Follow the Child Montessori School

1215 Ridge Rd, Raleigh, NC 27607
(919) 755-1150

(out of 10)

Private Grades PK-6 149 students 11 students/teacher (NC avg is 15)

Test Scores by grade

About this school

Follow the Child Montessori School is a private elementary school in Raleigh. The principal of Follow the Child Montessori School is Dominique Mouthon. 149 children attend Follow the Child Montessori School and identify mostly as White, non-Hispanic; Asian/Pacific Islander; and Black, non-Hispanic. The student to teacher ratio at Follow the Child Montessori School is 11:1. Vital Link Private School is one of the nearest elementary schools.

Extracurricular activities


  • Ceramics sculpture
  • Drawing painting

Languages Taught

  • Spanish


  • P.E. classes

Student Ethnicities

Ethnicity School District
White, non-Hispanic 96% %
Asian/Pacific Islander 33% %
Black, non-Hispanic 2% %
Native American or Native Alaskan 2% %
Multiracial 0% %
Hispanic 0% %
Asian 0% %
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander 0% %

Community ratings & reviews

  • (8 months ago)

    Follow the Child is such a warm and educationally rich environment. Knowing that she required a little more challenge and stimulation we transitioned our daughter from a traditional daycare setting to FCM in the Children's House program and could not be more pleased with the results. The number one asset FCM has is the staff- they are warm inviting and caring and balanced and backed with strong education direction. It was challenging to know when to make this inevitable transition... it was also very confusing to know which option was the best for our little girl. Now it all seems so obvious. I encourage all parents in the Triangle/ Raleigh area who are looking for something a bit more meaningful for preschool and beyond to take a look at FCM- you may find the perfect fit in the hidden jewel!

  • (1 year ago)

    We love FCM! I believe the school is exceptional in so many ways adherence to the Montessori philosophy; academic excellence; dedication of the faculty (most of whom have been there for many years - I think most lead teachers have been there at least 7 years); encouragement of independence grace and courtesy; enthusiasm for the outdoors; a close-knit community (events community service projects play dates etc.); and how the children learn to resolve conflicts problem-solve and always find joy in what they are learning. My son has some behavioral challenges but his teachers know him so well and guide him in the best way for who HE is and how he learns. They have discussed with us that he will move up to the next level when he s ready (academically socially etc.) which may be before or after other children his age. When we have struggled with parenting his teachers have come up with innovative solutions to help and the parent education classes have been wonderful! Their campus is older but pretty and we were excited to learn that they are building a new school and planning to be there in Fall 2015! Our family will be forever grateful for FCM. It is a beautiful place.

  • (1 year ago)

    This plucky little school continues to try to do their best but the facilities are limited. Though they will hopefully be moving to a new location in the future their stated core values do not match the experience many children are given. It is unclear how the school "Follows the child" when learning differences and giftedness are not recognized. Program seems to be based on age rather than ability. Not what I expected of Montessori. The classroom and curriculum are not flexible in regards to the individual student.

  • (2 years ago)

    The school strives to provide children with an environment capable of self-directed learning and to foster the love of learning in children. The families reporting the greatest success we have found are those that take advantage of the enrichment activities designed to extend the Montessori education outside of the school and into the home. Is it perfect? Not really - they need more space. That said it is very good at getting children to work on their own. There is very little homework because the academic portion of the curriculum occurs at school which is somewhat to the contrary of our public schools. Recent (in the last 2 years) staff and administrative changes corrected some problems and of course engendered others typical of any organization going through a leadership change. That said I have great faith in the teachers and classroom assistants and we definitely have a "problem" child the staff is infinitely patient and loves him notwithstanding his disruptive behavior and they are helping him to become less disruptive without the benefit of Prozac or Ritalin which is the standard public school response..

  • (2 years ago)

    My son was a student here as a toddler. We loved his teachers but the new head of school lacked empathy and understanding for children that didn't fit the mold perfectly. The staff retention rate is horrible which speaks volumes for the person in charge. It's overpriced and too exclusive for my liking. Part of growing up is learning how to handle adversity and deal with children from different backgrounds/ incomes. It's very elite here and all the children are expected to fit in the same cookie cutter mold and if you're child doesn't exactly follow the rules he'll be kicked out along (which I have later found through other parents to be all too common). We have since moved out the area but are much happier in our new school.

  • (2 years ago)

    I am completely confused how this school has only 3 stars. I guess everyone sees things differently. Our experience has been nothing but amazing and supportive. We are first time parents having our child go away for the first time. It was tough for us for him. The staff guided us every step of the way. Questions were answered immediately communication was and always is flawless. Our son has taken giant steps since joining the school the teachers handle him with the greatest care and understanding. A slow developer in speech/communication he has truly flourished and grown in confidence under their guidance. The kind of people you want to know outside the school teachers who greet you with smiles know you by name and truly know what they are doing. Is it cheap? No. Is it worth it? Yes. True of most things in life. Tons of support programs for parents and kids vegetable gardens outside the school field trips real world education small class size...Every day I drop my son off at the front door I know everything will be ok that he is not only safe but that he will learn and experience things that will help him grow up to be an awesome human being.

  • (2 years ago)

    Follow the Child Montessori (FCM) has exceeded our expectations for sure. We moved from an out-of-state Montessori school whose efforts paled in comparison to FCM's commitment to a true Montessori education. The fact that FCM strictly adheres to Montessori principles is a huge positive--as far as the negative reviews go it just seems to me that those families probably need to find a non-Montessori school. Parental involvement and the support of parents is huge at FCM but if you don't agree with the principles then FCM is probably not a good fit. The administration and staff are committed to providing the best structured learning community for each individual student and their expectations for behavior are appropriate (and a necessary part of an effective working environment.) We have been at the school for 2 years now and I have the utmost respect for the entire operation. My children are nurtured and challenged each day and we are fortunate to be a part of the FCM community.

  • (2 years ago)

    How I wish I had montessori education myself. This is not a school with no limits where the children can do whatever they want. We learn to be a caring and responsible members. Each work has purposes. The instructions are done in group and individually. They are not easy work but it is set up to encourage success. If the child is not there yet then the teacher knows how to step back -- and that is a luxury at this school. The parents get as much or as little as they put their efforts in. Opportunity are limitless for parent education. The more parents understand the better parents they will become. Before making any judgement I encourage you to observe a class or two or three. The classrooms are beautiful peaceful organized and inviting. That's is how the learning mind should be. If you embrace what montessori and FCM offer for your child education you should then be as consistent at home too. Good work takes time and you can ask for lessons. My child enjoys purposeful work. She is creative independent and caring. There is no homework. We spend the rest of the day learning and doing things that encourage our learning - hopefully as purposeful as FCM offers.

  • (2 years ago)

    We have had our son at FCM since he was a toddler and have been very pleased with the caring warm learning environment and the excellent support of parents. I have always felt that the school has had my son's best interests at heart and have set appropriate limits with him as well as encouraged his attention and focus. I believe it takes a village to raise a child and I'm so glad to have the staff parents and children of FCM as part of his and our village. The last two years of new leadership have exceeded my expectations! We are very happy with the 4 hours of Spanish instruction per week and the Chinese enrichment.

  • (3 years ago)

    FCM is a place where families are valued. Teachers know your children and are willing to work with you to make sure your children are nurtured and challenged. There is a strong sense of community and purpose. The montessori quality is impressive. I chose this school for my children over others because of the dedicated staff commitment to philosophy and community of parents. Perhaps those with issues with the school have found a better fit for their children family and educational expectations. We have found our place at FCM. The school is full and staff turnover has not been an issue for us for the past 7 years. Come check out the school and decide for yourself!

  • (3 years ago)

    After four years there we have moved our children to different schools. I agree with the other reviews here that the school is not inclusive and makes decisions based on "Montessori principles" that make no sense. This was true in cases involving our children to their detriment. I would advise parents to look at other Montessori schools. One of our children is now at a different one and doing very well and receiving much better instruction. Though many staff and faculty members at FCM are well intentioned and caring the retention rate of both faculty and children speaks volumes. I wish we had moved out children to other schools earlier than we did.

  • (4 years ago)

    Non-inclusive to students with special needs. It's like they would rather not bother. Any child who takes up too much time is discarded. I was told nothing more could be done for my child when previous strategies were halfheartedly tried. Children who are lively active (developmentally appropriate) etc. are referred to psychologists or occupational therapists. The parents and kids are great although some families are super-Montessori and a bit extreme about their kids having all wood toys and zero commercial impact in their lives. For such an expensive school you'd think students would be valuable and yet retention is weak. Look elsewhere!!!

  • (5 years ago)

    I have to agree with one of the earlier posts. The school's interpretation of Montessori principles is different than most other schools in the area. I have found that the school communicates with parents poorly and fails to take swift action when there is an issue that demands it. The administration is distant and unfriendly and interprets and enforces all of its rules so strictly that common sense is not considered. I would encourage any interested parent to look elsewhere and if this school is convenient for other reasons to ask about the school's policy on discipline. I have found that Ms. Sumi however is an excellent teacher earning the school the two stars I'm giving it.

  • (5 years ago)

    Montessori education CAN be incredible and the materials are amazing...Montessori dogma is at best limiting. While the small FCM setting is charming at first glance it is not inclusive. The school espouses a very narrow interpretation of the Montessori principles. Ironically with such a strict approach creativity and independent thought the very cornerstones of this methodology are not often enouraged. While the classrooms are well equipt dedicated facilities for the arts and athletics are non-existent and the availibility of outdoor experiencial education is inadequate for such an expensive school. As with all schools the children are wonderful and some of the teachers are as well. However many teachers are newly trained or are in training while serving the students. Retention of dedicated staff and families is very poor. Entering it's 9th year the UE program has not matured to full size. In this case less is not more.

  • (6 years ago)

    Montessori education is incredible! We love the FCM community particularly the caring staff. I never even give a second thought about leaving my son there each day. I know that he is loved and cherished by all the teachers. The small size is perfect for our young child. Very literally every single staff member knows my son by name. The facilities and materials are amazing. The school adheres strictly to Montessori principles. The prior complaint is a little difficult to believe. All of the lead teachers are certified. All staff are trained and schooled in Montessori philosophy. I cannot in my wildest dreams imagine that corporal punishment was used on any child at FCM. There are always two teachers in each class and the atmosphere at FCM is the opposite of aggressive or punitive. The push to MSR is a little suspicious too. I'm just saying...

  • (6 years ago)

    This has been a great school for both of my children. I spent years researching the educational opportunities we have in the triangle and after 3 years I'm more thrilled than ever with my choice. The community is great the size is perfect for my children the teachers are passionate the education is amazing.

  • (6 years ago)

    Our family absolutely loves this school. I have become a much better parent and enjoy a loving and learning relationship with both of my kids through Montessori. Every day is a joy!

  • (7 years ago)

    Unfortunately this school just can't deliver. We found that this pricey school lacks quality (or Montessori certified) teaching staff demonstrates very poor and inconsistent communication with parents inadequate administrative leadership and a failure to respond to substantiated corporal punishment charges. I would very strongly encourage any interested parents to look elsewhere possibly Montessori School of Raleigh (MSR).

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Overall score

(based on 20 ratings & reviews)

  • Teacher quality
  • Principal leadership
  • Parent involvement


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