Dilemma: established vs. starter Montessori for Elementary?
I have 2 kids, each finishing their 3rd year in the UE and LE classes. The direction of the school we are at has shifted dramatically over the past several years: it has moved into an attractive new building located in an affluent neighborhood in the burbs. It has been replacing the experienced teachers with newer, less-experienced ones; there has also been a high turnover in staff. It has been accepting quite a few new students with behavioral issues and no Montessori background (and this has changed the dynamics in some classrooms). The parent board, which used to be chosen via election, is now a self-selecting entity. Board meetings which used to be open are now restricted only to board members. We just learned that another teacher has been let go, which means that both of my kids will have new, unexperienced guides next year.
There is another starter Montessori in town that has some teachers that were let go from the current school--all of these teachers are experienced (14+ years). The elementary classes are small and have mostly transfers from public school. There is a greater socioeconomic mix of families, and as a starter school, there are fewer funds at the moment for extracurriculars such as art and PE.
Trying to decide between (1) staying at current school with its deteriorating administrative situation, high turnover (yet my kids are familiar with the classrooms, have access to extracurriculars, and have friends) or (2) moving to this other school with smaller classes but experienced teachers. The cost for both schools would be about the same. The distance is about the same. Both kids are quite self-directed.
Anyone have suggestions?
Thanks in advance!