parent handbook of policies and guidelines

We wish to extend a very warm welcome to the students and parents of Central Montessori Preschool and Kindergarten.

In order to ensure that both you and your children have a happy and satisfying school year, we have prepared this information booklet.  It contains necessary information on the philosophy of the school, the rights and responsibilities of the staff, parents and children, and information about safety and security matters.

We ask you to read this carefully and keep it for future reference.  The last page of this booklet will have to be signed and returned to the school before the registration process is complete.

1 – School Philosophy

To create a happy and nurturing environment.

To help children develop self-confidence and self-esteem.

To give the required attention to each child in order to encourage learning.

To stimulate growth by using materials and activities that encourage each child to explore, learn and solve problems.

To encourage physical development through challenging and interesting play activities.

To nurture each child’s individual needs by providing a safe, secure and caring environment.

To develop essential social skills through critical thinking, independence and cooperation.

To discover the joy of learning.

2 – Admission Requirements

2.1              Application for enrollment

2.2              Permission for emergency medical treatment

2.3              Copy of Immunization Record

2.4              Physician’s report

2.5              A $200 registration fee (non-refundable)

2.6              Post dated checks for all months of the academic year (preferred)

2.7              First and last month’s tuition are to be dated for the child’s first starting date (non-refundable upon receipt of your child’s application, should you wish to withdraw before the end of the year)

2.8              $20 service charge is applied to late payments and a $25 fee will be charged for every NSF check replacement.

2.9              30 days written notice will be given to all parents if there is an change in school rates.

3 – Withdrawal Policy

Written notice of permanent withdrawal must be given one month in advance.  If notice is not received, full program fees will be charged.  A permanent space cannot be guaranteed if you wish to temporarily withdraw your child.  Therefore, your child will be placed on a waiting list.  Registration fee and last month’s tuition are non refundable if children withdraw prior to completing the academic year.  Central Montessori Schools may terminate services if policies are not followed or fees are not paid in advance, as per 2.6 and 2.7 above.

4 – School Hours/Photos/Licensing

Before school program:                        7:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. (additional fee will be charged)

Montessori Classes:                             8:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

After school program:                          3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. (additional fee will be charged)

4.1  The school may take various pictures and videos through the course of the school year that may be displayed in the school.  These activities may range from class trips to various activities the children participate in throughout the week.  These pictures will not be used for any other purpose than school use, such as posters within the school or Open House videos for viewing by potential new students and their parents/guardians.

4.2  The school is licensed under the Department of Social Services Community Care Licensing Division and abides by the Department’s Licensing Laws.  Therefore parents should note that this department holds the right to come into the school for inspections at anytime.  They may look at your child’s files and possibly interview your child without asking for parental consent.

5 – Classroom Etiquette

Please be aware that the children’s workday begins once the child enters their classroom.  Their work time begins at 8:30 a.m., but classroom rules are in effect and enforced as soon as the child arrives.

We have rules that apply to the parents as well.  We ask that parents enter the classroom quietly, talk in moderately low voices as to not disrupt the concentration of the children.  Parents should avoid social conversations in the classroom or on the playground.  If a conversation is necessary, we request that you step outside.  Please refrain from interrupting the teachers during class time.  We would appreciate messages be left on the voicemail at 760-479-9889.

6 – Clothing and Possessions

A child’s work is their play.  Please let your child wear washable, comfortable clothing to school.  Much of the child’s work is done on the floor.  The children work with water and paint, and even though they wear smocks, they can get wet or stained.  We recommend layering your child’s clothing for fall and winter.  They can shed clothes as they get warm or add cloths as they get cold.

6.1              Comfortable shoes are recommended for physical activity and daily play.

6.2              Party shoes and cowboy boots should be saved for special occasions.  Sandals, flip-flops and open toe shoes are discouraged to avoid falls and scrapes.

6.3              Parents should ensure that their child has appropriate foot gear for participation in Gym class.

6.4              Pants or shorts should have stretchable or loose elastic waistbands.

6.5              Belts, Buckles, hard snaps, and overalls are discouraged for children less than 4 years.

An extra set of clothing is beneficial for all children in case of spills or accidents and for days when water play in included in the schedule.  Also, all clothing and personal belongings should be labeled with your child’s name.

Please also note that frequently small pieces sometimes make it home with children in pockets and bags.  Many of our Montessori Materials have parts that are small and we need to replace them often, so if you find any unrecognized small pieces, please bring them in.  We would appreciate it very much.

7 – Drop Off and Pick-up Policy

When your child arrives, please make sure that the staff is aware of his/her presence before you leave.  Please sign your child in and out, by indicating the time and signing your full signature.

We will not release a child to anyone but his/her parents as authorized on the registration form.  Other adults, 18 years or older, must be listed on the registration form.  An introduction of the authorized person(s) to the staff is recommended.  Please let us know in advance if somebody other that yourself will be picking up your child in writing.

Parents are responsible to notify the office immediately of any changes in phone number(s) of authorized person(s) listed on the registration form.

8 – Late Arrivals, Absences or Mid-Day Appointments Policy

If your child is going to be late, absent or has a mid-day appointment, please notify the school ahead of time.

9 – Late Pick-up Fee Policy

Central Montessori School relies on our parents to be punctual each day.  As mentioned in the School Hours section, our after school program ends at 6:00 p.m.  The school has a policy for parents to pay $1.00 per minute (after 6:00 p.m.) to the staff member on duty.  This payment is due the next school day.

10 – Parents Participation

Parents are welcome to come in for observations.  We encourage parents to come in as a guest speaker to present a special holiday that your family celebrates.  Look for classroom newsletters for the days that will be celebrated and introduce your own special ones into the class calendar.  Parents are also encouraged to join class field trips. If you would like to participate as a class volunteer in any of the above acitivities, please speak to the office to make arrangements in advance.

11 – Field Trips

Throughout the year, trips are made to special places of educational interest.  A notice will be sent home in advance of the excursion, informing you of the destinations, time, cost and date.  It will also include the permission slip to be signed and returned ASAP.  You are always welcome to accompany us.

12 – Progress Reporting

Report cards for Children’s House classes will be given out in January and June of each academic school year.

If you wish to have a Parent/Teacher interview at that time, look for the sign-up sheet by your child’s classroom door.

13 – Behavior Management

13.1          The Montessori philosophy is such that each person within the environment has certain rights.  Rules are established to promote self-discipline and responsibility.  Children are expected to practice these rules to ensure social cohesion of the entire group.  The aim of the method is self-discipline through purposeful activities.  The idea is to “like what you do, but not do what you like”.  When rights of an individual are infringed upon or unacceptable behavior is demonstrated, positive steps for correction will be made.

13.2          Parents will be informed, by a staff member, of changes in the behavior of their child that may cause concern.

13.3          The Board of Directors must be advised of any child whose behavior endangers the safety or the moral tone of the other children, displays persistent resistance to authority or does not respond to efforts to modify his/her behavior.  Based on the decision made by the board, the child’s authorized representative may be called in for a conference.

13.4          The Board of Directors will, after considering the concerns and suggestions of staff members and after consultation with the child’s parents and the principal, decide what is in the best interest of the child and for Central Montessori Schools.  Actions taken may include:

A.     Hiring extra staff.

B.     Using the service of a consultant or

C.     Asking the parents to withdraw the child from Central Montessori Schools.

13.5          ANY disclosure, from a child, with regards to child abuse will be reported immediately to the appropriate authorities.


13.7          Central Montessori school ensures that each child is accorded the following personal rights:

  • To be accorded dignity in his/her personal relationships with staff and other persons.
  • To be accorded safe, healthful and comfortable accommodations, furnishings and equipment to meet his/her needs.
  • To be free from corporal or unusual punishment, infliction of pain, humiliation, intimidation, ridicule, coercion, threat, mental abuse, or other actions of a punitive nature including but not limited to: interference with functions of daily living including eating, sleeping or toileting; or withholding of shelter, clothing, medication, or aids to physical functioning.

14 – Health and Medications

For everyone’s benefit, sick children will not be admitted to the school.  If your child shows signs of any communicable diseases (chicken pox, pink eye, etc) or signs of fever, diarrhea, or vomiting, you will be asked to pick your child up as soon as possible and make other arrangements for your child’s care until they are no longer ill.  Please also inform the office immediately of any such illness so that a notice can be posted (required by licensing).

Any child returning to school after suffering from the above type of illness must be accompanied by a physician’s note stating that the child is free from communicable disease.

Please be aware that existing bylaws require outdoor playtime, and that this is a significant portion of your child’s day.  If you feel your child is too sick to participate in outdoor play, he/she is too sick to be at school for the entire day.

It is recommended that children who have prescribed fever reduction medication (e.g. Tylenol, cough syrup etc.) needing to be administered every four hours, should NOT be at school.  The staff cannot administer these types of medications.

There are several regulations involved in giving long-term medication to children enrolled in a child care program.  These rules are to protect both the children and the staff.  The following requirements must be adhered to without exception:

14.1          All medication(s) must be prescribed by a doctor. (A pharmacist’s label must be attached to drugs such as cough medicine(s) and decongestant(s) showing that they have been prescribed by your doctor.)

14.2          All medication(s) must be in the original bottle and have your child’s name on it.

14.3          The first dose of Antibiotics must be administered at home by the parents, before being administered at school, in case of any allergic reaction.

14.4          Outdated medication(s) will not be administered.

14.5          Parents are to request A MEDICATION DISPENSING PERMISSION FORM which must be filled out in full each day their child requires medication.

immunization details and a physician’s report must be provided by parents before the first day of class.
All allergies must be listed in the student’s enrollment form.  If your child develops any new allergies not listed on the form, please notify the office and the teacher immediately.

15 – Snacks

The school will provide mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks for all children in a full day program. Nutrition is part of our daily program.  Our snacks offer grains, vegetables, fruits and dairy products.  We do not attempt to fill up your child.  It is the aim of the nutrition program to introduce children to a variety of foods.  Snack is oftentimes an individual or two-child activity, and the children learn how to serve themselves.

Parents are asked to pack a nutritious lunch free from soda, candy, chocolate and other foods containing high amounts of sugar.  Your child should help pack the lunch, so they have some say as to what they would like to eat.  This lunch should contain an item from each food group (protein, grains, vegetables, fruits).  Your child will bring home food that is leftover.  This will help you to know the quantity and desirability of food eaten.  Children, like you, get tired of eating the same things over and over.  Please encourage children to try a variety of new foods for lunch.

16 – Birthdays

We understand the importance of celebrating your child’s birthday.  If you would like to provide a snack for your child to share on his/her birthday, we ask that the snack comply with state nutrition regulations.  Homemade muffins (without icing), cookies (as long as the first ingredients is flour and not sugar), fruit cups or fruit kabobs, cheese and crackers are preferred.  Please remember no birthday cakes, cupcakes with extensive amounts of icing or party favors.

If you plan to invite children from your child’s class to a party outside of the school, you may bring the invitations to school to distribute only if every child is invited.  Otherwise, please mail the invitations individually to each child.

The school will help make this day very special for your child by celebrating the CMS way.  Your child’s birthday celebration will include his/her special snack as well as:

  • Birthday Story:  The teacher will read the brief biography and show the pictures the parent provides.  The child will carry a globe and walk around a “sun” to represent each year of life.
  • Birthday Certificate or Crown: Each child will receive a certificate or crown to commemorate his/her special day.
  • Donate a book:  In the spirit of sharing, your child can choose to bring a book; he/she can show the class the pictures or read it and then donate it to his/her classroom bookshelf.  Please, write on the inside cover the date of the donation and who it is from, thus leaving a legacy of your child’s years at Central Montessori Schools.

17 – Holidays

Please refer to the school year calendar for the specific dates the school is closed due to Holidays.

During Winter and Spring Break, the school offers a “Holiday Camp” (for an additional fee) to those parents who are unable to make alternative arrangements for the care of their children.  Letters will be sent home prior to the actual holidays with information about hours, cost, date, activities, etc.  Please return the forms by the due dates so that the appropriate number of staff can be hired to accommodate the number of children attending.

18 – Holiday Rituals

Our school is fortunate to be in an area with children of diverse racial, religious and cultural backgrounds.  The rituals and special foods associated with each group’s celebration of holidays provide valuable learning experiences for the children.  You are encouraged to inquire about school events or schedule a day to come in and to share information about a special day with our students. Please make arrangements with the Director and your child’s teacher in advance.

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