Lower East Side Montessori Hopes For Fresh Start

99 Suffolk Street.

There’s a new daycare center and preschool at 99 Suffolk Street.  The staff of Lower East Side Montessori is busily coordinating admissions, making introductions in the community and putting the finishing touches on a remodeled space in the ground floor of a residential building just above Delancey Street.  But this school is also dealing with another task: assuring parents that it has nothing to do with a tainted predecessor.

In response to a recent email, we stopped by Lower East Side Montessori last week to speak with operators Sylvia Sadlak and Andrew Kasim.  The school is an extension of Riverdale Montessori, which has been in business in the Bronx for nearly 20 years. Sadlak and Kasim, whose mom runs the original Riverdale location, emphasized that they have no connection to Love a Lot Preschool, which closed under a cloud last fall

As previously reported, Love a Lot faced serious financial problems and was under scrutiny from regulatory agencies for a variety of shortcomings.  Parents, employees contractors complained that the preschool’s owner, Olga, Bosio, owed them thousands of dollars.  The Local East Village reported that a Department of Labor investigation is still being conducted.

Sadlak said the original plan had been to open a school in Williamsburg but they fell in love with the Suffolk Street location because it includes a secure backyard.  She and Kasim had no idea they had taken over a space with a checkered past until they had already finished extensive renovations on the facility.

Now they’ve posted signs outside the school and on their web site underscoring that LES Montessori has no affiliation with Bosio. They held an open house for parents recently, obtained the proper health permits and are awaiting Montessori certification.  They’re also reaching out to community groups and putting the word out that they’d like to feature local artists on the school’s walls. Lower East Side Montessori offers an infant/toddler program and has room for 28 preschool students in the fall. They’re also gearing up for a summer session. A 20% discount is being offered to parents who sign their kids up for the fall.

Sadlak and Kasim are not alone in their predicament. The Local profiled the new owner of First Steps, another preschool being operated out of a second former Love a Lot location on Clinton Street. Director Luz Wetstone said, “The Labor Department came by and we had to show them our tax ID and show them that we have no affiliation with Love A Lot. We didn’t just change the name. We’re really a legit business.”

As for LES Montessori, Sadlak said they are committed to doing whatever is necessary to show parents that the new school offers a positive learning environment. “We’re excited to be part of the community,” she said.

If you would like more information about Lower East Side Montessori, visit their web site.

 

28 comments to Lower East Side Montessori Hopes For Fresh Start

  • micah

    Based on that banner, I’m guessing that punctuation isn’t part of the curriculum.

  • David

     Too funny Micah!

  • let down Love A Lot parent

     very interesting. since they are not in business officially with Olga
    are they paying her under the table as a consultant? Sylvia Sadlak has
    no experience in Early childhood, or education… except in finance…
    very professional.

    Miss Sadlak how come the landlord did not evict Olga Bosio for 7 months
    unpaid rent? is he in business with her and you?…. parents are not
    ignorant even though we might live on the Lower East Side…tell us something we do not know…

  • micah

    This is a confusing comment given that the article says .  Did Sadlak have involvement with Love a Lot?  If so, what was her role there?  Is it simply a lie that she had “no idea they had taken over a space with a checkered past until they had already finished extensive renovations on the facility”?

    If she had no involvement with Love a Lot, how do you know her background and what makes you think that Bosio is involved with this new venture?

    Just curious.

  • guest

    hmmm i just read the article for First steps.. and then for this school. Why are both schools blaming another school for  their failures? if you want to succeed be different. Both schools replicated the Love a Lot Looks but could not get the curriculum, because it was unique. so get over it people! hire educated minds to turn the businesses around. stop whining…it is boring> so far nothing to show for to be different

  • A number of comments related to this story have not been published because they were in conflict with The Lo-Down’s editorial policies. We do not publish reader comments that make unsubstantiated accusations against another person or an organization. 

  • guest

    Did the Lowdown ever bothered to investigate the accusations? Any good journalist would wonder and dig deeper. What happened to trustworthy and why should we , the public, believe your editorials in this case.

  • We have looked at all available public documents and have not found any connection between the previous management and current management. If anyone provides us with additional information or leads, we will followup. 

  • Montsegonzalez

    wow! where are all the comments? one by one they get erased. what is the point of expressing our views as a community? say it as it is. let the public be the judge…

    if the business is so kosher, they should have nothing to hide…

  • We welcome opinions from readers. Making unproven accusations is another matter. As previously stated, we will follow-up on any leads concerning either the school formerly at 99 Suffolk or the school currently operating at this location. 

  • Dbrand79

    There is NO affiliation b/w LES and Love a Lot and/or Olga.  I am the attorney who handled the eviction proceeding against Love a Lot and Olga last year n behalf of the landlord.  Feel free to contact me (dbrand79@yahoo.com) if you have any questions, want more information, and even want to talk.

  • Cora Haddon Cougnhaghy

    are you a decoy? I am an ex-parent of Love a Lot. Olga was supposed to be evicted for a long time and she stayed all through December 23rd. Very strange. In addition Olga did tell me personally that she is looking for a new management to replace the old one and start fresh. I never saw my money. it is a bit too calculated.

  • Dbrand79

    Hello Cora – nope, not a decoy, like I said, feel free to email me (dbrand79@yahoo.com) and I am happy to explain everything you would like.  If you would like to talk on the phone I am happy to do so as well.

    As part of the eviction, there was a court ordered stipulation in Oct. or so that gave Olga until X-Mas to wind down her business and clear out her stuff.  That is why she “stayed” until the end of December.  During that time, the landlord was showing the space to perspective tenants which was when LES came along. 

    The landlord has a judgment against Olga for $70k as well.  There is no way that the landlord would ever allow Olga to be involved in anything related to LES.  Again, my offer is out there if you would like to talk.

  • Tk131234

     Thank you for your response. we were about 20 parents calling the landlord and asking him if we can rent the space. We were told to call after December 25th. When we did so he told us he had rented it already. quite quick between October and January 10th. The school was previous owner”s ATM. Her lavish, expensive lifestyle must be supported in some way. To be honest, speaking for many other of us parents, we believe she has some affiliation, in some way, or she must have gotten paid. the entire closing of the school was calculated so she can get rid of old debt and start fresh. We, the parents who have sued her and have judgements against her cannot collect our money. She still lives exactly in the same apartment, same Fire island long summers…. something does not add up. Not to talk even about the 13 teachers and unpaid back wages . Also the new tenant is contradicting herself saying that she was never aware to the extend of damages done by the previous owner. How can anyone open a new business,same exact business , and not do a thorough check on the previous business, damage control etc., too inexperienced … we will continue to search for answers.erasing all internet comments will not help. obviously a hacker has been hired too to clean up any information for inconvenient truth?

  • Dbrand79

    Hello TK.  I understand that when word got out that Love a Lot was closing, numerous existing daycares/schools (aside from LES) contacted the landlord to rent out the space.  They saw the space and location as assets and wanted to rent it.  I am unaware of the specifics of your conversations with the landlond but assume that the attractiveness of existing business renting the space outweighed the parents interest in taking over the space.

    Per the lo-down’s comments in this sting, they have removed comments based on surmise and conjecture.  I can assure you that there is no relationship between Olga and LES.  If you email me (dbrand79@yahoo.com) I would be happy to even send you a copy of the stipulation that awards the landlord possession of the apartment, a warrant of eviction, a judgment for $60k (not $70k as I originally posted).  In case there were questions as to why the eviction only happened in December, the judge requested that we do not evict Love a Lot “mid semester” and instead, we wait until Christmas break to take the space back to give parents time to find new accomodations.  It seems like Olga closed up shop anyway but neither the landlord nor the judge was aware of this.

    @yahoo:twitter 
    It is clear that Olga owes many parents and teachers (in additiona to the landord tens of thousands of dollars).  I am unaware if parents/teachers have had any success in collecting money from Olga.

    I cannot stress enough that there is no relationship between LES, Olga or Love a Lot.  Realize that I am the attorney for the landlord, not LES.  The landlord wants LES to succeed and knows that it can after this dark cloud of Olga finally lifted.  I think one point of confusion maybe when parents called LES is that one one of the principals of LES is named Sylvia.  I understand that there was an upper level employ at Love a Lot also named Sylvia.  They are not the same person!

    My offer stands, if you (or any other concerned/skeptical parent) would like to talk, feel free to email me at dbrand79@yahoo.com and we can set something up.

  • Riplem

    It is so not convincing. Were you able tcollec your money? Are you going to sue Olga personally? If she is not paying her dues what difference the judgement makes? She is a seasoned crook and has done it before based on many internet posted comments. How do we know that she is not affiliated with the Bronx school?
    By the way if Sylvia had stayed all the parents would have come back. She was one main reason why many of us parents stayed And dealt with Olga’s BS.
    What a shame to close such an incredible program! My son still asks for Love A Lot!

  • Dbrand79

    Hello Riplem – the landlord has not yet attempted to collect on the judgment.

    Before signing the lease with LES, the landlord visited the Riverdale location numerous times and did its due dillegence,  Olga is not involved in the LES or Riverdale School end of story.

    What do you think will help parents believe that LES has no affiliation with Olga/Love a Lot?  It is unfortunate that parents are taking out there understandable frustation on LES.  The owners are good people, hardworking and want to be an asset to the community.

    As previously stated, I am available to talk at anyone’s convenience.  Email me at dbrand79@yahoo.com if you want to set something up.

  • guest

    Dear Mr.Dbrand, I agree with the above comment of the previous parent. The landlord visiting the Bronx location proves nothing.in addition Olga had personally told one of her most loyal Teachers at the time that she is consulting for a Bronx location and she can always get her a job there?? Of course this teacher never got paid!! Many of us parents called the landlord and made it clear that we would have liked to re-open the school right away after Olga leaves. We had many parents behind us and it was really a matter of getting the paperwork. He even told us to call back after December 25th. It seems as if the landlord must have cut a deal with Olga to let her peacefully leave. With furniture for 2 schools,($$)while all parents and teachers are still not paid?? What are we missing? Something does not add up. The public should be aware of such shortcomings. For the LES to claim they did not know anything about Olga’s debts until after they renovated- pretty lame excuse or cover up. Either way not to be trusted. Something smells rotten.

  • Dbrand79

    Guest – conspiracy theories are just that.  You are simply pinning your frustation on LES without any basis.

    Again, I can show you the court document that contains the eviction notice, and the judgment against Olga etc.  Why on earth would the landlord ever cut a deal/pay money to Olga?

    How is the landlord or LES suppose to get you or the teachers paid back exactly?  I am assuming you did or will bring against a suit like other parents and the landlord and your attorney can advise you about the likelihood of collecting on your judgment.  If Olga is judgment proof (i.e. broke) then there isn’t much anyone – including the landlord – can do to get paid.

    Also, what does it matter what LES knew or didn’t know about Olga’s debts?  LES (once again) has nothing to do with Olga.  If you get a judgment against Olga it has nothing to do with LES.

    You own a building.  An existing, established business with a track record approaches you to open a second branch of their business.  You are also contacted by a loosely affiliated group of people who don’t have any of the requisite degrees, licensces, contacts with local government, etc. who kinda sorta want to take over a space, and who have never operated that business before also interested in that space.  I think it is pretty clear who you choose to sign a multi-year lease with.

    Again, I am happy to talk to anyone and everyone.  Email me at your convenience and we can set something up (dbrand79@yahoo.com). 

    Thanks.

  • Angryparent

    I am an ex teacher and a parent  from Love A Lot. Our life savings were stolen by Olga. It was known from months. No one , not the lanlord or the new tenant cared

    enough to even bother to  to bing justice to light. I personally tell parents not to trust the school. Olga personally told a teacher she will get her a job in the Bronx . How much more pople can play with other people’s lives and get away with it? open a new school as if nothing happen and start stealing again?  we are still bleeding from the consequences, all of us teachers and parents. No closure . let that be on the conscious of lanlord and new management.

  • Ripfl

    Why should anyone believe you because you said so?  Show the public that you have personally sued Olga and make her pay. show the public that you really mean justice. if she was evicted in time people would have believed more… too late

  • Dbrand79

    Ripfl – please read all the comments above where I have offered to email anyone that asks a copy of the COURT ORDERED DOCUMENT showing OLGA has a judgment against her for $60k and is evicted from the space.

    I am not sure what you mean by “Justice.”  As I stated before, I represent the landlord.  The landlord has a judgment against Olga.  If we are able to collect from Olga, the landlord will collect the money it is owed.  If you are a distressed parent/teacher/vendor you have the same ability to utilize the court system to get justice for yourself.  I am not sure how the landlord evicting Olga from the space (which happened months ago) provides you justice.  Again, the offer stands, email me at dbrand79@yahoo.com if you want to set something up and talk.  Thanks.

  • Dbrand79

    Angryparent – your frustration against LES and the landlord is, respectfully, misplaced.  As you state your post, OLGA stole your life savings.  Neither the landlord nor LES can get you money back from Olga.  You can try and sue Olga/Love a Lot to get your money back.  Assuming you are successful and get a judgment against her, you can try and enforce it against Olga.  Neither LES nor the landlord can make you whole.

    Again, the landlord is there is rent out a space to a tenant.  There is a legal relationship (i.e. a lease) that lays out the terms between tenant and landlord.  The landlord at building has NOTHING to do with the day to day operation of its tenants business.  By analogy, assume you rent an apartment.  You pay your landlord rent.  Your landlord doesn’t sit at your breakfast table with you, do your laundry, etc., right?   Same thing goes here.  Olga was that tenant until she was evicted from the space witha $60k judgment against her.  Now, there is a new tenant, wholly unrelated in any fashion to Olga or Love a Lot. 

    The fact that Olga said she can get a job in the Bronx means what exactly?  She does not work nor has she ever worked at any school related to LES.  I am fairly certain that there are other nursey/daycares in the Bronx aside from LES’s sister school.

    My offer stands, feel free to email me at dbrand79@yahoo.com if you would like to talk and we can set something up.

  • Squan

    Mr.Dbrand, you carry the same last name of the landlord. personally i am one of the parents who called your father early October and he personally told a group of us parents to call back. In one of your statements you are claiming that you are not aware how the landlord evicted Olga?? he is your father! and you do not know how he evicted Olga? please enough with the games. maybe I am not an attorney but certainly we, the parents,  are not lacking information. if Olga was evicted and the judgement was collected maybe we could believe you.such  a scam!

  • Dbrand79

    Squan – I don’t see where I say that I am not aware how the landlord evicted Olga.  If I did, I mispoke given the fact that I handled the eviction on behalf of the landlord, attended court, drafted the document that contained the $60k judgment against Olga, her eviction, etc.  The building is owned by an LLC, of which my father is a member.  I am fully aware of all of the legal proceeding that went on with Olga since I handled them.  If that wasn’t clear, my apologies.

    Respectfully, you are lacking information.  You haven’t asked for or seen the judgment.  You have no idea what other business were interested in renting the space when it became available.  You weren’t involved in any of those discussions, negotiations, etc.  You are a rightfully frustrated parent that is, I assume, owed money by Olga/Love a Lot.  LES does not owe you money, nor does landlord.  If you don’t want to send your child/children to LES, by all means choose another daycare.  All I can ask is stop spreading conspiracy theories that have no basis in fact.

    Again, I am happy to speak to you or any other parent.  Feel free to email me at dbrand79@yahoo.com and we can set something up.  I can give you as much information as you would like.  Thanks.

  • Sunnie Aubain

    In the aftermath of the Bloomberg budget cuts I was very happy to come across this school for my daughter who is 2 years old. Coincidently, my daughter was there when the location was under the previous owners, Love A lot Daycare.  I can say with 100% certainty that they have no affiliation with the daycare center that was previously at this location. The facility itself has been remodeled and restructured and is very welcoming. The staff is energetic and enthusiastic about the service they are providing and they made me feel very comfortable about choosing them as a childcare provider for my daughter. Choosing a childcare provider can be a very intense mission and finding a comfort zone, as I feel I have, is of the utmost importance. I would encourage parents to choose Montessori School.

  • Eli Y.

    I was one of the parents affected as well its unfortunate but i can not afford to trust this new daycare/preschool at love alots location. I just enrolled my 3 year old son, in sunny skies preschool. It just opened at 112 Ridge street. Good honest people who believe in education, looks very promising will keep you guys posted

  • j gold

    We recently moved to NYC and needed daycare for our daughter, so we missed the whole series of events related to the previous school at this location.

    We enrolled her in LES Montessori and we are very happy with her experience so far. They do lots of fun and educational activities, they have a nice play area in the back where they can get outdoor time, and the staff does a great job of keeping us up to date on how our daughter is doing. They are obviously very caring and act quite professionally in their interactions with us. Based on our experience, I would highly recommend this school to other folks.