For children six and under, Montessori emphasizes learning through all five senses. Children in Montessori classes learn at their own, individual pace and according to their own choice of activities. They are not required to sit and listen to a teacher talk to them as a group, but are engaged in individual or group activities with materials that have been introduced to them 1:1 by the teacher who knows what each child is ready to do. Learning is an exciting process of discovery, leading to concentration, motivation, self-discipline, and a love of learning. At ToTH our aim is to prepare young children for life. Some preschools function primarily as daycares for working families and others are for the purposes of preparing children for the academics they will receive in elementary school, we are a community of stakeholders (invested owners, parents, administrators, teachers and children) who share common goals based on the values and principles of Montessori education. While traditional programs tend to focus on what the child can learn and perform in a given year, we focus on what is developmentally appropriate for the age group and specifically, what needs and interests your child reveals during predictable sensitive periods. Whereas in traditional programs children are separated according to age, we group children according to developmental planes (0 to 3 years, 3 to 6 years). Rather than take guidance and training from traditional models or the public education system, we continue to study and practice the Montessori Method as taught by Dr. Maria Montessori, the Italian physician who recorded and published her experiences working with young children. To hear more about Dr. Montessori and her Method from not just us, but other trained guides around the world, click here for Primary and here for Toddler.
Due to the nature of Montessori’s child-centered approach, ratios in Montessori programs are lower than in traditional programs. The children are in mixed age groups and their activity is self directed rather than teacher directed so more children and more activity is not only easier to facilitate, it’s better for the children. The learning and development outcomes are more easily achieved with more activity and more children. At this time, due to OSSE mandated restrictions due to Covid 19, we are operating with 8 children and 2 teachers in each classroom. We will slowly return to our standard ratio as soon as it’s safe and we are ready:
- Full Day Toddler normally has 12-14 children and 2-3 teachers.
- Primary normally has 23-28 children and 2-3 teachers.
- Part Day normally has 10 to 12 children and 2 teachers.
At this time, due to Covid 19 driven changes in our operations we have temporarily shortened the school day for our full time programs. The Full Day Toddler and Primary classrooms currently operate from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The part time toddler program offers a 3 hour morning session and a 3 hour afternoon session (morning is 9:15 am to 12:15 p.m. and afternoon is 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.). Parents are asked to choose either the morning or afternoon session. To view the 2021-2022 school calendar, click here.
The transformation of the Montessori guide (another term for “teacher”), through proper training and a deep knowledge of Montessori pedagogy, is essential. Every class at ToTH is guided by a fully trained Montessorian who has completed her studies with a MACTE accredited teacher training program, or by an experienced teacher enrolled in a MACTE accredited training program fully paid for by ToTH. We ensure that our guides in training are supported by our own trained Montessori educators at ToTH, in addition to their training mentor, while they study and practice and refine their skills. At this time ToTH employs three experienced, trained Montessori teachers with over 35 years classroom experience and we are currently sponsoring four ToTH teachers with The Center for Guided Montessori Studies as they work hard toward earning their credential.
ToTH offers high quality programs rooted in the Montessori method. We are different from some other childcare programs in that we ask parents to adhere to a consistent schedule that is designed with the students’ best interests in mind. We view parents as partners in their child’s experience here at ToTH, and in order to be effective partners, we ask that parents commit to the following:
- Please read our handbooks, agreements, and any supplementary materials in their entirety and respect all the protocols therein. Please be prompt and respectful of all deadlines, drop-off/pick-up times, and requests for information.
- Please engage in our parent education workshops, read our newsletters/Bloomz posts, and attend parent teacher conferences. We appreciate that parents are busy, but we ask that you commit at least one hour each month to learning more about the Montessori method and your child’s experience here at ToTH.
- Please communicate kindly and openly with all teachers, administrators, children, and fellow parents. Proactive, open communication is expected. We value vibrant dialogue between parents, teachers and administrators so that our learning together is robust!
At ToTH, we slowly integrate, or phase in new children who have never been a part of our community before. This means, if you are just starting with ToTH and your child has never attended any of our programs before, your child will have a special start date and it will not be the first day of school. We do not prorate tuition for this delayed start. The new child might start the very first week of school or she may be phased in as many as four weeks from the start of school. She may come on a day that no other new children are coming or she may come on a day when one or more new children are coming. ToTH plans a precise and personalized start for each and every new child who joins us and we take many factors into account when we build this unique calendar for all new children, in all three programs, which is quite a laborious process. Phase in takes a lot of time and planning on our part and it requires a team spirit from our parents. This phase in process is a standard component in almost all authentic Montessori school programs.
Children leave us as confident, joyful, and kind five and six year olds who love school and who, academically, tend to have progressed beyond the Common Core standards for kindergarten. The transition to the next school is easy for Montessori children because they will have practiced and refined the skills needed to manage themselves independently, solve social problems with friends, stay curious and try again when a mistake is made, and follow ground rules and norms in a school setting. Barring any social, emotional or learning difficulties that require more time or special services, children who complete all three years in Primary transition into first grade ready to thrive wherever you decide to place them. For more research on the Montessori Method please click here for a published research study.
Children entering our toddler programs are not required to be toileting independently. Our toddler program practices stand-up diaper changes and together, families and our teachers will work on toileting independence as part of our toddler curriculum. All children entering Primary must be toileting independently; however, our teachers will provide assistance when needed. To learn more about the Montessori way of toileting please visit this link.
Primary applications are due February 1, 2021. Toddler applications are due March 1, 2021. Families invited to accept a space must pay a non-refundable 10% tuition deposit by the due date in their agreement.
Deposits are non refundable except when a family is called to active military service.
We aim to create classroom cohorts of children who are balanced in age and gender, therefore, our waitlist is not first come first serve. For example, if we have a Full Day Toddler class heavy with boys and a vacancy opens, we would want to add a girl to that group. If we have Primary class heavy with kindergarteners we would choose to add a younger child. We do tend to have movement on our waitlists and each year families are pulled off the waitlist before school starts. And usually, later in the year, a few families are pulled off the waitlist to join us during the year. We will communicate with you via email and let you know of any openings. We do not require a deposit to stay on our waitlist; when we send an offer letter and ask for your deposit as soon as there is a space available, you will need to pay that deposit by the deadline in the offer letter.