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Pre-Primary FAQ

Q: How are parents informed of their child's progress?
A: Our teachers keep in close contact with the parents and communicate the students' academic success and social integration on a regular basis, both informally and through parent conferences and Progress Reports. On Fridays, the teachers send home a pocket folder with each child containing work completed that week.
Q: When is the best time to talk with my child's teacher?
A: We encourage you to communicate freely and frequently with your child's teachers and to observe your child's classroom as often as you would like. If you have time at the end of the school day, a quick, informal chat is a good way to stay in contact. For more in-depth quality time, please feel free to schedule appointments to meet with your child's teachers. 

During morning arrival, the teachers' attention needs to be focused with the children and we strive to keep interruptions to a minimum. If you need to speak with a teacher in the morning, please make arrangements before school begins, if possible.
Q: What values do you teach as part of your program?
A: The love of learning is at the core of Montessori values. Children and teachers work together to develop guidelines to create an environment conducive to work and growth. Speaking and acting with kindness, integrity and respect is our top priority. The children are engaged in the process of developing internal discipline, insight and growth.

Some of the other values integrated into our program are citizenship, responsibility, independence, cooperation, teamwork, tolerance for differences, peaceful resolution of conflicts, compassion and gratitude.
We are a nonsectarian school and do not teach religion, nor discriminate on the basis of religious affiliation. We value diversity.
Q: Why is it so important that my child become self-directed?
A: Our students are learning to evaluate choices, make decisions and prioritize. They are learning to trust their own good judgment and develop the ability to make wise choices. This will serve them well in their teenage years when they'll need to handle peer pressure and temptations that often confront young people today. Our students tend to think independently rather than following group pressure.
Q: Is Montessori right for gifted children? What about children with learning disabilities?
A: The Montessori approach is designed to help all children reach their fullest potential at their own unique pace. A gifted child can go as far and as a fast as he or she likes, and a child with a learning disability can move at their own rate and style without fear or stigma. 

The multi-age grouping allows each child to find his or her own pace without feeling "ahead" or "behind" in relation to their peers. In the classroom with children of varying abilities and strengths, everyone learns from one another and everyone contributes.
Q: Why is there so much variation from one Montessori school to another?
A: The name Montessori refers to a method and philosophy and is not protected by copyright or by a central licensing or franchising program. 

Although most schools try to remain faithful to their understanding of Dr. Montessori's insights and research, they have all been influenced by the evolution of our culture and technology and their own interpretations or adaptations of the method.
Q: Are your teachers certified?
A: Yes. Our teachers are highly trained professionals. They are all Montessori trained and certified and continue their learning with ongoing professional development and study. Please refer to our faculty biographies for details about each teacher's education and certification. 

We have carefully chosen our faculty for their experience and education, for their abilities to relate to and understand children, for their genuine love of learning, and for their qualities as outstanding role models.
Q: How do Montessori teachers differ based on their training from different organizations such as AMI, AMS, PAMS, etc.?
A: There are a number of organizations training and certifying Montessori teachers. The three principal ones are American Montessori Internationale (AMI), American Montessori Society (AMS), and Pan American Montessori Society (PAMS). All three of these organizations are certified by the Montessori Association of Teacher Training (MACTE) and accredit highly qualified teachers. 

To help explain the differences you can think of a continuum with AMS at one end and AMI at the other, with PAMS somewhere in between. AMI teachers are trained to follow the Montessori method exactly as it is written with no variations or innovations. AMS teachers are trained to be freer to interpret and implement Montessori as they see it. 

PAMS teachers are closer to the AMI end of the line in their strong foundation and dedication to the Montessori principles and are trained to implement the Montessori method exactly, and yet with an openness to Dr. Montessori's vision of continually learning by observing the child. For example, the PAMS teachers are trained extensively in an early language program for English that is up-to-date and has innovations and materials that address the complexities of the English language that do not occur in Dr. Montessori's native tongue of Italian, which is a simpler phonetic language.