This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Sierra Madre Community Nursery School5
Posted May 02, 2013
- a parent
If you are looking for a nurturing, outdoor environment with a truly progressive/developmental philosophy for your preschooler or kindergartener, this school is the place for you. There is no place that does it better. Your child will will look forward to going to this magical place every day, and he or she will remember it fondly forever. As a parent, you will benefit tremendously from the cooperative aspects. By regularly volunteering in the classroom, you will have the opportunity to witness and share this precious time in your child's life. You will also receive invaluable parenting advice from the educated and experienced teachers. I had two children go through this program, and we spent six years there altogether. My only complaint is that it doesn't extend beyond kidergarten. Now, we miss it so much!
My review, as well as two other negative reviews were removed from this website. Immediately after being taken down, three glowing, positive reviews were posted. I am VERY upset, as I feel that I have the right to post a review of our individual experience at this nursery school. This is very, very upsetting. Anyway, I don't want to take the time to post my entire review again, as I'm sure the school will just take it down again, I suppose. I Do know that there were (at one time) two other negative reviews, aside from mine. We had a terrible experience with this nursery school - from the Director to many of the teachers - it was awful from start to finish - a VERY disappointing and sad experience for us. My sisters and I all attended this nursery school in the 70's and have very fond memories of going there. Unfortunately it is not the same school as it once was. I guess I don't want to go into further detail, as it will apparently cause my review to be removed, and I want people who read this to at least have some exposure to other reviews that are not necessarily positive. Thank you.
I find it interesting that my 1- star opinion post was removed then three absolutely glowing reviews within a week of each other are there.???This school is great, EXCEPT for the director. The teachers are knowledgeable, caring and the co-op environment is a beautiful concept. BUT the issues with the Director and her behavior are inexcusable. You will have to deal with her and good luck if she doesn't take a liking to you. I wont waste my time with details as the school had my other post remove: business as usual, put the skeletons in the closest. One star again, as any school and Board of Directors who allow their Director to behave as this woman does needs to be questioned.
SMCNS offers an ideal first school experience for both children and parents! It is a parent participation preschool which means parents volunteer as assistance teachers in the program on a regular basis. We enjoyed getting to know all of the other children in our child's class, as well as the other families. Parents get to see exactly what happens within the program and learn skills for interacting with children. SMCNS is truly a place where childhood is valued and children are supported in their own individual development. Children graduate from the school with a a strong base in social skills, a sense of wonder and curiosity about the world and nature, and excellent problem solving skills and a sense of self competence. All of which allow for successful transitions to a variety of elementary schools. All of the staff are well-respected, experts in child development and were once parents at this co-op with their own children. The community of families is very strong, connected and supportive. The grounds are beautiful with separate yards for each age group. SMCNS has various schedule options in both morning and afternoon programs, as well as after school care.
This is our family's 7th year and we LOVE it. If this school went up through high school we'd stay forever. The campus is gorgeous and your family becomes a part of the school's community which is a total gift. It's a parent cooperative which means that the parents work in the classroom as parent helpers, fund raise, and maintain the property. The school was established 65 years ago and has a very specific philosophy based on nature and the importance of childhood. This is not an "academic" preschool but, rather, one that values the creativity & joy of children and honors their individuality. The emphasis is on play, emotional intelligence, and social growth both for children and parents. The teachers & staff have all been parents, board members & teachers here for decades. They are a brain trust of early childhood education and are supportive, caring, loving & amazing people. Beverly has been the director for over 20 years and has guided the school through the purchase of the property and created programs that strengthen the school's legacy. Parents learn parenting skills in the classroom from observing the teacher and interacting with the children. It's magical!
We love this school and wish there was an elementary version. It has done wonders for our son emotionally and socially, and we have all made life long friends there. It's true that the school does not focus on traditional academics where children are forced to sit and learn abstract concepts, but seeing as I don't think a child should start that until later in life, it has been the perfect place for us. Children are exposed to concepts in the areas of language arts, math, and science, but this is done through cooking activities, exploration, play, singing, and a brief story time.
If I could give this school negative stars, I would. This is not the same wonderful school that it used to be, largely in part to the current director. We had an awful experience at this school, and it was a huge disappointment. After taking my kids out of the school, I have since learned of numerous families that have had negative experiences at SMCNS. I only wish I had known about this before I sent my children there.
SMCNS is a wonderful, nurturing school. This is a community nursery school, where parents are required to work 2 days a month. It allows you to observe how your child is adapting to school and gives parents clues about how to help their kids interact with other children. There are always 6-7 adults watching and interacting with about 28 kids. There is always a line of kids jumping up and down waiting for school to start. They can't wait to get in. (always a good sign!) While there are lovely indoor classrooms, the kids mostly play outside, get dirty, and have fun. Because it is a community nursery school, the fees are relatively low, and the standards are high. The school has been operating for 65 years, and all the teachers there have had a child enrolled in the school in the past. I highly recommend this school!
Great nursery school! We were there for the wonderful 3 years. I learned so much valuable parenting education. Very loving staffs. Go visit the school, best play ground ever. They even give credit for extra volunteering work!
SMCNS, a cooperative (meaning parents must volunteer in the classroom) is a very developmental environment for children to learn social skills and the ability to make sound choices, based on natural consequences. There is very little done in the way of progressive academics, or structure, up until the K program. The K classroom is a combo class of 4 and 5 yr olds. The teacher, as has most of the staff, has been there for years. My child (a young 5) went through the program. We used it as PreK class and then we went on to real Kindergarden at an academically challenging private school. This worked very well for us.