Every morning, parents in Westland, Livonia and other surrounding cities get their students out of bed and ready for a day of school at American Montessori Academy. Parents have many good schools in these cities to choose from, and over the last 10 years many new options have opened and closed in the area. So, with a longstanding public charter school like AMA, we wanted to find out not only why parents chose the school, but what made them stay!
The location of a school is always an important consideration, and often times the first one that parents look at. However, in trying to find the best option for their children, parents are often willing to travel a bit further than their home district for a school that really “fits” them or their child. This is exactly why long-time AMA parent Vicki Davenport chose the school for her son Ryan and his two siblings. Ryan is now in eighth grade and has been attending the school since he was in Kindergarten.
When children enjoy going to school and are engaged in meaningful learning, parents are happier. They want their children to be motivated and inspired at school, and to build and maintain solid relationships with classmates and teachers. For Davenport, AMA’s appeal was in the challenge that it posed to her children compared to other local schools that she had the option of enrolling at. “When my son was in third grade the class did a shoe box diorama assignment. He did the desert of Antarctica and had to do research and learn about the area, whereas a like-aged neighbor at another school had to do a diorama of a bedroom. My kids are pushed to do their best work, and I’m glad for that,” Davenport said.
There also tends to be more voice and choice for students in their assignments at American Montessori Academy. “The Montessori philosophy recognizes that no two children are alike, and each child has his or her own unique talents, skills, interests and abilities,” said Dr. Ticheal Jones, Executive Director at the school. “We want our school to fit the child, not the other way around, and our staff works hard to ensure this for all our students.”
Lisa Politano, another AMA parent that has had a child attending the school for the last eight years, said, “I decided to enroll Christian at AMA because being an only child I had spent lots of time teaching him his ABCs, numbers, etc. Christian could already sound out words in preschool, while other children were still learning the alphabet. I wanted to ensure he would be able to work at his level, rather than being in a standard school and having to sit through one size fits all lessons.”
Too much of the one-size-fits-all approach can lead to students losing interest and becoming bored, frustrated or disappointed with their school experiences. From kindergarten through eighth grade, AMA seeks to teach students to become independent and innovative thinkers. A rigorous academic program that provides meaningful choice for students as they move along their own unique learning path helps to do this.
“Choosing a school can be a life-altering decision for families,” said Renee Arnot, Principal at AMA’s upper campus in Westland. “It’s an investment in time today, as well as in the future of their children. We’re grateful for all of the AMA families that have chosen us and continue to do so.”