Walden Montessori Academy is a preschool located in Bethesda, Maryland.
This preschool's average Community Rating, based on 4 reviews, is 4 out of 5 stars.
My first child 'graduated' from Walden and now I have my second in the program. First off, It has a wonderful curriculum that allows each child to explore and learn independently (which is Montessori), but there are also wonderful social and cultural activities (such as yoga, spanish, art, music, dance). This gives the school great balance. Second, the teachers are there for a reason. They really have helped both of my kids focus and grow academically - my first child was reading by age 4 with the help of his teacher! And writing book reports! Now, as for locked doors and trouble visiting classrooms - security is a priority at this school. Wouldn't you want it to be? So the front door is always locked and visits are normally scheduled in advance - but you can visit as often as you want or offer to volunteer.
My family's experiences with Walden are exactly what I would want from a quality Montessori environment: knowledgeable staff, bright clean classrooms, wonderful peers for my children, and a full, enriched learning experience. My children's love of learning was the direct result of the experiences and care shown to them by the teachers and staff. I especially appreciated the interactions with the teachers, frequent updates about my children's progress, and the broad curriculum. From the life cycle of pumpkins to butterfly metamorphosis, my children were active participants in their education (which I prefer to teacher-centered instructional models). Walden is a fine Montessori school and has a charming parent community.
I had very bad experience with this school - my son went to their 2s program and I did not continue with their program. The door is locked most of the time and you have to make an appointment to visit your kid - it is impossible to walk in and see how your kids are doing; the director and the secretary are very unfriendly, especially the director. They are more interested in how to run the school conveniently, and not what's best for the kids and parents. If you dare to be late in picking up your kid just for one minute, you get slashed with $50 late fee. There is no buffer time and they think parents should never stuck in traffic. Look somewhere else!!
If you are looking for a caring, nurturing environment for your child, I encourage you to look elsewhere. Teachers and director are more interested in labeling your child then teaching them. What a terrible waste of money and time.
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