last seven years I have been known as "Ms. Jocelyn" here at Community Montessori School. I will be starting my eighth year in the fall. I am very happy to call CMS my work home. I have been involved with montessori for over two decades both as a parent and also a teacher. I love that we as teachers get to partner with families in helping children develop their independence, a love of learning, and the basic life skills needed to be successful. There is a misconception that montessori is only for "gifted" children. Montessori is for EVERY child. We have worked closely with a various array of therapists when we have children that need a little extra help. So if you are looking for an environment that provides plenty of child led choice within a loving structured environment, please come see us. We can set up appointments for tours if you call ahead, or just drop by if you are in the neighborhood. Our door is always open.
The reason for the low rating is because of the issues my family encountered due to the owners overly authoritative attitude and inflexible demeanor. There are two very good teachers (Jocelyn and Helen) at this school, however the attitude of the boss typically sets the tone and environment of any workplace and that is absolutely the case for this one room school house. The school is academically strong. My children learned a lot at their time at the school. When there were struggles the teachers were always willing to discuss and provide alternatives. My experience was, as long as we took the advice from the head teacher, then things were ok, but if we did not conform, then it was her way or the highway - there was no flexibility. I had expected much more of a "follow the child Montessori philosophy " And when both my preschoolers dreaded going, we knew this was not the right school for us.
I have 2 children currently attending CMS. The improvement in both of their academic skills has increased unbelievably. Neither could recognize numbers or letters before coming here despite the eldest having spent the previous year in a different school. Now I have a reader, and a pre-reader. It is amazing the growth that they have shown in less than a year not just in reading and writing, but also in life skills. My children have both had their own issues, and the teachers have been nothing but supportive to us, offering thoughtful suggestions, and the reassurance that we are on the right road. I am so very happy that we found this school. I would, and do, highly recommend CMS to all of my friends with children who are looking for a great school. We look forward to our future experiences here.
We have been so impressed by this incredible school! Our son will be graduating from kindergarten next week and has had a great experience, both socially and academically. The teachers are patient, kind and help instill a love of learning in children that is unparalleled. Our son, who started at the school just before he turned three, had some challenges with his behavior and even went through a period where he did not want to go to school at all. The school worked with us and worked with our son with patience, kindness and love. Because of the great partnership the school created with us, my son's behavior improved significantly and he has now turned into a leader in the school. He is still a silly five year old most of the time, but he has learned about respect and responsibility. Best of all, I think he has learned that he is able to learn a lot more and have a lot more fun when he makes good choices and follows the schools' rules. We are so grateful for what CMS has done for our son and for our family. We are excited that our younger son will be starting there in August to follow in his brother's footsteps.
My impression is that - if you have a child that's not an academic superstar, you're going to really struggle here. CMS tends to spend most of their time with kids that are intellectually brilliant and way above-average. And if you have problems, or are not that child - then you will not feel comfortable here. The school boasts their virtue program, which I was very attracted to, it fits in with the way we are raising our children. However, the tone of the classroom is closer to a military school then a montessori school. The child is punished for the smallest infractions. For example, if the child will not eat, the child looses playtime. If the child throws sand, the chilld looses playtime. If the child does not respond to the negative reinformcement, then the parent is asked to have the child evaluated. This was not what I expected ina montessori preschool. We are not returning in the fall.