- CLASSROOM COMMUNICATION
- ARRIVALS AND DEPARTURES
- BRINGING OBJECTS TO SCHOOL
- DAILY SCHEDULE
- LUNCH PROGRAM
- PICK UP PERSONS
- PARKING LOT
- INFORMAL CONFERENCES
- SCHEDULED PARENT-TEACHER CONFERENCES
- CHILDREN’S EVENINGS
- PARENT FORUMS
- INDOOR CLOTHING
- OUTDOOR CLOTHING
- CLASSROOM PARENT VOLUNTEERS
- TUITION PAYMENTS
There are a few important means of communication that will be used throughout the school year.
• First of all, you will receive an e-mail at least one week prior to any major classroom event informing you of the details, times and opportunities for participation for students and families.
• Additionally, there is a white board and bulletin board right outside the classroom door. Daily events will be recorded there to inform you of what is happening in the classroom. Various sign-up sheets and school information may be posted on the bulletin board as well. Under the bulletin board will be posted a calendar of classroom and school events.
• To the left of the classroom door are “parent pockets” with one assigned to each family. Feel free to use these to communicate with each other. Occasionally you will receive communication from the office in this location.
While we would love to provide daily accounts of each child’s progress, it is not possible due to the number of students and the importance of the long term process that occurs within the Montessori classroom. A daily or weekly “snapshot” of the child is not very helpful in assessing long term growth.
If your child is in the lunch program, he or she can look forward to healthy, homemade lunches daily. Our cook uses many fresh fruits and vegetables, makes bread and pizza crust from scratch and entices children to try new foods regularly. Lunch is followed by a period of outside play (weather permitting) and morning children may be picked up between 12:15 and 12:30. PM students who are in the lunch program may be dropped off for lunch between 11:15 and 11:20.
Pick Up Persons
At the beginning of the year you will be asked to fill out a form listing the names of those trusted persons who have regular permission to pick up your child. We keep the forms in a notebook in the classroom, and your child will always be released to those on that list. If someone who is not on the list will be picking up your child, you are asked to provide a written note to that effect. Your child will not be released without such written notice, and we will request identification from that person at pick-up time.
No preschool child is allowed to leave the building without an adult. When your child is released to you at the Dutch door you are responsible for him or her. Do not allow any child outside without accompaniment. This rule includes not allowing your child to run ahead of you and out the door alone. We also request parents not observe or speak to your children from outside the 3 playground fence while they are in our care, as it is distracting to the children on the playground. Also, for safety concerns, please do not leave younger children unattended in your car, and always turn off your car engine.
We encourage children to be at school every day (except in case of illness). Absences are hard on the children as the developmental needs of this age include consistency and a sense of order. Regular attendance greatly influences the social life of the class, affecting a child’s relationship with his or her peers and teachers. If you know your child will not be in school, please let one of the teacher’s know in advance and we will write the information in our daily calendar. As each child is a critical part of our classroom community, we will post a note by each absent child’s photo letting their peers know where they are. This is a great way to develop the sense of community within the classroom.
If your child has a contagious disease please keep him or her at home, and call the school to let us know. E-mailing the teacher is fine if you know the night before, but if your child wakes up ill, please alert the office, as I do not check my e-mail again after 7:00 in the morning. A slight cold or runny nose is usually not reason enough for a child to miss school, but each family will have to use judgment here. Children who attend school are generally well enough to go outdoors to play. In the half-day preschool we administer no medications to the children. If your child needs medicine, a parent must administer it before or after the class.
Passing comments at the door about a child’s progress are generally all right, but anything more involved should be taken up with the head teacher outside of school, preferably by e-mail. Please do not hesitate to request a conference and to express any concerns you may have, especially in the early weeks of your child’s adjustment to school.
Scheduled Parent-Teacher Conferences
Check the school calendar for conference dates. You will have two conferences with your child’s teacher(s) each year. In the fall and spring semester, conferences for parents of 3-year-old children (the youngest group) will be held one day a couple of weeks prior to regular conferences, during school hours. We will have regular school on these days, and the conference will just be with Mrs. Cusack. Parent-Teacher Conferences for children in the middle groups and kindergarten groups will be on the scheduled November and April conference days, when we will not have class. Sign up for conferences will take place through the office prior to the scheduled dates.
Twice a year the classroom will host a Children’s Evening to which children may bring parents and/or other guests to visit their classroom. They will demonstrate the materials with which they have been working and share their favorite parts of school. These events will end with a short group meeting.
Twice a year we prepare a Parent Forum, in which all parents are invited to come for an evening of information about Montessori education. These meetings are informal, fun and well-attended, and provide a chance to find out more about what your child is learning. Forums are also an opportunity to get to know your parent group and school parent community.
Each child should be dressed in comfortable clothing that can be dirtied with paints or art materials of various kinds. While the school is temperature-controlled, we ask that your child dress appropriately for the outdoor weather. The youngest children should bring a spare change of clothes to be kept at school, including pants, underpants, socks, and a shirt, marked in a bag with his/her name on it.
Because children are so easily influenced and distracted by what is printed or pictured on their own or others’ clothing, we ask that your child not wear clothing that depicts violence or images from popular culture. We also request that your child not come to school wearing dress up clothes, such as princess dresses or crowns. We feel that simplifying clothing helps both the staff and the children to settle in more readily to classroom concentration.
The children will play outside daily unless it is raining hard or the temperature is below 20
degrees. Between 10 and 20 degrees the children are given a choice to go out. In the winter each
child should have mittens, a hat or hood, and boots when there is a significant amount of snow. All
outdoor items should be clearly marked with the child’s name. Bulky items such as snowpants
should be carried in a cloth bag with your child’s name clearly printed on it.
Tennis shoes, sturdy shoes with good soles, or sandals with back straps are recommended. Please be sure your child’s footwear is well-fitting, and appropriate for climbing and outdoor play. Winter and rain boots are not allowed in the classroom as footwear, but of course, are appropriate for outdoor play when rain, or snow and ice are on the ground. Hard-soled, well-fitting, no-nonsense slippers with a back are fine for in class, and may be kept in your child’s clothing cubby yearround.
We will provide crackers, cheese and fruit daily, along with food preparation works at times throughout the year.
Around the middle of each month we set aside one day, on which to celebrate the birthdays that fall during that month. You will receive an e-mail from us at the beginning of the month to detail the birthday routine. In general, our procedure is that each family recites a short history of the child’s life, as the child, holding the globe, walks slowly around the ellipse to represent the passage of time. After each birthday child has done this, we will share a nutritious snack provided by the families involved. At the beginning of the month we ask each family to send a baby picture of their birthday child, which we will display for the month on a bulletin board. For those children with summer birthdays a day will be set aside in May to celebrate the summer birthdays all together.
We encourage parents to ask their children not to talk about home birthday parties at school, and, so that feelings do not get hurt, do not exclude individual children from your child’s age group from home parties. For example, if your child is a four-year-old girl, and she wants to invite three of the other four-year-old girls, excluding only one, please encourage her to invite the fifth, as well. Many hurt feelings arise from birthday party talk and exclusions.
Classroom Parent Volunteers
At the beginning of the year there will opportunities to sign up to volunteer, including help with classroom laundry, recycling, sewing, pencil sharpening, dusting, and collecting and shelving our library books. These jobs apply towards your required parent volunteer hours. Parents who have previously had a job will be given first priority for these positions.
Tuition is automatically due at the beginning of each month; no notices are sent. You can mail or drop off your payment at the office.