We have had two children attend Oneonta from 2 years to 5 years of age and we loved it!! All of the teachers in the early school are amazing – warm, thoughtful, and creative educators who care for the children as family and also inspire curiosity, learning, and kindness. Ms. Audrey, the Assistant Director, is the creative energy behind the curriculum and programming. Each year the overarching themes are different but they always focus on connection with others and empathy.
The kids are engaged in service learning. One year, my daughter’s class (with Ms. Audrey) adopted a cotton-top tamarin at the LA Zoo. Each child was responsible for figuring out how to raise money to contribute to the class adoption. The kids were so engaged that they learned about the Titi (cotton-top tamarin) Festival in Colombia and performed a class dance just like the kids in Colombia do during the festival.
This year, my other daughter’s class (again with Ms. Audrey) adopted goats for a family through Heifer International. As part of their learning, the kids had a goat milk day when they got to taste test various goat milk products. They also made goat-milk soaps.
In addition to service learning, they also learn language – Spanish and Mandarin, which my younger daughter loved! She would come home and teach us new words and new songs in Mandarin.
My daughters have also had Ms. Vanessa, Ms. Esther, and Ms. Melinda… all equally warm and loving and inspiring as educators. When my older daughter struggled with transitioning at the beginning of the year, Ms. Vanessa took her under her wing. Every day, my daughter would seek out Ms. Vanessa and was able to smoothly transition into class with her extra care.
And I would be remiss not to give due credit to Ms. Fiona, the school director. She is open, understanding, and always willing to help. I strongly believe that a school culture is dictated by the director… Ms. Fiona has fostered a wonderful community of learning and warmth, exactly what we desired in a school. Honestly, we would have continued into the older grades at Oneonta except that we had already committed ourselves to a Dual Language Immersion Catholic education because of our bilingual/bicultural home.
Our family has benefitted and so enjoyed being a part of the Oneonta learning community! Our teachers have been so special to us and we will have the finest memories of early learning with Oneonta!
We highly recommend Oneonta to anyone seeking an excellent early learning environment and/or a Montessori-based education for any age.