We’re proud to share some opinions about CVMS from our parent, students, and alumni.
For our recent Next Step Open House Karen Madison (retired Human Resources Manager, Manufacturing, Technology, and Engineering, Corning Incorporated), alumni parent (Jenny Madison 2002, Will Madison 2005), shared her thoughts about some areas that stand out for her about Montessori and how it differs from other offerings.
“There is a caring, value-driven environment so my kids look out for others, care about the group, and do well in a group. The atmosphere is really inclusive. Parents are welcome and included, for example, board and board meetings, trip or dance chaperones. The caliber of field trip offerings differ from other schools.
Given the mixed age classroom my kids are so strong at working with those older and younger easily and naturally. My children had a nice level of self-assurance as youngsters and that has continued. They picked up some nice self-confidence given the caring, encouraging, and supportive environment. The kids really learned to think and see for themselves versus lots of memorization as the focus.
Student-presented portfolios were great at openness and developing the student. The students pick up presentation skills early as well as exposure to the software. I would also add that my kids are very good at giving and receiving feedback. They are very open to feedback and can do it well too. I think this really goes back to the very early peer review and critiquing that goes on at Montessori. I have seen in industry many who are still not comfortable giving or receiving feedback so these are great skills to have and become very comfortable and natural when introduced so young. The teacher to pupil ratio helps with achievement and no student being lost and because of all the small group work my kids are very good at teaming and collaborating. That’s what you really see is required in the world today and a great skill I am glad my kids have.”
“Our son is excited about going to school every day and comes home just as happy. We’re really thrilled to see his growing joy in learning.”
“I like the class sizes and the philosophies behind the education for the reading and the math at CVMS; how they introduce that at such a young age. My daughter is doing things at three, and she doesn’t know that it’s geography lessons. They make it fun for the kids and they are learning. They use educational materials, but they think that they are playing. My kids love going to school every day.”
“I think there’s a gentle atmosphere at CVMS without a lot of pressure on the kids. They’re congratulated and praised, but it’s not overdone. They don’t make the kids feel bad if they can’t do something. If it doesn’t work this time, try it again or another way. At this age, they just move on and go back to it later. The best thing you can give your kid is self-esteem and I really think CVMS does an excellent job there with that.”
At CVMS, the students “…speak so well. They can get up and give a two or three minutes speech in front of the whole audience. They are very poised. It’s very impressive what goes on there with their development.”
“I like the emphasis on respect throughout. Not only do the teachers respect the wishes of the children, but through example they help the children respect the wishes of each other. That helps shape behavior.”
“I am extremely happy with the teacher-student relationships that have developed. The teachers have really guided my daughter in a lot of things. She has high aspirations and it helps to have teachers who help her to achieve them. This is a very special school in that sense.”
“Dyslexia challenged my son’s ability to read. He faced academic hurdles in public elementary school until a teacher identified he understood the material verbally but not in written text. In contrast to the conventional school classroom, the multi-modal instruction championed by Maria Montessori provides a “just” education environment. The teacher presents principles in verbal, written, and visual formats. This approach provides a truly egalitarian opportunity for all learning styles. My son flourished in this atmosphere from 4th through 8th grade.
He successfully made the transition to a small public high school. He achieves academically, athletically, artistically, and socially. He will graduate next year and plans to pursue a science major in biochemistry or chemical engineering. Because we were so impressed with his progress in the Chemung Valley Montessori School, we enrolled his younger sister there as well. She just completed her freshman year of high school with wonderful success.”
“One thing we like about CVMS is that it is culturally more diverse than what we have here in the valley. Our children learned a great deal of respect for other heritages, religions, cultures. That’s something they try to deliver in the curriculum: appreciating heritage.”
From our alumni and students
“CVMS gave me a wonderful opportunity to know who I am as in individual and grow at my own speed. Its nurturing atmosphere makes learning fun, and enjoyable, as well as its beautiful classrooms. I learned many life lessons I still think back on day today. Montessori will always be in my heart along with my wonderful teachers I learned with”. – Karen Rajsky, Class of 2001
“Montessori instills a love of learning in every child. I feel that it is particularly prominent in the enthusiasm with which I approach my classes, as well as everyday life.” – Anna Hall, Class of 2005v
“I believe Montessori gave me the integrity and the right tools to get through high school, college, and the rest of my life. Through the different dimensions of atmosphere, lessons, and the classrooms I learned what is really important and not what I can and cannot do. Many know I went to a Montessori school but they do not know the huge influence it had in my life.” – Kayla Klingensmith
“There are so many things I have learned from the middle school. The middle school is a second home to me, literally! It is a place where I have learned multiple studies ranging from earth science and algebra 1 to lifelong lessons like leadership, responsibility and washing dishes. Like families, there will be problems and disagreements, but we will always stay together. I am proud that I am able to be a part of Maria Montessori’s vision and will really miss all the people I have met.” – Katherine Porter
“In the three years that I have been in the Chemung Valley Montessori School I have learned things that I couldn’t learn in any other school; not just the three”R’s” (reading, ‘riting and ‘rithmatic) but also about leadership, teamwork and acting as a group. The Montessori experience has undoubtedly been extremely valuable to me as a growing and developing person.” – Llew Franks