Shame on this school that claims to uphold Montessori qualities. My children have been with the school for a total of 7 years and since their head teacher left 2 years ago, the facility and academics deteriorated drastically. Last year as a joint effort with many other parents I submitted a 2 page list of suggestions and criticisms of which none were addressed. This year I approached the administration again and my 3 year old was expelled 2 weeks later.
The school is run in the basement of a church with it's dilapidated bathrooms located almost at the entrance of the building. People entering the building are often met by naked children tending to toilet needs. The school has never made it a priority to prevent this, in fact the administrative head said the doors to the bathrooms couldn't be closed due to policy and that it wasn't a priority to find a solution to the problem.
The location floods at least every 2 years and children are corralled out of their classrooms into a large hall for weeks, totally against regulation. Activities are never well thought out. This year the children were taken on a farm tour that lasted 40 minutes, but the school budgeted 3 hours and left the kids in the cold for the remaining time until the bus picked them up. When parents pick up their children, they don't sign their children out, instead the school staff does it and parents are surprised by bills for "extra care" charges that parents cannot verify because they don't know when their children were signed out.
On a personal level, my 3 year old wasn't eating her lunches for 2 weeks and when we would get home at 4pm she would be starving. None of the staff noticed this until I pointed it out and asked them to monitor the situation. Every event at the school including class field trips, mother's day tea and parent teacher's conferences, I was told that I could not bring my infant child to. I made alternate arrangements, either hiring a babysitter for the day or simply not attending. I then find out that many other parents were not given the same restrictions and they would bring their infant children on field trips, mother's day tea and even parent teacher conferences.
The school instructs parents to park infront of the school in a no-parking zone while they drop off or pick up their kids and parents are constantly being slapped with $55 parking tickets. The school then washes their hand of the situation and says that they have verbal permission to park illegally, but that isn't true according to the Highland Park police.
On top of all this, the school's finances are a cause of concern. The financial director constantly makes mistakes on bills and cannot perform basic addition! In addition the school charges every student around $10,000 per year and with around 50 students that brings in around $500,000. They pay their teachers very poorly with a total of all salaries to be around $200,000 max. However, the school is constantly saying that they don't have funds for anything and they ask parents to pay for every activity and donate all the materials they can. When I asked where my tuition money was going, the administrative head went blank and her hands started shaking and her response was they had to change their light bulbs and that the CFC bulbs were expensive! A very weak response. Two weeks later, they wrote me a note expelling my daughter from school and returned my deposite and registration check.
I am the only parent in the history of the school to have been treated this way. Grounds for expulsion in their handbook clearly indicate that a student can be expelled for being rowdy or for not paying bills. None applies to me. I find them to be very discriminatory and they seem to be hiding something. Beware of this school!!!