Frequently Asked Questions
The most commonly asked questions about getting your little one off to a good start at SMS
Below are answers to frequently asked questions families often have regarding general information about SMS, the Montessori methodology, and our admissions. If you don’t find the answers you’re looking for, please feel free to contact us. We look forward to hearing from you.Contact Us
Our regular school hours are from 9:00 to 12:30PM (Half-day that will include lunchtime) and 9:00 to 3:30PM (Full day). For our PreK, Montessori+ and elementary full-day programs, Wednesdays have early dismissal at 2:00PM in-line with Lake Washington School District (LWSD) calendar.
We offer convenient Early Bird (8:00-9:00AM), After school Daycare (3:30-5:30PM) and Non-school day Daycare for our Toddler and Montessori Primary/Montessori+ students. Advance reservation is required, and we do not accept drop-ins.
We offer After school enrichment activities (Amazing Adventures) for our 4+ age students. This is a 5-day program from 3:30-5:30PM and has a mix of Arts & Crafts, Music & Dance, STEM, Drama and play activities.
We have exclusive partnerships with premier providers on the East side (Expression Arts, Studio East and Kidokinetics) who come to our school to provide these activities, so you don’t have to shuttle your child around.
No. Children should bring their own lunch – perishables with a cold pack, hot items in a thermos. Lunchtime supervision is provided free of charge to all children who attend a full-day program. AM and Full-Day children are expected to bring their own lunch.
We welcome parent volunteers who have been cleared through our MERIT Background checks and Immunization requirements, to support us during our lunch hours – inquire at our front desk.
We provide one of the best Teacher:Student ratio of any school in the area which is essential to provide personalized learning for your child.
Typically, our toddler classrooms can accommodate 14 students. Montessori Primary can accommodate 20 students, Montessori+ 30 students and lower elementary 15 students.
The average ratio across all classrooms is 6:1
Programs at SMS
SMS serves children ages 18 months to 9 years old.
Toddler – Ages: 18 months to 3 years (not yet toilet trained)
Montessori Primary – Ages: 3 to 6 Years (toilet trained)
Montessori+ (STEAM/Montessori Hybrid) – Ages: 4 to 6 Years
Lower Elementary (Grades 1-3) – Ages: 6 to 9 Years
Daycare – Morning 8:00-9:00AM, Evening 3:30-5:30PM, Non-school Days
Amazing Adventures – After-school enrichment classes – Daily 3:30-5:00PM, Ages 4+
Summer Program (mid-June to end-August) – Ages: 3 to 9 Years
Yes. We offer convenient Early Bird (8:00-9:00AM), After school Daycare (3:30-5:30PM) and Non-school day Daycare for our toddler and Primary/Montessori+ & Lower Elementary students.
Advance reservation is required, and we do not accept drop-ins.
Yes. We offer After school enrichment activities (Amazing Adventures) for our 4+ age students. This is a 5-day program from 3:30-5:00PM and has a mix of Arts & Crafts, Music & Dance, STEM, Drama and play activities.
We have exclusive partnerships with premier providers on the East side (Studio East, Expression Arts and Kidokinetics) who come to our school to provide these activities, so you don’t have to shuttle your child around.
Yes. Our summer program includes a choice of traditional Montessori classes, STEAM camp, Discovery camps and other enrichment activities, offered in two-week sessions from mid-June to end-August (10-weeks, split into convenient 5x 2-week sessions to accommodate vacation travel).
It is our hope that your child and SMS enjoy a positive, productive, and enriching relationship during your child’s tenure at SMS.
The re-enrollment period for returning students is now open. Between December 4th and January 15th, current families get priority enrollment with the same classroom & teacher and the $250 registration fees is waived.
Please use the ‘Submit SY2024-25 application’ link under Admissions to sign your SY2024-25 enrollment form.
We expect to reach capacity very quickly so please do not wait, Enroll NOW!
Current Families: Between December 4th and January 15th, current families get priority enrollment with the same classroom & teacher and the $250 registration fees is waived. Non-refundable registration fee of $250 will apply after January 15th.
New Families: There is a $250 registration fee for new families. However, applications submitted within 24 hours of a tour are eligible for the registration fee waiver ($250 value).
Yes. If siblings are both enrolled at SMS at the same time, there is a 5% tuition discount for each child. This discount cannot be combined with other promotional offers.
Starting SY2024-25, we are also offering a 5% tuition discount for each child of an SMS alumni parent. This discount cannot be combined with other promotional offers.
A 3% discount is provided for school year tuition paid in full (paid by cash or check) at the time of registration. All students are eligible for this payment discount and can be combined with other promotional offers.
One of the most important investments a family can make is in their child’s education. Our pricing philosophy is to be transparent and upfront with our tuition & fees structure with no hidden charges. All of the activities that happen during the school day (Family retreats, Spanish classes, Petting Zoo, Year-end Carnival, Field trips etc.) are all offered for FREE and included in our program pricing.
While there are many schools that claim to teach “Montessori” – they are not officially Montessori-Accredited, nor do they hire Montessori-Accredited & trained Teachers. SMS has 25+ Montessori-Accredited teachers with 30+ supporting staff, an average tenure of 6+ years and an average student-to-teacher ratio of 6:1. SMS is one of only nine Accredited Montessori Schools in Washington state.
Accreditation requires continuously maintaining high standards of Quality in teacher training, school facilities and tracking student progression in social, academic and emotional development, and is independently evaluated by the American Montessori Society (AMS).
Our program pricing is very competitive to other Accredited Montessori schools in the Redmond, Bellevue and Sammamish areas. For additional details, please contact us.
Monthly payments for SY2024-25 starts end-June. This advance time allows the school to prepare for the coming school year with teacher recruitment, classroom setup etc. We have reduced the enrollment deposit to $1000 this year to accommodate for the advance time.
Starting SY2024-25, our Montessori Primary, Montessori+ and Lower Elementary classes will have an ‘early-release’ at 2PM on Wednesdays. This does not apply to our Toddler classes. We are implementing this for two reasons,
(1) This aligns us with the Lake Washington School District (LWSD) schedule and many SMS families have siblings in LWSD schools. Closing early at 2PM on Wednesdays allows those families to stick with their daily pick-up routine.
(2) It allows our teachers to prepare activities for their classrooms and enhance the personalized learning they provide our children. Our teachers currently utilize time outside of class hours, mostly late evenings, to prepare and we believe this additional time will enhance the overall learning experience for our children.
To accommodate families who do not want to pick-up their children at 2PM on Wednesdays, we offer a ‘Wednesday-only Daycare’ for $25 per week.
To ensure this additional Wednesday Daycare does not increase costs for our SMS families, we have decreased our monthly tuition by $100 per month.
As part of the Financial regulations passed in congress, credit card companies were mandated to significantly increase their fraud and security protections, and those mandates are coming into force starting next year. Most of the charges for these increased protections are being passed on to merchants. We had one increase in October and the next is coming in April. The Wall-Street Journal ran a report about this in August 2023.
Starting SY2024-25 (next school year), we are offering the ACH Bank Transfer option that has no additional fees. We will also continue to accept check or cash, and has no additional fees. Utilizing credit card will incur an additional 3% charge starting September 2024 Tuition.
There are no additional credit card charges for SY2023-24 (current school year).
Yes, you can request for a particular teacher or classroom. We’ll do our best to meet your request.
Returning students will be given priority in assigning the same classroom for continuity of teacher and classroom environment.
We aim to balance our classrooms by the age and gender of the students, based on the available spots.
The non-refundable deposit of $1000 can only be applied to last month tuition, and as such, any cancelation prior to that will result in forfeiting the deposit for any reason. We are unable to provide any exception to this policy.
We require 60-day notice period from the payment due date for any modifications or withdrawals during the school year. Regular tuition payments are due during the notice period.
Montessori classrooms embrace a diverse age range, spanning two to three years. This structure inspires younger students by allowing them to observe their older peers, who simultaneously thrive from being mentors. Every child progresses at their unique rate, ready for specific lessons when they are, rather than adhering to a predetermined teacher’s schedule. Within this mixed-age setting, students can effortlessly connect with peers who match their current academic level.
In the Montessori approach, consistency plays a pivotal role in fostering a child’s sense of order and accountability. For many children, the classroom becomes an extension of their home, a space they deeply care about and wish to upkeep. During these impressionable years, maintaining a routine is paramount. It’s this foundation of consistency that prepares them for future learning. Challenges faced later on, like difficulties with discipline or focus, can often be traced back to a lack of a steady educational foundation.
SMS meticulously crafts its programs to guide children from a world of wonder in childhood to a confident and positive adulthood. Our Early Childhood Program spans three years, where preschool and kindergarten students share the same learning environment. Our authentic Montessori classrooms buzz with energy, housing developmentally apt materials and teaching techniques tailored for each individual. It’s an environment that’s both intellectually challenging and nurturing. In such diverse age groups, students naturally motivate one another.
Our three-year cycle also extends to the Lower Elementary programs. Here, students from 1st to 3rd grade learn together. Regardless of their age, children seamlessly soak in the lessons around them. Personalized teaching amplifies the depth of their understanding, and student-led exploration propels both academic and social growth.
This holistic approach presents a plethora of advantages. Children advance at a pace that suits them, free from grade-level labels. The younger ones draw inspiration from their senior peers, keen to delve into the activities they observe. Conversely, older students consolidate their knowledge and gain unparalleled academic confidence by mentoring their juniors. These mixed-age settings also foster enhanced social and emotional skills. They cultivate classroom communities where every child has a voice and collectively decides the guiding principles of their shared space.