I have a 6 year old daughter who will be starting 1st grade in the fall. We live in Portland, Oregon now, but plan on moving to somewhere around Cleveland in the early summer. My family is all there and we have been planning this move so slowly over several years. I/we haven't settled on an area to live in yet, my family is all on the west side but I am thinking that the east side will have more of what we are looking for as far as school options, and lifestyle options as well. I may be wrong about this and would love some input. I am really confused about this move and the best place for us in Cleveland.
So, about the schools. She is in a montessori kindergarden right now and really likes it. We would like to keep her in montessori or something with a fairly alternative or active learning style. We are also looking for something smaller sized, focus on kindness and awareness both globally and locally. I also want her to be able to stay in the same school until 8th grade. I love the idea of cohorts or mixed aged classes. I think it goes without saying that we want her challenged and the teachers to be invested in the students and school. There is a school here that fits the bill (not that I think we could ever afford it :) )and I would love to find something close to this in Cleveland. Here is the link, if anyone wants to look: http://www.arborschool.org/ . It is just kind of a magical place and the kids seem really happy there and happy to be there. They have a voice and are encouraged to use it.
I think that I hinted above that we are unsure of the best place for us in Cleveland, so if anyone has some ideas or experiences I would greatly appreciate it. We are medium crunchy, pretty used to all the options that Portland has to offer on that front and want to continue that lifestyle. I am worried about rebuilding our community that we are pretty involved in and finding a niche for my daughter. The move will be really hard on her, so I want to make it as easy as possible.
Thanks for reading and I look forward to hearing what people have to say.
We just moved to Cleveland's East side a few months ago. Did you make any decisions about what area you'll be moving to? I assume that since your child goes to Montessori, you are planning on private school. I live in Cleveland Heights, and there is a montessori school nearby called Ruffing Montessori.
Good luck on your move!
Hi! I have looked at Ruffing Montessori, but think it is a little (or a lot) out of our price range. We are leaning towards private school, but if I found a great public or charter school, I would think about that.
I am interested in Tremont Montessori, but am a little worried about demographics, and I also think that The Intergenerational School looks neat. The one that I am most interested in and have kind of fallen in love with is Hershey Montessori. It is out by Chardon in Concord, but I am trying to figure out a way to find a point close enough to it as well as close enough to my family which is all on the west side.
How are you liking Cleveland Heights? Where are your children going to school and what have you found your experience to be? Thanks so much for your response, any experiences or ideas that you have had that you are willing to share, I would love to hear.
We moved to Mentor in October and I have extensively looked into possible preschools for my son, who will be 3 in August. There is an accredited Montessori school in Concord Township, called Hershey. There are some other Montessori schools in Kirtland, Willowick and Willoughby. And just so you know, a brand-new Waldorf school will open it's doors in the Heights this coming fall.
All this said, they are all pricey, so we will be homeschooling after all.
Thanks for all the replies! I have looked the most at the Hershey Montessori..... it is pricy, but I think it looks pretty great. I plan on going to see it when we visit in the next month or so. My husband isn't so sure about the price, and I agree that it may be cost prohibitive, has anyone had any experience with Shaker public schools? How are they divided up? Is there just one Shaker elementary school? Or is it broken up?
Thanks Amy@STL, I will look into the little italy montessori again. How far up in ages does it go?
Nikki 3124, is there a website or name for the Waldorf school? I have found here in Portland, that Waldorf schools have a hard time getting organized when they are getting started. I wonder if that will be the case with this one.
Thanks again for all the info! Keep it coming!!
It goes upto 7th grade I believe, you should be able to find out from their website I hope. They are called Holy Rosary School.
Good luck! My son starts this fall, so we will see!
born on April 3 '10
This is the Facebook-group for the Waldorf school: https://www.facebook.com/HeightsWaldorfSchool?fref=ts .The website you can find in the 'about section'. I emailed Amy about enrollment and such. She told me they will not offer preschool for three year olds. Only from 4 year olds and on.
The funny thing is that since I stated we will be homeschooling, I got offered a job. I could even decide on my own hours, so they coincide with preschool hours. We might end up sending our son to the Hershey Montessori school after all. And maybe to Waldorf after. Who knows.
My neighbor is one of the core members starting the waldorf school. We looked at it, but don't have the funds for private school. Plus, i can't justify paying such high taxes living here and not using the public schools. The waldorf school now has a website and enrolling for fall. http://www.urbanoakschool.org/
Thank for the info!
I appreciate the link for the Waldorf school. I think I will look into that. Isn't that funny about the homeschooling thing? My sister was really excited about homeschooling my nephew and he became really set on going to kindergarden. So, she sent him to kindergarden and started trying to plan for next year, and all of a sudden he wants to homeschool now!!
half-pigeon, thank you for the breakdown. We are still trying to figure out what is best, I hope to visit some Shaker schools when I am there in June and get a feel for them. I really like the IB status that they have and think that having a diverse student body is good. Is there supposed to be an elementary that is the best one? Can you choose which one you go to? Or lottery in to one that you think fits better? Are their any language immersion programs? If you do choose to go to a school out of district, can your child be a part of sports and such since you live and pay taxes in Shaker? I am thinking of that only because if we do send my daughter to Hershey Montessori, they don't have organized sports. It would all be club teams and stuff for my daughter (and then son).
What have you heard about the Tremont Montessori? I keep reading mixed things. Disorganized, bad teachers, good teachers, good school, bad school...... have you heard anything?
The Waldorf school sounds really neat. I also love to see that more and more alternative education options are coming about. That is exciting! I am going to look into it and maybe even set up a meeting.
Thanks so much for the info and for answering all my questions!
OP, you've gotten lots of info and are probably looking around here (in actual Ohio) by now, but since noone had mentioned Lillian Ratner - it's a nice Montessori school that does have more of the higher grades in Beechwood (really close to the heights as well) and is, at least, a tad less expensive than Ruffing. It has a Jewish-curriculum track for some as well as a secular/peace-related track of classes you can opt for instead. We'd toured it and have known kids who've gone there and were impressed with it. We also know families that use the Montessori in Little Italy - and it really has had a great reputation over the years. Sorry, but I know little about Tremont Montessori and can't answer those questions.
As it is, we used Horizon Montessori (only goes through kindergarten) and then moved onto the Cleveland Heights schools. And I did find some of the new curriculum our elementary has taken on was incorporating montessori math concepts (which was pretty neat to see - one of the things I love best about montessori, their approach to math).
Good luck checking stuff out!