Parent Testimonial: Jessica Plackis

Alice has a wonderful knowledge of children and their needs. She always has planned activities and field trips the children love.  Alice taught my children good boundaries and respect for others, and she communicates well with parents.

Thanks for all you do Alice! You gave my twin boys, now 16yrs old, a wonderful foundation for their Academic life. You have done so much for the boys and myself.

Thank you,

JESSICA PLACKIS

AUGUST 2014

 

 

Parent Testimonial: Erin Bonski & Matt Evans

When we came to My Special School, we were searching for a small and safe place for our daughter to play, grow and learn.  We were passionate about Montessori, and while we had looked around at other options, we just didn’t feel like anything was the right fit.  I still remember the day we walked into My Special School.  It was so warm and inviting.  Soft music was playing, the room was well-organized, and there was Alice, with a big smile on her face.  We took our shoes off, and after playing with Montessori games and talking with Alice, neither my daughter nor I wanted to leave.

In the two years our daughter was there, she learned so much about peace, community and cooperation, and she came home amazed at the world around her.  Alice has a special knack for cultivating compassion and respect, and she is attune to the needs and learning style of each child.  The specialists she brings in are unsurpassable in their keen ability to work with the preschoolers. From Drama and Music to Yoga and Qigong, from learning to coordinate large and fine motor skills to caring for animals and the earth, there really is no better name for such a wonderful little world of learning.

My Special School has it all, and we feel blessed to have had Alice in our lives.

 

ERIN BONSKI & MATT EVANS

AUGUST 2014

 

 

Student Testimonial: Emma Semonsen

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*Emma attends Santa Barbara Middle School and chose to work at My Special School during “Career Studies Week”. This is a letter I received from Emma after spending a full week with the kids and I.

Dear Alice,

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!! Thank you so so much for letting me be a part of your Preschool and these kids’ lives! I loved them from the beginning and I am so looking forward to babysitting them in the future.

Your Preschool is amazing! I love the fact that you have animals for the kids to interact with and you teach them skills that they can use in their everyday lives no matter what age they are. You engage their brains and really make them think and solve problems on their own. When you were explaining the “behind the scenes/brains” it really got me thinking too. The way that you step back and let them figure things out on their own is amazing to watch.

Your inside knowledge on how their brains work and what ways each child will excel most is astonishing. When they each told me what they were working on it blew me away. It was amazing that with a little of your help they could realize what to improve on and how to do it. It changed my perspective on how their minds work and what they are thinking. I was amazed when Giulia told me my name and my age! Not only do they learn lifelong lessons but they learn at an early age that they don’t have to always rely on other people to get what they want.

You are truly amazing! I love you, your house (especially the smell), your animal companions, and being with all of you. No parent could ask for a better place to send their little loves to begin their learning experience. Your Preschool is a home away from home to them now and it will be for the rest of their lives (it definitely is for me).

I feel that I really learned how to run a Preschool, but I learned so much more! I love you, Sydney,Yenta, Leilani, Ty, the Dolphins and especially the kids! Again thank you so much for this wonderful experience!

Love always,

Emma Frances Semonsen~ 14 yrs.
November 2011

Teacher Testimonial: Indra Strong

“My Special School”, led by the skilled expert in the field — Miss Alice, has given the children, their parents and their teachers alike an opportunity to grow, learn and … BE: be kind, be caring, be polite, be resourceful, be patient, be loving, be responsible and be … yourself, and just be.

As a yoga teacher I found it comforting and encouraging to teach my classes in the environment of acceptance and kindness, yet filled with focus and responsibility.  On numerous occasions I noticed that the children at this pre-school were more focused and able to follow the instructions better that the ones in many other preschools, and even elementary schools  where I taught —  I do attribute this phenomenon to the skills and experience of Miss Alice, and the Montessori inspired environment for the kids.

I’ve had the honor to teach yoga to “My Special School” children for more than 6 years. And without sounding too stereotyped I want to admit that they (my little yogis and yoginis together with Miss Alice) have taught me a lot about myself and about yoga, too! I am thankful.

Keep spreading the love and peace! Namaste.

With gratitude,

Indra Strong, RYT
January 2014

Student Testimonial: Katie Nulty

photoDear Alice,

You are a good teacher and friend.  I am going to miss you a whole bunch!  I love you.

Katie Nulty – 5 yrs.
August 1991

Student Testimonial: Cassidy Davis

1425612_10152004775122356_425013694_n[1]For the world’s greatest Teacher,

Thank you Alice Tropper for such a great start in my life! I love you!

Cassidy Davis – 5yrs.
OCTOBER 1993

Student Testimonial: Fia Torrey

Fia TorreyI liked My Special School because we got to go on a lot of field trips and I liked mystery Fridays.

My favorite part was the morning because you got to draw and play with Legos while you were waiting for everyone else.

Miss Alice is a nice, nice teacher and I liked when she read us books.

I learned about peace, love and how to tie my shoes.

FIA TORREY, 6 3/4 YRS.
FEBRUARY 2013

Parent Testimonial: Susan Torrey

7/2011-Fia Torrey-about to become an Alumni:)PARENTING: A tearful goodbye to the Preschool years

 

by Susan Torrey

Montecito Messenger

July 27, 2011

 

There’s a date on my calendar that’s marked with a big red circle. It’s looming with both dread and excitement. It’s the last day of pre-school for my daughter. The end of the sweet little world she’s been a part of and the beginning of something bigger and new. She started the spring of 2008, barely two years old. She’s now five which means she’s spent more of her life there than not. Unlike a lot of parents we didn’t tour schools. We followed the lead of some close friends and found ourselves at a spot which was perfect for us, My Special School. It’s a small Montessori school, owned and run by the amazing Alice Tropper, who has made her life calling teaching preschool aged children.

She is kind and patient beyond what I think is humanly possible, but day in and day out, she manages the 6 children who follow her every word. They sit patiently and take turns. They respect each other and play nicely. It’s their home away from home which is filled with love, respect and kindness. It’s an idyllic bubble where everyone gets along where there are, no exceptions, and where inclusion is the rule. There are no unkind words spoken because with Miss Alice it’s all about the love. Because of what’s happening at school, Fia has been exposed to more than what we could have imagined. Every month Miss Alice arranges a variety of classes, Creative Movement, Yoga, Qi Gong, Aikido, Music, Drama, and weekly visits to “the grandparents” at Garden Court, a senior residence, for stories and lunch. “Mystery Fridays” consist of a special outing determined by what is happening in town or what the kids want to do. This week, bike riding. Next week? Who knows, but maybe the beach? The butterflies? A park? Every week is full of learning and adventure.

We’ve shared some of Fia’s most important milestones with Miss Alice, because she was the one who has guided us through. Potty training, reading, tying laces on her shoes, riding a two wheel bike and playing her first game of checkers. She’s celebrated her 3rd birthday, her 4th and her 5th at school and with Miss Alice. Almost seems like a lifetime, and in some ways it is. It’s been my daughter’s lifetime.

As she transitions from this sweet little world, where she’s one of 6, to where, she’ll be one of too many, I am sad and excited for her. I know it has to happen, but I want to keep her safe and in a world where there are no mean words exchanged and where love and respect is the norm. In 6 short weeks we walk her across the street to her new kindergarten class. We’ll drop her off and set her free to explore her new world. I know it’s a world that will look and feel a lot different. She’ll learn tough life lessons where not everyone wants to be friends. Where not everyone is as well behaved and where mean words might be exchanged. But it will also be a world where the work which Miss Alice prepared her for will shine. She’ll be kind and make friends. She’ll find her voice in the crowd and hopefully be the example.

Just as I was told, the years have gone too quickly. I remember dropping Fia off the first day at My Special School. I left, got in the car and had tears streaming down my face. And now, as that day on my calendar, which is circled in red approaches, I get tears just thinking of picking her up for the very last time.

*Susan Torrey’s column appears regularly in the Montecito Messenger.

Parent Testimonial: Sofie & Charles Langhorne

Dearest Alice,

I remember vividly the day Danny and I interviewed with you.  It seems like only yesterday.  I remember crying all the way home, feeling so anxious about having a stranger take care of my little boy, was the decision about going back to work the right one?  Three years later you feel like part of our family…our everyday life.  Now I feel anxious and sad that it’s time for Danny to move on.

How can we ever thank you? You took in our son, taught him the values of friends, animals, and our planet.  You taught him more than numbers, ABC’s and “moon-a-gones”. You taught him how to be a good person.  You made our job of parenting that much easier, and we are so proud of the product…little Danny. Thank you!

Sofie & Charles Langhorne

September 1995

Parent Testimonial: Robin Sonner & Randy Tico

Dear Alice,

I am not sure where to start to describe the contribution that you have been in our lives…You have been teacher and friend and confidant and an important partner in the learning and growing process that accompanies raising a child in this day and age.  I have turned to you for guidance and advice and support and laughter.  I have watched your children grow in mind and body and spirit.  I have watched Jenna learn to read and write and work with numbers at a very young age and love every minute of it.

Jenna is now seven years old. I think she was barely three when we first came to My Special School.  There has never been one single day that we were not happy to be going to school.  As you know, I have felt that your influence has been so valuable that I have pulled Jenna out of Kindergarten and First Grade just to spend a day with you…and I look forward to doing the same this year! Being connected to you and your group is important to both Jenna and me.

Alice, always know that you are special and what a gift to this world you are.

We love you, Alice.

Robin Sonner & Randy Tico
September 1997