School choice

Discussion in 'Early Childhood Education Archives' started by Laurie61, Aug 5, 2005.

  1. Laurie61

    Laurie61 Rookie

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    Help! I am a parent trying to make the best education decision for my daughter who is entering K in 2006. We live in FL and I want to send her to a magnet school (selection is by lottery). There is an opportunity in October to learn more about various schools as well as open house at each of the individual schools. Right now, I’m considering 3 different schools. They are a Montessori program, International Baccalaureate (IB) and a university research school.

    Can you help me understand more about what each program has to offer, maybe pros/cons and help in formulating questions to ask. Any input you have would be helpful. Thank you…

    Laurie :)
     
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  3. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    What county are you in?
     
  4. Laurie61

    Laurie61 Rookie

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    palm beach
     
  5. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    I'd hold off on anything until you attend the Open Houses. I have to say that I'm surprised there is an IB option as early as Kindergarten. From what I know of IB, it's extremely rigorous academically. I don't know how you could predict, before a child even entered K, that she'd be successful in that sort of environment. We have IB here in high school only, and are extending it into middle schools for the year 2006-7.

    Think about your child's learning style, too, and try to come up with a good match. Montessori is very individualized and has a lot of hands-on tasks. It's usually a good fit for kids who work well without a lot of adult help or guidance, and for kids who are academically above or below average, because they can move at their own pace.

    I know that our university school, where I went to college, was very highly ranked and had a very low student teacher ratio of 12-1. (and that was even before the college kids came in to do their work!). I do think you have to take into consideration that for at least part of their school experience, the kids would be in the hands of some very unexperienced teachers, and that they may have lots and lots of extra people observing them at any given time, though.
    Kim
     
  6. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    And come visit my private school - Poinciana Day School. Near the airport. 655-7323. A lovely school with Montessori kindergarten.
     
  7. mommaruthie

    mommaruthie Aficionado

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    Make certain that the montessori is either ams or ims.
    You want to know if the school is accredited and what is the budget differences from the three programs. How they differ could be on where it gets monies from. I know magnet programs exist in areas where the population has declined considerably so that the school becomes a host for a program that will BUS children into the area. I believe it is federally funded. I honestly dont know about the other two programs.
     
  8. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    If you are talking about the Henderson School in Boca, I have always thought that sounded exciting but I'm sorry I don't know more about it. What is the concept behind the IB for early elementary? The other posters are right about the Montessori. I have known some people who take their children out of that magnet in the middle of elementary. In general, it seems that the folks who choose magnet schools really want private school educations but without the expense. I'm not sure that is what you get. For one, the class sizes are large. And behavior problems are still more of an issue than at private. I know I am biased but I just haven't heard much of anything great about elementary magnets.
     
  9. jkkroll

    jkkroll Rookie

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    There are also great montessori schools that are NCME affiliated. If you are considering Montessori read everything you can about it. Paula Polk Lillard has written some wonderful books that describe the montessori environment. Look for Montessori Today, Montessori in the Classroom, or Modern Montessori.

    Good Luck!
     
  10. hometeacher

    hometeacher Companion

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    A parent should insure that the teacher caring for their child has graduated from a training centre which is either MACTE accredited or AMI . Both of these insure appropriate credentials for a Montessori teacher.
    Good Montessori schools should have an open door policy where parents are welcome at any time for observations.
    The teacher/ child relationship is the core of a successful Montessori school.
     
  11. jpre-k teacher

    jpre-k teacher Companion

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    There are 3 programs under the IB curriculum: the primary years program, the middle years program, and the IB diploma program. The primary years program is for students aged 3 to 12, but in my experience, it's hard to do just PYP with students who are younger than kindergarten. My school is thinking about doing PYP in the future, and we are going to try one PYP unit this year. I'm really excited about it! I've loved what I've seen of the PYP program so far. Students learn through units of inquiry, and I've found that they are very engrossed in their learning. It's also a great curriculum for students with varying abilities because they can work on projects at their own level. The most noticable difference with PYP is that there are not subject divisions (although some schools still separate some subjects, especially math). For example, students won't have language arts, then math, then science. If you think about it, often times it's difficult to do an activity that's "just science" or "just language arts." It's also different from theme based learning, although it sounds similar. The biggest difference is that their needs to be some kind of big question or reason for the topic. For example, I had done a "pet" theme previously. We did lots of activities, songs, art, games, etc. related to pets, but they didn't really connect in any way. Last year, I tried to do more of a PYP-style unit, and we learned about pet care. We learned about what kinds of animals were pets (and went on field trips to check our guesses), invited different pets to our rooms, took care of my hamster and observed her behavior, etc. At the end of the unit, they made their own "pets" and anything those pets would need to be healthy and happy. They started out the unit thinking an elephant could be an appropriate pet, and ended up with a good understanding of which animals are/are not pets and how to care for them (all animals need food and water, some need cages, you need to be gentle, etc.). I've only taught for two years, and of course every class is different, but the class my second year seemed to learn a lot more and be much more interested in the information. I tried to do PYP-ptyle activities (to the best of my ability with what I had) for most of the year, and I also found my class this past year asks a lot more questions and is much more interested in going out and finding information. If you are interested in learning more about any of the IB programs, their website is http://www.ibo.org.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2005

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