2416 East 1700 South
Salt Lake City, UT 84108
(801) 355-1555 / phone
(801) 355-7177 / fax
Table of Contents
To new and returning families, we extend a warm welcome to Montessori Community School of Salt Lake City, Utah (MCS). We are honored to be partners with you in the development of your child. As we begin a new academic year, we are delighted to tell you more about MCS.
We ask that you review carefully the information included in this handbook. It is intended to acquaint you with the policies and procedures, resources, and events of MCS so that you and your child can have a successful year. It is important that you read it in its entirety.
The handbook is typically updated on an annual basis. However, policy adoption and revision may occur throughout the year and will be made available to parents through the school newsletter and other school communications. The school reserves the right to make reasonable accommodations to a school policy if a student, family or staff member experience extenuating circumstances.
We look forward to a year filled with exciting educational opportunities and growth for your child. A Montessori education fosters curiosity and leads to a lifetime of learning and is the foundation for all of one’s future works. We are pleased you have joined our MCS family and hope you are excited to be a Montessori parent!
Robyn, Brandi , Margaret
Robyn Eriwata-Buchanan Brandi Allen Margaret Mc Donald
Executive Director School Director School Director
Owner, Robyn Eriwata-Buchanan, and her husband, Robert Buchanan, became interested in Montessori education when they were looking for a school for their first born, Jordyn. They established their first Montessori school in 1985 and now have over 35 years of providing excellent Montessori education in Salt Lake City.
The Third Avenue Montessori opened in September 1985 with one classroom. The school offered a half day only program with morning and afternoon sessions. In 1987, Robyn and Bob continued operating the Third Avenue school and built a new school on Second Avenue with three classrooms. This enabled them to offer their first full day classes.
In 1989, they opened their Cottonwood Canyon facility, where they offered both part and full-time placements in three classrooms. In 1994, they added a fourth campus and began their first elementary classes at the Tenth East Montessori School. In 2005, they began a pilot dual language (Spanish/English) program in one of the Early Childhood classes.
For several years, Robyn and Bob searched for an appropriate facility where they could combine all four campuses under one roof, allowing them to truly form a Montessori “Community School.” In September 2005, they found just the place. We renovated and opened our new facility at 2416 East 1700 South in Salt Lake City under the name of Montessori Community School of Salt Lake City in August 2006.
We currently serve infant, toddler, early childhood, and elementary aged students.
MCS is a member of the Utah Montessori Council (UMC) and the International Montessori Council (IMC). In February 2021 we received accreditation through the IMC. All lead guides have Montessori teaching credentials or are working to achieve credentials that are recognized by Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (MACTE). MACTE is the international standard setting and accrediting body for Montessori teacher education.
We are a license exempt facility by the Child Care Licencing division of the Utah Department of Health. Current documentation is posted in the main entry way at the school.
Our programs are based on the work of Dr. Maria Montessori, the first Italian woman to become a physician. Born in Chiaravalle, Italy in 1870, she became interested in how children learn and how their environments affect their learning. On January 6, 1907, Dr. Montessori opened the first “Children’s House” for children of working parents in an apartment complex in Rome. Using scientific methods to observe and analyze how children learn, Montessori revolutionized our understanding of children and their education. She discovered that children’s learning capabilities are specific to their developmental stage of life. A complete Montessori education, for infants through secondary school, allows children to maximize their learning potential.
Montessori observed that young children are capable of long periods of concentration and use learning materials repeatedly. She devised sets of sequenced learning materials that guide children towards reading, writing, understanding place value in mathematics, geometrical shapes and a geographical recognition of the continents and nations. While concentrating, children’s movements become refined and coordinated, leading to increased self-discipline. Later Dr. Montessori recognized the unique learning capabilities of elementary and middle grade students. Elementary students seek answers to large questions about the universe, their place in it, the human purpose and issues of social justice. Montessori created an integrated curriculum incorporating anthropology, astronomy, biology, chemistry, geology, history, literature, mathematics and zoology. These studies continue during the middle grades as young adolescents, now ready for higher-order critical thinking, use primary source materials to explore integrated themes drawn from history, philosophy and science.
Dr. Montessori devoted her life to the education and understanding of children. She believed the purpose of education was to assist the process of life. She died in 1952, leaving a legacy that continues to grow as more of her ideas are implemented in classrooms worldwide.
Our vision is to empower children to effect positive change in the world by promoting peaceful relationships that allow disparate beliefs to live in harmony. We trust that the Montessori philosophy will engender deep love and respect for our earth, safeguarding it for future generations.
The mission of the MCS is to provide a rich educational experience that guides and nurtures the natural unfolding of the whole individual and inspires a lifelong passion for learning and peace.
MCS has been established to encourage and promote the intellectual, socia, and emotional development of children. We offer a traditional, comprehensive Montessori curriculum. Montessori philosophy emphasizes the development of the child in a carefully prepared environment. A prepared environment is one in which the child is able to develop freely at their own pace, unhindered in the spontaneous unfolding of their natural capacities. This occurs through the manipulation of a graded series of self-correcting materials designed to stimulate the senses and eventually one’s thinking, leading from perception to intellectual skills. Responsible freedom and inner self-discipline are encouraged.
The joy of learning is emphasized and the child is helped to develop a positive self-image. We nurture self-worth. We affirm that self-worth is the crucial ingredient for the full expression of a person’s potential. We strive to base every interaction between community members on this principle -- from how we communicate, to respecting personal learning styles and stages of development. This is the very fabric of our community and our educational methods. The social development of the children in the class is greatly emphasized. It takes place naturally as the children learn to respect each other and become compassionate and community-oriented. Peace education is implicit in the Montessori curriculum. Peace is cultivated in our classrooms by combining the actual experience of peace with hands-on peace making skills and the cultural activities leading to the understanding of peace.
Our classrooms are designed to meet the needs, interests and abilities of all the children in the class. The teachers create and adapt the environment with this community of children in mind. They modify the selection of educational materials available, the physical layout and the tone of the class, to best fit the ever-changing needs of the children. MCS does not discriminate based on gender, race, color, religion, national/ethnic origin or sexual orientation.
The Montessori Educational Foundation is a non-profit foundation associated with MCS and is a 501(c)3 organization. Donations made to Montessori Educational Foundation are 100% tax deductible and are currently distributed to our selected charities, COEEF and The Adopt A Native Elder Program. Your support is greatly appreciated!
Infant (INF), Toddler (TD) & Early Childhood (EC) Programs School Day
TD Morning Program
Elementary (EL) Program
In the extended day program students enjoy additional outdoor play and a variety of activities including games, arts & crafts. To ensure consistency for the children throughout their day, this environment is based on Montessori practices such as guided choice of activity, individual and small group work, caring for the environment and treating others with kindness and respect.
INF, TD & EC- 8:00-8:30 am & 3:15-6:00 pm
EL Program-8:00-8:15 am & 3:00-6:00 pm
The Extended Day program ends at 6:00pm sharp. In practical terms, this means that parents should arrive no later than 5:45pm to allow enough time for their children to leave the building by 6:00pm.
Phone number: 801-355-1555
Fax Number: 801-355-7177
When you telephone the school, your call will be answered by the voicemail system. The system provides you with options to leave a message for a specific department/purpose. To speak with someone in the office, stay on the line. Sometimes responsibilities require office personnel to be temporarily unable to answer. Please feel confident in leaving your name, message, and a number where you can be reached as voicemail is checked throughout the day.
We encourage you to share your ideas, concerns, and questions, so we can better meet your family’s needs and improve our programs. Feedback can be submitted via email or in person. Please feel free to reach out to us and arrange a time to chat. We are committed to making your family’s Montessori experience as positive and rewarding as possible.
Robyn Eriwata-Buchanan, Executive Director
Brandi Allen, School Director
Margaret Mc Donald, School Director
Chip Reichanadter, Admissions Coordinator
Maya Brewer, Bookkeeping & HR specialist
Nanette Cenaruzabeitia, Director of Staff Development
Cathy Bachman, Administrative Assistant
For a complete listing of MCS staff, refer to the Staff Directory on our website (www.mcsslc.com). Currently under revision 8/22
For questions related to day-to day operations and all other queries and concerns please contact the school directors, Brandi Allen and Margaret Mc Donald, email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. These include but are not limited to:
We encourage open and ongoing communication between home and school. Our teachers have office hours so that you can meet if you have any questions, comments or concerns regarding your child, the classroom, or their program in general. Office Hours are announced annually.
Each classroom has an email address that reaches the team for that class. In addition, each teacher has an individual email for person specific items. Teachers are typically unable to reply to emails or take phone calls during class time as their responsibility is to the students, they will respond during their planning time.
Infant Program (INF)
Honey Bee Class coming soon
Toddler Program (TD)
Early Childhood Program (EC)
Elementary Program (EL)
Our website URL is www.mcsslc.com. Academic Calendars and Tuition Schedules are posted on the website in addition to information about MCS, its programs and staff.
The MCS News is our primary means of school-wide general communication. It is published weekly. Please check your email in-boxes to read details of upcoming events, announcements, and calendar changes or additions.
Montessori Compass is a communication portal that provides parents insight into the child’s school life. Its weekly activity reports allow teachers to share their observations of a child’s social development and academic progress. In addition to showing the lessons each child has received, Montessori Compass provides parents with descriptions regarding these Montessori works. Reading these brief summaries each week gives parents the opportunity to engage their children in a real conversation about what they may be working with and experiencing in school.
Each classroom posts a calendar and newsletter detailing the upcoming month’s events, field trips and academic activities on the classroom bulletin board. Hard copies are also sent home in the take home files, and emailed to families, each month. Please post the paper copy in a prominent spot at home so that it can be referred to in preparation for each day’s activities. All school and classroom events are noted on the calendar in Montessori Compass. Academic calendars are available on the school website.
Please check your child’s take home folder each day for classroom work and school communications from the administration and teachers. To minimize paper waste, most communications like reminders or adjustments to the events, are sent via Compass. Unlike traditional school environments, what you receive in your child’s take-home file may not be reflective of what your child does in the classroom on a daily basis. Since most of the learning is hands-on, the best way to stay in touch with what your child is learning is to read the weekly activity reports in Montessori Compass, visit the classroom before or after the school day at times established with the teachers, and to schedule a time to talk with his/her teachers when you have questions or need additional details. We invite you to be as involved as you can in your child’s experience at our school. The more that you take advantage of the forms of communication we have in place, the more you will understand the incredible experience your child has each day.
All students are expected to –
It is a Montessori tradition for children to verbally greet their teachers in the morning and to verbally say goodbye to their teachers in the afternoon. This helps children to learn grace and courtesy as well as gives them more confidence in interacting with adults. Your example at morning drop-off and afternoon pick is appreciated.
Regular attendance is important to a child’s progress. Parents are strongly encouraged to schedule vacations and appointments during school breaks when possible. If you know your child is going to miss school (appointment, vacation, etc.), please notify your child’s teachers via email. If your child will be late for school due to a scheduled appointment, please coordinate with the teachers so that your child’s late arrival can best be accommodated. In the event of illness, car issues, etc., please feel free to leave a message on the attendance mailbox.
Classroom teachers are required to record daily student attendance. Teachers will contact the student’s parents/guardians to schedule a conference to discuss solutions should they have concerns regarding attendance. Teachers will notify the Administration if a student’s attendance continues to be irregular or absences and tardiness are excessive. Students who miss excessive amounts of school may not be developmentally or academically ready to move to the next program level. Habitual absenteeism and/or tardiness may jeopardize a student’s continuing enrollment.
Children are expected to be in their classroom when the school day begins. A student who arrives late often misses important instructions, activities, field trips, and disrupts the class. Late arrivals will need to be accommodated on a case by case basis. Attending for the entire school day is an important requisite of your child’s learning experience at MCS.
Each program celebrates this tradition a little differently. Details are shared by each class at the start of the year.
We have 200+ students enrolled at our school representing different ethnicities, races, religions and varied family compositions. For several of our students, English is not their first language. In our classrooms and in the Extended Day program, we will try to honor as many traditions during the year as possible. Do not be surprised if your child comes home singing a Hanukkah song or talking about Kwanzaa as well as decorating a Christmas tree or learning about the Solstice. We welcome learning about the traditions, customs, and the holidays of all our families. If your family has a special tradition that you would like to share, please speak with your child’s teacher.
Your child should be dressed appropriately for each day’s activities. Please pay particular attention to the week’s schedule to ensure that your child can fully participate in the day's events and/or specialty classes.
For INF-TD students who are still learning to be independent in the bathroom, diapers and wipes need to be provided on a monthly basis (or as needed). These items are not provided by the school. When your child’s inventory is low, you will receive a reminder notice.
All children entering Early Childhood (EC) should be bathroom independent. This means they can handle bathroom related tasks with little to no assistance. The following blog post provides greater detail- Bathroom independence.
Please make sure that your child does not bring any electronics, toys or games to school. This policy applies to both the school day and extended day programs.
We strive to honor the children’s six-week normalization period by allowing them time to establish routines and become familiar with the environment before inviting parents into the classroom. Beginning in October, parents/guardians of early childhood and elementary students are typically invited to come into their child’s classroom in the morning and to encourage their child to show them Montessori work. This is a wonderful opportunity to gain an understanding of what their child is learning and how their child uses Montessori materials. We have found that children are typically more willing to discuss their classroom experiences at home if they feel that their parents/guardians understand what they are talking about. To support the continuity of your child’s drop-off routine, we suggest that you choose one day a week to come into the classroom and stay no more than 10-15 minutes. Please plan ahead and talk with your child about which day and how long you will be staying. The teachers will let parents know when the class is ready to receive an observer and the times that are appropriate. Virtual observations will be held periodically throughout the school year. Each class will schedule these opportunities in age appropriate ways and when suitable for their community.
To help maintain an effective learning environment, we ask that you respect the following guidelines:
Individual observations can also be arranged with your child’s teacher. We ask that you wait for at least six weeks from the beginning of the academic year before requesting a visit. All visitors are asked to be considerate of the classroom’s day and allow their own child, the other students and the teacher to go about their daily routine and activities. When you arrive for a scheduled observation, we ask that you sit in a chair and quietly observe what is going on in the classroom. Please keep in mind that children will often behave differently from their classroom norm when they are aware that their parent or guardian is in the classroom, so the more silent and inconspicuous you are able to be, the more likely you will be able to observe your child’s typical classroom experience.
EC students participate in the Outdoor Classroom. They explore the changes that occur seasonally to the plants, soil, invertebrates, birds, and weather through hands-on activities. The students have many opportunities to practice and master essential developmental skills such as balance, control, independence, focus, and coordination through digging, building with logs, sticks and rocks, and interacting with nature in this class. The purpose of the EC Outdoor Classroom is to help students gain an understanding, respect and love for the natural world around them. Lower Elementary (LE) students also participate in the Outdoor Classroom; they explore and interact with the garden area throughout the changing seasons and learn about plant identification, functions, and uses, as well as earth history, animal adaptations, and paleo cultures. The purpose of the LE Outdoor Classroom is to help students gain an understanding and love for the natural world around them while engaging in problem solving and creative application.
Upper Elementary (UE) students participate in GO. Specialty teachers facilitate meaningful interaction with the environment through a three-year rotating cycle involving watershed, Utah native plants, as well as ecosystems and relationships in nature. Students explore off-campus habitats through hiking, lessons, activities, projects, observation, note taking, sketching, and researching. The purpose of these expeditions is to give the students a direct, personal connection with their natural world and, through that connection, a better understanding of the world around them as well as of themselves.
Elementary students receive instruction in the Spanish language. In LE the instructor spends approximately eight (8) hours a week in each classroom. The instructor incorporates Spanish into the students’ daily routine by providing lessons in vocabulary, grammar and many practical life experiences. The UE Spanish Program provides instruction under two main standards: Spanish language lessons and Rosetta Stone, an interactive computer program. Each week students have the opportunity to receive lessons from an instructor that furthers their understanding of the grammar of the language and supports their advancement through Rosetta Stone to practice vocabulary, writing and speaking.
Teachers plan field trips and off-campus activities as additional learning opportunities outside the classroom. Each year when filling out the electronic enrollment form, parents sign a release form that gives permission for their child to attend all field trips. Classroom calendars will announce any scheduled field trips in advance. The school takes every reasonable precaution to ensure student safety.
Your child’s name should be clearly marked on all of their personal belongings. This is especially important for items of clothing, bedding, and lunch containers.
Items that are found and are not clearly labeled with a child’s name are put into the Lost and Found bin by the office. You may check this bin at any time. We periodically make these items available for you to search through. Items that are not claimed within several months are given to a charitable organization. We ask that children never bring valuable items or toys to school. The school is not responsible for the loss of items on school property.
Class photographs are typically scheduled in the month of September. All children will be photographed for class pictures by a professional photographer. Individual pictures will be taken of children whose parents choose to purchase a photo package. Siblings may also be photographed.
An extremely important element of a Montessori program is the service learning component. The PSA works with our sister organization MEF (Montessori Educational Foundation) to support selected charitable organizations. The main fundraising event is the annual Fun Run. The students participate in an effort to raise awareness and funding for these programs. These are just a few examples of the many projects in which our students become involved throughout the course of an academic year.
MCS sponsors a number of Navajo grandmothers through the “Adopt a Native Elder” program (ANE). ANE supports the traditional elders who live in the cultural and spiritual traditions of the Dine people (Navajo). Most live in remote portions of the Dine's reservation. Many live in traditional hogans, and some raise sheep as a means of maintaining themselves. The program provides food, simple medicines, clothing, fabric and yarns to help these elders live on the land in their traditional lifestyle. As they have become elderly, it has become more difficult for them to support themselves on the land in their traditional ways.
Each year our students help raise money for our grandmothers through our annual Fun Run. We use the money to purchase gift certificates that allow them to buy most items that they need, such as clothing, household and gardening items. In addition, we also purchase several boxes of yarn for them to use to weave their beautiful rugs.
Through COEEF (Children of Ethiopia Education Fund) our school sponsors a number of students each year. Without our assistance, these girls would not be able to attend school. Our students raise money by collecting pledges during our annual school-wide Fun Run. For more information about this wonderful program, please visit the COEEF website at www.coeef.org.
The teaching staff and administration try to maintain close personal relationships with parents to enable us to effectively meet the needs of each child. Montessori schools use observation as the primary form of assessment. Observation informs which lessons each child will receive at a given time, and throughout the three-year cycle. Montessori Compass provides our teachers a tool to document observations, track attendance, maintain record keeping and publish two progress reports, one in the winter and another at the end of the year.
The elementary classroom encourages, and teaches the student a system of self and peer evaluation. Self-assessment plays a big part in the child’s evaluation and a portfolio of work is kept by our older Elementary students. While the students receive “follow-up” assignments after receiving a lesson, they are encouraged to plan their time to complete those by the deadline in class. If a student is not using work time effectively to complete those assignments, teachers and parents will discuss the best arrangement, which may include taking work home.
MCS does not administer standardized tests. Other forms of evaluation are implemented at MCS that show a truer representation of the child’s progress and skills. We do not grade children in our program.
MCS hosts parent-teacher conferences twice a year. Additional conferences may be called if necessary. In the event that a significant change occurs in your home, please inform your child’s teacher or the administration as soon as possible. All information is highly confidential. We will be in a much better position to meet your child’s needs if we are kept up-to-date on major changes in their life. Common causes of distress include: either or both parents being away from home for an extended period of time; a new person living in the home; illness in the family; accident or death in the family; separation or divorce; death of a pet, etc.
In order to avoid disrupting class time, supervision of children, or preparation for class, we ask that parents keep interactions with teachers brief when dropping off their child unless the situation is time sensitive. For longer check-ins, it is best to request an appointment at a mutually agreed-upon time. Emails sent to the classroom email address are the best way to contact teachers. Teachers typically respond to email queries after class has let out. If there is an emergency, please call the office.
MCS students bring their own lunches to school.
All students have access to a nutritious snack in their classroom throughout the day (as well as during Extended Day). Parents provide the classroom snacks approximately once a month through the “Leader of the Day” program. Leader of the Day is assigned to families on the classroom’s monthly calendars. On this day, the child performs special duties to assist his/her classroom teachers, brings in a book to be read during circle time and two classroom snacks to share. Sugary snack items and soda are not allowed. Parents are asked to pack two snacks each day.
If you need to collect your child during school hours, please stop in the Office to alert the office staff of your purpose. We have a signout sheet in the office for families taking their students out for an appointment in the middle of the day with plans to return later. The office staff will call the classroom to let teachers and children know of your arrival. This courteous act helps to maintain the flow of the work period/routine of classroom communities and our efforts to keep all of the children safe.
If someone other than the parent/guardian or a pre-authorized person will be picking up your child, please call the office to give authorization and provide the necessary details. An Alternative Pickup form will be completed so as to inform the staff facilitating dismissals. Proof of id. (i.e. driver’s license) will be necessary should that person not be recognized by the staff member releasing your child.
All visitors are obliged to check in with the office before proceeding anywhere else in the building. All visitors who will be staying for any length of time will be signed in and given a visitor badge to wear.
If you have a concern about something or someone in your child’s classroom, please schedule a time to meet with a classroom teacher about your concern. If you feel the issue has not been handled to your satisfaction, we invite you to schedule a meeting with the school director. Please do not ever talk directly to other students in your child’s class regarding any issue you may have with them. Our teachers make every effort to redirect disruptive behavior in the classroom or on the playground and, as a core part of our peace curriculum, we use a “Work it Out” method to address interpersonal conflicts.
MCS monitors behavior while being aware of the student’s individual needs and current stage of development. Children are taught socially appropriate behavior, self-control and respect for others in order to avoid incidents. All students are provided with an understanding of school rules at an age-appropriate level. Emotional literacy and conflict resolution skills will be taught at the child’s level so that they can solve problems independently whenever possible. We teach students to accept full responsibility for their behavior, their attitudes, their experiences and their lives. When possible and necessary, we cue and remind students of appropriate behaviors.
Disruptive, disrespectful, and/or inappropriate behavior is handled on a case by case basis. In determining the consequences to be taken, the teachers and administration take into account the circumstances in which the behavior/incident has occurred, the harm to others or materials, the child’s age, and the child’s unique set of circumstances.
When behavior is inappropriate, and a gentle reminder is not effective, we intervene and respectfully, but firmly stop the misbehavior. Our ultimate goal is to encourage students to behave appropriately through self-discipline and self-motivation, rather than using external rewards and punishments.
Reoccurring inappropriate behavior will result in a conference with parents, teachers and administration and the creation of a support plan/timeline to help the child.
If we find that we are not able to meet a student/families needs, we will support the family by suggesting another school setting where their child may experience success.
Incident Reports are completed whenever a child’s behavior:
We ask that parents review these reports and discuss each incident with their children. We require that parents sign and return the report to the school.
If your child is experiencing academic, social, emotional or behavioral difficulties, we ask that you engage in frequent communication with the teachers. A recent physical exam to check for visual or hearing difficulties may be deemed appropriate. Classroom observations by the Student Support Coordinator can be used to help identify ways to provide support in the Montessori environment. Appropriate strategies for addressing the concerns will be addressed in a meeting with the relevant parties and a support plan created. Support plans are generally reviewed on a 6 week basis.
If a child shows a need for additional social, mental health, educational or medical services, the school will contact the child’s parents to arrange a meeting to discuss observations, concerns, and documentation. The school can provide assistance to parents when a referral is appropriate. Parents are financially responsible for any options that necessitate the use of outside professional(s). We request that parents provide the school with copies of any outside testing results as well as access to outside professionals consulted so that the teachers can have all of the information needed to support the child’s needs. MCS is dedicated to supporting the varied learning styles and needs of our students to the full extent possible within the program.
Peace Education is our most effective and first line of defense in regards to the Anti-Bullying Policy. Peace education is infused throughout the curriculum as well as in our emphasis on grace and courtesy. Discipline means to teach, and in keeping with that definition we model and encourage appropriate, kind, and considerate ways to behave and respond. MCS is dedicated to a philosophy of respect for the individual. We use a positive approach with an emphasis on redirecting and helping the student learn appropriate problem solving. We also utilize skills of the MANDT system to focus on building relationships of trust, providing safety and security for all, and understanding the crisis cycle where we use techniques for supporting deescalation when necessary.
During the enrollment process you may request to have your child’s likeness not used in public marketing materials. You authorize the school to make reasonable use of recordings of school activities in which yourself or your child are involved in order to train teachers, increase awareness, and promote continuation and improvement of programs.
Throughout the year, videos and slideshows may be shared with you. We hope you and your child will enjoy watching them. Please keep these items private, they should not be posted on social media.
A directory of the students’ and parents’ names, and contact information is available through FACTS. This directory is intended for school use only and must not be sold or used for commercial or other purposes.
Car seats are purchased and maintained based on Utah State Law surrounding car seats. Our car seat policy reflects the law and manufacturer’s recommendations.
Up-to-date documentation of a child’s immunization status must be on file for each child by the child's first day of attendance at the school. A child will not be permitted to start school until we receive the appropriate documentation.
A child attending these programs is required to be immunized appropriately for their age. This means a child has received all of the doses of each vaccine appropriate for the child's age according to current immunization schedules. Proof of immunity to disease(s) can be accepted in place of vaccination only if a document from a healthcare provider stating the student previously contracted the disease is presented to the school.
We accept only medical exemptions for INF, TD and 1st thru 2nd level EC aged students. Documentation of an exemption must be provided to the school upon enrollment.
An up-to-date immunization record or an exemption form must be on file for each K-6th grade student by the child's first day of attendance at the school. Proof of immunity to disease(s) can be accepted in place of vaccination only if a document from a healthcare provider stating the student previously contracted the disease is presented to the school.
A K-6th grade student is exempt from the requirement to receive a vaccine if the student qualifies for a medical, religious or personal exemption. Documentation of an exemption must be provided to the school upon enrollment. Your child will not be permitted to attend school until we receive the appropriate documentation.
A student qualifies for a medical exemption from a vaccination if the student's legally responsible individual provides to the school:
(a) a completed vaccination exemption form; and
(b) a written notice signed by a licensed health care provider stating that, due to the physical condition of the student, administration of the vaccine would endanger the student's life or health.
A local health department representative must witness and sign the Religious and Personal Exemption Forms. To receive a vaccination exemption form, the legally responsible individual who claims an exemption for the student must complete the online immunization education module from the Utah Department of Health. If the legally responsible individual who claims an exemption for the student declines to take the online education module, he/she can obtain a vaccination exemption form from a local health department and receive an in-person consultation.
If the school is not provided with a complete immunization record according to current immunization schedules, the child may attend on a conditional enrollment. Conditional enrollment requests the required immunizations to be provided to the school within a period of 21 days. At the end of the conditional enrollment period, the school can grant an additional extension in the following situations if the extension is necessary to complete all required vaccination doses:
Students may be excluded from attending school if documentation of the required vaccinations is not provided by the deadline.
Any child who is suspected of having a communicable disease will need to be picked up promptly. Children must be kept at home until they are no longer contagious.
When a child is suspected of having COVID-19, chickenpox, German measles, infectious hepatitis, measles, mumps, poliomyelitis, scarlet fever, whooping cough, diphtheria, meningitis or another reportable communicable disease, the local public health officer will be notified. Contact your physician regarding symptoms of these communicable diseases. A child may be re-admitted without a statement from a physician after having had a communicable disease only if the child has been absent for a period of time equal to the longest usual incubation period of the disease as specified by the Utah Health Department.
School policy is to administer medication only in life-threatening situations. Students who need to take medication at school may do so only if a parent or guardian fills out and signs a Medication Release Form. With the exception of epi-pens and Benadryl for severe allergic reactions, all medications are kept in the school office. Prescription medications need to be in their original container with the prescription directions attached. Over the counter medications will need to be brought to school in the original container. Medication should never be packed in lunch boxes, bags, or cubbies. Medication should be brought to the office. Teachers will take necessary medications on field trips.
Stored medications will be reviewed on a quarterly basis. If a medication is close to expiring, an attempt will be made to contact the parent/guardian(s) to verbally advise. The medication will be maintained for two weeks from the date of this contact before discarding.
If your child has a food allergy or other allergies, please notify the school office and inform the school of the procedure to follow in the case of an allergic reaction. MAPs should be on file for all conditions requiring emergency medications or specialized treatment. It is important if your child has a food allergy to teach them not to share or exchange food with other students. It is also important to teach your child to recognize the signs of an allergic reaction. We ask parents to turn any necessary medications (e.g., epiPens) into the office so that we may log and then distribute them appropriately.
Parents are asked to keep children home when they show symptoms of illness. Children who have been out due to illness need to stay out of school until fully recovered. We ask that you consider whether they are well enough to be outdoors before you send them back to school; the outdoors is part of our program and we do not have the staff to supervise students indoors and outdoors simultaneously. If your child exhibits any active symptoms of illness, they will not be admitted to the school, both for the child’s own comfort and to minimize the spread of illness to others.
If a child becomes ill at school, a parent/guardian will be contacted to pick up the child as soon as possible. If a child is injured at school, first aid will be administered if the injury is minor. All classroom teachers are CPR/First Aid certified. Paramedics will be called if necessary. Parents will always be contacted for all head injuries, stings, and bites that break skin.
An accident report will be filed for injuries which require medical attention, including first aid. Parents will be asked to sign the accident report. Parents will be notified immediately if there are any questions concerning the severity of the injury. The student’s emergency contacts and physicians will be called if the parents are unavailable.
Staff are required to report any suspicions of child abuse (neglect, physical or sexual) to the School Director immediately. This information will be documented by the school and appropriate notifications made.
Utah Administrative Code, “Any school employee who knows or reasonably believes that a child has been neglected, or physically or sexually abused, shall immediately notify the nearest peace officer, law enforcement agency, or DCFS (Division of Child and Family Services).”
“It is not the responsibility of school employees to prove that the child has been abused or neglected, or determine whether the child is in need of protection. Investigations are the responsibility of the DCFS. Investigation by education personnel prior to submitting a report should not go beyond that necessary to support a reason to believe that a reportable problem exists.”
Should DCFS become involved, legally our staff must cooperate with them and follow their protocol. This includes:
a) allowing authorized representatives to interview children consistent with DCFS and local law enforcement protocols;
b) allowing appropriate access to student records;
c) making no contact with parents/legal guardians of children being questioned by DCFS or local law enforcement; and
d) cooperating with ongoing investigations and maintaining appropriate confidentiality.
When DCFS comes to meet with a student at MCS, it is our responsibility to:
Given our altitude, a large number of sunny days and the availability of a wide variety of outdoor activities, it is critical that we are prepared for spending time outdoors.
MCS uses the Air Quality Index (AQI) in making decisions about whether to go outside when the air quality is poor. The AQI is calculated for ground-level ozone, particle pollution (PM2.5), carbon monoxide, and sulfur dioxide. We consider all of our children a “sensitive group” and follow EPA guidelines of not going outside when the AQI reaches the orange zone.
Please enter and exit the parking lot slowly and park carefully and courteously. We ask that an adult always accompany children at all times and support the children in learning suitable parking lot etiquette. Please help us keep our parking areas an idle free zone. We caution you against leaving any valuables in your car.
The start of school may be delayed due to a temporary loss of heating, water or electrical power or severe weather. School may also be canceled before the scheduled end of the school day for the same reasons. MCS follows the Salt Lake City school district’s decisions unless our needs dictate measures beyond their decision. The school directors will decide whether we will have a late start, early closure, or school closure after consulting with Facilities.
In the event of an emergency or when circumstances necessitate a change to arrival or dismissal times, notification will be made through the school’s emergency notification system. As of 2019-20, MCS has added an Emergency Make Up Day to the academic calendar should circumstances cause a school closure.
While the Montessori philosophy allows for “freedom within limits,” and we want to encourage students to feel comfortable and able to explore in their environment, we keep the safety of our students foremost in mind at MCS. We have a number of procedures in place to ensure that safety:
Our school has an Emergency Action Plan, which includes procedures for reporting emergencies and evacuating the facility.
We value the positive relationships forged with parents and guardians. We believe that students benefit when the relationship between home and school is a positive one. We strive to make our school a place where all adults model for students the behavior we teach and expect. We place a high importance on good manners, positive communication and mutual respect. All members of the school community have the right to work or be in school without fear of aggression or abuse.
We consider that aggressive, abusive or insulting behavior or language from a parent, guardian or visitor presents a risk to staff or students. Unacceptable behavior is such that it makes a member of staff or student feel threatened. This can be through face-to-face contact, on the telephone or in written communication. The following is not an exhaustive list but seeks to provide illustrations of such behavior: insults, threats, raising of voice so as to be intimidating, physical intimidation, e.g. by standing very close or the use of aggressive hand gestures, foul or abusive language, physical abuse, allegations which turn out to be malicious, spitting, racist, sexist, or homophobic comments.
In these situations we expect members of staff to:
Staff who face these situations have license to politely end the conversation at any point. Incidents will be referred to a school director who will conduct a risk assessment before deciding on a future course of action. The course of action will be reasonable and commensurate with the assessed level of risk. Unacceptable behavior may result in the police being informed of the incident.
Staff and students subject to abuse and witnesses will make written statements about incident(s) which will be kept in a file with subsequent letters. This file will be kept by a school director. Depending on an assessment of the risk of retaliation to witnesses or individuals, statements made by adults may be made available to the parent if they request it.
Following the completion of the risk assessment, the school will decide the level of action to be taken. Actions will include the following:
As parents you are a critical part of your child’s educational team. As educators, we recognize our responsibility for performing our service as partners with you. The primary right and duty of education rests on you, the parent. When you send your child to school, you are delegating some of your responsibility for your child’s education to the School. We encourage you, while your child is at school, to fully support the teaching efforts of the faculty and staff. To increase the effectiveness of the educational process you can:
Those hired to care for children in parents’ absence play a very important role in family life. Please take the time to communicate school procedures, particularly concerning drop-off and pick-up, and other relevant information to your child’s caregiver.
Parent Education opportunities are held throughout the year to familiarize you with the Montessori Method as well as other topics of interest. In order for you to fully benefit from your child’s involvement in our Montessori program, we ask that at least one parent from each family attend. Time spent attending a Parent Education opportunity counts towards the required annual Parent Participation Hours. For your convenience we also have many books and magazines available for checkout from our parent library in the office.
Our community depends greatly on the support of parent participation throughout the year. When you donate your time and talents you make a valuable contribution to the children of MCS and you get the opportunity to make connections with other families.
MCS requires a minimum of ten (10) hours of parent participation per child enrolled at MCS during each academic school year. Parents are responsible for logging hours in FACTS.
There are four categories of parent volunteers at MCS. Keep in mind that depending on the type of volunteering you choose you may be required to submit to a Motor Vehicle Report (MVR) and Child Care Licencing (CCL) background check.
1. Task Oriented Volunteer (no one-on-one student contact)- These volunteers help with tasks around the campus, school, or office that do not require contact with children. No background check required.
2. Classroom Volunteer- These volunteers may help within the classroom and on campus with special activities and/or events. They may be in the classroom with children but may not be alone with children. Background check required: Utah CCL background check required. Requires MCS volunteer training. In the case that a child with special needs is participating, other training may be required.
3. Chaperone Volunteer- These volunteers may accompany teachers and students to approved activities on a “Going Out” activity off campus. Background check required: Utah CCL background check required. Requires MCS volunteer training. In the case that a child with special needs is participating, other training may be required.
4. Transportation Volunteer- These volunteers may transport teachers and students to approved activities on a “Going Out” activity off campus. Background check required: Utah CCL background check required. Requires MCS Volunteer training. In the case that a child with special needs is participating, other training may be required. Requires completion of an MVR. Requires proof of automobile insurance. Requires photocopy of current Driver’s License. MCS Staff will assist in securing MCS car seats and students in volunteer vehicles.
The Parent School Alliance (PSA) is our parent-teacher association. The PSA offers its support to the efforts of the teachers and administrators so that the students may receive the utmost benefit from their education. While in a given year there may be two to five PSA representatives, who will oversee various events and committees, all parents of children at the school are automatically members of PSA and are encouraged to participate in PSA activities and events. All hours spent in this role can be logged as parent participation hours.
The Montessori Community School Parent School Alliance (PSA) works in partnership with the MCS Administration and Staff to help strengthen, support, and empower our community of students, teachers, staff and families. We achieve this by executing the following pillars:
MCS serves students from 3 months of age through 6th grade: INF, TD, EC and EL.
In an effort to create a balanced educational environment true to the philosophy of Dr. Montessori, a relatively even distribution of gender, age and academic, social and emotional needs is important in each three year developmental group. The following are required in order to be considered for admissions to the school:
All complete applications will be reviewed by an Admissions Committee. Families will be notified of the decision. Upon acknowledgement of the spot, successful applicants will be sent the necessary paperwork to begin the enrollment process.
When a child is admitted to our school, our focus is on meeting the needs of that child as well as the needs of the classroom community. Although it is a very rare situation, if we feel that we are not able to meet the needs of a child or the needs of a class as a result of a particular child’s behavior, we may need to ask that the child be withdrawn from our school.
Current students are given first priority for continuing enrollment as long as they do so by the designated enrollment deadline. Applications of new students are considered after continuing enrollment on a rolling basis as space is available. Applications from siblings of current students who complete their kindergarten year at our school at a minimum are given a high priority for enrollment. If school enrollment is at capacity, a student’s name will be placed on the waiting list and the family will be notified as space becomes available.
Once accepted for enrollment, and when continuing enrollment from year to year, parents/guardians are asked to:
In addition, all new families will need to complete and submit:
Please note that class placement can only be ascertained once enrollment is complete. Notification will be included in the welcome information made available before the start of each new academic year.
All aspects of enrollment and registration must be completed before the child’s first day of school.
The school sets academic year tuition annually in the early winter. Tuition is intended to cover the costs of offering a complete educational program in the classroom. Tuition also includes administration, facility maintenance, staff salaries and supplies.
Students may enroll for the entire full year, August to August (includes the School Year and the following Summer Adventures Camp). The benefit of choosing the Full Year Option is that the School Year and Summer Adventures Camp monthly tuition amounts remain the same. For those who wait to register for Summer Adventures Camp, space is not guaranteed. Schedule changes must be made before January 31st, and are dependent on space availability. Tuition does not include day camps offered for Winter and Spring break, or Interim Camps.
Students may enroll for the School Year only, from August to June. For families who choose this option and then opt to register for Summer Adventures Camp at a later date, schedule changes must be made by January 31st, and are dependent on space availability. Tuition does not include Winter Camp, Spring Camp, or Interim Camps.
FACTS Tuition Management is our online payment program. Transactions incurred at the school, including Tuition and Incidental charges (pizza day, event tickets, etc.), will be paid through FACTS. Once accepted, a FACTS account will be created through the Online Enrollment process. You will have the option for automatic withdrawal payments from a bank account (no fee) or charges to your credit card (2.85% fee). Families can easily view and manage their tuition payments and incidental charges at any time through FACTS SIS.
An automatic payment method is required to remain on file, though other payment arrangements can be made before the payment due date in order to avoid the payment method on file from being billed automatically. Please contact our Business Manager at email@example.com if alternate payment arrangements are needed. If the alternate payments are not made by the payment due date, the automatic payment method on file will be billed.
Through FACTS annual tuition is payable in monthly installments, depending on the schedule you have selected. Options include 10 months for the Academic Year and 12 months for the Full Year (includes Summer Camp). Tuition discounts are available for paying full tuition in one or two payments. Payment can be withdrawn on the 5th or the 20th of July.
When paying your child's tuition in one payment in July, you will receive a 3% discount. Discount is applicable only toward tuition. When paying your child's tuition in two equal payments, July and November, you will receive a 1.5% discount. Discount is applicable only toward tuition. When making monthly installment payments there is no discount.
Tuition Assistance is available to families at MCS based on financial need, commitment to our school and involvement in our school community. Fostering student diversity at the school is an important goal of the Tuition Assistance program. Tuition assistance information can be found in the Tuition Schedules, Fees and Policies each year. Submission of a tuition assistance application does not guarantee an award. Tuition assistance awards are not automatically renewed. A new application including your most current tax return must be filed. Families who receive tuition assistance are expected, at a minimum, to stay through their kindergarten/Third year.
A Day Camp is offered during the school closures for Winter and Spring Break and the week between the end of the school year and the beginning of summer camp. Teachers provide this camp for those working parents in need of childcare. We do not provide a day camp during the week prior to the start of the school year. These day camps are provided at an additional cost and Parent Handbook policies apply.
We typically hold Kids’ Night Out opportunities during the Academic Year for enrolled students and their siblings on site at the Montessori Community School. Art activities, movies and snacks allow children to have nighttime fun with their classmates and allow parents to enjoy an evening out. Kids’ Night Out is provided at an additional cost by the classroom teachers who choose to offer it.
All withdrawals must be submitted to the Director of Admissions in writing. Any early withdrawal will result in the forfeiture of the entire $650 enrollment fee. If you withdraw your child:
The Montessori classroom is prepared to accommodate your child and his /her space is reserved. We cannot credit days or money for missed days due to vacations or illnesses.
We recognize that an occasional late pick-up may be unavoidable and thank you for always calling the office when this happens.
After July 20th each year, there will be an administrative $50 fee for any schedule changes (e.g., changing from regular school day to Extended Day). Staffing is established at the beginning of the year based on requests from applications and continuing enrollment forms. Changes after that date that might require staffing changes may not be accommodated, though we always do our best to meet parents’ requests.
The field trip and activity fees are in addition to tuition and cover the costs for field trips, special guests, special classroom activities, transportation, and use of other facilities.
There is an annual non-refundable Teacher Development Fee for each student. The Fee assists our teachers in attending Montessori conferences and to continue their Montessori training through professional development courses.
Third year EC (Kindergarten) students and all EL students participate in a five (5) week Winter Sports Program at a local ski resort. Information and forms are distributed in November/December. The costs associated with the Winter Sports Program are in addition to tuition and the field trip/activity fee and will be included on the invoice at the beginning of the academic year.
As parents, you are a critical part of your child’s educational team. As educators, we recognize our responsibility in performing our service in collaboration with parents. We encourage you, while your child is at school, to fully support the teaching efforts of the faculty and staff.
We ask all families to review and sign the Student, Family and School Partnership Form at the beginning of each academic year so as to establish the criteria for the partnership. This collaboration is an absolutely integral component of the Elementary Montessori experience. This commitment form includes the following responsibilities:
To create a healthy and positive atmosphere for learning to occur.
To facilitate the students' learning by inspiring and engaging the natural curiosity of the child.
To provide opportunities for challenging and meaningful work.
To meet with each student regularly to review progress and discuss any concerns.
To facilitate parent/teacher conferences and communications
To help the child become independent, responsible and to develop a love for learning.
In using the computer, I will:
In using the Internet, I will:
Electronics: Students who bring electronics (iPods, cell phones, games, etc.) onto school grounds must keep them turned off and checked into the office the entire time they are on school grounds. Any electronics turned on, heard, or seen will be turned over to the teacher and checked in at the office and kept there until the end of the school day.
I agree to follow these rules and code of ethics in all my work with technology resources at school while attending Montessori Community School of Salt Lake City.
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