The 2021 school year has begun and the Noozhawk Private and Independent Schools Guide will definitely make things easier when planning your child’s education! Our school guide provides you and your child with all the information you need about private schools in Santa Barbara County.
To give parents the tools to make informed decisions about the best-suited school for their children in Santa Barbara, Noozhawk conducted a series of interviews with representatives from local private and independent schools for the School Guide to This year.
In this interview, Noozhawk spoke with Lisa De Beule, Director of Marketing and Communications at Montessori Center School to find out more about what they offer at their school.
Montessori Center School
Question: What is the name of your school and what levels do you offer?
Reply: Montessori Center School. MCS is aimed at students aged 18 months to 6th grade.
Question: How is your school run or managed?
A: MCS is an independent, not-for-profit school governed by a board of directors. The day-to-day operations of the school are managed by our school principal. Please use the link below to learn more about the role of our Board of Directors.
Question: Are you offering in-person or online classes this school year?
A: The Montessori Center School currently offers on-site instruction, five days a week, for students aged 18 months through sixth grade.
Question: What program is available and taught at your school?
A: Montessori is a method of education based on the development plans identified by Maria Montessori. Each environment is designed to meet the particular ages of the students it serves, carefully prepared to inspire creativity, arouse interest and instill a love of learning.
A unique aspect of Montessori is the use of specially designed Montessori materials that offer a hands-on approach to learning. (photo of the Montessori Center school)
Students are offered choices of activities within the classroom structure that provide hands-on learning experiences, collaborative interaction with students, and lessons guided by Montessori-trained teachers.
Montessori has its own unique curriculum which is large and expansive, allowing teachers a wide range of lessons for all levels of learning. The program is individualized for each child.
Montessori classrooms incorporate the use of specialized teaching materials created or inspired by Maria Montessori. The materials are organized by their specific fields of study, including: Language, Mathematics, Practical Life, Sensory and Cultural (all sciences).
MCS aligns the Montessori curriculum with state standards every few years to ensure it covers all of the necessary areas of learning. The Montessori program deepens many subjects than the traditional program.
Question: Can you describe your student-teacher ratio?
A: Our student / teacher ratio at the pre-primary level (18 months-3 years) is 6: 1. Our elementary and primary classrooms have a 12: 1 student / teacher ratio.
Question: How does your school select / hire teachers and how does it invest in their continuing education?
A: As a Montessori school, we hire Montessori-trained teachers for our principal positions in our classrooms. We are looking for teachers who have experience working with children, an education appropriate for the level they are applying for, and an appreciation and understanding of the Montessori Method.
We sometimes sponsor the training of teachers that we deem suitable for our school and we also offer professional development opportunities such as Montessori lectures, workshops and webinars that would be useful for our staff. Recently, our staff participated in COVID-19 training as well as anti-bias training.
Question: What sports or extracurricular activities does your school offer?
A: MCS has an intramural soccer team for children in grades 4-6. This program is suspended for the moment due to COVID. Our extracurricular offerings vary each season and include athletic, arts and STEAM-based programs. At the moment, our sports and extracurricular activities are suspended due to COVID.
Question: Describe how your school measures student progress.
A: We use several tools to measure the progress of our students throughout the year. Montessori philosophy strongly believes in consistent observation of the student. Our teachers observe students daily, taking into account academic progress, autonomy, pace, quality of work and motivation.
We also use DIBELS reading and math benchmarks which we administer 3x / year to identify students who may need additional support.
For students in grade three and up, we use the Terra Nova standardized test every year. Anyone in our community can refer a student to our Student Support Services for additional resources and assistance if needed.
We have an on-site learning specialist who works with many of our students to provide additional support and intervention. We host parent conferences twice a year and hold additional meetings as needed. Conference reports are generated twice a year for elementary school students and once a year for our preschool students.
Question: How does your school meet special education needs?
A: The Montessori Method uses a flexible, open and child-centered curriculum that is well suited to children with varying levels of ability. Montessori teachers are trained observers who individualize and modify their teaching for all students.
MCS’s Student Support Services program provides the infrastructure to support students with learning differences and ensures that diverse learning needs are met within the classroom.
Our Director of Student Support Services facilitates the identification, assessment and management of student cases and coordinates communication between parents, teachers and external service providers.
When learning issues or high potential learners are identified, the team creates a plan to work with parents and external service providers to determine strategies, interventions and accommodations to better meet the needs of the student. ‘student.
Question: What opportunities do you offer for parental involvement?
A: MCS has a strong community of parents and is proud of the families who play an active role in the education of their children.
MCS has a dynamic parent group called MPO (Montessori Parent Organization). DFO’s goal is to foster and celebrate a strong sense of community while advancing the MCS mission.
Our MPO offers a variety of ways for members to participate in school life in a meaningful way and to donate their time and talents to the MCS community. Coordinated by a group of parents, DFO’s mission is to provide educational opportunities for parents, support new families and support various school activities by coordinating volunteers.
During COVID, we are unable to provide in-person volunteer opportunities for parents on campus, but we do provide virtual means for parents to support our classrooms.
MCS has a long history of generosity and giving through fundraising opportunities. This year, due to COVID restrictions, we are thinking out of the box and planning virtual events.
Each class has a volunteer class representative who helps organize art projects and baskets for our main fundraising event, which is usually an auction gala. With the help of our parents, we are planning creative ways to continue to fundraise for our wonderful school.
Question: What is the cost of tuition to attend your school?
A: Montessori Center School 2021-2022 tuition fees range from $ 13,310 to $ 20,410 per year. This covers the ten-month school year. Tuition fees depend on the level of the program. Please find below a link to our tuition fees on our website.
Question: Do you offer scholarships, and if so, what are the criteria for applying?
A: MCS has a financial aid program. For more information on the financial aid process, please visit the link below.
Click here for more information on Montessori Center School.