We encourage parents to first review our website to learn more about our programs, rates and staff. We then ask that parents e-mail or call us to arrange for a tour of the school. This tour will be arranged during school hours and we ask that both parents and their child attend if at all possible, to allow everyone to experience the Montessori environment. Once a family has decided that they would like to be placed on our waitlist, we require the completion of an Application for Waitlist form, along with a non-refundable application fee of $75. This is a one-time, per family fee. We will then place the child on our waitlist and send an offer or enrolment if or when a suitable space becomes available. We usually send out offers of enrolment for the next school year in mid-April, although they are sometimes offered during the year if a space becomes available. To confirm an offer of enrolment, we require a completed Acceptance of Enrolment form, as well as a tuition deposit to hold your child's place at the school. Our classes can only accommodate up to 12 toddlers and 24 Casa students, and we usually have more applicants than spaces, so we strongly encourage those who are interested to apply as soon as possible.
It is an important component of an authentic Montessori education that children attend their Montessori program consistently. As such, we offer only full-time education for students who will attend our school Monday to Friday. This allows children to feel like part of the group, experience less separation anxiety and have more time to receive the benefits of the Montessori curriculum.
No, they are not. The name “Montessori” was never copyrighted so it is possible for schools to call themselves "Montessori" without actually having any kind of Montessori programming, materials or Montessori trained staff. It is important to do some research into what Montessori education is, so you can determine whether a Montessori school is following the philosophy and guidelines, as outlined by Dr. Maria Montessori. Atlantic Montessori School is the only CCMA Applicant Member school in Atlantic Canada and we are working toward future accreditation. The CCMA (Canadian Council for Montessori Administrators) promotes standards of excellence in Montessori education.
Atlantic Montessori School is a non-denominational school. There are some religiously affiliated Montessori schools in existence but Montessori schools exist on all continents of the world, in places with many different religious beliefs. In Canada, most Montessori schools are non-denominational.
The Montessori philosophy is about allowing a child freedom within limits. Children in a Montessori classroom will have a long period of open work time in which they are free to choose from a large variety of developmentally appropriate materials to which they have been previously introduced. They will be free to choose where to work and with whom. They will not, however, be free to disturb the work of others or damage the materials or classroom environment.
At first glance, a Montessori classroom will seem somewhat unusual, with all kinds of materials with uses that aren’t immediately obvious. Our Montessori guides have trained extensively to understand the materials so we wouldn’t expect parents to be familiar with them right away! Rest assured, though, after your child tells you about “The Pink Tower", “The Brown Stair” or “Trinomial Cube” a few times, you’ll start to learn the lingo. If you’re ever in need of any clarification, your child’s Montessori guide would be happy to answer any questions.
Montessori education often costs a little more than regular child care, as the cost of hiring specially trained staff and outfitting a classroom with Montessori materials tends to be more expensive. At Atlantic Montessori School, we do our best to keep our fees affordable and also offer subsidized spaces so that more families will find Montessori education accessible for their children.
Montessori education is for all children; however, it can be very beneficial for many children with special needs. Montessori guides are trained to understand and respond to the needs of each child and presentations are usually given individually or in small groups. The environment is non-competitive, co-operation is encouraged and respect for oneself, others and materials is emphasized. As such, children with special needs are rarely seen as being “different”, but rather as another part of the diverse classroom community. At AMS, we are also fortunate to have an Inclusion Specialist on staff with a Master degree in Early Childhood Special Education. She works to provide extra support so that children with special needs and their families may have the best experience possible with us.
Montessori education is for all children. Montessori guides believe that children have great capabilities when we introduce them to concepts at beneficial times, allow them to take responsibility for themselves and let them try things many people assume young children can't do. As such, when classroom visitors see the things children are able to do in a Montessori classroom, the assumption is often made that the children must be “gifted” when, in fact, they are typical children who have been given the opportunity to learn and grow in a supportive environment.