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Requirements for Consideration
Child's Age and Development
To be considered for admission, a child must be between the ages of three and fourteen years. The ideal time to begin Montessori education is three years. The child should be toilet trained and beyond the stage of oral exploration.
Parents interested in enrolling their child/children must first arrange an observation visit at the school. This visit should last at least one hour in order to get a feel for the rhythm of the classroom. Parents are invited and encouraged to stay even longer if they wish. ARVM requests that adults only attend this observation so that full attention is given to the class, as well as avoiding the difficulty that would be placed on a child who wants to eagerly join in but who has not been given any instruction in the method. You will be able to discuss your observations with the Academic Director.
The next step is to submit your application with the application fee, and an informal interview with the child and at least one parent will be scheduled with the teacher and Academic Director.
- Application - PDF
Elementary and middle school students may be asked to spend a day in the prospective classroom. A letter will be sent to the family with the school's recommendation for placement.
Priorities for Placement
At this point children will be admitted to Arkansas River Valley Montessori according to the following priorities:
- Open to All - Arkansas River Valley Montessori admits students of both sexes, of any race, color, ethnic origin or religion.
- Returning Students - Returning students will be given the opportunity to register before enrollment opens to the general public. Dates will be announced.
- Admission Guidelines
- First Priority - First priority will be given to families that are committed to the Montessori principles such as: 1) completing all three years needed for each level; 2) respect for the child’s self-chosen work and the quiet focused attention needed for the work; 3) freedom with limits – in the home, as well as at school; 4) respect for others, as well as self; 5) allowing the child to advance at his/her own pace without feeling pressure.
- Second Priority - Second priority is given to younger children. Eight year old children will be admitted before nine year old children, three year old children will be admitted before four your old children, etc. This priority recognizes that children who start young and remain through the complete cycle receive the greatest benefit.
- Third Priority - Third priority will be given to siblings of children enrolled in the school or children with previous Montessori experience.
- Scheduling Priority - In some cases, a limited number of spaces may be reserved to place full day students.
- Class balance exception - The school reserves the right to deviate from these priorities if it is necessary to achieve a more appropriate balance of ages in the classes.
- Probationary Period - All children and families admitted are considered to be on probation the first six weeks of class. In the event that a child proves to require more than a fair share of teacher/staff time and attention for any reason, the school reserves the right to dismiss that child. In such cases, a proportionate amount of tuition and fees may be refunded.
- Waiting List - In the event there is a waiting list, receipt of the completed application form and application fee will place the child’s name on the waiting list. When there is an opening, parents will be notified immediately. An informal interview with the child and at least one parent will be scheduled with the teacher and Academic Director. Elementary students may be asked to spend a day in the prospective classroom. Then a letter will be sent to the family with the school’s recommendation for placement.
- Acceptance - We request that each child come to the school to meet with his/her teacher before starting school. We call this visit orientation. In most cases, lessons will be given so the child can enter the classroom on the first day and “know some work.” We ask that a parent come to the orientation with a child younger than six or seven; this allows the child to become acquainted with the environment and the teacher before having to separate from a parent.
- Age for Kindergarten and First Grade - In compliance with state law, “No child shall be admitted to kindergarten unless he/she has attained the age of five years on or before September 15th of such school year. No child shall be admitted to first grade unless he/she has attained the age of six years on or before September 15th of such school year.”