Q. How old must my child be to attend?
A. Children must be 2 years nine months old and able to use the bathroom independently (no pull ups during the day) in order to attend primary Montessori. For kindergarten children must be five years old before August 31st. Children must be six years old before August 31st in order to attend first grade. Elementary aged children are accepted for their grade level with or without previous Montessori experience.
Q. Why do we have tuition & what if I am unable to pay?
A. CHMS operates as a tuition based, private school. Tuition is due at the beginning of each month and there are payment plans available. Tuition may be spread out over ten months, twelve months or one full year payment. We are able to offer tuition assistance on a case by case basis.
Q. Why do parents provide snack?
A. Studies have shown that the cognitive function in children improves with proper nutrition throughout the day. We ask that each family assist in providing a healthy snack each day. We will provide a monthly snack calendar listing the items and amount requested. Our snacks consist of: a whole wheat grain, non-meat protein such as yogurt, cheese or humus and an item containing vitamin C.
Q. How does lunch time work?
A. Parents provide a healthy lunch packed in an insulated lunch box. CHMS will provide organic milk, orange juice or water as well as plates, napkins and cutlery. If your child is not enrolled all day there is a $25 monthly fee for lunch. This fee goes towards paying lunch teachers as well supplies.
Q. How do you track a child's progress?
A. Because Montessori education is based on a child's individual skill, progress and interest, we track each student's lessons and progress individually. We keep careful notes about lessons given, achievement and mastery. We hold parent teacher conferences in the fall and spring as well as invite parents in to observe their child in the classroom. Both of these opportunities provide parent's insight into their child's progress.
Q. How do you handle discipline at your school?
A. We believe in respecting and aiding a child, no matter what the situation. When a student makes a poor choice and is aggressive with their bodies or their words a teacher will help the child in being removed from the upsetting situation, calming down and working through their emotions. If an incident continues to occur, a formal report and meeting will be arranged with the child's guardian.
Q. Why Montessori?
A. Montessori is a method of education based on scientific observations and studies of how children learn. The method derives its name from the founder of the method, Dr. Maria Montessori, an Italian physician and educator, over 100 years ago. In a Montessori classroom children learn by being fully engaged with didactic materials and a daily work plan which follows personal interest as well as meeting educational goals. Our classrooms are thoughtfully arranged and our classroom guides trained in the uses and purpose of each material. We offer your child a unique environment in which their whole self will be developed. Though we do have an emphasis on academics, we also focus on the construction of the self; caring for ourselves, each other and our environment. A Montessori classroom is a busy place where each child is carrying out their important work. You might observe one child building numerals into the 1000s, while another is building words with a moveable alphabet. Some children might be engaged in a small group lesson with a teacher or creating a bouquet of flowers to beautify their classroom. Children in a Montessori school become independent in their self-care as well as receiving the intrinsic reward of mastering an academic skill. For further reading on Montessori education some good resources are: Montessori the science behind the genius, Montessori madmen, and the absorbent mind. Some excellent online resources are: Mariamontessori.com, AMI, or AMS.
Q. Is there standardized testing in elementary?
A. CHMS, as a private school in Idaho, is not required to give students standardized tests. The Montessori materials themselves have built in tests for comprehension and accuracy, therefore providing the teacher and student with continual feedback. We also have matched Montessori lessons with the current common core standards which ensures children are meeting grade level requirements.
Q. Is there homework in elementary?
A. CHMS follows the Montessori philosophy of not requiring nightly homework for elementary aged children, however we do believe that there is skill to be gained from at home projects with a due date and presentation at school. The students are provided with a monthly research project in which they will answer a series of questions, create an informative display, book, power point as well as a short speech about their project. These monthly research projects are meant to be done as independently as possible.
Q. What type of technology is available to students?
A. The elementary aged students are given lessons typing and computer proficiency.