Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Does MAC allow peanuts/tree nuts?

No.  The Montessori Academy of Colorado is a NUT FREE SCHOOL. This policy is critically important as it is designed to protect the lives of students with severe nut allergies.

Be sure to avoid foods that contain any of the following ingredients:

  • cold pressed, expressed, or expelled peanut oil  or nut oil of any sort
  • ground nuts
  • mixed nuts
  • Nu-Nuts® artificial nuts
  • peanuts or tree nuts – including coconut
  • peanut butter or any other nut butter – soy butter and sunflower butter are acceptable
  • peanut flour or any other flour with a nut derivative

Foods that may indicate the presence of peanut protein include:

  • African, Chinese, Thai, and other ethnic dishes
  • baked goods
  • candy
  • cereals
  • chili, spaghetti sauce
  • chocolate (candy, candy bars)
  • crackers
  • egg rolls
  • hydrolyzed plant protein
  • hydrolyzed vegetable protein
  • ice creams, frozen yogurts, tofutti
  • marzipan
  • nougat
  • pesto

Coconut, the seed of a drupaceous fruit, has typically not been restricted in the diets of people with tree nut allergy. However, in October of 2006, the FDA began identifying coconut as a tree nut. The available medical literature contains documentation of a small number of allergic reactions to coconut; most occurred in people who were not allergic to other tree nuts. Ask your doctor if you need to avoid coconut.

Is there a waiting list? How long will I be on the waiting list?

Yes, there is generally a waiting list.  We do not use a traditional, first-come-first-served waiting list, though.  Students are selected with consideration to ensuring an age and gender balance in the classroom. We also thoroughly read the application for enrollment in order to determine if the family is a good fit for our school. As a general practice, we offer spaces to families about two months prior to their availability.  It is important to apply early!

Is there an application fee?

Yes.  There is a nonrefundable $100 application fee.  This will reserve your spot on the waiting list.

What are the tuition rates?

We have a variety of different program options to accomodate the various schedules parents may have.

2013-2014 School Year

Nido: (2 months – 18 months)

□   Full Day                            8:15-3:30                              $1,582.00 month

□   F + Before School              7:30-3:30                              $1,691.00 month

□   F + After School                8:15-6:00                              $1,799.00 month

□   Extended Day                   7:30-6:00                              $1,909.00 month

 

Toddler Community: (18 months – 36 months)

□   Full Day                            8:15-3:30                              $1,296.00 month

□   F + Before School              7:30-3:30                              $1,400.00 month

□   F + After School                 8:15-6:00                              $1,503.00 month

□   Extended Day                    7:30-6:00                              $1,607.00 month

 

Primary: (3 years – 6 years)

□   Full Day                           8:15-3:30                              $1,026.00 month

□   F + Before School             7:30-3:30                              $1,130.00 month

□   F + After School                8:15-6:00                              $1,206.00 month

□   Extended Day                   7:30-6:00                              $1,310.00 month

□   Half Day                            7:30-12:45                           $777.00 month

 

2014-2015 School Year

MAC ECE Programs & Tuition Rates

 

Nido: (2 months – 18 months)

□   Full Day                            8:15-3:30                              $1,646.00 month

□   F + Before School             7:30-3:30                              $1,759.00 month

□   F + After School                8:15-6:00                              $1,884.00 month

□   Extended Day                   7:30-6:00                              $1,998.00 month

 

Toddler Community: (18 months – 36 months)

□   Full Day                            8:15-3:30                              $1,361.00 month

□   F + Before School             7:30-3:30                              $1,470.00 month

□   F + After School                8:15-6:00                              $1,589.00 month

□   Extended Day                   7:30-6:00                              $1,698.00 month

 

Primary: (3 years – 6 years)

□   Full Day                            8:15-3:30                              $1,078.00 month

□   F + Before School             7:30-3:30                              $1,187.00 month

□   F + After School                8:15-6:00                              $1,276.00 month

□   Extended Day                   7:30-6:00                              $1,385.00 month

□   Half Day                            7:30-12:45                           $816.00 month

 

3rd year Primary students only*:

□   Full Day                           8:15-3:30                              $916.00 month

□   F + Before School             7:30-3:30                              $1,024.00 month

□   F + After School                8:15-6:00                              $1,114.00 month

□   Extended Day                   7:30-6:00                              $1,224.00 month

 

Sibling Discounts:

□   10% off for one additional child**                                                           

□   20% off for two additional children**                                    

 

* A child enrolled in 3rd year Primary must have been enrolled at MAC for at least 3 full school years and be 5 years old between August 13 and December 1, 2014.

**Sibling discounts are applied to the oldest child’s tuition. If a family has two children enrolled in MAC’s ECE program, 10% will be deducted from the oldest child’s tuition. If a family has three or more children enrolled in MAC’s ECE program, 20% will be deducted from the oldest child’s tuition.  (Please see Elementary for sibling discounts for families with children in Elementary)

 

Fees and Other Information

 

A non-refundable application fee of $100 per child is due at the time the application is submitted. No child shall be entered onto the wait pool unless both an application and the fee have been received. A separate application is required for each child. 

 

Prior to enrollment, the child’s parent or guardian is required to attend an Enrollment Orientation meeting.

 

A Family Enrollment Deposit of $500 is due upon accepting a space at MAC.  An additional $250 per child placement fee is due upon enrollment of each child.  This is fully refundable in the event that the parents follow all contractual obligations.

 

A non-refundable Material Fee of $200.00 is due upon enrollment into the school and at the start of each school year for each child enrolled at MAC.

 

A non-refundable Building Reserve Fee of $550.00 is due upon enrollment into the school and at the start of each school year for each family enrolled at MAC.

 

A non-refundable Snack Fee of $35 per month is due each month for Toddler and Primary children for each child enrolled in these programs.

 

The school’s Work Bond Agreement requires an up-front deposit of $480.00 per family (not child) and is due upon enrollment to the school and again at the start of each school year. This deposit can be worked off during the school year at a rate of $24.00 per hour to be credited towards the child’s tuition. We ask all MAC families to volunteer 20 hours per school year.

 

A key-fob fee of $20.00 per fob is due upon enrollment. Each family may purchase up to three key-fobs.  If lost, a new key-fob will be charged to your Smart Tuition. 

 

MAC only accepts children who are or who will be vaccinated.  We cannot accept children abstaining from vaccinations for any reason. Delayed vaccination schedule is ok with a note from your child’s pediatrician along with the full schedule of vaccinations for our records.

What are the classroom ratios?

Each community maintains a different ratio.

Nido Community
1 teacher to every 3 students

Toddler Community
1 teacher to every 5 students

Primary Community 
1 teacher to every 10 students

What are the education requirements for teachers at MAC?

All of our lead teachers in the Montessori environments are required to have a Montessori teaching certificate specified to their age group or be currently mentored by a Montessori Teaching Professional and enrolled in a Montessori training institution.  The Montessori teaching certificates are obtained only through fully accredited American Montessori Society or Association Montessori Internationale, Montessori Teaching institutes.  This is a process that takes several years and requires the student to produce a significant body of work. Many of our lead teachers also hold Associate, Bachelor or Masters degrees in other areas.

Our After School Program Coordinators all hold Bachelor's degrees as well as have college credit in Early Childhood Education. Our specials teachers are college educated in their respective fields as well as in Early Childhood Education. These enrichment programs are driven by knowledgable and creative professionals.

The assistant teachers at MAC come from a wide variety of social and educational backgrounds. At a minimum, all of our assistant teachers must take at least two college classes in Early Childhood Education. However, many of our assitant teachers hold Bachelor's and Master's degrees as well. This diversity in knowledge and life experience amongst our staff is part of what makes our school such a rich learning environment.

All of our lead teachers and assistant teachers as well as our administrators are required to obtain a minimum of fifteen hours of continuing education per year. This often occurs in the form of professional workshops conducted at the school on teacher in-service days.

Does MAC close for the summer?

No.  We are a twelve month school.  We offer a summer program with different themes, but we maintain a Montessori curriculum.

When is the school closed?

We follow the DPS Schedule for all holidays, in-service days, seasonal breaks, and for snow days.

Does MAC offer a part-time school program?

MAC does have a Primary half day program in our classroom, Primary Sole.  The hours for this classroom are 7:30 am to 12:45 pm.

MAC does not have Nido or Toddler part-time program.  You may choose to keep your child home on specified days, however, tuition is paid for the entire month.  Our classrooms have work cycles from 8:15 - 3:30 every day.

When does toilet training start?

Students will begin toilet training in the Toddler Community. The teacher and parents will partner together to determine when the student is showing readiness to toilet train. When toilet training begins, you will be asked to provide ample amounts of underwear and extra clothes. The children wear underwear throughout the day in order to begin to understand their own bodily functions.

How many students are in each classroom?

In our Nido community, there are 9 students in each of the 3 classrooms.

In our Toddler Community, there are 15 students in each of the 4 classrooms.

In our Primary Community, the class size ranges from 20 - 27 students, based on individual classrooms.  There is always a 1:10 ratio maintained.

What does a typical day look like in the Nido Community?

7:30 – 9:15           Work cycle
8:00 – 9:00           Morning snack
9:15 – 9:30           Prepare for going outside
9:30 – 10:30         Outside time and/or gross-motor time
10:30 – 11:30      Work Cycle, prepare for lunch
11:00 – 12:00      Lunch
11:30 – 12:30      Books, individual work, transition for naps
11:30 – 3:00         Naps, quiet work
2:00 – 2:30           Afternoon snack
2:30 – 3:30           Outside time/buggy walk
3:30 – 6:00           Gross motor time/work cycle/group activities
4:00 – 4:30           Late afternoon snack

What does a typical day look like in the Toddler Community?

7:30 - 8:45 - Parents drop children off
8:45 - 10:30 - Morning Work Cycle 

The work cycle is a time for uninterrupted work.  This allows for focus and concentration to develop through purposeful work in the prepared environment.  Children work individually or in groups and are given lessons by the directress. 
Group time is held at the very end of the work cycle and allows for the community to come together as a whole, sing songs and talk about the day, the season or any other conversations that may arise.

Individual snack is available until 9:15

10:30 - 11:30 - Outside Time and Neighborhood Walks
11:30 - 12:15 - Lunch, Community Setting, Lunch Vegetable or Bread is shared
12:15 - 3:00  - Nap or Quiet Rest Time
3:00 - 3:30 - Children Prepare for After School Program
4:15 - Afternoon Snack
3:30 - 6:00 - After School Program

What does a typical day look like in the Primary Community?

7:30 Before School begins in community room
8:30 Children brought from community room to classroom, First circle begins
8:45 Work cycle begins – Children enjoy free choice work and or individual presentations of materials.

The work cycle is a time for uninterrupted work.  This allows for focus and concentration to develop through purposeful work in the prepared environment.  Children work individually or in groups and are given lessons by the directress. 
Group time is held at the very end of the work cycle and allows for the community to come together as a whole, sing songs and talk about the day, the season or any other conversations that may arise.

11:00 Second circle
11:15 Lunch
12:00 Outside time
12:30 Story time/prepare for nap
12:45 Resters begin preparing for their rest and K’s for afternoon work cycle.
1:00-3:00 Afternoon work cycle
3:00 Clean-Up, activities with assistants, eat snack and apply sunscreen
3:30 After-School begins

What is the Montessori Method?

The Montessori Method of education is named after its founder, Dr. Maria Montessori (1870-1952). As a Neurologist, she worked to understand the development of the young brain. By working with, and scientifically observing children, she brought about a new form of education. She respected each child as an individual with unlimited potential and provided an environment that allowed the natural unfolding and education of that child within the limits of respect for oneself, the environment and others.

The Montessori environment is specifically designed around an individual’s distinct learning style, allowing him/her to progress at his/her own pace, with guidance and support from teachers. It is important to note that Montessori education is a guiding philosophy that incorporates many different curricula. This allows specific curriculum guidelines to be developed for each individual’s distinct needs.

What are the discipline methods used?

Our intention with discipline is to help the child learn to be a respectful, self-disciplined individual. We allow the children to experience natural consequences. The adult steps in to give language to the child’s experience and help him understand what happened.

The discipline model at MAC involves a re-direction from the adults. We allow the children to solve their own problems whenever possible. If an adult does need to step in, it is in a respectful way that still allows the children to be involved in resolving the issue.

What does Nido mean?

Nido is the Italian word for nest.  We use the term to refer to our Infant Community.

What are MAC's hours of operation?

We are open Monday through Friday from 7:30am until 6:00pm, unless otherwise specified.

How do I arrange for a tour of MAC?

We have tours every Wednesday morning at 9:00am.  You may either schedule a tour on our website or you may call the school to schedule a tour.

How do I apply for enrollment?

The first step is to call the school to sign yourself up for a tour. We conduct tours most Wednesdays at 9:00 am. After the tour we hand out information packets that include an application for enrollment. The application must be filled out completely and submitted along with the $100 application fee.

How can I bring Montessori into our home routines?

The internet can be your best friend while researching how to implement the Montessori method in the home. There are many YouTube videos that depict how parents have set up their child’s home environment. We also provide families that attend the tour a list of books that can be helpful in assisting the proper implementation of a Montessori home environment.

For access to Montessori materials for your home, we recommend these websites:

www.michaelolaf.net

www.montessoriservices.com

Why do schools have in-service days?

In-service days serve a number of critical purposes for our school. Primarily, they are an opportunity to ensure that we are implementing professional training opportunities for our teachers. This is critical to our ability to meet State regulations that every staff member receive a minimum of fifteen hours of continuing education each year.

In-service days also provide each classroom with time to organize the room and change out materials. They also have the chance to build community amongst the classroom team and discuss issues in the classroom without the children being present.

We have a total of 260 contact days during 52 weeks of school. Staff in-service days comprise 4% of school year while holidays comprise 9% of school year.

Why doesn't MAC celebrate holidays?

MAC is fortunate to have students of diverse racial/ethnic, religious, and cultural backgrounds. We consider this a special opportunity to provide valuable learning experiences. As a secular school it is critical that we allow every child to feel as though they are included in our community. This includes but is not limited to dressing up for Halloween or distributing individual cards for Valentine’s Day. We do not subscribe to nor promote any specific religious belief. Instead we encourage respect and valuing of our diversity. Holiday celebrations can not only leave some children feeling left out, they also present a major disruption to the school day. Although an elementary aged child can easily adapt to a day when everyone comes to school dressed in a costume and have parties in their classrooms, the young child cannot.

A primary reason for eliminating Halloween and other holiday celebrations in a Montessori preschool community ties directly to the science of the Absorbent Mind. From birth through age three the child is in the developmental stage of the Unconscious Absorbent Mind. During this time the child is unable to differentiate fantasy from reality. A child under age three also relies heavily on “compartmentalization” to help classify his or her daily experience. They have a strong need for everything to fit into a proper place. When a child under three sees someone familiar in an unfamiliar costume, it can be incredibly upsetting to him or her. As MAC has 90+ students under the age of three, it is critical that we ensure that our environment is developmentally appropriate every day of the year.

What is NAEYC Accreditation?

NAEYC ( www.naeyc.org ) stands for the National Association for the Education of the Young Child. NAEYC is an independent accrediting body that assesses the level of programmatic quality in early childhood education settings. NAEYC accredited schools like MAC are required to prove program quality in the following areas: relationships with staff and families, curriculum, teaching styles, assessment of student progress, health and safety, teacher qualifications, family involvement, community involvement, the condition of the building and playground, and leadership and management. MAC is proud to be a school with scores in these areas averaging at 90%. NAEYC does a full program assessment every five years. MAC is due to renew accreditation on in May of 2019.