What is “Montessori”?
“Montessori” is a method and philosophy of learning developed by Dr. Maria Montessori, an Italian medical doctor,
at the turn of the 20th century. An educator and humanitarian, she devoted her life to the study and observation
of children. She developed a method of self-education for young children within a planned environment using carefully
designed materials and equipment.
The methods are based on the idea that children “learn best by doing,” by using all of their senses. The method focuses
on social skills, emotional growth, physical coordination, and cognitive preparation. The results of her method led to
the establishment of literally thousands of Montessori schools throughout the world.
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 spontaneously 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 Montessori School of the Finger Lakes?
The Montessori School of the Finger Lakes is a private, nonreligious school and was, until recently, known as the Montessori
Children’s House. Gilda Brower, Director/Teacher, certified by the American Montessori Society since 1971, founded the school
in 1981 as a preschool/kindergarten. The school expanded to include elementary grades 1 through 3 in 1995 and again in 1996
to include grades 4 through 8. This Montessori school’s alumni number more than 800 children.
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 toddler room is only 4:1. Factoring
in the volunteers further lowers the ratio of students to adults.
How much is tuition?
For five-day, half-day preschool, tuition is $420.00-$635.00/month. For five-day, full-day preschool, tuition is $580.00-$875.00/month .
For kindergarten and elementary grades 1-8, tuition is $580.00-875.00/month. Toddler’s tuition for five mornings per week is $500.00-$700.00/month. The full-day toddler tuition is $600.00-$975.00/month.
A sibling discount of 10 percent is offered to families with more than one child in the school. We also offer a 5 percent discount to
those families who elect to pay the tuition in full prior to September 15th of the given school year.
Do you have extended care options?
The school offers both before- and after-school care. Before-school care begins at 7:00 am and costs $105 per month. After-school care is
available from 3:30 until 5:30 and costs $140 per month. Both before-school and after-school care are available on an as-needed, occasional
basis as well, at a cost of $6.00 per hour.
Do you have field trips?
Generally, field trips, such as apple-picking for the preschoolers, science museums and planetariums for the elementary students, and fossil
hunting for all, are scheduled at a minimum of one per month. Each spring, the older elementary students travel for a weekend to a major city
(such as Washington, D.C., New York City, Philadelphia, or Boston) with teachers and chaperones.
What are my opportunities for involvement in my child’s education?
Parents are encouraged to attend Orientation, Open House events, Director/Parent Teas, 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. A monthly
newsletter updates children and 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 used as a tool of assessment for both students and the school. The results are used
by the school, not only to assess student performance, but also to evaluate certain aspects of curriculum emphasis.