Parent Handbook

Montessori Canyon Academy – Parent Handbook

Welcome to Montessori Canyon Academy (MCA)! This handbook outlines goals and policies of MCA along with other valuable information. It is designed to help you, the parent, and the child to be familiar with MCA. We ask that you read this handbook carefully and completely, for the benefit of you and your child. As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to call or email the school.

The entire staff at MCA is dedicated to providing an excellent Montessori learning experience for all students. We look forward to this opportunity to work together with students and their families to achieve this goal.

“It is true, we cannot make a genius we can only give each individual the chance to fulfill his potential possibilities to become an independent, secure, and balanced human being.”  -Dr. Maria Montessori

Table of Contents

Mission Statement
Philosophy
Tuition Payment Procedures
Supplies
Sign-In/Sign-Out
Late Pick-Up
Driveway Etiquette
Dress Standard
Snack
Birthdays
Discipline
Health and Safety Supervision
Medication
Allergies
Illness
Emergency Procedures
Parent Involvement
Parent Nights
Parent-Teacher Conference
Termination Policies
Toys
Recommended Reading

Mission Statement

Our purpose at Montessori Canyon Academy is to create a community through a carefully prepared environment, where children are independent, respectful, and caring for others and the world around them.

Philosophy

Maria Montessori was a brilliant scientist and teacher. In 1892, she attended the University of Rome and there she became the first female doctor in Italy. Early in her career, she was able to work with children with special needs. It was here that she first began to see that by using hands on manipulatives these children were capable of more than anyone had previously assumed. Thus began her formation of materials and a philosophy for learning. Her beliefs were embedded in the idea that the children should be the catalyst for their own learning.

When we carefully prepare the environment with rich learning opportunities, they will thirst for the knowledge around them and learn in a very natural way. We, at Montessori Canyon Academy, provide an authentic Montessori education through various curriculum areas such as, practical life, sensorial, language arts, mathematics, geography, science, and art. Children are given the freedom to learn from these various areas at their own pace, in a loving, caring environment.

Tuition Payment Procedures

Tuition is due the first of every month. There are 3 different payment options available. One, write a check made out directly to the school. Two, pay online here. Three, utilize your banks direct pay option by giving them the school’s name and address, Montessori Canyon Academy, 188 North Main Street, Alpine, UT 84004. There will be a late fee of $25 that will begin to accrue if payments are later than the end of the first week of the month. If a check is returned for non-sufficient funds, you will be responsible for paying all fees incurred as a result of the returned check.

Supplies

We ask that each child bring a complete change of clothes (pants, shirt, socks, and undergarments) in a gallon size Ziploc bag ladled with their name. If they are in pull-ups or diapers we also ask that you provide a few of those with wipes as well.
All personal belongings should be marked with your child’s name.

Sign‐In/Sign out

In the mornings, you need to park your vehicle and walk your child into class. There will be a sign-in/ sign-out book for you in your child’s classroom. This is used for attendance purposes and also in case of an emergency. At the end of the day, you need to sign them out before you take them home. If you need to take your student from school during school hours, please sign them out with their teacher. If anyone other than those listed on your student’s information sheet is to pick your child up from school, please call or email our office. Your student will not be released without your authorization.

Please be aware of the children and the class you are walking into. Keep your voice quiet and any children accompanying you by your side. Please do not impede the routine of the class; for more than momentary conversations with staff of the head teacher, please either leave a note or make an appointment for a meeting.

Late Pick‐Up

Students must be picked up after school within 5 minutes of their class ending. Please be respectful of our staffs schedule and other responsibilities. In case of an emergency, phone the front office so arrangements for your child can be made.

Driveway Etiquette

Please be courteous to the other drivers during drop off and pick up. Please watch for children and oncoming traffic! For safety reasons, we ask that you postpone all cellular phone calls and park in a designated parking space. We have 1 handicap spot, please leave this for those who might need it, also note that directly in front of the school, there are no parking spaces. Please do not park here.

Dress Standard

Montessori Canyon Academy adheres to the highest standards of dress and grooming for students and staff. Appropriate clothing consists of clean, modest and comfortable clothes. At the Director’s discretion, anything that distracts the children from the academic environment will not be allowed. Children should arrive dressed for activities. We like to have fun! Having fun involves outdoor play and often messy activities. Clothing should be comfortable and seasonally appropriate for outdoor play. Make sure to include hats, mittens, boots and coats for cold weather. Children should be able to get their shoes on and off independently. Flip flops are not appropriate for school, they are not a safe shoe for playground play and are noisy on the classroom flooring.

Snack

We make snack available to the children every day. We choose healthy options that are prepackaged in individual servings. We will make accommodations for food allergies or you may provide an alternative snack for your child if we are serving something they are allergic to.

Birthdays

Our birthday celebration in the early childhood class is particular to the Montessori philosophy and is a lesson in itself. We do not celebrate in a typical manner. We call it a Celebration of Life. The children do a “celebratory walk” around a light at circle time. This light represents the sun and each time around the sun represents one year of your child’s life here on the earth. A traditional birthday song is sung in class and the celebration is over. However, you may choose to bring in “snacks” to celebrate with your child and his or her classmates. Snacks should be healthy (no candy, cupcakes,etc.), and prepackaged. If you have a question about your snack, you should check with the teacher.

Discipline

The staff at Montessori Canyon Academy follows the principles and practices of Dr. Maria Montessori in relating to children. We recognize the characteristics of the individual child in each plane of development and cooperate with, rather than hinder, a child’s natural directives. One of our major responsibilities is to assist our students on their pathway to independence.

Children have the right to be treated with love, respect and dignity. Physical and/or verbal harshness, abusive criticism, disrespectful commands, teasing, overreacting to misbehavior, excessive disciplinary measures, and other similar behaviors do not have a place in any Montessori classroom.

Standard Montessori practices for discipline, class control and changing negative behaviors are followed. Children will not be subjected to any form of corporal punishment including, but not limited to, hitting/spanking, slapping, grabbing, shaking, yelling, withholding food, ridicule, embarrassment, or humiliation. Each teacher is responsible for administering problem‐solving and critical thinking lessons to their students. Children learn how to model appropriate behavior and why such actions are important and beneficial. Problem solving is part of the curriculum along with peace, grace and courtesy. We do not expect a child to simply know how to “work it out” by themselves, without being taught this life skill beforehand. Children are shown how to talk to each other, how to ask for things, and how to disagree respectfully. Our expectation is that children and adults at MCA will respect each other and treat one another with dignity.

The following behaviors are not accepted:

  • Inappropriate language, including but not limited to: swear words, “shut‐up”, “stupid”, “idiot”, or any insulting hurtful words directed to another child or adult. Inappropriate content within conversation is also not allowed.
  • Behavior that is continuously distracting to the other children including, but not limited to: temper tantrums, rolling on the floor during lessons, touching when asked to stop, tickling, etc.
  • Hitting, biting, yelling, slapping, kicking, or physically hurting another person in any way.

The disciplinary procedure will vary depending on action and circumstance. The child may be invited away from the group in an effort for them to regain control of themselves and their emotions. If the behavior is more severe, they may be removed from the classroom or an incident report would be filled out.

Health and Safety Supervision

Montessori Canyon Academy has in place strict policies regarding the safety of your children while on campus and while participating in off‐campus school‐initiated activities. Our teachers and staff are trained to supervise children and manage safety issues in the classroom, on the playground, at arrival and dismissal, and during off‐campus school‐initiated activities. They are also trained to supervise ill children, emergencies and accidents. Ongoing staff training is a required part of employment at MCA to insure the continued safety of all of our faculty and student body.

Medication

Montessori Canyon Academy will not give prescription or over‐the‐counter drugs to any child unless the MCA Medication Form has been filled out.

Allergies

All allergies to food, medication, or bee stings, etc. must be listed on the Student Admission Form. If your child requires medication for such conditions, the prescription can be kept at the Montessori Canyon Academy Office and administered when necessary as long as the child is enrolled. Parent and physician authorization are required to dispense medications. MCA Medication Forms are available in the office.

Illness

Montessori Canyon Academy is a “well-child care facility”. At no time do we provide sick childcare. The following illness policies will be strictly enforced, for the health, well being and safety of all concerned.

Sick Child Policy: Under no circumstances may a parent bring a sick child to school, if the child shows any signs of illness or is unable to participate in the normal routine. Sick children will expose all children and staff members who they come in contact with. These people can in turn expose the other children.

Every effort is taken to reduce the spread of illness by encouraging hand washing and other sanitary practices.

If your child is unable to participate in the normal activities of school (including being able to play outside), then your child MUST stay home.

In the event a child becomes ill and needs to be picked up, the parent(s) will be called and are expected to come pick the child up within a half hour (30 minutes). If the parent(s) cannot be reached, or have not arrived within a half hour, the emergency contact person will be called and asked to come pick the child up.

For the benefit of our staff and other children in our care, a sick child will not be permitted to return to care for 24 hours after condition has returned to normal.

Symptoms requiring removal of the child from school:

  • Fever: Fever is defined as having a temperature of 100°F or higher taken under the arm, 101°F taken orally.
  • Fever AND sore throat, rash, vomiting, diarrhea, earache, irritability, or confusion.
  • Diarrhea: runny, watery, bloody stools, or 2 or more loose stools within last 4 hours.
  • Vomiting: Any vomiting in a previous 24 hour period. Note: please do not bring your child if they have vomited in the night.
  • Breathing trouble, sore throat, swollen glands, loss of voice, hacking or continuous coughing.
  • Runny nose (other than clear), draining eyes or ears. If their mucus is green, they should stayhome until it is cleared up.
  • Frequent scratching of body or scalp, lice, rash, or any other spots that resemble childhood diseases, including ringworm

Critical Illness or Injury: In the event of critical illness or injury, 911 will be called. A certified staff member will administer first aid and contact parents immediately. At least one staff member per classroom is required to have a current first aid certification. Please be sure phone numbers in your student’s file are current so you can be easily reached in such cases.

Emergency Procedures

The MCA staff is trained in emergency procedure. Should an actual emergency requiring evacuation occur, the director would attempt to notify you as soon as possible by phone. (or full details of our emergency and disaster procedures are available upon request).

Parent Involvement

Parents are welcome to visit and observe their children at any time. We request that when you decide to observe any MCA classes, please call and make an appointment first. When you arrive, come to the office and check‐in with us. It is important that the children are able to remain focused on their work and are not distracted by your presence. We also require that, when observing or visiting a classroom, your cell phone must be silent. If you need to answer a call, you will need to leave the building to do so. The activity level of the classroom as a whole may appear busy, but each individual child is actually focused and working.

Parent Nights

Parent nights will be held regularly during the year. Parental attendance will help you better understand the Montessori philosophy and curriculum. Please make every effort to be there to learn how to better support your student at home.

Parent‐Teacher Conferences

There will be one parent teacher conference during the year. We will contact you to set this up. If before or after this conference takes place, you have any questions or concerns regarding your child, feel free to contact your child’s teacher.

Termination Policies

We reserve the right to terminate a child for the following reasons (but not limited to):

  • Failure to pay
  • Routinely late picking up your child
  • Failure to complete the required forms
  • Lack of parental cooperation
  • Failure of child to adjust to the school after a reasonable amount of time
  • Our inability to meet the child’s needs
  • Lack of compliance with handbook regulations
  • Serious illness of child

We appreciate as much advance notice as possible when terminating, and will give the same courtesy in return. Parents are required to give two weeks written notice when they decide to terminate attendance. The two weeks will be paid in full, regardless of whether or not the child is in attendance.

We will give 2 weeks notice of termination for which full tuition is due, whether or not the child is in attendance. The provider reserves the right to give written notice of immediate termination where there are extreme circumstances that affect the well-being of the provider or other children in attendance.

Toys

We generally discourage children from bringing toys to school. Toys can be easily lost or broker, causing distress to the owner. They can also cause a distraction to other students who are trying to concentrate on their work. We also ask that you check pockets for unfamiliar objects when your child returns home. These may be part of school equipment and are often very costly to replace or render the rest of the material unusable to other students. We just ask that they be returned and we will talk with the student about the importance of leaving school materials at school without attempting to shame them.

Recommended Reading

If you would like more information about the Montessori educational methods and regarding parenting here is a list of recommended reading. Many of these are available at the school for you to borrow. We hope you find the books listed below to be helpful and enlightening.

  • A Parent’s Guide to the Montessori Classroom by Aline D Wolf
  • How to Raise an Amazing Child the Montessori Way by Tim Seldon
  • The Absorbent Mind, Maria Montessori
  • The Montessori Method, Maria Montessori
  • The Secret of Childhood, Maria Montessori
  • The Discovery of the Child, Maria Montessori
  • Maria Montessori: Her Life and Work, E.M. Standing
  • Montessori, A Modern Approach, Paula Polk Lillard
  • Montessori, The Science Behind the Genius, Angeline S. Lillard