A very positive experience
"I'm surprised to read some of the negative reviews here, but I see that a number of them are older. We've had nothing but positive experiences at Bethany Montessori. A new director, Devinka, had joined on just before we started and she has been great (as has the assistant director Tammy). I toured and observed in a number of combination preschool/daycares (as we needed all day care) before choosing. This one both felt more responsive from an administrative point of view and had the level of care I was looking for in the classroom. The atmosphere was very welcoming, calm, attentive, nurturing which is what I felt what would work best for my son. After sitting in to observe the morning work I knew this would be a good fit. We started him when he was three and a half and we/he was having such a good experience there we decided to hold him back from kindergarten and keep him a there as a "third year". Ms Brenda was the same teacher/guide throughout those years and I appreciated that she had not only been at that school for over 10 years but had a life-long career in the care of youth. You can tell she adores the kids and loves her work. There were only two assistants in that classroom over those two years and they were both wonderful - especially his current one Ms Gita. She brings such joy, care, humor and kindness to her work. I don't know the aftercare workers as well as the morning ones as I am usually the one dropping off and my husband is picking up. I have to admit there is more of an element of chaos (less structured, more noisy) in the afternoons and it feels more like a traditional daycare with lots of outdoor and indoor playtime. Still, everyone seemed to be on top of the job that needed to be done and were always pleasant. I can see a parent who only interacted with the aftercare having a less positive experience as there are more distractions, more rotating caregivers, and they may not have the direct bond with kids that the morning/early afternoon guides and assistants do. The other two teachers/guides that I have met from other classrooms also seem really engaged and dedicated to the kids. I struggled some with the Montessori format in the beginning as I was used to more traditionally structured classrooms and curricula. I was concerned that my son might not develop as fast in this environment. But now I've come to see the advantages of a classroom setting that promotes the less tangible, but oh so important skills of independence, critical thinking, recognizing and managing one's own emotions, working with others (happens more in the later years) and the confidence that comes with mastering these skills. The three Rs will come in time (as long as the lessons are presented in a positive consistent manner), but these critical life skills are often overlooked and they play such an important role in these early years - - creating the right foundation upon which everything else will be built. I also had concerns at times that they weren't advancing him through the "work" at the rate I wanted, and he sometimes complained of feeling bored with the morning work (he much preferred the afternoon playtime!), but I can't argue with the tremendous progress he's made in his 2-2 and half years there. I just had to learn to trust the process. Needless to say, my son at 5 and a half is now reading well beyond his age, grasping complex math principles, and learning to work with others - even learning how to be helpful and think of others - which is a hard task for boys his age! I'll try and wrap this up by saying that at every drop off I knew that he was in a safe, nurturing environment where his physical, emotional and mental well-being would be cared for and I had zero worries or doubts as a mother that I'd made the right choice. And that's about as much as you can ask for! Best of luck in finding the right place and path for your little ones."
"I do not recommend Bethany Montessori for childcare. The culture at this school is not welcoming, friendly, nor nurturing. The teachers do not seem to like their jobs. I see the stress and frustration in their words and behaviors. If I arrive after a core teacher has left for the day, there are no notes, or nobody who can tell me if my child had a good day. If I do catch a teacher who was with my child all day, sometimes I get helpful information. Other times I have to drag the information out of the person, as if it was a burden. One float even expressed dissatisfaction with a child to his parent upon pick-up in a disrespectful and unprofessional manner. I was so shocked, I stood there with my mouth gaping instead of calling her out. The Administrator and Assistant Administrator are cold, unfriendly, and slow to return calls. The rooms are sparse, lacking color and visuals for the children, and some are crowded. In the rooms I have seen, there is no child artwork or projects posted, which speaks volumes about the curriculum. I absolutely hate leaving my child here. I have another child who attends a different daycare. The difference is is night and day. The teachers are happy and seem to genuinely connect with the children and their families. The rooms are filled with color and interesting visuals for the kids. They have incredible activities each day, including ample time outdoors. They engage with the parents vs waiting for the parents to draw out information. They are supportive of any challenges the children may be going through. They offer meaningful feedback each day about how the child did that day. They share pictures of the kids at play each week. They have back-to-school nights and other events for the families to encourage the parents to get to know one another. It has been such a shock coming from that experience to the stark, cold, experience of Bethany Montessori. I can't wait to get my child out of this facility."
"I am concerned about the turnover at this school. The director position has changed several times in the past few years, new teachers are coming and going, and it seems as though the Montessori cannot hold on to its teaching assistants. The experience we've had with our teacher has been phenomenal, but it is difficult for my child to become comfortable with a teaching assistant, only to have them leave a month or two later. This has happened several times in the past year. My hope is that the company is paying and treating their employees well so that teachers and their assistants will stay longer.Also, most of the time when I drop off or pick up my child, there is no one at the front desk. It would be nice (for security reasons, if I have a question, etc.) if someone was there during drop off and pickup times."
"We've had great interactions with the teachers and director at this school. Communication is sometimes inconsistent or unclear."
"The two year old classroom teachers are excellent and staff members are very good to work with. We have heard from parents the 3-5 classroom is overwhelming for younger students due to the large class size so have some concerns as our child reaches that stage."
"Wonderful staff and great curriculum - so much better than the Goddard school we were at before!"
"We thought the director was very knowledgeable and warm. We felt a bit distracted only because our son's patience dwindled and he became frustrated."
"The staff was really nice and patient with all my questions. She really paied attention and explained things professionally."
"Staffs are really nice and courteous. We love the school"
"This particular location seems unorganized and budget, however the pricing is on the upper tier. I can not recommend this facility."
"Good great staff, but the shortcomings of an AMS school rather than an AMI school."
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