What age children does Montessori del Mar Community School serve?
The Community School is an elementary school serving ages 4 years (turning five between Sept 1 and June 1) to 13 years (grades TK-8) and is located at our north Fort Bragg campus. It has three classrooms: The Primary Program (ages 4 to 6), the Lower Elementary (ages 6-9) and the Upper Elementary (ages 9-13).
How does MdMCS consider applicants?
We take into account a number of factors when considering a student application. Returning families receive priority for both enrollment and reduced tuition allotment. To ensure the financial viability of the school, reduced tuition applicants are considered once our quota of full tuition students is met. In addition, MdMCS is committed to cultural and social diversity. Other factors we consider include:
What MdMCS does NOT do is discriminate in the admission, retention, or dismissal of a child on the basis of gender, national origin, ancestry, primary language, race, religion, class, handicap or disability or the marital status, religious beliefs, sexual preference, or political persuasion of parents/guardians/families.
Previous Montessori experience.
Age of the child--space for each age is limited based on classroom make-up and to ensure the multi-age experience.
How well our school can meet the needs of an individual child.
What About Tuition & Other Fees?
Our full tuition for the 2021-2022 school year at the elementary school is a tiered system: Tier 1 is $1000 per child per month and Tier 2 is $1250 per child per month. Reduced tuition is considered on a case-by-case basis and requires the completion of a reduced tuition application and documentation of need.
Families requesting reduced tuition are asked to meet the mandatory minimums for single-child, two-child, and three-child families outlined herein:
Mandatory minimum of $5000/annual for single child. ($500/month/per child)
Mandatory minimum $8000/annual for two children. ($400/month/per child)
Mandatory minimum $10,500/annual for three children. ($350/month/per child)
All tuition information is confidential and remains within the tuition committee.
MdMCS does not offer sibling discounts for tuition. There is a $100 application fee per family. The Nutrition Education, Extended Day, and enrichment programs, like music lessons, have additional fees to be determined at the start of the school year.
What if I cannot afford the tuition deposit or application fee due to COVID-19 related hardship?
Submit your enrollment application and then contact Executive Director Chloe Reed at firstname.lastname@example.org to request tuition deposit payment modification or the application fee to be waived. Each request is considered on a case-by-case basis. All tuition information is confidential and remains within the tuition committee.
When can families see the school and meet the teachers?
In “normal” circumstances, we hold several Open Houses in the spring and invite families to visit and observe in our classrooms. The pandemic has restricted these activities. Given the shift to orange tier and improving pandemic conditions, we will be contacting new applicant families to schedule tours of our outdoor campus. The school building remains closed.
At the time of the campus tour, parents will participate in an Enrollment Conference with the Director, Chloe Reed. This is a time to learn more about the program and ask questions.
If pandemic conditions allow, there will be a New Student Day in June during which students and families new to our program can visit campus and meet each other.
Parent Orientation for both New and Returning Families will be on Wednesday, August 25.
What will my child’s classroom be like next year?
Each classroom is it’s own community within our greater school community. We like to think of our classroom make-up as “responsive”. This means that our classrooms are thoughtfully designed each year in response to our changing enrollment and the social, emotional, and academic readiness of our students as individuals and a community. Despite children typically spending 2-3 years in a classroom, each year is a different experience as the age of the students progress. The first year in a classroom, a MdMCS student will be in a younger and less experienced stage. This child will have many unfamiliar materials, routines, and expectations to which to acclimate and will be mentored and guided by older students in the class as well as by the teacher. In subsequent years, the child will gain competence, further develop their identity and interests, and take on ownership of learning and the classroom routines. Finally, the child in the last year in each classroom will lead and teach others in addition to managing their own work and learning more independently. At every stage the MdMCS child:
Our classrooms, as is typical in a Montessori school, tend to include students of a 3 year age range. Restrictions in physical space and state mandates on the age of “school-age”children impact classroom populations. Movement between the MdMCS classrooms is fluid and determined by each child’s readiness and maturity, not by birth dates or grade levels as in traditional schools. Maria Montessori believed that learning occurs along a developmental continuum. Decisions to move students from the primary to the lower elementary and the lower elementary to the upper elementary reflect careful observation of the natural learning characteristics of the child at each stage of development. In Maria Montessori's metaphorical language, "the successive levels of education must conform to the successive personalities of the child."
Is offered challenging and meaningful lessons and materials that match their readiness;
Is free to explore and develop individual interests;
Develops productive work habits and relationships that support learning and growth;
Progresses at their own pace while staying connected to the classroom community through shared experiences, routines, and values.
Each of the stages within a classroom continuum is valuable and offers unique benefits to the overall cognitive, social, and emotional growth of a child.