The Khalsa Montessori charter school is open to all students within the kindergarten through eighth grade levels who will benefit from a Montessori educational environment. Admission is not limited by ethnicity, national origin, gender, religion, income level, disability, proficiency in the English language or athletic ability. There are no tuition or fees charged for attending KMS.
KMS seeks students who will increase their achievement within the self-directed Montessori environment. The profile of the student who will excel in this Montessori environment is one who can work independently, who can take responsibility for his/her work, who demonstrates internal control and who respects him/herself and others. Children who do not benefit from this type of education are children who are not able to work independently or who do not demonstrate the other characteristics listed above.
KMS is for families who care deeply about their children’s education and are willing to be partners in the school. We ask every parent to make a commitment to understand the school’s procedures, educational method, and philosophy. We ask all parents to sign, as part of their enrollment application, an agreement to participate in the school in areas of their choice including field trips, classroom events, aiding in the classroom, work days, making materials, parent evenings and Parent-Teacher Organization.
All parents who enroll their children at KMS should consider the advantage of a long-term commitment to Montessori education, as it is a cumulative program that builds on previous years’ experiences and exposure to Montessori materials. A single year of Montessori education is not an effective educational plan. Children should be given the opportunity to complete the educational cycles of the lower elementary and upper elementary school programs.
The goal of the KMS admissions process is for parents to receive a complete understanding of the educational philosophy and operating procedures of the school, and for the classroom teacher to gain an understanding of the unique interests, talents and challenges of the applying student.
1. KMS Information Packet
Those who inquire about the school will be given the KMS Information Packet.
2. School Tours
Parents may meet with the school’s admissions director for a tour of the school and an opportunity to learn more about the school and the Montessori Method. As a note, school tours are intended for parents only. Upon completion of a tour, parents are encouraged to make an appointment spending at least a full morning observing one or more of our classrooms.
3. Application and Wait List
To apply for enrollment at Khalsa Montessori, parents should fill out the appropriate KMS Application and return it to the school office. Acceptance is first come first served. Applicants are placed in order according to the date and time the application is received, except for previously enrolled students who will be given priority over new students.
If no positions are currently available, receipt of the application places the child on the current year or coming year wait list. Parents will be contacted as soon as an opening becomes available. Wait lists are kept by grade according to the age of the child, using September 1st as the cut-off date (age 5 before September 1st for kindergarten, for example). The wait list opens the third Thursday of July and does not roll over from year to year.
4. Placement Assessment and Interview
Once a position becomes available, students will be scheduled for a student placement assessment and interview. A child may be assessed prior to the occurrence of an available opening, in order to be placed in the proper level on the wait list. The child will be interviewed and assessed for program readiness and entry level. Parents and student may then meet with the classroom teacher to discuss the Montessori program and the appropriateness of the program for the child.
5. Enrollment Packet
Parents must complete an enrollment packet, which includes the Request for Student Records, Parent Agreement, and Enrollment Interview forms. The Parent Agreement indicates the parent’s understanding and acceptance of the school’s educational philosophy and method, including the student behavioral policy, and the Enrollment Interview form provides the teacher basic information about the child.
After the assessment and interview, and receipt of the student’s educational history, placement will be confirmed.
7. School Year Registration
Parents will be given the Registration Packet including all registration, health, activity fee, and extra-curricular class forms at school year registration, in July. School year registration is required of all families to hold a child’s position.
8. First Day of School Attendance
Attendance the first day of the school year is required to hold a child’s position.
KMS will admit all eligible pupils who submit a timely application. If, by the application deadline, the number of applications exceeds the capacity of a program, class, grade level, or building, all applicants for that program, class, grade level, or building will be selected for the available slots through an equitable selection process. After the application deadline, pupils for any remaining slots or for a wait list will be accepted in chronological order.
In order for a continuing student to be considered for enrollment for the coming school year, his enrollment application must be received in the office by the application deadline. In the event that the number of returning students exceeds the number of available positions in a given program, children will be accepted on a first come, first served basis, according to the date and time of receipt of their enrollment applications. Once a child is enrolled, his position will be held only if both the following two conditions are met: 1) he must be registered during open registration in August (or an alternate appointment must be made in advance and adhered to), and 2) he must attend the first day of school.
School Year Registration
School year registration is held for two days during July. All parents must confirm their enrollment and update their files at this time. No positions will be held for students whose parents do not complete school year registration.
No positions will be held for children who do not attend the school’s opening day.
Suspension and Expulsion
Students at Khalsa Montessori Schools are expected to adhere to a code of conduct conducive to a non-threatening and respectful learning environment. Corrective action will be taken for unacceptable behavior according to the procedures in the “KMS Discipline Policy.”
Classroom placement decisions for students entering their first year of a lower or upper elementary classroom are made by the Khalsa Montessori Classroom Lead Teachers with the goal of creating the best balance of students in each classroom. These decisions are made after student placement assessments and teacher observation of the students. All kindergarten and third grade students, current Khalsa students and new-to-Khalsa applicants, are given the same placement assessment to assess readiness for the next educational level. Classroom placement is NOT a parent selection process.
Completing the Three Year Cycles
We do not recommend that a student begin a Montessori cycle (Primary, Lower Elementary, or Upper Elementary) if there is no intention of having the student complete all the years of that cycle.
Over many years of watching students’ progress through Montessori education, it is clear that students get the greatest benefit by completing all of the Montessori cycles. A child experiencing each cycle builds on his/her understanding of concepts and understanding of the Montessori materials from the previous level. The conceptual understanding, critical thinking, problem-solving skills, and social awareness grow exponentially at each level.
But, if a child is not going to complete the full Primary, Lower Elementary and Upper Elementary programs in Montessori, it is best that they leave at the end of a cycle: after kindergarten, 3rd grade, or 6th grade. A child who leaves a three-year cycle in the middle never feels the success of the final year leadership position and never experiences the culmination of learning in all areas of the curriculum that occurs in the final year. Though a child benefits from every year in Montessori, part of what is taught in the first two years of a cycle is an understanding of materials that will be fully utilized in the child’s final year. If they are not planning to continue in a Montessori environment, then this is not always time well spent.
For parents of Upper Elementary students, we have a Khalsa Education Paper The Importance of the 6th Year in the Upper Elementary Classroom. This will be available at the yearly Introduction to Upper Elementary Meeting and will be given to all 5th grade parents each spring. Copies are available in the office.