Skip to content

An Open Letter to the Founder of OB Montessori: Ms Preciosa Soliven

January 15, 2012

I would like to share with you my experience in dealing with OB Montessori, Greenhills.

Dear Ms Soliven,

I am writing to you today to express my disappointment on how OB Montessori handled my son’s application. I wish to tell you the story as it transpired this morning.

I am a mother of a highly functional child with special needs. I read in the Philippine Star an article that you published named “Developing school guidance program to normalize dysfunctional children” and kept a copy of it for future reference. During that time my son was enrolled in a mainstream progressive preschool called Lincolnshire Internationale Preschool. He will be graduating on March which prompted me to start looking for a school that would accommodate him for the 1st grade.

Due to your article, I placed OB Montessori on top of my list. It is an established educational institution and has produced grounded students. It can offer grade school plus high school and accepts special needs children. I thought to myself that your school would be a perfect fit for my child. Of course, that is if you decide to accept my son after assessment.

I readily called the registrar’s office to get the list of requirements, visited your website to download the application form and gathered all the documents. As per the person who I spoke to over the phone, since my child has special needs, they will need to first review all the documents before they can schedule me for an interview and assessment. This was nothing out of the ordinary and since it is your internal policy, I happily obliged.

This morning, since I had a meeting in Greenhills, I decided to drop by OB Montessori to drop off my son’s application form and requirements and to do my due diligence as well. I liked what I saw, when it came to the facilities. The grounds were clean and looked like they were well-maintained.

As soon as I got to the registrar’s office, I saw two ladies. I am a stickler for excelent customer service and the first thing I noticed was that the two ladies failed to immediately acknowledge my existence. They were chatting incessantly. After a while they asked me for my purpose. I immediately expressed my intention of applying for a Grade 1 slot. The other lady made me sit down while she reviewed my child’s requirements. I believe her name was Ms Gabucao, if I am not mistaken.

I brought a photocopy of the following documents:

1. Birth certificate

2. Developmental reports from my child’s current school (LIP – mainstream school)

3. Reports on his therapy development from Shine Intervention, his SPED school

4. Developmental report from Dra Benitez, my son’s old dev pedia

5. Government recognition of LIP, my son’s current school

6. Narrative report on LIP Arts & Crafts class

Including 2 sets of 1×1 photo in blue background and the application form.

I was missing the following:

1. My son’s current assessment from Therabilities, his OT center as he only has done 5-6 sessions starting November.

2. Old assessment from first Dev Pedia plus the most recent assessment from current Dev Pedia. His old Dev Pedia already retired.

I explained to Ms Gabucao why my son’s records were not complete and how I planned to send the other requirements to her as soon as I have gathered everything. But I was hoping that they can start reading the documents I have sent as these were a lot.

Unfortunately, these were the impressions I got:

1. She would only accept the first and most recent/current dev pedia assessments, not even considering the therapy reports of my son. I found this odd as my son sees his dev pedia once every year, as he is considered highly functional. His therapy sessions, however, are at least 3x a week.

2. She was already preempting that my son will not have a slot in your school as you have students in the pre-schoo level already having “difficulties” and will soon be moving up to the grade school level. This is fine by me. However, I did not appreciate the fact that prior to assessment she already assumed that my child will have difficulty in OB.

3. She gave the impression that OB Montessori did not have an existing program for special needs children which is contrary to your published article.

She kept on emphasizing that my son is not assured of a seat, which I was fully aware of that is why I was APPLYING. She kept on saying that my documents were incomplete and that she will put my application on hold, which (again) was totally fine until she repeated it several times. I got a bit irked and started to showmy irritation. But not wanting to create a scene, I left after getting the schedule of fees.

I felt like my child was already pre-judge just because he is not like the other children. I felt like a humiliated parent. After a few minutes, I decided that I did not want to pursue my application anymore and that OB Montessori is not for my child. I called the registrar’s office to speak to Ms Gabucao (again Im not sure of that was her name) to tell her that I have decided to withdraw the application of my child and that I will ask someone to pull out the documents, hoping that she would at least ask what my concern was. But she simply said “Ok.” What ever happened to customer service?!

After a few minutes I received a call from Ms Rose Domingo, Ms Gabucao’s immediate superior, wanting to know if I can share to her the reason why I was pulling out my son’s application. I told her about my experience, my disappointment, my frustrations, how furious I was, how my son was pre-judged even before looking through the documents I sent or even before meeting him in person. Fortunately, she was able to pacify my anger and explain to me in detail OB Montessori’s SPED program. My husband and I decided to give it another chance by calling Ms Domingo back for an assessment schedule. I am thankful for people like Ms Domingo who empathizes with parents, like myself. She is an asset to your institution.

Ms Soliven, my son has autism. I acknowledge that he has specific and special needs. But that does not make him stupid. He is one of the smartest kids I know. He can identify the different flags of different countries. He’s been reading since he was 3. He knows how to skip counting by 2s, 5s, 10s at age 3. He’s a stickler for details and a perfectionist at times. He’s one of the sweetest boys I know and I just want the best for him.

I want to share with you this story because I want to make sure that this will not happen to other parents. It might be a good idea if you share your valuable insights on excellent customer service and that children with special needs should not be judged harshly.

Thank you for reading my very long and passionate letter. God bless!

Sincerely yours,

Gail Consolacion

Mother of Jaime Ignacio Consolacion, a special child

Advertisements

From → Family

11 Comments
  1. Poor OB, they would not know the joy of having an afternoon with Chito.

  2. Rob G. permalink

    Dear Mrs. Gail Consolacion,

    I, my name is Robert, a parent of 2 boys. I was so touched by your letter and felt that being a parent, I would never want an employee of OB Montessori, prejudged any one, not with a little boy who is a gift from God. I felt so much anger towards that Ms. Gabucao and she should be reprimanded if not suspended because such unbecoming attitude should never be allowed, not with OB Montessori, a well known institution that caters to any child’s educational need.

    I hope this letter would be read by more parents and that such untoward reception of an employee would never happen again.

    God bless!

    • gailcons permalink

      Thank you Robert for your kind words. My son now in Grade 1 studying in another school in Greenhills. He is coping well thank God. In fact he is doing very well in logical subjects such as Math and Science. I pray that he continues to improve. God bless you!

  3. Dear Mrs. Gail,
    I admire you as a parent, Me too has a daughter with special needs, but unfortunately i find difficulties in giving her the things that she needs. A single parent of 4 children. Hoping that the government will provide institutions for these children. God Bless you.

    • gailcons permalink

      I agree. I am hoping for that as well. God bless you and your family.

  4. I just had the exact same experience with Kinderhaus at Sgt Esguerra this morning. Wow, i know exactly how you feel. May I ask where you eventually enrolled your son? I am in need of a school as well

    • gailcons permalink

      Hello there! I enrolled my son at Kid’s World Integrated in North Greenhills. You can try the place 🙂 i will send you the details in another comment.

      • Grace permalink

        Hi Gail. I hope all is well with you and your son’s school experience now. I happened to read your open letter while searching for reviews about OB Montessori. I felt sad about your experience with that school. Btw,I also have a son with special needs. He’s also high-functioning and he just finished gr1 with very high grades. I wanted to transfer him to OB Montessori fairview because I believe he would benefit from it’s method of teaching. I was able to submit all application requirements before the Holy Week. Admission ofc promised to give feedback this week. But just to manage and be ready with their feedback I would also like to explore his opportunities in Kid’s World Integrated though it’s far from our house in qc. I’m interested to know more anout this school. I hope to hear from you. Thanks.

      • gailcons permalink

        Dear Grace,

        Kid’s World Integrated has its upsides and downsides. Upside, class size is small with a teacher student ratio of 10:1 the last time my son was enrolled there. Downside, year level is only until Grade 4. But it might have changed.

        My son is now enrolled in Community of Learners in San Juan. This school is one of the best progressive schools in Manila. They also offer High School which is great as I wouldn’t have to move him when he gets to that level.

        I suggest you also look at Raya school in QC (scout area), The Nest school in 92 Matahimik Street, Bgy.Malaya QC, another really good progressive school.

        Good luck with school hunting.

        Best Regards,
        Gail

  5. Teen terrado permalink

    Hi Gail… I am also a parent of a 10 year old boy, an incoming grade 4 student in OB green hills. I am so desperate in finding a solution to my dilemma now that I came across your blog. My son has been with them since grade 1. Academically, I must commend them for their standards and is very impressed with their curriculum, botany, geometry, geography subjects are basic subjects as early as grade1 apart from the math. However, I am also very disappointed and very pissed with the registrar’s protocols in handling applicants, enrollment procedures, other vital concerns. Admittedly, I failed to pay the reservation of 5k before the school year ended last march which is normally distributed by the mgt to their students as I am in the process of finalizing migration plans. Last apr 6, during the claiming of report card, I was given somewhat an assurance by then adviser that my son is still in section a due to his outstanding grades. ( he is a consistent bergamo student – this is their term for 92 – 96 % average). I was in a way relieved since it became apparent that it will still take us a few while to leave. The schedule of enrollment was April 19-20 for grade 4. I went back to OB a day prior – 18th hoping I could enroll him already since I was very worried due to non reservation. I was attended by ms. Santos, she denied my intentions. Still humbling myself, I explained the need for me to enroll him ahead – absence of reservation and conflict with my schedule the next day and sat. SHE EMPHASIZED THAT MY SON IS ASSURED OF A SLOT IN SECTION A BECAUSE THE SECTIONING DONE WAS ACADEMICALLY ARRANGED. I was elated to hear this of course, because t was an affirmation of what the adviser told me.
    Now the weird part, I went back 22nd for enrollment, after more than 30 mins of waiting, I was asked to sign a conform slip with a ” printed grade 4A section but was deliberately erased manually by the staff attending to me – ms. Bautista. I started questioning the merits of the act and as a newbie, we ended up arguing. I demanded to see the registrar but was rejected twice by the same staff due to petty reasons – late lunch, busy, not a priority, etc. Finally, I was allowed inside the office and mrs laquindanum herself confirmed that all students are academically arranged but they are strictly following a first come first serve policy??????? I could not fathom the implementation of both rulings without creating any jeopardy?? I was promised a solution within the week. It was very disturbing for me as a mother because I would not want my son to get affected psychologically with this drastic change since he was being assigned to the last section,the pm session. He even reminded me that his teacher announced to the class that he was one of the few who was endorsed to section a.
    Just a few minutes ago, I tried to follow up with the office of mrs laquindanum, and she informed me that the management will stick to ruling of first come first serve. I raised the concern, I was there on the 18th and denied of early enrollment? She was quiet. I then asked for that paper where the erasure was evident, it was destroyed last Monday after I left! Again, this irritated me. I was assured that they will try to resolve my issue and has admitted the errors of her staff/s, but destroyed my son’s form as early as Monday? The registrar also reiterated that even with the academic SECTIONING of students, first basis for review upon enrollment is always the reservation and schedule. Can you believe this? Most schools have given preferential attention to their old students regardless of paid reservation fees or the absence of it simply because of loyalty aspects. Second, they should have deviate from openly declaring the academic arrangement of the students if they are more focused on following the payment rulings because this is in direct conflict w/ each other!
    I do intend to file administrative case against them for discrimination.

    • gailcons permalink

      I am so sorry to hear about your experience with OB Montessori. Sometimes, it’s the admin side that creates all these complications and filing a complaint is one way to standing up for your rights as a parent. I hope you were able to resolve things with them.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: