General School Information
The purpose of school rules is to aid in the development of respect for others. The rules are as follows:
- All children and adults must be kind in all ways.
- We respect the right of others to work undisturbed.
The teacher will discuss any problems with the child and attempt to correct the behavior in class. If the problem is persistent, the parents will be contacted for a conference. If there is a serious question of whether or not the child can function happily in the school, a limited probationary period will be set to work through the problem. At the end of the probationary period (one to four weeks), the parents and teacher will hold a conference to decide what action would best meet the needs of the child.
Dr. Maria Montessori found that if children are productively engaged in purposeful goals, discipline problems are minimal. Our staff does not use corporal punishment or other intimidating means of discipline. We attempt to use natural and logical consequences to support the children in maintaining the classroom ground rules. We offer them choices with the expectation that they will choose appropriately.
It is our intention that our children never be humiliated or ridiculed in any way. If there is a serious behavior problem, the family will be contacted for a conference. In addition, the staff of Aldea Montessori has been trained in the use of the Nurtured Heart Approach to classroom relationships, which promotes positive behaviors through recognition of following the rules and demonstrating good citizenship in all its many forms. The staff will offer training for parents so that parents can continue using positive reinforcement and promotion of the qualities essential to being a productive member of our society.
Student Behavior and General Conduct (at the school and all school functions)
At all times students are expected and encouraged to be safe, responsible, and respectful towards all visitors and members of the school community. The school’s discipline policy is at all times intended to cultivate a positive atmosphere in which quality education and productive learning can take place. Good behavior makes our school a safe and pleasant place for everyone, as well as an environment conducive to learning. Whether in class, on a playground, at lunch, or on the way to and from school, ALL students are expected to:
- Be courteous and respectful to others, their personal space, and property
- Conduct themselves in a reasonable and cooperative manner
- Recognize the authority of the teacher and other staff members
- Use proper language
- Exhibit self-control in settling differences of opinion
- Be punctual and have good attendance
- Complete works to the best of their ability
- Follow all school rules
- Act in an non-aggressive manner
- Use playground equipment appropriately
- Not throw any objects that can injure another
- Walk when on sidewalks and in the buildings
- Leave electronic toys and equipment at home
- Be honest
Car Seats are required by State of Arizona law and the Aldea staff cannot release a child into a car without appropriate safety restraints. We are required to report intentional disregard for this law, so please make arrangements to have an appropriate car seat available for your child.
If you will be leaving your child’s car seat for another caregiver to use, please leave written instructions and a description of the car seat on the form located with the sign in/out sheets. In an emergency, Aldea has a car seat available for loan. This car seat must be returned the next school day.
Lost and Found
Lost and found items can be found within carpool. Please put your child’s name on everything that belongs to him/her. Items not recovered from the lost and found will be donated to a charitable organization at the end of each month. The school does not accept any responsibility for lost items.
All visitors must check in at the office. Anyone, other than the parent, that comes on campus to visit an enrolled child must have parental permission on file with the school.
Alcohol, Drugs and Tobacco
The Aldea Montessori campus is an alcohol, drug and tobacco free environment. By State Law there can being no smoking on our property and alcohol cannot be served if the children are present.
Aldea is a nut-free environment; Please do not send any nuts or nut butter in your child’s lunch. Aldea is happy to provide a list of nut-free lunch ideas.
Living in Arizona means our bodies need a lot of water! There are purified water coolers available and accessible both inside and outside, and the children may help themselves at any time of day. We encourage regular drinking of water. Please do not send “sippy cups” or bottles from home.
Tuition payments are due on or before the first of the month. A $40 late fee will be assessed on the 6th of the month. Tuition may be paid by check, cash, or automatic withdrawal. The white mailbox next to the right of the Primary gate is for incoming payments.
All students are given an Aldea t-shirt when they start school. To show school spirit, we all wear our t-shirt on Fridays.
Drop In Care
Aftercare is available on a drop-in basis, which means you may leave your child for an extended period while you attend a doctor’s appointment, attend a meeting, etc. However, we must maintain State mandated teacher to child ratios, so it is imperative that you call us so we can determine if we have room on a particular day. You should call the office or send an e-mail no later than 24 hours prior to the day your child will stay, if at all possible. Since the children’s safety is important to all of us, we know you will be understanding if we cannot accommodate you on a particular day.
Phone Calls to School
For ordinary school questions and concerns, please call the main number, 602-485-0276. If not answered, leave a message and we will respond as soon as possible or after class.
Parent-Teacher Conferences take place in the Fall and Spring. Please refer to the school calendar for the scheduled dates.
The school day starts at 8:45 a.m. for the Toddler House and 8:30 a.m. for the Casas. A student is considered late if he/she is not signed in at the start of the school day.
The state of Arizona immunization law requires all students to have an immunization records on file for school attendance. If your child is exempt from immunizations, he/she must have a signed exemption on file. These forms can be found in the school office.
Our school is staffed to work with groups of children while giving attention to all. However, ill children require one-to-one care that would be impossible in this setting. If your child shows symptoms of illness, please keep your child home for the day. Once at school, if it is determined that your child cannot participate in the normal routine, he/she will be isolated and made as comfortable as possible until you or another adult listed on your emergency form arrives. We request that the child be dismissed from the school within one hour of notification.
Arrival and Departure
Toddlers: Unless otherwise scheduled, toddlers arrive between 8:30 and 8:45 a.m. at the gate leading directly to the toddler play area. Parent park and walk their child in through the first gate and sign the child in for the day. Toddler dismissal is from 11:45a.m. until 12 noon, unless otherwise scheduled. Again, parents should come in through the gate and the teacher will bring your child to you.
Primary: Primary student drop off is between 8:15 and 8:30 a.m. Class begins at 8:30. Please pull your vehicle around the carpool circle and a staff member will greet your child and walk to the side gate. Carpool pickup is between 12 noon and 12:15 p.m. or from 3:00 to 3:15 p.m., depending on which program your child attends. Departure after 3:15 requires the parent to come to the gate, ring the bell and a wait for a staff member to let you in.
Volunteering at the School is by far the best way to teach your child the importance of sharing our time as well as our wealth. This is also a perfect way to show your child how important his/her schooling is to you. With this in mind, Aldea Montessori expects every family to give 15 hours of volunteer time during the school year. Parents are expected to keep track of volunteer hours by signing in the Volunteer Log in the office.
The Toddler House
Aldea Montessori supplies morning snacks for your toddler. However, a parent may bring in uncommon fruit or vegetables for the children to experience- such as kiwi, papaya, star fruit, etc. The toddlers love bringing in something to share with their friends. Aldea is a nut-free environment and many of the children have food allergies, so please avoid pre-packaged foods. If your child has a food allergy, please feel free to send appropriate snacks for your child to consume.
Toys / Misc. Items
Please do not send toys to school with your child. We do welcome any items that relate to nature or science. “Sippy cups” and pacifiers are not permitted.
Toddler clothing should be simple and appropriate – please no belts, snaps, buttons or zippered pants/shorts. Clothing may get soiled and frequently stained. Toddlers get dirty! Sneakers or flexible shoes are preferred. Sandals are discouraged because of the small rocks in the play area. We do not allow children to play on the playground with flip flops, plastic shoes, high heels or rain boots because this is too dangerous. All toddlers need an extra set of clothing including shorts/pants/skirt, shirts, socks and many pairs of underwear, if toilet- trained. Children not toilet-trained will need diapers (24 pack) and wipes in a flexible package (not a box). These items need to be brought to school the first day. If a child has a bathroom accident or gets wet outside and has no extra clothing, the parent may be called to come pick up the child or to bring some clothes.
Primary Program – “The Casa”
World Cultural Studies
Almost every month the Casa classes study a new country. We research the people, their culture, their history, their environment, and their celebrations. Twice a year we have two large celebrations of a culture and all parents are invited to attend with their child. This is a very special time to share with your son or daughter. We hope each of you will plan to attend. Please see the school calendar for these dates.
Because we believe that the celebration of holidays is a personal choice made by families, we do not officially celebrate any holidays. There are no Halloween or Valentine’s Day parties. We do not have a Christmas party. We do acknowledge these holidays with appropriate crafts.
However, celebrations of this type DO represent certain cultures and we treat them as such. For example, during December, we study holidays around the world. What do people in Germany or Mexico or Israel or Russia celebrate? How does this celebration represent the people? If your native country celebrates in a particular way, we would welcome your ideas on how to share this with the children.
Clothing should be simple and appropriate – no belts, snaps, buttons, or zippered pants/shorts – as if they were toilet training. All articles should be clearly marked with your child’s name and should not interfere with his enjoyment of school and playground (climbing, etc.) activities. Remember, we work on the floor a good bit of the time! If your daughter chooses to wear a dress or skirt, have her also wear shorts underneath. Flexible shoes are recommended. No boots, crocs or flip-flops are allowed. High-heeled shoes are also NOT allowed. We do not allow children to play on the playground with flip flops, plastic shoes, high heels or rain boots because they are too dangerous. Jewelry is discouraged as it can be very distracting.
All children keep a complete change of clothing at school. These arrive on the first day of school with the child. Because articles of clothing look alike and the teachers don’t know what clothing belongs to each child, each article of clothing must be labeled with your child’s name. Please include underwear, socks, dress, pants or shorts and a shirt. Should your child need to use the clothes, the soiled ones will be sent home in a labeled plastic bag. Please send a fresh set the following day.
Birthdays are a special time in a Montessori classroom. We celebrate your child’s journey around the sun and all the many milestones of each year in that journey. Please call or stop by the office to schedule your child’s celebration prior to your child’s birthday. One celebration per classroom per day can be accommodated. At least one parent should plan on attending this celebration which is approximately 10 minutes. We ask that you arrive at the office no later than 11:25 a.m. on your scheduled day.
On that day, we ask that you send a collection of pictures, one representing each year of your child’s life (birth, one, two, three, etc.). Either on the back of the pictures or on a separate sheet of paper, note your child’s age in the picture and describe the events of that year in one or two sentences (what his interests were then, where she visited, etc.).
We do not allow FOOD TREATS (due to food allergies) or other individual gifts (as these take the emphasis off your child’s special day and instead place the emphasis on what’s in it for everyone else).
Articles from Home
Please do not send “sippy cups” or toys to school with your child. If brought, these items will be placed directly into the child’s take-home cubby.
The nature of Montessori work creates an environment with little outward to show for a child’s effort. Most of the materials are hands-on manipulatives that do not result in a visible product: the Pink Tower, the Sandpaper Letters, the Golden Beads or Bead Chains. When children do create a product, such as art work, reports, maps, booklets, etc., we encourage them to select only their best work to take home.
All children bring their work home weekly. We will provide a work bag for this. Please return the work bag for the next week.
We encourage you to take the time to go through this work with your child. Ask leading questions, such as, “Tell me about this…” or “Which one of these is your favorite? Why?” Try to refrain from praising every piece – rather provide your child with sincere, truthful comments, such as, “You used a lot of orange in this picture” or “I can see that you spent a lot of time on this.”
Fruits, Vegetables and Flowers
Fruits and vegetables are cut by the children and served to their classmates during the morning as part of their work. They also arrange flowers for the classroom. These are two of the children’s favorite practical life exercises. Therefore, we ask each parent to send fruits or flowers once per semester. A schedule will be sent home during the first week of school. It is a rotating schedule, and families will be listed 2 or 3 times per year.
Morning and Afternoon Snack
Aldea Montessori supplies morning snacks for your child. We limit the variety of these snacks to help the children determine when they are hungry and when they are just intrigued by the new food. Snacks usually include a fruit or vegetable and some type of crackers. If your child has food allergies, please feel free to send a separate snack for your child to eat.
Children who stay past three o’clock in the afternoon will have a second snack. We try to vary these snacks to provide nutritious and energy-sustaining foods.
We set the tables for lunch as if we are a family preparing for a meal with plates, silverware, glasses and tablecloths. All items are provided by the school – please do not bring plastic silverware or napkins or cups in your child’s lunchbox.
Aldea is a nut-free environment; therefore do not send nuts or nut butter in your child’s lunch box.
Refrigeration is provided and a microwave oven is available for reheating food for less than one minute. We do not have the facilities or the manpower to cook lunches from scratch. Please avoid prepackaged lunches, if possible. These products are high in fat, calories and sodium and limit the choices the child has for selecting his own food. Please do not send sugary treats and beverages. These make it difficult for the children to settle into either a restful nap or afternoon work.
Primary children who stay all day and are still napping will be provided a rest mat, sheet and blanket for their use. The sheet and blanket go home every week to be washed. Children are free to bring a “lovey” or security item to cuddle during nap time, though “treasured” items should be kept home due to the risk of damage or loss.