Enrollment & Procedure Information

Channels of Communication

Different personnel are trained to address different questions. If you have a question, please contact one of the following and every effort will be made to address your concern.
Program Coordinator: Montessori Philosophy, Pre-Primary and Elementary curriculum, after-school program, and discipline policy.
Program Director: Daily operations and concerns, licensing, scheduling, fees, statements, adjustments and parent meetings.
Classroom Teacher: Progress of a specific child. If parents have an urgent concern, they are asked to schedule a conference with the Program Director. For routine matters, please write a note (teachers may not leave the classroom to talk to parents).
Front Desk and Admissions: Phone calls, message relays, medication & special activity forms, special schedules, welcoming and releasing of children

Enrollment and Admissions

A registration form and medical form must be completed before enrollment is accepted. The medical form must be given to the school no later than two weeks after enrollment in order for your child to continue attending Montessori School of Downtown.

Uniforms

School uniforms are required Monday through Friday. Field trip shirts with the school name and number may be substituted for some field trips and athletic functions. During the summer, many children choose to wear one of the casual uniform styles, such as red colored shirt and navy shorts.
The Uniforms are as follows:

INFANTS AND TODDLERS: No uniforms
PRE-PRIMARY:

Girls - Shorts (navy or plaid), Pull-on pants (navy) or Jumper (plaid). Polo Shirt (light blue, red, navy, hunter green). Sweaters: (red). Girls may wear leotards and tutus under uniform if enrolled in dance lessons to save time when changing; extra underclothing should be brought as well.
Boys - Shorts or Pull-on pants (navy). Polo Shirt (light blue, red, navy). Sweaters: (red). They should bring extra underclothing as well.

KINDERGARTEN AND ELEMENTARY:

Girls - Skirts (plaid) or Pull-on pants (hunter green). Button-down collar shirts (white or yellow). Sweaters: (hunter green).
Boys - Shorts or Pull-on pants (hunter green). Button-down collar shirt (white or yellow). Sweaters: (hunter green).
Casual Wear for All - A field trip shirt with the school logo may be worn on field trips or athletic events. Navy slacks or shorts are still required.
Purses - Purses are discouraged; the school assumes no responsibility for lost or stolen purses.
Jewelry - Watches, small post earrings, one small ring and one necklace only. Jewelry is to be kept on.
Hats are to be worn only to hide the eyes during athletic events (e.g. baseball caps outdoors).
Students who are out of uniform on a given day must have a written excuse from the parents. This is to be handed in to the front desk at the beginning of each day the student is out of uniform.
THE STUDENTS' NAME SHOULD BE ON EACH ARTICLE OF CLOTHING AND BACK PACKS SO THAT LOST ITEMS CAN BE RETURNED WHEN FOUND. THE SCHOOL IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR LOST OR MISPLACED ITEMS.

Arrival

Morning classes begin promptly at 8:30 a.m. Pre-Primary children enter through the hall main door near the front desk, or if they have a sibling, in the infant/toddler section. All children are encouraged to carry their own belongings to class. For the sake of security, parents may not freely roam the hallways at any time unless escorted by a staff member. The School of Infants opens at 6:00 a.m. and has a separate entrance.

Separation Anxiety

It is natural for youngsters to have a little separation anxiety for several days or longer while adjusting to their new surroundings. Parents can help by making their good-byes as short as possible. Prolonged drop-off routines actually increase anxiety in the children. (if this is a good place, why is mom afraid to leave me here?) Children who cry when dropped off usually stop as soon as they get out of their parent's view. If their parents accompany them to class, the crying lasts longer and creates further anxiety in children who have already settled in.

Hours

Our buildings are open from 7:00 a.m. to 6:30 PM; children brought earlier than opening or picked up after 6:00 p.m. will be at the school of Infants. Late charges for children who are not picked up by 6:30 p.m. is $5.00 for every five minutes or any portion thereof. This should be paid to the person in charge.

Holidays

The following holidays the buildings remain closed:4:00 p.m. on New Years Eve, New Year's Day, Martin Luther King, Jr., Good Friday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and the Friday after, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Withdrawal

Enrollment at Montessori School of Downtown is a perpetual monthly contract. Parents who wish to withdraw their child must give one month's written notice to the school prior to the date of withdrawal. In case parents are unable to give one month notice, they are required to pay one month of tuition.

Illness

A child who is apparently ill will not be admitted to school. If your child becomes ill, you will be notified and requested to immediately pickup your child. All parents will be notified of all communicable diseases within the center as soon as possible.
If your child has a fever or contagious illness he/she must be kept at home. Parents are encouraged to observe their children for signs and symptoms of contagious disease. Students identified with symptoms of disease are to be excluded from school until free of symptoms, or when a physician's statement of non-communicable illness is produced. After an illness, students should be free of fever for 24 hours (without fever reduucing medicine) prior to readmission (fever is considered a temperature of 100.3 degrees Fahrenheit or above). If a child has vomited during the night, it is requested that he or she be kept home the following day. Some local hospitals have a "sick-bay" for children who are ill but whose parents must be at work.
In an emergency, the school will try to reach the student's parents or emergency contact person in the student registration packet. If they cannot be reached, the school will contact the student's physician. If neither parent or physician can be contacted, the student will be taken to either nearest hospital, as designated on the enrollment form.

Medication

Medication is administered as a courtesy to the Parent. All school policies MUST be followed in order for your child's medication to be given. Students should never have any type of medicine in their bags during the school day. All medications, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, should be given directly to the front desk in its original container. Times for administering daily are at 8:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. only. We ask that you adjust your medication schedule at home to accommodate ours to facilitate distribution. The school cannot administer dosages in excess of doctor's or manufacturers recommendations. If you child is under the age printed on the bottle, a written doctor's notice MUST be given in order to administer.
Medication must be taken home every evening. Montessori School of Downtown will not be held accountable for any misplaced or spilled medication. These guidelines are mandated by the Texas Department of Human Resources.

Visitors

In general drop-in visits with the student are discouraged. However, parents may sign-in at the front desk and view class from the hallway with an administrative staff. Please select a time other than busy "Pick-up and Dismissal Periods" for observation. All visitors must be on an approved list to visit or pickup the child.

Parking Lot Safety

Please drive parallel to the building so children can exit from the passenger side of the car and enter the building without crossing traffic. If it is necessary for you to enter the building, park in one of the designated parking and turn off the ignition. The overhang is designed for poor weather only. Please follow the direction of the arrows. Staff will meet children at the door and escort them into the building. During bad weather and peak traffic times, staff will assist the children to expedite traffic flow.

Discipline Methods

Positive redirection, time out, natural or logical consequence, isolation from the group (sit and think) are all part of our disctipline structure. Use of the "Peace Table" has proven an asset with two students who need redirection with their interaction. If all resources fail, a parent conference will be scheduled.

Fire Drills

Fire Drill procedures are posted in each room. Practices are held regularly.
Change of Address, Phone Number or Emergency Contact
The Program Coordinator and front desk should be notified immediately of a change in the cell, home or business telephone numbers or change email or address. Up- to-date information is essential for the school, in order to handle emergencies successfully and to maintain communication with parents. All families will be required to complete a new enrollment form annually.

Attendance

Even for young children, punctuality is important. All teachers start class with a group time (circle). During this time, procedures are detailed and demonstrations for the day's lessons are given. Children who are late miss out on this important learning experience and don't know how to do much of the day's work. They also feel isolated from the group when joining late. Regular attendance is important for continuity. If attendance is sporadic, the child forgets how to do much of the work. The teacher must "re-teach" before the child can go to the next lesson.
If your child will be absent from school, please call the office so the teacher can be notified.
The school vacation days are set well in advance. Parents are urged to avoid extended vacations during scheduled school days.

Naps and Rest Period

All Pre-primary children are required to take a rest period. Sleeping mats and blankets are provided by the School. Personal items from home are not permitted. If you have any questions or concerns, talk to the Program Director.

Security

Every means will be taken to ensure safety. Visitors to the school can readily be observed by the staff at the desk. The school is equipped with security cameras that are monitored by the administration. Each classroom has a large window that opens into the hallway. Teachers are well aware that activities in the classroom are open to scrutiny by licensing representatives, administration and parents.

For your child's security, it is critical that access by adults not working in the facility be monitored very closely. For this reason, it is important that adults refrain from walking freely around the building. They are to be escourted by a staff member at all times. Although the staff may know who you are, it is a great source of concern and anxiety among other parents. Parents who need to go to the other side of the building need to go around the outside of the building to the main doors.

The ability of the child to carry his or her own things into the classroom imparts a sense of empowerment and independence; this self-assurance carries over to the work and is very important in an individualized program. The more initiative a child has, the more work he does. The more work he does, the more he/she learns.

Dismissal

For your child's safety, dismissal is facilitated only through the front desk or through a teacher who recognizes all persons authorized to pick up your child. Please do not expect to pick up your child at a location on campus other than the front desk. The school will not release a child to anyone without your authorization. If you wish for an "unfamiliar" person to pick up child, you must write a note or phone the school in advance. The person picking up the child must have identification.

If your child is enrolled only for a class, a late pick-up fee of $15.00 per 15 (fifteen) minutes will be charged if the child is not picked up on time.

Closing Due to Bad Weather

In case of bad weather, Montessori School of Downtown will follow the lead school district. Stay tuned to radio (740 AM) and television (channels 11 and 13) for announcements of school closings.

Financial Matters

It is a policy of the management that records will not be released to another school or day care if all debts are not paid in full.

Feedback

Parents should keep in mind that most of the children's work is manipulative in nature and cannot be brought home. The best gauge of your child's development is the increase in vocabulary, general knowledge, increase in independence and social skills.

Lost and Found

Lost articles will be placed at the front desk. After a reasonable amount of time unclaimed articles are given to the needy.

Breakfast

A breakfast of milk and cereal is served between 7:30 to 8:00 am. Juice is offered, if desired. Children may eat breakfast sent from home if desired (fruit, cereal, cereal bars, milk, bagels etc., are preferred to foods high in sugar and fat). Please do not send doughnuts or pastries.

Lunch

A menu is published at the beginning of the month so the children and parents will know what is being served on given days. If a child does not like what is on the menu, then he/she may opt to bring a meal from home. It is recommended that the parent and child pack the lunch together so that the child cannot claim that he/she doesn't like the food that has been sent. Soft drinks and candy are not allowed. Foods that must be heated in the microwave are not permitted due to time constraints. The school will also provide a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on occasion if a child does not like what is being served. Alternatives are always offered for vegetarian children. We offer "seconds" of any food after the main dish has been eaten. We offer additional servings of milk, if desired.

Birthday and Holiday Parties

Nutritional guidelines are still important on special occasions. Whereas each child has a birthday only once a year, the class as a whole can participate in a number of different celebrations in a single week. Please send food that does not require a great deal of teacher preparation time. Cake should not have a thick layer of icing. Please consider alternatives such as cupcakes without icing, pizza, muffins, chips and dip, etc. Please bring milk or fruit juice instead of soft drinks or fruit punch.

Favors are not necessary. Please do not send latex balloons, confetti or noisemakers. Do not send anything that can be considered a choking hazard.
Special occasions should bring out the best, not the worst, in children. Parties are not justification for misbehavior. Behavioral guidelines still must be followed, and natural and logical consequences still apply.

Before scheduling a party, please fill out the birthday party form, notifying the teacher of your plans. Classmates' listings are not provided. Distribution of birthday party invitations at school is not permitted.

Personal Effects

Please take time to label your child's belongings/backpack. Remember, we are taking care of more than one child. Other children may have similar clothing of the same brand. Please check your child's bag before you leave the school to make sure all your child's belongings are present. The school shall not be responsible for any lost articles of clothing, blankets, etc. Toys brought from home are not permitted. Please leave toys in the car before entering the building.

Communications between parent and school are very important. Please contact the respective director if any of your concerns are not covered here. If your concern is not urgent, we would appreciate if you write us an email.

Thank you!

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