Tall Pines SchoolTall Pines School - good or not?


We enrolled our child in the KinderCasa classroom at Tall Pines School under the assumption that private school would provide a nurturing and safe environment for our child. Well, we got a rude awakening. Within the first 2 days our child complained that the teacher did not treat all the children the same.

Our child was missing from the classroom and was later found crouching in the men’s washroom. As a new student and sensing the teacher’s dislike, our child found solace in the men’s washroom. Mind you, the little ones are allowed to go to either the women’s or men’s washroom alone.

When our child enrolled at Tall Pines School, our child was already reading and writing. We found out that at $10,800/yr, our child was not being taught anything. We requested the binders and got a few pages of numbers and letters. Our child did not do any drawing or coloring or anything else. Our child was left to do whatever until the end of the day.

There is more than meets the eyes at Tall Pines School. I encourage parents to do due diligence before enrolling their children. Ask questions and check to make sure that someone’s personal or religious beliefs do not impact your child in a classroom. Meet with teachers to make sure that your child has a good fit. As a multicultural society, it is easy to overlook critical signs that can have long reaching impact on young minds.

Are you getting your money’s worth? Please be careful!


  • Sc
    S. Collins Feb 26, 2007

    Quite inaccurate. I have had a child in this class and the teacher is wonderful. Children are not allowed to wander aimlessly, they are directed to constructive activities. The washrooms are very close to the classroom, and are for students only. To call them 'women's/men's washrooms implies they can be used by anyone, and this is not true. You complain that your child wasn't being taught anything and then complain there was no 'drawing or coloring'. Is that what you want your child doing for the day? There are times that crafts are part of the day's activities, and in fact, the children color every morning from the time they are dropped off until the 9:00 bell goes -- if you want coloring, get your child to school on time. Sometimes parents love their children so much they have blinders on when it comes to recognizing problems that originate with the child, not the teacher.

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  • Hf
    H.F. Feb 27, 2007

    I had a very similar experience with Tall Pines. What an awful school! Several times I had to ask what our son was doing there all day? The kids call the shots on that, if they feel like doing their work, the teachers are fine. As soon as the kids don't want to work, the teachers put their hands up and back off. The teachers have absolutely no plan and no tools to deal with that. Who is running that school? The kids or adults? Its not the Principal or Heads of Dept, they're too worried about bad press and protecting themselves.

    At our new school, the teacher asked all sorts of questions about our child from the first day. How he learns best, what he loves doing and doesn’t like doing, personality traits, how we get him to cooperate when he doesn't want to do something. Tall Pines teachers don't care what you know about your own child, they don't invite help and turn it away when you offer something that doesn’t fit in with their “materials”.

    And yes, kids can wander, they have lots of freedom there. There are always kids in the halls supposedly doing their bead counting or whatever but the teachers pop their heads out only periodically while they supervise the other 28 kids in the class. And those were 5-6 year olds, maybe younger. I would come in to pick up my child and the kids would be fooling around.

    I'm SO glad we're out of there. OP, you will be very glad too! Don’t worry, you did the right, and you’re trying to warn other parents, which is admirable.

    To the person that commented, you need a reality check. No child goes hiding without being terrified of something. That's the real issue here, and you seemed to have missed that while going on about how the OP referred to the bathrooms or whether they were at school on time.

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  • He
    Helen Davis Feb 15, 2008

    I find the comments quite disturbing. I have just enrolled my child in Casa at Tall Pines. He is already in the toddler program. They are an accreditted Montesori school and they are monitored quite closley. I really find it hard to believe this is going on in there. I spend a lot of time lingering in the hallways after I drop him off or before I pick him up and I do see that the children do have a lot of freedom within limits. Is that not why they are in Montesorri school!!!

    I would love to hear more feedback from parents!!!!

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  • Si
    Sirat Sep 25, 2008

    this school is amazing except for the grade 8 teahcers. they are rude, and pick favorites. MOst importantly they pick kids to pick on. I got in trouble for looking at the teacher. she made me stand with my ahnds cover my face. Stupid Mrs. seetahal, she is no good. she should be expelled. anyways that is all

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  • I would love to say I very much hate how this school works. They have two programs, the junior side and the Montesorri side, I don't even know if I spelt that annoying name right. No offense to other Montesorri schools. I do not know why they get everything better. So far the teachers that I have had on my side has been kind of fair almost most of the time. First of all, their classroom is about 6-7 times my classroom is. It is 6-7 times my classrooms size this year because last year they probably thought their classroom was too small (3-4 times my classrooms size). OH, and did I mention, it comes with a bathroom and kitchen too! :), yeah right. Also they are having a sleepover for the MJH's (###tissori Junior High). And they aren't even high, they are actually very short in the inside and out. I'm complaining because last year AND this year when we asked for a sleepover as well because they get one and we didn't see why they would have dissagreed with us, they told us that we were irresponsible aka we are not as good as the MJH's or we are not as good as the MJH's. This is only a little part of how I feel, and I'm representing about all the students I talk to.

    I'll continue writing more tomorrow, or afterwards. I'm also trying very hard to make this easier for you to read for writing proper english. Don't think I'm unsmart. ;)

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  • OK, other than talking goodness about their side, another thing is that a lot of people like me think that the more money and the more years you spend at this school paying them a whole load of cash the more stuff you get. At the end of the school year they have a reward ceremony. And in the reward ceremony they have a reward called the Lifers' award that you have to work very hard for, but actually: the Lifers' award is an award that your parents have to work very hard for. You can only get this award if you have been at this school from Casa to Grade 8. Last year at this ceremony all of the MJHers that graduated have gotten this award.

    Oh, and I forgot to mention this about the unfairness of this schools program at the previous complaint. There are 22 grade 8s in the Junoir side and about 12 level 8s in the other side. 4 of our side has to join the grade 7 classroom. So I'm wondering about the comparison, do we need the room more or do they need the room more. But I don't really know if there is a point writing all this to change the school because some people in the grade 7 class from our side complained about having gym with the MJH's to the "principal", because our gym teacher kept telling our side to be more like the MJH's. What it seems like is that our principal told their teacher to lecture them about that 'sometimes in life you have to work with people who you don't like and do nothing about it." Firstly: why couldn't our principal told them to their face? Secondly: you could at least try to do something about it if it is UNFAIR!! But thirdly: at least our principal took some time out of her life to tell their teacher to yell at them, I think maybe very deep, deep, deep, deep, DEEP, down inside, she notices us too.

    Theres something called a prefect sweater as well. This sweater is supposed to be worn by 'role models'. Seriously, if there were role models, this world would be a better place. I have friends who have this sweater, and I think they deserved it. But one of them who I thought definitely should have gotten it didn't get it because they would probably think its because of something else. The MJHers: all of the girls except one got a sweater on their side. But the one who didn't get a sweater, everyone thought she should have gotten it. Maybe its because she isn't a teachers pet or she actually deserved it.

    Another thing about the sweaters thing is that it also involves money. One guy in my class said that, 'you have to be in the school for at least two years to get the sweater", when the whole prefect thing came up. I didn't believe him at first but then it proved he was right. I haven't heard anybody get it when they came to the school for one or two years because its probably that some of us didn't pay enough.

    What do they do with all the money? I know they have to pay for the taxes and the teachers, but over the time I have been here they bought new sets of computers about three times or more. They are also going to build another part of this school, its most likely to be bigger rooms for the Montesorri side and not a gym.

    You know, I really am confused why the MJH's needed a bigger classroom because that classroom they currently have used to be the whole schools art room. Now, our art teacher has this room as big as our classroom to teach art in. Also, we don't know where to do our stuff like our different nights and our dance-a-thons because they took the room.

    For parents who want their kids to go to a private school, I don't recommend you send your child to this school, but if you do send your child to this school and your child wants to leave. NO REFUNDS.

    For serious, if you want to build a school, don't build a school half-half and treat them differently because it just makes people feel like they aren't as important.

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  • No
    None Feb 07, 2009

    Tall Pines is NOT a good school. The staff are unprofessional and make decisions on a whim. You're better off in public school!

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  • tps is ###ed and their so money hungry they take your money and double it and then quadruple the money they need to run this school perfectly, then dump 99/100 of that to one classroom (mjh) and then the other part they stick it up their ### and then pull it out again for the rest of the school

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  • Ma
    Maggie :) Sep 14, 2009

    Well, my brother was joined their toddler program a year ago. At the beginning I was doubting that they'd do a good job because of the number of students in the classroom. I was right and wrong. They don't teach him much and whenever I visit they're doing whatever on their own. There are two teachers in the classroom. One's nice and the other, not very much. Everything depends on the teacher; not the school.

    My bro is going into casa this year. He has an awesome teacher/s and he keeps talking about how nice she is. Like I said, It all depends on the teacher.

    But there is something that I would like to point out. The school is divided by montessori and the regular students. In MY opinion, the montessori side is just the same up to grade . THen during the last two grades, seven and eight, everything changes. THey get pampered and spoiled a lot. They get to visit farms, do community service, choose what's on their exams, have a smart board, cook every week, go on class trips three times (maybe More) more than we do. In MY opinion, that's not fair. I think that the teachers recognize this different, but they're doing - pardon my language - sh*t about it.

    I've been happy with my teachers all along, but I, and also the rest of the class, do realize that they have favourites and they show it. Sometimes they even try to hide the fact that they give special privileges to their favourites.

    -- Tall Pines isn't a bad school :)

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  • Do
    Don't deserve respect Sep 18, 2009

    Some of the teachers are really nice and I respected my teacher becuz she was fair. But the principal and the rest of the people that makes decisions and allow watever ### that is going on go on, that deserve 0 respect becuz they don't. They are horehble. They just sit their and smile and act like everyhing is going on as they had planned.they look so stupid I sometimes feel sorryfor them. But we pay the same amount of money and it's not equal. Sometimes They are too chicken to do whatus rite and I have seen it before I just don't want to offend anyone except for the head department in tp. I hate them, hate them, hate them. Maybe they should go to church and let God guide them the right way cuz there whole life their going the wrong way.

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  • No
    none2 Jan 19, 2010

    All the student comments are appreciated and right or wrong it makes one thing very clear. Tall Pines is failing miserably when its students are unable to form grammatically correct sentences and misspell common, high frequency words. I wouldn't be paying thousands for such a low level of education.

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  • Mj
    MJH student -------- Jun 01, 2010

    Seriously? I find some of these complaints irrational and unfair. I myself am in MJH and we, unlike what you may think, are getting in trouble more often than not. Majority the teachers dislike us us well (Although I may admit they have a few reasons) and we are getting told to be like YOU! I know some of who is commenting; I know who hates our class. Tall pines school is overall an amazing school for childrens social and accademic improvment though it does not suite every student. Some student's strive on the independance they are given and the enviorment they are placed in and some again do not! The teachers may favor students occasionally in a few classes and I admit freely that the prefects are unfair but you tarnishing the schools name for few mistakes. Also I find it immature that adults are basing the school on one child's experiance and making blind assumptions. We are knowlagable about grammer and spelling but in this day and age all children use slang and things such as lol and other such "words". Lifers awards are not given to MJH's or any student just because of thier class! If you would like a lifers award than earn it! Mrs. Flett is a gracious, kind and honerable woman as is Mrs.Z and most of the teachers at the school as well. If you can not be mature and kind enough to bring the faults of the school to the faculties attention than you are the one who does not care about the children and is dare I say : "too chicken to do whatus rite"! I am a grade seven MJH student at Tall Pines School and I find myself uncorrupted and repectfull as well as reasonably educated. Also if I may say "none2" is not propper grammer.

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  • Kr
    KritterKat727 Sep 13, 2010

    Just FYI Montessori's philosophy for the junior highsc schoool aged kids is that they should be living on a farm and learning about life and the earth through rich experiences. So to compare a traditional public school system would be unfair, because they ARE learning completely different things from each other. I suggest you read some of Montessori's philosophy and it will all make sense :-D

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  • Sc
    Sceptic45 Mar 26, 2011

    I can understand how it is frustrating for parents to evaluate their child's school as they really only have the opportunity to observe things on the surface. I had the chance to have a deeper look at Tall Pines and spent some time in the classrooms there. (I must also agree with none2 that the students' lack of grammatical and spelling skills is an obvious sign of something . . .and MJH- student proper does not have two p's).

    I would argue that this school is only loosely based on the Montessori model. I thought Montessori was about hands on, student directed learning. What I witnessed was students completing hours and hours of work-books and worksheets with little teacher guidance. The lack of actual "lessons" was astounding. The children seem to teach one another while the teachers madly mark hundreds of pages of worksheets. The lessons that I did witness were contrary to current best practice, which emphasizes the importance of engaging children, linking new learning to their interests and previous experiences, and providing hands on activities. The lessons were what I would call lectures and involved children, who were not even ten years old yet, taking notes like university students. Is this the best way for young children to learn - the research says no!!!

    Your children would get a better education in public school where teachers are constantly attending professional development initiatives and are using best practice.

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