The riches of our school are in ideas and the more input of original, constructive ideas, the more our children benefit. So we always welcome parents’ comments, suggestions for improvement and input on new activities or ways to further enhance what we do. Parents are actively involved in field trips, making materials, phoning, helping to clean the classroom shelves, and most important, contributing their skills on Clubs Day. Some parents are responsible for greater areas of responsibility, such as organizing fundraising, or making special connections (for which they are particularly qualified) with others who could contribute to our school. Because of the special training necessary to guide children in a Montessori classroom, and because of the need to protect the tranquil atmosphere and opportunity for the children to concentrate, we do not normally have parents enter the classroom.
In about February each year, parents have the opportunity to sit silently and observe their children in a classroom, or to observe other classes in which they are interested. We do ask that if parents have concerns or suggestions for improvement, they bring them to us before discussing them with other parents. Procedure is outlined in the parent handbook, which you receive on registration or the first day your child attends, and which is also available on this website. We have two scheduled interview times with all parents, the first in November, the second usually in April. However, parents are welcome at any time to arrange an interview with a teacher or the Principal – we love to talk to you!
Note that our mission statement begins with the words: “to create a community”. Our aim is for parents to be part of a community that is rare in our current society, rare, yet powerful to affect the changes we wish to see in the world. The strength of this community comes from each individual’s recognition that his or her own thought contributes to the collective whole, that our experience and that of our children is determined, not by outward circumstances, but by our own thought, and that each therefore has the responsibility to maintain a positive attitude and energy, and to counter any suggestions that could infiltrate the whole with criticism, fear and anxiety, or gloom. Each of us is on a unique consciousness journey, each seeking various means of support, and our individual progress benefits not only the school but every area of our lives. We invite parents to share support that has helped them on their journey. This support may have come through acquaintance with other great thinkers who have proved themselves influences for enlightenment. These leaders can be ancient or modern, well-known or not, considered religious, sociological, psychiatric, philosophic or just plain humanitarian – or all of the above! Examples in my own experience include Maria Montessori, Aline Wolf, Wayne Dyer, Eckart Tolle, Biblical leaders such as Moses or Jesus, Barbara Kingsolver, Barbara Marx Hubbard, Mary Baker Eddy, Gary Zukav, Margaret Wheatley, David Suzuki, Margaret Mead, Rachel Carson. Parents are invited to share their own sources of inspiration, so that others who choose to do so may benefit.
We also aim for the greatest consistency possible between home and school, through bi-monthly parent education meetings, intended to familiarize parents with one or two aspects of what is happening in the classroom. Occasional “parent morning chats” are set up with the Principal or Vice-Principal to give the opportunity for discussion as parents wish. We strongly encourage every parent to read Trevor Eissler’s Montessori Madness, Aline Wolf’s Nurturing Spirituality in the Non-Sectarian Classroom, Free-Range Kids by Lenore Skenazy and Richard Louv’s Last Child in the Woods. There are many other recommended books available for loan in our parent library or for sale at the office.
All-in-all, we wish to capitalize on the strengths of everyone in our community for the benefit of our wonderful children!
Never doubt that a small group of committed citizens can change the world.
Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.
– Margaret Mead