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Sunrise Montessori School:
The Our Kids Report > Reviews
Grades Nursery/Toddler TO 3 — Markham, ON (Map)


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Sunrise Montessori School:
THE OUR KIDS REPORT
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Roundtable Q&A Discussion About Sunrise Montessori School (2020)

Sunrise Montessori School alumni, current students, and parents shared their insights on the school’s culture, values, strengths, and weaknesses. Hear what Aliyah, Winnie, Natalie had to say about the school.

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Highlights from the Q&A discussion

Aliyah — current parent

Aliyah is a former TV news reporter, anchor, and producer with two children who have gone from the infant program to casa at Sunrise Montessori School.

  • “We wanted a place where the teachers really looked like they loved their job, they loved the children, a place where if my baby couldn't take a nap and he needed to be rocked or cuddled, they would do that, they had that warmth. When it came to Montessori, it was really important that it was a Montessori not just by name but also by practice. … It was everything we were looking for. We wanted that academic focus. We wanted to balance between work and play.”
  • “Both of my kids have been doing French Immersion and they've just been really thriving. The French program is just incredible. … [My older son] speaks French so beautifully, and when he speaks, you would think that we were a French household. I went to French immersion and he puts me to shame.”
  • “I think, for both kids, the biggest impact has been [cultivating] a really strong work ethic. So my older son’s former teacher is now my younger one's. And she used to tell me, ‘He keeps looking for more worksheets after we're done work.’ … This strong work ethic, it came from Sunrise because both of my kids do their work first thing in the morning and then play. And their strong work ethic has carried through. … Both of my kids learn to do things at Sunrise that I couldn't do at home. … Whatever it is that the teachers are doing at Sunrise, whether it's from learning from other children or the support from the teachers, there were so many things that I would never have been able to accomplish on my own.”
  • “[What my children would say about the school:] So my older one, he still wishes he was at Sunrise … . He thinks very fondly of it. He had great friendships there. I didn't have to worry so much about things like bullying as I do in public school. My little one just loves it. For her, it's a fun place to be. … There was just this very special relationship with my kids from the very beginning. For my kids, while at school, it's a family setting for them. Their friends are a little circle for birthdays and for special occasions.”
  • “Three words to describe Sunrise are ‘trustworthy,’ ‘intelligent,’ and ‘caring.’ So trustworthy and caring. ... I entrusted them with my kids when my older one was a few weeks shy of being a year old. My younger one was, I think, 16 or 17 months. But I trusted them with my kids. They showered them with affection. They watched them grow up. The part that made me feel comfortable was with my older one. I would come on all the field trips because I thought all it would take is my little runner to take off on them. ... There was a time when I thought, oh my God, I can't send [my daughter]. She's too young. She's the youngest one in the class. And the teacher sent me a picture from every step of the process. … Because the teachers have allowed me to trust them so much, I was able to allow her to enjoy that experience.”
  • “I think one of the key values of the school and the parents who bring their kids here is excellence. We all want our kids to excel in whatever way. … It's just to be the best that they can be in whatever it is that they're passionate about. So if they're going to be an artist, be the best that you can be, do the best that you can, and be the best person that you can be. It's not just about academics, but just excelling in everything; giving it your best shot, being the best that you can.” 
  • “Another value at Sunrise is ... it's like a family … . This is the family business in the community that is going to do what the families that trust Sunrise are looking for. ... So just like you would feel from a family business—like a restaurant, a family-owned restaurant—you've got that very close-knit feel. It's the same thing with the school. Everybody knows everybody by name. Some of the parents know each other. The kids know each other. The kids know parents, all of that. … And so there's that comfort level where the principals, the teacher, everybody knows where kids are. … And the only reason I decided I'm going to sacrifice the convenience [to not send my children to a public school down the street] and I'm going to do the commute to Sunrise is because it's familiar. It's family. And for my daughter, who's already experiencing anxiety, I knew the moment she walked through that door, all of that anxiety would be gone because there are familiar faces. It's a familiar school and the most loving people that she's familiar with.”

Winnie — current parent

Winnie is a project manager at a drug research company and mother to two children who attend Sunrise. Both children were introduced to the school at 12 months of age, and have advanced to Casa and Junior Kindergarten French Immersion classes.

  • “When I was looking for a school before, I wanted to have a school curriculum that had a good balance between playing and learning. I didn't want something that was totally academic, and it would be really tough for my kids. … And Sunrise also had a learning curriculum that they could follow.”
  • “The price was very comparable to even daycare. The school hours were also extended, so that for me and my husband, who are both working full time, it was much more flexible for us to have the opportunity to drop them off early and pick them up later. The gym was really huge and actually, the first time that I went to the school, it was a weekend and they had a lot of teachers gathered in the school gym because they were all meeting. … Their classrooms are also really spacious. And they had a big window to have daylight come in. They also had a big window to the hallway, so that it was easy for parents to peek at their little children before they kiss them and go for the day.”
  • “I also had a really good impression. … [A teacher] was able to call everyone by name, which was a surprise to me. That was a huge school. And if you're not involved, you won't know the kids by name. … My kids started from Infant class, Toddler, and went to Casa. … They started phonetics, tracing, Introduction to Math. So everything was met in terms of expectation.”
  • “We also grew to love new teachers that took the place of the older teachers. So generally, I'm very happy with the school.”
  • “[The biggest impact the school has had on my daughter is] the respect for the environment … And I was really proud and also embarrassed that my child was teaching me to care for the environment [when she insisted on picking up her broken balloon off the pavement after I told her she can leave it there.] So I'm really proud of that. And I didn't teach her, the school did. So I was very proud of that moment to have her go to Sunrise.”
  • “My daughter is a very shy girl. And she took a long time to transition. … So you can imagine after six months in the house, she did have some pushback on going to school. She always wanted to be with me. But now, when she asked me, ‘Is there school tomorrow?’ And I said ‘yes,’ she says, ‘I like that.’ So she does love the class and the teachers.” 
  • “The first word to describe Sunrise would be ‘proactiveness.’ … I've asked a lot of questions [about COVID protocols] and they were all answered thoroughly. So I've also seen that they've changed the wave sensor at the door so that there's minimal contact points. … There's still a lot of transparency because I was still able to see what the kids are doing through the app and the teachers would call me whenever there's something that they want to discuss. So it's still very transparent.”
  • “We feel very welcomed into the school. We’re always approached by smiling faces. … They're all very happy, very pleasant to talk to, very approachable. I'm one of the very annoying parents that would ask a lot of questions, and they don't seem to mind—they have the time for me.”
  • “The last word to describe Sunrise would be ‘dependable’ because the school has [recently] celebrated their 30th anniversary.”
  • “Everyone has respect for their teachers, friends, and the environment. They know how to wait in line. They know how to share. I think those things have to be not only done while they're at home. They spend [more time at school,] so the teachers are really important. The school staff are very important to how they take on their values. … I've seen the school do a lot to promote Terry Fox and cultural celebrations. … Also, the parents that I've met in the school are all very friendly. … It's a great place not only for my child to get to know friends, but also for me to know her friends’ parents.”

Natalie — current parent

Natalie is a digital marketing director with a five-year-old daughter in French Immersion.

  • “I have a child who suffers from anaphylaxis as well as asthmatic problems, … so that was one of my primary concerns when I'm leaving my two-year-old with someone that they would be able to monitor if she was ever in distress. … When I went to Sunrise, I can honestly say it was one of the only locations or schools that I went to that I felt completely comfortable with leaving my child. So I didn't have to concern myself with her wellness or her health because I knew that the teachers and the staff that were taking care of her were taking care of her completely.”
  • “The other thing I looked for [when choosing a school] was a good curriculum in terms of education and French immersion, which I was pleasantly surprised that Sunrise Montessori had because a lot of schools don't have these programs. The French Immersion teachers are absolutely excellent in terms of what they teach the children, and how they manage English within the classroom because it's very minimal. Having these children have the capability to comprehend another language and completely speak to them in that language was wonderful at such a young age. … To have French Immersion even younger [before primary school] and to be immersed in a different language really opened my daughter's perspective and really opened her learning capabilities.”
  • “The staff and the communication within the school are absolutely wonderful. [A lot of my friends who are parents] don't know what's going on in the school. … There's a lot of barriers with communication from the schools to the parents. At Sunrise Montessori, there are no barriers. We know what's going on—it’s communicated in an efficient manner and effectively as well.” 
  • “The fact that it doesn't feel like a school and it feels like a place, a second home for my child, where she has a very comprehensive learning program is something I'm going to miss. ... And if you're looking to have your child excel, then I would strongly recommend these types of programs.”
  • “The proudest moment was when my daughter, Maya, came home and explained to me what empathy was, and how in this world if everyone just practiced more empathy, we wouldn't have problems. And she comes home with these profound things. And I know I didn't teach her them. … But I know that it's not just my impact on my child that has created her to think outside of a five-year-old's box. It is what she does on a daily basis. … I do not go through the same struggles as other parents with bullying or the worry that my child is going to come home with a horrible story of how others have treated her because they have such a level of respect for authority, such a level of respect for each other, that I never have to be concerned that my child was mistreated or that my child is mistreating in any way.”
  • “In a public school system or a large class system, [my daughter] would have been in the back. She would not have spoken up. She would have not found her inner voice. She would not find her confidence. So I've witnessed my very shy child who didn't want to speak turn into a social butterfly. … I also have confidence in what she's learning, who she is, what her path is as a little person. ... The other day she came home and she said, ‘Mommy, I want Madame Gee Gee to teach me next year and for the rest of my life because I know she loves us.’ And that is not something that you coach or teach. That's something that you feel. And that's what Maya feels.”
  • “[One word to describe Sunrise is ‘communicative.’] So ‘communicative’ because I was petrified allowing my only child to go on field trips without me. And the first few, I went and then just saw how they managed the children. … Because [my daughter is anaphylactic,] I have a heightened sense of concern going to locations that may have things that she could have a reaction to. Also, with the communication across the board to all parents and the communication around COVID, Sunrise was prepared before they needed to be prepared. I didn't have to worry in August that my school had no idea what they were going to do for COVID because I was briefed along the way, at every step of the way, during the summer.” 
  • “[Another word I would use to describe Sunrise is ‘honesty.’] If my daughter is ever struggling with something or needs something, they will give me honest feedback. ... It's so important for your child's development. They're not brutal by any means. But if your child is struggling with something, they'll let you know. If your child excels in something, they will let you know.”
  • “[The last word I would use to describe Sunrise is] ‘empathy’ because they understand we are working parents that have to try and parent our children the best way that we can. But they're so empathetic to each and every person's situation. And that attests to the overall values in the school. [All of the teachers] know me and my daughter by name. It's all communicated everywhere you go; you can see where a child has any type of issue. ... It is an environment where it's a family.” 
  • “The values of Sunrise never infringe on celebrating the diversity, but also relishing in the similarities. And I think that that's something that is really present day in and day out at Sunrise. I know that my child is taken care of and everybody does want excellence for their child. … I know that she will strive and be the best that she can be. And that is from the value system that's at the school and not from the value systems of the fellow parents. But we get to celebrate how we are different every single day as well.”
 

More about Sunrise Montessori School

Back to Sunrise Montessori School overview

More video reviews

Parent, Natalie Khan (2020)

Watch our parent interview with Natalie Khan to get the inside scoop on what it’s like to have a child attend Sunrise Montessori School.

Parent, Marie-Josee Saudino (2021)

Watch our parent interview with Marie-Josee Saudino to get the inside scoop on what it’s like to have a child attend Sunrise Montessori School.

More written reviews

(4.9)

Parent, Angel Li (2020)

We have only been at Sunrise Montessori School for a year, however, my daughter has been enjoying her time there so far. The small class size has really allowed my daughter to feel comfortable and it ...

(5)

Parent, Lily Ho (2020)

My daughter is currently enrolled at Sunrise Montessori in their Casa program. My daughter absolutely loves coming to school on a daily basis and is always excited to see her teachers and friends. Up...

(5)

Parent, Ivan Li (2020)

It is a fabulous school with phenomenal teachers. At first, he was not interested in going to school because we were not going to be there, he was too shy to interact with other students as well as te...
See all written reviews (5 total)
 

THE OUR KIDS REPORT: Sunrise Montessori School

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