Children are considered for admission after parents complete an Admission Application.
Children are typically admitted to West Side Montessori in the Little House (13 months and walking through 40 months before Sept. 30) and Children’s House (three years before August 1 through kindergarten) levels. Montessori classrooms incorporate multi-age groupings and whenever possible, children stay with the same teaching team and classmates. To take advantage of this unique learning opportunity, parents are encouraged to plan for a multi-year commitment to the school and enroll their child as early as possible. Although children may be accepted at any age, for maximum benefit of the program, we encourage enrollment no later than three to four years of age.
Prior to admission all assessments, screening tool results, evaluations and/or testing information must be submitted to the Admission and Placement Committee. Ideally, children are admitted at the beginning of the school year to take full advantage of the orientation period. Later applicants are considered for admission on a case by case basis.
Children in grade levels 1 - 8 are considered for enrollment after the Admission and Placement Committee reviews the student's grade card and, if possible, standardized test results. Previous assessments and any other pertinent behavioral information will also be considered. The child's present (or previous) teachers are contacted as part of the admission process. If after this review the committee believes the student is a good candidate for West Side Montessori, the applicant will be invited to come for a three-day visit. During the visit, teachers communicate the program expectations and the child has the opportunity to experience the classroom environment. The faculty has the opportunity to evaluate the child’s commitment to learning and ability to meet the behavioral expectations of the school. Placement testing will occur during the visit. After the visit parents receive feedback. An offer of enrollment may be extended or the Admission Committee may recommend an alternate placement within or outside of the school.
Because the school adheres to the Montessori educational philosophy that stresses individual responsibility for learning, potential students at any level will be assessed for admission on the basis of their ability to make developmentally appropriate choices. Children are also assessed for their ability to participate in group lessons.
When a space is offered, at any age level, parents complete the enrollment process by making a non-refundable tuition deposit. Because the school believes that an optimal learning experience can be attained only through the school and parents working in partnership, parents sign a partnership agreement upon enrollment (and annually thereafter) in which they acknowledge and accept their role in the education of their child. The agreement is an affirmation of responsible parenting practices and clarifies the level of involvement expected from and by the school.
The first six weeks of school are considered an orientation and evaluation period for any child entering or moving up to a new level at West Side Montessori. Parents are notified by classroom teachers of any concerns that arise during this period and teachers urge parents to notify them if their child brings home a school-related problem. If concerns continue, a meeting is scheduled with parents, teachers and appropriate staff to discuss intervention strategies. An outside evaluation may be required.
A six-week trial period may be initiated any time a child's behavior is significantly disruptive to the classroom or is affecting the child’s ability to learn. During this time teachers and Student Services observe the child, intervene when problems occur, and document the incidents. Parents are contacted and a plan is developed to address the child's behavior. If the child does not make progress, parents will be asked to withdraw their child.