Frequently Asked Questions

Students

What is the difference between a typical school (public or private) and a Montessori school?

What make Montessori schools so special?

What is the best age to start at a Montessori school?

How many classrooms do you have?

What are the ages of the students in the classrooms?

How do children interact in a multi-age classroom?

What are the school hours for each classroom?

What programs or general skills do students acquire in their Montessori training?

What specific areas of study do student pursue?

What materials do they students use, and are they Montessori approved?

How is the education customized to the uniqueness of my child?

Is diversity encouraged at your school?

How are conflicts resolved in the classroom, and how is disciple handled?

Do students engage in physical activity in addition to their classroom work?

What do your students like the most about coming to school?

What if I need to bring my child to school before it begins or pick them up after it ends?

Where do students typically go after they leave McDonald Montessori School?

Staff

Are your teachers accredited? Is this a legitimate Montessori school?

What is the teacher-to-student ratio?

When was McDonald Montessori School established?

Tuition

When is tuition due?

Is there a payment plan?

May I enroll after August 1st?

May I pay upfront for the entire school year?

Is the tuition refundable?

Are there any additional fees?

Do you offer any tuition discounts?

Do you offer scholarships?

Do you prorate tuition?

Students

What is the difference between a typical school (public or private) and a Montessori school?

There are many differences between a typical school and a Montessori school. The most noticeable difference might be that in a traditional school, all the students work on the same lesson plan at the same time. A Montessori school tailors the child’s development to their individual needs and abilities. To learn more about what makes a Montessori school different, please continue reading through our frequently asked questions.

What make Montessori schools so special?

Montessori schools are celebrated because of their unique approach to education that values the individual strengths of the child, as well as their interaction with the community around them. Classrooms are designed to hold multiple ages and promote the diversity of the world. Younger and older children can interact while learning with and from each other. The child’s education, while teaching a variety of skillsets, is customized to their individual development, and Montessori materials have been designed for the child’s maturity in multiple area of their life.

What is the best age to start at a Montessori school?

There is never a wrong age to introduce the principles developed by Maria Montessori (clearly, even many adults could benefit from these concepts). Ideally, a child will begin their Montessori training at the age of 3 or 4. Older students are still welcome in their respective classes.

How many classrooms do you have?

We have two classrooms for Children’s House (ages 3-6), a classroom for Lower Elementary (ages 6-9), a Before Care and After Care room, plus space for a bunny, and a bearded dragon.

What are the ages of the students in the classrooms?

One of the benefits of a multi-age classroom is that there are many opportunities for peer-to-peer teaching, as an older student can interact with and demonstrate a concept to a younger student. For example, a Children’s House 3-year-old (morning only student) might be working on a concept using bead chains, and a 5-year-old (extended day student) might show the younger student how to complete a concept. Children helping other children teaches everyone that they are not only individuals, but also part of a larger community in which they must interact.

How do children interact in a multi-age classroom?

The learning environments are multi-age classrooms, consisting of Children’s House (ages 3-6) and Lower Elementary (ages 6-9). Children’s House can further be divided in Morning Only Children (ages 3-4) and Extended Day Children (ages 5-6).

What are the school hours for each classroom?

The Children’s House [Morning Only] (ages 3-4) students are in school from 8:30 AM to 12 PM.
The Children’s House [Extended Day] (ages 5-6) students are in school from 8:30 AM to 3 PM.
The Lower Elementary students (ages 6-9) are in school from 8:30 AM to 3 PM.

What programs or general skills do students acquire in their Montessori training?

Students are taught a variety of skills which serves as a foundation for their development in such area as:

1) Practical Life (internal independence and external care of others)
2) Sensorial (developing senses, such as seeing, hearing, touching, tasting, and smelling)
3) Language (exploring letters, sounds, handwriting, and spelling)
4) Mathematics (developing concepts such as numeration, place value, fractions, addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division).

Please see our Children’s House section “What Your Child is Learning” for more details.

What specific areas of study do student pursue?

All Montessori students pursue a wide variety of educational endeavors. Using a variety of materials, Children’s House students explore concepts in math, reading, writing, geography, science, and activities of daily life at their leisure.

Lower Elementary students will continue these same concepts at a more advanced level in areas such as math, geometry, reading, writing, grammar, word study, geography, history, and science. Lower Elementary students enjoy additional curriculum experiences like PE, a foreign language, and art.

What materials do they students use, and are they Montessori approved?

Yes, all materials, with which the students use throughout the day, are the same traditional Montessori materials found all over the world. Please feel free to see a sampling of the Children’s House materials, as well as the Lower Elementary materials.

How is the education customized to the uniqueness of my child?

When a child enters a Montessori education, a 6-week orientation is given to the child which demonstrates how they can successfully work as an individual. For example, a child might be given a lesson with the Tower of Cubes. They can then practice that lesson over and over until they have achieved a significant amount of development in that area, while the teacher and/or assistants are aiding the child and watching their progress.

This style of teaching sets the child up for individualized success. After an appropriate period, a child might have 20 plus different lessons which they have mastered. While the teacher and/or assistants are working with other children, the child can continue to grow on their own or begin working with other children on the same concepts.

One of the benefits to this style is that children can be working on their individual lesson designed for them. One child might be ready to work on a particular concept, while another might not yet be equipment to handle the material. Whatever concept in which the child is ready to engage, is the lesson they are working on at that time. We give them the skills to work individually, figure out what they want to do, get the materials, work with them, and properly put them away.

Is diversity encouraged at your school?

Yes, the world by its nature is diverse, and we strive to prepare students to be good citizens in the world. For example, if a student’s family celebrates a particular holiday or custom, we encourage them to bring in information, objects, or even food about the holiday. We want to expose children to other religions, customs, and experiences that they might not normally be able to have.

How are conflicts resolved in the classroom, and how is disciple handled?

The Montessori approach to resolving conflict as well as handling discipline is to find a natural and logical consequence that the child can understand. For example, if a child runs across a classroom, they will be asked to redo the motion and walk instead. If a child draws on a table, they will be asked to clean it. The child learns that natural consequences are the results of their actions, and they must take responsibility for the choices they make. Resolving conflict between students would be handled in a similar manner, keeping in mind the larger goal of instilling empathy and grace within the child as they interact with those around them.

Do students engage in physical activity in addition to their classroom work?

Yes, each school day includes active outside play time, as movement is essential to the Montessori curriculum

What do your students like the most about coming to school?

We often hear that students enjoy interacting with other children of differing ages. Younger children get to interact with and learn from older ones. This provides an opportunity for developing social skills as well as provide additional perspectives to their educational development.

What if I need to bring my child to school before it begins or pick them up after it ends?

We offer Before Care and After Care for both Children’s House and Lower Elementary students. Before Care is between 7:30 AM – 8:30 AM for any child currently enrolled. For After Care, the child may stay up to 5:30 PM once their particular education is completed for the day. The amount of care needed is reflected in the cost of tuition.

Where do students typically go after they leave McDonald Montessori School?

Some students will go to a public school, private school, or to another Montessori school. Each child’s educational journey is unique to them. At McDonald Montessori School, about half of the kids from Children’s House (ages 3-6) remain and continue on to Lower Elementary (ages 6-9).

Staff

Are your teachers accredited? Is this a legitimate Montessori school?

Yes, all lead staff members are accredited Montessori teachers, and each teacher educates to the age group for which they are accredited and certified. Additionally, all support staff are trained and educated in the Montessori philosophy and method.

What is the teacher-to-student ratio?

Each class can have as many as 30 children with 1 teacher and an assistant. With traditional education, where all the students are following the same lesson plan, a low teacher-to-student ratio is preferred. With a Montessori education, however, this ratio is considered more than acceptable, as children are taught to work as individuals, as well as having specific group activities during the day. Please see our answer to: How is the education customized to the uniqueness of my child?

When was McDonald Montessori School established?

Ellen McDonald established McDonald Montessori School on August 20, 2002, with seventeen students ranging from ages three to six.

Tuition

When is tuition due?

Tuition can be either paid in full by July 1st, or our payment plan may be utilized (See Below)

Is there a payment plan?

Yes, if enrolled by August 1st, we offer a ten equal payment installment plan.

May I enroll after August 1st?

Tuition payments will be adjusted accordingly with a final payment on June 1st.

May I pay upfront for the entire school year?

Unless you are using our payment plan, tuition must should be paid in full by July 1st.

Is the tuition refundable?

Potential refunds are given on a case-by-case basis.

Are there any additional fees?

There is a non-refundable enrollment fee of $400 per child, per calendar school year that is due with the contract.
This fee is not prorated.

Do you offer any tuition discounts?

We offer a 5% sibling discount. This is automatically applied when more than one child in a family is enrolled. We love and appreciate our military families, so we offer a 5% military discount to our active-duty service members. Discounts may not be combined.

Do you offer scholarships?

There is a Kerry-Beth Kirschbaum scholarship fund, which is limited monetarily and often allocated by March.

Do you prorate tuition?

We prorate tuition for the school year after an October 1st enrollment start date.

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