Parent Involvement Opportunities
Volunteering at our school is very much appreciated, helpful and encouraged, but it is optional. We appreciate parents who are able to carve out a little time on a routine basis as well as those who volunteer here and there. We are very fortunate to have a vibrant, involved parent community. Thank you so much volunteers!
(As part of our Covid-19 Operating Plan, we are limiting some of the options for volunteering so that we maintain classroom cohorts and ensure all adults interacting with students are vaccinated. Thank you for your understanding.)
Field Trips: Each classroom may conduct field trips related to the topics they are covering in the classroom. Parents are encouraged to join the class during field trip to help supervise children and share in the experience with their own child(ren). (Field Trips temporarily on hold.)
Lunch Volunteers: Parents (and even grandparents) may volunteer to help during the lunch period. Parents who volunteer to help with lunch receive a tuition discount that may be applied to the following month’s tuition fees or used for daycare or summer school charges. Fees are not charged for enrolled children of lunch helpers on days when their parents volunteer. Siblings who are not enrolled in this school should not be brought to lunch. Please inquire with the office if you are interested in helping during the lunch period. (This is an option for parents who can be consistent and are able to provide proof of immunizations.)
Reading Volunteer: Parents (and even grandparents) may volunteer to read individually with children within the classroom. Ask your child’s teacher about being a Reading Volunteer. (Reading Volunteers are temporarily on hold.)
Special Events and Holidays: Parents are encouraged to share their cultures on relevant holidays and may also volunteer to visit the classroom to share any special expertise they may have. (Classroom celebrations including parents are temporarily on hold.)
Fundraising for Charity: The school community sometimes participates in food drives or gift drives for Hopelink or other charities, or in response to a global crisis, but we do not conduct fundraising for our school or solicit any monetary donations to benefit our own school.
When my wife and I first considered pre-school options for our first child, we agonized over the choice. We visited schools, talked to as many other local parents as we could, and attended numerous meet & greets. When the time finally came to make a decision, we opted for Sammamish Montessori, and we are so very glad that we did.
When considering the choice, we went with the knowns: like several other schools in the area, SMS has an excellent reputation for quality education, a versatile Montessori approach that plays to childrens' strengths, affordability, and the opportunity for parents to volunteer without the onerous *requirements* to volunteer that some other schools impose.
(Is it really volunteering if you're required to do it?)
So far, our oldest child attended through second grade (ie, five years), our middle child attended through kindergarten (three years), and our youngest is going to start attending his first year in just a few weeks.
What has struck us time and time again over the years are the things we *didn't* think about when we considered the school, and the unknowns. For example, would our children be able to adapt well to public schools after spending years at SMS? The answer has turned out to be an emphatic yes. Our oldest entered the public school system for third grade, and he adjusted beautifully. In fact, he made an immediate, favorable impression upon his new teacher and maintained a solid standing throughout the year. Not only were his academics outstanding, but he also adjusted well with his new classmates. Given the several parent-teacher conferences we attended with his new teacher, it became clear that SMS had prepared him in many ways to be adaptable in the face of change, and to greet those changes as opportunities.
Our second child has a vastly different learning style from his older brother, and yet he, too, excelled at SMS. Very much an introvert (unlike his brother), he nonetheless developed a strong, quiet sense of leadership and self-confidence in addition to his sharp academic skills while at SMS. Like his older brother, he has learned how to adapt in new situations, making friends easily and figuring out how to solve problems (both academic and social) as they arise.
Not only has SMS done an excellent job of helping to prepare our kids for life beyond SMS, they have performed right from the beginning as true allies in helping our children to grow and blossom. On one specific occasion, we went to one of our son's teachers asking for thoughts regarding a (social) situation we saw developing, and they were very helpful in developing a plan for turning what could have become a contentious situation into a great learning opportunity for all involved.
We love the way the school encourages free inquiry and exploring problems and solutions. We love the way the school has been just as flexible in working with us as a family as the teachers have been in working with our kids.
After having our kids at the school for six years so far (and at least another three more to go), we have truly enjoyed and respected each of the teachers our kids have worked with.
We have trusted this school to not only teach our children both in academics and in life skills, but also in how to love learning. The results have been so positive, we are more than happy to continue to trust Sammamish Montessori School with the education of our youngest .
Which brings me to my last point. In many ways, we've come to realize that we are not just trusting the school with our children; we are trusting them with our family. The teachers, the owners, the administrators, the staff, and the parents all work together for the sake of all of the families involved. After six years and counting, we're glad we took such pains over which school to choose for our kids. And we're especially glad we chose SMS.