School


Drop off:

Arrival time is from 9:00 – 9:10 am.Please use the back entrance (from Salem Avenue) for drop-off and pick-up. Please drive slowly through the parking lots and watch for Salem College students crossing the road. Carpooling is strongly encouraged to reduce the number of vehicles.

3-6-year old children are dropped off in the car line. Staff will assist children out of the cars, and, in small groups, will walk to the classrooms or playground, wherever they are beginning their day.

Toddlers should walk their children to the classrooms.

Please keep safety your first priority. Children should never enter the building unattended and siblings should not be left alone in the car.

When children are being loaded and unloaded, the entire car line is a cell phone- free zone. Having drivers focused on the safety of the children is essential.

For our safety, the door will be locked at 9:10. It is essential that your child arrive at school promptly. This is a courtesy to the teacher and class, as they begin the day in an orderly way. It is also helpful to the child, who feels more confident beginning the day with the rest of the class. Please tell the office ahead of time if you will arrive late because of an appointment. If you arrive after the door is locked, please call the office to have someone come down and let you in.

If the door is locked when you arrive, please call the school office (336-748-0800) or (336) 391-8206. Please do not ask church staff or volunteers to let you in (for our safety, they have been instructed not to let anyone into the school).

Pick-up:

Toddler Classes: Pick up between 11:50 and 12:00. If you have a child in both the toddler and 3-6 class, first pick up the toddler, then your 3-6 child.

3-6-year old children: Pick up in car line between 12:00 and 12:10. Staff will bring the preschool children to the seating area of the covered walkway. Drivers should pull up in the line, turn off the car, and wait on the sidewalk by the car for the child, who will be walked to the driver by a staff member. Please do not walk up to the seating area to pick up your child.

A parent may authorize another person to pick up his/her child by listing the person on the authorization form or sending in a signed and dated note on the day of the release.

It is important that your child be picked up on time, as it is distressing for the child to be left after the other children have been picked up. The staff has other duties at noon, it is unfair to leave them waiting. If you are running late, please call the school office or school cell phone so that arrangements can be made for the care of your child. If the child is not picked up on time, he/she will be taken to join the children staying for Lunch Bunch. Everyone runs late sometime, but if a parent is repeatedly late picking up, we will have to come up with a strategy for timeliness.

Parking:

Parking for Salem Montessori School is located between Home Moravian Church and The Elbertson Fine Arts Center accessed from Salem Ave. Please use spots labeled “Home Church Parking” or in the larger Salem College parking lot. Parking on Church Street is reserved for church staff and members.

Handicapped parking spaces are available near the school entrance and next to the playground.

An elevator is available only for those with a physical handicap, those with babies in strollers, or other special circumstances. Please use the stairs in all other circumstances.

Snack:

The school will supply nutritious food for each day’s snack for all classes.

Snack time will be a natural part of our Practical Life curriculum. Children will be involved (based on their developmental level) in preparing and serving snack. For an 18-month-old, that may mean helping the teacher peel a Mandarin orange. A five-year-old may slice carrots or use the apple corer to section an apple. Children of all ages will be involved in setting the table and washing the dishes.

Children in the Younger Toddler Class will have group snack, with teachers and children eating snack together at the same time. The Older Toddler Class and the 3-6-year old classes will have small group snack, with children coming to the snack table during the morning work time in groups of three or four.

Snack food will be chosen for good taste and good health. Each day’s snack will include a fruit or vegetable, a whole grain, and a vegetarian protein. A typical snack might beapple slices, rice cakes, and Sunbutter (peanut butter alternative). Careful consideration will be given to those children with food allergies. As much as possible, we will purchase organic produce.

Water:

Please send a full, re-useable water bottle for your child each day. Bottles that children can open by themselves are best (twist-off caps are difficult for children). These will be used in the classroom and on the playground. The bottles will be sent home each day to be washed and refilled. Please remember to clearly label all lunch containers and water bottles with your child’s name.

Personal Belongings:

A tote bag, provided by the school, should be sent each day with your child, containing a bottle filled with water. Please use this bag rather than backpacks.

A change of clothing, including socks and underwear if applicable, should be sent on the first day of school in a large, labeled Ziploc bag to be kept in the classroom in case of accidents. These should be exchanged several times during the year, as needed, to suit the weather and your growing child. Please label all clothing.

Children should wear comfortable clothing appropriate for active, involved experiences. Outdoor play and art experiences are potentially messy, so older clothing is recommended. Although aprons are worn during painting and messy activities, there is always the possibility of stained clothing. Your child will get dirty!

Please dress your child in clothing that he/she can easily manipulate. This fosters independence when going to the bathroom or changing clothes.

Athletic shoes (with Velcro closures or slip-ons – no shoelaces, please, unless the child can tie them independently) worn with socks are recommended as the safest and most comfortable shoes for active play. Please no clogs, cowboy boots, Crocs or flip-flops

We believe that the old saying, “There is no bad weather, just inappropriate clothing” and go outside most days unless it is raining hard, below freezing, or hazardous in any way. Please dress your child for the weather, with rain jackets and rain boots for rainy days and warm coats, hats, and mittens for cold days.

Toys from home should be left at home or in the car. Explain to your child that there will be plenty of new things to do at school and toys from home often get lost or broken. Holding firm on this issue will help alleviate distractions in the classroom and the potential for stressful situations. Special items, such as objects found in nature, quality literature, and items of educational interest may be brought in and shown to the group at circle time.

Lunch Bunch:

Lunch Bunch is from 12:00-1:00 each day. The fee is $8.00 per day. Lunch boxes, cloth napkins, and all food containers should be labeled with the child’s name. You will receive a monthly statement for any Lunch Bunch days utilized. Statements are sent out at the end of the month and payment is due by the 10th of the following month. Pick-up will be the same procedure as the noon pick-up. It is imperative that children are picked up by 1:00, as we must legally close at that time.

Please send a lunch box for your child which includes food in re-useable containers (the Bento style lunch boxes, such as the Yumbox, are easy for the child to open, have compartments for different food, and eliminate food waste and plastic bag waste), eating utensils, and a cloth napkin. Please send a cold pack in the lunchbox if the food needs to remain cold (the Packit Freeze and Go brand of lunchbox freezes overnight and can then be packed with perishable food), or a Thermos if the food needs to remain hot. Because we have several children with nut allergies, our school is nut-free.The SunButter brand is a sunflower seed spread that is a good alternative to peanut butter. There are also several soy butter products available.

Lunchtime will be treated like other aspects of the Montessori program with an emphasis on grace, courtesy, and independence. Skills such as setting the table and cleaning up will be taught and reinforced. After lunch, the children will participate in a variety of activities, including working in the garden or playing on the playground or in the classroom.

Health and Medications:

SMS will require all children to be vaccinated according to General Statutes 130A-152, but will also honor any properly submitted medical or religious exemptions as outlined in General Statutes 130A-156 and 130A-157.  Please ensure that your child’s immunizations are up to date prior to starting school.

Child Illness: If your child is sick, please call or email the school to let us know that he or she will be absent.

Children should be kept at home if they lack the energy to participate in classroom activities or you are concerned that your child may be contagious to other children. Children should particularly be kept at home for the following reasons:

  • Fever (greater than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Eye discharge, swelling or redness of the eye (pink eye)
  • Severe cold symptoms (mucus that is thick, copious, and yellow; productive cough, feeling bad)
  • Sore throat
  • Lice
  • Unusual rash (particularly rash with fever)

If your child becomes sick at school, you will be called to pick him/her up immediately. If you cannot be reached, the person designated on the emergency form will be contacted.

Your child should be fever free (and feeling better!) for 24 hours before returning to school (without fever reducing medicine). Please contact your child’s doctor if you have any questions about your child’s return to school.

If your child has a contagious illness (i.e. strep throat, flu, hand foot mouth disease, lice, etc), please contact the school so that other parents may be informed.

Medication Administration:

Teachers are unable to administer medications, including diaper cream, with the exception of an Epi-pen in the case of allergy emergencies. A form giving the staff permission to use an Epi-pen in the case of emergency should be filled out and kept in the child’s file if needed.

If your child requires sunscreen, please apply it before school, as the staff is not able to apply it at school.

Staff members are certified in Basic First Aid and CPR.

Toileting:

Children in the preschool classes (3-6 years old) should either be using the toilet independentlyor actively in the process of learning to use the toilet. Clothing worn to school should be suitable for quick and easy bathroom visits. If your child is in the process learning to use the toilet, please let the teacher know so that a plan can be worked out to encourage the process while the child is at school.

A potty chair is in the toddler rooms is available for those children who use thetoilet or in the process.Diapers are changed at least once daily and as needed.

Discipline:

Our goal is to have classrooms that are thriving communities where children are treated with respect and dignity and want to treat others with the same respect and dignity. The teachers support the children’s emotional development by assisting them in using various strategies to deal with their feelings and solve social problems. Young children must be given the tools they need to live and communicate with the people around them. Teachers help by modeling and instructing children in appropriate verbal and non-verbal communication skills.

Teachers set clear, reasonable, and consistent limits on children’s behavior. Ground rules are established and reinforced, defining respectful behavior toward self, others, and property. We understand that mistakes are opportunities for learning. We do not expect perfection from children or adults.

If a student has difficulty following the rules of the community, the response will be age appropriate. Our teachers follow PositiveDiscipline guidelines, seeking to understand the motivation behind the child’s behavior. Students may experience the logical consequences of their actions (i.e. mopping up paint that has been thrown on the floor).

If a child continues to have difficulty being a respectful member of the community, the teacher will seek to find out the underlying reasons for the behavior. This involves talking with the parents, asking questions, and coming up with a cooperative strategy to address the behavior. The parents’ input on the child’s behavior at home and changes that the child may be experiencing (new baby, move to a new house, death of a loved one, sickness, etc.) is crucial to the teacher’s understanding of the child.

If the teacher and school head believe that the child and family would benefit from assistance outside of the school, a recommendation for a referral will be made. The School Head can suggest possible places for referrals. If progress is not made, the School Head may suggest that the parents find another school situation for the child during the school year or for the following school year.

School Safety Policy


This policy and the related procedures aretoensure the physical and emotional safety of all SMS students.

Criminal background checks will be obtained for all SMS staff members. These checks include criminal history and sex offender registry.

There willalways be two adults with children.

If a teacher leaves the room, another staff memberwillbe called to take herplace.

Classroom door rule – The top part of each classroom door remainsopen while children are present. The classroom remains in full view.  Parents or other staff members are welcome to observe the classroom.

Diapering – Diapering, changing the clothes of the children, and children using portable potties take place in a location that is in open view. There may be low screening for their privacy, but the area willbe open to view.

Bathroom – In the 3-6 classrooms, bathrooms doors areopen when a staff member is assisting a child. When on the playground, a child may be taken to the nearest bathroom by twostaff members.

Fire, tornado and lockdown drills are practiced twice in the Fall and twice in the Spring.  Age appropriate information is used and dates are on the school calendar.

 Weapons Policy:

Weapons are not permitted in school buildings or on school grounds.

Tuition Payment Procedures


Tuition may be paid on an annual or monthly basis. Aninvoice for the whole year is sent in August andstatements reflecting your payments will be emailed to you monthly. Monthly tuition payments are due by the first day of each month. After the fifth of the month, a $25 late fee will be charged. A $25 fee will be charged for returned checks.

There are several ways to deliver your tuition check:

Mail to:

Salem Montessori School 529 South Church Street Winston-Salem, NC 27101

If delivering your tuition check in person, please give the check to Julie Smith, the School Head, to Sejal Sheth, the bookkeeper, or Jen Gaeto, the administrative assistant at the car line or in the office. There is a basket outside the office door where you can place your check.

Many families find it convenient to set up a recurring bank payments of their monthly tuition payment with their bank. This is highly recommended, to avoid late fees.

For questions about your account, smssejalsheth@gmail.com or contact her by phone or in person.

Parent/Teacher Communication


Communication between teachers and parents is essential. Because we are working as a community to create a secure, nurturing environment for the child’s development, we have much to offer one another through frequent and honest communication.

Methods of communication include written notes attached to the child’s tote bag, email, and phone calls to the school office. Voicemail is available for calls after hours.

A detailed monthly classroom newsletter, sent via e-mail, will keep you up-to-date on what is happening in the classroom, such as lessons presented, songs sung, and books read. Teachers will also send photos of class and individual activities.

Two official parent/teacher conferences are scheduled during the year to discuss the child’s progress. Parents or teachers may request additional conferences to discuss concerns regarding a child’s development, behavior or other issues. It is best not to talk about the child when he/she is present, or at drop-off or pick-up time, when the teacher is responsible for supervising children.

Access to your child’s written records is available through the school office. All school records are kept confidential between the staff and the parents.

Your job as a parent is to be an advocate for your child. Therefore, it is important to address any concerns you may have to the teacher. Be assured that your concerns will be honored. It is inevitable that misunderstandings, mistakes, and conflicts will occur from time to time. When this happens, let us know as soon as possible. Your suggestions and input are of great value to us.

School-wide Communication


Our primary tool for announcements about upcoming events, changes in procedures, etc. is through e-mail. Please be sure to check yours regularly to stay up-to-date and informed. We will also post information on the website.

Our school web- site, www.salem-montessori.org, is a vital tool for communication. Important school and community events will be posted on the site, as well as weather-related school closing information

School Closing – In case of inclement conditions that would be hazardous, the school will be closed. SMS does not make up missed days due to weather closings. SMS does not necessarily follow the public school closings. The school head will make a decision by 7:00 am and will post the announcement in the following places: school telephone answering machine, school website, WFDD radio (88.5 FM), WXII TV Channel 12.

Parent Involvement


Because parents are the child’s first and most influential teachers, they are an integral part of the child’s school experience. The school is an extension of the home.

Salem Montessori School seeks to involve parents in the following ways:

Parent Education:

Several parent education sessions are scheduled during theschool year. These are designed to inform and enhance parent’s understanding of the Montessori approach. Topics may include Montessori philosophy, curriculum areas, discipline, and bringing the Montessori practices into the home. Parent discussion groups, facilitated by staff or trained professionals, may be formed at the request of the parents to address topics of interest. A Parent Bookshelf is located in the school office. Books and videos about Montessori education are available to be checked out, as well as books on parenting and child development. Books may be signed out and borrowed for two weeks.

Positive Discipline is an interactive, experiential parent education course thatseeks to support parents in understanding and relating to their children. We provide information and support to parents for their daily lives with children. Several multi-week sessions will be offered during the school yearto look at the role of theadult, the child, and the home environment in creating and sustaining harmonious family relationships to last a lifetime.

Parent Council:

The Parent Council, initiated by an SMS parent in 2005, is made up of parent volunteers. The purpose of the council is to provide opportunities for community-building activities for families, to provide support for the teachers in their work in the classroom, and serve as a link between the parents and the school.

Volunteer opportunities:

Parents bring a wealth of knowledge, experience and talents to the school. We need and encourage your participation to provide a rich and well-rounded experience for our students. You will receive invitations to volunteer from teachers and parent council.

School Events:

There are three school-wide family events during the year: a family picnic at the beginning of the school year, a Christmas play and potluck lunch, and an end of the year picnic.

Grievances


If the grievance deals with a school policy, the parent should contact the school head. If the grievance is not solved satisfactorily after discussion, the parent should contact the chair of the board of directors. If the grievance deals with the child’s experience in the classroom, the parent should contact the child’s teacher. If the grievance is not solved satisfactorily, the parent should contact the school head. If you have an issue that you would like to bring to the attention of the board, jasofis@hotmail.com, the Board Chair.