The Montessori House Difference

WHAT MAKES OUR PROGRAMS AND SCHOOL COMMUNITY UNIQUE?

A "long view" of education: providing a sound foundation with mastery of concepts which prepares the child to be a contributing member of his society from an early age to adulthood

  • Dual-language programs
  • Child-centered learning
  • Self-directed learning
  • Multi-age communities
  • Uninterrupted, 3-hour work-cycles
  • Beautifully prepared, child-oriented environments
  • Multi-sensory, sequential, self-correcting Montessori materials
  • Concrete to  Abstract teaching materials and philosophy
  • Learning which is linked to the natural world
  • Montessori AMS accredited lead teachers
  • Cultivating the potential of the "whole child": the physical, emotional, intellectual, mental and spiritual
  • Culturally rich and diverse community
  • Warm and friendly school environment which "feels like home"

Parents’ Guide for Selecting a School

What is the school’s educational philosophy or teaching method?

The Montessori method is based on a philosophy and pedagogy developed more
than a century ago by Dr. Maria Montessori.
The Montessori method emphasizes the potential of each student and develops
this potential through the use of a carefully prepared environment rich in specially
designed, didactic materials. This provides experiences contributing to the
development of the whole child - intellectual, emotional, spiritual and physical.
Classrooms are comprised of mixed-age groups, offering the opportunity for peer
mentoring, collaborative work, and social development.
The guide (teacher) acts as a facilitator in the learning process. Through
observation, the guide directs him/her to meaningful activity. Emphasis is on the
process of learning, using the student’s natural curiosity and delight in discovery.
Emphasis on the process, rather than the product, results in each student
developing a personal motivation to learn.
All of this occurs in a nurturing environment, which builds upon the student’s
interests and learning opportunities that are aligned with the individual’s needs.

What distinguishes this school from other schools?

Authenticity of Montessori – Montessori House is recognized as a “Full-Member”
Montessori School, affiliated with the American Montessori Society (AMS)
Quality and educational level of our faculty and staff
Dual-language program (Spanish is the primary 2nd language)
“Eco School” (silver level) awarded by the National Wildlife Federation

What are the qualifications to be a guide (teacher) at the school?

Guides must have AMS recognized Montessori Credentials and those working with
students 3 yrs. and older must also have bachelor’s degrees. Essential qualities
include a strong commitment to the mission of our school, prior experience
teaching, effective and warm communication skills, a commitment to teamwork, a
pleasant personality, and a love of children.

What are the lead guides’ average years of teaching experience?

8 years

What is the teacher turnover rate at the school?

Montessori House’s turnover rate is less than 5%

What percentage of guides have advanced degrees?

50% hold master’s degrees.
88% hold bachelor’s degrees
100% hold AMS Montessori Credentials

Does the school offer professional development for their guides?

Guides are encouraged and supported to engage in professional development each
year to expand their knowledge and skills to continue to implement the best
educational practices.
The school commits more than 2% of the annual budget towards professional
development.

What support does the school offer if my child needs help with speech-language pathology, reading support, and/or counseling?

Montessori House is fortunate to have an Educational Support Team, which
includes a Language Pathologist and Dyslexia Practitioner as well as resources for
additional specialties.
Additionally, much of the teaching staff has acquired additional training in Positive Parenting, Natural Sciences, Region IV Dyslexia training, Brain Gym, Music Appreciation, Non-Verbal Communication and other skill sets that they bring to the teaching team and classrooms.

Are there enrichment opportunities offered at the school? Are they at an additional cost?

Yes, Montessori House for Children includes dual-language and nature education
in the tuition.  Additionally, dual-language, nature education, music, physical fitness and
art are included in Elementary tuition.
There are also many high-quality extra-curricular programs offered for an
additional cost:
- Capoeira (Brazilian martial arts combined with dance and music)
- eKids (robotics and coding)
- Music (group and private piano)
- Soccer
- Yoga
- Art
- Gymnastics
- Puppet Theater & Storytelling
- Chinese Language

What is the school’s academic calendar?

The academic term is Mid-August through the end of May.
Summer programs are offered June through Mid-August

Does the school offer before and/or after-care? Is it at an additional cost?

Montessori House offers two programs, academic-day and full-day. The academic-day program is for the Montessori portion of the day, 8:30 – 2:30 (3:00 for elementary) and the full-day includes before and/or after-school care.
Both schools open at 6:30 am and close at 6:00 pm.  Parents may choose the program that best fits their family’s needs.

How many years has the school been in operation?

Montessori House is in its 13th year of operation. This is the Nelson family’s 23rd
year of offering Montessori education.

Is the classroom student-centered or teacher-centered?

Montessori House uses a student-centered approach that promotes independence,
freedom within limits, and respect of a student’s natural development. While the
approach follows a student’s natural development, the environment offers
structure and is well organized, and learning is facilitated by experienced and highly
effective guides.

What is the school’s approach to classroom discipline?

The educational philosophy of the School is that real, effective discipline is one that
comes from within a person. Developing this inner discipline is one of the
objectives of Montessori education.
It is our belief that inner discipline develops in a child through active involvement in
self-chosen tasks and the development of self-control; shaped by clear organization
of the physical environment; the structure, consistency, and predictability of daily
school life, the indirect manner of teaching interpersonal skills through the lessons
of "grace and courtesy" and through peer modeling and coaching.
Acknowledging respectful behavior, appreciating helpful behavior and modeling
empathy, help to limit negative behaviors. Children are encouraged to express their
feelings and opinions in a non-judgmental atmosphere and adults use active
listening and empathic understanding to help interpret a situation with those
involved.
As children feel accepted for who they are and what they feel, they develop positive
self-esteem. The happier children are with themselves, the more likely they are to
reach out and interact cooperatively with others.

How do teachers communicate with parents?

Montessori House encourages parents to participate in any and all forms of
communication that will enhance their child’s potential for success in the school.

Parent/guide/school communication takes place through:
- Bloomz (communication app)
- Phone call/email
- Formal parent/guide conferences (with progress-reports), offered each
semester.

What opportunities are there for a parent to observe and/or participate in the classroom?

Parents are welcome to schedule a classroom observation and see firsthand, the
work of their child and the class as a whole, during the months of October – April.
Montessori House also has an active and involved PAV (parent association of
volunteers) who serve as the backbone of the volunteer force. The PAV organizes
opportunities for classroom support, cultural celebrations, community events and
benefits that support the MEFI Annual Campaign (non-profit education fund,
supporting school and community)

What opportunities are there for families to connect with each other?

Building community is central to the School’s mission. The PAV supports this
mission by organizing events throughout the year that bring families together.
Events include monthly parent coffees, monthly community meet-ups, the
International Picnic, Pancake Brunch and Community Garden Days.
Communication with members of the school is simple and easy, through the
Bloomz app – connecting parents to parents and parents to school.

Does the school offer a parent education program?

Yes, Montessori House believes parent education is very important. Partnership
with parents is supported through parent enrichment workshops, offered
throughout the year, which covers a wide range of topics relevant to parents.

Are there opportunities for children of different ages to interact with each other?

Classrooms are multi-aged which provides endless opportunities for older and
younger students to work together within their classroom. Also, students have the
opportunity to interact with different ages through student-to-student mentoring
(elementary students’ mentor program), during morning drive-through, after school
extracurricular activities and school-wide, community events.

How is the school committed to student safety?

At Montessori House, the safety and care of our students is of utmost importance.
Our school safety procedures include: designated points of entry, badge access for
parents, a sign-in system for all visitors, exterior and interior cameras in the lobby, and
monitoring system in the front office. Additionally, we routinely practice fire, severe
weather, and intruder drills.

What is the school illness policy?

When a student appears to be showing signs of illness, parents are contacted as a
precautionary measure. Children sent home due to fever or vomiting/diarrhea
must be symptom-free and without the need for fever-reducing medicine for 24 hrs.
before returning to school. Students who have been medically diagnosed with
illness must have a doctor’s authorization to return to school.

Does the school have an outdoor education program?

Yes, Montessori House places great emphasis on nature and nature education. The
school is distinguished through nature education programs, which include:
*Certified Schoolyard Habitat through the National Wildlife Federation
*Eco-School (silver level) through ECO Schools USA
*Registered Monarch Butterfly Waystation
*Katy Prairie Conservancy membership - with “pocket prairies” on grounds
*Member of National Registry of Monarch Butterflies
*Organic garden learning program where students prepare, plant, water and harvest
their own herbs and vegetables.
Students work outdoors every day, enjoying connection and fascination with
nature.

What role does outdoor time in the school’s academic program?

Outdoor environments are viewed as an extension of the classroom – where
curiosity flourishes and drives learning. The Montessori curriculum includes
botany, ecology, geography and science; all of which are interrelated and present in
nature.  Students at Montessori House for Children have at least two designated 30-minute
periods of outdoor free-time, which includes garden work.
The Elementary students may choose to work inside or outside, have at least 2
designated 30-minute periods of outdoor free-time (including garden work), and
have lunch outside every day (under the covered patio).