We are delighted you have enrolled your child at Montessori Country Day. Our school strives to create a personalized, positive educational environment to fulfill the potential in each child through the philosophy defined by Dr. Maria Montessori.

This handbook has been prepared to acquaint families with our school and our philosophy. It explains the policies, practices and regulations of our school.

The table of contents on the right side of this page includes links to each section. (If you’re reading this page on mobile, the table of contents will be an index at the end of this page.)


COMMUNICATION

School Contact Information

Owner/Director:          Maggie Whitmire

Cell Phone:                 (828)-273-0032

Email:                 Maggie@montessoricountryday.org

Assistant Director:      Laurie Wilkins

School Address:          1521 Haywood Road, Hendersonville, NC  28791

Office Phone & Fax:  (828) 697-1011

Email:                   admin@montessoricountryday.org

Notices via Newsletters, Email and Whiteboard

Notices of interest, upcoming events and our monthly newsletters will be emailed to all parents.  Please keep us updated on current email addresses so you will receive these updates, notes and reminders.

Reminders will also be displayed on the whiteboard in the parking lot.  For some events and programs, we will send flyers home.  The calendar and newsletters are also on our website.

Phone Calls

The office staff and teachers are often busy with students and sometimes are unable to answer the phone.  If you have an emergency and we don’t answer your call, please hang up and redial the number.  All staff has been advised that if the phone rings a second time immediately after a hang-up, the caller must reach us promptly.

If the phone is busy and you must reach us immediately, call Maggie’s cell at 273-0032.

Classroom Teacher Communication

We always want to hear from parents.  Face-to-face meetings and phone calls are Montessori Country Day’s way of keeping our relationship open, friendly, clear, and respectful.

When children are in our classrooms, they are the focus of our teachers.  This means teachers cannot give you their full attention or an appropriate response while children are in attendance.  We recommend you request a phone call (or meeting for more in-depth conversations).  Here are the best ways to communicate with your child’s teacher:

  1. Leave a note on the whiteboard.  The whiteboard is a communication hub for MCD.  You can write down a call request and let us know when an out-of-the ordinary authorized adult will be picking up your child.  (Please note that this person must be on your Departure List, so if it is someone new you will have to come into the office and change on the Departure form.)
  2. Call the office at 697-1011 and request that the teacher call you when possible.
  3. Come into the office to talk with Maggie or Laurie.  They may be able to answer your question or pass information on to the teacher.  If not, they can arrange for the teacher to call you as soon as possible.
  4. Email Maggie (Maggie@montessoricountryday.org) or Laurie at admin@montessoricountryday.org.  Be sure to include your preferred phone number, and they will be happy to have the teacher call you at a mutually convenient time. (Email is a powerful communication tool for our school-home partnerships, and we welcome its use for notifications, changes in schedule, and the like.

For concerns or issues, we recommend an in-person discussion that allows for collaborative dialogue.

You will hear from our teachers on a regular basis.  When time permits, teachers send home written reports about individual children and general classroom activities weekly for the Primary Classrooms and daily for the Toddler and Pre-Primary Classrooms.  Weekly pictures of your child’s classroom will also be emailed to parents.

Communicating with Other Parents

Protecting your privacy is incredibly important to us.  We do not share your phone number or email address with other parents.

You are welcome to exchange contact information with another parent by leaving a note for them with us.  Birthday invitations may be given to the teacher to ensure that parents receive them promptly.

Parent Involvement

At Montessori Country Day, we strive to foster a welcoming feeling to families with ongoing communication between children, families, and teachers.  Teachers recognize that parents are the primary educators and will help families understand the Montessori Method and materials.

We schedule two Parent/teacher conferences each year.  This is an opportunity to discuss your child’s progress and goals.  Always feel free to voice any concerns and approvals to your child’s teacher.  Please also feel free to schedule an appointment with the director.

In order to meet the constantly changing needs of each individual child, please let us know about any significant changes that may affect your child’s sense of security, level of attachment and general well-being.

When parents are allowed back into the school (hopefully soon) we enjoy families volunteering, having lunch with us or sharing a special interest or expertise.

THE MCD COMMUNITY

Our Students

Montessori Country Day strives to develop appropriate patterns of polite behavior as well as seeking to instill basic universal values within the core of the child’s personality.  These values include self-respect, acceptance of the uniqueness and dignity of each person we meet, kindness, peacefulness, compassion, empathy, honor, individual responsibility and courage to speak from our hearts.

We hope to attract a diverse student body representing many ethnic backgrounds, religions, abilities, disabilities, and learning styles.

MCD accepts children ages twelve months and walking (or fifteen months) through six years old during the school year.  Our summer camp welcomes children ages twelve months and walking through eight years old.

Montessori classes are organized by developmentally appropriate age groups, forming communities in which younger children are naturally inspired by older children.  In turn, the older children learn to teach and lead, establishing their self-esteem.

Classroom ages have some overlap because children move up based on their age as of August 31.

*Toddlers:       12 months and walking (or 15 months) through 35 months.

*Pre-Primary:  2 years by August 31 through 47 months

*Primary:         3 years by August 31 through 6 years

 

Our Staff

Montessori Country Day has passionate Montessori certified teachers in all of our primary classrooms.  We also have dedicated toddler and pre-primary teachers that have many years of experience and may have Montessori certification, college degree or both.  All of the teachers undergo continual early education classes each year.

Teaches are selected not just for their professional abilities, but for their genuine concern, respect, and joy with children.

Montessori Country Day is committed to providing our children the social, emotional, and intellectual needs in accordance with the Montessori philosophy.

At MCD, having respect for the child includes a positive, optimistic attitude about children, a cooperative spirit, a nurturing of independence, recognition of unique individuality, finding the right activities and listening and observing in order to follow the child.

Teachers avoid pride and anger, speaking ill of the children, sarcasm, teasing and over-reacting to misbehavior.  We are sensitive to children’s desire to be held and touched.  When making presentations, the child’s interest level is considered so that a teacher will stop before the child tires.

Teachers strive to develop a complete Montessori program by providing a safe, clean, inviting environment and initiating change in order to provide new stimulation.

Our teachers are professionals with many hours of training, degrees, ongoing educational classes and trainings and families of their own.  It is Montessori Country Day’s policy that our staff may not provide babysitting service to our families at any time.


HELLOS, GOODBYES, AND THE DAY IN BETWEEN

Arrivals and Departures

Arrivals

Families must complete our screening app each morning before your child enters the building.  Completing the question honestly is vital to the health and safety of your family, our school, and our community.

Early Morning Care

If your child is scheduled to attend our Early Morning Program please use the school parking lot.  Please pull up as far as you can and when you are first in line you may park.  If someone is already at your entrance please wait at the designated waiting spots.

We have our usual Early Morning start time of 7:15

Toddler Class: Parents should escort their child and enter through the toddler gate and to the classroom door.  Please knock.

Pre-Primary & Primary Classes: Parents escort their child to the main entrance.  Ring the doorbell.

Full Day Primary Students

Arrival time is 8:30

We have our usual Early Morning start time of 7:15

Toddler Class: Parents should escort their child and enter through the toddler gate and to the classroom door.  Please knock.

Pre-Primary & Primary Classes: Parents escort their child to the main entrance.  Ring the doorbell.

Full Day Primary Students

Arrival time is 8:30

Full Day Primary Students

Arrival time is 8:30

Ms. Michelle & Ms. Faith’s Classes:

Car #1 Park and escort your child to main entrance

Car #2 can park and wait at the designated wait spot.

All other cars wait to pull up before exiting your vehicle

 

Ms. Megan’s Class:

Enter the parking lot at 1515 Haywood Road

Pull around the parking lot till facing Haywood Rd.

Car #1 can park and go to classroom gate and classroom door.

Car #2 can park and wait at designated wait spot.

 

Toddler Class Arrival Time is 8:45-9:00

Toddler Class:   

Escort your child through the toddler gate to the classroom door.  Knock on the door.

 

Pre-Primary Arrival Time is 8:45-9:00

 Pre-Primary:                                                    Escort your child to the main entrance.

We will continue to use the car line method for afternoon departure.  Our extended day students will use this method until 4:45, weather permitting the children will then be dismissed from the playground.

We have short windows for arrivals and departures.  Please be sure to get in line at your child’s arrival time and not before.  Families are trying to get to work and have scheduled their time accordingly.  If you arrive early please park and wait till the correct time.  If you arrive late for your child’s class please wait till after 9:00.

 We will continue to use the car line method for afternoon departure.  Our extended day students will use this method until 4:45, weather permitting the children will then be dismissed from the playground.

We have short windows for arrivals and departures.  Please be sure to get in line at your child’s arrival time and not before.  Families are trying to get to work and have scheduled their time accordingly.  If you arrive early please park and wait till the correct time.  If you arrive late for your child’s class please wait till after 9:00.

If You Arrive Late….

We understand that your family has its own schedules and routines.  We allow children to arrive to school late with the understanding that latecomers will not disrupt the learning environment in our classrooms.  Arriving late is difficult for your child as class has already started.  Think of how you feel if you arrive to a meeting late.  All eyes are on you which can be very uncomfortable for an adult so you can imagine your young child will feel a bit out of sorts.

The pre-primary and the primary classes start their mornings with a circle time.  This circle time is an important beginning of our children’s school experience.  This is a time to greet our friends and learn about the new activities or lessons for the day.  We encourage parents to allow your child this important beginning of their learning experience at Montessori Country Day.


Departures

Children are released only to a person for whom the staff has written permission from the parents or guardians on our Departure form.  As a precaution, we may ask for photo ID when a person is unfamiliar to us.  Please understand that even if we have met you before the masks make it harder to recognize people so we may ask for ID more than once.

Dismissal:

The toddler and Pre-Primary Classrooms  begin departing at 2:30 and the end of the car line will be at 2:45.  Please arrive promptly to ensure a timely departure.  The procedure in the afternoon is the same as the morning in the car line.

The timing of our car lines is tight and we hope parents arriving promptly will avoid parking lot congestion.  If you are arrive in the lot after 2:45, please yield to the car line for primary parents which begin at 2:46.  This means you may need to hang out in a parking spot until car rider line is finished at 3:00.

The Primary Classrooms car line begins at 2:46-3:00.  Follow the same procedure in the car line as you did in the morning car line.

Extended Day Program, please arrive by or before 5:25 to pick up your child.  The children will be on the playground when weather is nice otherwise follow the morning procedure for pick up.

Early Morning and Extended Day

Drop-Ins for Early Morning and Extended Day are extremely limited, and may be unavailable.  Parents must call the school in advance to ascertain if there is adequate staff to accommodate an additional child.  If you have an emergency we will do our best to accommodate your family.

Late Fees

If your child is not picked up on time even with prior notice, the following late fees apply.

*FIRST Late Fee Pick Up:               

  If within five minutes, we will waive the first time. After five minutes,                                                                                          $5.00 for each five-minute interval

*SECOND Late Fee Pick Up:                       

$10.00 for the first five minutes and $5.00 for each five-minute interval thereafter

*THIRD Late Fee Pick Up:               

$20.00 for the first five minutes and $5.00 for each Five-minute interval thereafter

When a parent is late, anxiety is felt by everyone-the parent, the teacher and most importantly, the child.  If you have an emergency, please call so we can make alternate arrangements if necessary.

If you are unable to pay the late fee immediately, a note will be sent home with the fee.  Please understand that we take late arrivals seriously, and we will begin charging an additional late fee of $5.00 per day if our notices are ignored.

If you are late for extended day you will pay the late fee directly to the teacher you have detained.


PANDEMIC

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the normal operations of our school.  Montessori Country Day will always consider the health and safety of our children and staff our first priority.  We are committed to providing a high quality and safe learning environment.  We are continuously monitoring the latest development in and around our community following the requirements and recommendations of the North Carolina Division of Child Development and Early Childhood, Centers for Disease Control, Health and Human Services, and the local Health Department.  As more information becomes available, we are adapting and making changes to our safety measures and protocols.

While our school is a bit different now, the joy of learning and being together will allow us all to adapt to the new ways of being together safely.  Montessori Country Day does not expect that young children will distance themselves from other children or adults while at school.  Young children learn by engaging with their environment, which includes the other people in it.   

Our teachers at Montessori Country Day strive to keep your child healthy and to prevent the spread of illness.  Your child’s health is a matter of importance to all of us.  We understand that colds and allergies occur throughout the year but with the current situation with the pandemic we have new health and safety protocols. 

I hope during this challenging time our school and teachers have provided comfort and normalcy to our families.  The foundation of our school community is built on families who along with me recognize and support the important work of our teachers who create loving environments that protect children from the stress in our world right now.

Symptoms of COVID-19

Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. Anyone can have mild to severe symptoms.  People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

*Fever

*Fatigue

*Chills

*Muscle or body aches

*Cough

*Headache

*Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

*Diarrhea

*Congestion or runny nose

*New loss of taste or smell

*Nausea or vomiting

Exclusion from School

Children with signs of illness are required by the Health Guidance for Child Care Settings to be excluded from school if they show any of the following symptoms:

            *Fever

            *Chills

            *Shortness of breath

            *Difficulty breathing

            *New cough

            *Or new loss of taste or smell

If your child has any of the above symptoms the school requires a PCR negative Covid-19 test to return to school or an alternate diagnosis.  The test must be shown at the entrance to school either the actual test or a picture of the test on your phone.  We will not accept emails.

MCD will also exclude children for 24 hours with:

             *Vomiting

             *Diarrhea

If your child develops another symptom such as fever, cough or continues to have diarrhea or vomiting please contact your health care provider.  Your child will be excluded until we receive a COVID-19 negative test upon arrival back at school or an alternate diagnosis. 

The presence of any of the above symptoms above generally suggests a person has an infectious illness and should not attend school, regardless of whether the illness is COVID-19.

Monitoring Illness

We appreciate parents keeping their children home when they have symptoms of illness and contacting your health care provider as necessary.  We ask that you call us when your child is absent from school whether it is an illness or just a fun day with family.  Although we always protect the confidentiality of our families we will be monitoring absences. 

Teachers will be attentive to symptoms of illness throughout the day.  If your child becomes ill while at school we expect parents to pick up their child as soon as reasonably possible, not longer than forty five minutes.   If you believe it will take longer than forty five minutes please call an alternate person from your previously designated person on your Departure form, to pick up your child sooner.  Ill children will be kept separate from well children and staff contact will be limited as much as reasonably possible, while ensuring that they are safe and supervised until their family arrives.  Once a family member has picked up their child the room and classroom are cleaned and sanitized.

When a Child Must also Stay Home

A child should be kept home if an illness prevents him/her from being able to participate in our program. 

   Illness                        Exclude

*Hepatitis A:               one week after onset of illness or jaundice

*Strep Throat:             24 hours after treatment has started and fever has been gone for 24 hours

*Pertussis:                   five days after appropriate antibiotic treatment

*Impetigo:                   24 hours after treatment

*Rash                          determined OK by a health care professional

*Pink Eye:                  24 hours after treatment has been started or a note from the doctor stating that it is not contagious

*Ringworm:                if unable to cover lesion, after treatment starts and lesion starts to shrink

*Head Lice                  24 hours after treatment AND no signs of nits or lice

Your child should also stay home if any they have any condition for which a physician or other health professional issues a written order that the child be separated from other children.

First Aid

All staff have CPR and First Aid certification.  If we feel medical attention is required, we will call EMS and then call parents or designated emergency contacts.

If an accident or injury occurs during the day that does not require a doctor’s attention the teachers fill out an “ouch report”.  At the time your child is picked up from school you will be asked to read and sign the form.  It will provide you with all of the pertinent information regarding the incident.  As a courtesy and in the interest of safety if a child injures their head we will call the parents.  Parents do not have to pick up the child unless we deem it necessary but parents will have all information about the head bump and may choose to pick their child up early.

Medications and Ointments

If a child has a mild illness or a non-contagious illness that requires a prescription medication, it is important to follow the procedures below:

  • If at all possible, please ask your physician if a dose schedule can be arranged that does not include the hours your child is at school.
  • The first dose of medication should be given at home to ensure your child does not have an adverse reaction. 
  • All medications must be in the original container
  • A parent or legal guardian must complete and fill out and sign a permission form.
  • Medications for reoccurring medical conditions (such as asthma, sever allergy, and

Seizures) will be discussed with our Health Consultant.  Forms for chronic medical conditions and allergic reaction are on our website.

Diaper rash cream, sunscreens and bug sprays are treated as medications and a permission to administer form must be completed by parents. 

Please ask a teacher for assistance with forms and give all medications directly to your child’s teacher or the director.  Medications are stored, locked, and dispensed by the director or assistant director.  In the absence of the director/assistant director, they will delegate this responsibility to one specific teacher.

MCD will only dispense prescription medications with the exception of sunscreen and diaper creams.  Please do not send medications in drinks or store them in diaper bags.  We all want our children healthy and safe.

 

Smoke and Tobacco Free Environment

Smoking and the use of any product containing, made or derived from tobacco, including e-cigarettes, cigars, little cigars, smokeless tobacco, and hookah, are not permitted on the premises of our school, or during any off-premise activities.

All teachers and parents are asked to keep smoking materials locked in their vehicles (or locked in our kitchen) when entering the school building or attending off-premise activities.

Additional Services

In an effort to provide comprehensive services to children and families our school works cooperatively with other agencies in the community.  In order to protect privacy, no information about a child will be shared with any agency unless parents have given written permission.  The need for consultative referral can be discussed with the director or your child’s teacher. 

     *Henderson County Speech and Hearing Therapist will test and provide on-site therapy as needed

     *Henderson County Health Department provides a health education & nursing services

     *MCD can access a variety of agencies to screen and evaluate preschool children for developmental delays and behavioral concerns.

 

Cleaning Schedule

To keep our school neat and sanitary, staff and outside cleaning services are responsible for the following duties on a rotating basis:

DAILY

*All tables & chairs are cleaned and sanitized after activities, snacks and lunch

*Diaper table is cleaned and sanitized after each use

*Floors are swept and mopped each day

*Carpets are vacuumed

*Toilets are cleaned and sanitized

*Sinks are cleaned and sanitized

*Drinking fountains are cleaned and sanitized (we use cups when we use the fountain)

*Toys are cleaned and sanitized when exposed to mouths and germs

*Classroom materials are sanitized at the end of the day

*The playground materials are sanitized between each group of children

 

WEEKLY:

*Sheets and blankets are washed at least once a week

*Trashcans and diaper pails, door knobs, shelves, cubbies, windowsills, baseboards, tops of dividers in bathrooms are cleaned and sanitized

*Microwaves and refrigerators are cleaned at least once a week

Everything in the school is cleaned more frequently if needed.  Carpets are shampooed every six months.

 

SAFETY AND SECURITY

Doors & Gates Locked

Our school doors are kept locked throughout the day.  The gates for the toddler class and Ms. Megan’s class are open when we are expecting parents in the morning and afternoon; otherwise they are also locked throughout the day.

Families and visitors will be greeted by a staff member at the front glass entrance doors after ringing the doorbell. 

Parking Lot Safety

Children and adults must stay together when they walk through the parking lot.  Hold hands or carry your toddlers.  Cars often are driving fast on Haywood Road and use our parking lot for U-Turns, please be watchful.

Inclement Weather

It is our goal to keep our families and staff as safe as possible when inclement weather arrives.  Our decision to open school on time, open on a delayed schedule or close for the day is a very tough decision.  We take into account the current conditions, forecast, school announcements for Henderson County, and the need to have enough staff on site to provide care for the children.  The county schools do have the issue of buses and young drivers, and they need to be a bit more conservative than MCD.

For school closing or delays before the children arrive at school, we try to make a decision by or before 7:00 a.m.  Since the weather can and does change often, we usually do not make any announcements the evening before school. 

We use WLOS to notify you of closing and delays.  You can get notifications in three ways: 

  1. Register for mobile text alerts at WLOS.com. Go to weather and click on text alerts.  Look under “Private Schools” for Montessori Country Day-Hendersonville to sign up.  This is the recommended way to be notified by our school.
  2. Watch WLOS-TV where our information will be part of the ticker on the bottom of the screen.

Go to WLOS.com and click on “School Closings” link. Please be aware that you may be checking the website before we have made a decision.  Please check before leaving for school.

We will make every effort to make decisions concerning inclement weather as quickly as possible to ensure the safety of all involved.

 

Guidelines on Child Abuse/Neglect

 

All people and institutions are required by North Carolina law to report suspected cases of child abuse or neglect.  If any staff member of MCD becomes aware, or suspect, that a student has suffered or faces a threat of suffering, any physical or mental wound, injury, disability or condition that reasonably indicates abuse or neglect of a child, they will immediately notify the MCD Director to report to the Department of Social Services or they may report suspected abuse or neglect personally. 

MCD has procedures for recording all injuries or accidents involving children.  We include the date and time of the incident, description of incident, and any action taken by the staff.  We also take note of any unusual marks or bruises that a child has upon arrival so we know when a mark occurred at home or school. 

All new staff are fingerprinted and references are checked.  Fingerprinting is required every three years.  MCD hires staff on a probationary period and orient new staff to our positive discipline policies on day one.  Teachers are supervised on a close and consistent basis with ongoing training and support from within and local community resources.  We maintain small group sizes and small teacher to student ratios. 

MCD devotes every effort to prevent abuse and neglect of children.

Confidentiality

The staff at MCD has a commitment to confidentiality.  Information about your child or your family will not be shared with other families or visitors to the school.

If you would like to contact the family of another student at the school, you can leave a note with your child’s teacher or the director to pass on your contact information to the other family. 

 

EMERGENCY DRILLS AND MANAGEMENT

Maintaining a healthy and safe environment for our students, staff and families is our #1 goal.  Montessori Country Day is required to comply and practice drills and emergency management plans.  The goal of practicing the drills is to help our children feel safe and to know what to do should emergency arise.  All of our staff are certified in CPR and First Aid.  We are sharing this information with you so you may discuss the drills with your children.  Below is a brief description of the drills.

Evacuation

This drill is to practice how to exit the school in a quick and orderly manner.  This is typically a fire drill.  When hearing the fire alarm each class follows an exit route to the back fence on the playground.  The children wait quietly while teachers account for all children in attendance that day.  We practice fire drills once a month.  No one can enter the building during an evacuation.

Secured Perimeter

We do not practice for this as a drill but wanted families to know our procedure if there is an occurrence happening outside of school that may harm the children.  A stray vicious animal, fire or police at a local business, an accident nearby are some examples.  We make sure all children are inside and if appropriate continue with their learning.  The blinds to each room are closed so that the children are not distracted by anything that may be happening outside. 

Shelter-In-Place

MCD practices this drill to be prepared in the event of a weather emergency or a chemical incident.  After hearing an air horn and/or announcement teachers gather all children in the multi-purpose room or classroom #4, depending on if we are having a weather drill or chemical drill.  If there is a chemical incident, the classroom is sealed by the teachers.  

Lockdown

MCD practices this drill to be prepared if there is a threat of violence or serious incident that could jeopardize the safety of our children and staff.  After hearing an air horn and/or an announcement, the teachers will be sure all doors are closed and gather children in the safe place in their classroom.  The teachers console and help the children to be quiet while hiding in their safe place.  The children may have light sticks and/or suckers in their safe place.

We have drills for Shelter-In Place or Lockdown once every three months.  The staff will have emergency diapers, wipes, food, water, phone, emergency phone numbers and lots of songs, stories, and activities to keep the children occupied.  In a true emergency, families will be notified by a staff person, designated parent or an announcement on WLOS the best way to reunite with your children. 

 

CLASSROOM POLICIES

If you are new to Montessori Country Day, we recommend that you review the general descriptions about our classrooms on our website for the following topics:

  • Our Curriculum                   *Extracurricular Activities
  • Toddler Classroom              *Peace Education
  • Pre-Primary Classroom       *Discipline, Behavior Management
  • Primary Classrooms
  • Outdoor Play

Discipline

Our goal is to help children gain the understanding and independence to attain an inner discipline.  Most of the limits and social courtesies set at Montessori Country Day are common everyday situations.  We hope that the positive approach to discipline we utilize will help the children deal with not only classroom situations that may arise, but also situations that they may face outside of the school setting.

To help foster self-discipline in the classroom we establish clear consistent limits, for example: “When we are inside we walk.”  The limits are established by giving a clear explanation for why a limit exists.  “We need to walk in the classroom so that no one is hurt by falling or getting bumped.”  Explaining the rationale behind a limit is very important and helps the children remember the limits and the purpose.

Expectations and limits are introduced at the beginning of school and are reinforced in group lessons throughout the year with discussion and role-playing.  MCD believes in natural and logical consequences as opposed to punishment.  Conflict resolution, respect for others, and the environment are important aspects of our approach.  The children are encouraged to practice conflict resolution skills when difficulties arise.  Teachers are beside the children to aid their resolution skills and give a few examples of how they can amend the situation. 

MCD also values positive reinforcement, redirection and modeling as effective methods of behavior management.  When children receive positive interactions from adults and others, they develop good self-concepts, problem solving abilities, and self discipline.  It is one of our ultimate goals that our children do the right thing, not because they will be punished if they don’t, but because they don’t want to adversely affect the people and world around them. 

Technology

At Montessori Country Day we are very careful with how much we utilize computers or I-pads in the education of our young children.  Technology is typically not used widely (and not at all by children under 3) at MCD.  As a school, we are not anti-technology; rather, we approach technology with an awareness of what is developmentally appropriate for children.  Montessorians believe that children should spend as much time as possible with concrete materials and engaged in in-person social scenarios. 

A Montessori education is focused on using a hands-on approach and making use of all the senses in order to foster the best learning.  The classrooms are prepared with distinctive and purposeful materials designed to teach a single skill or concept.  The concrete, tangible materials serve as a natural passage to more abstract concepts, so that they develop an understanding versus just memorizing.

Maria Montessori believed that moving and learning were intertwined.  “Real Play” develops initiative, problem-solving skills and many other positive traits, such as perseverance and emotional resilience.  It is vital for social skills, too.  By playing together, young children learn to get along with other people and begin to develop empathy.

The American Montessori Society acknowledges that technology is an important part of the world in which our children live.  Just like any other material added to a Montessori classroom, the determinate factor must be whether or not it nurtures the development of the child.  Technology should allow children to follow their own interest, to learn as appropriate to their individual styles and to achieve independence as life long learners.

When used appropriately, technology is a powerful and creative educational tool, which can transition the classroom materials from concrete to abstract.  Our teachers will at times enhance our program with screen media to expose children to animals, objects, people, landscapes, activities and places they cannot experience in person.    

At Montessori Country Day we strive to challenge and meet the needs of our children.  When implemented correctly, technology is beneficial and can be a great aide to learning in the 21st century.

 

What to Wear

Spills, paint, dirt, glue and other minor accidents are a natural part of a child’s life.  Your child should wear practical and comfortable clothing for school.  Cowboy boots, flip flops, clogs and tie shoes can be difficult for the school setting; save these fun shoes for home.

The warm months require shorts, short sleeves, sun hats, sandals with backs or athletic shoes and sun hats.  

In the cold months, please allow your child to bring a pair of mittens and a hat to leave at school.  Our weather changes quickly so layering a sweater or jacket over a t-shirt will help your child stay comfortable.

Please bring a change of clothes, appropriate to the season and clearly label each article of clothing.  Please include socks and underwear.  Primary students may just need one extra outfit but the younger children will need at least three outfits. 

All children should have a pair of rain boots to change into when going outdoors.  The children love jumping in puddles and the ground can be wet so this ensures the children will have dry shoes when they return indoors.

Please remember each day to bring a light jacket in the spring and fall (maybe even a rain jacket) and a very warm jacket in the winter.  We go outdoors even when it is quite cold so if we don’t have a jacket for your child we will call you to bring a jacket to school.   

Outside Every Day (Almost)

Living in the Asheville/Hendersonville area we are fortunate that the weather is typically mild.  We will go outside every day unless there is a weather advisory or actively raining.

Best practices for schools indicate that children should be allowed to go outside for at least an hour of active play.  The fresh air and the movement is something that each child needs daily for general well-being and healthy development.

We strive to have an hour in the morning and an hour in the afternoon in our outdoor learning area.

Nap

North Carolina requires all children in our care rest each day.  The children will either nap or rest quietly on their cots.  Each student will have a beach towel “blanket”.

Children will be assisted at naptime by listening to classical music, rocking, and pats on the back.  Children that have rested may look at books or work with quiet activities while respecting the need for sleep of their classmates.

Toys

Toys and treasures sometimes come to visit us.  They are better kept at home as they may become lost or damaged.  However, we encourage children to share books, science specimens, pictures from vacations and other items of educational interest to the class.  If your child has a special nap buddy or blanket, we understand the importance in your child’s rest time. As always, please label everything with your child’s name.

Lost Montessori Materials

Sometimes children love school so much they want to take part of it home with them.  You may discover tiny cubes, beads, puzzle pieces or other items in your child’s pockets.  Please return the items to the school.  Teachers will thank the child and help them return the materials to the work in which they belong.

 

LET’S EAT

Snack

For toddlers, we ask you to send a morning snack (afternoon snack if staying late) and a sippy cup of water to the classroom each day.  Our youngest students do best with familiar foods, and we offer them water throughout the day to keep them hydrated.

We serve our pre-primary students a daily morning snack.  This is a wonderful opportunity for students to try new foods and practice grace and courtesy.

Montessori Country Day sometimes provides the snacks and sometimes we ask families to participate.  A snack calendar will be sent home at the beginning of the month indicating when and what snack you are responsible for providing.  All food must come from a commercially approved source such as a grocery store, bakery or pre-packaged for retail sale. 

For Extended Day students include an extra snack and beverage.  Everything must fit into the lunchbox.

Lunch

North Carolina licensing laws require that children have nutritious lunches, and they insist on particular foods and quantities.  I ask all parents to sign a “Nutrition Opt Out” form, which allows parents to make choices based on their knowledge of the quantities their child consumes and allows for some flexibility based on their child’s food preferences.  We require that parents follow these nutritional guidelines:

     *Milk, milk alternative, 100% juice or water

     *Fruits and Vegetables

     *Proteins

     *Whole Grains

Please do not send sugar beverages, flavored milk, soda, cookies, Jell-O, chips or other foods that contain no nutritional value and distract the children from eating the more wholesome parts of their lunches. 

Please be sure your child’s lunchbox is large enough (but not a cooler).  All items should fit into the lunchbox.  Be sure to include utensils, napkin, and a washcloth (or extra cloth napkin) to use as a placemat. 

 

Again lunchboxes need to be large enough to include your child’s lunch but not so oversized it will be burdensome to put in our fridge or for your child to carry.  Lunchboxes must be labeled with your child’s name.  After the first week of school if your child’s lunchbox is not labeled with your child’s name we will label the lunchbox.

 

CELEBRATIONS

Holidays and Special Events

Our school curriculum includes exposing the children to various holidays and traditions.  We share information and discuss ways people celebrate New Year’s, the Four Seasons, President’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Chinese New Year, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Ramadan and others that help educate our students and encourage tolerance.  Please let us know if you have a special cultural or religious tradition you would be willing to share with us.

Montessori Country Day has been organizing service learning opportunities since the inception of the first campus in 2004.  Traditionally MCD assists local charities during International Peace Day, Martin Luther King holiday, and the December holiday season.  In the last few years we have contributed to necessities for Only Hope, a charity in Hendersonville for homeless youth and Interfaith Assistance Ministry assisting homeless people with snacks and gifts for children during the holidays. 

We hope to give a little light in our community from our children. 

Birthdays

Our celebration of birthdays is a beautiful Montessori ceremony that celebrates the child’s life.   We ask that parents send pictures of your child as a newborn, and each year of his/her life with brief descriptions of your child’s milestones.  Parents may join us for this celebration or we can email or text pictures of the birthday celebration.  You may bring in treats for the celebration; we suggest small cupcakes, muffins, ice cream cups, yogurt or cookies.

For the ceremony a candle is used to represent the sun and a globe is used to represent the earth.  The child carries the globe (earth) and walks around the candle (sun) once for each year of life.  After each circle around the sun, the children sing the Celebration of Life song and the birthday child shares a photo as the teacher shares a milestone from that year in his/her life.

MCD has another tradition of the birthday child presenting a book to their class with their name and date inscribed.  We will read the book to the class as the children are enjoying their birthday treats.  Book donations are a great way to encourage the love of books and an opportunity to teach your child the joy of giving.  The donated books will live on our shelves for years to come.

International Day of Peace

The International Day of Peace is observed around the world each year on September 21st.  Established in 1981 by unanimous United Nation resolution, Peace Day provides a globally shared date for all humanity to commit to Peace above all differences and to contribute to building a culture of peace.

Montessori Country Day participates in “Sing Peace Around the World”.  This historical event first took place on September 21, 2009, when the Montessori world came together to celebrate peace.

The song, Light a Candle for Peace, starts on September 21 in New Zealand at 11:00 a.m. precisely, and is continuously sung for 24 hours by children around the world until it reaches the Hawaiian Islands.  Our children gather around a peace symbol and the children have battery powered candles and sing “Light a Candle for Peace” continuously for our five-minute time slot. 

Along with the actual celebration, we usually collect money and needs for Only Hope WNC, IncOnly Hope is a non-profit program to aide the close to 300 homeless students in Henderson County.  This is our effort to aid our neighbors in honor of Peace Day.

Opting-Out

If your family would like to opt-out of these celebrations, please let a teacher or administrator know.  We can arrange alternative activities as needed.

TUITION, DISCOUNTS, AND ADDITIONAL HOURS

Tuition

Our tuition schedule is calculated on an annual school year basis, which can be made in one payment or divided into 10 (or 12 if your child attends summer camp) equal installments due the 5th of each month.  Annual school year tuition may be made by automatic bank deposit or an annual payment.  Annual tuition is considered fully earned January 1st.

All Tuition and fees are non-refundable, regardless of non-attendance for any reason. 

When you enroll your child at MCD, we ask for a full year’s commitment.  If for some reason you need to withdraw your child, MCD requires a two-month notice.  This policy will be waived if we can fill your child’s placement in the classroom with a new student. 

MCD does not make any allowance for absences or vacations.  Payment installments that are not paid within ten calendar days after the due date will be assessed $25.00. 

We accept subsidized payments from the Department of Social Services.  Families who use this service are responsible for the difference in our tuition and the reimbursement rate. 

Discounts

Families opting for the annual payment will receive a 5% discount, when tuition is paid by August 1st.  Annual payments are deemed fully earned as of  January 1st.

Families pay full tuition for their first child and receive a 5% discount for siblings.  Discounts are for full day tuition only.

Materials Fee

The materials fee may be divided into four payments with the first payment due June 1st.  Half of the materials fee must be paid by July 1to ensure your child’s placement in the upcoming school year.  Materials fee will be prorated for children who are accepted after the school year begins.

The fees are as follows:

     $730.00             for 5 days a week students

     $677.00             for 5 half days a week students

     $700.00             for 4 days a week students

    $650.00             for 3 days a week students

     $548.00             for 3 half days a week students

     $538.00             for 2 days a week students

Additional Hours

Please contact the office if you need additional hours or additional days.  We will try to accommodate parents needs but we must maintain our student to teacher ratio and have adequate staff. 

If you need to change your child’s schedule please fill out the Enrollment Modification Request.  Please note that we may not be able to modify your child’s schedule after your initial registration schedule request.

 

IN CLOSING

We ask that families are supportive and respectful of all our guidelines, as you are the most influential role model for your children.  When the children see you respect the school, the teachers, and procedures, they learn that this is a safe place and they can trust our care.

If you need clarification of a procedure or policy please contact the owner/director, Maggie Whitmire at school or her cell number is 273-0032. 

 

THANK YOU FOR BEING PART OF OUR SCHOOL

COMMUNITY AT MONTESSORI COUNTRY DAY.