"The mediocre teacher tells.
The good teacher explains.
The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires."
- Maria Montessori
I have been a part of the Rolling Hills Montessori family since 2009 and feel so grateful for every experience. Director Michelle Collins, her staff and even her children have been very instrumental in both of my sons development. The campus compares to none other – it’s beautiful playground, clean classrooms stacked with stimulating developmental tools and the natural surroundings promote calm and comfort for children and adults. I recommend this school for any families seeking higher education and a strong foundation for learning. Even once my sons are graduated, RHM and Michelle will be a part of my heart forever!
As soon as our son, Ramaan turned one in 2010, we started our search for the best Montessori. As meticulous as we are, we researched, looked at and carefully read about each one of them. We were almost set on one, which was 5 minutes away from our home in RPV, and all our friend’s children are attending as well; until a co- worker told us about Rolling Hills Montessori.
On the day of our appointment, we arrived with Ramaan (22 months). As soon as I look upon the school from outside, I felt at home…. This place even looks like a home, warm and cozy with beautiful yard and gorgeous trees. We met Michelle Collins; an experienced, wise, kind, professional director. As she was showing us the school, we were amazed that she knew every child by their first name as well as their parents. From that very first hour; we knew this is the place for our most precious child.
Ramaan started the Toddler program, in 2011. In the past two years, we have sat with Michelle on numerous occasions; discussing Ramaan, and each time she has been patient, understanding and helpful. We could not have asked for a greater Montessori, from Michelle herself, that we love dearly, and Elliot, one of her three wonderful sons, to all the teachers and staff, and specially our Mrs. Marilyn, the most wonderful teacher that Ramaan could have asked for.
As a very picky parent, I can only say that we have been blessed and indeed very thankful for being a part of Rolling Hills Montessori’s family, and in finding a second home for our son.
My husband and I are so thankful to have found Rolling Hills Montessori. After visiting many preschools we knew RHM was the best choice. Their teachers and staff are the perfect combination of loving and strict. Their classroom materials are amazing and the campus and playground are beautiful. Not only did they more than prepare our son for 1st grade, but we truly feel they were our partners in shaping the well mannered and motivated young man he has turned into. Our son spent 4 wonderful years here, our daughter is currently attending. Although she has a completely different personality, we are having the same experience with her there. I dread the day when she graduates and we say goodbye to this amazing school.
Three and a half years ago during our quest to find a school for our 4 years old daughter, we visited the campus of R.H.M. At first sight we instantly loved the location and the park-like playground. We were greeted by friendly and knowledgeable staff members who gave us a very detailed tour. The classrooms were clean, very well organized and filled with the latest Montessori learning tools. Two years ago our son joined the pre-school program and is also benefiting from this extraordinary learning experience. As our daughter says, at R.H.M. “learning is fun”. Thanks to Rolling Hills Montessori, we feel our children are getting a head-start in higher learning, building confidence, character and developing life skills.
As parents of three children, we know that every child is different. When my wife and I looked for a pre-school for our youngest child, we wanted to explore all our options. Entering the campus, you immediately notice the lush grounds, with a large lawn area positioned under very mature trees, which provide ample shade and lots of room to play in the playhouse, hide-and-go-seek, and kicking balls.
Upon meeting with the school’s director, Michelle Collins, we could feel her genuine enthusiasm, passion and commitment to provide the proven Montessori teachings, along with a loving and nurturing learning environment. The staff is very seasoned and enthusiastic with their teaching methods. Their motto, “Every Child is Special” really rings true based on what we have seen. It does not matter whether your child is 2.5 years old, or is 4.5 years old learning their numbers, phonetic alphabet and handwriting, the learning is customized to suit your child at his/her pace and learning style.
The great thing about the classroom setting is the mixed age of the students. This allows the older children to be put into confidence building leadership roles. We feel very strongly, about our child learning at his own pace and the mixed age classroom really lends itself to personalized teaching. There is definitely not a broad-brush approach to learning and we both found that very refreshing.
From an administration standpoint, Michelle always makes herself available and is extremely approachable to discuss ideas, suggestions or general issues that arise. She uses a “hands on” approach with both parents and students. She even will spend time in the classroom, helping and instructing students. We would have to say, it is really nice when we bring our child to school and we have the smiling and happy faces greet us. Our child loves going to school at Rolling Hills Montessori to learn, have leadership opportunities and make new friends of all ages. Besides the normal curriculum, there is a wide range of choices for extracurricular activities, such as art, science and music, which allow our child to be exposed to so many great learning experiences that are just plain fun.
Even though this campus is in its infancy, we know this school will continue to grow and be extremely successful. Since the Peninsula is a small community, this will not be the best kept secret” for long. It is only a matter of time before families are waiting in line to send their children to Rolling Hills Montessori.
From the bottom of our hearts, we would like to say “thank you” for all the love and support you have shown our family. We feel truly blessed and fortunate to have had the opportunity to experience Rolling Hills Montessori. We can only hope that other families will give their children the opportunity we did.
My son has made great progress since he started RH Montessori. He has become an avid reader, and his language skills have improved. He has a better grasp of math concepts, even getting adjusted to pre-multiplication skills. He also has enjoyed the additional classes in violin and acting. As one of the older students, he is taking more of a leadership role for the younger classmates. Michelle Collins and the entire staff at RH Montessori have been wonderful. They work patiently with each student, providing the tools for them to flourish and to work independently at their own pace. There is no doubt in my mind that RH Montessori is teaching Anthony the academic, social, and extracurricular skills for his future.
As they say, blessings come in disguise. My wife was wondering what she was doing sitting in mid- afternoon traffic on Rolling Hills Road in November 2007 as she happened to see the sign for the recently opened pre-school called Rolling Hills Montessori. We had been looking for a pre-school for our daughter who was about to turn three. We had visited six pre-schools, three of which were the ‘most well known’ Montessori’s in Palos Verdes and San Pedro but somehow never felt comfortable with the thought of trusting any of these schools with our daughter, Siena. In fact, just the opposite, we were pretty disappointed in what we had experienced and were ready to settle for the mediocre. Had it not been because of the mid-afternoon traffic on Rolling Hills Road, we would have probably never had the good fortune of finding Rolling Hills Montessori.
My wife and I view pre-school as very critical in a toddler’s development and much more than a glorified day care. Years at pre-school are short but extremely formative years where toddlers need a tremendous amount of nurturing and support to build their self worth, confidence and social skills. We approached our search for a pre-school with that in mind. Our highest priority was to make sure that she received the personal attention necessary for her development, that the school had our daughter’s best interest in mind and provided her with a nurturing environment for her growth.
Siena has been at RH Montessori for a year now and we can say without hesitation that Siena’s progress and our experience with the school and the staff have been nothing short of “wonderful”.
Michelle Collins, her entire staff and the school have more than met our expectations in terms of what we had hoped for in a pre-school. We could not have asked for a better group of people to enter Siena’s life on a daily basis. We can honestly say that we feel very comfortable and proud to leave Siena at RH Montessori everyday. Getting up every morning and going to school is not a chore but a pleasure. Michelle has always been there to discuss any concerns or decisions regarding Siena. One of the things that continues to impress me is the level of communication between Michelle and her teachers regarding every student. I sometimes get the feeling that Siena is the only student at the RH Montessori. Michelle pays close attention to every child and does not miss a beat. She is on top of everything. I really think that Michelle cares for every single one of her students and keeps up with their individual needs. Most important is the nurturing environment at RH Montessori. Children are encouraged and given the opportunity to do their best.
We have also met very wonderful parents and have built friendships that we believe will last for a long time. The combination of caring teachers, supportive environment and a great group of parents make RH Montessori one of the best pre-schools if not the best on the hill. There are twice as many children at RH Montessori as when Siena started last year and for a good reason. I heard someone who visited the school put it this way: “They know what they are doing at RH Montessori.” I agree wholeheartedly. The waiting list for the school will be long soon. Thank you Michelle and Mishele, Siena’s teacher in Room 1. Keep up the good work!
I am forever indebted to Ms. Michelle and the entire staff at Rolling Hills Montessori for everything they have done for our son Indie. They have lovingly given their time and attention to recognize and draw out the true inner nature and abilities of our son and in doing so have enabled him to be the happy self confident child that he is today. They have fostered a natural curiosity for learning and have nurtured his self esteem. They have taught him skills that he will have for the rest of his life and they have done it with respect, love and sincerity. Ms. Michelle and Rolling Hills Montessori believed in our son Indie when no one else did.
When Indie first arrived at RHM he barely spoke (Indie has a language processing disorder). He would not sit for circle time and due to his past experiences at a former district run preschool he felt extremely insecure about school, himself and his abilities. Ms. Michelle assured us that after a 6 week adjustment period Indie would be fine. The change in our son was almost immediate.
In less than 6 weeks Indie was sitting in circle time, singing, making art, focusing on school work, making friends and loving school. He instantly took to his teacher Ms. Lynn, running to her open waiting arms every morning for a hug that was reciprocated with genuine affection. As a parent, you know when someone loves your child and Ms. Lynn loves Indie.
If I had a billion dollars to move to a Villa in the south of France I would seriously pass on the chance (as much as that sounds fabulous), because I know that what we have found is unique. At Ms. Michelle’s suggestion, Rolling Hills Montessori works in conjunction with Indie’s private speech pathologist, incorporating his speech assignments into his school work. Where else in the world would I find that type of care, that genuine desire to enrich my sons life? I believe in this school, in the people, the personal attention and the education our son is receiving. I have personally witnessed the results. It is invaluable to Indie and to us as a family. Needless to say, Rolling Hills Montessori is an exceptional school, a happy place to come to everyday and we are very thankful to have found it.