Admissions Policies

Montessori Academy of Chambersburg’s admission policy is based on the educational philosophy of Dr. Maria Montessori that children learn best when the environment supports their natural desire to acquire skills and knowledge independently. We strive to serve a broad range of students with varying socioeconomic, religious, cultural and racial backgrounds and abilities who we feel will contribute to and benefit from a Montessori learning environment. Education for all children, including those with special needs, will be done within the parameters of the Montessori philosophy and its implementation in the classroom.

The Montessori Academy of Chambersburg is committed to building long-term partnerships with families. This partnership works best when the parent beliefs and expectations are aligned with the Montessori philosophy.

Montessori Academy of Chambersburg is accredited by the Middle States and associated with the American Montessori Society.

CRITERIA FOR ELIGIBILITY

INFANT & TODDLER PROGRAM (12 MONTHS – 2.5 YEARS)

  1. Children must be 12 months of age at the time of enrollment.
  2. Children may not be enrolled into the Toddler program if their third birthday occurs prior to the first of December the year of enrollment.
  3. Children must demonstrate the ability to separate from parents/caregivers after a reasonable period of adjustment and with consideration of the individual needs of the child.

CHILDREN’S HOUSE (3 YEARS – KINDERGARTEN)

  1. Children must be three years of age prior to the first of December the year of enrollment.
  2. Children must be toilet trained and wear cloth underpants. Toilet trained is defined as the ability to respond appropriately to the need for elimination, and ability to complete the toileting process independently. Occasional accidents are developmentally appropriate at this age, and staff will give reminders for toileting if necessary.
  3. Although not required, Kindergarten parents who make a three-year commitment to the Lower Elementary program will be given priority enrollment for their children.

ELEMENTARY PROGRAM (6 YEARS – 12 YEARS)

  1. Children must be six years of age by September 1st.
  2. A signed authorization for the release of school records from previously attended schools must be provided to Montessori Academy of Chambersburg.

MIDDLE SCHOOL (12 YEARS - 14 YEARS)

  1. Children must be twelve years of age by September 1st.
  2. A signed authorization for the release of school records from previously attended schools must be provided to Montessori Academy of Chambersburg.

It is the policy of Montessori Academy of Chambersburg not to place students into a grade they have already completed nor retain students due to low academic performance.

ADDITIONAL ADMISSION INFORMATION FOR CHILDREN REQUIRING SPECIAL ACCOMMODATIONS

All children are considered for admission to Montessori Academy of Chambersburg. Our admissions procedure takes into account our ability to accommodate particular students’ needs without disruption to our program. Students who have needs that fall within our ability to reasonably accommodate them may be accepted with additional stipulations. Montessori Academy of Chambersburg is committed to providing accommodations provided that no significant changes to the program are required and that the child does not pose a risk to themselves or others.

For school-age students, parents must present a recent diagnostic assessment by qualified professionals which identifies the child’s needs within a mainstream environment. Periodic assessments may also be required during the school year and prior to re-enrollment. During this time, a holistic assessment will be made by all involved personnel to determine the following:

  • The child’s progress in adjusting to the Montessori curriculum and classroom.
  • Whether the environment supports the developmental needs of the child within Montessori philosophy.

PROVISIONAL ENROLLMENT PERIOD

Enrollment at Montessori Academy is an ongoing process. As part of this process, Montessori Academy has an eight-week provisional enrollment period for students who are new to the school or transitioning to a new program. During this period, teachers continually gauge the ability of the school to meet the individual needs of the child. Teachers also observe and gather pertinent information to assess the child’s progress.

If deemed necessary by the teachers and Head of School, a meeting will be requested with parents to discuss the student’s progress and continuation in the program. Montessori Academy of Chambersburg expects that students will experience a normalization, or adjustment, period as they begin a new routine with new teachers and classmates. If at any time during the provisional enrollment period it is determined that the child is not normalizing or progressing successfully, a meeting will be scheduled between the family, teacher, and Head of School. This meeting may result in a request for outside evaluation or assistance, placement in another program or dismissal of the child from the school. If necessary, the Head of School will work with the family to find a more appropriate educational placement for the child.

STEPS OF THE ADMISSION PROCEDURE

Step 1: Parent Meeting and School Tour

The first step in our admission process is to make an appointment for a parent meeting and school tour with the Director of Education. We request that children are not present for this initial meeting so that families are able to devote their attention to the facility and information provided during the tour. During the meeting and tour, you will converse about your child, Montessori methods, principles our school follows and enrollment possibilities and procedures. This will help provide an opportunity to determine whether Montessori Academy of Chambersburg is a school in which your child will thrive.

Step 2: Classroom Observation

We request that at least one parent observe a class in session as they consider our school. Observations are held between 9:00 and 10:00 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. This 30-minute observation can be done in conjunction with the tour if scheduled during these time parameters. If the observation is not done the day of the tour, families may contact the office to schedule a different day.

Step 3: Submit Application

Once the parent tour and observation are completed an application, and a signed authorization for the release of records (for school-age students only) may be submitted with a $50 non-refundable fee.

Step 4: Child Visit

Upon receipt of the application, a child interview will be scheduled. The process for the visit at each level is as follows:

  • Toddler – The teacher will schedule a time for the family to visit the school and to observe the child in the Montessori environment. They will also discuss the child with the parents during this time. The visit will last approximately 30 - 60 minutes and will take place after school hours.
  • Ages 3 - 5 (Primary Program) – The teacher will invite the child to independently visit a classroom. During the visit, the teacher will interact with the child, teach a lesson, and carefully observe the child for indications that the child is ready to learn including the ability to follow simple verbal directions, express feelings effectively, and demonstrate self-control. Parents and caregivers will meet with the Director of Education and Head of School while the child is visiting the classroom. The visit will last approximately 30 minutes and will take place after school hours.
  • Elementary and Adolescent Students – The teacher will invite the child to visit a classroom for a day or two. The teachers will observe the child’s social interactions and their suitability for learning in a Montessori environment. Parents and caregivers will meet with the Director of Education and Head of School while the child is visiting the classroom.
Step 5: Admission Decision

The Head of School, Director of Education and teachers will confer to determine the appropriateness of admission based on the child’s readiness, his or her potential for a positive interaction with the class and the family’s commitment to the program. The Head of School or Director of Education will communicate the admission decision to families in a timely manner following the visit/interview.

Step 6: Enrollment Contract

Following a positive admission decision by the Head of School, an acceptance letter, enrollment contract, and request for a non-refundable deposit of $500.00 will be sent by postal mail. Please return the completed contract and deposit within two weeks of receiving them.

Step 7: Classroom Placement

Upon receipt of the signed contract, the Head of School will consider the information gathered during this process along with the personalities and individual needs of the children currently enrolled at the child’s level to determine into which class he or she will be enrolled. Class assignments are delivered via postal mail prior to July 30.

Information for students inquiring and applying in summer months:
Montessori Academy of Chambersburg accepts applications on an on-going basis contingent on current enrollments. For those students applying during summer months the process will be slightly modified from that stated above. The Director of Education will guide families through the steps of this process. Families and students are still required to visit the school and meet with a teacher at the child’s instructional level prior to an admission decision.

Please contact the Director of Education for more information on admissions.