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orangekell 03-11-2013 11:50 AM

Montessori families
Hi! My two children attend an excellent Montessori school here. We are moving in a couple months and will look for a new Montessori school when we get there. I know that everyone's interpretation of Montessori can be a little different. So I wonder, if you are a Montessori momma, what specifically do you look for in your school? I want to put together a list of questions and specific attributes to look for when observing/touring.


Shimpie 03-11-2013 12:06 PM

Re: Montessori families
When hunting for schools, visited each one in person. I asked about teacher to student ratios and the schools criteria for qualifed teachers, teacher's aids, etc. I asked for a sample of the daily class schedule and yearly calendar to see when the school had scheduled holidays and winter/spring breaks. I asked whether daycare was offered during those off times. I also ask about snacks/lunch, whether it was provided or if we had to pack our own.

Newton 03-11-2013 02:16 PM

Re: Montessori families
In Canada we have a Montessori certification, so I looked for that. I also looked at student/teacher ratio, set up and size of classroom, other extras (music, phys Ed, French), the "feel" of the school, how open they are to parent communication, reputation, cost has to factoring there, and opportunity to continue in Montessori past casa. Good luck!

orangekell 03-15-2013 09:06 AM

Re: Montessori families
I wish we had Montessori certification. I think that would help! Thanks for the suggestions.

Newton 03-15-2013 09:50 AM

Re: Montessori families
It would be hard with no certification, it is an optional one here, not mandatory but it is helpFul. Without that, it is the intangible, feel, ratio, look of place, quality of materials I would look at. Good luck!

cmarsh31 03-15-2013 10:07 AM

Re: Montessori families
Why don't you have Montessori certification there? The teachers at our school are certified.

meeshkasheeba 03-15-2013 11:55 AM

Re: Montessori families
Our school and teachers are Montessori certified so i don't understand them not being certified. We were rather focused on cost because two kids in private school is flat out expensive. We also asked about ratios (which haven't exactly been stuck to), meals (we provide lunch daily with the exception of Pizza Day and snack for the whole class once a quarter) extras and their costs (our school offers art $11 wk, Chinese $10wk, piano $12wk , recorder $5 wk, swimming $16wk , band $8 wk, and drama $5wk all at an extra cost) Playtime out side was also important, but was lower on the totem than classroom set up.

We chose the less expensive after looking at 3 schools. The first school is 1 mi away from home and outside looking in is best hands down. They have an amazing outside play area with great musical instruments out side, play houses, slides, games, and rock beds for climbing. It looks great. All the building are red "school houses" to house two classes each. They provide classes to 3-14yo children in Primary, Lower Elem, Upper Elem, and Middle School. Food was provided, and there were tons of extra curricular activities to choose from. The price is $10,000 a year from each child may-aug.

The second school is 5 mi from us, $5600 a year for each child may-aug but at this time is only providing primary and it will be two years before they add lower elem and 5 before they add upper elem. I didn't like that they were so new and I didn't want to risk something happening and them not adding the higher classes.

The 3rd school (the one we chose) is 2.5 mi away. It has 3 primary classes with 9:2, 13:2, and 15:2 ratios (originally was 8:2, 12:2, and 12:2) The playground is modest, with two swings, a climber, a metal bars climber, a ball game thing, and tetherball along with space to play soccer. They offer a few different choices for extra curriculars at an extra cost. The director is also a teacher (so we dont pay for someone to just sit in a office) This school also had you do a preview day where the student goes to an entire day of school so they can see how it works. Cost is $5250 for the first and $4750 for each after for may-aug. This averages out to half what the first school was asking and I don't feel that what they have to offer is work double the tuition.

I don't know how many Montessori's you have to choose from but here, although we have 3 so close, it was a no brainer for us which one to go with. The expensive one face value has more to offer, but they didn't have a good feel to us and were so much more expensive I just couldn't go there.

orangekell 03-21-2013 08:52 PM

Re: Montessori families
I'm sorry, I guess I should have clarified. The teachers at my children's school are all Montessori certified. The school is not, and is not required to be. Schools here do not have to be Montessori certified to use the Montessori name. But the school where my children attend is an excellent school that adopts the Montessori philosophy in a way that really clicks with our family. It appears that everyone has their own interpretation of Montessori and how to apply it. Something that I think is good and bad...just depends on the interpretation.

Thanks for the feedback all!

~Laura~ 03-21-2013 09:32 PM

Re: Montessori families
I toured the two Montessori schools in our area. Besides all the regular things to look for at schools, I watched how the teacher interacted with her students and how she dealt with any issues that arose. We didn't go that route but the teacher's personality was the deciding factor. HTH

Amandamama 03-22-2013 08:21 AM

Re: Montessori families
Depends on what type of area you're moving to. A big city, you should be able to find one. There are none near us in our state for a few hundred miles (upstate NY). Only option here for a private school is one Catholic school.
We homeschool:). Hope you find a good one.

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