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Frequently Asked Questions

How is a Montessori school different from other schools?
In most schools the children are taught educational concepts in a group by a teacher. In a Montessori school, the children learn concepts as they work independently with the many materials in the environment. Rather than “teaching” the child concepts, an enriched environment is designed to stimulate the child’s interest and facilitate his understanding and learning capacities spontaneously with little or no adult intervention.

How do Montessori children adjust to public schools?
Children who have been in a Montessori environment are generally very flexible and adjust easy to the public school situation. They may be better students and spend their time in a more productive way because of their self directions and positive attitude toward learning.

What is the student-to-staff ratio?
The ratio in the preschool classroom is 8:1, and in the elementary room, the ratio is maintained at no more than 10:1. The ratio in the 3PK room is 7:1. Factoring in the volunteers further lowers the ratio of students to adults.

Do you have field trips?
In short, yes.  Generally, field trips, such as apple-picking and fossil hunting are scheduled at a minimum of one per month.  Science museums and planetariums for the elementary students typically occur every two weeks.  Last year our elementary program went on over 20 field trips, including an exciting end of year camping trip. A yearly activity fee for elementary students covers these costs.

Is transportation provided?

The Auburn City School District will transport children to and from school starting with kindergarten, as well as some surrounding school districts. 3PK and UPK students must be dropped off and picked up daily. Staff and parents provide transportation for field trips.

Do I have to provide my child with a lunch?

Hot lunch is served daily, but lunch can be brought from home. Hot lunch is free for 3pk and UPK students. The cost of a lunch card for elementary students is $30 and includes 20 punches. Daily snacks need to be provided from home!
What are my opportunities for involvement in my child’s education?
Parents are encouraged to attend Orientation, Open House, school events, Field Trips, and Parent/Teacher Conferences. Two conferences per year are held and parents are strongly encouraged to attend conferences to discuss the progress of their child, curriculum, tools, etc. This web site will provide information to parents on field trips, fundraising events, and curriculum. A Parent Education Library lends reading materials and videotapes to parents interested in learning more about the Montessori philosophy and methods. Parents are always welcome to visit the classrooms.
Are students evaluated using standardized tests?
New York State Department of Education standardized tests are not given.

Will my child have homework?

The Montessori belief is that home time should be family time. There is no nightly homework assigned to students. Family projects may be distributed monthly, but these are geared toward spending time with family.