Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How many students are enrolled at JMS?

JMS is licensed for 60 children. Currently, we tend sustain an average enrollment of 52 children ages 15 months to 7 years of age.

Q. Is there space available?

JMS has an active waitlist that is updated on a regular basis. We enroll students year round and dependent on current classroom openings.

JMS admits students and administers school policy without regard to race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, religion, economic status, physical handicap, marital status, sexual orientation, or age. Preference will be given to children who are siblings of enrolled or previously enrolled children, and children who have other Montessori experience.

To be admitted into the Toddler Program, a child must be 15 months old and walking independently.

To be admitted to the Primary Program, a child must be toilet trained and at least 3 years of age. Enrollment in this program is a three-year (and in some cases even four-year) commitment as one year’s work builds upon the next in the classroom. Children complete their kindergarten year in our program allowing the children to develop their leadership skills, and fully complete their first stage of development. The three year program and age span encourages beneficial social interaction and allows children to develop their skills year by year in the same environment.

Q. Does JMS Offer Kindergarten?

Yes. JMS offers a Kindergarten year. Our school has space for children ages 15 months to 7 years of age. Additionally, Children remain in the same classroom with the same teaching staff for three to four consecutive years. The adults in the class, the children, and their parents develop strong, trusting relationships. The children are respected and their social, intellectual, and physical development is fostered through consistency in their surroundings. The work advances through the years in direct relation to their progress, which is driven by their sensitive periods and cycles of inner growth. The development of the whole child is fostered through the Montessori environment and the adults working with the children.

Q. Is there an after school care program at JMS?

Yes. The school day is from 8:00am to 3:30pm. Aftercare begins at 3:30pm and is a structured program offering time outside and engaging free play.

JMS is open from 7:30am to 5:30pm Monday-Friday. If you need before or after care you can schedule it ahead of time and at a charge of 9.00hr.

Q. How many students are typically in a Montessori class?

Montessori toddler classrooms have an average enrollment of 12 children. The teacher/student ratio is 1:6 kids.

In our primary classrooms we value lessons learned from a larger community and there may be anywhere between 20 and 30 kids ages 3 to 7 year olds. The older students act as role models to the younger students.

Q. Are Montessori schools expensive?

JMS is a private non-profit school overseen by a Board of Directors and every family is a member shareholder in our organization. JMS sets the tuition annually and in addition receives funding from various outside resources.

JMS participates in a variety of state funding programs and our school offers a financial aid scholarship program.

Q. What is the difference between Montessori and traditional education?

Montessori is a different approach to conventional education. Montessori children learn at their own pace and using various activities within the classroom environment. Children learn through four main areas, practical life, sensorial, language and math. Cultural outreach is provided thru Learning is an exciting process of discovery, leading to concentration, motivation, self-discipline, and a love of learning. Montessori classes place children in three-year age groups (3-6, 6-9, 9-12, and so on), forming communities in which the older children spontaneously share their knowledge with the younger ones. Montessori represents an entirely different approach to education.

Q. Who accredits or oversees Montessori schools?

Currently, there are two well-known organizations certifying Montessori programs, these are the American Montessori Society (AMS) and the Association Montessori International (AMI). JMS is s certified by the AMI.

In addition, JMS is a State of Alaska Licensed Childcare Facility.

Q. What special training do Montessori teachers have?

Montessori Lead Guides have a bachelor’s degree and have completed the Montessori Certification training. The training ranges from 200 to 600 hours in the classroom as well as a yearlong internship.

Q. ls Montessori right for my child?

Montessori Educators argue that a Montessori education is a good program for most children but maybe not a good fit for their parents. It’s the family perspective and what each family deems important to their child and their education. Montessori is designed to be flexible, adapting the program to meet the needs of each child.

If you believe the following then Montessori may be right for you:

Do you believe children should be encouraged to be independent, self-confident and self-disciplined?

Do you believe that children learn by modeling correct behavior and showing kids how to do things correctly? Do you believe that mistakes are learning opportunities?

Q. In the classroom environment I hear children calling their lessons “work”?  Do children have fun?

Classroom “work” is spent on lessons that children have choice to decide what “work” they will complete. The lessons are purposeful and engaging. There are many options for each child’s interests and abilities. Maria Montessori said “Play is the work of the child.”

Q. Why are the primary classrooms referred to as “The Children’s House?”

Maria Montessori’s first school in Rome was named the “Casa dei Bambini”, or the “Children’s House”.   The school was designed for children ages 3 to 6 year olds with child sized materials and furniture. In all Montessori programs, primary classrooms are referred to as Children’s House classrooms.