“An education capable of saving humanity is no small undertaking; it involves the spiritual development of man, the enhancement of his value as an individual, and the preparation of young people to understand the times in which they live.”
Since the Montessori emphasis is on developing a child's potential, Maria Montessori School does not interview young children nor is there a screening process during which the young child is judged against a set of specific criteria. Information about a child's readiness comes from the personal parent interview.
If the child demonstrates the appropriate signs of readiness, the general rule is to admit according to date of application, determining placement in a manner that preserves the appropriate balance of age and gender in the classrooms. The child is then later invited for a short visit to see the environment and meet the teacher. Trial classroom visits are not considered good practice and are not part of our enrolment process.
Montessori focuses on the developmental potential of each individual within a universal context and is therefore applicable to all children. However, Montessori may not be the right choice for all families. A fruitful experience for the child requires that the parents and school share a common view of the purpose of education and its implementation. For this reason, at Maria Montessori School we do our best to clearly define the philosophy and goals of Montessori education, encouraging parents to ask the hard questions and to talk about their reservations as well as their hopes prior to admission. Ultimately, the goal is for parents to make an informed choice for the right reasons. We look forward to a positive, long term relationship and believe that this can only be built on a foundation of trust and honesty from the outset.
Class placement decisions are made once all accepted children have been identified. The optimal dynamic in a Montessori class calls for careful balance of age, gender, and the diverse needs and contributions of the individual children. Teaching staff are actively involved in placement decisions because they have intimate knowledge of their own classroom communities. Parent requests for specific teachers are not solicited; some parents however, do have preferences for classroom placement and requests can be taken into consideration. Sibling placement is generally in separate classrooms in order to promote independence and privacy.