Childrens House Montessori School
Highland Park, NJ 08904
About This School
In 2010, Childrens House Montessori School had 1 students for every full-time equivalent teacher. The New Jersey average is 13 students per full-time equivalent teacher.
Student Ethnicity (2008)
Students Per Teacher (2010)
Childrens House Montessori School Reviews
A very frustrating montessori and it all has to do with shoddy administration and financial practices. Bills are often issued with wrong amounts and have to be corrected, not to mention that they never reflect a previous balance so if you miss one bill, you dont' know what you owed the previous month. Staff signs out your children when you pick them up so you don't know if you are going to be charged extra fees or not and you cannot verify it, you just receive a bill at the end of the month.
Communication is very poor, sometime you receive an e-mail about an event the night before the event, so if you are a working parent it is very difficult to accomodate this. Last year they even lost all the files for the school and they claimed they misplaced the box of files while moving due to a flood. Of all the information that should be safe guarded, it's our files that contain all our personal information!
Activities are often not well thought out and you have to pay for all of them out of pocket. One year they took our children to a hospital for a field trip. Parents were very worried about exposure as this was the year that the H1N1 flu became rampant! This past year they took the kids on a farm trip and budgeted 5 hours from the time of pick-up to drop off. The farm tour was over in 40 minutes and the kids and chapparones were left to entertain themselves for hours in the cold until the bus came to pick them up.
Rules are inconsistant. One parent can be told one thing and another be told another. For example, I was told I wasn't allowed to bring my infant to mother's day tea, while at least 6 other moms had their infants with them.
School continues to tell interviewing parents that they have permission from the local police to park illegally infront of the school for pick-up drop-off of children. Meanwhile, when parents receive tickets from the police, the school washes their hands of the issue and parents have to pay up!
Bathrooms are located at the entrance of the building and often, children are in plain view of all entering the building while naked tending to toilet needs or getting their diaper changed. The entrance is shared with the church above so in the event of a lock down, the school has no security as it cannot lock the front door.
Teachers are alright, but since the two head teachers left last year and this year, the level of academics has declined. The school offers no second language and music is a offered only once a week for only an hour. Teachers are doing so much that they often neglect certain things. For 3 weeks, nobody noticed that my 3 year old wasn't eating any lunch and was coming home at 3:30 starving. It's hard to enjoy the school when so much frustrates you.
My son has been going to CHMS for 2 yrs, +3 yrs for summer camp, & I just can't say enough good things about it. The teachers are 1st rate -- certified Montessori, most with significant tenure at the school. My son, a sensitive kiddo, has thrived there, & we feel like several of his teachers are part of our family. Also, whenever we've had a concern, the teachers and administrators always made time to speak with us & resolve the issue sensitively.
I'm surprised by the poor review I saw here. We never had a problem with my son coming home poorly cleaned after a diaper change. And communication with the teachers has been great. It's true that the teachers are too busy to have substantive discussions w/each parent at pick-up (except in special instances), but they were *always* open to answering our questions & making extra time for us when we wanted to talk.
My son says this is the "best school in the world," & we love it.
This school has great teachers and my daughter just graduated Kindergarten from there attending the school for 4 years. I like the fact that they do not allow cakes or any sort of junk food during the school hours which really fosters good eating habits. I don't like that they do not offer milk, but only water to the kids for the entire day.
The administration staff and facility has much room for improvement. The facility restrooms needs to be updated with a diaper changing station for little ones. My daughter would hold her bowel movement until she was home since they do not clean them well from the age of 2. The administration staff communicates events very late with no updates to changes in staff; I hear it from my kids first. The monthly financial payment is done in a very archaic way still even with the automation of computers and direct pay. They even lost our checks 1 month and 4-6 weeks later they showed up.
So some good and bad about the place, but if you know in advance what to expect, I think the kids really enjoy it.