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Kawartha Montessori School:
The Our Kids Report > Reviews
Grades Preschool TO 8 — Peterborough, ON (Map)


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Kawartha Montessori School:
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REVIEW OF Kawartha Montessori School BY parent, Jen Smith

  • Date of Review
    November 29, 2022
  • Child 1
    Gr. 5 - 6 (Female, Current Day Student)

(4.5) Student Experience

My daughter came from the public system where she often felt vulnerable, unprotected, and unsafe in her classroom. Because the teachers were often too busy dealing with outbursts, they didn't notice that she was struggling quietly. She was falling behind and no one saw it because she would sit quietly and look like she was working. But Kawartha Montessori School has literally turned this around: 1-to-1 and small group teaching has given her the confidence to achieve. She loves school so much, feels safe and heard, and most importantly feels she has agency in her own education. I can't say enough good things about the switch. We were firmly pro-public education, but can absolutely say with total confidence that Montessori is worth every penny.

(4.5) School Leadership

Communication is great--love the weekly newsletters with photos. It's so cool to see what all the students are up to (and not just my kid's class!) Everyone is very calm. I think that's something we really appreciate about the staff. They genuinely seem to like the kids and want to be there. Discipline is in line with how we parent at home: kids are given the opportunity to fix their mistakes, to improve on them, and to be global citizens. What's not to like?

(4) Teaching

We absolutely love the content and love and appreciate our daughter's teachers' passion. We're still fairly new to the school so can only speak to the past few months in upper elementary, but we have been more than satisfied with the quality of education. Our daughter went from hating reading to happily picking up a book with minimal fuss. She's eager to engage in math--something she had avoided for years in public school. The teachers are very amenable and willing to help. If there's an area you need your child to focus on, just ask! Communication has been good. I'm not sure if it could be improved--ask me in a year once we've gone through a whole year of report cards and parent-teacher interviews. For now, though, we are quite satisfied.

(4) Academics

As we're still pretty new to this, to be completely honest we were less concerned about academics and more concerned with our daughter feeling safe to explore in a classroom. We have been pleasantly surprised though to see how much she's learning and more importantly how willing she is to learn. Some of the school's strengths include 1-to-1, 2-to-1, and the time the teacher spends with them. The students are all given ARC planners and are taught how to organize themselves and complete assignments on time--such a great life skill! They are also given opportunities to pick and choose what work they're going to do first. (My daughter loves this part--it makes her feel like she's really responsible for her own education, which is great).

(3) Extracurriculars

I wish there were athletics, but the school is small, so that's probably pretty unrealistic. I love the kids get lots of outdoor time and have access to the park next to their property. Getting into nature is important to our family and I know she values that "vitamin N". Camp Wanakita is a real highlight--what an amazing experience for the whole school! She's really looking forward to middle school where she'll get to work in the kitchen--a unique experience not found in most public schools anymore.

(4.5) Students

The kids in my daughter's classroom are as varied and unique as she is. They are accepting of others and seem to get along relatively well for kids their age. I would say that in general Kawartha Montessori School is quite inclusive and welcoming of all students. I think that there is a lot of pressure for kids to "fit in" and be a part of the cool kid club. I don't see that as much at KMS. The kids seem to just accept each other, regardless of their differences. They also seem to have a greater understanding and sensitivity to others. I overheard my daughter talking to a friend about how they should apologize to a third friend for being rude--it absolutely blew my mind!

(4.5) School Life

My daughter went from faking sickness at least once a week to waiting for me at the door every morning, ready to go. She adores school and hates missing even a day! It's safe and friendly and nurturing and the way the curriculum is delivered really feeds her spirit. She loves the big windows and plants in her classroom (and the pet snake of course!). She loves having some agency to decide what she's going to work on first and loves being able to call her teachers by their first names. The school is gentle and inclusive. It's a safe place for sensitive kids. And it gives kids permission to stay kids just a bit longer. And because it's fairly small, the students know the teachers (and the teachers know them!), and the other students!

(4) Community

Parents are absolutely welcomed! My husband volunteered to go to Camp Wanakita last year, for example, and loved every moment. What a great opportunity to be a fly on the wall to see your child interact with other kids and their teachers! KMS sends out information about volunteering opportunities and welcomes all parents to join in when they can. It doesn't feel like too much pressure but it also doesn't feel like you're just another adult person--you really get that feeling of being a part of things, even if you don't have a ton of free time to volunteer! I have volunteered once so far and felt that they truly appreciated it (even though it really was nothing!) I think KMS does a good job balancing parent opportunities.

(4.5) School Location

KMS is a bit of an island as it's situated in a more rural area. Sure, it's a bit remote. But that's not a negative at all! They have a provincial park right beside them that they often take advantage of and quite a large schoolyard where the kids can run and play (and frisbee golf!). My daughter comes home dirty and sweaty with leaves in her hair. How great is that?

(4.5) Admissions

The admissions process was great. We moved our daughter our to public school to Montessori mid-year and KMS was more than accommodating. We did the whole process virtually because of COVID but they worked around it by literally touring us through the school via zoom! They were very thorough and this actually gave us more confidence that our child's education and safety were their priority. Our daughter got to come in for the day to check out the school and to see if she felt like it would be a good fit for her. It was like a first date--what a smart idea! Not only did she have a chance to meet her prospective teachers and classmates, but she also wasn't as nervous on her first official day because she had already met everyone!

 

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More written reviews

(5)

Parent, Neelesh Joshi (2022)

Gr. SK to 7 (current) — My son has a wonderful time at KMS. His older brother as well. The teachers, facility, location are top-notch! He loves the variety of subjects and how they are taught. Unlike most schools, KMS ha...
 

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