REVIEW OF Fredericton Montessori Academy BY parent, Monika Kovacs
- Date of Review
February 24, 2023
- Child 1
Gr. 4 - Gr. 5 (Female, Current Day Student)
(5) Student Experience
Until Montessori, school was a huge struggle for our daughter. Confidence was an extremely concerning issue as well. After speaking and meeting with the founders and teachers at FMA, I knew it was the place for our daughter. The first day she was greeted with open arms by both students and teachers. After only two weeks in, my daughter expressed to me "when I went to public school I felt like I did everything wrong, but feel like I do everything right at Montessori." This school is a family of wonderful teachers, students, custodians, and parents! I highly recommend FMA to any parent looking for a happy, safe, supportive, and highly educational environment for their children to attend. Without this school, I can not even imagine where we would be with our daughter, mentally and emotionally. Family, friends, and neighbors who know our daughter have certainly noticed and commented on the positive changes they have seen in her! As long as FMA continues, our daughter will be a part of this amazing gem!
(5) School Leadership
The teachers and staff are very transparent and open to both students and parents. Issues are resolved quickly and with respect to parents and students alike. What I love about this school is the morning greetings! Every day there is a teacher or founding teacher present to greet your child and start their day out positively! If I have any questions or concerns I am always met with positivity and feedback and situations, issues, and concerns are dealt with straight on and quickly. This is an extremely positive environment with the highly qualified staff!
Being new to the Montessori ways/curriculum was difficult at first. Teaching and learning are different. Your child and their learning styles are very much taken into consideration. The teachers are excited to teach our children and take the time to listen to them and their concerns. The teachers at FMA KNOW your child, and the teachers create a learning environment that is conducive to your child's specific abilities. Having learning differences was challenging in public school with little assistance (due to funding issues) for her. I was reassured by the staff at Montessori that my daughter would be reading more by Christmas, (as we could not get her to do much more than the bare minimum and without a lot of frustration). By Christmas of that year, she was reading graphic novels and to this day continues to read, perform well in math, speak publicly at school events, and is generally more confident.
In my opinion, I feel my child has learned more in the 1.5 years at Montessori than she did in the public sector for four years. FMA worked hard to help our daughter "catch up" in her academics. She is working harder this year than ever and enjoying the work as she completes it. In one and a half years, she has accomplished more at FMA than the time spent in public school. Not only has FMA helped her with academics, but also with life skills. She is overcoming her shy, quiet nature, building confidence, and preparing for the world. Being at FMA has actually helped her in so many ways. I have no doubt in my mind that this school is helping our daughter prepare for life and what is to come for her in the future. I personally like how their unique approach to education has really benefited our daughter more than we could've imagined.
Currently, the school has been adding all kinds of extracurricular activities for children. The only thing I would like to see added is athletics. I would love to eventually see the school entrance in cross country, soccer, basketball, volleyball, etc., but we are a small and wonderful school with many of these programs outside of the school setting. I would love for the school to grow large enough to see some of these programs develop. I would even help! There are arts and entertainment, and science programs, just no sports programs. I grew up playing sports and loved it! Being a part of a team also teaches us so much to us. School spirit is so important, but this school has a ton of spirit! Sports are just an added bonus! Our daughter can play hockey or soccer, or basketball within the city. If it is education or athletics well, we all know the answer is EDUCATION, and FMA hands down have done that well!
One thing our daughter loves is that it is a small school of approximately 100 students and she appreciates the closeness of the students. She likes that she knows the "older Quest kids" and they treat the upper and lower elementary kids with respect. She has met some fantastic kids and made some wonderful school friendships. Everyone gets along and if there are issues they are dealt with. There is a "no-nonsense" vibe and the kids understand that. The feeling of this school is just pure joy. The vibe is pleasant, positive, and fun. The kids feed off of the teacher's positivity. When you pull up to the entrance and the teachers are there greeting you with a smile and a "good morning," that starts your day out on the right foot.
(5) School Life
There are very few days that we have to encourage our child to go to Montessori. There are days, yes, she doesn't feel like doing anything, but we all have those. She enjoys school, learning, her teachers, and her friends at FMA. She is much happier at FMA than we've ever seen her. I believe that the school as a whole is inviting to children. The playground, the teachers, the ways, and the learning environment are all positive places to be within that structure. I wish there was a Montessori school around when I was a child. I'm not a teacher so I can not comment on how to improve their environment, I'm sure they have ideas as they always seem to come up with something even better than the last!
The effort the teachers continue to pour into our students. An event that stands out to me is the Christmas concert of this past year (2022). I have never seen a school concert like it. It was a production and not just children standing on stage singing pre-recorded songs. It was a play, with the Quest children as the MCs, the music teacher playing piano, and solo acts by students. There were costumes and props and a theme to the Christmas production. I had no idea that the concert was going to be that big! Parents, grandparents, and friends, were all invited to come. There was an auction after and a Craft sale with items some of the students made such as candles and jewelry. It was a school event that I had not been a part of before.
(4.5) School Location
The neighborhood is quiet, set on a hill within city limits with a large playground. The school has a large gymnasium and an amphitheater that is available for their productions. The teachers do venture off the grounds with the children to different activities and learning experiences, fun events such as plays, museums, etc. Most times the children are at school, but they have plenty to do and learn while there.