Choosing a school for your children

 
 

Choosing a School
The most important advice we can give is to choose a public or private school that reflects the values of your family. Your school choice for your child's most formative years is not only a significant decision, but one that will have lasting influences far beyond the years spent at the school.

Choosing the proper school for your child is an intensely personal decision whether your priority is to have your child "get ahead" or to simply become a smart, confident, and responsible individual. We encourage you to select a school by seeking the best match between your child's needs, parental expectations, and the schools' philosophy, program, and services.

 

Evaluating Potential Schools
Visit the school. Meet with the administrators, talk to the staff, observe the children, and observe the classroom environment. Get an understanding of the admission process and the schools goals, philosophy, program and practices, expectations for children, and expectations for parental involvement in a child's education. Above all, observe, ask questions, and get the answers you need to make the correct decision for your family.

 

What Should I Look For?
While the following is not all encompassing, it should give you a start. We encourage you to visit us, observe, and pose questions to us as well as one or two other quality schools in the area.

 

- What does the classroom environment look like?

The classroom should be bright, warm, and inviting. The best environments are filled with plants, art, music, and books. Classrooms should be equipped with intriguing learning materials, mathematical models, science apparatus and projects, maps, charts, and have an art area.
 

- How do the students act and interact amongst themselves and with the teacher?

The students should clearly seem to feel at ease as they select and pursue independent and group activities.
 

- How are the curriculum areas organized and what do they contain?

Montessori classrooms - or any other classroom for that matter - should be organized into several areas that include: language arts (reading, literature, grammar, creative writing, spelling, and handwriting); mathematics and geometry; everyday living skills; sensory-awareness exercises and puzzles; geography, history, science, art, music, and movement. In some cases, areas such as music may be in a separate room - just make sure the school makes the key curriculum areas readily available to each child.


- What are the classroom demographics?

Optimal learning environments reflect a diversity and a balance in gender, ages, ethnic backgrounds and socioeconomic statuses.

 

- What is the student to teacher ration?

A school's ability to maintain a relatively low student to teacher ratio is a key indicator of the quality of the educational environment. Visit the schools you are considering and not only observe the student to teacher ratio, but the quality and time of the interaction between the teachers and the students.

 

- What are the qualifications of the teaching staff?

Verify that the staff hold credentials that are age appropriate for the students in the classroom.

 
 

Ask the school director and the teachers some of the following questions:

- What do you consider to be the strengths of the school?
- What are your expectations of children that graduate from the early childhood/pre-primary program?
- What opportunities does the school offer parents to become involved with their child's education?
- What do parents who are pleased with this school find most appealing?
- Are there any areas that you see as needing additional resources or attention? How will the school address these areas?
- How long have the teachers been at the school?
- Do the school administrators and staff members make themselves available to the parent throughout the school year? If so, how?
- Are the parents free to visit the school and observe their child in the classroom environment?
- Do the children have periods of uninterrupted work time so they may complete their work cycle?

 

We often hear parents inquire, "I've visited a few schools, but how do I really know if the school is providing my child with an education based upon the true Montessori principles?"

You may wish to verify that the school is an AMS (American Montessori Society, www.amshq.org) or AMI (Association Montessori Internationale, www.montessori-ami.org) member school.

The name "Montessori" has not been registered as a trademark - anyone can open a school under the Montessori name or profess to use Montessori instructional methods. This does not mean that a particular "Montessori" school is not a quality school. Membership is a voluntary process and a school may choose to not be a member of AMS, AMI, or some other recognized Montessori organization.

An AMS member school like Montessori New Beginnings Academy, however, is required to adhere to strict standards and policies as an assurance that your child will receive high quality educational instruction from qualified teachers in an appropriate classroom environment.

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

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4660 Legacy Drive, Plano, TX, 75024-2130 - Phone: (972) 491-1230 - Fax: (972) 491-1240

Hours of Operation: Monday - Friday 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

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