We encourage parents to first review our website to learn more about our programs, as our Montessori program is different from a standard child care program. We ask parents to complete a "Contact us" form, which will give us the information we need to send you a link to our 40-minute virtual tour of our school, and invite you to a Question & Answer (Q&A) session. We offer Q & A sessions on a monthly basis, via Zoom. This gives parents an opportunity to ask questions and decide whether Montessori education would be a good fit for their family. Families are sent our Application for Waitlist form after attending a Q&A. Upon completing an application form and submitting a one-time, per family application fee of $95, a child is then added to our AMS waitlist. We will invite all waitlist families to a Family Meeting at a later date, where we have a chance to chat via Zoom, learn more about your child and your goals, and to show you our classrooms in action! Please note that we require families to complete all of these steps before we will send them an Offer of Enrolment. We usually complete enrolment for the next school year each April and May, although spaces are sometimes offered during the school year if a space becomes available. We require a completed Acceptance of Enrolment form, as well as a tuition deposit to hold your child's place at the school. This deposit is fully refundable upon your child's graduation from the Casa program. We offer long term enrolment and tend to have a large waitlist, 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 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 having any kind of Montessori programming, materials or Montessori trained staff. It is important to do some research into the characteristics of true Montessori programs, 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 first CCMA Applicant Member school in Atlantic Canada, currently, the only CCMA Applicant Member School in Nova Scotia 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 and the materials will seem unfamiliar to most people. 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, however, that 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. Please note that the Montessori materials are intended to be introduced only by those with accredited Montessori training, so we do not recommend that parents purchase these materials for their homes. There are many other, important ways that families can support the Montessori philosophy at home!
Montessori education often costs a more than regular child care, as the cost of hiring specially trained staff and outfitting a classroom with Montessori materials and furniture is expensive. We encourage parents to do some research into the costs of Montessori education across Canada, in order to make informed choices about their child's early education. At Atlantic Montessori School, we do our best to keep our fees affordable and we also offer subsidized spaces so 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.