When I think of Bright Montessori four words come to my mind: community, generosity, devotion, and diversity. Our family loves Bright Montessori! It has become such a vital part of our daughter and son’s life. Bright is not only preparing them as students, but influencing and shaping the person they will one day become. Let me start out with the first word that describes Bright: community. Since enrolling my children, Bright has been like a second community to our family – from attending school concerts (Christmas and end of year) and activities (Halloween parade, Mother’s day breakfast), to going on field trips (Discovery cube, Strawberry picking, Little India), and engaging in school potlucks and celebration (Thanksgiving, Christmas, and graduation). Bright has shown it is committed to not only being a school but a place where the child and family can call community. Second: generosity. Ms. Sakina is a very generous and warm director. I believe directors sets the tone for the school they are running. Simply by Ms. Sakina’s nature, the school is unsurprisingly generous and warm. I remember when I toured Bright Montessori with my daughter, the attending children were very interested in getting to know her. They asked her for her name, they asked her if she was coming to the school, one child was eating a snack and asked her if she wanted some of his cheerios. The kids were warm and welcoming and I knew that Bright was the place she needed to attend. The children and teachers at Bright help each other learn and grown, and I can see that the children there work hard and take great pride in being kind and generous to one another. Third: devotion. Bright is extremely devoted to the children’s growth and development. Ms. Sakina has two parent-teacher conferences within the school year. These conferences have been so important in communicating to us our son’s and daughter’s strength and weaknesses and what action plan to take in order to make sure they continues to thrive. The parent-teacher spreadsheet report that Ms. Sakina gives us is very detailed and the amount of work that goes into making such a report shows her devotion to the students. Additionally, any concerns that I have risen with Ms. Sakina, she has been very responsive in working out a solution. Her commitment and communication style shows the devotion she has for the children and the school. Fourth: diversity. I find myself being extremely proud that my children attend a very diverse preschool. So many of our friends in Eagle Rock and the surrounding areas want to find the “prettiest” looking school but often the student body looks fairly homogenous. What I love about Bright is the different ethnicities and cultural backgrounds. Children learn to embrace other cultures and take pride in their own. Not only is the student body diverse but Bright Montessori has shown their commitment to diversity by having cultural week, celebrating other cultural holidays, and introducing children to different ethnic foods. Bright has been a beacon for diversity. There are plenty more wonderful and amazing things about Bright Montessori. Community, generosity, devotion and diversity have been most prominent to me. Bright has been such an integral part of my children’s growth. It is such a joy to have a place where little children learn to become loving and warm people.
When I dropped my daughter off at Bright for her first day at the preschool she was 2. I will never forget that day: She stood in the playground and cried for me as I walked off. My heart broke. I will also never forget what happened next: A little girl who was older (and later became her friend) came over to comfort her, offering her a ball to play with and some water. Then Mrs. Shirley scooped my daughter up and held her until she calmed down. This is a loving school. On the outside, it is a simple school. Some may say the playground is sparse. But it is what’s inside that counts. I do not mean pretty interior designs. I mean what is inside of the hearts of the staff, students and families who come together here. I would choose this school again over any “elite” (or more expensive) Montessori in neighboring areas. Here is why: Mrs. Sakina, the principal, is its anchor and guiding light. She is totally devoted to the school and the students, putting on events, field trips, parties, festivals. She is warm and giving and everything you want in a school leader. I trust the teachers. Mrs. Shirley, Mrs. Michelle, and Mrs. Sakina in particular have watched my daughter grow up (she is now 4). (Mrs. Ani is newer, and she’s wonderful too). They have all helped her become the confident, spirited child she now is. My daughter adores them. These teachers foster independence, free will, creativity, and fun. They also have to help a couple dozen kids use the potty, wash their hands, eat their food, nap, learn, and play peacefully each day. It is a thankless job. So I thank them publicly here. This is not the kind of school where parents get stressed out because we may have forgotten to bring an extra pair of clothes, or we came too school late, or we had to switch our schedule because of a vacation. Mrs. Sakina will work with you, and the teachers work it out without making you feel like a parent who is not on top of her game! My daughter also enrolled in karate and dance classes at the school (it offers soccer too). She has learned how to sing and count in Chinese (thanks to Mrs. Shirley), and Spanish (thanks to Mrs. Michelle) and she also has learned about Armenian and Indian culture (thanks to Mrs. Ani and Mrs. Sakina). Her classmates have taught her about Hawaii, Pakistan, Taiwan, and beyond. This is truly a culturally diverse school, which is refreshing in comparison to some neighboring preschools. My daughter also loves the vast array of excellent Montessori learning tools and activities: counting beads, insect games, art supplies, shapes, letters, puzzles and much more. The school keeps kids active, rotating from different activities constantly. It is affordable, flexible, safe and most of all it is the kind of place where the teachers know each child personally–not just their names, but their favorite songs, and colors, and hobbies. You might drive past this school and not even pay attention. You might browse the local preschools on your neighborhood Facebook pages and not even come across this one. It’s not pushed by moms clubs and it has little to no advertising. But it is a precious little place indeed, and those of us with kids there also know how fortunate we are to have discovered it.
Both my daughters attend Bright Montessori and I am one satisfied parent, so here I am raving about the school! My 5 year old daughter has been going to the school for more than 3 years and will graduate this June. My younger has been there for 10 months now. I am so pleased with all the teachers and the positive environment that my kids are growing up in. The kids just finished their spring break, and all they talked about throughout the break was about school, teachers and their friends at school. I like it that each kid is given individual attention and allowed to grow at their own pace. They come home learning something new everyday! And whenever I have questions, the teachers are very approachable and are more than willing to share their experience. Also, there have been one or two occasion when I have missed sending a sweater or a blanket, but they have taken care of that too without giving me a hard time!
The school has a lot of fun activities like field trips, birthday parties, cultural events where the kids experience the food and culture of different countries. Parents are encouraged to participate but it is not compulsory; it’s really whenever you can make it for those events. The school also has extra classes like karate, soccer & dance for an added fee. My kids have been telling me words in Spanish, Chinese, Armenian and Hindi! It amazes me how much they learn there besides the daily curriculum. And they have developed a love for reading, and my 5 year old loves to read to my 2 year old everyday. They always take a book along when we go on road trips and spend time reading aloud.
The summer program they have is really fun, and the kids have a wonderful time there. Last year they had a cultural month and each week they focused on different countries. The school has a huge outdoor area which other schools in Glendale (those that I have toured) probably don’t. The kids get enough outdoor play and sun. We don’t need to worry about having to take them out to the playground when they come home. And oh yes, I was so happy when I walked in one day and saw my 5 year old cycling without trainer wheels! I did not have the time to start that yet, but she was already learning it by herself there under the watchful eye of the teachers.
The school encourages you to start potty training early (at 2), and works with you on that. Within a month of joining my 2 year old had a big difference in her behavior. Suddenly it was more structured, she was able to follow instructions and wanted to do homework! lol! At home after her meals, she would wipe the table with a napkin and put the plate back in the sink. It is amazing, because I didn’t have to teach her all that! In a little over the 3 years there, there are just too many great things to mention but I thought I will just name a few! They have never over promised but definitely exceeded our expectations all this while! I strongly recommend Bright Montessori, if you want a happy and confident child!
Bright Montessori truly is a gem. We noticed a profound change in our son – quickly. Honestly, my husband and I remarked almost immediately how grown up, polite, helpful and evolved he had become. Yes, we’re only several months in, but we think it’s wonderful.
A little backstory, my son is three and had just completed a year of preschool at a non-Montessori, well-established school in Eagle Rock. But the minute I saw Bright, I knew it was the place for him. The emphasis on calm, focus, and learning has changed his whole demeanor and perspective. He is more curious and far less interested in “testing” at home. We attribute much of this to being with older students and, of course, the wonderful teachers at Bright. Ms. Sakina is attentive without fail, always present and positive and wonderful to the kids. It’s clear they love her, and the only word I can think of to describe the lovely kids there is “bright.” Sending our son there is the best decision we could have made.
Taking my 2 year old here was the best decision we have ever made. I can’t say enough good things about Bright and the staff is amazing.
This place is absolutely amazing and I couldn’t be more pleased!!
I found Bright Montessori after realizing that a home childcare provider was treating my daughter very poorly. My daughters behavior had started to turn very negative after attending the home childcare. I saw a change in her behavior within two days of enrollment with Bright Montessori.
My daughter just turned two and is the youngest in the school. She has learned so much in a short amount of time. The method of teaching really can be absorbed at a very young age and the teachers here are absolutely wonderful. My daughter has been attending for about a month now. Her independence has grown so much.
More importantly, my daughter couldn’t be happier! She wakes up excited to go to school each day. We have our mornings where separation is an issue, but they are very rare, she is still very young, and the staff is always right there to care for her.
Putting my daughter in this school is the best decision I could have made as far as beginning her education and care while I am at work. I couldn’t be more grateful to the staff for how well they have cared for my daughter.
Update: My daughter has been going to this school for 10 months now. I couldn’t be more pleased! She has learned so much in such a short amount of time and she absolutely loves her teachers! She even asks to go to school on the weekends! It’s such a wonderful and encouraging environment. I have absolutely no complaints. 🙂
Maybe I was a bit lazy/selfish to keep quiet about Bright while son was there. Maybe it’s just better to sound off after graduation. In any case, Bright Montessori needs to drop its hidden gem status in the Eagle Rock/Glendale/Pasadena area. Truth is, our son was enrolled at Bright and a popular ER area school in first summer but by season end, Bright won as the only school for its flexibility and a much happier, lighter vibe. The separation took my son about a month to get used to; the teachers were absolutely great about helping him transition. Before long, he refused to to leave at pick-up time and I don’t exaggerate when I say that “struggle” lasted 3.5 years. For me, this small nuisance was the clearest sign that he was in the right place. Bright gained many students while we were there but class size was never too large. Their teachers’ kindness and nurturing behavior cannot be overstated. Overall, their program has active, happy, and engaging kids. Birthday parties that usually involve a piñata and a jumper were a constant. These folks are serious with other parties too! My son walks away a VERY sweet, confident, and socially adept kid- thanks to the hard work of their sweet and patient teachers.
See more reviews of Bright Montessori on our Yelp page.