It wasn't a cake walk to get a spot at FUMP in Santa Monica but it was FULLY worth the effort for our son. FUMP is a nurturing, caring, forward-thinking pre-school that is thankfully respectful of the needs of both the kids and in our case - working parents. They are religious but never in-your-face about it. The best part of the school is the community which is very inclusive. They do lots of events at the school such as the Fall Festival where I was able to compete (and win) a 10 person chili cook off.
You will love FUMP!
We are so happy we found this school. The class size is perfect. The playground is enormous and they have monkey bars which is my daughters favorite activity. All of the teachers and care givers actually care and look you in the eye when you pick up and drop off. The director is very warm and welcoming and is on top of any concerns you may have. My daughter is in the TK program and she has developed an excitement about learning. We recommend this school highly!
FUMC Preschool is an incredible school. The teachers are warm, smart, caring, nurturing- absolutely the best asset. The opportunity for the children to participate in numerous extra curricular activities from woodworking to drumming to karate is also exciting. Music, chapel, and a beautiful classroom environment add to the experience. FUMC Preschool is also unique is providing snacks and a full healthy lunch, while teaching the children to sit down and eat in a communal environment. Absolutely consider this school if you live on the west side.
We transferred to FUMC after moving to Santa Monica in the middle of the school year. We could not be happier. The director is incredibly welcoming and helpful and the teachers are truly wonderful. I have seen my daughter's confidence soar since she started school here. I love reviewing all of the things she works on at school. The school has a real emphasis on early literacy in a very nurturing, positive way.
I am very proud to belong to FUMC Preschool's family!!! My son truly loves his teachers, enjoys classroom activities while I appreciate a safe environment. I also love the opportunities for parents' involvement. School has numerous committees that parents are welcome to join. FUMC Preschool makes my family very happy :-)
I am so happy to have found FUMC for my son. He is almost four and we left a school that was not working for me. What I noticed immediately about FUMC is the warmth and caring that the teachers, administration and parents convey. It sounds odd but the people at FUMC have manners! I want my child to learn that is it polite to greet other people when you see them. I love, love the new director, Batscheva. She is very sensitive, warm, approachable and knowledgeable. Her assistant Vivien is fantastic, also warm, etc, and they both respond very quickly to emails and in friendly manner. Batscheva let me attend all sorts of meetings and observe the classroom my son would be in so that I could make an informed decision. My son's teacher has always has been and is, friendly, warm, etc. Just a loving environment. Another reason I have moved my son there is the small student to teacher ratio. That is very important to me. The atmosphere is also calm, of course the kids are running around but it is not out of hand loud voices, etc. I also love the fact that they provide healthy lunches and the children sit down with their teachers and classmatesto have a civilized meal.
This is a GREAT school! The lack of leadership actually comes from the top of the Church that is and trickles down. Communication is definately not one of ther strenghs when it comes to important things. But my child LOVES it and his Teachers and that to me is really the most important. Actually the less I get involved the better the school is since all the little issues don't really mean anything except to SAHM who doesn't have much else going on. The new director is doing her best to change the school around to be more positive experience but think she needs to consider her teachers as part of the solution and not necessary the problem. But great school for working parents! I have looked at LOTS of other schools in the area and can't find anything that compares.
Building on the July 12 and 24th reviews, a group of parents met directly with the new Director to discuss disappointment over the shortened calendar. She asked for help coming up with solutions which we gladly offered (most solutions were easy to execute and didn't involve a monetary refund) meanwhile she spoke to us in a patronizing manner. There has been NO follow-up from the meeting in spite of 4 different families emailing and asking her for an update. No response from the director at all. Now, school is over and it is apparent that she just wanted to brush this issue under the rug. I have been with this school for many years and have had two children go through the program. It is amazing how ineffective and boarderline unethical the leadership is...and coming from a school that claims to "operate within Christian values" is just a complete disappointment.
I agree 100% with th July 12th review. FUMC was a good school, now lacks leadership and direction. My son went here for two years, and my daughter went here 1 year. We will not be returning, and have enrolled elsewhere. The "new" school director would rather stonewall and ignore parents than address their concerns. The school year contract was breached by the shortened school year, yet no refunds will be returned to any parents. My advice... Run for the hills!!!!!!
While the location and space of the school is very inviting and warm and most of its teachers and staff are very caring and dedicated, the direction and leadership ofthe Director is lacking in quality. From our experience at the school, the reputation is grounded on previous years and its strength remains in question.