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School Profile

West Seattle Montessori
11215 15th Ave SW
Seattle, WA 98126
(206) 935-0427
private | PK-8
County: King


  School Head OfficialYear
Darlene Rautio2008
2/14/2012parentWhat an incredible school! The teachers at West Seattle Montessori are experienced, caring, and committed. They provide a unique, student-centered experience for each child, following the principles of Maria Montessori. The administrator is a well-educated, well-informed young lady with great vision and passion for the school. Under her leadership the school has greatly expanded in the past few years. The facility is top-rate, with exceptional classroom materials, large classrooms, and excellent outdoor equipment. Parents are encouraged to participate in all school activities, and are routinely found in large numbers at school events. Last week my wife and I attended the all-school play. The play's directed stated that she was thrilled to work for a school that continues to value the arts and makes the arts an integral part of the curriculum. I couldn't have said it better myself. Our five year old is already reading and has a number sense well beyond her years. Our three year old is learning independence as well as practical social skills. I can't imagine a better school for pre-schoolers through eighth grade. (I know the 6-8 grades have aligned to the Common Core).
1/29/2012parentWSMS is the most wonderful little community. The small class sizes, the amazing staff. There is an emphasis on compassion and respect for others, respect for yourself and your environment. The Montessori method of learning to read is so failproof and easy, I'm such a fan. We fretted so much about where to send our Son, and feel like we made the best decision ever.
6/11/2011parentWe have 2 kids here and I can not say enough about the teachers. We LOVE this school. Our daughter's have taken off with reading and math skill I did not know were posable from a 7 year old. If you are thinking about a change or a new school for your pre- K to 8th grader check them out you will be won over from your first meeting !!!
5/18/2011parentI love West Seattle Montessori School & Academy! My child has benefited greatly by the DEDICATED staff and CARING leadership. We are so HAPPY to have a new school home at WSMS & WSA. As I pick up the monthly administrative letter, I see so many wonderful things happening--kids returning from Washington D.C., students going on class overnight trips, parent teas, community outreach opportunities, plant sale, and so much more! The list goes on and on. I just can't wait to have more children, so I can send to this school!
3/30/2011parentI have two kids at West Seattle Montessori. As there are really only two options in West Seattle which go from prek-8, are private, and non-religious, I was very interested in both. I am pleased with where we ended up because the new young, energetic director is determined, the parents are enthusastic, the kids wonderful, and it seems to be getting better and better. I feel I am part of somethiing great.
3/29/2011parentWe started our kids at West Seattle Montessori when it was at its' old location. The new move and new ownership has been fantastic for many reasons: all the kids (ages 3-14) are under one roof with new student family programs creating a big school community feeling; the teachers have always been amazing and now there are even more teachers who have been hired (art teacher, science instructor, Spanish and PE teacher in addition to a dedicated Sign language teacher and fantastic music and drama teacher); the new ownership has inspired a school wide Virtues project, and community outreach monthly (just google West Seattle Montessori & Academy to see all the amazing things we've done!), as well as delicious whole foods lunch with FareStart catering lunches weekly. The parent community is highly involved not because they are required to but because they want to. I cannot speak highly enough about a school that has for years flown under the radar.....
3/9/2011parentWhen we first started at West Seattle Montessori, the school was under different management, and was well-run. I have been quite dismayed with the changes that have taken place in the past 2 years. There is a serious failure to support a culture of respect and safety for the students. Behavioral problems are overlooked and it is detrimental to the learning environment, as well as the mental/emotional health of the other students. Attempts at parental intervention have been in vain, and my child is one in a series of students that have left for these reasons (per conversations with parents of these students). The positive: The academic program is very good, and the drama program is amazing.
5/30/2010parentThe new location has meant a longer commute (although there is a bus) and bigger class sizes. There are a lot of kids with behavior problems like hitting, biting, spitting and I don't see the school taking any real action to curb this type of behavior, if anything it seems to be getting worse. We have had so many letters home about why our daughter has been hurt which never happened in previous years. Needless to say, we won't be returning next year. Location is dodgy and I feel like we are constantly being nickel and dimed. On the plus side, there are some excellent teachers, particularly Mr. and Mrs. Clark who used to run the school. They also have a strong drama program and sign language which my daughter really enjoys.
9/2/2009parentMy son started here mid-way through the school year and he couldn't be happier. He started there one morning in April and it was as if he had always been there. The school is academically strong and has a great feeling of community. The education and development of each child is paramount and the staff really bring out the best in each child, challenging and engaging with them. Every morning my son is thrilled to go to school and all summer he has been asking when he gets to go back. He is always accepted for who he is and is growing into a fantastic young man.
9/20/2008parentThis is an amazing school. My son is in his third year, and we have zero regrets for sending him here. We plan to send him here all the way to 8th grade!
9/13/2007parentGreat, affordable private school. For less cost than other private schools, WSMS delivers a solid core education and offers a great environment for children to earn confidence and develop leadership skills. My two kids are in the elementary and middle school. I have been amazed how each teacher over the years manages to bring out the best in them. While the preschool is popular and offers a decent Montessori start, many parents move their kids to public schools after kindergarden. Too bad - I find the 1-8 grade education a good value, if you can live without extras like brick buildings and super sports programs. Kids who switch schools tend to repeat work they mastered at WSMS earlier. The middle school is a small but rich learning environment, with a highly regarded math program and a sense of camaraderie that helps keep kids in line during these sticky years.
7/14/2007parentI am the parent of two WSMS students - a boy in 2nd grade and a girl in 5th. They have attended WSMS since they were both 3 years old. The best part of this school is that it feels like a community, where children learn self-respect as well as appropriate behavior towards others. The Montessori methods build on children's natural tendency towards wonder and learning, and cultivate self-discipline and direction. My children have very different learning styles yet both have done well and are very happy at this school. They wish there was a Montessori High School!
4/15/2007parentThis school is the most loving/caring marvelous place of learning and growing. Thank goodness for West Seattle Montessori School. The teachers really care and shape the childs learning around their individual needs. The child learns at his/her own pace and can go ahead and learn as much as he/she is able. Lot's of individual lessons. Math is taught like it is fun with beautiful materials being used to help make it all interesting. The teachers really listen to the child and parents and children feel like they are part of a family. Magnificent music and drama program. Small class size with a teacher and an assistant at all times. Great after school care program. I can't say enough, this school is unique and very special.
1/24/2007parentImpressions from parents of prospective preschooler. The school seemed cold and rigid. Even as adults observing in a classroom we felt uncomfortable. The children were very well behaved but lacked the spark that children should have. The teacher spent the entire time with one child. Others were left to independently do whatever activity they wanted but just sat in their chairs doing nothing. No activities seemed to be planned for them, almost as if the teacher was content with them just sitting there quietly. Frankly, the children almost seemed ignored. The teachers did not address us in any way, not even with a 'good morning'. We were never asked if we had any questions, it was as if we were not even there. A real take it or leave it attitude. No nurturing, no joy, too cold and arrogant. No thanks. Would recommend if your child is a robot.
3/25/2006parentMy children have attended this school since pre-school and have done very well. We moved my older son to a public school for Kindergarted through 1/2 of 2nd grade. Halfway through the year we moved him back. The difference was astounding! He went from a 'behavior plan' and 'maybe he has ADD' to doing quite well academically and 'what a pleasure to have him in class.' We are definite believers in the Montessori curriculum and this school.
2/16/2006parentMy son has been at WS Montessori since he was 4. I cherished their emphasis on love of learning, the arts, and basic skills through the 5th grade. As a result, my son has blossomed into a confident young man. But the lengthy amount of time spent on the drama program for middle schoolers has seriously detracted from my son's need for academics at a critical juncture in his education. He has had excellent instructors; they have been responsive and hardworking. However, I totally agree with one respondent that this is 'a great school for a motivated child.' My concern is what happens when the child is not so motivated or skilled? Montessori does not have adequate support for kids who fall into this category, as my son does. Otherwise, my son and I have both loved it.
5/4/2005parentA terrific school for a kid who is self motivated. The classes are small and nuturing.
2/5/2005parentMy children have been attending West Seattle Montessori for 6 years and we are extremely pleased with our experience. From a wonderful preschool/kindergarten program to an excellent lower and upper elementary program, my children are confident, well educated and thrilled to go to school every day. This school is great!
1/26/2005parentFrom my vantage point as a grandparent, WSMS is a wonderful place: warm, welcoming, peaceful, interesting, and nurturing. Montessori children not only learn how to learn, but they also learn how to live. My grandchildren have blossomed because of WSMS and its excellent staff and program. I recommend that you visit this hidden gem of West Seattle.
1/25/2005parentOur child attended this school for three years. Its preschool-kindergarten program was excellent. Its lower elementary program did not serve our child's needs. Despite the potential of the multi-age classroom, school administrators and teachers refused to allow our child to work at an appropriate level, and were overly punitive regarding normal child behavior and negative in their attitudes toward it. I would recommend this school ONLY for the very young child, and even then, with some hesitation.
5/27/2004parentMany parents love this school and likely will disagree, however our experience was not good. This is not the place for any child with needs that don't fall in line with this schools rigid rules, rituals and schedules. We pulled child out 1/2 way through kindergarten and it took nearly a year to regain the self esteem and confidence needed to effectively learn in a school environment again. It was a demoralizing experience which resulted in having to repeat kindergarten. Teachers and office staff were unwilling to accomodate minor special needs of child (i.e. a place to nap when tired, an afternoon snack when energy low) without stigmatizing child, separating child from peers and being argumentative with parents. Director seems disconnected and disinterested in communicating with parents. Recommend a lengthy classroom observation during all times of the school day prior to committing to WSM.

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