"A beautiful place where great minds begin."
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The Primary Classroom
ur classrooms are designed to meet children's growing needs. Beauty and order utilize natural materials; play an important role in the child sized environment which encourages curiosity and independence.
We are neither a "highly structured" nor "relaxed" Montessori environment. In our opinion, a good Montessori environment prepares children to become successful, self-directed learners with respect for others. It also provides a rich foundation of sensorial knowledge from which the child may develop many interests. We endeavor to realize a perfect balance between structure and spontaneity in our program through careful observation of the children's needs. We believe in the ideals of Maria Montessori with respect to nurturing the spirit of the child. A child who works with true concentration often emerges from activity in a relaxed and pleasantly fulfilled frame of mind. This is our goal, and because it is often realized, our school community has a calm, centered and peaceful feeling most of the time. We are most delighted in the learning of children when they are secure enough in the structure that they can handle themselves responsibly with others. We like to see children conversing with and enjoying one another as they apply themselves to meaningful activity. Children often consolidate and enrich their learning through sharing it with others and collaborating on meaningful projects. Therefore we strive for a quietly busy and playful environment where each child is engaged and challenging him- or herself while developing socially as well. While we do not over-emphasize academics, we know that our children are generally exceptionally well prepared to enter any number of public or private schools when they have spent two or more years with us.
Practical Life is the foundation of our classroom learning. Children pour, scoop, twist, carry, and move as well as learning to care for themselves by buttoning, zipping or tying. These attractive materials and activities draw the child in and aid in developing and refining the child’s sense of order, coordination, cooperation and independence.
The Sensorial area of the Montessori classroom gives the child opportunities to develop and refine their senses. By interacting with specially developed Montessori materials made of fine wood and other attractive elements, the child is able to experience length, breadth, diameter, depth, base ten and geometric solids and shapes.
Preschool and Kindergarten-aged children have an immense capacity for learning at this stage, therefore advanced language and math works are introduced. A hands-on phonics approach to learning (pre-reading and writing) sounds and symbols is used. Montessori math materials are manipulative in nature and involve many activities which will lead to introduction to place value.
Learning about the world is provided through hands-on materials and group lessons in geography, biology, zoology, botany, literature, art and music.
These academic activities take place in a social environment that allows for developing social skills and problem-solving ability.
A Day At Bella
The following is a typical day at Bella Montessori Preschool:
7:00 School opens and early arrival begins. Staff will greet each child individually.
8:30 Circle time begins. Teachers take attendance, sing a welcome song, review the calendar and demonstrate a material subject to the unit we are focusing on at the present time.
9:00 Work time and snack begins. During this period the children are free to choose works from the shelf. All materials used are based on the Montessori curriculum.
10:30 Poems or stories.
11:00 Outside play time.
11:30 Wash hands and prepare for lunch.
12:15 Rest time (for full day children) and pick-up for half day children.
2:30 Children wake from rest and prepare for afternoon work period.
4:00 Outside play time
6:00 School closes
Bella Montessori provides a Montessori educational program for children ages six weeks through 6 years. We are a year-round school and are open from 7 am through 6 pm.
Tuition and Scheduling
Tuition at Bella Montessori is due the first through the tenth of each month. We are unable to adjust tuition or substitute one class time for another in order to accommodate your family’s schedule, vacations, your child’s illness or enrollment in other programs. However, if a family needs to occasionally add a day to a child’s schedule, we will accommodate requests if space is available with a fee of $30.00 per day. Please contact us for tuition costs based on your child's projected schedule.
At Bella Montessori we try to keep children healthy. We clean materials hourly. Unfortunately, sometimes children get sick. Your child must stay home from school if they have had a fever of 99.9 degrees or greater, diarrhea or vomiting within the last 24 hrs. In order to return to school your child must be symptom-free, without medication, for 24 hrs. If your child seems to be acting in a way that leads you to suspect illness, please keep your child home.
Regularly-scheduled conferences are conducted for 3-6 year old children. Parents may always request a meeting with teachers to address issues requiring special attention. We prefer not to discuss a child’s behavior while they are present.
We work diligently to help with the process of potty training. If your child is ready to start potty training, the first step is to talk with your child’s teacher. At Bella Montessori, we try to stay consistent with the method you are using at home so your child’s teacher will require a lot of communication. We encourage the use of underwear instead of pull-ups as the children have an easier time feeling when they are wet. Bring lots of extra clothes and never worry if it is too much for us.
A fully potty-trained child in our school is one who is completely self-sufficient. They do not need to be reminded to use the bathroom or need help pulling pants up and down, and they can wipe themselves. A child who is fully potty trained but still sleeps in a pull-up is fine.
Please provide child-sized portions of a variety of bite-sized nutritious foods. Teachers will assist your child in opening food containers and do their best to return uneaten portions to the child’s lunchbox. Desserts and candy are not allowed and will be immediately disposed of. We ask you the parent to focus on protein, fresh vegetables and fruits when preparing your child’s lunch.
We know that children who are properly engaged in constructing themselves rarely have serious discipline problems because they feel happy and fulfilled. Children are highly capable of developing "inner discipline" when an environment fully meets their needs for learning and self-development. If needed, however, we use a positive approach to discipline and offer redirection to children who are having difficulties. We teach socially appropriate behavior through modeling, exercises of grace and courtesy, and lots of talking about problem situations. We encourage children to resolve conflicts verbally and thoughtfully with one another in meaningful conversation. We endeavor to be clear and consistent about basic ground rules and the importance of respectful encounters with others. If a child is having significant and ongoing difficulty with our classroom structure or positive social development, we work with his or her parents to solve the problem as quickly as possible. Occasionally we enlist the support of outside professional help.
Our philosophy at Bella Montessori is to guide the child to make good decisions and solve problems. We treat the child with dignity and respect. We do not employ punishments and rewards. Instead we offer appropriate choices, enabling the child to feel in control of his/her own behavior and as teachers we look for possible events that may lead to further conflict and try to redirect individuals beforehand.
Of course we experience behaviors that require the teacher to enforce various boundaries, i.e. a child may lose the “privilege” of using a particular material for a set amount of time because the child was using the material in a way that is damaging or disruptive to the class. A child that is disruptive to the class will be placed in designated space to think their own thoughts where they can still see and hear what is happening in their environment but cannot interrupt.
We often use the phrase “when and then” in our interactions with children. For example, if a child would like to have a snack but their work has been left out on the table we may say, “When you put your work away, then you may have a snack.”
Please request a copy of our school handbook for more information on our policies, or let us know if you have any questions. Contact us today to schedule a tour of our school. (Policies subject to change at any time.)
Infant Program: Available full day only, ages 6 weeks through 24 months. Young children need love, emotional nurturing, and a physical environment that promotes their natural need to learn. The first few years of a child's life are crucial not only to their intellectual development, but also to the development of their personality. Our individualized Montessori approach to infant care will provide learning activities appropriate for your child's age and developmental stage as well as loving care for their every need, with love and snuggles served daily. Please Contact us today for more information.
Morning Montessori Preschool Program: 8:30 - 11:30 a.m., ages 2 through 6. The children have group activities and independent work with materials designed to encourage independence, love of learning, respect for others and problem-solving skills.
The curriculum includes practical life exercises, sensory materials, oral and written language, quantification and math concepts, science, cultural studies, geography, art, music, body movement, and outdoor play.
Extended child care is available from 7:00 to 8:30 a.m. for those needing an early drop-off time. (See Full Day Program for a description of this time period.)
Lunch Period: 11:30 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. A snack will be provided during the morning work period and in the afternoon for children enrolled in the full day program.
Full Day Preschool Program: 7:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m., ages 2 through 6. The child arrives between 7:00 and 8:30 and spends the time prior to the morning class doing quiet activities such as visiting with friends, journaling, using puzzles and blocks or looking at books. The child then attends the morning Montessori class and eats at 11:30. A quiet and/or rest time is provided after lunch, after which the child attends the afternoon Montessori class. From 4:30 to 6:00 recreational activities are provided such as outdoor play, stories, drawing, blocks, puzzles, and games. The child may be picked up anytime between 3:30 and 6:00.
Touring our School: Although we do have an open door policy we find that is easier for both the parents and the Director if an appointment is scheduled in advance. This process ensures that someone is available to show you around the school at all times. Please call or email and let us know when it is the most convenient time for you and we will work to accommodate your needs.
Immunization Records: A copy of updated shot records must be on file at the time of enrollment.
This information can be brought in by the parents or faxed directly to the Director. If your child does not receive vaccinations due to religious or other reasons, please download and fill out the Medical Immunization Exemption form from the Department of Health and Senior Services. This form can be found on their website at www.dss.mo.gov
An updated physical form must be on file no later than 30 days after your child is enrolled. The form is available at the school and can be faxed to the Director from your child’s doctor’s office after the examination.
Closed Memorial Day Monday the 28th 2018
July 4-6, 2018
Closed on Labor Day, Monday September 3, 2018
Closed for Thanksgiving break, November 21-23, 2018
Closed for Winter break December 20, 2018 through January 2, 2019
Spring Break, March 25-29, 2019
Birthdays at Bella
The teacher may choose to celebrate a child's birthday. To celebrate your child's birthday, you may provide a snack for the class. Due to a wide range of allergies, homemade goods are NOT ALLOWED. Please talk with your child's teacher before making any plans regarding food choices and scheduling for the celebration. Please note that goody bags are not permitted.
Acceptable treats include the following:
Prepackaged Rice Krispie Treats
Store bought mini muffins/cookies/cpucakes/doughnuts/brownies
Pudding cups (all the same flavor, please!)
Individual yogurt cups or tubes (all the same flavor, please!)
Individual ice cream or sherbet cups (all the same flavor, please!)
Bella Montessori Preschool
203 Church Street • O'Fallon, Missouri 63366 • 636.240.7794 • Copyright 2018, All rights reserved