Parent Handbook

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Because so many of our parents interact with our website through mobile devices with small screens, Meadow Montessori has moved toward offering our Parent Handbook in an online format. As of the 2017-18 School Year, you can download a printable PDF of this document or read it directly on this page.

Message from the Head of School

Welcome to Meadow Montessori School! The Parent Handbook will provide you with information about our school so that you and your child can have a successful and happy experience. Please read, and keep handy, the Parent Handbook.

We look forward to a year filled with exciting educational opportunities and growth for your child. We are committed to providing the best possible learning experience for each and every child entrusted in our care. We are pleased you have joined our school community and hope you are excited to be a Meadow Montessori parent!

~Kristine Lande

Mission Statement

The mission of Meadow Montessori School is to create and sustain a caring, respectful and safe educational environment to enable each child to realize his or her richest potential for social, ethical and intellectual growth and to become an independent, self-motivated, and contributing member of the world community.

This mission is best accomplished by:

Providing a well-rounded curriculum adhering to rigorous standards, informed by current thinking and research on child development and learning;

Fostering a love of learning;

Embracing a diverse student body in which students experience and learn to respect ethnic, cultural, economic and other differences and to seek and identify common ground;

Recognizing that personal growth involves responsibility toward others and toward the earth; and

Facilitating the involvement of parents, teachers, students and the larger community.

Statement of Philosophy & Objectives

Meadow Montessori School begins with a deep respect for children as unique individuals. We are concerned about the development of the whole child—social and emotional, intellectual, and physical.  An underlying purpose of a Meadow Montessori School education is to aid the child in independence and self-formation by creating an environment that can unlock the inherent potentials and intelligence within each child.

We:

  • Embrace the Montessori pedagogy, which is based on universal principles of child development, as sound theory and practice for teaching and learning;
  • Look to accepted current research to inform our evolving understanding of human development. Recognize the many differences in learning rates and styles;
  • Believe in individualizing each child’s school experience for the fullest development of his or her potential. Embrace the concept of a multi-age, ideally three-year age span classroom community as optimum for academic, social, and emotional learning;
  • Believe that the dynamic classroom requires a sufficient gathering of children yet a smaller teacher/student ratio to operate effectively; and
  • Value cooperation over competition and believe that each child’s work and behavior should be evaluated on his or her inherent capacity rather than by comparison.

The Montessori Approach

A Montessori education is an “education for life”. Learning is a hands-on which parallels the newly revised BC curriculum. Students learn by trial, error and discovery within a prepared environment. This approach is responsive to individual learning styles and allows the child to progress at their best pace. Each child becomes fully engaged in the learning process.

We believe that by helping each child to discover their own unique talents and possibilities we prepare them to succeed in the real world of ideas, enterprise and challenging perspectives.

We help children “learn how to learn” so they will be ready for the ever changing world of tomorrow by:

  • Inspiring children to think for themselves. Instead of presenting the “right answer” we try to ask the “right question” and challenge them to find new solutions and discover the answers for themselves
  • Helping students to become effective, self-organized learners by encouraging them to do their own research, analyze what they have found, and come to their own conclusions
  • Keeping their joy of learning alive by providing intriguing learning materials and encouraging them to investigate, explore, discover and think creatively
  • Exposing students to diverse perspectives and teaching them to respect different points of view which provides them with valuable life skills such as peaceful conflict resolution and interpersonal communication

Montessori educated children tend to grow up to be:

  • Leaders, life-long learners, independent & responsible, resilient, self-confident & enthusiastic, compassionate and kind.

Diversity Statement

“The needs of mankind are universal. Our means of meeting them create the richness and diversity of the planet. The Montessori child should come to relish the texture of that diversity.” — Maria Montessori

At Meadow Montessori School, we embrace and celebrate the diversity of our world. Our differences — including those of culture, race, ethnicity, religion, age, family structure, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, social economics, learning style, and world view, among others — form and inform a rich environment that is a crucial part of educating our children on their path to maturity and global citizenship. Our interactions across our entire community are characterized by guiding principles of respect, equity, justice, humanity, peace, and personal responsibility.

We oppose discrimination and consciously recognize the value of diversity throughout our hiring practices, admission process, classroom composition, professional development, community and classroom activities.

Notice of Nondiscriminatory Policy as to Students

Meadow Montessori admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. Meadow Montessori does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, gender identity, or sexual orientation in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, financial aid programs, and other school-administered programs.

Special Needs

Meadow Montessori School follows the mandate laid out by the MMSS Board with regards to inclusion of all types of learners in our programs:
Meadow Montessori recognizes that some children require additional support in order to optimize their learning in a school setting. In keeping with the belief that all children can learn and that children learn at different rates, and with the value of including students with a range of abilities, Meadow embraces the inclusion of students with special needs in the school. This includes children with challenges at either end of the learning spectrum. Within its financial means, Meadow Montessori School will make every reasonable effort to include children with special needs and adapt the environment and program to meet their learning needs, while not compromising the learning needs of other children. Each child’s situation is considered on an individual basis.

Specials Needs – Capacity within the classroom and teaching team

Meadow Montessori tries to accommodate the learning needs of all students in its classrooms. Students with special needs often require additional staffing and or staff time to modify/adapt the Montessori program. The demands made on a classroom team are cumulative and the addition of a new student with special needs cannot be looked at in isolation from the remainder of the class. In one classroom scenario a student’s needs can be met, yet in another that same student’s needs may be beyond scope of the resources available.

Leadership

The Board of Directors is responsible for setting the mission, establishing overall policy and ensuring the financial stability of Meadow Montessori School. Through the selection of a Head of School, the Board assures implementation of the policies it has adopted.

Our school is operated by a management team comprised of the Head of School, the Elementary Principal and the Primary Manager. All team members bring unique experience and education to Meadow Montessori School.

Head of School

Our current Head of School (HOS) is Mrs. Kristine Lande, also known as “Miss Kristine”. She has been with the school since 2004 by becoming President when we were transitioning to an elementary school. She is trained in Montessori Whole-school administration, Human Resources Leadership, and Emergency Preparedness. She is the driving force behind the philosophy and direction of the school. Miss Kristine’s passion for the school is evident and she has been known to call her work her “lifestyle” rather than refer to it as her career. The Head of School manages every facet of the day-to-day running of the school.

Elementary Principal

Our Elementary Principal is responsible for overseeing the Elementary department team members and setting the curriculum to ensure our programs are in line with the newly revised British Columbia elementary curriculum. She also administers and marks the FSA testing. The Foundation Skills Assessment (FSA) is an annual province-wide assessment of all B.C. students’ academic skills in grades 4 and 7, and provides parents, teachers, schools, school districts and the Ministry of Education with important information on how well students are progressing in the foundation skills of Reading, Writing, and Numeracy.

Our Upper Elementary teacher Ms. Stephanie Harrington is our Elementary Principal.

Primary Manager

Our Primary Manager is Gabriela Bosica. Ms.Gabriela is a highly experienced early-childhood educator and ensures Meadow Montessori complies with the Community Care Facilities Act and acts as the liaison for the Fraser Health Authority.

Governance

Board members serve staggered three-year terms. In addition, the Head of School and a Staff Representative are ex-officio non-voting Board members. The current Board is responsible for developing and considering individuals for Board membership.The Annual General meeting of the Board is held in October of each year to approve the final budget. The full Board votes annually in the Spring to fill any vacancies and to elect officers for the following year.

Meadow Montessori’s current Board of Directors consists primarily of parents and friends of the school; while the Board strives for diversity in the backgrounds and skills of Directors, all members share a common commitment to maintain the character, philosophy, and fiscal health of Meadow Montessori School.

The Board works through standing committees: Growth & Development, Finance and Executives. The Board authorizes other committees and special task forces to study specific issues that arise. Parents who are not Board members have served on Board committees. The Board holds regular meetings during the school year and a meeting during the summer months to approve the revised budget as needed. Actions of the Board are reported to the parent body at large through letters from the President and committee coordinators of the Parent Association.

Copies of the minutes of Board’s meetings are available upon request.

Current Board of Directors

President

Cindy Hansen

Vice-President

Meggin Dueckman

Treasurer

Tony Mayall

Secretary

Jessica Fletcher

Director

Chantal Blais

When you enroll your child at Meadow Montessori School, you automatically become a member of the Parent Association(PA).

Meadow Montessori parents have contributed their resources, time and talents to the school since it was established (by parents!) in 1985.

The Parent Association is led by an elected coordinator who as also a director of the society.

The Coordinator for 2017-18 is:   To be announced!

What do we do?

The purpose of the Parent Association is to keep the school community healthy and rewarding, and to mobilize parent resources for the support of the school. Money raised by the PA goes primarily toward community-building events, field trips and updating materials.

The PA Coordinator holds regular meetings open to all parents, at which school activities are discussed and planned. The PA Coordinator works closely with school administrators, faculty, and staff and serves as a liaison between the parent body and the school staff.

The PA  will have a presence at many events throughout the school year. Every parent is needed to help Meadow Montessori thrive. Please participate!

Meadow Montessori’s administrative assistant serves as liaison between the PA Coordinator and the administrative staff; she also provides support for the PA, assisting them with logistics and publicity.

How can you participate?

Attend a PA meeting and/or respond to a call for volunteers sent out in School Communications. Be sure to fill out a Parent Volunteer Interest Form online and please contact our administrative assistant if you have an idea or a suggestion.

Volunteer Policies

We want to include as many parents as possible in volunteer activities. For this reason, we try to avoid having a volunteer serve in the same position for more than two consecutive years (for Room Parents, that means serving no more than two consecutive years in the same classroom). For Committee Chairs, the ideal arrangement is for one Co-Chair to be a veteran of the prior year, while the other Co-Chair is new. This allows the transfer of institutional knowledge while opening up opportunities for leadership. Room Parent and Committee Chair assignments are subject to approval by the Head of School.

All parents, especially when volunteering, are expected to abide by the Meadow Montessori Code of Conduct. The school community depends heavily on parent participation, and the atmosphere of trust and respect here at Meadow Montessori is maintained by the professional and courteous behavior of our volunteers.

Parent Association Activities

  • Admissions Open Houses
  • Annual Fund Events
  • Art Show
  • Concerts
  • Community Service Events
  • Family Fun Field Day
  • Fundraising
  • Grocery and Retail Programs that Give Back
  • Room Parents
Meadow Montessori is always bustling with activity! The brief summary below will give you some information about important yearly events as well as what is generally expected from parents. Please see the school website and the print calendar you received before the start of the school year for exact dates.

August

Teacher Week (School Preparation)
Open House

This open house is perfect for new students to come and meet their teacher again to refresh their memory. This is also a great time for any last minute questions for your teachers and Administrative staff.

September

First Day

The first day of school is a full day for all elementary students in Grades 1 -7. All other classes are on gradual entry. After school care is available on the first day of school.

New Student Orientation/ Gradual Entry

All students in the Primary class, even if they are coming from a previous class, will have two weeks of gradual entry. More information is in the Parent Portal under Back to School.

Meet & Greet Picnic

It’s picnic time – a time to get to know each other or catch up on the busy time of summer. The event is pot-luck and a sign-up sheet is put up at the doors by the office the first week of school.It’s a nice relaxed event celebrating Back-to School!

Upper Elementary Outdoor School Trip

The entire class goes to Camp Jubilee Outdoor School on Indian Arm, Port Moody for two nights and three days of special classes, activities and bonding time.

October

Admissions Open Houses

Meadow Montessori holds Open Houses in the fall and winter for prospective parents to visit the school. Parent volunteers are needed to help welcome families. Open Houses are great opportunities to share your favorite things about Meadow Montessori School with other parents.

Parent-Teacher Conference Day

Held twice a year for one day in the fall and spring, Parent-Teacher Conferences are important opportunities to hear about your child’s life at school and to share information from home. Our teachers prepare some of their students work for presentation to the parent during Parent-Teacher Conferences, and teachers are well prepared to discuss each child on these days. We fully expect every parent to make an appointment during Parent-Teacher Conferences and use this dedicated, pre-planned time to meet with the teacher. School is closed for those days, as is the Before/After School Program. Child care is provided (within reason) during Parent-Teacher Conferences.

Upper Elementary Standardized Assessments (FSA)

Families of Upper Elementary  (Grades 4 & 7) students should be sure their child is present for testing.

School Photos

Twice a year, school pictures are taken in the Primary and Elementary classes. In the fall, individual portraits are taken, and in the spring, class pictures are taken.  With all the colds and sniffles in the fall, we have found too often have many children missing from the class photos.These are entirely voluntary although we hope you will allow your child to be in the class photograph even if you do not order a copy.

Fall Break

November

Remembrance Day Assembly

Parents and families are welcome to attend this afternoon assembly to honour the efforts and sacrifices of generations of Canadians who have put their lives on the line in the cause of peace and freedom around the world.

December

Winter Concert

The Winter Concert is held in the evening so all can come and watch the children of Meadow Montessori put on a lovely winter show. The event is pot-luck afterwards for refreshments. A sign-up sheet is put up at the doors by the office the first week of school.

Report Cards

January

Re-enrollment

Current families’ contracts are due at the end of the month, along with the enrollment fee, in order to hold your child’s place for the next year. Please note: your child’s place will not be held without the enrollment fee.

February

Open Registration

On February 2nd registration is open to those on the wait lists and then to the general public on a first-come-first-serve basis.

Parent-Teacher Conference Day

Held twice a year for one day in the fall and spring, Parent-Teacher Conferences are important opportunities to hear about your child’s life at school and to share information from home. Our teachers prepare some of their students work for presentation to the parent during Parent-Teacher Conferences, and teachers are well prepared to discuss each child on these days. We fully expect every parent to make an appointment during Parent-Teacher Conferences and use this dedicated, pre-planned time to meet with the teacher. School is closed for those days, as is the Before/After School Program. Child care is provided (within reason) during Parent-Teacher Conferences.

March

Spring Break
Elementary Fair

Elementary students present science & other learning projects to fellow students, faculty, staff and parents. Lower Elementary students work on displays with explanations, and Upper Elementary students perform and present experiments using the scientific method and other demonstrations.

April

Report Cards

May

Mother’s Day Tea/Special Persons’ Day

This is one of Meadow Montessori’s most popular events. Each student invites their Mother, or another special person such as a grandmother or caregiver, to visit our school for a student-led tea.

May Break

June

Art Show

Throughout the school year, selected art-works of each student are saved and later mounted in and shown in the Auditorium for display. Volunteers are needed for matting,hanging and displaying artwork. This annual event showcases the artistic development of our students and they are very proud of their work when it’s displayed professionally; it encourages the artist in all of us, don’t miss it!

Summer Musical

After weeks of preparation, the entire student body performs a musical/dramatic production for family, friends, and the community, with a pot-luck afterwards.

Family-Fun Field Day

This is the second favourite activity of the year. We all, students, parents/caregivers and staff, get together at Maple Ridge Park for the day. We play numerous games including tug-of-war and sack races. We have a BBQ and potluck and get to enjoy the local creek, water park and playground.

Parent/Child Evening

Parent and child evening is a time for children to show their favourite work. It is the culmination of their year when a child can be proud of their learning and wish to share it with others. Don’t miss this time with your child!

July

Heritage Day

This event is for everyone! Children can dress up according to their heritage, do a research project to display, and enjoy a pot-luck with ethnic food!

Last Day of School

School lets out at noon. After school care is not available. Have a happy Summer!

Getting to School

Smooth arrival and dismissal is crucial to the well being of the school community and to our relationship with the neighborhood. We need your cooperation and understanding! Please explain the Arrival/Dismissal policies and procedures to all caregivers who drop off or pick up your child. Your signature on the enrollment contract indicates your willingness to follow all of Meadow Montessori’s policies and procedures. Refusal to comply is considered a violation of the Meadow Montessori Code of Conduct.

Parking

In the interest of safety & respect for our neighbours we have strict policies regarding parking.

PLEASE ADVISE ALL DRIVERS WHO COME TO THE SCHOOL ABOUT THIS IMPORTANT INFORMATION.
  1. When parking against the shrubs of the school property on 114th – BE SURE TO LEAVE ABOUT ONE METRE OF WALKING SPACE IN BETWEEN YOUR VEHICLE AND THE SHRUBS for our students, staff, parents and passersby to safely move around without having to walk out into the street. If your vehicle is too long to leave this amount of room, please choose to park elsewhere.
  2. PLEASE DO NOT BLOCK DRIVEWAYS for ANY length of time for ANY REASON.
  3. DO NOT PARK IN THE YELLOW MARKED AREA ON THE CORNER IN FRONT OF THE FIRE HYDRANT OR
  4. DO NOT PARK BY THE STOP SIGN for ANY REASON

Maple Ridge Bylaws Enforcement checks us regularly and you WILL BE TICKETED.

School Hours
School Office: 8:30am -4:00pm
Before-School Program (BSC): 8:00am-8:20am
Morning Primary: 8:45am-11:15am
Afternoon Primary: 12:30pm – 3:00pm
Full-day Primary: 8:45am-3:00pm
Lower Elementary: 8:20am-3:00pm
Upper Elementary: 8:20am-3:00pm
After School Program (ASC): 3:00pm-5:30pm

Please Note: When siblings have different arrival times, we provide “gap care” which allows you to drop all siblings off at the earliest arrival time at no extra charge.

Early Arrival

If you have not contracted for BSC, and you drop off your child after 8:00am but before your scheduled start time, he or she will be sent to BSC, and you will receive a bill for $10.

Late Arrival

If your child arrives after 8:45am, please sign in with the Office so we can take your child off the “absent” list and so that a staff member can walk your child to class thereby minimizing disruptions to the class that is already in progress. If your child is chronically late to school, your teacher will contact you. Please be on time!

Late Pick-Up – Morning Primary

Families whose children have not been picked up by the end of the program dismissal time will be charged a late fee. This is $10 for the first ten minutes, changing to $35 for pick-ups that are more than 10 minutes late. You will be billed for late fees, so please be sure to pick up your child on time and let your caregivers know that they must do the same.

Late Pick-up – Afternoon

Children who have not been picked at dismissal time will join the After School Program (ASC) and you will be billed a drop-in fee after 10 minutes. Please call the school and leave a message if you are going to be late so we can reassure your child.

Release Permission

Meadow Montessori School is authorized to release a child only to his or her parents or guardian, unless we receive in writing the names of other people permitted to pick up your child. If your child is going home with someone not on our list, such as a friend after school, the School Office must have permission in writing (or email) from the parent. Last minute phone calls from a parent for emergency situations are acceptable.

Please inform the person picking up their child to have some form of identification with them, as they may be required to show it to the teacher (the child may vouch for the pick-up). Parents are asked to explain this procedure to anyone picking up their child, so that they do not feel embarrassed when asked for identification, and realize that is for safety and security reasons only. This is very important especially at the beginning of the school year and with new students.

 

The Before and After School Program at Meadow is designed to provide a safe, comfortable, and engaging environment for Primary and Elementary students before and/or after their school day.

In the morning, children can read, socialize, and choose hands-on materials in one of the classrooms. Students in Primary are sent to their own room. Students in Elementary go to a Lower Elementary classroom.

In the afternoon, our Director of the After School Program prepares an after-school environment in the Lower Elementary classroom so that children can be independent and enjoy choosing age-appropriate materials, games, art media, etc. Students can take a nap, eat a snack, and enjoy each other’s company in play. Parents are required to supply additional snack in their child’s lunch for ASC. When the playground is available, children go to the outdoor environment for supervised outdoor play. Children may also go for a walk to the parks in our area. ASC personnel are sensitive to the needs of children at all ages and stages of development in creating activities. They guide and encourage independence, positive choices, and collaborative play that fosters positive social relationships.

ASC/BSC Contract

Parents of Primary to Elementary children who need regular before or after school care are advised to sign a BSC and/or ASC contract for the year. A contract can be obtained from the School Office. An annual contract is a considerable savings from the drop-in rate. Partial week plans (a minimum of three days required) are available and are charged on a prorated basis.

ASC/BSC Drop in

Meadow Montessori offers the use of the Before School and After School Care programs on an as-needed basis for currently enrolled Primary and Elementary students only. Staffing requirements and regulatory restrictions limit the number of children in ASP, so checking to see if there is space in the class is required. Please contact the Office at least one day in advance or as soon as you know you need BSC or ASC care.

ASC runs from 3:00-5:30pm. The fee for use of part or all of each ASC session is $20 per child. BSC opens at 8:00am; the fee for the use of BSC service is $10.

Late ASC Pick-Up

For each child picked up from ASC after 5:30pm, there is an immediate charge of $35. In addition to the $35 charge, for each child picked up after 5:30pm, parents will incur charges of $1/minute. Therefore, the charge for one child will be $36 at 5:31pm, $37 at 5:32pm, etc. Please call if you know you will be late so we can reassure your child. A phone call does not absolve you from the fee.

If a child is left past 5:30 without notification from parents, all attempts will be made to contact the parents and emergency contacts for immediate pick-up. If no contact can be made by 6:00, Police Services and/or Family and Children’s Services will be notified.

Attendance, Tardiness, & Vacations Absenteeism

Regular attendance is an important part of the Montessori experience and promotes better school performance. Attendance records are kept as part of each child’s file. Excessive absenteeism will be discussed with parents and all unexcused absences are required to be reported to the Ministry of Education. Every effort should be made to avoid scheduling vacations when classes are in session.

Tardiness

Chronic tardiness has an enormous impact on children. At the Elementary level, a lesson might be given to the whole class at the beginning of the day, and any child who arrives late may miss part of or the entire lesson. The late child also interrupts the class which can be embarrassing and, when chronic, disrespectful.  In the  Primary classes, the teacher takes time with each arriving child to welcome, connect, and assist the child in becoming engaged. A child arriving late finds the teacher already giving individual lessons and unable to free herself to make that vital connection. It is important to note that children themselves are uncomfortable when they arrive after the start of the school day. Children who are consistently tardy are reported to the Head of School.

Family Vacations

It is difficult for a child to miss school for an extended time for any reason. Obviously, a child must stay home when sick. However, a family vacation while school is in session should be avoided. In the third year of Primary and at the Elementary level, many Montessori lessons are given in small groups, even if a child is absent. Lessons can be long and complex, and it is not possible to present the new concept or skill with the same level of detail to a child who has missed the initial presentation. And, since we do not rely on workbooks, it is difficult to send students off with a week of work. Please plan vacations to coordinate with the school calendar (located in the back of this Handbook).

Snow Days & Inclement Weather

Because many of our faculty and staff live outside the District, we make our own decisions about whether to close or delay school rather than following the District of Maple Ridge School System. Please opt into text messages from the school (REMIND see the Communication section of this document for instructions) or go to Meadow Montessori’s website (www.meadowmontessori.ca).

Records

All records listed below must be submitted to Meadow Montessori in order for your child to begin school. If we do not have this information, we will not allow your child to attend class.

  1. Emergency contact information and medical consent. This should include emergency phone numbers and emails for parents, who is allowed to pick up your child, and any allergy or other important medical conditions. This information should have been filled out on the registration form. If there are any changes, please notify the office.
  2. Birth Certificate
  3. Primary Class – Immunization records. If your child is not immunized you will need a form which is available from the Office and can also be found on the Parent Section of the website.
  4. Guardianship/Custody
    • The School must have legal papers of visitation schedules and any other relevant legal documents, including restraining orders, etc.
    • If there are no legal papers, the administration will accept a written agreement signed by both parents.
    • Each parent has a right to receive School mail, speak to teachers, go to interviews, receive progress reports, go on field trips, observe classrooms by appointment and leave with their child on their appropriate day and time.
RECENT SEPARATION:

If in the case of a recent separation a parent wants the school to withhold the child from the other natural parent, the staff will advise him or her to seek legal counsel. The school cannot assume responsibility for withholding the child from either parent, unless a copy of a legal court order to this effect is presented.

ACTUAL CUSTODY:

When a child is placed in the school by one parent/guardian, he or she supplies the names of people authorized to remove the child from the school. The policy is to release the child only to the parent or person authorized by that parent/guardian.
Only the parent with legal custody may enroll the child, withdraw the child, or sign permission slips and paperwork.
It is Meadow Montessori staff policy not to side with either parent in the event of a divorce. Staff also may not write letters in your defense for any legal hearing or legal action. Trust that our staff is here to aid your child and give him/her the best care possible in a consistent and nurturing environment.
If the occasion happens when both parents are in the school grounds during a time when the two parents are estranged, we expect both parents to treat each other with respect. No conflicts will be tolerated while on Meadow Montessori School property.

Absences & Illness

Parents should notify the School Office BY PHONE (leave a message) when their child is absent and inform us if your child has a contagious disease.

In case of an absence due to a contagious disease or an illness of more than five days’ duration, a note from your child’s physician is required before the child can be readmitted to the classroom. A child must be free of fever or vomiting for 24 hours before he or she can return to school.

Please be considerate of others in your child’s class. Do not send your child to school if he or she has a fever or “is coming down with something.”  Primary children with a colored discharge from the nose should stay home until the discharge is clear in color. If your child becomes ill at school, we will call you to come and take your child home as soon as possible.

If your child goes home because of illness, they may not return to school that same day for afternoon or evening activities.

Lice

If head lice are discovered on a student, we will send that student home and notify all parents in the class about the outbreak. We will carefully check all students in the class where lice were found, as well as the classes of that student’s siblings. Upon the student’s return to school, he or she will be carefully checked to be certain there are no live or hatching eggs remaining.

Medication Policy

Sometimes it is necessary for a child to take medication during the school day.

Prescription medication must be brought to the school office by an adult in the original container (medications may not be sent in a lunch box). A pharmacist will fill the prescription in two containers if requested. The prescription medication must be accompanied by a Medication Authorization Form stating the current date, dosage, and time the medication should be given, dates of administering the medication, and whether the medication should be returned at the end of each day. The Medication Authorization Form must be signed by the parent. Medication Authorization Forms are available from the Office or the Parent area of the website.

Non-prescription (“over-the-counter”) medication of any kind cannot be taken at school unless accompanied by a Medication Authorization Form signed by the child’s parent. The medication (in the original container), and the Medication Authorization Form, as described above, should be given to the School Office by an adult.

If your child has a medical condition, e.g. allergies or routine medications, please contact the School Office to arrange a specific medical treatment plan for your child.

When parents disclose an allergy or food sensitivity to the school, we inform the teacher and indicate the allergy on the snack guidelines.

For a student who is severely allergic and requires an Epi-pen, please provide two Epi-pens and a Medication Authorization Form to Meadow. One Epi-pen will be stored in the child’s classroom, and the second Epi-pen will be stored in the Office. If the Epi-pen is administered, the parent will be notified, and we will call 911.

Security

The doors are locked all day unless actively monitored by an adult. In order to enter the school, parents, volunteers and visitors must knock on the door by the office. Visitors must check in with the Office. If your child arrives after 8:45am, you must sign in with the Office so we can take your child off the “absent” list and so that a staff member can walk your child to class to minimize interruptions to classes already in progress. T

As stated in the Release section, Meadow Montessori School is authorized to release a child only to his or her parents, unless we receive in writing the names of those people permitted to pick up your child. If your child is going home with a friend after school, the Office must have permission in writing from the parent—last minute phone calls from a parent for emergency situations are acceptable.

Emergency Preparedness

We have made extensive preparations for a wide range of emergencies. Meadow Montessori’s Comprehensive Emergency Crisis Plan is available upon request. It includes action plans for on-site emergencies, local emergencies, and alerts issued by the RCMP.

Guidelines to Follow in the Event of an Emergency or Crisis
  1. FIRST RESPONSE – A notice and procedures will be posted on the school’s website (www.meadowmontessori.ca), posted on REMIND and emailed if possible. Follow instructions carefully. DO NOT CALL THE SCHOOL
  2. If feasible, you will be contacted directly by telephone.
  3. In some emergencies (a fire, for example) the children may be walked to a safe location where you can pick them up. Information will be posted on the website, and an attempt will be made to call you.
  4. We have several safe locations. The Hammond Community Centre is our primary location.
  5. If we are required to “shelter in place” at the school, we have provisions and are completely prepared to do so.
  6. In some cases, the authorities may tell you not to leave your building or location, or we may be told to allow no one to enter our building. Please know that your child’s well-being and safety are our only priority.
  7. Your child will never be left without an adult. If you are unable to pick up your child during a crisis or emergency, they will be safely cared for until you can be reunited.
  8. You keeping all records up to date in our office is critical—including cell phone numbers, email, and those individuals you allow to pick up your child. Consider carefully your list of those to whom we can release your child in a crisis/emergency. An out of area contact is very beneficial in the case of a disaster.
  9. Respond immediately to any requests for items or information related to our emergency plan.
  10. Keep the school’s telephone number and website handy at home, at work, and in your car.
  11. The school has a supply of emergency food and water for all the children in the emergency supplies. If your child has dietary restrictions or medication requirements, you should supply the school with two bags containing a 3-day supply of special foods or medications.

If you have further questions or concerns, please contact the School Office to discuss them.

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Primary Class Snacks

Primary parents volunteer and signup on the bulletin board to provide snack. This provides parents with another opportunity to interact with their child (i.e. help prepare snack at home). Please ensure that a healthy snack is provided for the entire class.Please ask your child’s teacher for approximate numbers.If you are unable to participate or have any last minute difficulties, please contact the Office.

Ideas for Snacks

Fresh fruit and vegetables (apples, melon, carrot sticks, etc.), cheese, crackers, muffins, bagels, breads, cream cheese, or other spreads are some suggestions. Please do not send cookies, cupcakes, individual snack cups, juice boxes, nuts, grapes, hot dogs, popcorn, soda, or candy of any kind.

Getting Snack to the Classroom

You can leave your box/bag of snacks with a staff member at drop-off.

Lunches

Lunch is a relaxing and informal time, a chance to learn, practice grace and courtesy, and socialize with friends. Finding appropriate lunch foods for children who do not enjoy sandwiches can be challenging. Cheese and crackers, cold cuts, even cold pizza are good options. Fresh vegetables and fresh fruits are great “side dishes.” Dessert (no candy, please) may be included; however, we will ask the children not to eat dessert first. We will also return the uneaten portion of lunch to you so that you know what an appropriate size lunch is for your child. (Sometimes eating a sandwich cut into quarters instead of halves is easier for your child, or perhaps half a sandwich is enough.) When including a drink, please choose 100% juice, milk, or water. Lunches should not include items that need to be microwaved or refrigerated. Please include the utensils your child will need in order to eat his or her lunch, and a napkin. In an effort to be a responsible community we ask that parents try to employ reusable containers, washable utensils, and cloth napkins rather than disposables.

Celebrations & Birthdays

In the Primary we celebrate birthdays at circle time by singing “Happy Birthday” and having a “Walk Around the Sun”. Please bring photos/stories about the child at birth, one year, two years, etc. for the “Birthday Walk”, the teachers will send home a form to aid you with this.

We do not accept sugary treats (for example: cookies, cupcakes, birthday cakes, candy)  for teachers to give out to the children in celebration of your child’s birthday. Any sugary food brought for birthday sharing may only be given out at the end of the day directly to PARENTS ONLY. Many of our families are very careful about what they feed their children. We try to respect this at all times!

Homemade treats, muffins and pizza bagels are examples of festive and nutritious celebration foods. Please discuss birthday snack plans with your teacher ahead of time. Please inform your child’s teacher several days in advance of the day you intend to bring special food for a holiday or birthday. Advance notice provides time for planning so that your child’s teacher can create a positive and enjoyable celebration, and allows her to make recommendations if necessary. Please call, email or send your child’s teacher a note, saying what you would like to bring and when you’d like to bring it.

 

Party Invitations

Please do not send invitations to school to be distributed. In a small school, being inclusive is so important. Being left out can be devastating to a child. Here are some suggested guidelines:

While you may be inclined to invite the whole class, doing so may be impractical, and most children do better with a smaller group. A good rule of thumb is to invite the number of children which corresponds to the age of your child – 3 guests for a three year old; 8, for an eight year old, in addition to family, of course. Allowing the child to choose his or her guests, while Montessori in principle, requires parental guidance and has the potential of hurting a child who is not invited.

It is best if children do not discuss a party that is coming up or a party that they have been to because other children may feel excluded. Please, ask your child to refrain from discussing social events during the school day.

In order to keep the guest list manageable while ensuring that no one child feels left out, consider inviting all of one (or two) ages. If you are unsure of the ages, please ask your teacher.

Be sure to check the class lists and confirm with the teacher to prevent omissions such as a child who has joined the class mid-year.

Celebrating Holidays

Meadow Montessori is non-sectarian and non-denominational, including the observance of holidays. Though most holidays are part of the culture and heritage of the majority of our students, we recognize that all do not observe each holiday or do not observe them in the same way. We teach with great respect for the child and his or her family and background. We welcome families to share their heritage through cultural information, music, food or a story. Many of the holidays are approached from a cultural perspective. This helps to build a sense of community by celebrating our similarities as well as our differences. Please contact your child’s teacher if you would like to share elements of your culture with the class.

Clothing & Shoes

Please label all outer garments your child wears to school. This includes coats, sweaters, hats, gloves, boots, etc. Should an item be misplaced, please ask to see the Lost & Found basket. All  Primary students need a change of labeled clothing to be kept in their classroom.

The school has a limited supply of “extra clothes.” If your child comes home wearing unfamiliar clothes, please wash these clothes and return them to school promptly.

Children should wear clothes they can manage themselves when going to the bathroom. Suspenders, sweaters outside of overalls, tights or small buttons are difficult for children to manage themselves. Pants with elastic at the waist are often easier than pants with snaps or belts. We are willing to assist your child, but he or she is very pleased when he or she can say, “I did it myself!”

All clothing should be weather appropriate for being active outside comfortably.

Loose sandals, flip-flops and clogs are not permitted at School. Full-day and Elementary children can participate in Outdoor/Physical Education only if they are wearing athletic shoes with laces or Velcro fasteners.

Uniforms

School uniforms, as well as non-marking running shoes for gym class, are required for kindergarten and elementary students.More information can be found on the Uniforms page of the website under the Parents section.

This includes:

  • basic black dress shoes (inside shoes- not runners) to be worn in the classroom and left at school
  • school uniform sweater
  • white or navy school polo shirt  or white dress shirt or blouse
  • khaki or navy pants or skirts, school tartan tunics & skorts
  • heather grey t-shirt and navy sport shorts for gym, and non-marking athletic shoes
  • school hoodie

Please Note: Tank tops and yoga type pants or leggings (without a skirt) and jean type pants or NOT suitable items for mixing with uniform clothing.

We strongly advise all parents to leave an extra set of underwear, pants, socks and shirt in case an accident arises where a child should need to change. Please note this extra clothing does not have to be uniform clothing.
We have “casual days” approximately once per month as set in the calendar.

Toys

Toys are a distraction from classroom work and should not be brought to school. Some children are allowed items of comfort within their education plans, all comfort items must be arranged with the teacher. Also, please check pockets for unfamiliar items. These may be important parts of Montessori materials and need to be returned to school.

Field Trip Policies

Throughout the year, the School will arrange field trips to enrich their learning experiences. Field trips are planned for Elementary students and a limited number are planned for Full-Day Primary students. A notice will be sent home with your child in advance informing you of the destination, time, date and possible cost. The notice will also include a permission slip to be signed and returned. All children must have a signed permission form on file at the School before participating. Primary field trips are designed to have parents accompany the child for transportation and the parent-child experience. Elementary field trips require some voluntary parent participation. Parent drivers are often needed and must carry the necessary insurance as detailed in the permission form.  All trips will be well chaperoned by parents and staff. Uniforms and/or school apparel are mandatory on Elementary field trips. Transportation is by foot, school bus, or parent drivers.

Rules for car seat and seat belt safety are:

  • Children must be properly seated in a child safety seat until they turn 8.
  • Parents sending in car seats in order to enable their child to participate in a field trip is imperative.
  • Children eight and over must wear seat belts at all times.
  • No child will be allowed to sit in the front seat.

Parents who drive on field trips are required to have a copy of their driver’s license, driving abstract and auto insurance on file with the Office.

Parent chaperones must keep their cell phones on and within reach during field trips. In the event of an emergency, chaperones must call the School and follow instructions from staff.

Student Assessment

Meadow Montessori School’s curriculum fosters the development of integrative thinkers who see and make connections within and among the disciplines instead of viewing them as “subjects” in isolation. Here, powerful learning experiences are relevant, rigorous, and coherent. Meadow Montessori’s program transforms learning by supporting and encouraging self-directed reflection, inquiry, and self-assessment. Teachers evaluate progress on a daily basis, keeping careful record of lessons presented and skills and concepts mastered. The school is also mandated to employ traditional assessments such as the FSA’s in Grade 4 & 7.

Assessment Tools

Detailed Progress Reports; Student Portfolio; Science, Culture, History presentations demonstrating content comprehension; Research projects and papers

 

Homework

The Montessori environment is rich with daily experiences in self-motivation and self-organization. Because students manage their own work every day, there is no need to “practice” such skills at home. For Montessori students, homework comes in the form of the student’s desire to continue working on areas of interest that began in class. Research, reading, and special projects can be done at home as a continuation of work started in class. Students also can bring home practice work on math facts and spelling. Also, Montessori students are expected to be contributing members of their families, which means taking on responsibility for some household chores, which families may use to supplement learning such as having children help with baking (measuring with fractions) or finding the square footage of the home. Thus, “homework” becomes replaced by “the work of the home.”

Meadow Montessori strongly believes that “the work of the home”, family time/other relationships, and extra-curricular sports and activities such as dance and soccer are extremely valuable to a child. Children also need unscheduled “down-time”. Our “no homework” policy supports the time it takes after-school to enjoy the life as a child today.

Requesting Teachers

Your child’s teacher understands the learning style and personality of each student. When it comes time for a student to join another classroom, teacher assignments are thought out very carefully. As part of the process, teachers observe each other’s classrooms. Over a series of meetings, the teachers and the Head of School thoughtfully determine placements.

It is important that parents trust the judgment inherent in this process. Therefore, please do not request specific teachers. Placements will be made at the sole discretion of Meadow Montessori School. Enrollment Contracts entered into with the school are not contingent upon classroom placement or personnel. The school cannot honor enrollment contingent upon a requested teacher.

Classroom Observations

Parents are invited to visit the classroom in order to see first-hand what their child does during the day. This experience is designed to deepen your understanding of your child’s development as well as to affirm the educational choice you have made for him/her.  Observations last approximately 30 minutes and are suggested to take place in the weeks prior to or immediately following Parent-Teacher Conferences. Please contact the office or your teacher to make arrangements for an observation.

Parent Conferences

Parent Conferences are held twice yearly in the fall and spring. Regular classes for Primary and Elementary students are not held on these days in order that the staff may be available to meet with parents. Conferences are scheduled at fifteen-minute intervals. These meetings are an opportunity for parents and teachers to discuss and share information about the child’s program, progress, and experience at school and home. Child care is available during Parent-Teacher conferences.

 

Diagnostic Evaluation

In order to provide appropriate classroom support, the school may request that parents seek diagnostic evaluation(s) of their child through outside professional services. This includes psycho-education evaluation, motor-sensory evaluation, language assessment, hearing or vision testing. The school expects parents to honor this request and fully disclose the results in a timely manner. Failure to do so may prevent the school from offering re-enrollment to that child for the following year.

Meadow Montessori Code of Conduct, Grievance, & Disciplinary Protocols for Parents & Students

Parent Conduct

Families with a child enrolled at Meadow Montessori become part of our school Community. This community thrives because we all agree to treat each other with grace, courtesy, and respect. Your signature on the Meadow Montessori Contract indicates your willingness to abide by the following guidelines:

Privacy

Please help us maintain the mutual trust and respect we all need to keep our community healthy by safeguarding the privacy of children, parents, and staff. Passing on confidential, damaging, or hurtful information is not acceptable.

Conflicts

Conflicts between parents, or parents and staff, should be addressed in a calm and private manner, preferably in person or with a respectful note. Phone calls and emails should not be used to express anger, frustration, or criticism. Meetings are to be held by appointment at a mutually convenient time.

Etiquette

Meadow Montessori teachers, staff, and parents are all expected to strive for high standards of etiquette and behavior. Commitments should be honored, criticism should be constructive and genial, and “thank you” should be frequent. Parking and traffic laws must be followed, and Meadow Montessori’s neighbours should be treated with the utmost respect. Using proper etiquette is good for our community and for our children—we should model the very best behavior for them.

Communication

When a parent has a question, concern, or grievance, he or she should make every effort to bring their issue to the appropriate person, as outlined below:

Contacts for Different Issues
  • Program, Student, & Classroom issues: First contact Child’s teacher, Second contact the Head of School
  • General School Operations & Policy: Contact the Head of School

The use of broadcast emails to contact fellow parents about sensitive issues involving school policy, teachers, staff, or students is inappropriate and may be grounds for probation.

Note: Meadow Montessori’s Board of Directors is NOT charged with the oversight of day-to-day school management. When faced with questions regarding such issues, Board members will simply pass those concerns on to the Head of School, as is “best practice” for Trustees of independent schools.

Parent Code of Conduct

We are very proud of our School community. We do ask that parents observe the following as good decorum:

  • Treat their children and other children with respect both verbally and physically.
  • Treat each staff member with respect.
  • Treat each other with respect on school grounds.
  • Use a soft voice while inside the school.
  • Refrain from using inappropriate language. There are many ears listening.
  • If you have a conflict with a staff member, parent, or student, please take it to the appropriate member of staff immediately. Any misunderstandings can be cleared up through proper communication. Unsubstantiated gossip undermines the professionalism of the School and can be harmful to the community at large.
  • Smoking (including “Vape” )is strictly prohibited inside the school or on or near school property.
  • Children will not be released to parents who appear to be under the influence of alcohol or illegal substances.
  • It is the responsibility of the parent to ensure the Parent / Children files are kept updated with correct addresses and list of emergency contacts.

Zero Tolerance

Some behavior is grounds for immediate withdrawal from the Meadow Montessori community, including:

Sexual Abuse/Assault

Sexual abuse/assault is illegal and will not be tolerated. Allegations of abuse or assault will be thoroughly investigated and offenders will be dealt with appropriately. This applies to all employees, parents, students, volunteers, and subcontractors.

Discrimination

Discrimination or harassment of any person in the Meadow Montessori community on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, familial status, family responsibilities, matriculation, political affiliation, disability, source of income, and place of residence or business is counter to our values and will not be tolerated. Allegations of discrimination will be thoroughly investigated and violators of Meadow Montessori’s Non-Discrimination Policy will be dealt with appropriately. This applies to all employees, parents, volunteers, and subcontractors.

Consequences

Parents who stray from the above guidelines are subject to possible probation after a review by the Head of School and the Board. Parents on probation will be barred from participating in school volunteer activities for a specified period of time. Parents placed on probation more than three times during a school year will be asked to withdraw their child from Meadow Montessori beginning the following year. However, the School is not required to allow for three probationary periods before terminating an enrollment contract. Parental behavior determined by the School to be particularly egregious may result in immediate termination of the enrollment contract(s), or non-renewal of enrollment(s) at the sole discretion of the School.

Student Conduct

Our community expects students to:

  • Respect themselves and others.
  • Respect the property of the school and of others.

At Meadow Montessori we teach grace and courtesy beginning at the earliest ages. This is a continuing process, and children demonstrate respect in different ways depending on their age and social development.

Occasional aggression is normal throughout early and middle childhood (the span of ages of our student population). Some children have a more difficult time self-regulating. In these situations, the School and parents should avoid labeling children. Part of the job of the teacher and of the school community is to support the child as he or she learns self-control.

The Zero Tolerance Policy stated in the Code of Conduct for Parents also applies to students as developmentally appropriate.

There are times when a student may exhibit repeated behavior that is troubling or harmful to him- or herself, other students, the school’s physical environment, or other members of the Meadow Montessori community. Although the school must retain the right to address issues in accordance with professional discretion and on the particular facts of a matter, below is the general course of action the school will follow in working with a child and his/her parents:

  • Immediate verbal correction and/or redirection of behavior in a developmentally appropriate manner
  • Call to parents
  • Student visit to Head or Elementary Principal with teacher
  • Conferences with parents between teacher(s), parents, and Head
  • Individual Behavior Plan developed with the School
    May include requirement of seeking counseling, specific diagnostic testing, or full evaluation at the parents’ expense.
  • Timeline for assessing the success of the Individual Behavior Plan
  • Student Contract (Elementary age only)
Probation

A student’s continued enrollment will be contingent upon his or her adherence to the Individual Behavior Plan and the Meadow Montessort Code of Conduct for Students

Suspension

A student will be temporarily removed from the classroom either within the school building or at home.

Expulsion

A student will leave the Meadow Montessori community permanently.

Parent Concerns

Allowing the process to take place in private without interference by other parties is vital. Parents who are concerned about the impact of another student’s behavior on their child should follow the procedure outlined under “Communication” above, and speak first with the teacher. The School (teachers, administrators, staff) will address the concerns brought forward, but in most cases will not share the personal situation of the child with other parties including the parent expressing the concern.

Volunteering at Meadow Montessori

School volunteers are vital to the success of our programs and to the children. Each year, Meadow Montessori is fortunate to receive many gifts of time, talent, and treasure, which are essential to our success. Volunteers help to make special activities happen – field trips need chaperones and the PA needs a chair. When you agree to perform a service for the school, the entire community is counting on you to fulfill your promise. If you cannot, please contact a member of the PA Leadership and arrange for a replacement right away.

Being present at the school and on field trips requires confidentiality regarding what is observed or heard. Any concerns you may have should be made known to the teacher who will indicate if you need to speak to an administrator.

The following excerpts from the “Code of Ethics” in A Montessori Operations Handbook (published by NAMTA) may be helpful to use as guidelines when you are volunteering at Meadow Montessori:
Respect for the Child

A positive, optimistic attitude about children, a cooperative spirit, a nurturing of independence, a recognition of unique individuality, trust in the child’s work, providing the right activity, and listening to and observing in order to follow the child. One should avoid pride and anger, touching the child unless invited, speaking ill of the child, sarcasm, teasing, overreacting to misbehavior, and implied reward and punishment. Phrasing of instructions should be direct and to the point. When communicating with the child, speak to the child at his/her eye level.

Confidentiality

Includes personal information about children and families, organizational problems, and individual staff matters. All records, files, conversations, and conferences are held for the benefit of the child and are strictly confidential. Being present in the classroom requires confidentiality regarding what is observed or heard. Problems or concerns should be addressed to the teacher present.

Good Staff Relations

Includes working cooperatively and non-judgmentally with our staff in a trusting manner. Direct communication with teachers and staff is important. Negative comments, gossip, and other harmful behaviors are violations of the School’s Code.

Professional Conduct

Includes keeping private matters outside of the school, maintaining agreements at all levels regarding performance of duties, and meeting the needs of individual children and staff.

Guidelines from Independent Schools

Parents & Independent Schools

To be successful, every independent school needs and expects the cooperation of parents, who must understand and embrace the school’s mission, share the school’s core values, and fully support the school’s curriculum, faculty, and staff. When joined by a common set of beliefs and purposes, the independent school and its parents form a powerful team with far-reaching positive effects on children and the entire community.

Working together, parents and school professionals exert a strong influence on children to become better educated; they also help them to mature by modeling adult working relationships based upon civility, honesty, and respect.

In practice, the greater impediment to effective teamwork between independent schools and parents grows out of misunderstandings about school decision-making processes: Who makes decisions in independent schools? How are those decisions made? Independent schools must communicate their procedures to parents, who, in turn, share the important responsibility to become informed members of the school community.

Parents & the Board of Directors

In most independent schools, decision-making authority at the highest level resides in a volunteer Board of Directors whose membership often includes current parents. The Board of Directors does not intervene in the daily affairs of the school, such as curriculum development and hiring, evaluating or firing of faculty and staff. Instead, the Board focuses on three areas critical to the success of any independent school: it selects, evaluates, and supports the Head of School, to whom the Board delegates authority to manage the school; the Board develops broad institutional policies that guide the Head in running the school; and it is accountable for the financial well-being of the school. In the conduct of official business, the Board acts only as a whole; individual Trustees, including the Board President, have no authority to act unless specifically authorized to do so by the Board acting as a whole:

We encourage parents who are interested in high-level decision making to stay informed about the work of the Board of Directors by reading school publications, talking to the Head of School, and attending appropriate meetings.

Parents with concerns about the school or with decisions made by the administration or faculty are encouraged to inquire about and follow the school’s review process, but they should not expect the Board of Directors to act as an appeals board. In a day school, trustees often interact with others within the school community and hear concerns about the daily operation of the school. As a matter of good practice, the trustee reports those concerns to the Head of School.

Parents & The Faculty & Administration

Parents play an essential and positive role in the life of an independent school. Not only are parents advocates for their children, they also support the faculty and administration through extensive volunteer activities and events.

The relationship between parents and the faculty and administration is formally governed by the school’s written enrollment contract and handbook, in which the school’s procedures are spelled out. When parents choose to enroll their child in an independent school, they agree to subscribe to the school’s mission, follow the school’s rules, and abide by the school’s decisions. However, most teachers and administrators would agree that trust and mutual respect are the most essential underpinnings of effective working relationships with parents.

We encourage parents to work productively with teachers and administrators by staying informed about their child and important events in the life of the school. Thoughtful questions and suggestions will be welcomed by the school. Incumbent upon the school, is providing parents with timely and pertinent information.

Parents best support a school climate of trust and respect by communicating concerns openly and constructively to the teacher or administrator closest to the problem. Efforts by parents to lobby other parents will be viewed by the school as counterproductive.

While parents may not agree with every decision by the school, in most cases the parent and school will find enough common ground to continue a mutually respectful relationship. In the extreme case, however, an impasse may be so severe that the parent cannot remain a constructive member of the community. In such cases, both the parent and the school should consider whether another school would be a better match for the family.

The Parent Association & the School

The Parent Association in an independent school provides a vital and much-appreciated service to school leadership and the entire school community. Because the Parent Association is so important, and its volunteer activities are potentially so wide-ranging, we recommend the following steps to structure and clarify the Association’s role:

  • The Board of Directors, in consultation with the administration, should develop a set of written by-laws for the Association that make clear its procedures and role as a service organization.
  • The by-laws should clearly state the Association’s mission to support the decisions and policies of the Board and administration. The Parent Association neither participates in policy-making by the school, nor functions as a lobbying group.
  • The finances of the Parent Association should be supervised and regularly monitored by the school and should be part of the school’s annual audit process.
  • The Head of School should be closely involved in the Association nominating process. Cooperation and teamwork between the Head of School and the officers of the Parent Association are crucial to the health of the school community.
  • Advertising activities and events is an appropriate function of the Parent Association. The PA, however, is not a public relations arm of the school and should play no role in the school’s efforts to communicate about itself.

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Regular Communications

Our policy is to communicate with families via email whenever possible.We will also send home important medical/health notices and emails about certain events. Having correct email addresses for each family is very important. Please make every effort to read all Meadow emails for important information. Items that cannot go home via email are mailed or occasionally placed in children’s backpacks.

School Newsletter

A school newsletter is published once a month during the school year. It is sent home in paper form so that it can be posted as a quick reminder for special events or calendar days. It will also be available on our website and posted on REMIND (see below). It is very important to read the newsletter as it contains information about special events, dates, curriculum, fundraisers, meetings and interesting notes from the classrooms.

REMIND App

We use REMIND to help keep you informed about classroom activities and assignments, reminders, special notifications, emergencies and much more. Remind is a free online service that lets us send quick messages via text, push notifications, or email to everyone involved with the school. We are able to stay in touch without revealing personal contact information. Signing up for messages on Remind is easy and is STRONGLY suggested.
Download instructions for REMIND here.

Meadow Montessori School Website

Parents are encouraged to visit Meadow Montessori’s website, www.meadowmontessori.ca, for general information, calendar details, emergency updates, and more. To access the password protected areas of the website, you will be given a password once the school year begins. If you have problems, please contact the Office.

Please note that the website will experience ongoing updates in the 2017-18 school year as we undergo a continuing redesign process. We will work to keep you informed of new features as they become available and ask for your patience while the site is a work in progress.

Consistency and Honoring Privacy Preferences

Meadow Montessori is fortunate to have a community that is rich in events and talented volunteers, and it benefits tremendously from having such energy and creativity in our corner. All communications created on the behalf of the school by any member of the community must be checked by the Head of School before being distributed to the Meadow Montessori community. This helps us to ensure that family privacy preferences are being respected and that the school is being represented consistently and accurately.

General Communication

Communication with Second Families

The school will make every effort to send school communications to second families as requested when supplied with names, emails, and addresses.

Communication with Faculty/Staff

Teachers and staff will be in touch with you via phone or email when needed. In addition to the twice-yearly Parent-Teacher Conferences, feel free to discuss your child’s school progress, behavior or overall well-being with the child’s teacher when you feel it is necessary or appropriate. Please call the office or email them on their Meadow Montessori school email address (in school directory). Your child’s teacher will return your call or email within 24 hours. Please do not use Arrival or Dismissal for these conversations, as the teacher has other responsibilities at this time that will prevent him or her from giving you his or her full attention.

Please contact members of the administrative staff using the school phone number, email address, or by leaving them a note in the office. (See the section on Code of Conduct for communication of concerns or grievances.)

Communication with Fellow Parents

A school directory, organized by class, will be available in the Parent Portal in the Fall. We will also have our network up and running on the website soon- check back soon!

Communication with the Board

Meadow Montessori’s Board of Directors works on strategic, long-term issues facing the school. The Board welcomes comments and insight regarding site acquisition, current facilities, neighbour relations, institutional finances, trustee development, school diversity and financial aid. The Board does not work on day-to-day matters such as hiring/firing of employees (other than the Head of School) or the educational programs. Parents may contact individual members of the Board using the school directory or by sending a letter to the President addressing the entire Board. Concerns or questions raised by parents to the Board related to school operations or school programs will be passed on to the Head of School as is “best practice” for independent school trustees.

Social & Digital Media

Meadow Montessori School is officially represented on various social networks. These sites are managed by the Administrative Assistant and the Head of School. Links are available on the homepage of the Meadow Montessori website.

Class Pages & Photos – coming soon

Re-Enrollment

The maximum benefit of Montessori education is derived from enrolling a child in a Montessori Primary program and continuing through the Elementary years. Within these cycles of learning (which Maria Montessori termed “Planes of Development”), the child is continually solidifying his/her knowledge, further mastering skills, and is embracing more abstract ideas as he/she progresses in readiness for the next level. The Montessori Curriculum is divided into three year segments; 3 – 5 year olds, 6-9 year olds and 9-12 year olds. At Meadow Montessori the kindergarten children are able to benefit from being the leaders in the 3-5 year old program as well, they spend half of their day in specialized classes, away from the younger children. When kindergarten children are leaders in the primary class they feel a sense of identity which gives them the kind of inner motivation that leads to great academic growth.

Applications for re-enrolment begins in January and must be completed by February 1st to retain placement. To ensure that your child will have a space for the following year, please have all registration requirements completed by February 1st.

Application Timeline for Admission into the Following Year

Fall

Open Houses/School Tours

January

Re-Enrollment applications online

February 1st

Deadline for guaranteed placement for existing Meadow families.

February 2nd

Registration open to wait list and then to the public.

Enrollment Policy Notes:
  • Returning students have first priority for their choice of time slot.
  • Children with siblings currently enrolled in the school will then fill positions in order of enrolment application date.
  • After February 1st,vacancies will then be filled by children on the waiting list, according to the date of enrolment application.
  • Every attempt will be made to give parents their preference for a class time. In the event that the preferred time cannot be offered, the parents will be informed of the alternate spaces that are available and their child will have priority for this space, according to the guidelines above.
  • January Enrolment: Space permitting, January enrolments will be considered.

 

 

Tuition Payment

Payment Methods

Meadow Montessori does not accept credit card payments or e-transfers. Automatic withdrawal (coming 2018) & post-dated cheques are the preferred methods of payment.

Items to note:
  • All tuition for the year must be arranged upon enrollment
  • Grace period. The school provides a grace period of four calendar days after the stated due date. Checks are logged in and dated as soon as they are received (whether by hand or mail).
  • Late fee. A late fee of $50.00 per month will be applied on all balances due over 30 days.
  • Tuition payments in arrears for more than ninety (90) days may result in a student’s suspension from classes and/or withholding of student records. Meadow Montessori School Society reserves the right to withdraw students from the program at any time if any tuition remains outstanding.
  • NSF checks. A $50 charge will be assessed for a non-sufficient funds check. If a family presents a 2nd NSF check in the school year, then all future payments plus fees must be paid by money order, certified check, or cashier’s check.
  • Parents who receive subsidy are responsible for paying their portion of the fees and ensuring their child’s fees and subsidy documentation is current.
  • Good financial standing. All tuition and fees must be arranged prior to the start of the school year to be considered in good financial standing. Good financial standing is required for a child to start a new school year or for school records to be released to other schools.
  • Re-enrollment. The re-enrollment fee must accompany the re-enrollment contract. A contract will not be accepted until payment is made.
  • Receipts/Statements Many families participate in tuition reimbursement plans and therefore request receipts. Please submit your request in writing—specifying exactly what information should be included. The Office will prepare these statements once a month so please consider this when timing your request.
  • The school understands that families may experience financial difficulties and we are committed to working with families to make arrangements for payment. Please contact the Head of School with regards to financial issues.

Enrollment Contracts

The enrollment contract that the parent signs is a legal agreement between parents/guardians and Meadow Montessori School. The school requires predictable tuition revenue in order to effectively provide the services contracted. Re-enrollment contracts for current parents are available in early January, are due with the re-enrollment fee in January (all due by February 1st), and become binding in June with the deposit. Contracts offered to new families also become binding in June (or the date deposit is paid).

Your Contract for 2017-2018
  1. I/We will support any and all rules, operating principles, philosophies and policies put in place by Meadow Montessori Elementary & Preschool, as outlined in the Parent Handbook.
  2. I/We understand the Meadow Montessori School Society is a non-profit registered charity and its Constitution, full governing Policies and By-laws are the regulatory foundation of the Parent Handbook and said documentation is available for review.
  3. I/We understand that the registration fee and month’s tuition deposit are non-refundable, as their purpose is to confirm our child’s position in Meadow Montessori Elementary & Preschool for the full academic year.
  4. I/We understand that at registration I/we must provide two post dated cheques in the amount of $100 each as part of the Parent Participation Program. (Details on the program is found on your registration information email and Parent Handbook.)
  5. I/We agree that my/our obligation to pay the full year’s tuition is unconditional and is not subject to adjustment for gradual entry, illness, absence, school closures in exceptional circumstances, or circumstances beyond the control of the school.
  6. I/We understand our payment plan and tuition fees for the school year. Tuition fees for elementary students are dependent on the school receiving the Ministry of Education per student operating grant from the province. As a Group 1 school, Meadow Montessori receives 50% of the per student operating costs of the local public school district. If this grant is not received, your child’s tuition fee will be increased by what the school would otherwise have received as a grant. In order to qualify for the provincial grant, parents must be permanent residents of B.C., a Canadian citizen, landed immigrant or otherwise lawfully admitted to Canada.
  7. I/We understand the Afterschool Program is for Kindergarten and Elementary students only and is not included in the annual tuition fees; it is a separate program with an additional fee structure.
  8. I/We understand that in the unfortunate event my/our child must be withdrawn due to exceptional circumstances such as a move or job loss, 1 full calendar month notice prior to the withdrawal date must be given in writing or one calendar month’s tuition payment, beyond the withdrawal date, will be given in lieu of notice. (The non-refundable deposit cannot be used as one calendar month’s tuition payment in lieu of notice. See #3)
  9. I/We understand that the APPLICATION for ENROLLMENT is considered simply an application for registration until payment of registration fee, non-refundable deposit is confirmed and all tuition payment arrangements and other required registration documents/payments have been submitted and confirmed.
  10. I/We have read the terms of enrollment for Meadow Montessori Elementary & Preschool on this APPLICATION for ENROLLMENT form and agree to the same.

Financial Aid

Meadow Montessori offers need-based financial aid for students in our Elementary programs. The goals of our Financial Aid program are:

  1. to attract a socio-economically diverse student body, and
  2. to provide tuition assistance to families in the school who require it and meet the criteria.

Priority for financial assistance goes to families already enrolled in Meadow Montessori. Financial Aid is not currently available for the After School program or the Preschool but subsidies are available through the Ministry of Child and Family Development. Each year the Board designates a portion of the school’s budget to assist families whose financial resources have changed since enrolling or would not otherwise allow them to enroll their children at Meadow Montessori when the school would be of great benefit to the child.

Currently, Meadow Montessori uses Apple Financial Services in Ontario. Apple analyzes financial data provided by the applicant family and provides a need-based financial aid report to the School. Final review of tuition assistance requests are made by the Board, and funds are awarded through the Head of School. Awards are strictly confidential.

Applications for Financial Aid are processed in February for the following academic year; decisions are announced in mid-March. The online application is available at https://applefinancialservices.ca/. Apple Financial can be reached by phone at (613) 395-9300.

Applications must be submitted to Apple Financial each year Financial Aid is requested.

Employing Staff Outside of School

In cases in which a member of Meadow Montessori’s faculty or staff is employed as a private instructor, childcare provider, driver, house sitter, or in any other capacity outside of school services, such employment is between the individual faculty/staff and the employer. Any and all such services shall be provided outside the school premises. Meadow  Montessori School is not a party to such arrangements and, therefore, is not responsible for the actions of any of the parties. Meadow Montessori School will not be liable or responsible for any damages, injury or loss, consequential or otherwise, resulting from such employment. The faculty/staff and the employer shall hold Meadow Montessori School harmless with regard to any and all damages, injuries and liability arising therefrom or related thereto. Meadow employees are required to inform the school if they enter into employment with a school family.

 

Licensing and Funding

Meadow Montessori School Society is licensed to operate group childcare (Pre-Kindergarten and After-school Care) under the Community Care Facility Act by the Province of British Columbia, Childcare Facilities Licensing Board.
Meadow Montessori is also an accredited Independent School through the Ministry of Education Independent Schools Branch. Meadow Montessori School is a Group 1 Independent School which requires us to be non-profit and also to be monitored by the Office of the Inspector of Independent schools under the Ministry of Education. Greater details about BC independent schools can be viewed at http://www.bced.gov.bc.ca/independentschools.
Our funding comes from the following sources:

  • Tuition and Registration fees
  • Grants (Ministry of Education, Independent School Grant and the Childcare Operating Fund Program)
  • Donations
  • Fundraising

Charitable Donations

Since Meadow Montessori School Society is a registered non-profit society, financial donations to the school are deductible as charitable donations.

Fundraising & Annual Fund

The Montessori Elementary program is only partially funded by the government on the same per student basis as other schools in the district. These funds cover some of the basic requirements of the classroom but a successful Montessori program requires unique learning materials and teachers with specialized training. Therefore, fundraising is essential to providing each of our students with the best educational opportunities.
Activities such as our monthly Scholastic Books, Purdy’s Chocolates (Christmas & Easter), and Mabel’s Labels are just some of the examples of our ongoing fundraising events.
Our Annual Fund is an effort to raise funds on a large scale to plan an expanded Meadow Montessori School. We have high hopes to be able to offer this wonderful community style education in the form of a middle and high school.

Parent Participation: Gifts of Time & Talent

Meadow Montessori School is a community of students, teachers, and parents. We encourage families to participate in the broader life of the school through social and educational activities. Family members who give their time and talent share with their children special memories of experiences and friendship that will endure a lifetime. Parent participation plays a critical role in the operation of our school. Volunteers are required for a variety of school related tasks such as driving the students on field trips, preparing educational materials for classroom use, assisting teachers to prepare for special school celebrations, laundry etc. Active participation in the operations of the school helps parents to become more familiar with the unique educational program they have chosen for their children and the history behind it.

The Program
  • Each family is required to volunteer a minimum of 20 hours (Elementary) or 10 hours (Preschool) of participation service for the school year.
  • Each family is asked to submit two post-dated cheques, payable to Meadow Montessori School Society: one cheque for $100, dated for Jan. 31 and another cheque for $100, dated for July 15 to be held in trust by the Head of School.
  • When the hours of participation have been completed, the cheques will be destroyed.
  • If a family defaults their commitment, the cheque will be cashed. Relief of this obligation may be granted in the case of hardship at the discretion of the Board. (Hours are either completed or not, we cannot pro-rate amounts for hours not done.
  • Opportunities for participation include: helping with social functions and concerts, fundraising, first aid kit management, field trip drivers, laminating, parking attendants, making planners, recycling, Scholastics, cleaning and lots more.
  • Please be pro-active with your participation, offer ideas where you can help us and keep track of your hours.
The Parent Participation Program Coordinator is our Administrative Assistant, Jessica Fletcher

A Brief History

Meadow Montessori School in Maple Ridge is the result of the efforts of many dedicated parents and teachers with a shared interest in child-centered learning. We are a growing school with a lengthy history stretching back to 1985.
During 1984-1985, Meadow Montessori Preschool & Kindergarten was privately owned and known as Inlet Montessori – Maple Ridge. The owner wanted to close the school, but a group of parents who were committed to keeping the school open formed a society on October 11, 1985, known as the Meadow Montessori School Society.
The school thrived and at one time was housed in two different locations; one in Yennadon and one in Maple Ridge proper. In September 1988 the school moved to its current location on Dartford Street in the buildings of the historic Hammond United Church (e.1910).
In 2005, under the auspices of Independent Schools of BC, Meadow Montessori became an Independent School and opened Elementary programs for Grades 1, 2 & 3. Today, the Meadow Montessori School Society continues the tradition of a close-knit community offering an exceptional Elementary (K-7) and Preschool experience. It succeeds in part due to the willingness of parents to become involved in the operation of the society and the great dedication of the staff and its leadership.

Corporation, Accreditation, & Associations

Meadow Montessori School is a non-profit society incorporated in the province of British Columbia and governed by a Board of Directors. Admissions and staffing at Meadow Montessori School is open to all regardless of race, creed, color, sexual orientation, religion, or national origin. The rules of governance are set forth in the organization’s by-laws. Copies are available from the School Office upon request.

Meadow Montessori is recognized by the Ministry of Education Independent Schools branch as an accredited Group 1 independent school. Meadow Montessori is also accredited by the Federation of Independent School Associations (FISA).  In addition, Meadow holds a membership in the North American Montessori Teacher’s Association (NAMTA).

 

Revision Policy

Meadow Montessori School reserves the right at its sole discretion to amend its policies, programs and/or guidelines, including the contents of this Handbook, at any time with or without prior notice.

Revision Date

This document was last revised in August , 2017.