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!
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.
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.
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:
Montessori educated children tend to grow up to be:
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Our Primary Manager is Maria Bober. Ms.Maria is a highly experienced early-childhood educator and Montessorian and ensures Meadow Montessori complies with the Community Care Facilities Act and acts as the liaison for the Fraser Health Authority.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Parents are asked to attend to receive handbooks and important information from your teachers regarding the school year. This informative meeting should take only ½ hour, the full hour allows for two meetings for each class for those parents who have children in different classes. Childcare will be provided.
The first day of school is a full day for all elementary students in Grades 1 -7. All other classes welcome returning students for their entire class and all new students are on gradual entry. After school care is available on the first day of school.
All NEW students in the Primary class (Pre-K & Kindergarten) will have a few days of gradual entry. More information is in the Parent Portal under Back to School.
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!
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.
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.
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. Childcare is provided (within reason) during Parent-Teacher Conferences.
Families of Upper Elementary (Grades 4 & 7) students should be sure their child is present for testing.
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. We give everyone copies of these wonderful keepsake group photos in their final report cards!
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.
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 potluck afterwards for refreshments. A sign-up sheet is put up at the doors by the office the first week of school.
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 re-enrollment fee ($100).
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.
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. Childcare is provided (within reason) during Parent-Teacher Conferences.
Elementary students present science, social studies & 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.
This is one of Meadow Montessori’s most long-standing popular events. Each student invites their mom or dad, or another special person such as a grandmother, international home-stay mom or caregiver, to visit our school for a student-led tea.
Throughout the school year, selected artworks 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!
After weeks of preparation, the entire student body performs a musical/dramatic production for family, friends, and the community, with a potluck afterwards.
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 and child day 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!
School lets out at the regular time. After school care is available. Have a happy Summer!
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.
In the interest of safety & respect for our neighbours we have strict policies regarding parking.
Maple Ridge Bylaws Enforcement checks us regularly and you WILL BE TICKETED.
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.
For example, if you have a 2 children, one in Primary (Pre-K or Kindergarten) and one in the Upper Elementary, you can drop off both children at the upper elementary doors at 8:20 am and your youngest child will have some time to read, play & get settled in until their class starts at 8:40am.
We do not offer “drop-in” before school care. All before school care must be prearranged.
If your child arrives after their start time, please knock on the door. If your child is chronically late to school, your teacher will contact you. Please be on time! Late students disrupt the morning work period and may miss important lessons and instructions.
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.
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 15 minutes. Please message the school using REMIND if you are going to be late so we can reassure your child.
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.
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.
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.
Meadow Montessori offers the use of the After School Care program on an as-needed basis for currently enrolled Primary and Elementary students only. Staffing requirements and regulatory restrictions limit the number of children in ASC, 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 ASC care.
ASC runs from 3:00 – 6:00pm. The fee for use of part or all of each ASC session is $20 per child.
For each child picked up from ASC after 6:00pm, there is an immediate charge of $35. In addition to the $35 charge, for each child picked up after 6:00pm, parents will incur charges of $1/minute. Therefore, the charge for one child will be $36 at 6:01pm, $37 at 6:02pm, 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 6:00 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 6:30, Police Services and/or Family and Children’s Services will be notified.
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. Please ensure you inform your teachers of any absences.
*If, upon inspection, the Ministry of Education finds the school cannot receive funding for a student due to many inexcused absences, the family will be required to pay all or part of the funding expected.
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.
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).
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).
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.
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.
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.
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 (without medication) 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If you have further questions or concerns, please contact the School Office to discuss them.
All children should bring a freshly prepared snack to eat during class. 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.
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.
Lunch Lady is available 5 days per week. Order online.
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.
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.
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.
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.
School uniforms, indoor shoes, as well as non-marking running shoes for gym class, are required for kindergarten and elementary students.Details can be found on the Uniforms page of the website under the Parents section.
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” the last Friday of each month and after summer solstice until the end of the year to provide the opportunity to wear cooler clothing.
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.
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:
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.
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.
Detailed Progress Reports; Student Portfolio; Science, Culture, History presentations demonstrating content comprehension; Research projects and papers
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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:
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 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.
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.
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:
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.
We are very proud of our School community. We do ask that parents observe the following as good decorum:
Some behavior is grounds for immediate withdrawal from the Meadow Montessori community, including:
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 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.
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.
Our community expects students to:
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.
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:
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
A student will be temporarily removed from the classroom either within the school building or at home.
A student will leave the Meadow Montessori community permanently.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The school will make every effort to send school communications to second families as requested when supplied with names, emails, and addresses.
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.)
A school directory, organized by class, will be available in the Parent Portal in the Fall.
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.
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.
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.
Open Houses/School Tours
Re-Enrollment applications online
Deadline for guaranteed placement for existing Meadow families.
Registration open to wait list and then to the public.
Meadow Montessori does not accept credit card payments or e-transfers for regular monthly payments or miscellanous payments. Pre-Authorized Deposits are the required method for paying bi-annually or monthly. The registration fees, deposits and one time yearly tuition payments will be accepted via e-transfer to: email@example.com.
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 which ever some first).
Meadow Montessori offers need-based financial aid for students in our Elementary programs. The goals of our Financial Aid program are:
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 we designate 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 to aid our decision making process. 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.
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.
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:
Since Meadow Montessori School Society is a registered non-profit society, financial donations to the school are deductible as charitable donations.
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.
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.
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).
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.
This document was last revised in August 2019.