What ages does your school serve?
We serve children aged 3 through 14 years old with our early childhood, elementary, and middle school programs! Please note that children must be at least 3 years of age by September 1 of their year of entry, and toilet trained to be eligible for our early childhood program. September 1 is our cutoff date for determining each cohort of students throughout our programs.
How do you know if Montessori is right for your child?
Good question! Not all Montessori schools are the same. In fact, any school can call itself Montessori, even if the teacher is untrained and there are no Montessori materials in the classroom. So the first thing you should determine is if the school is affiliated or accredited by AMS or AMI. Then you should go visit. If the classroom is calm, organized, and designed for the child, then you are on the right track. Parents who are looking for a school that uses a well-researched approach to developing a child who can organize their own work, guide their own learning, and independently manage themselves and their time often find a good fit in Montessori.
I heard Montessori is really rigid with its structure. Is that true?
The Montessori classroom and curriculum is highly structured. This provides a framework in which the child is free to choose which materials to explore, how long to explore them, and how often to return to them. Conceptual development is a path set by well-researched and carefully researched materials, but the student decides how to move through them. The teacher is there to guide the development, ensure that it is balanced, and to find ways to hook individual students in to the process.
I heard that students can do whatever they want. Is that true?
Students are able to make choices about which materials to work with and for how long. However, there is a structure to the classroom that enables the Montessori program to function. For instance, in an early childhood classroom students learn to choose, work on, complete, and put away an activity independently. In elementary, students plan most of their own work for the week, developing and maintaining a work plan that allows them to keep track of their own progress. The freedom in a Montessori environment is balanced by self-control and internal motivation.
How does CRMS measure up to public or conventional private schools?
When parents ask this question the concern is usually if our academics measure up. The short answer is, yes, and then some. Our curriculum has been aligned with the Common Core standards and we are generally addressing the same concepts at the same time. In math our manipulatives generally teach concepts before they are addressed in the Common Core. We are in the process of aligning our science curriculum with the National General Science Standards. However, each child learns things at their own pace. It is our job to set them up for learning and to introduce concepts when we know they are ready.
I heard Montessori works for students with special needs. Does CRMS work with these students?
Montessori is a wonderful approach for many students with a variety of needs. However not every environment will work for every child. Our classrooms work best for students who have some independence and are able to focus on a task for a period of time. We work with a wide range of students, but we are not a special needs school and do not have the resources to work with students with significant social, emotional, or academic obstacles. However, there are situations where we are able to meet a child’s needs. If you have particular concerns it is best to talk to us before scheduling an interview.
What about parent involvement?
We ask parents to be involved in three ways. First, we ask every family to contribute to the Annual Fund. How much you give is up to you, but we aim for 100% participation because it helps show other organizations the commitment of our community to what we do. We ask every family for 10 hours of volunteer service a year. There are many ways to participate, even if you work during the day. And it’s usually fun! Finally we ask every family to attend our annual auction. Part of your contract includes the purchase of two tickets. Participation beyond that is up to you. But it’s a fun, low pressure celebration of our community.
My child has food/environmental/animal allergies. How can you work with those?
We have a cat that roams the school and pasture animals. We often have rabbits and other furred animals as classroom pets. Students spend time outside, and there have been bee stings. We occasionally have peanuts in our snacks, and do not require that students only bring food free of peanuts. We do a lot of work outside and the cottonwood looks like snow in the spring. If you child has severe allergies to any of the above, then our school is likely not the right fit for you.
Do you accept DSHS?
Not at this time.
Do you have financial aid?
We have a small financial aid fund. Applications are due in February for the following fall enrollment. The entire fund is distributed in March.