I would strongly discourage any parent from enrolling his/her child in the Rockville Franklin School. My 3 year old son was placed in a classroom with almost 25 students. Despite the large number of students, the classroom only had 1 teacher and 2 assistants. They all were inexperienced, very cold for people working with young children, and were not very welcoming of parent involvement. The teachers did a horrible job of keeping me informed about the class' activities and my son's progress. They were unresponsive to my requests for information about my son's experience. The head of the school was even worse that the teachers. When I raised concerns about the classroom size, she told me that they have the right to make money and will put as many students in a classroom that ensures they are maximizing their revenue. Her response made clear that she was solely focused on making money rather than ensuring that her students have a positive experience and are offered a classroom environment that allows them to build strong social and academic skills. When I told her that I believed my son should be receiving more academic training for the money we were paying, she told me that I should reconsider whether the Montessori philosophy was appropriate for my son because they were not going to change how they do things. I was shocked that she would speak to a parent in such a dismissive and rude manner. I withdrew my son from Franklin and he is thriving in his new school, which offers him the classroom size/school culture, curriculum, and top-tier teachers that Franklin simply couldn't. I regret ever having enrolled my son at Franklin and for not withdrawing him sooner.
My kid has spent one year in Franklin, the classroom size is terrible, always 26 -30 students, even there are three teachers - one leader teacher and two assistants, you can see their stress even early in the morning . While compare with other schools in local, Franklin has the best outside facilities, beautiful playgrounds and the best Beyond the Walls program, Ms. Amy definitely is a good teacher who has lots of knowledge of nature. We'll have to put our kid in Franklin one more year since we don't have other options so far.
I started looking for schools for my 3 yr old about a month back, and visited 3-4 schools in Rockville. Here is how I felt about Franklin Montessori in Rockville. The younger admin staff at Franklin was terrible at coordinating things. The enrollment numbers change by the hour and if they call you saying they have open spots do not trust them you could be surprised and will hear lame excuses latter, which tells me something is going on with enrollment. The classrooms are nice and the teachers seem to be nice and friendly. With 26 kids in a class and 3 teachers, the ratio is terrible for a Montessori style of teaching. I think this school is overly priced and overrated. I wish they would reduce the student teacher ratio and not fill kids over the capacity and be open about their enrollment when someone asks for a tour.
For the last three months I have been shopping different schools and have been absolutely shocked at how sub standard they were for the price. This school was absolutely perfect. It is just simply gorgeous, clean, happy, well maintained and there is a variety of stimulation for the children. I wanted to go play myself. I was also very impressed with a professionally dressed staff who were all very welcoming, willing to explain, accomodating and who spoke proper English. Many schools could follow the examples that this school has set. The only drawback, it does have high tuition rates and I don't believe that they offer financial aid which would expand their demographics. In addition, it could have been the time that I toured, but the sound of some children playing is very comforting.
I am not a fan of the Montessori methods in that, I tend to think that they simply price-gouge you. What they do is simply not that much more than other pre-school/young developmental education programs out there. For example, my child learned how to do addition in his head. I didn't teach her - she simply learned it on his own. Yet, the teachers at this place ended up yelling and disciplining her for it. It's totally ludicrous - yes, I understand their methods, and yes, if a child CAN'T do it, then there's no need to force them, but if she can, disciplining them for this is idiotic. I also have severe problems with this school in particular. As someone noted, they are too profit oriented. I understand the need to make money, but their primary goal should be youth development. I know parents who were given the "scare" tactic - they would tell them that their kids would fail horribly if they went to public schools and that they really needed to stay at Montessori for another year. They would come up with a litany of issues, none of which were true/evident, as noted by other professionals (I have a doctorate in youth education and have never noticed these issues).
I just called to invite a Franklin teacher my son had when he was 3-5 years old, to attend his Eagle Scout Court of Honor. So - that's how we feel about Franklin. Some teachers have been there for 15 years and longer, and children who now are seniors in high school remember them. I have a photo on my bedroom wall of our 13 year old, at age 3, in a lion costume that was sewn by this teacher (along with 15 other costumes) for the school's "Circus". I don't have any recent experience with Franklin, but the Montessori method has been around a long time. The school is more beautiful now than when we were there, and I can vouch for the excellence of at least 1 of the current teachers. My boys are in public school and are top students and nice young men. Got a good start at Franklin!
We love Franklin. My kids developed a love of learning here that is lasting well into elementary school. Its Montessori but not too rigid. Its a loving, fun place. My kids were so happy here. All of the teachers and assistants are great. Never had any issues with the administration.
As a pediatrician for the last nine years in Montgomery County I thought I was making a great decision when I sent my then three year old to Franklin Montessori. Unfortunately, this school only embraces the ideals of Montessori that suits their needs. Also, if you have to interact with the head of the school; you will be met with a rigid, uncaring and to be honest, rude, individual. My child has a speech impairment and takes a bus twice a week from the Franklin School to a public Elementary School for therapy. The administrations' attitude is that they don't have to walk him to the bus at the entrance to the school. My four year old should just walk there and stand outside himself. Also, if you miss their arbitrary cut off for their Ambassador's program, they refuse to evaluate your child for the program. My son missed it by 7 days and principal actually said, "that's just the cut off and it works for us." When I got a little tearful, she never offered even a tissue; she just ignored me and spoke to my husband saying, "I'm done talking about this, get out of my office. I am not going to look at your child's individual development." Wouldn't send my child here again.
Wonderful school! As a former Franklin student, I can't say enough great things about the Franklin Schools. The staff (teachers and admin) are extremely friendly and supportive. The school creates a warm and friendly environment where children can grow and develop positive characteristics that will help them in the future. Franklin makes learning fun and exciting -- the materials are so original and unique! -- and the teachers create lesson plans that are adaptable to meet the needs of each child. Although the school has physically changed quite a bit since I was there, the heart of the school remains the same. The Franklin schools have played such a large role in my life that I consider them to be family.