Welcome to Bozeman Montessori        3

About our school        3

Our Responsibility and Purpose        4

Our History        5

Organization        5

The Montessori Method        5

Maria Montessori-an introduction the the person        6

Maria Montessori- resources to learn more        6

Your Responsibility        7

Policies and Procedures        8

Non-Discrimination Policy        8

Enrollment Information        8

Probationary Period/ Termination        8

Re-enrollment        9

Grievance Procedure        10

Tuition: Payments        11

Financial Aid:        11

Best Beginnings Scholarship        11

Attendance        11

Calendar        12

Hours        12

Signing in and Signing Out        12

Authorized Adults        12

Late Pick-Ups        12

Tardiness And Leaving Early        13

Personal Items- What to Bring (and What Not to Bring)        13

Technology        14

Classroom Management and Discipline        15

Family Involvement and Volunteering        16

Events        16

Volunteering        16

Communication        16

Transparent Classroom        16

Parent Conferences        16

Open door        17

Lending Library        17

Confidentiality        17

Procedures For Injuries, Medical Emergencies , and Safety Procedures        17

First Aid and CPR        17

Minor Injuries        18

Larger (Non Life-threatening) Injuries        18

Major Injuries        19

General Emergency Plan        19

Snow Closures        19

Policy & Procedure For Excluding Ill Children        20

Notifiable Conditions And Disease Reporting        22

Immunization Requirements        23

Medication Administration        23

Safe Sleep Policy        27

Breastfeeding Policy        27

Covid-19 Programming, Policies & Procedures        30

Contents- of COVID Addendum        30

Reopening        31

How this handbook is organized:        32

Food Program        33

Montana Progression Between Phases        33

Guidance Applicable to All Phases        34

Red Light -- Montana Phase One:        34

Yellow Light -- Montana Phase Two:        35

Green Light -- Montana Phase Three:        35

Covid -19 Policy:        35

Social Expectations        35

Cleaning, Sanitizing and Disinfecting Procedures        36

Procedure: Yellow Light for Phase Two        37

1.) Drop-Off and Pick-Up        37

1a.) Health Screening at Entry        37

3.) Temperature Check        38

4.) Hygiene Practices        39

5.) Social Distancing        39

6.) Outside Play        39

7.) Meals and Snack Time        39

8.) Pre-primary and Nido Considerations        39

9.) Hygiene Practices        40

10.) Face Coverings        40

Procedure: Green Light: Phase Three        40

Additional considerations for Fall 2020        40

Administration, Admissions, Tuition & Enrollment        41

Cancellations:        41

For the 2020 School Year Starting August 31, 2020:        41

Remote Learning and Tuition Credit Plan for Covid-19 Related School Closure        41

On-Site Tuition Payments:        44

Communication:        44

Final Thoughts:        44

Resources        45

Family Handbook

Welcome to Bozeman Montessori

This handbook will help you get better acquainted with Bozeman Montessori and its policies and goals. Montessori is different; we expect many questions about Montessori teaching and practices. We hope you will freely ask them because everyone gains from your interest and participation.

About our school

Mission Statement: Our mission is to work collaboratively with families, using the principles of Dr. Montessori, to support children. We strive to support the children's independence and development while fostering in them joyful life-long learning.  

The Children: Our goal is to create and implement beautiful, purposeful environments that support the children’s learning through developmentally appropriate, self-correcting materials. We strive to consider that every person has a different way of learning and we are always working to provide the best opportunities for learning for each child.

The Environment: Our goal is to provide an authentic Montessori environment tailored to the group of children presently inhabiting it. We use Montessori principles to create a constantly evolving setting based on the specific children’s needs.

The Parents: Our goal is to provide parents with tools, knowledge, and support to guide their children through these developmentally important years. We want to create a space and culture where parents can find a community for themselves and their children.

The Staff: Our goal is to provide a supportive and engaging work environment with opportunities for professional development and growth within the community. We strive to provide ongoing education in early childhood development and Montessori principles. We also strive to create an environment in which employees can maintain a healthy work-life balance with the knowledge that they are making meaningful contributions to the Bozeman Montessori community.

The Community:  Our goal is to offer our knowledge of child development and Montessori pedagogy to the larger Gallatin community: early childhood educators, nannies, and parents. We also strive to advocate for the needs of children and families within the state of Montana.

Our Responsibility and Purpose

Bozeman Montessori strives to...

Our History

Our doors opened to the community in September 2013.  Bozeman Montessori was founded by Marissa SherKenney in an effort to bring high quality, internationally recognized Montessori to Montana. Bozeman Montessori is housed in a built-to-suit facility that is designed to meet the needs of children, families, and staff.


Bozeman Montessori operates as an LLC. Marissa SherKenney and Victoria Brailsford are the owners of this business.

The Montessori Method

The educational principles of Bozeman Montessori School are based on the pedagogy of Dr. Maria Montessori, an Italian physician and educator. Dr. Montessori developed a program designed to foster in each child the growth of a self-disciplined and confident individual who is able to contribute significantly to society by fulfilling his or her highest potential.

Our staff prepare a carefully arranged environment that is scaled physically and conceptually for children and is sensitive to their needs for order and meaning. In the prepared environment, children may choose activities according to their diverse needs and desires. The self-correcting materials integrate children’s motor and sensory skills to lengthen concentration span, discover problem-solving techniques, learn to care for themselves, and work with others. The teacher’s role in the Montessori classroom is to guide children by introducing them to new materials and activities as they gain greater levels of mastery.

Maria Montessori- resources to learn more

As a community we offer several opportunities throughout the year to learn more about Dr. Montessori and the Montessori Method. We also have many of her books, books about her, and her pedagogy in our lending library. In addition there are several reputable on-line references that we recommend.

Your Responsibility

Policies and Procedures

Non-Discrimination Policy

Bozeman Montessori does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, gender identity, religion, sexual orientation, or national/ethnic origin in the admission or hiring policies.

Enrollment Information

Probationary Period/ Termination  

The first month of class is considered an adjustment period for all new children. Should a child have difficulty, the teacher will work closely with the parents during this trial period. If, after that time, it is determined that the child is not ready for the Montessori classroom, the child’s family will be notified. Bozeman Montessori reserves the right to extend the probationary period if necessary.

If at any time, it becomes clear that Bozeman Montessori is unable to meet the needs of the child, the family will be contacted.  A family may be asked to withdraw their child if the school cannot meet the needs of the child or if the behavior of the child continuously disrupts the class such that the needs of the other students cannot be adequately addressed. If a child is struggling to function successfully at the school we will work with the family to address the situation. The parents or guardians, guide, and director will hold a conference to discuss how the needs of the child might best be met and a timeframe in which to work through the situation will be determined. At the end of the agreed timeframe the parents and guide will again confer and come to a decision. If we are unable to find a solution to meet the child’s needs, or if we feel that the family is unable/unwilling to work with us, we reserve the right to terminate enrollment.  

If a parent, guardian, or family member engages in behavior that is destructive, disruptive, or undermining to the school environment, to the children or staff, the family may be asked to withdraw their child from the school.


Re-enrollment for the next school year is done annually in March. Current families will receive a contract and will be asked to return it, along with a re-enrollment deposit to hold their place for the upcoming school year. This deposit is non-refundable and will be applied toward the first month’s tuition. Please see current contract for deposit amount. Updated health and identification information is due prior to the beginning of school in September.


Enrollment is for the entire school year.  Thirty day notice of student withdrawal is required. Parents agree to pay the full fee for 30 days, as well as your tuition contract responsibility (see refunds). Withdrawal notice must be given to the director in writing. In the event of a withdrawal the family will be invited to an exit interview to discuss satisfaction with the school and receive any belongings.

Grievance Procedure

Parents who have a grievance or concern about the school should attempt to resolve the difficulty through direct communication with the staff involved. Often this type of communication clarifies and resolves the situation immediately.  

In the unusual cases where direct communication does not affect a positive outcome, you should take the problem to the lead guide for resolution. This may be done in written form with the knowledge that any such documentation may come before the director. If the situation is unresolved after approaching the involved party and the lead guide, you are asked to contact the director. The director will schedule a meeting to hear the situation and receive written communication. The director maintains final responsibility for all grievances.  

Parents should follow the same procedure if unsatisfied with a policy or program at Bozeman Montessori.

Tuition: Payments

Refer to your contract for all information on payment schedules, tuition obligations, fees, discounts and deposits. If you have questions please ask.

On occasion we have the ability to trade tuition for services or materials. If you have an idea of something you’d like to trade please take to Marissa.

Financial Aid:

 We are not able to offer any financial aid at this time.

Best Beginnings Scholarship

The Early Childhood Services Bureau offers Best Beginnings child care scholarships to qualified low-income families. Bozeman Montessori is a licensed child care center and qualifies to work with this program.  


Montessori philosophy insists that we respect the child’s need for consistency. The children who benefit most from the prepared environment are those who attend regularly. A child’s experiences in the classroom and with the materials are cumulative; consistent attendance bolsters learning. A consistent routine also provides security for children; a sense of security enables children to learn more readily.

The guides spend time and energy preparing the curriculum and lessons for each day. For all students at every level, each day “counts.” Please help to ensure your child’s social and academic progress by avoiding unnecessary absences.  


Bozeman Montessori uses a school year calendar that loosely follows the Bozeman Public Schools calendar.  Please refer to the annual calendar and plan for school closures and vacations accordingly.  It is your responsibility to be aware of closures, early release days and events.


See your contract for school hours.

Signing in and Signing Out

Each class has a tablet outside the classroom door to facilitate this process. Signing in and out is a legal requirement. If you forget you will be required to update and sign an override form to help us accurately record attendance.  

Authorized Adults

In order to release your child to anyone who picks up, they must be on the authorized pick up list. Please notify us in writing if you would like to add someone or if there is someone different picking up your child. We cannot allow anybody to pick up a child that is not on their authorized list. Verbal permission is not adequate.

If an authorized person is unfamiliar to our staff, we will request picture identification before we will allow them to pick up your child.

Late Pick-Ups

Please notice the school if you think you’ll be late to pick up. Late fees may apply.

Tardiness And Leaving Early

When children are tardy it interrupts the cycle of concentration, one of the most important skills developed in the Montessori environment, and can also distract the other students from their work. Tardy children often miss important lessons and activities, and can have a difficult time finding their social grounding and work partners for that day. Children who are consistently late can have difficulty feeling a sense of belonging in the community.  Children who leave before the end of their normal schedule are also denied closure of their work cycle and social interactions. Leaving early can be just as disruptive as arriving late.

Personal Items- What to Bring (and What Not to Bring)

In our environments we value choice, independence, exploration, and kindness. Your choice of clothing should reflect these ideas and be suitable to allow for comfort, exploration, and independence.   We recommend the following:

1.       Provide a choice of clothing that is comfortable, simple, and free of complicated fastenings.  The child should be able to dress and undress on his/her own as much as possible. (Sweat pants or elastic banded pants are requested for pre-primary)  

2.       Exploration is messy.  Please give your child the opportunity to explore by providing clothes that can handle dirt, paint, water, and anything else your child gets into. We always provide aprons for messy work and encourage children to be attentive, but we will err on the side of exploration, and they should be dressed for it.

3.       Provide two extra sets of clothing for your child.  We will notify you when we are running low on an item.

4.       Prepare your child for the elements-we go outside year-round.  If there is any chance of snow, please make sure they have snow pants, mittens, hat, etc.

5.       Clothes must be free of popular characters, cartoons, and distracting decoration.

6.       Provide inside shoes.  These will be kept at school and should be neutral in color and not distracting (quiet comfortable soles and no lights, characters, or excessive decorations). *Inside shoes are not required in the Nido classroom

7.       Leave toys and other potential distractions at home or in the car.


Within these guidelines, please provide choices and then allow them to choose.  We don’t mind creative color combinations and mismatched socks.  We will work together with you to develop their sense of appropriate clothing choices, but we will also celebrate their creativity.  


Please Label Everything!!


Instruments of technology, which includes phones, smart phones, tablets, and computers, are great resources for adults. They can aid us in many ways and at times can help to simplify our lives. One of the main advantages of technology is to increase modes of communication. There are some big downsides as well. One of the downsides is to the brain and social development of children. There are multiple studies that explore the way that time with screens negatively impacts children. Another downside of technology is that it can be very distracting from the present moment. At Bozeman Montessori, we believe that being fully present when we are with children is one of the greatest gifts that we can offer to the children.  

 It is with these concerns in mind that Bozeman Montessori requests that you leave your cell phone in your car or refrain from answering it while in the center. You may, in no circumstances, enter a classroom while talking on the phone.  

If you take a photo or video or your child’s class you need to get the permission of the other families whose children are in the image before posting the photo/video to any social media.  

Classroom Management and Discipline

Freedom with responsibility is a core principle of Montessori education. Self-discipline and self-control of the will are developed at Bozeman Montessori, therefore a child rarely has discipline issues. Children are free to choose their own work if they are respectful of others and the classroom environment. Usually redirection is all that is necessary. If needed, a child will be asked to sit and observe another child working for a short time before being invited to join when ready. The Guides support conflict resolution between the children so that they learn to communicate with each other and solve their own problems. Guides use firm, but loving, direct communication with children to convey their expectations.

Corporeal punishment is never used.

Family Involvement and Volunteering

In order to facilitate a strong community we request that you make every effort to attend all Bozeman Montessori functions and parent involvement  opportunities.  It is by collaborating with the Bozeman Montessori staff and community that we are best able to support the development of your child.  


We offer several educational and community events throughout the year. Please see the calendar for more information.


Family members are invited to volunteer in  organizing events, supporting the classrooms, and lending a helping hand.

If you have any ideas about getting involved, talk to Marissa!


Transparent Classroom

Transparent Classrooms is used to keep attendance and maintain consistent communication through tracking, pictures and written posts to the families.

Parent Conferences

Conferences are held twice a year. Please see the calendar for more information.

Open door

Families are encouraged to observe in the classrooms anytime!

Lending Library

A parent lending library is available in the common space. Feel free to check out any of the books. Please return the book in a timely manner.  


All personal information regarding you and your child is protected and respected at Bozeman Montessori.  

Throughout the school year, we take photographs of children working and playing at school. These photos show your child happily learning and growing, and we use them in gifts to the parents. In addition, we like to document special events.

We do post photos on our website, Transparent Classroom and on occasion our Facebook page.

The safety and privacy of your child is of great importance to us. The Photo Consent Form gives you the opportunity to decide under which conditions you give consent regarding photography and videography by Bozeman Montessori.

Procedures For Injuries, Medical Emergencies , and Safety Procedures

First Aid and CPR  

All of our guides must be first aid and CPR certified.  They know where the first aid kits are in each class and what is in them.  

While we do our best to ensure the safety of the children, accidents may happen.  In the event of an accident, the child is assessed and appropriate supplies are obtained.

Below is the First Aid policy as written for the staff.  This policy is posted in all classrooms.  

Minor Injuries 

The child will be comforted

If necessary bandages and/or ice packs or wet towels will be applied. We will not apply antibiotic cream without prior written consent.  

Family contact:  We will let them know what happened at pick up time.

Lead Guide:  Make sure to inform the lead guide the next time you see them.  Discuss what happened and how to improve the prevention and response.

Larger (Non Life-threatening) Injuries

The child will be comforted.  

For injuries where there is bleeding or other bodily fluids apply non-porous gloves. If the injury is larger than a small scrape, direct pressure will be applied.  If necessary, ice packs will be used.

For injuries to the head or neck, stabilize the child’s head if necessary.  

If a suspected poisoning has occurred we will call poison control at 1-800-222-1222.

Family contact:  We will contact the family as soon as possible to inform them of the situation and let them decide the action to take.  

Fill out an incident report form.  Be very detailed.  Sign the form and have the parent sign it as well.  The parent gets the top copy. The remaining copies go to the office.  

Lead Guide:  Make sure to inform the lead guide within 12hours.  Discuss what happened and how to improve the prevention and response.  They will follow up with family.  

Major Injuries

If a child is seriously injured or experiencing a suspected medical emergency, we will call 911 and administer first aid and monitor the child until medical professionals arrive.  We will accompany the child to the hospital if necessary.

Family contact:  We will contact the family immediately after contacting 911.  

Fill out an incident report form.  Be very detailed.  Sign the form and have the parent sign it as well.  The parent gets the top copy. The remaining copies go to the office.  

Lead Guide:  Make sure to inform the lead guide within 12hours.  Discuss what happened and how to improve the prevention and response.  They will follow up with family.  

Administration: The child care licensor is called within 24 hours for serious injuries/incidents which require medical attention and a copy of the report is sent to the licensor.

General Emergency Plan

There are posted action plans at the school for a variety of potential emergencys. You are welcome to read them.

Snow Closures

Bozeman Montessori follows the Bozeman School District’s snow day schedule. If Bozeman Schools are closed, then we are closed. Snow day information will also be communicated via Transparent Classroom.

Policy & Procedure For Excluding Ill Children

You will be provided with a printed copy of this policy in your intake folder for future reference

Bozeman Montessori understands that it is difficult for a parent/guardian to leave or miss work; therefore, alternative arrangements should be made for occasions when children must remain at home or be picked up due to illness. Exclusion from the center is sometimes necessary to reduce the transmission of illness or because the center is not able to adequately meet the needs of the child.

Mild illnesses are common among children and infections are often spread before the onset of any symptoms. In these cases, the school will try to keep the children comfortable throughout the day but will find it necessary to exclude them from the child care setting for the reasons stated below (this list covers most common illnesses but is not inclusive of all reasons for exclusion).  Please do not send a child medicated with any fever reducer; it only masks the symptoms and puts everyone else at risk.

When a child is unable to participate in the program, they will be sent home, and will need to stay home until they can participate fully in the program. These symptoms can include fever, lethargy, excessive fussiness or crankiness or otherwise unusual behavior.




Return to School


Temperature above 100.5° F with or without behavior change or other signs and symptoms (e.g., sore throat, rash, vomiting, diarrhea).

Temperature above 100.5°

Fever free for 24 hours without medication.


Watery stools or decreased form of stool that is not associated with changes in diet.

Exclusion is required for all diapered children whose stool is not contained in the diaper 2 or more times. In addition, non-diapered children with diarrhea should be excluded if they are unable to make it to the toilet one or more times.

Once the child has a first normal stool or a note from a physician that determines it is not related to an infectious disease.







If the child looks tired or lethargic or is sneezing, coughing, etc. we will send him/her home after the first vomit. Otherwise, if the child vomits two or more times, he/she will be sent home.

Twenty-four (24) hours after the vomiting has completely stopped.


Stuffy or runny nose


Watery eyes

A minor cold or allergy symptoms (regardless of color or consistency of nasal discharge) should not be a reason to miss school.

When the child can participate in all parts of normal activity.


Strep Throat

Red and painful throat


Swollen neck glands

White patches on tonsils

Until Treated

24 hours after antibiotic treatment has


Pink Eye

Redness, itching, pain, discharge from the eye

Swelling of the eyelids

For the duration of illness or until 24 hours after treatment has started.

A note from the child’s physician is required to return or after 24 hours after the first treatment.

Hand-Foot-Mouth Disease (Herpangina)



Sore Throat


Red spots- often with small blisters on the top- may appear especially on hands, feet and inside the mouth.

For 1 to 2 weeks from the onset of illness


The child needs to stay home for seven days or until all sores are completely gone.


Ring-shaped rash with a raised edge on skin or scalp.

Often itchy and flaky.


From onset until medical treatment has been started


A doctor’s note stating that treatment has begun before returning.

Chicken Pox


Raised red itchy spot -like rash that turns into blisters then scabs- mainly on the face and body.

Up to 5 days before the rash appears until all blisters have scabbed over


Until all lesions have dried or crusted (usually six days after onset of rash).


Head Lice

Itchy scalp

Small silvery eggs (nits) attached to the base of the hair near the root, esp. at the nape of the neck and behind the ears.

Until properly treated

Day after treatment begins.


Fever of 100.4 or higher, Chills, Cough, Shortness of breath, Difficulty breathing, Fatigue, Muscle or body aches, Headache, New loss of taste or smell, Sore throat, Congestion or runny nose, Nausea or vomiting

Excluded until all return to school criteria have been met.

-3 days/72 hours have passed since no symptoms: no fever without use of medication

-at least 10 days have passed since the first symptoms have shown.

-Children presenting with a fever will not be allowed to return to the center for 14 days, unless a doctor’s note is presented stating the illness is not from COVID19.


If a child is sick, the caretaker should him or her at home. If a child becomes sick at school, Bozeman Montessori will notify the caretaker or call someone on the child’s authorized pickup list to come to pick the child up


Bozeman Montessori will closely follow this illness and exclusion policy to keep the entire community of children, families and staff healthy. When a child is kept home with an illness, Bozeman Montessori requests that the caretaker contact the school to inform regarding the absence and symptoms to better track the health of the community.

Notifiable Conditions And Disease Reporting

Licensed childcare providers in Montana are required to notify Public Health when they learn that a child has been diagnosed with one of the communicable diseases listed on their website.  In addition, we will notify our Public Health Nurse when an unusual number of children and/or staff are ill (for example, >10% of children in a center, or most of the children in the toddler room), even if the disease is not on this list or has not yet been identified.

Immunization Requirements

To protect all children and staff, each child in our center must have a completed and signed proof of Immunizations. Immunization records are reviewed quarterly until the child is fully immunized. Children are required to have the following immunizations listed on this licensing website.

If a parent or guardian chooses to exempt their child from HiB immunization requirements, they must complete and sign the Certificate of Exemption Form.

If the exemption is for medical reason the child’s health care provider (MD, DO, ND, PA, ARNP) must also sign the Certificate of Exemption form or provide a signed letter verifying that the parent or guardian received information on the benefits and risks of immunizations.  

Medication Administration

Our medication administration policy is available upon request.

Bozeman Montessori believes all families have the right to safe and healthy child care.  

When at all possible, student medication should be administered at home. At times, it is necessary for medication to be given during school hours. The staff At Bozeman Montessori will administer medication to children who require it.

The purpose of the medication policy is so that staff and parents understand medications will be administered in a safe and manner that protects children and staff.  

This policy will be available in each class room’s folder. You can also ask in the office for a copy.

To administer medication to your child, Bozeman Montessori must have the Medication Authorization form completed and signed by a parent or guardian.

The Medication Authorization form must be filled out every time a medication is brought in by the parent or guardian (even if the child has taken the medication in the past).  

Prescription medications must be in their original containers labeled with the child’s first and last name, the date the prescription was filled, the name of the licensed physician or nurse practitioner who wrote the prescription, the expiration date of the medication, and specific and legible instructions for administration and storage of the medication. All medication will be administered according to the instructions.

Non-prescription (Over-the-Counter) medications can be given with permission from the parent or guardian based on general advice received from the child’s physician. Non-prescription medication will be administered from the original container labeled with the child’s first and last name and according to the instructions on the label. A record of doses will be kept.

A Medication Log will be kept in each child’s chart.  The staff person administering the medication will immediately record the date, time, medication, and dose and sign his/her name on the Medication Log. Only staff trained in medication administration will give medication.  

Medications will be stored at the recommended temperature, in a child proof container, in a place inaccessible to children.  

When the medication expires the parent will be asked to take home the medication to dispose of.  If it’s not picked up in a week’s time a Bozeman Montessori staff will dispose it in the recommended manner.  

Medication for Asthma and Allergies (inhalers, nebulizers and Epipens): If your child has been diagnosed with asthma or life threatening allergies, it is essential that we have all information and medication in place BEFORE it is needed. If your child has ever needed asthma medication, or been prescribed an EPIPEN, please: Complete the Medication Authorization form and Submit a copy of your child's Allergy Emergency Plan/Asthma Action Plan.  

Parents must hand deliver the prescribed medication to their child's guide or assistant and give any pertinent information that may be needed regarding the purpose of the medication and any possible side effects that we should be aware of.

A medication error/incident report will be completed by the staff person administering medication and co-signed by the director if an error or incident takes place.  

If any Bozeman Montessori staff member notices an adverse effect or serious allergic reaction, and the child is in distress, staff will call 911. Parents will also be notified.  

This policy applies to all children, parents, guardians, and providers.  

This policy can be changed or adapted with the recommendations of the licensing agent/county health nurse/child care health consultant serving our program. Everybody will be informed if changes are made (we will post the revised policy on the community board.)  

This policy is effective immediately.  

Bozeman Montessori will review this policy annually in August.  

Reference: ChildCareTraining.org 


For children’s critical medications, including those taken at home, we suggest that parents for a 3-day supply to be stored on site along with our disaster supplies.  Staff are also encouraged to supply the same.  Critical medications – to be used only in an emergency when a child has not been picked up by a parent, guardian, or emergency contact – are stored in the office, Medication is kept current (not expired). **“3-day Critical Medication form” is available at www.kingcounty.gov/health/childcare 


All families will be treated with dignity and with respect for their individual needs and/or differences.

Children with special needs will be accepted into our program under the guidelines of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Children with special needs will be given the opportunity to participate in the program to the fullest extent possible. To accomplish this, we may consult with our public health nurse consultant and other agencies/organizations as needed.

An individual plan of care is developed for each child with a special health care need. The plan of care includes information and instructions for:

Completed plans are requested from health care provider annually or more often as needed for changes.  

 Children with special needs are not present without an individual plan of care on site.

All staff receive general training on working with children with special needs and updated training on specific special needs that are encountered in their classrooms.

 Teachers, cooks, and other staff will be oriented to any special needs or diet restrictions by the Director.

Safe Sleep Policy

A copy of this policy will be provided to the families of the Nido Classroom and to others upon request.

Breastfeeding Policy 

 Bozeman Montessori recognizes the role that child care providers play in helping mothers continue to breastfeed while their infants are in care and is committed to fully supporting breastfeeding mothers and their infants in the following ways:


We have the following animals on site: newt, and fish.

We occasionally have animal visitors such as: dogs, rabbits, cats, turtles and others.

Children and adults wash hands after feeding animals or touching/handling animals or animal homes or equipment.

It is your responsibility to notify our staff if you or a family member may have an allergic reaction to a pet.


Staff will not smoke in the presence of children or parents while at work.

There will be no smoking on site or in outdoor areas immediately adjacent to any buildings (not within 25 feet of an entrance, exit, or ventilation intake of the building) where there are classrooms regardless of whether or not children are on the premises.  (Rationale:  residual toxins from smoking can trigger asthma and allergies when children do use the space).  There is no smoking allowed in any vehicle that children are transported in.

If staff members smoke, they must do so away from the school property, and out of sight of parents and children.  They must not smell of smoke when they return to the classroom.


Other items to include?

Celebrations & Other Sharings Learning about and sharing celebrations can be a joyful way to understand more about other cultures and foster human unity. Out of respect for the variety of religious and cultural backgrounds within our school, we do not emphasize any particular tradition. Children like to celebrate together, and by developing their own special celebrations based on their study of the historic, cultural, and religious context of the holiday, they often enjoy the experience in a way that is low-key and comfortable for all. We ask for parental assistance in helping your child exercise appropriate choice in what she brings to school. We appreciate children’s desire to share with their classmates their personal treasures and experiences as it enriches the classroom class significantly. Try to select items from which the entire class might benefit. Such items often spark a far-reaching discussion or investigation. This could include: • Natural Specimens, (Rocks, Shells, Flowers) • Interesting Books • Items From Other Cultures • Something The Child Has Made • A Photo Or Newspaper Article of Particular Interest • An Item Which Relates To An Important Story From The Child’s Personal Life The verbal sharing of an experience is valued as highly as an object. You might discuss with your child any interesting experiences which could be shared with the class. There is not enough time for everyone who wishes to share everyday; thus, your child’s teacher may notify the children and parents of certain days of the week when sharing times will be scheduled. After objects have been shown, they may be displayed in a small class “museum’’ for a short time, if the child wishes. Please give much consideration before bringing special personal treasures, as there are possibilities of them getting lost or damaged in a large group setting.

Twelve Points Of The Montessori Method 1. It is based on years of patient observation of a child’s nature. 2. It has proved itself of universal application. Over several generations it has been tried with complete success with children of almost every nation. Race, color, climate, nationality, social rank, type of civilization - all these make no difference to its successful application. 3. It has revealed the small child as a lover of work, intellectual work, spontaneously chosen and carried out with profound joy. 4. It is based on the child’s imperative need to learn by doing. At each stage in the child’s mental growth, corresponding occupations are provided by means of which the child develops his/her faculties. 5. While it offers the child a maximum of spontaneity, it nevertheless enables the child to reach the same, or even a higher, level of scholastic attainment as under the traditional systems. 6. Though it does away with the necessity of coercion by means of rewards and punishments, it achieves a higher discipline than formerly. It is an active discipline, which originates within the child. 7. It is based on a profound respect for the child’s personality and removes from him/her the preponderating influence of the adult, thus leaving the child room to grow in independence. Hence the child is allowed a large measure of liberty (not license), which forms the basis of real discipline. 8. It enables the teacher to be present with each child individually in each subject, and thus guide him/her according to individual requirements.

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Covid-19 Programming, Policies & Procedures

Contents- of COVID Addendum

Reopening        2

How this handbook is organized:        3

Food Program        4

Montana Progression Between Phases        4

Guidance Applicable to All Phases        5

Red Light -- Montana Phase One:        5

Yellow Light -- Montana Phase Two:        6

Green Light -- Montana Phase Three:        6

Covid -19 Policy:        6

Social Expectations        6

Cleaning, Sanitizing and Disinfecting Procedures        7

Procedure: Yellow Light for Phase Two        8

1.) Drop-Off and Pick-Up        8

1a.) Health Screening at Entry        9

3.) Temperature Check        9

4.) Hygiene Practices        10

5.) Social Distancing        10

6.) Outside Play        10

7.) Meals and Snack Time        10

8.) Pre-primary and Nido Considerations        11

9.) Hygiene Practices        11

10.) Face Coverings        11

Procedure: Green Light: Phase Three        11

Additional considerations for Fall 2020        12

Administration, Admissions, Tuition & Enrollment        12

Cancellations:        12

For the 2020 School Year Starting August 31, 2020:        12

Remote Learning and Tuition Credit Plan for Covid-19 Related School Closure        12

On-Site Tuition Payments:        15

Communication:        15

Final Thoughts:        15

Resources        16


Our 2019 -2020 school year as we knew it before pivoted on March 13 with the school closures in our state. We reopened with two small pods of mixed age-groups in April and with much planning, discussion and deliberation have slowly expanded with Montana moving to Phase 2.

Reopening entails some increased risk of contracting the COVID-19 virus for all concerned because attending school involved daily human contact among children and staff who will be in contact with others in their own homes.

Our decision to reopen our program recognizes that:

1) for our families and staff, that risk is balanced against the educational, social, economic and other costs of remaining closed,

2) our program must incorporate many new health and safety protocols to do everything we can to responsibly mitigate that risk to the extent possible, and

3) each family and staff member must decide how to balance those risks, and whether or not to return to our program.

This document explains the policies and procedures we are implementing to mitigate COVID-19-related risks at our center. That approach is built around intensive new health monitoring and screening procedures, as well as new classroom procedures designed to reduce the number of contacts during the school day and limit the group sizes and interactions. These procedures will not require our children to wear masks (although our staff will during times of the day) or to observe the social distancing rules expected of older children and adults. Nevertheless, we believe reopening with these new protocols represents our best efforts to live responsibly with this virus in our community without closing our doors.

Therefore, Bozeman Montessori has concluded that reopening our center under these conditions is in the best interest of the community and that each of our families will make its own decision about the balance of risk, and what is best for their children. The information that follows will provide clarity around the practices and procedures we have adopted to minimize exposure to our community but in no way warrants that COVID-19 or other communicable disease infection will not occur through participation in our programs.

We ask our parents, caregivers, and family members to agree to adhere to the Governor’s guidelines as we move through the different phases of re-opening Montana. With your support, we can help protect our community from outbreaks as much as possible by following the guidelines for social distancing along with monitoring and protecting our health.

How this handbook is organized:

In looking at the Phases of re-opening for the State of Montana, we developed and adjusted procedures for our school’s programming with the directives of the State.

Important Reminder

COVID-19’s impact in our community is evolving daily, sometimes by the hour and without warning. Centers and schools are struggling with what decisions are the best ones to make and, in many instances, we may not know what is best until we have the benefit of hindsight. Even then, we may not know. With that in mind, we take into consideration public health guidance, the law, our school’s mission and culture, and our community’s safety. What works for one school may not be right for another. Please keep this in mind as we review feedback about what other schools are doing.

During his remarks, Governor Bullock stressed, "Social distancing, wearing a cloth mask, washing your hands, and sanitizing are all part of our new normal. If not for you, do it for others, especially for the most vulnerable among us. Not following these guidelines could put us in a position where we have to go backward, instead of being able to continue to move forward.”

Hours of Operation and Summer Information

Our summer program operates Monday through Thursday with the same daily schedule offerings we knew in the 2019 – 2020 school year and that will continue into the fall:

Early Morning: 8:00 am                 School Day: 8:30 – 3:15                Extended Day Pick-Up: 4:15 – 4:30 pm

We are staffed within licensing guidelines of child to teacher ratios for summer programming and many of our teachers work long days. Please respect your chosen pick-up times with promptness to allow our team to meet their own transitions on time—especially end of the day cleaning, which is more intensive in our current situation. Late fees will be applied--$2/minute up to $25 which goes into a special teacher fund.

Food Program

Nido families supply food items for their children.

Pre-primary and Primary age groups resume food program for Phase 2 and 3. We require children to bring water bottles from home. Snacks will be prepared by the guides each day and served to children on separate plates—no communal style meals for now. Where possible, we will create physical distancing between tables in the classrooms.  Our morning and afternoon snacks consist of fresh and organic (as much as possible) fruits and vegetables, dairy products, fresh-baked muffins or breads and whole grain crackers. Lunches include items such as sandwiches, burritos, soup, and pizza with plenty of vegetables and fruit. Check your classroom area for menu information. For more information about our food program, refer to our Parent Handbook.

Parent Contact/Communication

Each lead guide has an email address for parent communications. Guides will respond to emails within 24 hours during the week. Although we try, guides are not always available to respond to phone messages during the day. Time-sensitive contact with guides can be facilitated by calling the main school line 406-600-8098 or emailing info@bozemanmontessori.com. In case of emergency, call the center director Victoria Brailsford at 406-581-3833.

Nido/PrePrimary: Edna Davion edna@bozemanmontessori.com

Primary: Rebecca Eberlin rebecca@bozemanmontessori.com

Our other forms of communication may include our online platform through Slack for families who opt to stay home at any point or to simply enjoy the resources, photos and videos we have shared there. We also continue to use Transparent Classroom, which is our main platform for administrative information, individualized lesson and activity planning and record keeping for our children, progress reports, photos of life at our center, and more.

Montana Progression Between Phases

Montana schools and early childhood centers are guided by mandates and directives from the governor’s office regarding reopening phases. See links at the end of this document for more information.

Guidance Applicable to All Phases

Bozeman Montessori requires that all staff and families adhere to the following practices:

  1. Handwashing lessons throughout the day
  2. Regular disinfecting of common and high-traffic areas.

Red Light -- Montana Phase One:

Phase One – Montana        

CHILD CARE FACILITIES can remain operational but should follow State and local guidelines regarding operational levels and occupancy.  

Depending upon the circumstances, if Montana moves back to Phase One, Bozeman Montessori may opt to continue offer programs: limited class sizes, school day schedule, four days per week, no early morning or extended day and no food program.

ORGANIZED YOUTH ACTIVITIES can consider becoming operational if physical distancing guidelines can be implemented. Avoid GATHERING in groups of more than 10 people in circumstances that do not readily allow for appropriate physical distancing.

Yellow Light -- Montana Phase Two:

Phase Two – Montana 

Please see page 7 for Bozeman Montessori’s plan.

CHILD CARE FACILITIES can increase capacity if physical distancing guidelines can be implemented.

ORGANIZED YOUTH ACTIVITIES remain operational and should avoid GATHERING in groups of more than 50 people in circumstances that do not readily allow for appropriate physical distancing.

Green Light -- Montana Phase Three:

Phase Three – Montana 

Covid -19 Policy:

What to do if children, staff, or parents develop signs of COVID-19

Social Expectations

For the health and safety of our students and their families, as well as the significant commitment that the Bozeman Montessori Staff is making to provide onsite learning with the least amount of interruption possible to the children’s time in the prepared environment, Bozeman Montessori has set forth the expectation that everyone within our community will make all reasonable efforts to do their part to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. This expectation also includes making reasonable efforts to adhere to health and safety guidelines which are released to the public. Bozeman Montessori is a community of people brought together by its students. Our organization is centered around respect for all, whether that be each child and their family, or Staff and their families. We believe that by each of us doing our part to help mitigate the spread during this global pandemic, it is one of the many ways we contribute to the betterment for all.

Returning to Bozeman Montessori after suspected signs of COVID-19

Cleaning, Sanitizing and Disinfecting Procedures

Bozeman Montessori has and will continue increased levels of cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting. Cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting are defined as: 




Procedure: Yellow Light for Phase Two

Bozeman Montessori has implemented the following plan:



1.) Drop-Off and Pick-Up

1a.) Health Screening at Entry

Centers for Disease Control (CDC) suggests using the following screening methods:

  1. Social Distancing: Ask the parent or guardian to take the child’s temperature at home, or at the center in front of you, but at least 6 feet away. At drop-off and pick-up times with the child’s family, keep at least a 6-foot distance.
  2. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Health screening and temperature checks are done while wearing PPE.

Our staff will be wearing aprons or smocks, gloves, and face masks. For more information, please see the CDC guidance.

Drop-Off Procedures:

Ask the parents or guardians the following questions: Have you, your child, or anyone in your family had any of the following symptoms of COVID-19 since the last time they were in care?

Bozeman Montessori staff will refuse to allow the child to attend if the answer to any of the above questions is “yes.” Refer to “Returning to a childcare center after suspected COVID-19 symptoms” below.

If the answer to all of the above questions is “no,” check the child for signs of being sick, such as flushed cheeks, tiredness, and extreme fussiness.

3.) Temperature Check

4.) Hygiene Practices

5.) Social Distancing

6.) Outside Play

7.) Meals and Snack Time

8.) Pre-primary and Nido Considerations

9.) Hygiene Practices

10.) Face Coverings

CDC issued new recommendations that wearing face coverings may help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our community. When able, staff members should wear face coverings. To decide if face coverings are possible, consider:

To learn more about face coverings, see the CDC Recommendations for the use of face coverings.

Procedure: Green Light: Phase Three

Additional considerations for Fall 2020

Administration, Admissions, Tuition & Enrollment


Despite our best efforts for the summer, the public health situation may change throughout the summer. If center is unable to adequately provide for health and safety during the summer, we will cancel/ alter summer sessions and communicate closures with as much notice as possible. We ask for your understanding if Covid-19 health concerns require us to cancel programs.

If Bozeman Montessori must temporarily close due to Covid-19 circumstances or staffing shortages, you will be notified through email. Please alert us with any changes to your email by emailing us at info@bozemanmontessor.com.

If you need to make any changes to your schedule, refer to your enrollment contract and send an email with questions or cancellations to info@bozemanmontessori.com

For the 2020 School Year Starting August 31, 2020:

Our school cannot survive without tuition income. Families are expected to continue to pay tuition as outlined in their tuition contracts to remain enrolled in Bozeman Montessori.  To keep your spot reserved in the classroom you must be enrolled in, participating in, and committed to your financial obligation to the school either as a distance learning student or an on-site student. While we respect each family’s decision as to how their desired level of engagement, anyone who decides to not participate in one of the two models will be forfeiting their place in the classroom. We will make every effort to be as flexible as we can as events unfold, guided by the goal to keep the school viable.

Remote Learning and Tuition Credit Plan for Covid-19 Related School Closure

This handout does not bind Bozeman Montessori, Students, or Parents. Bozeman Montessori, in its absolute, unfettered, and full discretion has the option to provide tuition credits for closures due to the 2019 novel coronavirus (“Covid-19”), other bacterial and viral diseases, or related government measures.

While we do our best to reduce the likelihood of school closures, we cannot control or eliminate the risk. We recognize that school closures are disruptive to your family both emotionally and economically. However, there may be situations where we elect to or are required to close in the best interest of children, staff, and community health. We will do our best to keep closures to a minimum. For information on how we are doing our best to reduce the spread of Covid-19 in our community and how you can help, please see our Covid-19 Handbook. Below is the outline of our remote learning plan should the school close. Additionally, below is our discretionary tuition credit ambitions. These plans may change in unforeseen circumstances.

Remote learning: 

If Bozeman Montessori stops offering in-person care, we believe it is important to continue communicating and connecting with the children and families through remote learning. While remote learning cannot replicate in-person learning, we will maintain communication and connection to provide the consistency necessary to help the children reintegrate into the community once we are able to reopen. 

All families that choose to enroll in Bozeman Montessori for the school year of 2020-2021 are strongly encouraged to engage with our remote learning community to the greatest extent possible to protect that emotional connection and consistency, with the goal of reintegrating when we can return together in-person. With your continued feedback, we will strive to make our offerings effective, engaging, and meaningful.

Number of days of the closure

10 school days* or less

10-20 school days*

(after initial 10 closed days)

20+ school days*

(after initial 10 closed days)

Remote learning offerings

Primary and Nido/Pre-primary: Twice weekly circle times held on Zoom.

Nido- N/A

Primary and Nido/Pre-primary: Twice weekly circle times held on Zoom. Other offerings posted to Mobile Montessori site

Nido- weekly phone calls to parents

Primary and Nido/Pre-primary: Twice weekly circle times held on Zoom. Other offerings posted to Mobile Montessori site

Nido- weekly phone calls to parents

Tuition credits:

If we are required or choose to close due to Covid-19, other bacterial and viral diseases, staffing shortages, or related government measures, our hope is to offer tuition credits back to you. We recognize the economic impact of closures and provided it is financially feasible for us, have created the matrix below to help guide our tuition credit. Our expenses do not disappear when we close, in fact, some expenses have and will continue to increase. Therefore, we do not guarantee that we will be in a financial position to offer tuition credits back. However, if we are able, we want to offer tuition credits back to you in recognition that your expenses during a closure may increase or your ability to earn income may decrease. We are all negotiating this challenging situation together, but we still need to protect the long-term viability of the school.

It is critical that you recognize that the matrix below is meant as a guide only and will be implemented in good faith, however, there may be circumstances where we are unable to follow the tuition credits due to changes in circumstances and we have absolute, unfettered, and full discretion to determine when those circumstances apply and whether to provide any credit.  For example, the tuition credit plan for closure of 10+ days is based on the idea that some staff will be able to switch to a “job attached” status with the Department of Labor and Industry in order to qualify for unemployment. If the current rules that dictate this program change, we may have to adjust our tuition credit. It is critical that we are able to keep our staff paid and job attached during closures so that we can continue to serve the children and families upon reopening. 


Example of school day (only) schedule tuition credit

Number of days of the closure

10 school days* or less

10-20 school days*

(after initial 10 closed days)

20+ school days*

(after initial 10 closed days)

$ of tuition credited 













*School Day=Scheduled in-session school days based on Bozeman Montessori’s School calendar, not including weekends.

* Unless Parent has paid for a full school year in advance and Student is not eligible to return and will therefore be unable to use the credit. In such a case, Parent may be eligible for a monetary refund equal to a percentage of the tuition credit.


On-Site Tuition Payments:

If paying by check, please send by mail. If you bring tuition checks to the center, please do not hand them to a teacher. Place in manila envelope designated for tuition at the drop off area. Preprimary and Primary families: look for the black mailboxes where the envelopes are located. Do not enter the building if that is not your drop off area.


If a child or family member(s) living in the same household are diagnosed with COVID-19, information will be shared with all our program families. We will not necessarily cancel sessions/programs due to third party exposures. However, please be advised that programs will be cancelled if advised to by licensing and/or the health department.

Please know that we are adjusting daily to new information and guidelines provided by state and local officials. We will do our best to keep you as informed as possible and ask for your patience as we navigate through changing circumstances.

Final Thoughts:

The plan outlined in this handbook addendum is guided by the goal to mitigate risk of transmission of this or any other communicable illness. We are committed to doing all that we can to keep our center safe while keeping a holistic view of the mental, emotional, and physical health of the children in our care and those who love and care for them. While we recognize the complexity of issues that this pandemic has brought to us along with the strong emotions regarding the reopening details and use of masks and other protocols, our focus is to rise above the politicization and focus on the health and safety of our children. We invite you to join us in that spirit as we carefully plan for our next chapter together. Please partner with us in following the guidance of the Gallatin City-County Health Department in the interest of public health.


Phases for Re-Opening Montana:


The Governor's Phased Covid-19 Re-Opening Task Force: 


This Governor's Directive on Childcare from 4-3- 20: 


For siblings:

American Camp Association – COVID -19 Resource Center: