Parent Handbook

MESA MONTESSORI

2830 South Carriage Lane
Mesa, Arizona 85202

(480)839-7661

DIRECTRESS
Patty Walters

Mesa Montessori operates as a non-profit, parent-owned corporation. The school has a nondiscriminatory admission policy and is non-sectarian. We are honored to be affiliated with the American Montessori Society. This affiliation recognizes the school’s commitment to the principles that Dr. Maria Montessori developed.

Mesa Montessori answers the need for outstanding Montessori curriculum and extended day programs for the children of our community. It is our mission to provide a safe, nurturing and enriching experience for you and your child. By maintaining a teacher-student ratio of 1 to 8, we can individualize the curriculum to the needs of each child.

Montessori is an approach to education which emphasizes the potential of young children. We develop this potential by means of a prepared environment, utilizing specially-trained teachers and teaching materials. We create an environment which allows your child to discover knowledge for himself or herself.

The four major areas of the Montessori classroom are:
Practical Life
Sensorial
Language
Mathematics
Cultural

In the Practical Life area, children refine their coordination and increase their concentration. The Sensorial materials encourage children to organize and classify abstract concepts like length, color, weight, and texture. The Sensorial materials move gradually from the concrete to the abstract and are an indirect preparation for Mathematics. Language is emphasized in all areas of the classroom. Children learn the phonetic sounds of the letters when they are introduced to Sandpaper Letters. The basic skills of math and language are presented with carefully controlled materials that isolate one difficulty at a time and allow your child to progress at his or her own pace with a continuous experience of success.

SCHOOL ORGANIZATION
Mesa Montessori is a non-profit organization administered by a Board of Directors. Our Board has regular monthly meetings as required to effectively operate the school. Several committees also function under the Board’s direction. Any parent may run for a position on the Board or Chair a committee. Notices of all Board meetings are published in advance and all parents are welcome and encouraged to attend.

ENROLLMENT OPTIONS
Morning Preschool (M-F: 8:30am-11:30am)
$475.00 per month

Full-time (M-F: 8:30am-4:00pm)
$710.00 per month

A 5% discount will be given for yearly tuition paid by August 1. Mesa Montessori also offers a 10%
sibling tuition discount. Payment is due on the 1st, payable in full by the 5th. A late fee of $5.00 per
day will be assessed beginning on the 6th of each month. If the past due tuition and the late charge are
not paid in full within 10 calendar days of the due date, the child will not be permitted to attend Mesa
Montessori until all past due charges are paid in full. Tuition thirty (30) days past due will necessitate
termination of enrollment and legal action. The school year tuition is payable in 10 equal installments.
The first installment is due on the first day of school. A monthly installment counts towards tuition for
the school year. It does not pay for a particular month of school. Tuition is not refunded or pro-rated due to absences caused by illness, vacation, withdrawal/dismissal, or otherwise.

PARENT WORK DAY
There are two parent workdays scheduled each year. A parent is required to work for one hour or pay a $50 fee for each workday.

CHILDCARE OPTIONS
Occasional childcare is available. Our extended care program begins at 7:00am and
terminates promptly at 5:30pm. The fee is $5.00 per hour billed in quarter hour increments. The late pick-up-fee is as follows: after 5:35pm, an additional $1.00 per minute will be charged thereafter. This fee is due and payable the following morning. Mesa Montessori is open every weekday of the year, except the highlighted days on the calendar.

REGISTRATION/DEPOSIT
There is a $180 registration fee for preschool students.
This non-refundable fee includes: materials, membership to AMS, subscription to Tomorrow’s Child
magazine and liability insurance in compliance with state regulations.

Upon registration, an additional deposit of $200 is required. The $200 will be deposited in a non-interest
bearing account and space will not be held without this deposit. This deposit is fully refundable
following the proper withdrawal procedure and/or may be used as final payment if specified in writing
30 days prior to withdrawal.

WITHDRAWAL POLICY
Receipt of written notification of intent to withdraw is required 30 days in advance. Failure to give
written notification will result in forfeiture of deposit.

RETURNED CHECK POLICY
A $20.00 charge will be made for checks returned from the bank. A returned check may necessitate
future cash payments.

ARRIVAL/DISMISSAL PROCEDURE
For both sessions, it is Very Important for the children to arrive on time, as late arrivals are disruptive.

Morning Session: 8:30-11:30am (additional childcare charges begin to accrue after 11:30am)
Arrival: Please bring your child between 8:30-8:55am. A teacher will meet your child as you drive up.
After 8:55am, you must accompany your child into the school. You will be required to sign your child
in.

Afternoon Session: 1:00-4:00pm (additional childcare charges begin to accrue after 4:00pm)
Arrival: Please bring your child between 12:55-1:10pm. A teacher will meet your child as you drive up.
After 1:10pm, you must accompany your child into the school. You will be required to sign your child
in.

Drop off/Pick up: For both sessions, please be Prompt! Please follow the traffic pattern below during delivery
and pick-up times from preschool to avoid congestion. If you are getting out of your car, please park
in the lot. If not, please stay in your car and your child will be brought to you. You will need to sign
your child out on the log sheet. If someone not previously authorized is picking up your child, we must
have a written and signed note to release your child. ID will be REQUIRED of this person.

*Note: If your child is enrolled in a half-day program and wishes to stay for lunch, please give the
school at least 1 day notice.

TRANSPORTATION
Mesa Montessori does not provide transportation.

PROCEDURES FOR UNFORESEEN EVENTS
In case of any emergency, the proper authority will be called and the children will be kept in the safest
location possible under the protection of the staff until the event is declared over. Should it be necessary
to send the children home, parents will be notified. Once the child is picked up by the parent or other
authorized persons, the school’s responsibility for the child ceases.

FIRE DRILLS
We hold fire drills each month during both morning and afternoon sessions.

CONCEPT OF DISCIPLINE
The focus of a Montessori classroom is on developing “inner discipline”. It is our goal to help the child
grow in an awareness of his or her actions and how they affect the rights of others. With the opportunity
of freedom within limits, the child experiences responsibility for himself/herself and others. He/She is
learning to live and work with others in a cooperative manner, now and in the future.
There are clearly defined ground rules which are enforced in a calm consistent manner. Embarrassment
and public beratement do not form a healthy self-image, nor do they instill respect for one’s fellow man
or his property.

A child who is behaving in a disruptive or destructive manner is removed from the situation. The child
is given a simple explanation why the behavior is unacceptable and cannot be condoned. The action-not
the child-is focused on as being “bad”. The child is then helped to find another activity, or given the
opportunity to select an activity on his or her own when he or she feels ready to act in an acceptable
manner. Through this procedure, the child is made aware of the consequences of his or her own actions.
If a child is continuously disruptive or destructive-interfering with a positive learning environment and
does not respond to the above intervention, the Administrator or Directress will contact the parents
regarding the problem to discuss possible solutions. If the situation does not improve within the time
period set, the Administrator will notify the parents and the Board to recommend that the child be
removed from the school.

YOUR CHILD
Because of the nature of the child’s work and his or her limited language, it is difficult for the child to
explain what is happening. Questioning sets up expectations that there is something particular that the
child should be doing. The child’s choices of “work” are spontaneous and fulfill his or her own desires
and needs. It has been helpful to some parents to share their activities of the day with their child, along
with asking if the child had a happy day at school with his or her friends, or if he/she enjoyed “work”.
The term “work” has a very special significance in the Montessori Classroom. It refers to the activities in
which the child engages, activities which are factors in their self formation.

OBSERVATION
We encourage all parents to visit and observe a Montessori class as many times as they can during the
year. We also welcome students, teachers, and others interested in education to observe. Please sign up
for an observation time before conferences to guarantee the availability of the observation area. Should
you be unable to keep your appointment, we would appreciate knowing your change in plans.

CONFERENCES
Conferences are held in December and May. Please make every effort to attend or make other
arrangements to meet with your child’s teacher.

LUNCH
Children have much more enjoyable lunch times when their lunch is nutritiously balanced and
manageable, with child-sized portions and containers. Because most children are affected by sugar, we
ask that you limit sweet deserts. Please do not send candy as a treat – it will be returned.
The State requires that children have milk or pure juices at lunch. Kool-Aid and other such drinks are
not considered pure juices.

Uneaten food will be returned home so that you will have some indication of your child’s appetite, as
well as likes and dislikes. Please have your child’s name printed on his/her lunch box.

SHOW AND TELL
We encourage your child to share items of educational value with his or her classmates. The item may
include science and nature materials, books, and CD’s/tapes. Animals brought for sharing must first be
discussed with the Directress. We cannot allow dogs or cats, and all other animals must be caged.
Pictures of pets are welcomed and your child may verbally share in this manner.

We cannot accept toys or personal treasures (such as money, candy, or gum). Please discuss this policy
with your child to avoid disappointment at a later date.

CLOTHING
Children are most comfortable in simple, durable, and washable clothes which do not restrict their
activities and are easily managed. Young children should have simple outfits, without buttons, snaps,
belts, or suspenders, so that they may be removed quickly. To avoid losing clothing, we request that you
label all removable clothing.

Please avoid fancy shoes (boots, sandals (without an ankle strap), and dress shoes). Soft-soled shoes work best.
Every child needs a change of clothing to be kept at school. Please place extra clothing in a labeled zip
lock bag in your child’s cubbie.

SICKNESS
Ill children do not belong at school. Any child showing obvious signs of illness such as a rash will not
be admitted. Please do not bring a child who has had a fever within the past twenty-four hours. Any child
with a fever, vomiting, or diarrhea will need to be picked up as soon as possible. Parents may authorize
the administration of medication in the original container if personally delivered to a staff person.

RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE SCHOOL
To provide an environment that is clean, safe, and attractive, while maintaining the standards and
licensing required by the state, county, and city agencies.

To provide a program that is stimulating, developmentally appropriate, and our best effort.

To provide teachers who are exceptional in their capacity for guiding and caring, and with excellent
professional skills.

To remain committed to professional growth and openness to new ideas

RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE PARENTS
To familiarize yourself with the basic Montessori philosophy, particularly with regard to the approach to
the child and the child’s individual needs.

To bring the child to school on time and notify the school if your child will be absent. Consistent attendance will ensure the benefit of your child’s Montessori education.

To promptly fulfill financial and legal obligations to the school.

To volunteer work time on behalf of the school. Montessori education involves the development of the
individual’s sense of responsibility to others and to the community in which he/she lives, as well as
her/his individual potential and personal freedom. In keeping with this, the school encourages each
parent to donate some small amount of time to projects that may be initiated to benefit the school
community as a whole. This parent involvement confirms the parents’ commitment to the Montessori
education of their child. We are glad to have you and will appreciate your time, ideas, and support in
helping Mesa Montessori continue its growth and development.

To keep the school advised of family situations and changes in the attitude or behavior of your child at
home. The school and home each sees limited and frequently dramatically different facets of the child’s
personality. It helps us to understand changes in attitude and behavior at school by relating them to
those taking place in the home. Please ask us about any doubts or questions you might have as they
arise and let us know when something particularly pleases or excites you. We are vitally interested in
the total, continual development of each individual child.

To advise the school well in advance (at least one month) regarding any change in enrollment status.
To read the notices and newsletters sent home in order to keep abreast of current activities and needs of
the school.

To periodically observe the classroom and have conferences with the Directress at least twice yearly.

To complete and maintain updated forms. Promptly complete and return all other forms, permission
slips, etc. as they arise.

RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE CHILD
To construct the adult he/she will become.

PRIVACY ACT
Mesa Montessori abides by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 and Arizona state
law, and will not release any information about your child without your prior written consent.

SPECIAL NOTE
Due to the diversity of our students’ nationalities and creeds, we do not celebrate any religious holidays
in our Montessori classrooms. However, holiday parties may be scheduled for after school hours so
everyone has the opportunity to choose whether or not to attend.

STATEMENT OF POLICY
Mesa Montessori is a non-profit preschool and kindergarten which accepts children from two and one-half
through six years of age regardless of race, religion, national or ethnic origin. Children with special
needs are accepted on an individual basis.

Mesa Montessori is regulated by:
Arizona Department of Health Services
Division of Licensing Services
150 N. 18th Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85007
602-364-2539
*Inspector reports are available upon request.