Frequently Asked Questions
What is the ratio of Sunrise Montessori classes?
At Sunrise Montessori, you truly get what you pay for. We are proud to offer about 12:1 ratios or lower in our Primary classes, 8:1 or lower in our Pre-Primary classes, and about 5:1 ratios in our Toddler class.
How large is Sunrise Montessori?
Sunrise Montessori is composed of two small single-story houses that were renovated into classrooms. Each house is licensed for less than 80 children, which provides a more intimate environment for our families. We have three classrooms for our Full Day Primary students, one classroom for our Half Day Primary students, two classrooms for our Pre-Primary two year olds, and one for our Toddler one year olds. Each Primary and Pre-Primary class has a Lead Certified Montessori Teacher as well as an Assistant Teacher.
How often do your tuition rates change?
Our parents sign a contract before enrolling, which locks in their tuition rate for the entire school year. From early August to the end of June, the monthly tuition rate remains unchanged (July has weekly rates with no contract). If their child stays with us for the next school year, they will sign another contract, which may have a slight increase for the new year.
What is your staff retention like?
The preschool industry is known for low retention, but because we offer a rich and rewarding work environment for our staff (such as higher-than-norm wages, paid vacation and personal days, paid insurance, bonuses and more), we are proud to report that most of our Lead Teachers have been at Sunrise for years. Check out the Our Staff page for more details!
How often do the children get to play outside? What do you have set up for them to play with?
We are proud to offer two play areas for our students. One of them is covered with permanent roofing, which means no need for sunscreen during the hot months and the ability to play outside even when it's raining! In this play area, we have more dramatic play equipment, such as a sand box with toys, two large playhouses, caterpillar tunnel, basketball hoop, play kitchen, picnic table, chalk and balls, and even a sitting area to work with large geometric building blocks. Our uncovered side is covered with pebbles so that children can run freely and also climb on our play equipment, which includes several large plastic climbing dinosaurs, train tunnels, caterpillar tunnel, and a short slide as well as a sand box, balls, and dump trucks. Children play outside with their class. Please see our Activity Schedule link to the left to find out when the children play outside.
I'm looking for a school environment that's really clean.
At Sunrise Montessori, we sanitize twice a day, plus we have a professional cleaning company clean the entire school every school night. Sanitizing means we use bleach water or Lysol to kill bacteria and viruses. At the minimum, after lunch and at the end of the day, we clean the table tops, chairs, bathroom counters/toilets/flusher/faucets, door knobs, and much more. Please ask about it during your tour. We go far beyond State requirements. In fact, our school is so clean that our parents have remarked often how wonderful it is that their school is always sparkling and fresh-smelling. They also report how much less often their child becomes sick compared to their last preschool. Cleanliness is one of our top priorities.
When do you typically see openings?
When a family moves from the area or a student moves on to elementary school, new students are enrolled. That's why summertime and December/January are the times of year when we see the most movement, but we do have openings and enroll new students all year long.
All Primary classroom students at Sunrise Montessori must be toilet trained. What does this mean?
Only our Pre-Primary classroom is set up for children who are not yet toilet trained, therefore, our three Primary-aged classrooms are for toilet-trained students only. A toilet-trained child is one who wears underwear only and can both pee and poop in the toilet. Diapers and pull ups are prohibited in our Primary classrooms. A successfully toilet-trained child is able to push down and pull up his or her own shorts and underwear unassisted. Our teachers can assist children who need help with clothing (like with buttons) as well as with pottying (wiping) if needed. Occasional accidents are normal, but in general, should not happen daily. If your child needs encouragement to go to the bathroom, please let us know so we can ensure s/he is asked often. We want the focus at school to be on learning and working with the materials, so itís important that your child has been completely toilet trained for at least one full month before joining us in our Primary classroom.
Does my child need to bring lunch? Do you offer snacks?
Lunch begins between 11AM - 11:15AM. All children bring their lunch to school in a lunch bag. Sunrise Montessori provides a morning fruit snack, such as apples, bananas, melon or pears with water and an afternoon carb snack of popcorn, graham crackers, animal crackers, or pretzels with milk.
Are your teachers Montessori certified?
Yes, all of our Primary Lead Teachers are certified, which is different than "Montessori trained" as certain Montessori schools claim. Some Montessori teachers are only trained (meaning they shadowed a Montessori teacher at their school and then began teaching their own class). These "trained" teachers do not hold Montessori certification to ensure they know how to teach and guide each child in reading, math and working with the materials. Montessori teacher certification is a requirement at Sunrise.
What is the advantage of multi-age classes?
All our Primary classes at Sunrise Montessori are a mix of children ages 2.8 - 6 years old. A child can work with older children in one subject, younger children in another, and still have social interaction with children his/her own age. The older children can teach the younger ones, showing them how well they've mastered a task and displaying their patience and willingness to help others. The younger children look up to the older ones, fostering maturity and emotional growth. In addition, a child can grow academically as fast as s/he is able to master each concept. Children are not held back and have more time in any area as needed.
What kinds of fun after school enrichment programs are at your school?
We have many fantastic after school enrichment programs to offer our Primary students! They all begin around 3PM and are: Mondays/Art & Soul, Tuesdays/Opus One Music as well as KinderGym (gymnastics), Wednesdays/Stretch & Grow, Thursdays/Soccer Shots as well as GiggleBytes (computers), and Fridays/KinderDance (ballet and jazz). All of the programs are once a week and run about 30 minutes, with KinderDance lasting a full hour. Costs vary per program, so please see our flyer basket area in the foyer to find out all the details.
How do I find out what immunizations my child needs?
Although we are more than happy to share this information with you, you can go to the following link to find out. Your doctor's office is also a good resource. http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/immunize/school/
Who was Maria Montessori?
Maria Montessori was an Italian physician and educator, the first woman to receive a medical degree in Italy. Born in 1870, she developed her method of education early in this century. She devoted her life to the education of children and was honored and respected throughout the world at the time of her death in 1952.
What is the Montessori Method?
The Montessori Method is an approach to education which emphasizes the potential of the young child and which attempts to develop this potential by means of a prepared environment, utilizing specially trained teachers and special teaching materials.
Why did Maria Montessori develop her special teaching method?
Maria Montessori developed her method because she was so distressed with the usual rigid teaching techniques. Feeling that the young child had more potential than educators realized, she began to develop this potential by a sensorial approach (teaching the young child through his natural interest in exploring the world through his senses).
What is a “Sensitive Period”?
The term “ Sensitive Period” is Montessori’s name for age periods when the child shows unusual capabilities in acquiring particular skills. A modern name for this phenomenon might be “periods of special readiness to learn certain things”.
What is the Montessori concept of “freedom”?
Freedom is a goal, not a starting point. A free child (or adult) is one who has developed his potential and prefers to work out problems for oneself but is capable of asking for and receiving direction when necessary. An undisciplined and unskilled child is not free but is a slave to his whims and moods and is excessively dependent on others. The free child, of course, grows into the free adult.
What is the Montessori concept of discipline?
Montessori discipline is an “inner discipline” - control which the child develops over his own behavior through his interest in the Montessori environment and materials. Dr. Montessori noted that many so-called undisciplined children were frustrated by lack of proper stimulation and would become happier and self-controlled after a period of time in a Montessori class.