When is the best time for a school tour?
Ideally, families will visit the school during the morning work period, once our classes have had a chance to stabilize after the beginning of the year. This means that the best time to visit the school would be after the beginning of October and usually around 9:00/9:30 AM. This will give you the opportunity to see our classrooms in full swing with children working independently.
We have a number of special events and programs throughout the year and we will try to avoid scheduling tours on days that do not represent a normal work day. However, we know scheduling limitations do exist and we will try our hardest to make a tour fit with the availability you may have.
What can I expect on a Shadow Day?
A Shadow Day is our opportunity to meet your child and ensure they are academically and developmentally prepared for the classroom they would be entering. In addition, it is a great opportunity for your child to decide if they feel comfortable at Bozeman Summit School. Students visiting the Early Childhood will come in for a half day, while Elementary-aged children will typically visit for a full day.
Since we start our days with a morning recess, we will typically ask students who are shadowing to come in after normal drop-off time and once the rest of the children are settled in their classrooms – typically around 9:00 AM for Early Childhood and 8:45 for Elementary students. This alleviates the anxiety of being a new kid on the playground.
Once your child enters the classroom, they will be assigned a buddy for the day – typically one of the older children in the classroom. Your child will then spend the day working with different materials and being introduced to different lessons so the classroom teachers can begin to get an idea of where they are academically and how receptive they are to learning new ideas. They may also have the opportunity to participate in some of our curriculum enhancement activities (music, art, gym, etc.). Often times, you may want to schedule their shadow day on a day that we offer a program they are particularly interested in.
After the shadow day – either during pick-up or at a follow-up meeting – our Education Director will discuss with you how the shadow day went, and whether we will be able to meet the needs of your child.
What should I do if I have any concerns about my child’s development at the time of enrollment?
As a Montessori school, we are always looking for a diverse student population with students not only of different economic and cultural backgrounds, but academic performance as well. That being said, as a non-profit independent school, we are limited in the resources we have available to meet the needs of some students.
While the shadow day is an opportunity for our teachers to gauge where your child is academically and developmentally, we do only see a glimpse of the whole child at this time. In order to ensure your child and the rest of the children in the classroom are getting the attention and resources they need, we encourage families to share any developmental or academic concerns they may have. This may be as simple as verbal communication about your thoughts, or as detailed as previous testing or IEP’s that may have been in place with other organizations.
We often times work with the Bozeman Public Schools, tutoring services, and other resources around the City to create a plan that works with our curriculum to meet each child’s needs, but expect transparency and openness at the time of enrollment to ensure these systems are in place before enrollment. Having this information prior to the shadow day is particularly helpful as teachers can focus their lessons and interactions with your child.
How much financial aid can I expect to receive from Bozeman Summit School?
Our financial aid program is a need-based program that is evaluated annually and calculated based on enrollment projections, number of families applying for aid, individual financial need, and a number of other factors. We utilize a third party financial group to collect and analyze personal financial information to determine a family’s need and expected contribution.
Preference for financial aid allocations is given to returning families that may have already been receiving financial aid. Financial aid is only available for Kindergarten through Upper Elementary. We do accept the Best Beginnings scholarship for preschool-aged children.
In addition to financial aid, we offer a 5% sibling discount which is applied to the tuition of the younger siblings.
If finances are a concern and you would like more information on your options, set up a meeting with our Office Manager to discuss this in more detail.