Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Montessori Schools: Developing a Montessori Parent Handbook

NAMC Montessori schools develop a Montessori Parent Handbook teacher and parents
Providing a Montessori education for families who share the values and beliefs regarding the Montessori method and philosophy is extremely rewarding. However, there are families within many Montessori schools who may not share these values and beliefs, or who may disagree on the core Montessori philosophy. While Montessori administrators and teachers take time to educate prospective families during the initial interview process prior to enrollment, it’s always a good idea to have a Montessori Parent Handbook. Such a handbook sets out in writing the basic tenets of your Montessori school by providing detailed information regarding the Montessori philosophy and methods, school policy and procedures, and even contractual agreements.

The Information section of your school’s Montessori Parent Handbook can “paint a picture” and give parents clear, concise information regarding the Montessori method and the goals of your school. It should include:

Montessori Schools: Developing a Montessori Parent Handbook

  • Your school mission statement
  • School history (if there is one)
  • Information on Maria Montessori
  • A discussion on “What is Montessori”
  • Montessori “Key” Concepts
  • Daily routine in a Montessori classroom
Just as a Montessori classroom has guidelines that help it run smoothly and efficiently, the Montessori school must have Policies and Procedures in place. Policies are statements of where the school stands on issues that affect the children, the teachers, and the school. Procedures explain the consequences of conformance and non-conformance to those policies. While some policies may come from your state licensing board, others come from collaborative communication based on experience. The clearer you are in the beginning of your relationship and communication with Montessori families, the fewer problems you will encounter later.
NAMC Montessori schools develop a Montessori Parent Handbook teacher and students
The following list provides a guideline for policies to include in your Montessori Parent Handbook:
  • admission /registration
  • nutrition
  • immunizations
  • school rules
  • school calendar
  • child release (who is allowed to take the child off campus)
  • confidentiality
  • health (sick child)
  • medical management (including giving of medical emergencies, administration of medicines, first aid, use of sunscreen, illness prevention, and bodily fluids handling)
  • allergies
  • sanitation
  • evacuation
  • behavior management and Code of Conduct
  • discipline procedures
  • dress code
  • dismissal, referral, suspension, expulsion
  • transportation (drop off/pick up, school provided)
  • child abuse and neglect policy
  • non-discrimination statement
  • emergency procedure
  • conflict resolution policy
  • Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) prevention
  • policies for celebrating cultural birthdays, holidays and religious events
  • pet policy
  • substitute-teacher and volunteer policies
  • field trips
  • internet use
  • photo releases for children
  • parent access/observations
  • parent conferences
  • homework
  • extended care/late pick-up
  • late payment policy
The Contract section of your Montessori Parent Handbook clearly states what you, the Montessori school, and the parents are contracted to do. It should include information on:
  • tuition
  • other fees
  • trial period
  • termination/withdrawal
  • insurance
At the end of the Montessori Parent Handbook, there should be a one-page contract requiring the signature of both the parent(s) and the administrator stating that they have read and agree to the content in the handbook. This document should be kept on file along with the child’s application in case of later disputes.

A Montessori Parent Handbook is your tool for establishing successful and healthy school-family partnerships. While it may seem a lot of work in the beginning, it gives prospective Montessori parents a clear picture of your Montessori school. Clear policies and procedures help everyone focus on what is most important – the children.

For related information: The Importance of Educating the Montessori Parent

As much as possible, NAMC’s web blog reflects the Montessori curriculum as provided in its teacher training programs. We realize and respect that Montessori schools are unique and may vary their schedules and offerings in accordance with the needs of their individual communities. We hope that our readers will find our articles useful and inspiring as a contribution to the global Montessori community. © the North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Wednesday, August 26, 2009.

2 comments:

  1. I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


    Betty

    http://adoptpet.info

    ReplyDelete
  2. Betty, thank you for your kind remarks. I hope you will visit our blog often. Feel free to leave comments, too. You may also follow NAMC on Facebook and Twitter.

    ReplyDelete

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As much as possible, NAMC’s web blog reflects the Montessori curriculum as provided in its teacher training programs. We realize and respect that Montessori schools are unique and may vary their schedules and offerings in accordance with the needs of their individual communities. We hope that our readers will find our articles useful and inspiring as a contribution to the global Montessori community.

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