Children touch and manipulate everything in their environment. They learn best by doing, which requires movement and spontaneous investigation. In a way, the human mind is handmade. That is, through movement and touch, the child explores, manipulates, and learns about the physical world.
Montessori children are free to move about, and may work alone or with others. They choose an activity and may work at their own pace. As long as they do not disturb anyone or damage anything, and as long as they put things back where they belong when finished students have the privilege and responsibility of choosing work for themselves.
Especially at the preschool level, materials are designed to capture a child’s attention. They are intrigued to investigate the item in terms of size, shape, color, texture, weight, smell, sound, etc. They begin to learn to pay attention and more closely observe small details in the things around them. Gradually they hone their appreciation and understanding of their environment. This is a key in helping children discover how to learn.
Freedom is essential as children begin to explore. The goal of a Montessori teacher is to have his/her students fall in love with the process of focusing their complete attention on something and mastering its challenge with enthusiasm. Work dictated by adults rarely results in such enthusiasm and interest so the key is to create an absolutely intriguing environment filled to the brim with opportunities for learning that the children are free to select for themselves.
Therefore the Montessori classroom is a very deliberately prepared environment that serves as a learning laboratory in which children are allowed to explore, discover, and select their own work. The independence children gain empowers them socially and emotionally and is intrinsically involved with helping them become comfortable and confident in their own abilities. They develop the confidence to ask questions, puzzle out the answer, and learn for themselves without needing to be “spoon-fed” by a teacher or adult.
While Montessori may look unstructured to some people, it is actually quite structured at every level. The idea is to provide freedom of choice within a clear structured environment. Just because the Montessori program is highly individualized does not mean that students can do whatever they want.
Montessori teaches all of the “basics,” along with giving students the opportunity to investigate and learn subjects that are of particular interest. They are given the responsibility and freedom to make their own choices. For preschool students external structure is limited to clear-cut ground rules and correct procedures that provide guidelines and structure needed for three- and four-year-olds. By the third year, or kindergarten year, teachers introduce a daily or weekly “contract” or similar system to allow students to keep track of what they have accomplished and what they have yet to complete. So while they may have some measure of freedom, they must choose within very clear expectations. As they demonstrate their ability to follow-through, they are gradually given more responsibility to manage their own time to complete expected assignments.
Learning how to manage one’s time at an early age is an important life skill and one that takes time to practice and hone.
The mixed-age classroom actually improves a Montessori teachers’ ability to individualize learning for each child. Because a Montessori teacher has the benefit of keeping a student in his/her classroom for several years and is not faced with an entire classroom of new students every year, Montessori teachers are able to truly get to know each student as individuals and develop a very good sense of each child’s learning styles and temperaments. They get to know their students’ strengths and weaknesses, interests, and personalities extremely well. They also are already familiar with each child’s parents and family members. Montessori teachers closely monitor their students’ progress and take note of particular interests. They frequently adapt lessons and/or introduce activities relating to topics they know are of keen interest to a particular student or to specific groups of students in the class.
Many families also choose to request the same Montessori teacher for younger siblings as older siblings have had to capitalize on the strong existing relationship already in place between teacher and family.
Montessori teachers focus on the child as a person, rather than on a daily lesson plan as is the focus in most traditional classrooms. Montessori teachers lead children to ask questions, think for themselves, explore, investigate, and discover. Their ultimate objective is to help their students to learn independently and retain the curiosity, creativity, and intelligence with which they were born. Montessori teachers don’t simply present lessons; they are facilitators, mentors, coaches, and guides.
Montessori teachers typically do not spend much time teaching lessons to the whole class at once; instead, the focus is to prepare and maintain the physical, intellectual, and social/emotional environment within which the children will work. A key aspect of this is the selection of intriguing and developmentally appropriate learning activities to meet the needs and interests of each child in the class. Montessori teachers usually present lessons individually or to small groups of children at one time, limiting lessons to brief and very clear presentations. The goal is to give students just enough to capture their attention and spark their interest so they are motivated to come back on their own to work the particular material they have been shown.
Parents are sometimes concerned that by having younger children in the same class as older ones, either the younger or older students may be shortchanged. They fear that the younger children will demand all of the teachers’ time and attention, or that the teacher will focus more on kindergarten curriculum for the five-year-olds and the three- and four-year-olds will not get the emotional support and stimulation that they need. It is understandable for parents to be concerned, however, Montessori schools throughout the world consistently find a mixed-age classroom actually enhances development for every level.
The Montessori environment is designed to address the developmental characteristics normal to children in each stage.
Montessori classes are set up to encompass a two- or three-year age span. This allows younger students the inspiration of older children, who in turn benefit from serving as role models. Each child learns at her own pace and will be ready for any given lesson in her own time, not on the teacher’s schedule of lessons. In a mixed-age class, children can always find peers who are working at their current level.
Children ideally and typically stay in the same class for three years; with two-thirds of the class normally coming back each year, so the classroom culture remains quite stable.
Because a child remains in one classroom for two or three years he/she develops a strong sense of community with classmates and teachers. The age range also allows especially gifted children the stimulation of intellectual peers, without requiring that they skip a grade or feel emotionally out of place.
Montessori students are given quite a bit of leeway to pursue topics that interest them, however, this freedom is not absolute. There are expectations for what a student should know and be able to manage by a certain age.
Montessori teachers know these standards and provide the structure and support necessary to ensure that students live up to expectations. If it appears that a child needs time and support until he or she is developmentally ready to progress in a particular area, Montessori teachers provide that support and/or helps the parent to identify resources to help their child acquire such support.
It is important to realize, however, that a young child observing other students engaged in a work rather than engaging directly is not necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes younger students need to observe others first to gain the confidence to make their own selection. Montessori teachers are keenly aware of every child in the classroom and gently guide reluctant students to activities they think will spark their interest and allow them time to get used to the idea. By not unduly pressuring a child, the spark of curiosity inevitably kicks in such that the child who was reluctant at first is soon fully engaged.
Dr. Montessori identified four “planes of development” with each having its own developmental characteristics and developmental challenges. The early childhood Montessori environment (age 3-6) is crafted to work with the “absorbent mind,” “sensitive periods,” and the tendencies of children at this stage of their development.
During these early years, learning comes spontaneously without effort. They learn a variety of concepts in a hands-on way, such that when they move into the elementary grades they have a clear, concrete sense of many abstract concepts. The Montessori approach inspires children to become self-motivated, self-disciplined, and to retain the sense of curiosity that so many children lose along the way in traditional teacher-led classrooms. Montessori students tend to show care and respect toward their environment and one another and are able to work at their own pace and ability. Students who have had the benefit of a three-year Montessori experience tend embrace a joy of learning that prepares them for further challenges.
While students can join a Montessori program at any age, we find that students get the most out of their Montessori experience if they join around age 3 and stay at least through the kindergarten year. Children entering at age four or five typically adapt into the classroom very well but may not have enough opportunity to work through all of the three-year curriculum and therefore may not have had enough time to develop the same skills, work habits, or values as students who have had the benefit of a three-year cycle.
Students who are 2-1/2 to 3 years old or are 3 years old but not ready for a preschool program may enroll two, three or five half days per week in our Prep Program. The goal of the Prep Program is to help younger students learn social and emotional skills to prepare themselves to join a Montessori preschool/kindergarten class.
Students enrolled in the Prep Program may enroll in the Montessori preschool program the following school year or may be ready to join a preschool program during the course of the school year (if a space is available and only after a detailed assessment of a student’s readiness for a successful transition) as determined by the Prep Program Teacher and School Director in conjunction with the child’s parents.
Two- and three-day programs are often appealing to parents who do not need full-time care; however, we, like most other Montessori schools, find that four and five-day programs create the consistency that is so important for a Montessori age 3-6 classroom. We therefore offer five half days (morning or afternoon), five full days or four-afternoon Montessori programs for students in our Montessori 3-6 classrooms.
The primary goal of a Montessori environment is to create a culture of consistency, order, independence and empowerment. Attending only two or three days per week makes creating such a classroom culture much more difficult to achieve and much more difficult for a child who attends only off and on to embrace and get the most from. In addition, if only two or three days per week are offered, a Montessori teacher would be required to track and work with many more total students and families. By having students attend more consistently, the bonds between teacher and child/teacher and family are stronger and the Montessori teacher can concentrate on a more reasonable total number of pupils each school year and focus on each students’ needs more effectively.
However, as a way to allow younger students to get ready for a more consistent routine, we have a Prep Program, which is intended for new students ages 2-1/2 to 3 years old. It is offered as a three or five-morning per week program. The goal of the Prep Program is to help younger students learn social and emotional skills to prepare themselves to join a Montessori age 3-6 class. Students enrolled in the Prep Program may enroll in the Montessori preschool program the following school year or may be ready to join a preschool program during the course of the school year (if a space is available and only after a detailed assessment of a student’s readiness for a successful transition) as determined by the Prep Program Teacher and School Director in conjunction with the child’s parents.
To provide additional flexibility once a student is age 3 we offer our Enrichment program as a supplement to a preschool or kindergarten student who is already enrolled in a Montessori class. Students can attend Enrichment classes one, two, three, four or five days per week as an add on to their Montessori half-day schedule. We also offer before and after school programs to help parents create a schedule that works best for their family needs.
We find that students do best when their schedule is as consistent as possible and will work with you to try to find the optimal schedule for your child.
STEAM Enrichment Classes (3-6 years; available only as an add-on half day class if enrolled in half day Montessori 3-6 for the other half of the day)
Before and After School Care (available before morning classes 7:30AM – 8:45AM and after afternoon classes have ended 3:30-6:15PM)
Clubroom – Available on non-school days only for students enrolled in Sammamish Montessori School. Clubroom is available on conference days, in-service days, school breaks and public/bank holidays such as Veterans Day. This program is an option for students enrolled in SMS and is paid separately based on the actual amount of time a student attends this program; it is not rolled into the tuition payment so that families not using the service are not paying for it.
We create plenty of fun activities such as arts and crafts, projects, plan music and dancing, games, computer time, outdoor recess and sports and sometimes cooking projects. Please help us plan well by reserving your child’s space in advance. That way we can determine what types of activities would work best for the group and we can make sure we have plenty of staff members in place and ready to supervise and work with the children.
The school is closed and we do not offer our Clubroom program on Labor Day, Thanksgiving Eve and Day, Christmas Eve and Day, New Year’s Eve and Day, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Presidents’ Day, Independence Day and Memorial Day.
If we cannot meet your request, we will contact you within two weeks to discuss any available options you may have. If you do not hear from us initially, you may assume your child is enrolled. Confirmations will be sent out along with Summer School registrations in late March, or sooner if possible. We will work on processing enrollments as quickly as we can, but it does take time. Thank you for your patience.
Montessori classes are available as five-day-per-week morning only or five-day-per-week full day options. There may be a limited number of four-day afternoon spaces for preschool-aged children available unless all spaces have been taken by students attending five days per week.
Our STEAM Enrichment program, which is offered as a complement to our Montessori program, is set up to allow families more flexibility. A student enrolled five half days in a Montessori class may add one, two, three, four or five half days in addition to a five half-day schedule. Kindergarten students must attend five days per week.
Our Prep Program is for new students who are starting at age 2-1/2 to 3 years old. It is offered as a three or five morning per week program. The goal of the Prep Program is to help younger students learn social and emotional skills to prepare themselves to join a Montessori preschool/kindergarten class. Students enrolled in the Prep Program may enroll in the Montessori preschool program the following school year or may be ready to join a preschool program during the course of the school year (if a space is available and only after a detailed assessment of a student’s readiness for a successful transition) as determined by the Prep Program Teacher and School Director in conjunction with the child’s parents.
Yes. Your child’s social and academic development is part of a three-year Montessori cycle with the same teacher and many of the same classmates so ideally your child will continue in the same class with the same teacher in his/her preschool through kindergarten 3 year cycle and for the early elementary 3 year cycle (grades 1-3). However, there is a small possibility that unforeseen circumstances may dictate a change.
Yes. If more than one child from the same immediate family attends at the same time, there is a 5% tuition reduction for each sibling.
Registration fees and tuition deposits are nonrefundable. Enrollment is a commitment for the entire school year and the commitment you make when you enroll your child, in turn, allows the school to make commitments to teachers and fulfill the many financial obligations the school must take on to provide your child’s space in the school.
Once your child has been enrolled, we honor our commitment to you by ensuring your child’s space for the school year. This often means turning away other students who would have enrolled in your child’s space had it been available. For this reason, please make sure you have made your decision to attend Sammamish Montessori School prior to submitting an enrollment contract for your child. Please notify the school in writing as soon as possible (before August 1 of the upcoming school year) if you plan to withdraw your child from the upcoming school year to release yourself from future tuition obligations (September onwards).
If you withdraw during the school year, you must provide written notice at least one month in advance of the first day of the month of your withdrawal (for instance, if leaving March 12, you would need to provide notice by February 1). If you are unable to provide one-month written notice of withdrawal, you must pay one tuition installment in lieu of notice.
Some parents facing job transfers or new job opportunities requiring a move out of our area have been successful in obtaining some consideration from their employers who are dictating the move or as part of a relocation package.
Can I register my child for kindergarten even if he/she is not 5 years old by August 31 of the school year?
No. However, your child will have the opportunity to do kindergarten level work and beyond in any of the Montessori classrooms even if registered as a preschool student. Parents of children with early September birthdays who have attended Sammamish Montessori School for two years and wish to petition for their child’s third Montessori year to be their kindergarten year may submit a request in writing to the director prior to registration. Your child will be evaluated by the director in consultation with your child’s teacher prior to the beginning of the new school year.
Early acceptance into kindergarten at SMS is not a guarantee of early acceptance into a public school the following year.
The primary Montessori curriculum is a 3-year cycle. The third year, or kindergarten year, is when all the learning that has taken place in the previous two years reaches fruition and a child’s knowledge begins to fall into place. Your child will be challenged to reach his/her potential by his/her Montessori teacher who knows your child incredibly well and so can provide precisely what is needed next. Children build upon what they have learned, experience rapid academic and social growth and their skill level dramatically increases when they are given the opportunity to consolidate their knowledge within the Montessori classroom. Third year students are ready to explode into more complex learning and discovery and they delve into a wealth of new and interesting materials. They are guided to take on more and more complex work, begin to learn time management skills and have an increased set of expectations and privileges in the classroom. These older children also reinforce their academic skills by helping another child, a well-documented way to consolidate knowledge.
Preschool children in a Montessori classroom look forward to being one of the “big kids” in the classroom. If he/she is put into a school where the kindergartners are looked down upon as being in the “baby class” his/her cycle of maturing is interrupted. It is especially unfortunate for a child who is a younger sibling at home to miss this opportunity to shine. This year of leadership gives a child immeasurable self-esteem and intellectual confidence.
Yes. By law each child enrolled in school must have a separate registration form.
No. We cannot process a registration request until payment is received, even if a registration form is submitted. You may provide a credit card number and authorization instead of a check if you prefer. If you are registering more than one child and need to make payment arrangements, please contact our Director or Business Manager.
Yes. Just come into the office, or call and we can put a form in your child’s bag, mail or email one as needed. You may also download a registration form from our website www.sammamishmontessori.com. Children enrolled in the school (and siblings or alumni) pay a registration/enrollment fee of $190 and are given registration priority (assuming forms are turned in by the re-registration deadline). The registration fee for new families is $250; processing for new students occurs after returning students have been registered.
A 3% discount is provided for school year tuition paid in full by September 10 if paid in cash or by check.
Our staff turnover has historically been very low and we do our best to provide consistency for students within each classroom. We will certainly keep you informed if there are any changes.
To register, complete the enrollment form and attach either a check, or give your credit card number and authorization to charge registration fees and tuition deposits (registration fee ($190) plus your tuition deposit of 10% of annual tuition.) Forms must be filled out completely, signed and accompanied by payment in order to be eligible to process for registration. You may choose to mail in your registration and payment so that it is received by the deadline or deliver it by hand.
All registrations received by the deadline will be collected and on the following day applications will be processed in priority order. Priority is given to full day students and then to half day students. Applications received after the deadline will be processed in the order they are received.
Tuition is a school year program fee that may be paid in a lump sum or divided into ten (monthly) installments for your convenience. It is calculated based on the total number of actual school days in the school year and does not include holidays, vacations, in-service, and conference days. When you enroll your child for the school year, you are making a commitment for the entire school year from the first day of school in September through the last day of school in June.
To secure a space for the school year 10% of the school year tuition must be paid upon registration as a nonrefundable deposit, along with the registration fee. If parents select the monthly payment plan, tuition payments for the balance of the school year are outlined in the table below. Please note that monthly payments each represent 1/10 of the total school year tuition and that while some months have more school days and others fewer, the amount paid each month is always the same so that it is easy for parents to remember and for the school to administer.
|Monthly Payment||Amount Due||When Due|
|Nonrefundable deposit||10% of school year tuition||upon registration|
|September||10% of school year tuition||September 1st|
|October||10% of school year tuition||October 1st|
|November||10% of school year tuition||November 1st
|December||10% of school year tuition||December 1st|
|January||10% of school year tuition||January 1st|
|February||10% of school year tuition||February 1st|
|March||10% of school year tuition||March 1st|
|April||10% of school year tuition||April 1st|
|May||10% of school year tuition||May 1st|
The enrollment process begins in January for returning families, however, placements of new families will begin after the deadline for returning families has passed and will continue on a first-come, first-served basis until all available spots are filled.
Except for those schools that are associated with a particular religious community, Montessori schools do not teach religion.
At our school we do not participate in or promote any kind of religious instruction. We learn about holidays, such as Christmas, Hannukah, Diwali, Ramadan, Eid, and Chinese New Year, or other festivals, but all on the basis of broadening cultural knowledge and understanding. We welcome parent involvement in bringing in first-hand knowledge and understanding of these celebrations into our classrooms, however, we do ask that parents tailor any presentations and discussions to focus on cultural rather than religious aspects. Our goal is to give children a taste of the experience each celebration or festival by sharing the special foods, songs, dances, games, and age-appropriate stories.
Montessori education fundamentally aims to inspire a child’s heart. So while Montessori does not teach religion, we do embrace the great moral and spiritual themes, such as love, kindness, joy, and confidence in the fundamental goodness of life. We encourage the child to begin the journey toward being fully alive and fully human. Everything is intended to nurture within the child a sense of joy and appreciation of life.
Art, music, dance, and creativity are integrated in the curriculum and children are given many opportunities to tap into their own creativity. While each piece of Montessori equipment has a specific purpose which children are shown how to use, once students have mastered a particular concept, they may be free to explore beyond the original lesson. For instance, once preschool/kindergarten students have gained a solid understanding of size with the sensorial materials, such as smallest to biggest, narrowest to widest, they can use the materials to create their own three-dimensional designs. Creative writing is encouraged once children have mastered basic writing concepts using the moveable alphabet for younger students or pencil and paper.
Imagination plays a central role, as children explore how the natural world works, visualize other cultures and ancient civilizations, and search for creative solutions to real-life problems. Children make up their own games and stories routinely during recess. Our playground playhouses and forts are an especially fun place for children to create their own creative worlds.
Our Enrichment program also provides ample opportunity for students to be creative. The curriculum spans art, crafts, music, dance, storytelling, acting, puppetry, cooking and other creative endeavors. Enrichment science allows students many hands-on opportunities to smell, touch, taste, manipulate and test things for themselves, thereby honing problem-solving and critical thinking skills.
With the observation that competition is an ineffective tool to motivate children to learn and to work hard, Montessori schools do not set students up to compete with one another as is done in many traditional school settings (competing for grades, class rankings, grading on a curve, special awards, etc.).
In a Montessori school, the emphasis is on collaboration rather than competition. Students discover their own innate abilities and develop a strong sense of independence, self-confidence, and self-discipline. In an atmosphere in which children learn at their own pace and compete only against themselves, they learn that making a mistake and learning from one’s mistakes is normal rather than something to be fearful of. Students learn that mistakes are a natural part of the learning process. Our hope is to give students the self-confidence and courage to try things beyond their comfort zones.
While competition is not formal or teacher created, Montessori children compete with each other every day, both in class and on the playground. Dr. Montessori, was herself an extraordinary student and a very high achiever and was never opposed to competition as an idea. She just recognized that using competition to create an artificial motivation to get students to achieve was ineffective.
Montessori schools allow competition to evolve naturally among children, without adult interference unless the children begin to show poor sportsmanship. The key is the child’s voluntary decision to compete rather than having it imposed on him by the school.
When evaluating students we are more interested in following their individual progress and keeping track of their capabilities than comparing them with their peers. So that a child’s progress may be followed throughout their three-year primary cycle, the same evaluation format is used from preschool right through kindergarten. For that reason, parents should keep in mind that in many areas children cannot be expected to have reached proficiency until their kindergarten year. Teachers keep daily records of everything your child does at school and can give you information about any aspect of your child’s work should you require more details.
For elementary students a different comprehensive elementary focused report format is utilized to track progress throughout the elementary cycle. So that a child’s progress may be followed throughout a three-year elementary cycle, the same comprehensive evaluation format is used each elementary year.
There are no tests or quizzes for preschool or kindergarten students. Montessori teachers carefully observe their students at work to identify areas they have mastered and areas they need additional practice or perhaps another lesson.
While Montessori students tend to score very well on standardized tests, Montessori educators as a whole are deeply concerned that many standardized tests are inaccurate, misleading, and stressful for children. Good teachers, who work with the same children for three years and carefully observe their work, know far more about their progress than any paper-and-pencil test can reveal.
The ultimate problem with standardized tests is that they have often been misunderstood, misinterpreted, and poorly used to pressure teachers and students to perform at higher standards. Although standardized tests may not offer a terribly accurate measure of a child’s basic skills and knowledge, in most countries test-taking skills are just another Practical Life lesson that children need to master.
Yes, in general, children who are highly gifted will find Montessori to be both intellectually challenging and flexible enough to respond to them as unique individuals. Students are able to socialize with a peer group that meets their social and emotional needs while given the opportunity to move on to more challenging lessons individually.
Returning students and any family members of past or present students may apply for enrollment before new students may enroll. Re-registration forms are sent home to all students several weeks in advance and are also available by request in the office and posted on our website.
Enrollment is then opened up to new students. Parents of new students are encouraged to tour the school during a regular school day before submitting an application. If there are any remaining vacancies not filled during the formal registration period they may be filled at any time thereafter.
Returning families are granted priority registration and are processed before new applicants as long as they submit the enrollment contract by the deadline.
Applications are first organized by requested schedule. If a student’s first choice is no longer available when their application is processed, they will be included on the list for their second choice. If we are unable to fulfill your request with any alternatives you have listed, you will receive a call as soon as possible within two weeks after the deadline to discuss other alternatives.
Any re-registration forms received after the deadline are processed in the order they are received. This same process also is used for new student registrations. After the new student registration deadline, any registration forms will be processed in the order they are received.
By providing an advanced enrollment period for returning students, we aim to provide them with their first choice of schedule, however, any applications received after the deadline will be processed in the order received.
Among applications received by the deadline, priority is granted as follows:
- Requests for full days have priority over half days within the Montessori 3-6 classrooms.
- Five day afternoon spaces will be filled before 4 day afternoon preschool spaces within the Montessori 3-6 classrooms.
- Returning students have priority over new students.
- Siblings of returning students have priority over new students.
If you are unable to get a morning class for instance, you may request an afternoon spot and request to be added to the morning waiting list. If we cannot fulfill your request we will contact you as soon as possible after the registration deadline to outline any options we may have for you.
Initially, no news is good news, as it means we were able to process your application as requested. If we are unable to fulfill your request as you have specified on your enrollment contract, we will contact you as soon as possible if we have an alternative to discuss with you. However, if we are able to give you the classes and days you request, you will receive a confirmation letter and summer school brochure near the end of March. You are welcome to contact us if you have questions.
Sammamish Montessori School serves children ages 3 years and older, starting in preschool and continuing through kindergarten. New students ages 2-1/2 to 3 who are not yet ready potty trained and for a preschool program may begin in our Prep Program until they are ready to transition into a Montessori Preschool/Kindergarten class.
Our summer program includes options for elementary age children up to 8 years old.
Sammamish Montessori School abides by the same age requirements as Washington state public school districts.
must be 5 years old on or before August 31 of the school year
must be 6 years old on or before August 31 of the school year
and so on.
Children must be potty trained to attend our Montessori Preschool/Kindergarten classes. To be considered potty trained children must demonstrate that they are able, on their own initiative, to go to the bathroom with little or no adult prompting or assistance. Our aim is to help children become independent in all aspects of their development, including managing their own basic needs. We of course are able and prepared to assist with an occasional accident and/or help a child get their clothing refastened. We also regularly remind children to remember to go the bathroom. However, chronic potty accidents detract from our ability to provide academic lessons to all of the children.
For new students ages 2-1/2 to 3 years old who are not yet potty trained and ready for preschool we offer a Prep Program, which is designed to prepare younger children so that they can eventually transition into a Montessori Preschool/Kindergarten class. The transition process will take place when the child has reached age 3 and can demonstrate social and emotional readiness and is adequately toilet trained. The child’s teacher and director will determine when to move a child from the Prep Program to a 3 – 6 Montessori preschool/kindergarten classroom. The transition is also only possible if there is space available at that time.
The emphasis in the Prep Program will be on socialization and independence. Our prep students will be exposed to a wide variety of practical life and sensorial activities, play, art, stories, singing, movement and music. Children in the Prep Program do not need to be fully potty trained, as potty training will be one of the skills taught.
Extended care is available to all students enrolled in preschool, kindergarten or elementary (during summer only if enrolled in summer Discovery camp). Students may arrive before or after their class time and will be supervised in our Clubroom. Children brought to school or picked up outside of regular class time must be signed in/out in the Clubroom. A parent or other parent-authorized pickup/drop-off designee must accompany children to and from the Clubroom.
Daily Class Times
Early Birds Clubroom
7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. (Students are escorted to their morning classrooms starting at 8:45 a.m.)
Morning session (applies to Prep, Morning Preschool and Morning Kindergarten.)
9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. (Drop off begins 8:45 a.m. and pick-up ends 11:45 a.m.)
Afternoon session (applies to Afternoon Preschool and Afternoon Kindergarten.)
12:45 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. (Drop off begins 8:45 a.m. and pick-up ends 3:30 p.m.)
Full Day (Applies to: Full Day Preschool, Half-Day Montessori + Half-Day Enrichment, Full Day Kindergarten and Elementary)
9 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. (Drop off begins 8:45 a.m. and pick-up ends 3:30 p.m.)
After School Club
3:15 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. (Students remaining at the end of class transition time are escorted from their classrooms to After School Club promptly at 3:30 p.m. )
Montessori children tend to be socially comfortable. Because they have been encouraged to problem-solve and think independently, Montessori children are typically happy, confident, and resourceful and settle quickly and easily into new schools once they have assimilated the different expectations and ground rules.
By the end of kindergarten, Montessori children are normally curious, self-confident learners who look forward to going to school. They are typically engaged, enthusiastic learners who honestly want to learn and who ask excellent questions.
By age six most have spent three or four years in a school where they were treated with honesty and respect with clear expectations and ground rules. Within that framework, their opinions and questions were taken quite seriously.
There is nothing inherent in Montessori that causes children to have a hard time if they are transferred to traditional schools. Some may be bored or not understand why everyone in the class has to do the same thing at the same time. However, most adapt to their new setting fairly quickly, make new friends, and succeed within the definition of success understood in their new school.