Wednesday, February 9, 2011

SF Public Montessori

I got a surprising voice mail message recently to invite me to an open house for the SF Public Montessori school. At first I thought that children had to have Montessori experience in order to apply to K there, but it turns out not be the case. I posted my tour note and would love to hear from any parents out there who send their child/ren to this school.

I sincerely wanted to love this school and walked away disappointed. Granted, they are going through a big transition into the new building but it seems that their growing pains will continue well into the future.

I feel bad for the new principle as it seems she is in dire need of more help - she needs an assistant principle and more admin staff to lighten the load. I wonder how strong the PTA participation is there and also how well the Montessori program is married with state standards and testing.

I turned in my application today via one of the satellite locations. Other than the people showing up late, it went quickly and smoothly. Good luck everyone!


  1. Thanks for this. I've always wondered about this school.

  2. Aissa -- thanks for the post. Aissa, no elementary in the city has an assistant principal, so that's not going to happen. And especially when there are only 135 kids there right now. But you are right that the lack of parental involvement is troublesome. It is especially odd because I thought I remember reading here that it was parents who first pushed the idea of a public Montessori. And it is worrisome that kids are in hallways unsupervised. Finally, it is particularly worrisome about the level of organization -- school has been in session six months now, plenty of time for these folks to get their act together.

  3. Hello - I am a parent and volunteer at the SF Public Montessori School. Just wanted you to know that indeed there is a very active and busy PTA! Our school is just getting started at this new site and there is so much to be done when founding an Elementary school. The amount of hard work and creativity that parents have put into this school is absolutely amazing to me. I just feel really lucky to be part of this dedicated, pioneering group of families, teachers and students. And, most importantly, my child is getting a wonderful education!

  4. It's important to remember that SF Public Montessori is a SFUSD public elementary school with all the problems and challenges of any other public elementary school in this city compounded by a recent relocation with major renovations now beginning at the new site. If you're looking for a private quality Montessori elementary education here, you will not find it. Despite the challenges of this school, the teachers here ALL have their AMI credentials and authentic Montessori education is practiced here. Parent's here are very active in their volunteerism and fundraising, and the new PTA is well established and thriving in a collaborative atmosphere. Parents at our school are dedicated, passionate and absolutely amazing in all that they have accomplished in just half a school year. I would urge anyone who is interested in a quality Montessori education for their child to call the school and set up an appointment for a classroom observation. Mass tours really don't give an accurate picture of what actually happens here. Best of luck!

  5. It was probably a parent who phoned you to invite you to the open house, as they organized both it and its accompanying silent auction.

    I'm a parent of two kids who attend, and although the school is indeed going through some growing pains, as mentioned above, it has a lot of potential and plenty of involved, dedicated parents. Join us!

  6. the exodus has begun. please be wary of any parent you let into your school from this one. do your homework. find out if they were part of the problem. you will be sorry if you do not.

  7. Regarding the exodus: it is true. Some of the key trouble makers who were responsible for getting rid of the former principal and implementer and created a hostile environment for anyone who doesn't share their views, are leaving. How ironic. Ruin the school and then leave.

    The principal is awful. She has no administrative experience in a public school. Due to her actions and inactions, there will likely be no original teachers at the school in the fall. The District doesn't support the school.

    The only reason we are keeping our daughter at the school right now is because we were fools and didn't look into other schools for the lottery, and now it is well into round two.

  8. There are very mixed reviews about this school. I am curious to get some more details from current or past parents that have had a negative expereince at this school.
    How are some parents "trouble makers"? What specifically, are they doing?
    Why doesn't the district support the school? What actions or inactions support this statement?
    Any thoughts on the new principal Sharon Richardson?

    I think this school has a lot of potential and I listed it as my first choice, but admitedly I am a little nervous about my selection.

    Thank you so much for any feedback you can provide!

  9. Hi, I am the prospective parent that was hoping to get some more feedback about the school.

    My email is if anyone wants to email me directly. I would be very grateful for any perspective on this school.

    Thank you!!

  10. We have friends that pulled their kids from a "trophy" public this year and are here now and like it. We looked into it a few years back b/f they moved to the new building. We loved the Mont. program, but the commute would have been to much for us.

  11. The school district did support the school. They had no way of knowing the truth about Sharon Richardson when she was hired. The truth was kept from them. When they did find out about her, they got rid of her as soon as humanly possible. This school has all kinds of wonderful possibilities. If you feel you have a problem then report it to the board of directors. Don't just wait for the problem to be fixed. Voices can only be heard if someone higher than the principal is told. If you think a teacher is less than they should be speak up.

  12. We are not sorry Sharon is gone. The position was above her ability to cope. We love and care about the school. Had we gone another month without a teacher we would have no choice but to leave. Every school has problems. The great thing about SFMPS is that the school community is constantly working to make things better. This was for the best. The school has survived. I would still highly recommend the school.