Classroom Structure

Communications

If you have a specific request regarding your child,  please hand us a written message.  It will be an assurance that your request will be met.  Paper and pencil are provided on the bulletin board for this purpose.

Please do not express concern in front of your child about their tiredness or illness, etc.  Write them down and we will check on the child’s well-being and call you if there is concern.  When a child hears you express concern, then (s)he usually becomes concerned also.

Please do not expect feedback on your child, in front of your child.  Call or make an appointment for a conference.  We are more than happy to talk with you when the children are not listening in.

We encourage you to talk over any policy matters or concerns that you have about your child, the classroom, or the school in general with us. The best time to reach us is between 3:15 and 4:00. You can also leave a message letting us know when it would be convenient for us to call you. E-mail is the preferred means of communications as it gives us time to reflect and consult each other before getting back to you. Please restrict communications with us before and during school to emergency matters.  Before school we need to concentrate on preparing the classroom and during school we need to focus on the children.


Special Needs Policy

Because we celebrate and consider diversity important to the health of the school and highly beneficial to the full development of every child, we welcome all children and are committed to integrating children with special needs into our program by

  • providing professional development opportunities specific to a special child’s needs and
  • collaborating and consulting with professionals to meet a child’s special health care and developmental needs.

Philomath Montessori School is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination towards children with disabilities and admission is open to all children that we can reasonably serve within the context of our limited financial resources and the need to create an environment that is safe and conducive to learning for all students.


Clothing

We need to keep a complete change of clothing at school for your child at all times.  PLEASE help us by marking all clothing with your child’s name. Because the children themselves often take on the responsibility of changing their own clothes, their clothing often gets taken out of their bags and baskets and mixed up.  If there are names on each piece of clothing it saves a tremendous amount of time and confusion.

Because we want the time spent in the classroom to be the highest quality possible,  we request that the children not wear character clothing (Power Rangers, Barbie, Pooh, Army fatigues, etc.).  A good rule of thumb is assessing whether the clothing will be a source of distraction for your child or for others.  An exception, of course, would be if the clothing is an ethnic piece and would serve as an enrichment for the class.

We try to foster the need for independence in children, so it is helpful if the clothing they wear is manageable for them. We have found that this is especially important when it comes to socks and shoes. Children need to remove these to do our Walking-on-the-Line activities and when they have difficulty removing and putting back on their socks and shoes, it sometimes means they will give up participating.  And, of course, pants, tights and overalls which are impossible to get off quickly may mean the difference between having a toileting accident or not.

Once the weather turns inclement, each child should also bring a raincoat with hood or hat, and rubber boots every day. These boots are a separate pair to be worn outdoors, not in the classroom. We provide a canvas bag to store the boots at school during the week. Being prepared for any kind of weather allows the children to be outdoors working and playing every day.


To Bring Or Not To Bring

Children like to bring special things to share with the class, such as nature discoveries, music, books, things they have made or ethnic objects.  We encourage children to bring in objects and books that can serve to stimulate their curiosity and heighten their awareness of their environment as well as broaden their language experience.  School is a time to offer them something different, something special.

Toys, gum, candy, makeup, large jewelry, and items featuring fantasy/commercial characters are disruptive to the classroom and should be left at home.  If your child is attached to bringing an inappropriate object to school, we will invite her to place it in a drawer near the entrance for safe-keeping.


Electronic Devices for Classroom Use

Classroom teachers may use an electronic tablet or similar device to show photos (especially for cultural work) and artwork to the children in a group setting or for playing music or sounds. The photos and sound must be free of advertisement and brand placement.  We are permitting this use to save on ink and paper, classroom space for a sound system and to allow portability to the outdoors. The devices are never for use by the children.  We believe that children at this age are better served by activities that involve hands-on engagement, movement, and social interactions.


Snack

Each morning we provide a light snack that includes protein, grains, and some kind of fruit and/or vegetable. This snack is on a self-serve basis and each child chooses when and if she would like to have snack. The number of children having snack at any one time is limited to two children and we help guide them with the amount they can take by providing a sample plate. Snack is generally available from 9:00 until 11:40. We have an account at the First Alternative Coop and usually one parent volunteers to do the shopping for our snacks. It is our goal to serve the children the highest quality foods – fresh, organic, whole grain, and with no artificial ingredients. If your child has special dietary restrictions, please let us know. Each September we add on an annual snack fee to your invoice to cover costs.

We request that each child bring a filled water bottle to school each day. Please be sure to mark your child’s water bottle with his name.


Lunch

We encourage parents to allow their child to help make and pack their own lunch if it is age-appropriate for their child. For food safety, the health department recommends using insulated lunch containers. Please avoid lunch containers with commercial characters.

We encourage you to allow your child to help choose his lunch or better yet, encourage him to make his own lunch when he is ready.  The night before school ask “Do you want egg salad or peanut butter for your protein?”  “Carrots or cucumber for your vegetable?” Continue in each of the other food areas (dairy and grain) giving two choices.  A general question like “What would you like for lunch?” or “What would you like for your protein?” could mean a protracted process that could end in exasperation for you and your child.

We will provide a plate and place mat for your child at school.  We ask that you provide the necessary utensils and a cloth napkin each day.  The food containers used for lunch should be tight-fitting, but also manageable for the child.  This will help him to feel more independent and competent.  Please only send food in containers that are reclosable. After lunch we have the children repack whatever they don’t eat so that you know how much and what they are eating.  Lunchtime in school is a social time — a time to learn some of the social graces of eating and a time to enjoy quiet conversation.