After reading the negative review of Diamond Hill Montessori, I felt compelled to respond as a parent of a 3rd year student. My experience at the school with the directors and teachers was extremely different. Like most children coming into a new environment, my son was apprehensive. In a day or so I watched him get out of character and to my husband and my surprise he became disruptive. The teachers and the directors were caring and patient. We met three times in a two-week period. Never once did they make him feel unwanted or threatened to kick him out. Instead, they suggested a few techniques for hubby and I to utilize at home that would in turn create a balance for our child at school and home. Currently my son is a model kindergartner. He’s an independent, critical thinking and intelligent 6 years old. I thank Diamond Hill for opening up his personality, encouraging his sociability, pushing him to think outside the box and to be a leader. Working together and getting on the same page with the school has yielded the optimum results for my son and his future challenges.
To the negative reviewer, I don’t know what happened in your situation, but I along with so many other parents have watched the teachers coax and calm down many crying children. A number of them far more than 8 days. Sorry to hear about your unfortunate experience, but pointing the finger of blame at DHMS is unwarranted. Perhaps at that point in time when you enrolled your daughter, she may not have been prepared to adjust to any new surroundings. Nonetheless, I hope you found a place for her that she enjoys.
For the record, Diamond Hill is a great school with a talented staff. My only regret is that I didn’t send my older child there 15 years ago.
An extreme word of caution when considering this "school." It is run more like a business than a school and treated my child more like a transaction rather than an individual. My child only lasted 8 days (attending 3 days/wk). On the 6th day of school, the Director told me that he didn’t think it was working out, but offered no suggestions as to what the school could do to help my child. The only feedback I received from both the teacher and the Academic Director was that my child needed more time and consistency and that it was only day 7. On day 8 when I came to pick up my child, the Academic Director changed her tune and told me that she just wanted “school to be a pleasant experience” (it’s their company line) and that it didn’t seem like it was for my child. I had no idea that day was going to be the last day of school for my child. No warning, no good-byes to my child, no direction or advice as to what to do next. I was taken aback because I have worked in the field of education for more than 10 years and I have never witnessed such lack of empathy, compassion, and general inconsideration for a child and a family. If your child may have some separation anxiety, may throw “tantrums” being in a new environment, or may need more than 6-8 days to get used to school, DHMS will not “hold your hand” through the experience. No one on the staff took the time to get to know my child as an individual nor did they take the time to ask me any questions regarding my child. They did not give my child a chance. Emails or requests to meet with the teacher had to go through the Director (sometimes garnering no return response), all conversations about how to support my child were instigated by me, and there was no help in transitioning my child out of DHMS - not even a simple good bye. When I asked what kind of message they were sending to my child after only 8 days of school, the Academic Director could not give me an answer other than a shrug of her shoulders. Obviously, this one child was not worth their time. If my child went through some life event at age 4, 5, or 6 and had difficulty in school, I would have no confidence that DHMS would offer the needed support specific to my family or to my child’s needs. I needed support with my 3 year old who was starting school for the first time. Instead, DHMS gave up on my child on the sixth day of school.
My son did pre school and full day kindergarden at Diamond Hill. It was an amazing experience for us and for him. They are a real Montessori School and the teachers and staff are adorable and friendly. We just moved from Jersey City to Berkeley Heights because the school. Now we can see the results... My son is going to 1st grade, he is a very polite boy, organized , calm and really enjoys to do hs work at school!