What are the qualifications of your teachers and support staff?

All of our teachers have a minimum of a four year Bachelor degree from an accredited university, a valid Idaho State Teaching Credential K-8, and hold or are obtaining a Montessori Teaching Certificate. All our staff participates in ongoing professional development in Montessori education, student discipline, emergency response, and working with students who have special needs.
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Can I visit or observe classes?

Parents and the public are always welcome to observe classes at any time through the observation windows.  Please contact the office to make a visit and be sure to check in at the office when you arrive.  If you would like to observe IN the classroom, please contact us in advance so that arrangements can be made with the classroom teacher.
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Is this a public school?

YES.  We are a FREE public school authorized by the Idaho Public Charter School Commission, a division of the Idaho State Board of Education.  

Who can attend?

Monticello Montessori Public Charter School does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, religion, or age in its programs and activities.  Students between the ages of 5 and 12 may enroll up to the capacity available.  If enrollment requests exceed the capacity of the school an equitable selection process will be followed to determine who can attend.

How does your lottery work?

Monticello will hold a lottery on or before April 30 of each year to establish the waiting list order of entrance for the upcoming school year.  All openings during the school year will be filled according to the order established by that lottery.  The lottery will be held in a public forum and a disinterested party will conduct the lottery selection.  Over-enrollment procedures will be conducted according to the requirements as set out in 33-5205, Idaho Code, as well as any rule adopted by the State Board of Education or State Charter Commission that is applicable to student lotteries held by public charter schools, and according to the process described under “Exceptions Approved by Commission Staff.”  Final selection lists for a given school year shall not roll over to a subsequent school year and will be developed using the Equitable Selection Process outlined in Subsection 203.09 of the Administrative Rules Governing Charter Schools.
  • All available seats will be randomly selected for students between the ages of 5 and 12.
  • 1 application per family with all siblings listed who are interested in enrolling will be returned to Monticello
  • 1 family index card will be made with all siblings listed who are interested in enrolling
  • All Founder cards will be pulled and labeled with a "B."  (If the number of Founder children exceeds 10%, the cards will be selected randomly)
  • The other cards will be placed in a box and pulled randomly
  • Each individual child on the family index card will be numbered sequentially and labeled with a "C"
  • Cards will continue to be pulled until all seats have been randomly selected
  • Identifying all siblings on a single family card makes the lottery process more efficient by eliminating the redundancy of searching for siblings in the stack of cards.  This process is also more equitable since families with large numbers of children have an equal chance of their card being pulled as a family with only one child.
  • In subsequent years Monticello will follow this same process with new openings and a potentially broader age range.
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How much homework do you give the children?

Between the ages of 5 and 8 we do not assign a lot of homework.  Instead we encourage you to read with your children at home, study spelling words, and review math facts.  You will notice that your children come home quite tired each day as they are working very hard at school.  Between the ages of 9 and 12 you will start to see more homework in the form of math assignments and research papers.

What is Montessori?

The Montessori Method is a holistic approach to learning that meets the needs of students with disabilities, the gifted and talented, and all students in between, in an inclusive, supportive environment.  Developed by Maria Montessori, an Italian educator and physician in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the Montessori Method is a highly sensorial and tactile instructional program. 

Montessori provides hands-on learning materials for all subject areas.  Children experience the curriculum with the five senses, and develop skills by engaging in physical activities.  Movement is essential to learning in the Montessori classroom.  Children enjoy uninterrupted work periods which allow them to focus intently on what they are learning.  Teachers observe students and present new material when students master concepts and skills.  Being child-centered, students are treated with great respect and given a great deal of freedom to guide their own learning within a highly structured and orderly environment. 

Montessori classrooms are beautiful, open spaces with furniture and shelves sized to accommodate children.  Classrooms are arranged in “areas,” each area having “works” (educational objects) that address particular subject areas.  Each work has a specific purpose intended to teach children as they learn to use it correctly.  The works are designed to be self-correcting, meaning students correct their own mistakes instead of relying on a teacher to give them the correct answer.  Students learn to work independently and cooperatively, and to respect the space and privacy of others.

How much does it cost?

Monticello Montessori is a FREE public school.  There is no cost for 1/2 day of Kindergarten through 6th grade.  We also do not require families to purchase school supplies or pay any fee for school supplies.  We may ask parents to pay fees associated with voluntary activities that are not necessary elements of school activity such as field trips.  Parents are also welcome to donate time and/or money to the school if they so choose.    

How is the school funded?

Monticello Montessori is a public school.  As such, we are funded by revenues we receive through student enrollment and attendance.  Thus, it is critical that our students attend regularly.

What is your dress code?

The dress code is available on our website for more details.  Basically to reduce distractions, we do not permit commercialism or media messages on apparel.  Our goal is for students to focus on academics while they are at school, not on peer trends, social status, the latest movie characters or other forms of commercialism.

Where is your school located?

We are located in the city of Ammon in Bonneville County.  Our address of 4707 S Sweetwater Way, Ammon, ID 83406, which is across the street from Woodland Hills Elementary School in District 93.

Is you school affiliated with any religion or religious group?

No.  We are a public school authorized by the Idaho State Public Charter School Commission.  We are non-sectarian and non-partisan.

How can I be assured that my child will get everything they need academically?

As a public school, Monticello Montessori follows the Idaho State Content Standards which all public schools in the state abide by.  The Montessori approach to learning meets and generally exceeds State Standards after 3 years of enrollment in the school.  If you cannot commit to keeping your child enrolled for at least three years you may not see the gains we can achieve because the Montessori approach is based on a 3-year cycle of learning. 

Is Montessori right for my child and my family?

Here are some questions to ask yourself.  If you answer NO to most of these, Montessori may not be right for your child:
  • Is your child a hands-on learner?
  • Is your child highly self-motivated?
  • If he/she isn’t self-motivated, are you willing to make learning to be self-motivated a priority for possibly several months?
  • Does your child respond better to one-on-one/small group instruction (as opposed to whole-class instruction)?
  • Are you interested in having your child work together with other students (who may be their peer, one year older or one year younger)? 
  • Do you prefer a teacher who will work with you and find ways to adapt to the needs of your child?
  • Are you open to scientific explanations about the origins of the universe and the development of life being presented to your children (i.e. Big Bang, evolution)?  
  • Is a very small amount of homework something you are OK with?
  • Can you support your child even if he/she chooses take a break from school work occasionally? (Our teachers provide plenty of work for students and encourage them to stay on task; occasionally students do not feel well, are tired, or just can't concentrate and need a break.  We allow for that.) 
  • Are you OK with your child working where he/she chooses (i.e. at a table, on the floor, standing up)?
  • Are you OK with narrative reports about your child's progress (as opposed to letter grades) in 1st through 4th grade?
  • Do you have the patience to wait 3 years to see your child gain full mastery of academic skills? (Our school uses regular parent teacher conferences, weekly updates, observations, STAR, Spelling, ISAT and IRI test scores to provide updates along the way.)
  • Are you comfortable placing your child in an environment free of commercialism and where socio-economic differences are inconspicuous.
  • Do you prefer that your children gain an internal love of learning (as opposed to outside influences such as verbal praise, rewards, stickers, grades, etc.)
  • Does your child work best when he/she can move at his/her own pace (as opposed to the pace of the whole class)?
  • Are you familiar with the Montessori approach to learning?
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