When should I start my child at the Enfield Montessori School?

There are numerous "sensitive periods" of development during which a child's mind is particularly open to learning specific skills or knowledge such as crawling, sitting, walking, talking, reading, counting, and various levels of social interaction. These skills are learned effortlessly and joyfully.  Learning one of these skills outside of its corresponding sensitive period is certainly possible, but can be difficult and frustrating for the child.  Therefore, if a child begins a Montessori program late, key learning opportunities will be missed.

Children have an "absorbent mind" from birth to around age 6, possessing limitless motivation to achieve competence within their environment and to perfect skills and understandings.  This phenomenon is characterized by the young child's capacity for repetition of activities within sensitive period categories until they achieve competence.  The earlier a child is involved in the process, the greater the ease of learning.

The optimal time to enroll your child in the Primary Program is age 3 years to reap the full benefits of the program.  The Enfield Montessori School is proud to offer a Toddler Program for students ages 18 months to 3 years which provides an immersive introduction to the Montessori classroom and facilitates transition to the Primary level for our youngest students.

What is unique about the Montessori approach to education?

The Montessori approach to education addresses and supports the total development of the child/person from birth to maturity. The prepared environment provides the conditions and materials for the children to develop their potential spiritually, physically, intellectually, aesthetically, and socially. This self-directed and guided development helps the child to grow at his/her own pace.

What are the school hours of operation?

School is in session Monday through Friday, except for teachers’ in-service days, holidays and scheduled vacations. Class begins at 8:05 a.m. The school day concludes at 12:00 noon for pre-kindergarten students under the age of 5 years and at 2:30 p.m. for all other students. (Please note that as the child approaches his/her fifth birthday, he/she will be invited to attend the class on a full day schedule.) 

Is there before and after school care?

Before school care is offered in the event of a school delay. Students may be dropped off at 8:15 a.m.

After school care is available to all primary and elementary students on days when school is in session unless otherwise noted.

Is transportation available to students?

Parents provide transportation to and from school for all pupils 2 to 4 years of age and for students living outside of Enfield, Connecticut. The town of Enfield provides transportation for Enfield residents who are attending grades kindergarten through sixth.

What are the guidelines for dropping off my Toddler student in the morning?

Toddler drop-off:

  • Children may be dropped off at the lower-level door between 7:45 a.m. and 8:05 a.m.
  • After 8:05 a.m. you must bring your child to the main entrance and sign your child in.
  • Parking spaces are reserved in the front of the building for parents with Toddler students, please park and walk your child to the door.
  • If all the spaces in front of the building are in use, you may park in the circle in front of the chapel and walk your child to the door.

What are the guidelines for picking up my Toddler student?

Toddler pick-up:

  • Children may be picked at the lower-level door at 11:45 a.m. and after 2:30 p.m.
  • If you pick up your Toddler between 11:45 p.m. and 2:30 p.m., please come to the main entrance.

What are the guidelines for dropping off my Primary or Elementary student in the morning?

Primary and Elementary drop-off:

  • Children may be dropped off at the curb in front of the school  between 7:45 a.m. and 8:05 a.m. 
  • After 8:05 a.m. you must bring your child to the main entrance and sign your child in. 
  • All students being dropped off curbside must exit the right side of the vehicle independently. If your child is unable to exit the vehicle independently, please park in an appropriate area and walk your child to the door.
  • Parking is available in the school lot at the rear of the property or the South Road lot.

What are the guidelines for picking up my Primary or Elementary student?

Primary and Elementary pick-up:

  • Children will be dismissed from the lower-level at the end the school day.
  • If you wish to pick-up your child in the car line and your child is able to enter the car independently, then line up in your car along the driveway and wait for children to be dismissed to you. You should stay in your car. 
  • If you wish your child to walk to your car, then please park in the South Road or School Lots and walk to the lower-level entrance to meet your child.
  • Children are lined up by class and are dismissed individually. Please be patient as the children's safety is our top priority. 

Is there a dress code?

Students in the Elementary Classes are required to wear uniforms. Parents who have children in the Primary Classes may purchase uniforms if they so desire. On the days that students have physical education classes, gym uniforms should be worn. Gym uniforms may also be worn on scheduled early dismissal days. These uniforms may be purchased through Land's End or French Toast Uniforms. (A link to the Land's End and French Toast websites are located on our Helpful Links page.)  Used uniforms are available for purchase.

Is there a lunch program available?

Parents must provide lunches for their children. Please Note that the school is a nut free facility - there are many children with a peanut allergy so please remember to pack your child's lunch accordingly - Some alternatives to peanut butter are Sun Butter made from ground sunflower seeds and Soy Nut Butter - just make sure they are processed on equipment that doesn't process peanuts. 

Are nursing services provided?

A school nurse from the Enfield Public School System visits EMS twice a week. The nurse maintains student health records, performs the appropriate screenings, administers medications according to Connecticut State Law, teaches about health issues and cares for children with school related illnesses and injuries. 

Is physical education a part of the curriculum?

Physical fitness is an important component in education at EMS. Each level has weekly physical education classes.

Is art or music taught?

Art lessons, handwork and music are taught at all levels using the Montessori curriculum. The recorder is taught to students at the Upper Elementary level. 

Is computer technology part of the curriculum?

The school is equipped with state of the art purposeful technology in place to enhance the child's learning experience.  Students will engage with various appilcations and online learning tools  to develop the skills required for today's academic environments.  

How does my child complete a Montessori education at EMS?

The EMS program is structured so that it is completed when a child finishes sixth-grade. Although all Montessori experience is beneficial, departures before the completion of the sixth-grade could mean that your child will miss out on the full benefits of a Montessori education.

What resources are recommended to learn more about the Montessori teaching method?

Recommended Reading:     

Montessori: The Science behind the Genius by Angeline S. Lillard, PhD

Maria Montessori: Her Life and Work [Paperback] by E. M. Standing

Montessori Madness! A Parent to Parent Argument for Montessori Education by Trevor Eissler (Jul 1, 2009)

Recommended YouTube Videos:

Recommended Websites:

North American Montessori Teachers' Association


Association Montessori Internationale