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.
This is a good school in general, but it really depends on which teacher your child is with. The management is only concerned about money really. They are accredited, so they think that they are high above the rest, and dont really care about what parents think. They blindly follow montgomery county public schools snow policy and close for snow days even though there is no reason to be closed. To top it off they do not even consider making up the lost time on other holidays, or compensating parents for the lost money. On the whole, the management especially the principal has a very rigid "i can do whatever i want since I am a private school" attitude. I feel bad for some of the good teachers, they are stuck in a bad school environment. The school is going downhill.
My oldest son went there for 2 years old program, the teacher was ok, but his 3 years old teacher was horrible. No encouragement at all and just let the kids do whatever they want, so I pulled him out from Franklin after he finished the 3 years old program. I am thinking of sending my youngest child to Franklin (in Rockville) next year and would like to get recommendation for the 2 years old and 3 years old teachers. Please advise if you know any good teacher. Thanks
All three of my children went here and loved it. They learned to be independent thinkers. Daily routine is well established and allows for students to develop a lot of confidence with their academics. Learning is very hands on. I love the way they teach math. Also, students play two to three times a day outdoors. I give Franklin a lot of credit for helping my children develop a love of learning.