Admission Process

Admission Process

Admissions Process

Thank you for your interest in Montessori School of Westminster! We would love the opportunity to show you our beautiful grounds, stimulating classrooms and Montessori method of teaching.

Interested parents are invited to visit the Montessori School of Westminster.  It is very important to us that you, as a parent, visit the school prior to filling out an Application for Enrollment for your child.  Our preferred visit for you is called a "classroom observation";  it provides a time for you to visit one of our classrooms to see the typical activities of our students as they go about their daily work.  The classroom observation is a required step in our admissions process and will help you determine if the Montessori School of Westminster is a good match for your child and your family. To learn more about admission to the Montessori School of Westminster or to schedule your classroom observation, please contact the Office of Admissions at 410-848-6283 or via email to Radcliffe@TheMSW.org.  Our Open House schedule and online registration are available here: Open House form.

 

 

 

The Montessori School of Westminster
ADMISSIONS PROCESS
Overview for Prospective Families 

 

Beginnings
Ages 2-3

 

Primary
Ages 3-5

 

Lower & Upper Elementary
Ages 6-11

 

Middle School
Ages 12-14

1

Submit Application for Enrollment

 

Middle School enrollment is limited to those students
with sufficient experience in a
Montessori environment.

Please contact the Office of Admissions
for additional information.
410.848.6283
or via email to
Radcliffe@TheMSW.org

2

School Year – Schedule Observation in Classroom
(if you have not already done so);
Summer Months – Schedule Building Visit
& Information Session

 

3

Schedule
Parent & Child

Classroom Visit

3

Schedule
Parent & Child Classroom Visit

3

School Year – Child Shadow Day at MSW;
Summer Months – Parent & Child Classroom Visit

 

 

 

4

For age 5 by Sept. 1 - Morning (1/2 day) "Shadow" Visit & Assessment by School Search Group

4

Assessment by
School Search Group

 

 

 

 

 

5

School records
ordered from child’s most recent school

 

Final Decision by MSW – Advisory letter issued after Open Enrollment begins on March 1st.

 

CRITERIA FOR ADMISSIONS
All Programs - What Families Need to Know 

                  Application for Enrollment - The process of enrollment is predicated upon the receipt of an Application for Enrollment to MSW along with the payment of the applicable fee.

                  Emergency Cards – For the safety of the student, careful records are maintained to determine who can pick up students from the school.  This information must be provided to the school by the enrolling family. 

                  Financial Packet – Families who submit an Application for Enrollment will receive from our Office of Finance a financial packet detailing payment plans and other necessary information about ways to streamline the tuition payment process. 

                  Health Evaluation – Any and all conditions which affect the child must be disclosed to the Montessori School of Westminster as requested on the Application for Enrollment.  All enrolling families must complete and return to our offices a series of state-mandated forms designed to evaluate the health of the child.  Additionally, the vaccination record is requested.  The enrolling child’s doctor must complete the child’s medical record for return to our offices. 

                           Information Packet – Families considering enrollment for their child at the Montessori School of Westminster should request its formal packet of information regarding the school, its programs and practices.  In addition to our current Tuition Rate Sheet, the packet contains the Application for Enrollment.  The packet is available in hard copy format for mailing to the homes of potential students or in digital form for emailing.  To request this packet, please send your email with your contact information to our Office of Admissions or call 410.848.6283 -X104. 

                  Kindergarten - At MSW, the kindergarten requirement is fulfilled by students participating in our Primary program for children of ages three through the kindergarten level.  Because the Montessori curriculum is predicated on multi-age classrooms and, for the most part, three year phases, the most beneficial application of this form of education includes your child's attendance from age three in this level.  For most students who are age five by September 1st of the school year, they are considered kindergarten-aged students at the Montessori School of Westminster; however, students are evaluated individually in regards to promotion to the next level in our school, the Lower Elementary level.  Students in the Primary program for their kindergarten year are required to attend MSW for a full day from 8:30 AM until 3 PM.

                  Montessori Transfers – Students transferring from another Montessori school are given preferential consideration when applying to the Montessori School of Westminster. 

                  Observations – In addition to providing useful insights to prospective families, observations provide information about a child’s progress to current families of enrolled students.  Observations are required for families seeking admission to the school and recommended throughout all program levels at the Montessori School of Westminster.  An observation can be scheduled by contacting our Administrative offices at 410.848.6283.  The observation process for a family includes time spent watching the typical activities of your child’s work period, normally during morning hours, followed by a one-on-one opportunity to speak directly with your child’s Montessori guide. 

                  Open Enrollment - March 1st – The Montessori School of Westminster accepts Applications for Enrollment throughout the year for the subsequent academic year and the current academic year, if space is available (see Rolling Enrollment & Current Year Admissions, below).  Applications from students new to our school are dated and grouped into a wait pool considered each year after the date noted for open enrollment – March 1st.  Applicants will receive written notification from MSW after March 1st as to their acceptance to the school for the following academic year.  If insufficient space exists in our programs to accommodate the number of applications received, the applicants will be so advised and given the opportunity to remain on a wait list for possible placement.  Applications for Enrollment from new students are considered after those of returning students, sibling, and the children of staff members. 

                            Parent & Child Visit - Sometimes, we have not met a child whose parents have submitted to MSW an Application for Enrollment.  This normally occurs for our youngest students who are not required to participate in a "shadow" visit.  As part of our admissions process, we ask one or two parents to escort the child to MSW for a very short, pre-arranged visit in a classroom with one or more members of our adminstrative team such as the Head of School and the Director of Admissions plus a faculty member.  This short visit has two purposes:  It allows us to meet a child we haven't previously met before we finalize admissions decisions, and it allows us to speak with parents about their expectations for enrollment and ours.  Our expectations for the child are completely age-appropriate.  We watch to see how the child reacts to the prepared classroom at a time when no other students are present in it.  This visit can be scheduled after the Application for Enrollment is submitted to the school.

                  Parent Handbook – The MSW Parent Handbook is a valuable resource for all families who have applied to the Montessori School of Westminster, and review thereof, is required for admission to the school.  It contains policy and procedural statements, general school information, and faculty and staff biographical data and contact information.

                  Parent Volunteer Commitment – The Montessori School of Westminster is a non-profit school.  Because the cost of operation is considerably more than is collected in tuition, all families are required to either pledge to serve thirty (30) hours of Parent Volunteer Commitment time per year or pay a $450 PVC fee.  The PVC commitment is prorated for midyear enrollees. 

                  Parent participation is integral to the functioning of the Montessori School of Westminster.  Without it, the school would lose its sense of community, and tuition would increase dramatically.  Every moment parents spend participating makes our school stronger for the student.  All jobs parents do are jobs we would otherwise pay someone to do, thus spending thousands of additional dollars. 

                  PVC work is defined as those projects that the Montessori School of Westminster staff requests.  The PVC administrator keeps track of PVC hours by PVC report forms.  Families use the honor system to report PVC hours.

                  Materials used in PVC projects can be dealt with in one of two ways:  Families can fill out an expense request to be reimbursed for money spent; or, families can report PVC hours at the ratio of one PVC hour for every $15 spent.  Other materials donated to the school are still viewed as donations (e.g., books donated to the school are a donation, not a PVC project).  Projects and expenses must be approved in advance by MSW staff members.

                  We understand families are very busy and may not be able to commit additional time to volunteer work, which is why we also have the PVC fee option available.

                  Your decision regarding your PVC commitment will be made a part of your Tuition Payment Agreement (TPA), your contract for payment to the Montessori School of Westminster. 

                  Parent Education & Participation – Parent education is a hallmark of an MSW education.  Understanding the principles of the Montessori philosophy and its use in our classrooms are key to the successful partnership between the school and its parent community.  In order to meet these goals, a number of parent education events are scheduled throughout the year.  Your attendance at these and other extra-curricular events is expected.  To ensure you receive notice of school events, families must commit to good communication practices with the school.  This includes a careful reading of email notices via our MSW Updates; attention to the articles, roster updates, and other information in the monthly bulletin entitled “The Innovator”; and, prompt replies to all letters, forms, and notes in your child’s weekly blue bag or any other communications from the classroom.  Additionally, it is critical to the effective operation of the school that family members be mindful of response dates and RSVP requests from the Administrative offices and classrooms. 

                  Rolling Enrollment & Current Year Admissions – Applications for current enrollment are accepted year-round.  If space exists in the appropriate program for the prospective student, and all requirements for enrollment are fulfilled, the student will be considered for immediate admission to MSW.  Children who reach age two are eligible for admission to our Beginnings program upon the date of the second birthday—they do not need to wait until the beginning of the next academic year.  Current year admissions to the Beginnings program are accepted through March 15th.  

  

Transitioning into the Montessori School of Westminster                                  

Families seeking enrollment to the Montessori School of Westminster for their children often wonder how a new child will acclimate to the school and its programs.  They worry about their little ones finding a comfortable fit in a new school environment.  MSW provides several strategies to make the move to a new school easier for children of all ages.

Home Visit
For all students new to a program, the Montessori School of Westminster has traditionally conducted a home visit shortly before the onset of each new school year.  Whether your child is a two-year-old or an Upper Elementary fifth grader, for example, the child’s guide (teacher) along with the program aide will spend a short time in your home visiting.  This visit is designed to begin building trust between your child and our school staff.  Additionally, it allows our faculty to see what is important to your child when in his or her home environment; children have selected a favorite toy or a pet to show to our staff members while they have been in the homes of students.  Your child’s witness of your receptive behavior during the home visit plays an important role in building trust as the new school year approaches.  

Visit to the Classroom
For children in our Beginnings and Primary programs, we schedule a visit for the child to his or her new classroom.  This, too, occurs shortly before school begins in the fall.  The new student and his or her parent are invited to MSW when no other children are present.  This allows the child time to investigate the classroom comfortably before the first day of school.  This visit also gives a parent a time to ask questions about the upcoming school year.

Shadow Visit to MSW
Candidates for enrollment who will be five on the first day of the new school year are asked to visit MSW for a "half-day" or morning "shadow" visit that is scheduled from the start of the school day at 8:30 AM to midday dismissal at 11:50 AM.  
For children who have reached the level of first grade and above, we invite the child to spend an entire school day with us.  Known as a “shadow day,” this visit gives a candidate for enrollment an opportunity to experience an MSW classroom.  A detailed explanation of a shadow day is available upon request.

MSW Summer Camp
Because the Montessori School of Westminster offers a summer camp program, many families of new students take advantage of the opportunity camp provides to accustom their child to the school.  Families can sign up for one or more weeks of camp for their child of ages between two and nine.  Summer camp allows the child to learn his or her way around our academic building, the Utz Field House, and our 27-acre campus; the child meets staff members; and, the child will make friends with children who will attend MSW with him or her in the fall.  Contact MSW for additional information about its summer camp program.

New Parent Orientation
During summer months, a new parent orientation and social time are conducted by the Office of Admissions.  This event allows new families to meet one another informally.  Staff members attending the orientation are happy to answer questions about the school. 

All School Night
Immediately before school begins in September, we host our annual “All School Night,” a traditional event during which the entire MSW parent community gathers.  After preliminary comments from our Head of School in the Utz Field House and the introduction of staff members, members of our Board of Trustees, and our administrative team, families visit their child’s classroom in our academic building with the program guide and aide for an overview of the year ahead.  It is a very exciting night for everyone as we prepare for a new school year!

Communication for Success!
Transitions occur throughout life, and we strive to make your child's move into our school a good one.
 The Montessori School of Westminster is a small, caring environment that seeks to provide the best possible start to a new year for all students.  Your concerns about your child are of interest to us, and we work diligently to give your child the environment for learning that is conducive to his or her success. We encourage families to communicate any concerns they may have to us so we can partner to serve the child’s best interests in education during their first days with us and beyond.   

Do you have questions about transitions into the Montessori School of Westminster?  Please call 410.848.6283 or email our Office of Admissions.