Global Montessori International (GMIS) experience?

Hello! We are looking for a Mandarin immersion preschool in the Berkeley area for next fall when our daughter will be 2. We have toured several schools now and really liked our visit to GMIS, but can’t find any recent reviews here (last one is from 2017). Hoping to hear from some current or recent families about their experiences. Thank you in advance for sharing, and feel free to contact me directly if that is more comfortable. 

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Hi there! I have actually been meaning to post a review for GMIS so your question was the perfect reminder! 

Our twin boys attended GMIS from 2.5yo until they graduated this year. We had a wonderful experience and loved all of the teachers and staff, and our boys did too. We found everyone to be very warm and caring, as well as dedicated to teaching even the littlest kids about math, Chinese characters, letters, science, gardening, cooking projects, etc. The director of the school brings in lots of outside enrichment teachers that include Chinese music, English music, soccer, and a team of retired PhD's from the Lawrence Hall of Science to teach preschoolers science. The annual Lunar New Year performance is an amazing and adorable production. We felt our kids learned so much during their time there, and also had FUN while doing it! 

The boys just started kindergarten at a private school this fall, and they were very well-prepared coming from GMIS. They still say they miss GMIS and their friends and teachers, and that's probably the best review you can get. 

If anyone has any questions, please feel free to message me and I would be happy to share more.

Having toured all schools and gone through years at both AIM and GMIS, we LOVE GMIS!   We wish the kids did not age out lol.  

My partner and I would not recommend this school. 

staff turnover and ratios: During our last year there, 2 (out of 3) of the classroom lead teachers left, in addition to at least one other long-standing staff member. By the end, our child said that whenever they asked for help from any teacher (specifically in response to bullying behavior from another classmate), the teachers didn’t respond—likely because they were unable to do so, rather than a lack of desire. Often times, the receptionists and admin staff were helping out in classrooms to ensure legal ratios. We did feel that with the staff ratios as they were, our child was not being cared for in as safe a manner as we would have liked though if we brought up something to the staff, they were well-intentioned and wanted to help if they were able to. 

admin: The director was not transparent about an open investigation by the state licensing body, until parents (including us) received calls from investigators from the state. There continued to be no transparency or communication about it even after we parents requested open communication and the director agreed to do so. So there was understandably a lot of concern around this. The lack of communication and transparency is a general theme here. The administration is not communicative about what staff will be caring for and teaching the children either so we were surprised when there were staff changes or turnover and so was our child. 

The school is expensive and your money would be better spent elsewhere.