Our family was looking for a learning environment that nurtured and challenged our son. He comes home at the end of the day happy and excited to share what he has learned. We are very happy with our experience at the school and recommend it.
Thank you so much for the last two wonderful years! [Our daughter] has really blossomed in your care. We couldn’t have found a better school for her educational start. We know the foundation you laid by your talented teachers will serve her well in the coming years.
We wish you continued success!
Andrew and Natascha Bylee
Thank you for making a lot of difference in the lives of so many kids!
Andy and Venny Harjanto
Excellent school. As a certified Montessori teacher, my expectations were high and they have been met. The school is family-run (founders and administrators) so there is a clear and consistent mission. Parent volunteers are often seen reading with students. The academic standards are high, and the only parents I know who were not satisfied with the school misunderstood the pedagogical approach (as the children are not taking tests and doing worksheets). For example, when a child is working with the Montessori math materials, parents may think their child is playing with a gold block, but they are learning that a number cubed (like 10 cubed=1000) really makes a tangible cube-shape made of 10s. All of this is sequenced with geometry and leads to higher levels of abstraction, like working with binomials. After years of hands-on work, children deeply understand what is behind the shorthand of a math formula. Aside from this, I am always impressed when I hear my four-year-old daughter singing a song listing all 50 US states, telling me that Pluto was a planet but has been “downgraded”, remarking that her favorite word is “coniferous”, and I love seeing her smiling happily at school.
As posted to greatschools.com
When my wife and I first considered pre-school options for our first child, we agonized over the choice. We visited schools, talked to as many other local parents as we could, and attended numerous meet & greets. When the time finally came to make a decision, we opted for Sammamish Montessori, and we are so very glad that we did.
When considering the choice, we went with the knowns: like several other schools in the area, SMS has an excellent reputation for quality education (up through third grade at the time, but now they go up through fourth [and growing]), a versatile Montessori approach that plays to childrens’ strengths, affordability, and the opportunity for parents to volunteer without the onerous *requirements* to volunteer that some other schools impose.
(Is it really volunteering if you’re required to do it?)
So far, our oldest child attended through second grade (ie, five years), our middle child attended through kindergarten (three years), and our youngest is going to start attending his first year in just a few weeks.
What has struck us time and time again over the years are the things we *didn’t* think about when we considered the school, and the unknowns. For example, would our children be able to adapt well to public schools after spending years at SMS? The answer has turned out to be an emphatic yes. Our oldest entered the public school system for third grade, and he adjusted beautifully. In fact, he made an immediate, favorable impression upon his new teacher and maintained a solid standing throughout the year. Not only were his academics outstanding, but he also adjusted well with his new classmates. Given the several parent-teacher conferences we attended with his new teacher, it became clear that SMS had prepared him in many ways to be adaptable in the face of change, and to greet those changes as opportunities.
Our second child has a vastly different learning style from his older brother, and yet he, too, excelled at SMS. Very much an introvert (unlike his brother), he nonetheless developed a strong, quiet sense of leadership and self-confidence in addition to his sharp academic skills while at SMS. Like his older brother, he has learned how to adapt in new situations, making friends easily and figuring out how to solve problems (both academic and social) as they arise.
Not only has SMS done an excellent job of helping to prepare our kids for life beyond SMS, they have performed right from the beginning as true allies in helping our children to grow and blossom. On one specific occasion, we went to one of our son’s teachers asking for thoughts regarding a (social) situation we saw developing, and they were very helpful in developing a plan for turning what could have become a contentious situation into a great learning opportunity for all involved.
We love the way the school encourages free inquiry and exploring problems and solutions. We love the way the school has been just as flexible in working with us as a family as the teachers have been in working with our kids.
After having our kids at the school for six years so far (and at least another three more to go), we have truly enjoyed and respected each of the teachers our kids have worked with.
We have trusted this school to not only teach our children both in academics and in life skills, but also in how to love learning. The results have been so positive, we are more than happy to continue to trust Sammamish Montessori School with the education of our youngest .
Which brings me to my last point. In many ways, we’ve come to realize that we are not just trusting the school with our children; we are trusting them with our family. The teachers, the owners, the administrators, the staff, and the parents all work together for the sake of all of the families involved. After six years and counting, we’re glad we took such pains over which school to choose for our kids. And we’re especially glad we chose SMS.
Our oldest son attended this school for three years, ending with his kindergarten year. The subjects he learned were incredible. He learned all the continents, states and great bodies of water. He developed a love of science and how things work. He even learned the basics of multiplication, division and fractions. This last year he started first grade at a public school, and he was reading at a third grade level. Amazing school, with passionate, caring teachers and staff.
As posted to greatschools.com
Amazing school, the partnership between teachers/staff and parents is excellent. The partnership works hard to address the needs of all children, academically and socially!!
As posted to greatschools.com
This school has made a tremendous impact on the lives of my children. Both started at the age of four and have continued on through the elementary classroom. The teachers love their jobs and it shows. The classes are creative, the curriculum challenging and fun, and the diverse student body is an absolute joy to find in this area!
As posted to greatschools.com
We’ve been very happy with Sammamish Montessori. Our 4-year old shows tremendous development. The teachers are very friendly, and also very dedicated. There’s a pretty high level of parent involvement throughout the year.
As posted to greatschools.com
Dear Mrs. Starling,
I wanted to take a moment to thank you and your staff for how wonderful you have been to my son this summer. He has had and extremely successful experience. he loves coming to school, and I have heard nothing but good reports from his teachers. Every single one of his teachers has been kind and loving, understanding and helpful. From what I hear and from the few times I’ve observed, he has been focused and participated in the activities. He appeared cheerful and compliant. He continues to amaze me with his unique abilities and his math skills have truly soared since going to SMS. The learning materials from the Montessori method have been perfect for my son — visual and tactile.
I believe he will be successful in the years to come, fundamentally thanks to your staff’s caring hands. Thank you for giving him the chance to succeed.
When looking for a school I wanted to make sure [my son’s] specific learning needs were met. I didn’t want him lost in the shuffle! He had the best year and has grown and learned so much this year! His teachers help him get excited about learning. All of his teachers have been fantastic! Above and beyond awesome. [My son] is always thinking of them and talking about things that happened in his classroom.
We were looking for a school with a challenging curriculum and great teachers that could keep [our daughter] interested and engaged. Also teachers that knew when and how to push her to try harder. I feel the teaching staff and support staff members are great at reading the child and pushing them when they need it. I know our daughter was often very excited to come home and tell her about her lessons. I always tell other people that we love the school and highly recommend they consider it.
Thank you so much for being there for our son in building a strong foundation in his life. I am very grateful for your patience, love and understanding that you have given him. You will always be remembered and in our hearts.
Christopher and Christina Gatmayton
I highly recommend Sammamish Montessori School. All three of our children–who are very different learners–received valuable educational experiences at this well-run facility.
The academic program is unique, yet challenging, and allows children to learn at a pace that fosters their love for learning. I especially appreciate the math materials — I wish I had learned math this way!
All our children attended Kindergarten at SMS, instead of at our local public school. We were fortunate to give them 3 years each of this amazing educational foundation, and they continue to prosper and love school (even the boys!).
SMS is well-run, and lets everyone excel at their roles. Teachers get to teach, parents can choose their level of involvement (if any), and students are exposed to calm, but focused, learning environments with an international social experience.
We have had neighbors, cousins and friends all attend SMS with great success, and know many returning families.
I know I am not alone in recommending this excellent school.
We are so happy to have had the opportunity to enroll [our son] in such a wonderful school as Sammamish Montessori, and really we owe it all to you. Our best wishes to you and the school in the years ahead.
David and Hsingyeh Parker
I just wanted to send a very big thank you to the wonderful ladies at the front desk. As an anxious parent of a first-time preschooler, you fielded many of my questions in the past two months on the phone or in person. No matter how long it may be that you’ve been working at the school, and no matter how many hundreds of parents you must deal with, you were still very patient and thorough with regard to anything I wanted to discuss. I just want you to know how much that is appreciated!
I wanted to drop you a note to let you know how pleased we are with our experience at Sammamish Montessori School. Our son has been attending for two years now and he loves everything about your school and your teachers. They are thoroughly in touch with his personality and provide a loving, nurturing environment, where he truly thrives. He has gained both confidence and independence. On the weekends he is disappointed that he cannot go to school!
First and foremost, I would highly recommend Sammamish Montessori school to any parent looking for a strong academic education, while fostering independence and developing a critical thinking mind. Both my children went to this school, in their preschool to kindergarten and elementary programs.
My daughter is now a Junior High 7th grader. She transitioned in 5th grade as this level was not yet available at Sammamish Montessori School and she transitioned beautifully. Her new school requires ITBS testing. Every year since she transitioned to her new school she has scored very high on the ITBS test and every year she has been eligible for the John Hopkins Junior talent. My son just transitioned to the same school his sister is attending and his teachers mentioned to us a few days ago that he is already a leader in their classroom and how happy they are to have him.
Both my husband and I have post graduate education in Science and Computer Science, and we value and look for the best education for our children. We also both credit Sammamish Montessori School for giving to our children the best foundation for their education, fostering their love of learning, their independence and academic success.
– A very satisfied parent, Isabelle Otter
(Isabelle joined Sammamish Montessori School as an Enrichment and Elementary Science Teacher after having been an involved parent for many years. She shares her knowledge and passion for Science and French language and culture with students in our Enrichment and Elementary programs.)
Thank you for another great year of education. [Our son] loves coming to school. These years of learning and growth are setting him up for future success as a student and person. We are so pleased with his accomplishments this year thanks to you and your wonderful staff.
I tell others the owners are loving and caring and take pride in developing a safe and special school.
PS (letter sent year after kindergarten graduation): I wanted to share something with you that his school counselor sent me . He won a very special award this week and I know the reason he exhibits such wonderful qualities at his new school is because of the experiences and people he worked with at SMS. Thanks for giving him such strong a foundation and setting him up for success. We are very proud of him, but more importantly, he is feels really good about himself.
We initially enrolled [our older daughter] at SMS because we were looking for a school environment and teachers who would be willing to work with her unilateral hearing loss. After her first year [she] surprised us all (her doctors included) by outgrowing that hearing loss, but we found SMS to offer a learning environment that really fit her well.
I really appreciate the exposure students get to different languages, culture, music, computers, geography, etc.
Our experience has exceeded our expectations. We’ve been so impressed by the academic growth we’ve seen in [both of our daughters] over the past two years.
We were looking for a welcoming and friendly environment for the child and family. I really think SMS supports my daughter’s needs. She is a shy girl coming from a previous preschool with not such a good experience. She loved SMS almost immediately. She has friends here and [her teacher] was patient and very understanding. That makes her feel loved and secure coming to class every day. We like that the school policy is clear and every event/activity is announced well ahead of time. It’s easier for us as parents to make plans and don’t have to worry about any surprises.
Our daughter joined the school mid-year. We visited the school several terms before we enrolled, and each person we talked to was very nice and answered our questions thoroughly and worked with us to find a solution. We really feel that the school staff cares about the students and their families. We were also surprised when we got the yearbook and saw her picture in it. We knew our daughter missed picture day and didn’t expect to see her photo. But there she was. It was very thoughtful. My daughter was excited and we’re grateful that the school/class teacher didn’t leave her out. Just the small things made us feel welcome here. Thank you.
Our son is excited to go to his new school but sad to leave SMS. I would like to thank everyone at your school from the director, to the teachers, to the cheery, helpful staff members at the front desk, for making our experience at SMS a wonderful one. We only wish we had started earlier. It felt like a good move from the beginning and I never regretted my decision. Since then I have recommended SMS to everyone I meet looking for a preschool. I know the experience my son had at your school will stay with him forever and contribute to his development as a thoughtful and intelligent person.
When looking for a school we wanted an environment that would encourage my child’s natural love of learning while also providing the structure that would prepare him for future traditional schooling. Yes, it did meet my expectations. So often he is excited to tell me about what he has learned in a way that assures me that he finds learning fun, and that there is no shortage of activities and materials in the classroom to spark his imagination.
Dear Mrs. Starling,
We appreciate you and the school you have built! It is filled with so many dedicated, talented and loving people — all who have cared for our children in amazing ways. Attending the Kindergarten Graduation ceremony yesterday made us realize what a wonderful and very positive investment we’ve made for all three of our children by enrolling them in your school.
I especially loved your words to the kindergartners yesterday about “not pretending to know the answers if they don’t” – such thoughtful words for these bright little minds! It’s a lifelong journey of learning, isn’t it? Important to never stop being curious and asking questions! We thank you so much for all the thoughtful preparation for that impressive and positively emotional ceremony.
We are so proud of [our children] for the strong students they are and for the love of learning we can already see is part of who they are. We could not have enrolled them at a better, more personal and resource rich school all these years. We will miss you and [the teachers, office staff and others] who have taught and shaped our children these 5+ years.
We will miss you but will definitely come back to visit! I’m sure our children will love that.
Laura (and Matt) Peterson
Thank you for expanding [my daughter’s] mind and her world. The solid beginnings and joy for learning will influence her classroom experiences for years to come.
The Proley family
When my children bring their work home, their eyes just light up with enthusiasm about what they created and learned. I commend you for creating such a wonderful teaching environment that brings the joy of learning out of my children.
My older daughter attended Sammamish Montessori and we had a positive experience so we wanted the same for our little one too. She was initially very shy and not comfortable so we wanted her to develop her social skills. [Our child’s teachers] were great with our daughter. They made her feel comfortable and gave her a sense of belonging. In the past two years we see a huge improvement in our daughter’s social skills and reading ability.
As we reach the conclusion of this school year with our daughter, we wanted to write a note to express our happiness and gratitude towards her early education years.
We could not have asked for a better start to our children’s schooling. We’ve had two children graduate out of SMS, and can proudly state that they learned a ton, became confident individuals, and have the foundation we hoped for.
We thank SMS for their wonderful staff, nice facility, and awesome curriculum. We will cherish the memories that our kids made here.
Ritu and Hemant Vashisth
Thank you for being such caring and nurturing teachers to [our son]. he has really excelled in so many areas under your guidance. We will continue to highly recommend friends to Sammamish Montessori.
You also have an awesome office staff who are always so helpful and cheerful. It is so comforting to see their smiling faces when I walk in the door. You know if they are having a great day, the kids and teachers must be too. They are the backbone of this school and are so good at what they do. We appreciate them very much.
We look forward to attending the exciting summer camp programs.
Sandra and Jeff Fienglas
We’re hoping to we can find a school even half as nice when we move!
Sue & Greg
The most important thing I was looking for was an environment that would stimulate my child’s mind and love of learning. SMS met those expectations very well. My daughter is happy and SMS has a great deal to do with that.
This is a wonderful quarter for [our son] and for both of us as his parents. In less than 3 months he can now greet people in Spanish and French. He can sing a song in French and I don’t understand it. He can count numbers, do plus, minus easily. He knows bones in Latin! He can tell a story from teh book he read, and he can even follow instructions from the graph to put pieces of a toy together. He is willing to do things on his own and eagerly helps cooking preparations. He loves his school, he loves his teachers, and he loves his friends. Sometimes he makes me sad because he wants to stay in class forever and never go home. We thank you for all you have done to educate these children.
Zhongtai and King
You have all done such an excellent job in hiring teachers who create such a great environment for the kids. Their longevity with the school speaks to that, of course. [Our son] is very sad to be leaving. Clearly his love of school has shown us that the Montessori system is well suited to him. Most of all, we will miss the energy of your school. It was the first thing that struck me when I took a tour back when [our son] was a baby — calm, happy, industrious, loving towards children and welcoming to families.
The Shaw family
Our son has really blossomed this year. He’s so turned on to learning. It seems he just can’t get enough. He’s so proud of himself, loves to share what he knows, but keeps right on working even if he is totally alone. I’m sure a rest deal of this credit is due to you and your school. You believe in them — that they can and then they really can.
Parent letter to Mrs. Starling
Thank you for keeping my daughter’s spirit joyful and spontaneous, her enthusiasm for learning and study nurtured, her sense of self-worth strong, and her trust in the world and the good people in it confirmed. You will always be very special to her and all our family.
Parent letter to Mrs. Starling
You have such a talent for picking a terrific staff of highly qualified teachers. And you are so responsive to the needs of students and their families. They daycare and summer programs were a life-saver! It really made my transition back to working much easier than I ever expected.
Parent letter to Mrs. Starling
Thank you everyone for the great memories and taking care of our daughter. This is definitely a great school with such wonderful, attentive, loving, and caring teachers.
Div and Shermin