Parenting & Family

[Merged] Recommendations for MONTESSORI SCHOOLS in the GTA & surrounding areas

[OP]
Member
Sep 24, 2006
248 posts
1 upvote
Toronto

[Merged] Recommendations for MONTESSORI SCHOOLS in the GTA & surrounding areas

I like to see if anyone can recommended a good Montessori School in Markham, Richmond Hill or North York area.

A lot of school have named they're Montessori School but they aren't. The true Montessori School should belongs or meet CCMA standard, right?

Also, looks like CASA Program cost about $1000 with lunch for 5 full days. Toronto Montessoris School is well known, but too pricey.
Anyone heard of Royal Cachet Montessori School which just open in summer 2007? What about Central Montessori School?

Thanks for input!
514 replies
Deal Addict
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Nov 27, 2006
1006 posts
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CCMA if I recall correctly is an association for the administration of the school, rather than the school itself, hence CCMA (Canadian Council of Montessori Administrators). Not being part of the CCMA doesn't necessarily mean that the school is bad, and vice versa.

In terms of recommendations, some friends of mine have personally recommended the following ones:

Toronto French Montessori
The montessori across from Congee Wong at Finch Leslie (not sure the name but it was recommended)

Although right now I am thinking of sending my kid to TMS, yes it is pricey, but I have been to many open houses of montessori schools, and this one is the only one that feels like a school. The rest either are in a church or just didn't seem that professional. Yes it is expensive, but it will probably be worth it in the end if you are thinking montessori anyways. Besides, compared to the other montessori schools it is only around $3000-4000 a year more than the others, nothing to sneeze at but you are already paying more than twice that, so what's another couple grand. :P
Deal Addict
Jul 3, 2001
1352 posts
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I am also interested in knowing about Royal Cachet Montessori school. I went for a tour last year and the place looks nice, but I get an uneasy feeling about the head lady (Ms. Cathy I think was her name). She seemed to preach what Montessori method is rather than talk about the school itself.

There was an interesting forum topic here: http://www.montessoriforum.org/viewforum.php?f=2

but the site was hijacked and so the topic is currently offline. It talked a lot about how some parents had to pull their kids out, but couldn't get their money back.

Toronto Montessori School appears to be a great school (Bayview and Hwy 7), but it's dang expensive plus it requires a $3k registration fee.

Any parents out there who have some more insight on Royal Cachet would be most helpful!
Member
Aug 21, 2005
334 posts
Toronto
Last summer I wanted to enroll my son at Royal Cachet Montessori. The day I called Ms Cathy said that I should call back because they were getting ready for a concert and she was too busy to answer my questions. So i called back a few days later and she said i could come at 10am, so i said i was working and that time was not convenient. ms cathy, said that is the only time they had i asked,what do other working parents do, she said, they make time. so i enrolled my child at mindtech montessori and forgot about cachet.

i then get a call from the owner returning my call, and i told her ms cathy was very rude, and the owner said, it was a buy time. then i asked about the 10am to see the school, so she said, yes, so you can see the kids in action

my friend is a montessori teacher with over 12 years experience, she applied at cachet and they only offered her $32,000 per year..so you can imagine how much they pay their teachers and charge us parents
Deal Addict
Jul 3, 2001
1352 posts
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I have so much doubt about this school and Ms. Kathy especially. I'm sure they hire the teachers who accept the lowest salary. I also hear that they pretty much start asking for your donations right away.

It's so close to where I live though, so that is why I'm considering it. but that may be a big mistake.
Member
Aug 21, 2005
334 posts
Toronto
xla4life wrote:
Apr 1st, 2009 9:04 pm
I have so much doubt about this school and Ms. Kathy especially. I'm sure they hire the teachers who accept the lowest salary. I also hear that they pretty much start asking for your donations right away.

It's so close to where I live though, so that is why I'm considering it. but that may be a big mistake.
Have you gone to see the school yet? If you are happy with the school, also be happy with your child's teacher. Find out how many Montessori qualified teachers are in the classroom and how long your child will have the same teacher (i am a montessori teacher)

As far as Ms Kathy, remember that there is an owner above her, so if you encounter issues that you are not happy with, i would bypass Ms Kathy
Deal Addict
Jul 3, 2001
1352 posts
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I've been to the school for a tour, but it was during the summer so no teachers were there. I did manage to tag along with some friends that have their child enrolled during a Parent/Teacher night. Still a bit difficult to make a solid judgement, but some of the teachers didn't look like they could speak English very well. I don't want to sound racist, but I think the common language between child and teacher should be English.
[OP]
Member
Sep 24, 2006
248 posts
1 upvote
Toronto
After all the visits, researches and talking to parents. I decided to put my 3 years old at Wishing Well Montessori School in Jan 2009. My daugther birthday is in January.

I had a visit to the following schools and here is what I find...

TMS-They take student only in September. So put my 32 months daugther in Toddler program. Since my daugther attend DayCare, I think it's not worth to pay the pricy tutition for toddler program.

MindTech-okay but small

Unionville MS-called for tour but the lady there said I have to put a name on wait list first until there is availablity then I can tour the school?!

Central MS-okay

Royal Cachet MS-heard some teacher is from TMS. However, I have the same Ms.Cathy issue. All she wants to deposit for waiting list. Plus, my daugther will be put in the class located basement.

Wishing Well MS-My daugther is there now for 3 months. Love the teachers and environment. All teachers in class is Montessori Teacher. Unlike some school having 1 montessori teacher and 1 assistant. Reasonable price. Promote high academic standings,self-confidence(which I see you do). After school activity/Extra-Curricular Starts like ballet, music etc. They started Toddler Program Fall 2008, which I will put my younger son there this coming Fall 2009.
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Nov 27, 2006
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Yours wrote:
Apr 2nd, 2009 2:06 pm
TMS-They take student only in September. So put my 32 months daugther in Toddler program. Since my daugther attend DayCare, I think it's not worth to pay the pricy tutition for toddler program.
Just as an aside, my son entered the Toddler program when there was an opening in February (He started just 2 months ago). Also since Toddler program is not considered school per se, you can claim the tuition as a tax refund under daycare expenses.

Normally they only take September, however, if you are on the waiting list, they will take you mid year, like our son.
Deal Addict
Jul 3, 2001
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Went to visit Richmond Hill Montessori School and I was impressed.

The school follows the Montessori program up to grade 1 and then continues on with advanced elementary school programs.

No uniforms required for preschoolers either. Before and after school programs are included in the tuition fee. Which is about $12K a year for 10 months.

The school is also adding a new building which shows how well the school is doing.
Newbie
Jan 6, 2007
40 posts
Richmond Hill
My child is at RCMS starting July last year and here's my thought about the school:

Overall the premise is still considered as new so at least it's clean for a toddler to be in. However, the admin staff primarily Ms. Grace and/or the principal Ms. Cathy is totally unorganized. Not only their newsletter have so many grammatical mistake, but also, the structure of the letter is so confusing since they combined the Casa and toddler program into one letter and without defining which topic they're in you just don't know what you are reading. I re-read their newsletter N times and then finally went to one of their parent's observation night and realized that they meant only the casa class and not for the toddler class that my son is in. Also, I don't know how the Office communicate with the teacher normally as I often found that I need to tell both the Office AND the teacher when my child will be absent from school.

Also, they charge you extra $$ when they have pizza day offer monthly. Since we paid extra for their meal plan, one would think that pizza will be part of the meal package since they won't be serving anything else that day?! The cost is not material but I just found it's a bit rip-off.

My child just bumps up from the toddler program to their casa program in April. However they don't allow him to be part of the casa field trip because he's too young and need to stay in his new classroom along with 2 other kids. If they're too young to be in the casa program why would they want to change the kids so early to a new environment (just because they want to accept more toddler to their toddler program)? I just feel bad for my child as well as the 2 others that need to stay behind.

So in summary the school is ok because the premise is still new and it "looks clean" and that's one of the only reason that I put him in that school. However, be prepare that their unorganized structure will make you mad at times.

Having said that I have registered my son to Richmond Hill montesorri this coming September since he'll be 3 by then. :lol:
[OP]
Member
Sep 24, 2006
248 posts
1 upvote
Toronto
xla4life wrote:
Apr 6th, 2009 11:56 pm
Went to visit Richmond Hill Montessori School and I was impressed.

The school follows the Montessori program up to grade 1 and then continues on with advanced elementary school programs.

No uniforms required for preschoolers either. Before and after school programs are included in the tuition fee. Which is about $12K a year for 10 months.

The school is also adding a new building which shows how well the school is doing.
I have heard of good comments for Richmond Hill Montessori School too.

I find it very similar to Wishing Well MS that offer from Toddler to High School with high standard and status. Before and after school programes are included for $9000 a year.
Jr. Member
Feb 25, 2009
127 posts
2 upvotes
Ontario
Just curious to know what the difference is between Montessori and private schools - or are they the same?

My two older children both went to Montessori for a while because it was only a couple of hundred dollars more than home-based daycares. I pulled them out as soon as they were old enough for full-time public school. I was truly disappointed as there was only one Montessori teacher and the rest were assistants. I also found out that Montessori teachers did not have to have a university degree, did not go to teacher's college and was not registered with the Ontario College of Teachers (at least not at the school where my kids went - no names as I'm not trying to degrade any establishment - at Kennedy Rd. & 14th Ave). When I toured the location, I was told that there would be EAs working with students, but later found out that they had only two EAs for the whole school. I've heard that some Montessori schools do have registered teachers - but it's the luck of the draw. In the public system, a person MUST be registered with the OTC and be in good standing, in order to be hired - this includes supply teachers.

I found the lack of accountability and a viable disciplinary network (in case anything should happen to my children) a bit scary. Almost the equivalent of going to an unlicensed doctor.

My children are both in French Immersion now and love the public system - but we are looking to put them into real private schools in preparation for high school.

Any idea if the teachers of private schools are registered teachers? Or are they like the Montessori teachers? I don't want to pay for registration fees only to find out otherwise.

Please share any information you may have. Thanks.
Newbie
Feb 14, 2009
88 posts
3 upvotes
Markham
Yours wrote:
Apr 8th, 2009 2:31 pm
I have heard of good comments for Richmond Hill Montessori School too.

I find it very similar to Wishing Well MS that offer from Toddler to High School with high standard and status. Before and after school programes are included for $9000 a year.
I try to look for the toddler program on RH Montessori school website but I can't find any. They only mention about preschool & up. Do they actually offer toddler program?
Newbie
Jul 27, 2009
8 posts
2 upvotes
I have been a Montessori Teacher in the Markham area for 10 years. I have a University degree -some teachers don't. Some schools hire ECEs as assistants, some don't. If these things are important to you, ask for specifics before you register your child.

Before you pick a school for your child, make sure you talk to parents who have children at the school. "Word of Mouth" is the best form of advertising. Of course, you'll come across differing opinions but it will give you a better sense of what to expect.

Just because a school is part of CCMA does not mean that they are a good school. It just means that they are paying CCMA to be a recognized school on their list.

Be sure to compare a few schools so you can make a more informed decision.

I hope this helps!

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