I have had my child at this school for 6 years. I am not an advocate of standardized testing. I am an advocate of Maria Montessori s philosophies and pedagogy. This school is a sorry attempt. It is run by a Director who acts more like a Dictator. As mentioned by other parents they have a strict "no-gossip" policy which cripples parents from questioning anything the Director does. The school is not accredited regionally nationally or internationally. Teachers there don't have Montessori credentials or teaching certificates and most lack Bachelor's degrees. On top of this students struggle academically as well and when any parent expresses concern the family is ostracized and bullied out. A tried and true program would not be afraid to have accreditation.
Community Montessori is a charter high school in New Albany. The principal of Community Montessori is Director Barbara Burke-Fondren. 520 children attend Community Montessori and identify mostly as White, non-Hispanic; Multiracial; and Hispanic. 0% of the Community Montessori students are "limited in English proficiency." 31% of the 520 students here get reduced lunch prices. The ratio of students to teachers at Community Montessori is 19:1. Charles Allen Prosser School of Tech is one of the nearest high schools.
- Ceramics sculpture
- Computer arts
- Drawing painting
- Theater drama
- Martial arts self defense
- P.E. classes
|American Indian/Alaskan Native||0%||0%|
|Native American or Native Alaskan||0%||0%|
|Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander||0%||0%|
|Students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch program||31%||31%|
|Limited English proficiency||0%||0%|
I graduated from this school two years ago. I was there the year it opened; I never went to any other school. There were many times that I wanted to leave but thought probably correctly (from what I've seen of the other students who left after attending for a long time) that I would be ill-equipped to succeed in any other environment. My main criticisms are *Abysmal test scores. Now obviously standardized testing is not the only (or the best) way to understand a child's educational development but they ARE important. *Poor treatment of children with special needs. I can't even remember how many parents I've heard complaining about this. This school has neither the resources nor the inclination to properly assist children with special needs. And the social implacations of this are huge do not think for a moment that because the school is so "liberal" and "progessive" that the students attending will respond any better to this problem than the teachers. I have seen several special-needs children taunted ostracized and otherwise abused by fellow students. It is utterly sickening and the teachers do little to nothing about it.
I'm a rising junior at CMS and frankly find some of these reviews insulting. It's not the perfect school but its also not the school for everybody. I do perfectly well here because I'm driven and want to learn and CMS provides school as a way to explore my interests rather than take time away from them to waste on AP Art History or something that I don't find as intriguing. If your child needs someone to drive them some external catalyst to inspire them to learn then CMS isn't the school for them and that's fine. However the foreign language support at this is school is pretty terrible. They try to support you but they have no staff that teach a foreign language(though American Sign Language is very well supported which is cool). Standardized testing wise I'd say scores are low because CMS doesn't teach to the test as that runs contrary to the Montessori philosophy of being against standardized tests. Students don't even try on tests because they know they don't matter(though they should probably change that attitude when it comes to the SAT). The biggest issue is quality between classes. Some are amazing*cough cough* Sequoia*cough* but others are not challenging at all.
First do your homework on who Maria Montessori was and her true religious beliefs. This school outs conservative Christians using an annual exercise in which each child presents how they believe the world was created then your child will be bullied by the teacher and/or other students. Requesting to opt out of any part of their curriculum will result in punishment. Any complaints are deemed negative and shut down by staff and director. Your child will be at least a grade level behind if you pull them to another school. My 6 year experience opened my eyes to their true agenda which includes the LBGT agenda. Be wise and move on.
If you are considering this "school " then do yourself a favor and look into who Maria Montessori was and exactly what she believed. Because this school has a way to out conservative Christians through an annual "lesson" in which your child talks about what they believe as to how the world was created. Once they know where you stand your child will be bullied by teachers and/ students and any time you assert your values you and your child will be punished in discreet ways. Don't expect help from the director or staff who deem any complaint as negativity and who enacted a "no-gossip" rule to keep parents from communicating with each other - not because they're reaching for a higher standard trust me. Because when you do start asking around you find many other folk with the same experience. You can also expect your child to be at the very least one grade level behind their peers when you finally move them to a real school. After too many years there I am now aware of their agenda and it is a very different type of education not the kind any right-loving family would want for their child. But you know they do promise good things and the building is pretty. Be alert and be wise!
I am a student at Community Montessori if you are a prospective family please don't let the rude and hateful parent comments on here change your mind because you have made a great choice ( CMS is an amazing school it has guided me to be the amazing person I am today. The main reason parents withdraw their children from this school is because their child's ISTEP test scores are low at CMS we find the right balance between focus on test scores and true meaningful learning. Time after time it is being proven how misleading test scores can be. Standardized testing is not an adequate measuring tool for a child's developmental success. I have never been around more caring adults in my entire life every staff member in this school makes it their personal mission to make the students feel safe comfortable and welcome in this school. I am a motivated responsible smart creative respectful insightful individual and there is no doubt this school has helped shape who I am today. Barbara and Glenn Fondren are two of the most caring individuals I have ever met. They are such smart and educated people. To the bad comments Reevaluate yourself as a parent I feel bad for your kids.
This will be out last year at Community Montessori. My son attended this school from preschool and is now in the 6th grade. I began to have serious doubts about the school's academics when he was in the 4th grade but decided to hang in there based upon the representations that had been made to me by the director about how children progress at CM. Now two years later I realize that my son is behind his peers at other schools academically. My son has never received a negative report in any teacher conference. My husband and I have always been told that he is doing just fine with no concerns but when he completes grade level work at home (we bought him 6th grade work books to supplement his education at school) he struggles with basic concepts including the concept of hypothesis in science (my son informed me that "we don't really do much science in my studio"). I pride myself on being someone who is not easily taken advantage of but even I was sucked in. I send my child to school to learn the basics of what he must learn as defined by Indiana law and after 8 years at this school I can see that it is not happening . Steer clear.
Please do yourself and your child a favor and read the reviews for this school before you consider it. I wish I had. I was not turned off by the poor test scores because I am a believer in alternative methods of education and do not think much of teaching to the test. I dismissed the stories I heard from former CM parents as well because I thought maybe they just didn't understand Montessori and how it works in the long run and I do. However the negative reviews on this site are true in my experience. I really have nothing to add it has all been said on here before. I just encourage anyone considering this school to think long and hard about it and not get romanced by the tour and the hype. Once you are on the inside it looks very different. I must add that there are some wonderful teachers there working very hard and doing the best they can and they are not the problem.
I graduated from here two years ago after attending for seven years. I was so fortunate to have found this school without it I doubt my life would be as successful as it is. This school is not for everyone but I had a fantastic education that gave me a true love of learning. Montessori education is very different from the education normally received in public schools so if your child is coming into the program in high school and sometimes even middle school it's likely too late for them to adjust to the Montessori method. This school has many issues staffing issues lack of security inconsistency between classrooms the director but overall I was fantastically lucky to attend there and have the love and support that I did. It's not perfect it underfunded and stressful to the employees but it's miles above more common education. I have never met teachers that cared so much and worked so hard as I did there. Thank you Montessori for such a great start.
Both of my chidren attend school here and while I don't think it is perfect I do believe that it is the best option for my children right now. My son did not learn to read until he was in the 1st grade but he had no interest in reading and within two months of being around older kids reading he was reading without any trouble and he loves to read and now at 7 is reading chapter books. I spend a good amount of time at this school and have never in two years witnessed kids running up and down the halls or screaming or fighting. Both of my children one in K and one in 1st last year brought home work that showed they were learning math and reading and english and science. Having multiple parent teacher conferences throughout the year is great. It was in these conferences that we really saw all the hard work they were doing while at school. Overall I believe it to be a great environment for kids that want to learn and parents that want to be involved even if that involvement is only cleaning classrooms. What's wrong with cleaning classrooms? If your child isn't learning here it is because they lack motivation to want to learn and as a parent you're probably not involved.
Our daughter went to CM for K & 1st grade. I would not recommend this school for a variety of reasons. By the end of 1st grade our daughter still couldn't read...at all! After talking to her extensively her dad and I discovered she was having problems with reading. Instead of helping her with the problems she was having the "teachers" told her she was lazy and to sit by herself and "figure it out." We also leaned that she was being bullied and after bringing it up with the "teachers " were told there wasn't really anything they could do unless they personally saw it happening. What kind of a "teacher" actually believes that 6-year- old kids can teach themselves to read and thinks that bullying should be worked out by a little kid on her own? What kind of a school administration can stand behind this kind of attitude? Luckily we took our little girl out of this environment before it was too late and are on the road to getting her caught up academically and trying to build her self-confidence back up! It is my opinion that young children should be taught at least the basics in a safe environment before being able to make the best "self-guided" decisions.
I don't really understand all the negative reviews... I just went here for seventh grade and shall be returning for the eighth grade; perhaps I shall go to Community Montessori until the end of high school. This is one of the most wonderful educational experiences I've ever had.
I would rate this as a one star school in fact this is not a school but more like a compound with kids being rated and some degraded even made to feel worthless and ashame of who they are not what was told in the observation walk thru. I agree with another parents comment on here that the director is a "crazy lady". She runs the school while her husband runs behind her. Sorry but that school is not ran the way a school should be.No requirements for teachers to actually teach kids learn on their own? Not much help either from the teachers. The only discilpine is "if the do not like you" they do something to eventually get you out. I feel BSU should stop funding these people. I was told from a relative I was making a mistake putting my children there.They were right. I can teach them more @home than they learn there. NO home work or work brought home to view what your child is working on. I wouldn't recomend this charter school to train a dog. This is for lazy non caring kids/parents not someone who wants a real edu. And they say they don't believe in punishing a child yet that's NOT true to all kids just those they like.B.F. pushes kids/parents its her way or the doorway.
This is a school that should not exist. After attending kindergarten here for an entire year there was zero progress made. I am not sure what they were doing all of that time but it was not school work. I do know that my daughter brought home about 10 or more drawings or paintings a day but there was not any academic work brought home. I removed my children from this wretched school and upon putting them in a new school we have been told how behind in basic skills our daughter is. Her first grade teacher is getting her caught up and has made us understand it is not due to a learning disability that our daughter is struggling but due to a minimum of schooling last year. I wish I would have known before losing an entire year.
Horrible school! The "teachers" sit on facebook all day and do nothing. I went there for several years half the time I played hide and seek with my friends. In HIGH SCHOOL. I did no work what so ever if I did it was copied! I ended up leaving and was so behind by the time I got to a normal school. I know several people who have flunked a grade because of how behind they were. Do not send your child there EVER if you want them to be smart. This school MAY be good for elementary age but not high school. The director is a crazy woman who wont let you say God or even the pledge without going into a different room. Craziness pure craziness
I am a student here at Montessori I don't want to say that this school is a five star school but I will give this school a fantastic 4 stars. I have been going here for three years and LOVE this school. The reason your children don't learn anything is beacuse they are not motivated enough to teach themselves. We do not have "teachers" to teach us we have dedicated Advisiors who help us realize what it's like to live and work in the real world. I suggest you send your kids to this school if they are creative and willing to teach themselves and others.
Absolutely the best educational option in our community. Unfortunate that some families are running from problems and find their problems follow them wherever they go. No one could spend a day at this school and not find how outstanding each teacher is as the spend time with every student. This school has high expectations for staff children and families - it is definitely not for every family. The family involvement is terrific - there are always parents in the building. I feel very fortunate for my child and my family to have this type of support for her education.
Poor academic quality and no discipline. Different treatment for different children (i.e. they function as a tribe if you are slightly different from what the chief says your child will pay!) Teachers are not well prepared. The parent "involvement" opportunities are limited to housekeeping. I brought many projects and they won't even listen what we had to offer. My child did not learn anything; and was so stressed out! one semester was more than enough! So glad that this torture is over! I agree with all the negative comments above. So dissapointed!!
Painful! This has been the worst decision in my life! Parent involvement is limited to cleaning classrooms you have to pay extra to the teacher in regular school hours to read and do crafts. I seen the worst actitude from teachers. I found only one friendly and effective person in the school Kim (curved desk). Waste of time and energy nothing like I was told during the orientation with the liason (
My two kids went here for three years and we had to hire a tutor to teach them for a year before we could put them in traditional school they learned nothing. But the kids were happy because it was "fun" to go to school because you were really on your own. The staff thinks they know whats best for your kids and you know nothing. Please if you are researching this school for a good education run away as fast as possible.