I can't say enough positive things about Hilltop Montessori. It's been an incredible fit for my daughter and we have had nothing but a positive experience there. The other review seems off to me as my daughter went through their preschool and the teachers were always monitoring the children and addressing any kind of misbehavior that was witnessed - either by a parent, child or another teacher. Their peace curriculum is one of a kind as they teach from the youngest of ages about addressing their feelings, modeling listening to each other and taking turns to work out a problem between two (or more) kids.
This school is amazing for a child who thrives on working independently within a structure outlined by the teachers. EVERY child is engaged at all times of the day, in work that challenges them and helps them grow and learn in their own time and in their own way. It is not for every student (what school is?), but in our experience it's been an amazing fit for our spirited, active and independent daughter.
This school was one of the most terribly run schools I have ever seen. My daughter went there for 1.5 year in preschool and was routinely picked on and beaten by several boys in her class. One of which was a teachers child.
My wife would arrive to pick up our daughter and would witness these two boys tormenting her, while teachers stood around chatting among themselves and not paying attention, until my wife would run across the school yard and deal with the situations personally. Examples of witnessed attacks:
1) Boy chased my daughter in the snow, pushed her to the ground, jumping on her back and repeatedly and forcefully pushing her face into the snow while my daughter is crying for him to stop.
2) Two boys chasing my daughter into an playhouse enclosure in the playground and one of them punching her in the face, splitting her lip.
3) My daughter bends down in class to pick up a pencil she dropped and one of these boys, walked by and kicked her in the face/head (witnessed by a teacher)
4) My daughter was playing by herself in the sandbox and one of these boys fills a large bucket with sand and purposely dumps it on my daughters head
5) My wife arrives to pick up my daughter, who has a split lip. Teacher informs us that one of these boys simply punched her in the face.
My daughter consistently had nightmares and cried to not go back to school (understandably). We repeatedly demanded action to be taken against these boys; however, nothing was ever done. The schools position on it
1) My daughter should learn to be more assertive and let these boys know that she doesn't appreciate their behavior. Essentially, it seems like their position that it is a girls fault if she is raped.
2) She should alert a teacher any time something like this occurs rather than teachers should be paying attention to their students so situations like this don't have a chance to occur.
3) Boys and girls express their emotions differently and the boys simply needs to learn how to better express his emotions in a more healthy manner. He was given 'time-outs' to consider his behavior. He wasn't expelled, suspended or reprimanded in any meaningful way.
4) Principle stated to my wife, after she detailed an eye witness account of one of these attacks..."we spoke with the boy and he says that the situation wasn't as it seemed" Essentially, taking the word of a 4yr old boy over my wife who saw the whole scene and that my wife misinterpreted what she saw, when he punched my daughter in the face.
End of the day, this school not only didn't address a significant bullying situation in their pre-school classes; but seemed to defend the bullies (again, one of them being a teachers son). No disciplinary action was ever taken against the boys, we pulled our daughter from the school and it is my belief that this school forever altered my daughters once outgoing personality and her passion for school and learning.
Hilltop is an ok school , but safety is a real conern. From what I understand, there are people coming and going in and out of the building without even having to identify themselves, let alone sign any kind of register. Personally, I wouldn't want to send my kids there until they tightened that aspect of it up.
Review from Guidestar