I enjoyed the freedom the school allowed for students. They allowed students, parents, and facility to roam the halls pretty much unsupervised in the morning and afternoons. In a perfect word it's great to allowed the children to make decision of how they wanted to spend there morning hours rather in the hallways, cafeteria, or at the playground. It was great for student who needed confidences and build social skills. It also left opportunities for predatory behavior because there's so many nooks and crannies students were allowed to roam. That freedom in the morning is what really set this school up differently than others that had a stricter structure.
Before you apply to this school, be sure to do your homework on what MONTESSORI education is. Then know that this school is a PUBLIC MONTESSORI, meaning they must (unfortunately) adhere to public school tomfoolery (test taking). So, if you care about test scores, and you measurement of a 'good education' is based on test scores, don't send them here. Period. You should send your child to a school that is good at "teaching to the test" (and teaching to the test is NOT what Montessori is about). Also as you read any review of Montessori or other specialized school and that person mentions "test", or "test scores" as criteria for why a school is "good" or "bad" be aware that the person didn't do any research into the school or their education philosophy. There are plenty of good test taking schools out there. As the parent of two children in Capitol Hill Montessori at Logan I can tell you that the challenges that the school has is not due to staff or the parent community, those challenges are due to the failures of DCPS which has blatantly neglected the school. DCPS should be ashamed that it doesn't try to honor non-traditional methods of learning, instead it chooses to ignore those schools, providing minimal resources. Yet despite the utter disrespect that DCPS has for this school, the staff and parent community has done an outstanding job of growing this school from a "school within a school" to an educational campus that goes up to 8th grade. So while the school doesn't specialize in turning out students who score high on whatever test the education system deems worthy of applying in any given year (the standardized tests change about every 4 years. Ask yourself if standardized testing is working so well, why would the tests change so often? How often has the SAT, ACT, LSAT, etc. changed?) the school does work on a child-centered approach that allows your child to develop a high level of academic achievement through a different learning experience. Unless we move, my children will continue on with Capitol Hill Montessori through Middle School and we know they will get into the High School of their choice because they came up in a supportive environment that this school provides.
Most of the teachers are deeply committed to the Montessori Method. With the exception of 1 really bad experience with a teacher that is no longer there; during my daughters 4 years at the school the teachers are dedicated and qualified. The leadership however, is horrible! The principal does not have a clear vision for the school nor the courage to lead. He tells you what you want to hear and follows meetings with 0 follow up and 0 action. This directly impacts the teachers ability to work to their full potential. There is always some kind if issue with the school because the principal is not proactive but rather reactive when parents make a fuss. The school overall is very disorganized. Additionally, the office is a mess. The woman who runs the office is very disrespectful. If she decides she doesn't like you expect to be disrespected and gossiped about. ( I wasn't disliked she often gossiped to me.) She is negative, dishonest and generally sets a horrible energy in the school. Do not send your child to this school. They are getting by on an old reputation and a decent location. Check the scores!
My son has just begun his second year at the school. He's very happy, seems to enjoy most every aspect of school and has made good friendships over the past year. He's grown in independence, self-confidence and social and emotional skills. I have been consistently impressed by his teacher, and the other teachers that I've encountered in the primary program. Mr. Eatman, the principal has always seemed to be very present. The administrative support staff are friendly and helpful. Admittedly, I'm not at all pushy about academic goals at the moment, but if you're the kind who is, it may feel frustrating as the course of study is student-led and the concept of "sensitive periods" means that you wait till the kid decides they are ready. It's not for everyone, and prepare to immerse yourself in a whole new language of Montessori materials and ideas. The only thing I can point to lets the school down are the issues that the facility itself has had. Much of the building has been worked on over summer 2016, and is improved, but it is a work in progress. The PTA (which here is the PTSO parent-teacher-student-organization) is very active and involved and has been key in much of the improvements. The atmosphere of the school and the community in general is very warm, inviting, friendly and safe.
Messy matters the principal is a staff pleaser ... Parents go through hell in getting situations resolved there is no confidentiality the staff will be abreast of everything you discuss with the principal
There is more to a good education than test taking proficiency. "Good education is not what fills your head with facts but what stimulates curiosity. You then learn for the rest of your life." -- Neil DeGrasse Tyson
I disagree with the previous poster. We are "educated" parents and have kids in 2nd and 4th grade. We love both of their teachers and feel confident that our kids are learning and they test well. There were definitely some growing pains in the last couple of years but overall we love the school. There is something great about kids who enjoy learning for learning sake and actively research their interests in great depth.
Good for pre-school years, then leave by first grade or risk poor math (50% failure) and writing (75% cannot write) skills for your child that will leave your child completely unprepared for Middle School. All the well educated parents have done this over the years and we are following their advice. Low test scores for fifteen plus years. Located in Washington, DC with many resources yet very few intellectual field trips due to historic, systemic failure of leadership at the top and old "DC crony" hiring of friends. No STEM, no real art classes, no real music classes. Leave by first grade as we are and be certain to have a balanced normal education in a school that fosters community spirit and intellectual love of learning (seek out Brent or Maury as top schools).
Capital Hill Montessori @ Logan - This is my daughters third year here. She woke up at 7:00am this morning and the first thing she said is "Mommy, I am ready for school!!" That is the attitude you get then you send your child to CHM@L. It all starts at the head and trickles down. Mr. Eatman is exceptional as well as his entire staff. They treat you like family and truly accept your family as theirs. I pray this school extends to the eighth grade. Thumbs up CHM@L keep up the good work.
Capitol Hill Montessori School at Logan is a great school. Not only is it unique in its offering of the montessori methodology in an urban setting, it's the only one in the entire public or charter school system. The primary teachers are incredible! My son had a difficult time adjusting to school at 3 but his teacher invested loads of time nurturing him. Once a trust relationship was established, he exploded academically. It truly is the best of both worlds. The elementary school is expanding and top-notch Montessori teachers have been recruited and with the new independent building - the school has so much potential. The Parent Teacher Student Organization is super committed, talented and diverse. I expect spectacular results as the school adjusts to its new location and expands. DCPS has been more accommodating and becoming well versed on the unique needs of the Montessori tradition. Although not compatible with they style of learning, the DC test scores should soar like the school this year. The administration, parents and students are working hard to ensure that they will. Go CHM@L.