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Western Heights Montessori Academy:
The Our Kids Report > Reviews
Grades Nursery/Toddler TO SK — Mississauga, ON (Map)

Western Heights Montessori Academy:

Roundtable Q&A Discussion About Western Heights Montessori Academy (2021)

Western Heights Montessori Academy alumni, current students, and parents shared their insights on the school’s culture, values, strengths, and weaknesses. Hear what Christine, Patrick, Shaline had to say about the school.

Video Contents

Highlights from the Q&A discussion

Christine — current parent

Christine has a son and a daughter who currently attend Western Heights Montessori Academy. Her interest in the school was first sparked when she saw the facilities, particularly the outdoor space that it provided to the students. The warmth and excitement she saw in the teachers at Western Heights Montessori Academy aligned with what she as looking for in an institution that her children would attend each day. This created a safe, nurturing, and supportive learning environment, that contributed to the development of her kids, socially and academically.

  • “The first thing that really drew me to [Western Heights Montessori Academy] was the big green space that the campus has in the background. I thought it would be an awesome place for my kids to extend their learning outside of the classroom as well.”
  • “Once our son was there, we knew he would love to go there, and he did. He transitioned very well from being home with me for 15 months and not really being in the care of anybody else.”
  • “[My son] had a very smooth transition to [Western Heights Montessori Academy]. He enjoyed going to school every day. What we didn't actually expect was how quickly we would see his development, socially and academically. He kind of just took off, and from 15 months went from a word here and there, to slowly stringing together more words into complete sentences.”
  • “We really were astounded as we watched [our son] go through the toddler program and into the Casa [program at Western Heights Montessori Academy], and saw how much he had excelled. Graduating from CASA, with that foundation of literacy and his numeracy, really paved the way for him to have an extremely easy transition into to junior kindergarten.”
  • “One of the things that came up when my husband and I were talking about a takeaway from [Western Heights Montessori Academy], was the independence that both of our kids had gained from the program, as well as the confidence that we saw start to develop over the years in them. That is in large part with the foundation of Montessori, in that it is a partnership where the older students really take on that leadership role, and in doing so, it helps to build their confidence as well.”
  • “[Western Heights Montessori Academy] puts in a nice foundation of learning for [students], and that love for really learning, but also being able to support their peers, and build those friendships socially and academically. I think it was a really great experience for our kids at Western Heights [Montessori Academy], in that the teachers created a really safe and supportive learning environment for the kids, where they were pushed to do these activities independently. … With the circle time, and the opportunities that they were given to share their own experiences through their show and shares, and sharing the work that they have accomplished, really enhanced their confidence in themselves and their own learning journey.”
  • “My son is a very outspoken young man, and he was very quick to comment about the variety of activities that [Western Heights Montessori Academy] offered, and he went so far as to indicate which ones he preferred, and there was a large variety of them. My daughter in overhearing the conversation said, ‘Yes, I agree with that, too, Mommy.’ They love having that choice. The more challenging activities that they have to work towards were always fun for them. So when they mastered one and they got to move on to the bigger kid activities, that was always something that they really enjoyed. Another thing was how we were drawn to the outdoor space. That's another major selling point of [Western Heights Montessori Academy] for my kids, was the playground that they have on the campus, as well as the bike that they had in the sandpit to play in.”
  • “My daughter had talked about the extracurriculars that were offered through [Western Heights Monterssori Academy]. She looked forward to the day during the week that the soccer shots came, and that was one of her favourite things. In addition to all the different foods, and the menu that they got to try each week, was something that they both really enjoyed, because it was more exposure to foods that we wouldn't necessarily be making in our home.”
  • “I think for us, the values that Western Heights [Montessori School] really focused on a lot here is that it seems to be a very student-centered place, very family-oriented. There was a large focus on the development of really well-rounded learners; academically, socially, and emotionally. The kids were always at the forefront in considering the programming of the school. I think having the kids be aware of how they are so very fortunate to be in the position that they're in, but also being aware of the greater community, and creating good citizens in the community, with the yearly food drives, and toy drives that really engaged my kids.”
  • “[Western Heights Montessori Academy] gets the parents involved, too, with exposing the kids to celebrating differences with their peers, and having families be invited into the school so that it's really an authentic learning experience for the kids. It's their own peers and it's their friends and families sharing these experiences firsthand, and they get to see how things are celebrated, and artifacts of these cultures that they wouldn't normally be exposed to is something that we really appreciated as parents as well, and something that the kids really look forward to learning at the school.”
  • “If Western Heights [Montssori Academy] were a person, the characteristics that I would say best describe [the school] would be warm, caring, and inclusive. … I think that the warmth was something that was really important to us in an environment for our kids to be in. … One of the things that you noticed almost immediately as soon as you entered the school was that it was a very welcoming, and nice place to be.”
  • “You were always greeted with friendly smiles, whether that be from the staff, or the other parents who are picking up and dropping off their kids. There was just a really nice sense of belonging and warmth that we always felt when we entered [Western Heights Montessori Academy]. Most importantly, too, for our kids were being greeted with those smiles, and those little hugs from their teachers every morning. It made a really nice positive tone for them to start their day, and it gave us that peace of mind knowing that when we were dropping our kids off, that they were in a place that was somewhere that they felt safe and really happy to be at.”
  • “The staff at [Western Heights Montessori Academy] are caring. …We've had the most amazing experiences to the point that we feel very connected to these teachers now, and they really take the time to get to know our kids, and our families as well. My daughter grew up in the school. She literally from like four days old, was at Western Heights [Montessori Academy] when we were there dropping off and picking up our son, and the teachers were there and holding her and getting to know her as well.”
  • “When the teachers [at Western Heights Montessori Academy] get to know the kids, and they know their interests, and they can do their programming based on their interests, it makes for a really engaging learning environment for the kids. They have that foundation of the Montessori, but then they also have the additional aspects that really play into their interests, and for young kids it is so critical in engaging them, and learning at a young age, and for inclusion.”
  • “We've been with Western Heights [Montessori Academy] for six years. Both my kids have grown up from babies at the school, to empowered four-year-olds. I think something that we really appreciate about Western Heights [Montessori Academy] is the strong partnership with the parents, and always making sure that the parents feel well informed. ... Those daily reports are something that I looked forward to at the end of my workday. Getting to see the pictures and hearing about the activities that the kids had done throughout the day was always something that we enjoyed reading.”
  • “I think having that partnership [between parents and Western Heights Montssori Academy] is so important, because when you have the connection of the learning at school with learning at home, it really fosters a better understanding of where your kids are at. … We can talk about what they're doing at the dinner table. We always appreciated those weekly emails that [the school] would send out at the end of each week, so we knew what was coming up. What we could look forward to certain songs, and activities that they were working on in music, or in Mandarin class. [Those were] always something that we enjoyed looking into on the weekends together as well. It opened those lines of communication with our kids as well.”
  • “We were given the opportunity to sit down with the teachers [at Western Heights Montssori Academy] one-on-one, and get a better understanding of where our kids are at academically, so that we can see where we need to work on things a little bit more at home to help them, and close those learning gaps that might be arising, so that they are prepared for their next steps in kindergarten and elementary school.”
  • “I think that was really important for us, having that partnership, and that communication always being open. Another thing that we really appreciated was how receptive [the teachers] always were to our suggestions.”

Patrick — current parent

Patrick has two sons that currently attend Western Heights Montessori Academy. He was first drawn to the school because of the outdoor space and the enthusiasm of the teachers. He feels that his children are supported and encouraged in their academic growth and development of confidence. He appreciates the diversity of the families in the school community, as well as the diversity of activities offered.

  • “ I think the specifics of what the Montessori program did meet our expectations quite a bit. It was something that we were able to pick up on relatively quickly, having just observed it very briefly. It provides focus and structure for kids, and is able to accelerate some of their early learning during that stage.”
  • “I would say that the pieces that I hadn't necessarily been anticipating is the support from the teachers at [Western Heights Montessori Academy] in terms of accelerating some of the life skills of our kids. We noticed that they'd be picking up on things, and [Western Heights Montessori Academy] even supports them, in say, their transition out of diapers, and items like those that I wouldn't have expected from a schooling organization.”
  • “I've certainly seen in my kidsthe independence and confidence has been really important factors for their learning at [Western Heights Montessori Academy]. The thing that I would add to that, that I've seen as a differentiating factor for their learning, as I sometimes contrast them with kids who are in kindergarten with them, or as other parents comment on them, is their ability to do focused learning.”
  • “You can see [the students at Western Heights Montessori Academy] engage, and they're really able to settle, be calm, and be very focused on the learning activity at hand. One of the examples of that is my older son was doing virtual school this past year, and to see them sit at a computer where there are no other adults in the room, and to have that ability to actually ingest the learning that is coming from the teacher through this virtual conference was pretty remarkable to me.”
  • “I would say about the outdoor play activity [at Western Heights Montessori Academy], I generally got a full-throated commentary on whichever make-believe games that [my kids had] been playing that day, about how they were bad guys, or lions, or whatever might happen. So they really enjoyed that piece as well. I think really the ability to self-select into those particular activities was big for them.”
  • “I would say the things that stood out to me in terms of the values of [Western Heights Montessori Academy] would be diversity and welcoming to me. It was a community that was very welcoming of folks not just of different backgrounds, but also just different learning styles and different working schedules. I think that was reflected to me both in the staff, how the kids learned, but also the diversity of activities which they perform.”
  • “The fact that [students at Western Heights Montessori Academy]] get a bonus activity every day that's not just part of the regular schedule, that introduces the kids to a variety of activities, and stimulates different portions of their growth, was really important. … [Western Heights Montessori Academy] had different days where they would remark on specific cultural activities that were important on those days, and they would bring in some of the parents to speak on them.”
  • “[If Western Heights Montssori Academy were a person, the characteristics that I would ay best describe the school would be] welcoming, structured, and empowering. [Western Heights Montssori Academy] is really accepting of kids from all natures, parents from all natures, different schedules. … It really brings the parents into the learning process as much as possible. I know I really appreciated having the picture updates, with the little notes at the end of every day. [They were great to] get a conversation started with my children in terms of what their learning was about, which might otherwise have been relatively opaque to me.”
  • “[Western Heights Montssori Academy] was a very welcoming environment from the very first day that we visited, when [my son] was just nine months old, and we were trying to prepare for where he was going. … You could feel that all the way through. From a structure standpoint, we always knew what to expect, which is a really big benefit for young kids.”
  • “[At Western Heights Montessori Academy, we have] parent-teacher interviews every six months to understand where kids are doing well, where they're struggling, and where we could be helping them more at home. I think having that consistent connection was really valuable to us.”
  • “[Western Heights Montssori Academy] enables the kids to be independent minded, to think for themselves, to select their own activities, and actively engage in learning. I think one of the biggest credits I could give to the  [Western Heights Montssori Academy] program would be like, my younger son at sometimes will come up to me, and be like, ‘I'm bored. I'm going to go open my learning books,’ and he would go and do some of that. It's just not something that I would have ever anticipated for a four-year-old.”
  • “We haven't had our kids at another Montessori institution, but I think the one piece that I would add, as I differentiate my kids’ learning experience versus how they've learned at other institutions, whether they be schools or otherwise, is the investments of the [Western Heights Montssori Academy] staff in [the student’s] learning journey. You could really feel that it was important to [Western Heights Montessori Academy] that [children] are not just progressing, but enjoying, and thriving in that environment.”

Shaline — current parent

Shaline has one daughter who is currently enrolled at Western Heights Montessori Academy. She feels that the school has a holistic and flexible approach in their values, and has a focus on the growth and development of each child. Since joining the school, she has noticed improvement in her daughter’s confidence and ability to take on responsibilities.

  • “[Western Heights Montessori Academy] has has a great impact on [my daughter]. [My daughter is] very independent, and very social. The most important thing is, she's a single child, and what she learned at [Western Heights Montessori Academy] is child-to-child mentorship. She was the oldest in the Montessori, and she was mentoring her younger kids. She is so good with the kids. She doesn't have any siblings, but [despite that], she's also very good with the kids. She's very caring, very helpful and very good towards the smaller kids whenever she meets them, and whenever she plays them.”
  • “[My daughter] is very flexible as well in learning, in doing her work, and in taking care of her stuff. … When they do the circle time, [students at Western Heights Montessori Academy] choose their own activities, and when the circle time is finished, they just clean it up by themselves.”
  • “The teachers [at Western Heights Montessori Academy] are there to help [students], but it is their responsibility to clean up the stuff, and put it back where it belongs. At home, whenever she doesn't tidy up, I always tell her, ‘what would you do if you were in school? [My daughter] has learned a lot from [Western Heights Montessori Academy], she is so well educated. … She is a very good child. Very independent.”
  • “[I asked my daughter] ‘what is the important thing [about Western Heights Montessori Academy]?’ She said ‘I love their food, Mama, and I'm so sad. I can't have their food anymore.’ I was like, ‘really?’ Yeah… [My daughter] loves the food [at Western Heights Montessori Academy]. She loves the show and tell activities.”
  • “[My daughter] is very excited about the music [she learns at Western Heights Montessori Academy]. Whatever she learns, she always sings at home. The most important part of the music was the concert. … She's very excited about the concerts and teachers. She loves her teachers.”
  • “[Western Heights Montessori Academy] takes a very holistic and flexible approach in their values. They are focusing on the growth of a child, and they cater to their needs. They are very good at doing things like field trips.”
  • “[If Western Heights Montssori Academy were a person, the characteristics that I would say best describe the school would be] responsible, caring, and focused. [Western Heights Montessori Academy] is accountable for every child, whatever has happened in the school. They're always being very responsible for the particular child in their school.”
  • “I think the main plus point at [Western Heights Montessori Academy] is the campus, the big backyard. It's a plus point for them, as children can play in the winter, and in summer, freely, and without any disturbance.”

More about Western Heights Montessori Academy

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Parent, Palina Klimava (2021)

Watch our parent interview with Palina Klimava to get the inside scoop on what it’s like to have a child attend Western Heights Montessori Academy.

THE OUR KIDS REPORT: Western Heights Montessori Academy

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