Grace Montessori School Parent/Student Hand Book - General Information
Please be sure that you have thoroughly read and understand the Grace Montessori School handbook. Please let us know if you have any questions, comments, suggestions or concerns. When you have finished reading the handbook, please print out the Parent/Student handbook agreement form available at the end of this page, read and sign it and return it with your child's registration package. Signing the form indicates that you have read and fully understand the handbook and are prepared to work with the school on the guidelines we have put in place for our school.
There will be a ratio of 1 teacher for every 6 children in our Basic Trust classroom and a ratio of 1 teacher for every 12 children in our Combos and Kindergarten classes. We will maintain these child-to-teacher ratios at ALL times throughout our school year.
When a teacher is available, all students will participate in a weekly, half-hour Spanish class.
Grace Montessori admits students on a non-discriminatory basis. We accept children from 18 months to six years of age. Exceptions on the age will be made on the child's readiness and will be decided by the Director and staff. Grace Montessori complies with all applicable Federal, State and local laws concerning equal employment and discrimination in places of public accommodation. It is our policy not to discriminate based on an individuals race, color, religion, sex, national origin, physical or mental disability, Veteran status, age or any other basis protected by Federal, State or local law. This policy applies equally to employees, applicants for employment, contractors, guests and enrolled as well as prospective students and their parents.
Grace Montessori reserves the right to maintain class balance with respect to age and curriculum needs. Students will be considered based upon available class space at the time of application.
Priority Of Placement:
Children that are existing students will be offered the opportunity to make the first choice in programs and enrollment. Once existing students are served, priority will go to siblings, alumni, and public waiting list children, respectively. The Director reserves the right to adjust the enrollment placement of children at any time.
Idaho Licensing Policy:
Grace Montessori is a certified and licensed program. We operate in accordance with licensing rules and regulations for Childcare Facilities as outlined by the Department of Health's Services through the State Of Idaho.
Open Door Policy:
Our policy has changed since the beginning of Covid. We encourage you to visit the school, however, should you wish to visit your child's class, please be sure to set up an appointment with your child's teacher, in advance. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding in this matter.
Parents are asked to notify the school their child will not be attending for any reason. There is no reduction in tuition for absences. We ask that you make a commitment to have your child attend regularly and be ready to begin class at the scheduled time. Children must arrive no later than 8:45 a.m. for class to attend school that day. Children must arrive on time as it is imperative to maintain our school structure.
If you plan to go on vacation, you will be allowed a discount for ONE vacation PER SCHOOL YEAR, at the rate of, up to and not to exceed, half a month's tuition for vacations of one month or longer. You will be charged for any time over the half month and in full for any month after that, in order to keep your child's space open for when you return. Please let us know in advance that your child will not be at school and for which days and for how long.
We understand that unexpected illnesses can happen at any time causing your child to be absent from school for lengthy periods of time. In order to keep your child's time slot and space open at the school, in the event of an extended absence, tuition payments will need to continue. Tuition covers teachers' salaries as well as other expenses associated with keeping the school open and functioning properly. In order to avoid layoffs and other cost cuts, tuition fees are necessary even during illness, vacations, and other non-school related absences. We thank you for your understanding in this matter.
Children are admitted for the duration of the academic school year. Any withdrawals from the school should be made as soon as possible. Registration fees are non-refundable. Please make all written requests for withdrawal one month prior to the final date your child will attend. These same policies also apply for Summer enrollments. IF YOU DO NOT GIVE A 30-DAY NOTICE OF WITHDRAWAL, YOU WILL FORFEIT THE REMAINDER OF YOUR CHILD'S TUITION FOR THE MONTH.
Yearly tuition is based on nine months equally for school. Extended days are not figured in with the monthly tuition so they will be billed on an extended-day basis. Tuition payments are due in full by the 5th of every month for the current month. There will be a $35.00 late fee assessed for payments made after the 5th of the month. A $25.00 non-sufficient funds fee, per check, will be assessed to any returned checks. PAYMENT IS DUE ON THE 5TH OF EACH MONTH, IF PAYMENT IS ONE MONTH OR MORE BEHIND, GRACE MONTESSORI SCHOOL RESERVES THE RIGHT TO END YOUR CHILD'S ENROLLMENT IN OUR SCHOOL.
After 6:00 p.m. Late Fee:
It is vital to your child that he/she be collected on time, therefore, the consequences for a tardy parent are strong. FOR EACH MINUTE OF TARDINESS $1.00 WILL NEED TO BE PAID DIRECTLY TO THE TEACHER BEFORE LEAVING, ON THE DAY YOU ARE LATE. Any problems or emergencies must be communicated to the staff as soon as possible when you find out about them.
We can't stress enough the importance of the arrival and departure transitions. A punctual arrival is critical! Prompt arrival makes it possible for your child to settle smoothly into his/her daily routine primarily because your child will receive an appropriate greeting time with their teacher, assistant, and peers. Arriving at school late not only gets your child's day off to a rocky start, but it breaks the other children's fragile concentration and it's not fair to the rest of the class. Happy, positive, and prompt goodbyes will also make daily transitions go smoother and easier for the children and staff.
Release Of Children Policy:
Children will be released to those persons listed on the emergency form only. If there is a change to this, it must be submitted in writing and added to the forms in the office. Proof of identification is required at the time of pick up from anyone who has not previously picked up the child or at the time identification is requested. On occasion, a parent may need to call the school to authorize an additional person to pick up a child from the school. The person picking up the child must have proper identification and a relationship with the child. Always have contact with a staff member in the classroom or on the playground when picking up your child.
If you have an interest in something or a talent, passion, etc., please let us know if you would like to volunteer to present a program to your child's class. Contact your child's teacher if you are interested. The volunteer policy in the Basic Trust classroom may not be possible due to toddler separation issues.
PTO - Parent Teacher Organization Policy:
UPDATE JUNE 18, 2021: Our goal is to have parents participate in a PTO for Grace Montessori School. Due to low participation and interest, we have not had a PTO for the past few years. We would love to hear your thoughts about any interest in participating in, organizing and helping to rebuild our PTO. Please contact one of our staff for any interest in this are.
The Grace Montessori Parent Teacher Organization provides ways for parents to contribute to the school's mission and goals, builds the connection between parents and the school and enhances the sense of community.
The PTO supports efforts through:
School functions to build connections between families and staff members.
Teach support to ease the burden of chores that fall on our teachers.
Community involvement to help the school give back to the community.
Supporting parent education to help parents understand the Montessori approach.
Welcoming new families into the school community and ensuring that they fully understand all the opportunities and obligations that are associated with the school.
Ground maintenance to help provide an environment of beauty for our children.
The PTO usually meets once a month to coordinate efforts and programs. These meetings are open to all parents. Meeting dates and times are posted on the school calendar and not announced in the school newsletter. If you have a suggestion and are unable to attend the meeting, please contact the PTO officer or committee head. Any time you have a question or comment regarding the PTO effort, please feel free to contact the PTO President.
For each activity or function, there is a leader assigned. Leadership can take many forms, most often a parent, sometimes a teacher and sometimes the leadership of a parent staff member or multiple parents working as a committee, these people are the one who truly make events possible.
Children who require a mid-day nap will be given the opportunity to take one. Please bring a blanket and pillow with a sleep sack or pillowcase, we will provide a sleep mat. Children may bring one small sleeping buddy such as a stuffed animal or a doll. Please label all of the child's belongings for health purposes. It is required that all pillows and blankets be taken home at the end of the week to wash and be returned the following week.
General Discipline Policy:
Grace Montessori shall not display or condone any form of child abuse, neglect or exploitation. Our goal at Grace Montessori is to work with the children to develop internal control of his/her behavior. The options for guidance and discipline take various forms and are as follows:
1. Environment-peace table. This is a space created in each classroom where the child may go to re-group and collect him/herself. It is quiet and peaceful and provides an activity geared toward refocusing and reflection.
2. Logical rules which involve concepts such as "hands are for helping, not for hurting", "use your words" and taking care of the environment.
3. Positive behavior: We encourage the children when they are making good choices
4. Redirection: We may need to remove a child from the situation and place the child in another area of the environment to give them an opportunity to refocus and consider alternate behaviors.
Grace Montessori will use the following guidelines:
1. Staff members will define and maintain consistent, reasonable rules and limitations for a child's behavior and will teach, model, and encourage orderly conduct, personal control, and age-appropriate behavior.
2. The teacher will explain to the child why a particular behavior is not allowed or appropriate and will suggest an alternative and assist the child to become engaged in an alternate activity.
3. If the teacher determines that a child's behavior may result in harm to him/herself or others, the teacher may gently hold the child until he/she regains control of their behavior.
4. A staff member shall ensure that the method of discipline used will not cause harm to the health, safety, or welfare of a child.
5. Any abusive punishment, including verbal, by any staff member or parent, on the premises, will not be permitted.
Update: July 2022
While we do not anticipate any problems with any child, we are aware that with changes in school, new teachers and the new environment, a can and will at times experience confusion and display some behaviors that are not typical of that child. At Grace Montessori School, we will make every effort to work with parents and children to help make this transition as smooth as possible for parents, children and our staff members.
In the unlikely event that we are unable to help a child make the transition within a 30 to 90 day period, at the discretion of the Directress, we may find it necessary to make the tough decision to remove the child from our school in order to avoid interruptions in the daily routine of our other students as well as our staff members.
Please be assured that before the decision to dismiss any child from Grace Montessori Schoo is made, we will assess the situation, work with the child, work with the parents as well as any outside sources that parents may be working with and every effort will be made to keep the child enrolled so that we can help to avoid any further disruptions in their daily routine. It is never our wish to dismiss any child, however, we have to keep in mind the safety, well being and the overall peaceful and calm atmosphere at Grace Montessori School. We hope that parents will understand this and work with us as needed in this area.
If an ongoing challenge arises with excessive biting and/or hitting, the following procedures will be followed:
- Incident 1: An incident report to notify parents will go home
- Incident 2: An incident report to notify parents will go home with a warning that the child may be sent home for any further incident.
- Incident 3: The child will be sent home.
The head teacher of the classroom will review the time frame of the incidents, the frequency of the incidents and the severity of the incidents and any related circumstances will be considered when making a disciplinary decision.
Grace Montessori reserves the right to cancel the enrollment of a child for the following reasons:
Non-payment or excessive late payment fees.
Failure to observe the rules of the school.
Physical and/or verbal abuse of staff or children by a parent or a child.
If a child is constantly disruptive and interfering with the learning process of peers in his/her class.
The school is unable to meet the special needs of the child.
In the event that there is a concern regarding the child's continued participation in the classroom, Grace Montessori will immediately contact the respective parents for a conference. It is left to the discretion of the head teacher to continue enrollment of the child under challenging circumstances.
When children are ill, they need special attention and tender loving care. Please do not send your child to school with a fever of 99 or above, or when taken under the arm add one point, sore throat, bad cough or Flu symptoms. If your child shows signs of being ill while at school, you will be contacted to come to school and pick up your child. A child must be free of a fever for at least 24 hours before returning to school. If your child is on antibiotics, he/she must have been on the medication for at least 24 hours before returning to school.
Sending children to school when they are sick exposes the other children as well as the staff to whatever illness your child has and this can create a long-lasting circle of illness in the school. A child who is sick will have a hard time concentrating and will not be at their best for learning the days lessons. We ask that you please help us to maintain and healthy learning environment for the children and staff by keeping your child home when they are sick.
In the event of a communicable disease, notices will be sent home to children have been exposed. A Doctor's release may be requested upon the return of children who were absent due to a communicable disease including Head Lice.
A completed Medication/Treatment Authorization form must be filled out by the parent of any child who requires medication at school. The form along with the medication in the original container showing the Doctor's prescription instructions must be brought to the school before a medication will be administered to any child. A Medication/Treatment Authorization form must accompany ALL medications including but not limited to the following: Sunscreen, lotions, diaper rash ointments and chapstick. All medications must be given to the head teacher of the classroom upon arrival and all prescriptions must have the following information listed: Expiration date, First and last name of the child taking the medication, prescription number, dosage and routine administration, instructions for administration if indicated, there should be starting and ending dates of the dosage period, times and frequency of administration for doses needed during school hours and the date of authorization. We ask that you NOT leave ANY medications in your child's backpack, coat pockets, lunch boxes, or cubbies at school, please make sure that ALL medications are given directly to a staff member.
The teacher shall:
1. Administer a prescription medication provided by a parent for a child only from a container prepackaged and labeled for use by the manufacturer and labeled with the child's name.
2. Log name and amount of medication administered and the prescription number, if any.
3. Log the date and time the medication was administered.
4. Log the signature of the staff member who administered the medications to the child. The record shall be maintained on facility premises from 12 months from the date the medication was administered.
5. Grace Montessori shall return all unused medication to the parent when the medication prescription date has expired, the medication is no longer be administered to the child or in cases where a child is no longer enrolled at Grace Montessori or a parent is unable to be located, the medication will be properly disposed of.
To print an authorization form for medication Click here for a printable Medication/Treatment Authorization Form
We ask that you not send toys, other than a small buddy to nap with, to school with your child. We ask that you not send any belongings that are not necessary, to school with your child as these items can be broken, lost and cause distractions during class times. We ask that items that are necessary, such as: lunch, jacket, extra clothing and items needed for napping, be transported to school in your child's backpack.
Lunch And Snack Policy:
Healthy and nutritious snacks will be provided for your child every day. The snacks will be low in sugar. A snack calendar will be sent home at the beginning of each month. The snack calendar indicates the day that your child is responsible to supply the class snack and will give you a suggestion of what to bring. Water is available and supplied to the children at all times during the day.
All children who stay past 11:30 p.m. must bring a lunch from home. We ask that the lunch be provided in an insulated lunch box with your child's name clearly marked and easily visible and that the lunches include healthy, nutritious foods low in sugar. Please provide and ice pack to keep food in your child's lunch bunch fresh and if needed, a thermos containing their warm foods. Please label any containers that will not be thrown away, such as Tupperware, with the child's name clearly visible on the item to ensure that it will be returned to you. In the event that your child does not bring lunch to school, we may contact you and we ask that you not bring fast food as this disrupts the class and distracts from those eating a healthy, nutritious lunch. If your child does not have lunch, we will provide a balanced meal and a charge of $2.50 will appear on your next bill.
We ask that you not send soda pop or candy in your child's lunch, these items will not be served at lunch and will be returned to your child's lunch box. If your child has a special diet or has an allergy to any foods, please notify the head teacher and fill out and emergency form stating the food allergy and if there is any medication supplied such as an Epi Pen.
You are invited to celebrate your child's life with us in the classroom. We meet together at our line and set up the months of the year around the "Sun", with a candle sitting in the middle of the Sun. Your child holds the globe and starting at his/her birth month, walks around the Sun one time for each year of their life. The teacher will introduce the child and then mom or dad will share events from the first year of the child's birth, if mom or dad is not available, the teacher will share the information, information about each year of the child's life is shared as they walk around the Sun.
This celebration is a nice way to share the life of your child with the class and focuses on your child's life rather than gifts and sweet treats. Our focus is to acknowledge this special time by recognizing the unique and special traits and events in your child's life. The celebration of life may vary from room to room and teacher to teacher and is based on the age of the child and the individuality of the classroom.
Clothing And Personal Items Policy:
Please dress your child in comfortable, season and weather-appropriate clothing that will be easy for them to manage.
We ask that you supply an extra set of clothing, also weather-appropriate, for your child and that it be kept in their backpack at all times. A complete change of clothing should include the following: shirt, pants/shorts, underwear, and socks. Please keep these items in a labeled, Zip lock bag inside of your child's backpack. Please make sure that you label all clothing, including coats, hats and gloves with your child's name in permanent marker.
Each parent will be required to provide the necessary enrollment information prior to the beginning of school. Immunization records should be kept updated at all times. All records of children attending Grace Montessori School are kept confidential.
Note: If you have chosen not to get your child immunized, you MUST agree that in the event of any kind of outbreak, such as, but not limited to Measles, you will keep your child home for 21 days from the date of the outbreak. You will be required to pay full tuition for the time your child is out of school, in order to hold their spot. Print out that agreement for here: Unvaccinated Child Form
Field Trip Policy:
Grace Montessori shall obtain written permission from a parent before a child participates in any field trips. A general field trip permission slip will be filled out and will cover all field trips throughout the year. A field trip permission slip will include:
1. The date and purpose of the field trip
2. The times of departure and return to school
3. The name, address and telephone number of the destination.
4. The cost, if applicable, of the field trip.
Your child will not be able to join any field trips without a permission slip being filled out. You may be asked if you are available to help transport children to and from a field trip. Details and sign-up sheets are posted in advance for children and adults who will be participating in a field trip.
Observations of your child's classroom are encouraged and may be scheduled through the head teacher of your child's class. There are observation guidelines that we hand out to help maximize your time in the classroom. We ask parents to refrain from doing any observation time prior to October 15th as this is the time in which the children are establishing a routine and settling into the school year.
Conferences are held twice throughout the school year. Both parents are expected to attend the conference with their child's teachers. Please see the school calendar for conference dates. Sign-up sheets will be available before the conferences take place. Parents will have the opportunity to reschedule the conference up to two weeks after the scheduled conference time if needed.
Parent/Child conferences are important as this is when the children will show you what they have been working on throughout the year.
Kindergarten students going into first grade will have a parent/teacher conference in the Spring.
Basic Trust will also have parent/teacher conferences throughout the year.
Communications With The Teacher:
We ask that parents share and communicate with the teachers on a regular, as-needed basis. It is difficult for the teachers to discuss anything at length during drop-off and pick-up times or during class time. Teachers appreciate messages, questions, suggestions and other communications in written form and will meet face-to-face when needed.
Please print out and sign the Grace Montessori School Parent/Student Hand Book agreement form: CLICK HERE FOR THE FORM
By signing this form, you acknowledge that you have read and thoroughly understand the policies and procedures of Grace Montessori School and agree to them.
If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please call 208-580-0205 and we will be happy to help you.
Our goal at Grace Montessori is to try to meet the needs of every child!