Frequently Asked Questions

What are MAC's hours of operation?

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

Does MAC close for the summer?

No; we are a twelve month school in the ECE (Early Childhood Education) program. We offer a summer program with different themes, but we maintain a Montessori curriculum.

Our Elementary program does close for the summer, but there is an eight week summer camp available at MAC for Elementary students.

When is the school closed?

We follow the DPS (Denver Public Schools) Schedule for all holidays, in-service days, seasonal breaks, and for snow days.

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 among the classroom team and discuss issues in the classroom without the children being present.

How do I arrange for a tour of MAC?

Please connect with us through our "Inquire" page to set up a tour or call our main number and ask for Amanda Herman or Jeff Waxman.

How do I apply for enrollment?

The first step of our enrollment process is a school tour; after the tour we provide you an information packet that includes an application for enrollment. The application must be filled out completely and submitted along with the $100 nonrefundable application fee; once received, the application will be processed and you will be added to the wait pool.

Is there an application fee?

Yes. There is a nonrefundable $100 application fee.

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

Yes, there is generally a wait for enrollment at MAC and we cannot guarantee enrollment due to limited number of spaces. 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 and have each potential family meet with our Admissions Team. As a general practice, we offer spaces to families about six to eight weeks prior to their availability.

What are the tuition rates?

Does MAC offer a part-time school program?

MAC does not offer any part-time programs; school is in session five days per week from 8:15-3:30 (before or afterschool is also available). You may choose to keep your child home on specified days; however, tuition is paid for the entire month.

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.

Our Elementary School features a low student teacher ratio for individualized education.


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 knowledgeable 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 assistant teachers hold Bachelor's and Master's degrees as well. This diversity in knowledge and life experience among 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.

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

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.

When does toilet training start?

Students will begin toilet learning in the Toddler Community. The teacher and parents will partner together to determine when the student is showing readiness to toilet train. When toilet learning 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.

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.

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 in May of 2019.