Frequently Asked Questions
About Admissions to Arkansas River Valley Montessori

The admission process usually starts with questions—lots of them. In addition to the answers you'll find here, we encourage you to contact us and to schedule a visit to Arkansas River Valley Montessori.

Is there space available?
There are limited openings in some classrooms. Please contact the school to find out the current status.

Do you have a waiting list? How long is it?
We generally have a wait pool of applicants for our Primary classroom. As children move up into elementary level, those spaces become available. Applicants are chosen from that wait pool using factors such as whether the child is a sibling, the number of Montessori Parent Nights attended (see our Calendar for dates and times), and age and gender of the applicant.

May I come and visit?
We will welcome visitors, beginning after Labor Day. Please contact the school to schedule a school tour. As part of our admissions process, we require that parents also schedule a time to observe in the classroom for an hour during the morning work period. You will need to contact us to make an appointment for this.

What is the tuition cost?
See our tuition page for the most current tuition and fees.

How many new students do you accept?
This number varies, and depends upon how many students transition from each level at the end of the school year.

Is this a year-round program?
No. However, we do offer a summer program for ages 3-9 at an additional cost.

Can my child come three days a week?
No; we only offer a five-day program. Children under age four have the option of leaving at 12:30.

What is the daily schedule?
Call for a tour of Arkansas River Valley Montessori and also attend a Montessori Parent Night (see our Calendar for dates and times); you will get a better idea of schedules at that time. Generally, however, each morning features a work period of 3 hours after the children arrive. When it is time (around 11:15), they meet as a group, eat lunch, and nap if they are younger than 4 years old. The older children continue with about a two-hour work schedule in the afternoon. Elementary-AC students go off campus to specialists once weekly in the afternoon for physical education such as swimming, tennis, fitness, gymnastics. All ages participate in an extensive music program featuring Orff instruments once weekly in the afternoon. Art instruction is formally brought into the classrooms once weekly in the afternoon for those 4 years and older.

Do you have a kindergarten program?
Not in the traditional sense. The Primary level is for children ages 3-6; the last year of Primary serves students of the same age as a traditional kindergarten class.

At what age do you recommend starting a child in Montessori?
There is a critical window of time for a child to enter this community. Enrollment in Primary occurs between the ages of 2½ and 3, when the child is fairly independent in toileting needs. We consider applicants at all levels, however.

Does Montessori education work well for all children?
We hope that it is a good fit, but each child is evaluated individually. The Montessori method focuses on providing each student with a structured environment within which children are encouraged to satisfy their natural inclination to learn and to discover through intensive periods of work and purposeful activity. We have found that Montessori education works best when the practices and habits of the classroom are valued, modeled, and reinforced at home, as well.

Are meals included?
No. We do offer students a catered hot lunch program, hand-prepared and delivered by one of the city's most highly acclaimed chefs - Paul Novicky. Students may also choose to bring their own lunch. Milk may also be purchased.

Do ARVM students wear uniforms?
Yes; the parent handbook includes guidelines for dress code and "free dress" days.

What is the average tenure of your teachers?
Since ARVM opened in 2003, tenure for Primary teachers has been from 6 - 7 years. In Elementary and the Adolescent Community teacher tenure ranges from 1 to 5 years.