I went to Southampton for 2 years, and I loved it! I'm 14 now, so obviously my experience there is 10 years old, but I still thought I'd share how I feel about the school. They had the most nurturing and caring teachers there who always made me feel welcome and helped me learn new things. I think Southampton has a unique approach to teaching that you can't find everywhere. It's a very tough school to beat, and personally, I think you couldn't chose a better school for your child.
Southampton Montissori School is a delightful place. The kids are happy, academically challenged and well taken care of by the teachers and staff. Besides the basics of learning to read and write taught using the AMS method, the school teaches the students about good citizenship, sharing, and looking out for each other. The school also offers many "extracurricular" activities such as soccer, baseball, ballet, spanish and piano. The grounds are lovely, filled with flowers and birds. The playgrounds have state of the art facilities, including water misters to help keep the children cool while playing. The teachers are responsive to parental concern and show an amazing amount of care for their students. Parental involvement is minimal.
We love Southampton Montessori! Our 3 children have been at this school for the last 4 years and we were very sad to leave. The teachers and most of the assistants are incredible: dedicated, caring and patient. They always find time to communicate with the parents. The classes have about 30 kids, but well organized. Our daughter was very sensitive and emotional when she was 3, so we were concerned is she was a good fit for the Montessori environment. However, Gloria let us observe several classrooms, and help us to find a perfect teacher for our child. We highly recommend this school.
We love Southampton! It has such a nurturing, friendly atmosphere. My son is so happy that he doesn't want to leave each day! We are so grateful that we can leave our son each day with confidence that he is in good hands! I am not sure about the comments about 35 kids in a room. Our class has 17 students, and always has 2-3 teachers in the room at any given time-- and a rabbit! Our son talks about "Coco" nonstop. Thank you, Southampton, for giving us peace of mind!
This was the worst possible start to our child's learning. I was stunned by the things the teacher was saying about early education. Peer pressure was touted as an acceptable behavior modification technique. I was recommended a book to read that promoted punishing a child by smacking them. The space really is crowded with over thirty children in the small room.
Attention parents: Here are some questions to ask before having your child start here. -Where does my over 1,000 dollars a month go exactly? Can I have a breakdown of where the money goes? ( you will find teachers and assistants are not paid what you'd expect) -How long have the teachers in my child's classroom been teaching in this classroom? ( turnover is high here and this effects children) -Are there any benefits, dental, or medical insurance offered to the staff? ( absolutely not) You will pay plenty here.....find out where the money goes because it is not being used effectively here. From what I have seen, much is done to keep a nice appearance up and not much else
My daughter absolutely blossomed at Southampton. She had a tough time with fine motor skills and had struggled in another preK previously, but the manipulatives helped her so much--and she discovered that while she might not be a great colorer, she was an awesome reader. She would never have known that if she wasn't in an atmosphere where she was given the opportunity to read at an early age. Her teachers were amazing, and the large classrooms are part of the Montessori philosophy. Children help teach each other. Again, that gave my child so much self-confidence. The one-on-one time my child received with the teacher was priceless, and I felt she received more and better personal attention there than anywhere else she's been. It was an incredible experience with the best teacher my daughter has had (to this day), three amazing assistants, and lots of love. I highly recommend Southampton Montessori.
While this school seems to be doing a good job in teaching kids how to read and write, it is crowded, at one point my kid's class had 30 students, and lacks teachers or staff with a good understanding of early child development. If your kids are on the "wild" side, this is not the place for them. In order for this many kids to fit in one room, they need them to be well behaved. The many rules and restrictions may give your kids the wrong impression early on that school is not for fun.
Not everyone is suitable for a Montessori environment, but with that said, we always work around a child's needs and focus on progressing them farther than what may think they are capable of. We foster creativity, personalities, and independence. Teachers are essentially guides in the classroom, which makes us appear lazy, but will give your child the ability to focus on their independence and ability to do things on their own. The previous comment on how the school's lunches are causing eczema in students has no scientific or medical basis, nor can be possible if eczema isn't already present in the child. I'm just very sad to see that some individuals negate the wonderful experience that teachers and assistants encounter with the children. We love our jobs and would not be there (many of us have been there for 5+ year) if we didn't.
My experience with this school is VERY disappointing. There is only one Montessori certified teacher in about 35 kid classroom (2 teachers at all time) and she only stays first half of the day. Most of the teachers are young girls who don't have kids of their own. Classrooms are overcrowded and such a mess (i.e. crying kids whenever I walked in) and Montessori education only lasts about one hour out of the entire day. Kids usually play by themselves (they call it "independent toy work" but I would call it "laziness" of teachers) and the main office is full of snobby people who only care about money. Parking is terrible during pick-up and drop-off and foods are just disaster (pasta, sandwich, crackers EVERYDAY) and your kids won't eat healthy vegetables at home ANYMORE. I heard one parent complained his kid developed an eczema from the junk food the child is eating at the school. The biggest disappointment among all is the lack of interaction between teachers and kids. Especially when I pick up or drop-off, teachers usually stand against the wall of the classroom and the only thing they say about your kid's day is "good" and nothing else. Below average quality for the money you pay