We have a birthday celebration handout with a description of our birthday ritual and suggestions for appropriate gifts. You can download and print a copy of our Birthday Celebration handout from our website: philomathmontessori.org under FAQs & Forms. We invite you as parents to attend this special occasion.
Please arrange your child’s celebration a couple of weeks before your child’s birthday by calling or emailing us to set a date. If your child has a summer birthday, she can celebrate her “half-birthday”, again, with advance notification. We request that only May and June birthdays be celebrated during those months. We find that half-birthdays tend to stack up at the end of the year making it more onerous for the children rather than celebratory.
We would like to request that invitations to parties go out through the post office or email, since it is often not possible (and not advisable!) to invite everyone to your child’s party.
Parents are encouraged to come in and observe the children in the classroom. Observations usually begin sometime in October to give the class a six-week establishment time to settle into a routine. There will be a sign-up sheet to avoid having more than one observer at a time. Please limit your observation for the time you have signed up for — long observations can be difficult for many children. However, we do encourage you to come in for as many as you wish. We ask that the parents of new children observe only at the door. After your child has had an opportunity to witness others being watched by their parents, you will get your chance to come in when we invite parents to observe in Spring (or Fall if your child enters in Winter). Sometimes an observation by a parent can be difficult for even a returning child, so if you notice your child is feeling uncomfortable, it is probably best to leave and try another day. It is helpful to take notes during the observation so that when you confer with one of the teachers you will be able to refer to what you saw.
Parent/teacher conferences are scheduled during Fall and Spring. You will be informed of the schedule through the school newsletter and there will be a sign-up sheet outside the classroom so that you can choose a time convenient for you and your family. If you have two children in school, please sign-up for two time slots. Once you have made an appointment, please think as seriously about adjusting your conference time as you would any other professional appointment.
Pre-conference observation is strongly encouraged. This provides the parent and teacher with relevant classroom situations to discuss. It is important that conferences be a two-way exchange of information. Written records of each child’s activities are kept by the teacher. The teacher would appreciate information from parents such as:
- Your observations regarding changes you have noticed in your child since beginning Montessori school
- Whether your child has related school experiences and skills at home
- The unsolicited reactions of your child about school (children often say nothing when asked outright)
- Comments pertaining to your pre-conference observation of the class
Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ-3and ASQ-SE)
The ASQ-3 and ASQ-SE are screening tools that our school utilizes to identify our students’ strengths and areas of concern. The ASQ-3 focuses on communication, gross motor, fine motor, problem solving, and personal-social development (usually given in fall) while the ASQ-SE (usually in spring) assesses social-emotional health. As a parent, you are the best source of information about your child so the questionnaires are designed to be filled out by you. Please remember that ASQ provides a “snapshot” of a child’s development. It is not designed to measure a child’s maximum potential nor predict a child’s social-emotional future well-being. After you have turned in the ASQ paperwork, we will connect with you regarding the results of the screening. If the ASQ identifies any areas of concern we will, with your consent, invite the support of Early Intervention (EI) to work with your family to investigate further screenings and services. We consider you an important partner in your child’s learning and development.
Children’s Open House
We have an open house for the children and their parents twice yearly. You will be notified through the yearly calendar, parent meetings, and the latest newsletter. This is a special event for the children, because it’s a time when they show you the activities that they have been working on in the classroom. The evening is divided up into 3 half-hour intervals so that there are only 7 or 8 families in the room at a time. Please indicate on the signup sheet which time slot you would like to attend with your child. If you have two currently enrolled children, please sign up for two slots. So that there will be ample room for everyone to move around comfortably, please limit your visit to thirty minutes.
The school offers parent workshops which provide an important connection between school and home. These workshops help parents to understand what we do in the classroom to meet a child’s needs and what parents can do in the home as part of their vital role in the education process.
Newsletters are compiled and emailed to all families periodically. A few printed copies can be found in the mailbox area. Articles of interest, Montessori-related news items, announcements of a general nature, and news or reports from committees are all encouraged and welcome for consideration. All items can be given to our staff or our newsletter editor.
Parent meetings are held at regular intervals during the year to offer parents another avenue for participation in the operation of the school. These meetings will provide parents with news on what is happening in the classroom, as well as an opportunity to plan and participate in social and fundraising events. Each family can count 1.5 hours toward their volunteer hours for each parent meeting they attend..
A minimum of 20 hours of volunteer work is required of each family as a demonstration of their commitment to the children and the school community. Families have the option to pay $300 in exchange for those hours or $15 per hour for the balance of hours not completed. However, we strongly encourage our families to fulfill their commitment by direct involvement.
Each year, the families organize and conduct at least one fundraiser to augment our program wherever the greatest need exists. It is an opportunity to come together as a community, become acquainted with other families, and enhance our school.
Scholarship Fund and Tuition Assistance Loan Program
As part of our commitment to education, Philomath Montessori School has created a scholarship fund program to provide tuition assistance to families in need. Scholarship funds come from fundraising activities of current student families, alumni and voluntary contributions from school supporters. The amount available is limited and uncertain. If you would like your child/children to attend or to continue attending PhMS and believe it is not within your financial means, then you may be eligible for a scholarship for tuition assistance.
Our school has also established the Emergency Tuition Assistance Loan Program (ETALP), a loan of up to three months of half day or two months of full day student tuition for one eligible student per family during a school year. The ETALP is intended to help an existing student remain in class by providing a temporary loan of tuition during an acute family financial crisis or hardship.
If you would like to apply for either of these programs, please request an application from our office.
The deadline for scholarship fund applications is May 1