An important reminder: Unless your child is six (6) years of age or sixty pounds, she/he is required to be in a safety child restraint seat. The Highway Patrol fines individuals for each unbelted individual in the car. Please take the time to ensure each child’s safety in the car as well as your own.
Kindergarten- (4-6 years)
The child in this preschool (lower early childhood) program is provided with an opportunity to learn with other children using the materials stated above. These materials are used under the direction of a trained Montessori teacher. The children gain experience in work concentration habits and socialization skills within a play type atmosphere. It is known that the age of this child tends to exhibit a carefree attitude while practicing a sense of play in a style known as “parallel play”. The experiences that the child gains through this type of program allows her/him to progress naturally toward the next plateau of development. The daily schedule consists of work time with the materials, an outdoor play time and a group structured time where sharing, songs, demonstrations of materials, songs and stories are explored. This program may be in an arrangement of two, three or five days per week. During any of these programs, snacks are provided as well as an optional nap for those children remaining through the regular program or extended portion of the day.
The Montessori philosophy was originally developed in the late eighteen, early nineteen hundreds by Dr. Maria Montessori for use with young children. Over the years, the philosophy has evolved to challenge the whole child’s personality and intellect in a variety of multicultural settings. Her teaching system is based on a strong integration of adult to child observation and practical hands-on activities. The materials offer learning experiences in a clear, concrete manner. Children are encouraged to use motor and intellectual discovery when working with these materials. There is an emphasis on the sequential and orderly acquisition of both motor and cognitive skills. This ordered work method also allows for individualization and usually offers a three year age span within the classroom enabling children to work, play, and learn at their own pace as well as in a group setting. The integration of varied age spans allow older children to gain confidence by working and role modeling materials with younger children. This combination of order and freedom is facilitated by what is called “the prepared environment”. Elk Grove Montessori School offers these prepared classrooms in a variety of age combinations.
The classroom is arranged in a series of low, easily accessible shelves designed to accommodate specific work areas. The areas of the classroom consist of Practical Life, Sensorial (sensory motor development), Mathematics, Language and Reading, Cultural subjects including botany, zoology, history, art, geography, and music. Each shelf contains materials teaching specific concepts, in trays or baskets for easy carrying and separation from one task to another. The materials are arranged from left to right in a logical sequence of skill acquisition and concept building. In this way, the children observe and experience a movement toward self set goals. The materials initially isolate knowledge to one concept at a time in a concrete manipulative style. Eventually the child progresses toward an abstract, more divergent level of evaluation. The classroom is carefully prepared, allowing and encouraging the child accessibility to all materials she/he needs in performing and experiencing the step-by-step process of individual work. This small consideration frees the child to concentrate on the work, allowing an increase in independence and responsibility. This accomplishment decreases the need of direction from a teacher. This in turn provides the time for the teacher to better observe the total classroom environment.
Within Elk Grove Montessori School, each classroom is designed toward the needs of the children. You may notice differences that are typically justified to the age of the child attending the program. The Montessori teacher is always responsible for what is called “making the match”. Through observation, the teacher assesses the needs and level of each child and hence, guides the child toward a path that is suitable for him or her.
Observation, as mentioned earlier is important in identifying the needs of the child thus allowing further awareness of which steps to introduce. Each child differs according to individual interests, maturity levels, and capabilities. The great beauty of this individualized system of the Montessori method is that adjustment can be made for each child through the guidance of the teacher! This adjustment can come into play on an academic as well as a behavioral level. The child who is in a period of self-directed activity can be given much freedom regarding choice. This criteria is known to us as “the child works through play”. The child who strives toward controlled self-discipline of him/herself may be given as much or as little teacher direction as necessary.
Elk Grove Montessori School provides a Montessori curriculum for children ranging from toddler through Kindergarten, 2 years through six years of age. We work closely with the California Montessori Project, Inc., which offers an elementary program consisting of Kindergarten through grade eight (8).
Elk Grove Montessori School strongly believes that since the best interest of the child is our primary goal, close communication with parents is encouraged. We will also evaluate the enrollment commitment at the end of a two-week trial period. Parents and teachers meet to discuss the success of the child through the experience with Montessori’s developmental philosophy! It is our intent to provide the children with a sense of safety while nurturing a love for learning as well as provide the parent with a sense of professionalism and commitment toward the learning styles of each child!!!
“DISCOVERY AND THE CHILD”
The Montessori philosophy is an educational approach that encourages the enhancement of the whole child. It reinforces responsibility and initiates critical thinking skills. Montessori is to the child and student ‘The Preparation for Life’.
This handbook is provided for Parents and Guardians to benefit and enhance your relationship with our school. It is important to recognize your individual family values with respect to the differences each child brings to our Montessori community. We believe that you, the parents and guardians, are the primary source for learning and role modeling. We in turn, encourage the interest within the child in the school setting. At any time when a question, comment or concern may arise, please “feel the freedom and responsibility” to inquire.
As the Executive Director, I feel it crucial for us to work together toward meeting the needs and interests of your family. We are preparing your children for dynamic world challenges and whole life experiences.
We appreciate your enthusiasm, trust and judgment in placing your most precious gift in our daily care and educational setting.
Sara Nelson, M.Ed.
Elk Grove Montessori School
Elk Grove Montessori School is required by law to carry a signed Physician’s Form on file for each child enrolled. Upon entrance to our school, there is a two week grace period in which to return this form to the school office.
The following are guidelines that Elk Grove Montessori School adheres to:
1. State Department of Health and Department of Social Services requires all children to receive polio, measles, diphtheria, HIB, pertusis, tetanus and tuberculosis immunizations. If there is a religious difference regarding immunizations, California requires an affidavit to be signed by the parent which is to be filed in the child’s school cumulative file.
2. In any case when illness occur resulting in fever of 100°F or higher, or a contagious infection, the parent must keep the child at home or make other arrangements. THE CHILD MAY ONLY RETURN AFTER THE FEVER HAS BEEN NORMAL FOR 24 HOURS WITHOUT THE AID OF MEDICATION. For an infection, you must get a doctor’s note and/or a medical prescription. Allergies and minor cold symptoms are exceptions.
3. Please contact the office as soon as possible if your child develops any communicable diseases. These include: chicken pox, strep infections, flu, and/or conjunctivitis and lice. Our school will then notify the parents to be aware of symptoms related to these conditions.
4. When any medication needs to be given to a child while at school, the school must have written permission from the parent AND physician before it may be administered. Along with the note, please indicate when the child needs to receive the medication. The school provides medication forms and it will be necessary for you to complete one if staff is administering the medication. Please see any Administration for all policies and forms needed.
5. Notify your child’s teacher if she/he is taking medication only at home. This will enable the teacher to be aware in case allergies arise, or the child has side affects at school. Parents will be notified immediately.
Tuition credit is not given for absences due to illness. If the illness persists for more than two weeks, please advise the director immediately.
Within the Kindergarten (upper early childhood) curriculum, children transition from a sense of parallel play, defined in the previous paragraph, to an attitude of cooperative play. During this stage of development, the child gravitates toward a desire to work along with her/his peers. The child has moved from a sense of working alone, among a group of children, to working along with the group. The Kindergarten curriculum allows these concepts to develop naturally through the role modeling of the teachers as well as the integration of age levels and interests.
In this environment, the children explore these Montessori materials in a more advanced manner. In mathematics, concepts of 1-10 progress into addition and subtraction with the golden bead material which are used for counting. The sensorial area concentrates more on geometry that eventually ties in with concepts in math. Language and reading materials guide the child toward recognition of the alphabet both by letter as well as phonetically. Upon mastery of these tasks, pre-reading and reading skills are integrated with the use of small primer books designed at allowing the child to begin putting together in book form, what she/he has experienced visually. Writing extensions are integrated here to strengthen the interest in reading. D’Nealian Style Manuscript handwriting is incorporated in all areas of the classroom, both in pre-writing or tracing activities, along with actual experience stories. The children move through writing of lower case letters first, and follow with the UPPER CASE LETTERS. The practical life area of the classroom enables the child to extend her/his concentration and coordination of independence into a stronger sense of order for the future. The cultural subjects in Kindergarten explore the areas of zoology, botany, geography, history, art and music. Within each area, specific units of study are presented. Physical education is also explored within a group process indoors as well as out.
Nonprescription medications may be administered without approval or instructions from the child's physician if all of the following conditions are met:
(A) Nonprescription medications shall be administered in accordance with the product label directions on the nonprescription medication container(s).
(B) For each nonprescription medication, Elk Grove Montessori School shall obtain, in writing, approval and instructions from the child's authorized representative for the administration of the medication to the child.
1. This documentation shall be kept in the child's record.
2. The instructions from the child's authorized representative shall not conflict with the product label directions on the nonprescription medication container(s).
Elk Grove Montessori School shall develop and implement a written plan to record the administration of prescription and nonprescription medications and to inform the child's authorized representative daily when such medications have been given.
** SUN SCREEN REGULATIONS **
Arrival, Departure & Pick-Up Policies
Montessori Early Childhood (Preschool- 2 to 6)
Elk Grove Montessori School holds high value for “parent education and communication”. An extensive amount of time and energy is spent in researching, observing and learning about the various child care and educational school programs available. Each newsletter includes information for the month, regarding units of study, special projects, holiday activities, field trips and various other items as they become applicable. Each teacher composes her/his own lessons and agendas based on a Montessori curriculum framework. As you read through the information, please let your child’s teacher know if there are any areas in which you are knowledgeable and wish to share. We also encourage you to share this newsletter with your child.
All parents will receive the newsletter and any other notes in the child’s cubby folder or by the sign in/out sheet, as well as email. If you have any questions regarding information on the school or class agendas, please notify the director. In addition, parents interested in participating or sharing information, even writing articles, are encouraged to get in touch with their child’s teacher or the administration. Please submit any articles or information to the administration by the 25th of each month. We look forward to seeing this section grow!!
It is the policy of Elk Grove Montessori School to allow children to attend school when they have minor allergies. Any illness that is contagious is subject to absence. The child must be free from illness for a period of thirty-six hours with prescribed medication or doctor's note before the child may again attend the school. As stated above, it is the intent of the facility and administration to hold all occupied spaces of enrolled children during any illness. Therefore, credits for illness are unfortunately unavailable due to the nature of the business. If the occasion arises where illness is for a long period of time, please notify administration as soon as possible.
When arriving and departing from school, please park your car while walking your child into the facility. Sign-in/sign-out sheets are located inside the front door of the school. The State Law requires all children to be signed in with a time and full signature and be signed out with a time and full signature!!!
Once the child is signed in, the child may be accompanied by the parent to the appropriate area. If there is an occasion where someone other than the parent is picking up your child from school, please contact the office and your child’s teacher by telephone or with a written note. The transportation authorization card must have this person's name listed. We will check for identification!!!
All Elk Grove Montessori School programs close promptly at 6:00 p.m.
If an occasion occurs when you are unable to pick up your child by 6:00 p.m., please call the school and explain the circumstances. There will be an additional fee of Our staff needs to leave the school in a timely manner. Habitual lateness may result in dismissal. The late charge will appear on your tuition statement. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation regarding this matter.
The Montessori teacher (facilitator) observes and participates in all classroom activities. Lead Teachers are certified through an accredited Montessori teacher preparatory college program and/or hold an Associate or Bachelor degree in an educational related field of study. The assistant teachers have training and education in early childhood education, as well as experience in working with children. These staff positions are supervised by a lead teacher, as well as the site director. The job of every staff member is to assure that each child’s needs are being met from the perspective of safety and well being.
Our values encourage the aspects of sharing, as well as a perception of togetherness. We promote the concepts of positive discipline by verbal reasoning and conflict resolution, rather than physical conflict resolution. Our program believes that by role modeling these aspects of growth, with a consistent steady program, the children will gain a sense of responsibility as well as a need to work and play in a cooperative manner with others.
Sara Nelson, Executive Director of Elk Grove Montessori School, has been in Montessori education for over fifteen years, instructing in various capacities from transitioning toddler through Junior High. She holds a Master’s Degree in Education, as well as NCME (National Center for Montessori Education) certificate in Early Childhood ( Ages 2 1/2 - 6 ), Early Elementary ( Ages 6 - 9 ) and Upper Elementary ( Ages 9 - 12 ) Sara has worked with Montessori Learning Commons, Inc. since 1993 in many capacities, including Lead Teacher for Elk Grove Montessori School and Sacramento Montessori School. She has also been a teacher with the California Montessori Project, a Montessori Charter School in Elk Grove; teaching kindergarten, Upper Elementary, and Junior High children.
“The Parent Newsletter”