University Montessori School
Policies & Procedures
August 2011 – May 2012
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Pg. 1 Goals
Pg. 2 Spirituality
Pg. 3 Admission / Enrollment Process
Pg. 4 Calendar: August 2011-May 2012
Pg. 5 Holidays
Pg. 6, 7 Prepared Environments
Pg. 8 Daily Schedule
Pg. 9 Hours of Operation
Pg. 10 Fees
Pg. 11 Drop Off
Pg. 12 Pick Up
Pg. 13 Diapers / Rest Time
Pg. 14-18 Behavior / Discipline
Pg. 19 Discrimination / Abuse
Pg. 20 Snacks
Pg. 21 Lunch
Pg. 22 Medication
Pg. 23 General Health
Pg. 24 Dress Code
Pg. 25 Home & School Communication
Pg. 26 Booster Club / Grandparents Guild
Pg. 27 Campus Security
Pg. 28 Candle Snuffing
Pg. 29 Birthday Celebration of Life Ceremony
Pg. 30 Recommendations
Pg. 31 Tax Information / Wish List
University Montessori School Goals
to enjoy a peaceful, secure atmosphere conducive
to safe exploration and independent movement,
according to the Montessori philosophy
to enjoy consistency and predictability in a
prepared environment out of respect for the
child’s sensitive period for order
to enjoy healthy, positive interactions and
practice cooperative socialization skills
to practice coordination and manners through the
Montessori Lessons of Grace and Courtesy
to practice Life Skills and Virtues
to be introduced to the disciplines of Language,
Mathematics, History, Geography, Botany, Zoology
and Art by way of concrete, sensorial materials
and creative presentations which assist one’s
transition into abstract comprehension and
An undeniable Christian thread is woven
throughout the goals and interactions of the UMS
You will see crosses in each house.
We bless our food each day before lunch, and
offer a prayer for “all the hungry children.”
We celebrate the Christian dimensions of both
Christmas and Easter.
Prayer time and Christian music for children are
often incorporated into our gatherings.
Family, in all of its shapes and sizes, is reverenced.
“Divine sparks” found in each person are
acknowledged and honored.
In essence, these grounds, and all of the
gatherings and lessons shared upon them, are
dedicated to the Good Shepherd; the one who
knows us each by name, the one who seeks us
whenever we are lost, the one who leads us to
fullness of life.
Admission / Enrollment Process
Although University Montessori School is open twelve months
per year, registration for enrollment in the August through
May school year months begins in February of the current
Children are admitted in the following order of preference:
1. presently enrolled students who will be staying
2. siblings of presently enrolled students
3. second generation students of UMS alums
4. relatives and friends of the UMS “school family”
5. all other children whose received and dated applications
have placed them on our waiting list, which begins its
formation every August
Parents of presently enrolled students and their siblings must
complete and return their applications each February along with a
non-refundable registration fee (presently $250.00) to officially
place their child(ren) on the August-May roster.
Parents of all other applicants must:
1. arrange for a tour
2. review the Policies & Procedures Handbook
3. complete and return their applications which will be dated
upon their reception
These families will then be notified of acceptance and must remit a non-
refundable registration fee (presently $250.00) to officially place their
child(ren) immediately, if openings are available, or to officially claim
placement on the August-May roster.
Calendar of Family Events, Chidren’s Special Activities, Fundraisers, HOLIDAYS, Etc
Monday, July 4th: HOLIDAY (4th of July)
Wednesday, July 27th @ 6:30pm (Mandatory Parent Meeting: Option #1)
Saturday, July 30th @ 10:00am (Mandatory Parent Meeting: Option #2)
(one representative from each enrolled family MUST attend one of these)
Sunday, July 31st: UMS Open House, 3:00pm-5:00pm
Monday, August 1st: First day of 2011-2012 UMS school year
Monday, September 5th: HOLIDAY (Labor Day)
Wednesday, September 21st: Grandparents Day Breakfast
Friday, October 21st: UMS Annual Autumn Festival
Friday, November 18th: Children’s Thanksgiving Feast
Reservation Days: Monday, November 21st qnd Tuesday, November 22nd
Wednesday, November 23rd – Friday, November 25th: HOLIDAYS (Thanksgiving)
Friday, December 16th: Nativity Play & House Parties
Reservation Days: Monday, December 19th
Tuesday, December 20th
Wednesday, December 21st
Thursday, December 22nd and Friday, December 23rd: HOLIDAYS (Christmas)
Reservation Days: Monday, December 26th
Tuesday, December 27th
Wednesday, December 28th
Thursday, December 29th and Friday, December 30th: HOLIDAYS (Christmas)
Monday, January 2nd: HOLIDAY (New Year’s)
Friday, January 6th: Casa dei Bambini Day: King Cake & Pajamas
Monday, January 16th: HOLIDAY (Martin Luther King, Jr. Day)
Tuesday, February 14th: Valentine Exchange & House Parties
Thursday, February 16th: Mardi Party: 5:00pm
Monday, February 20th and Tuesday, February 21st: HOLIDAYS (Mardi Gras)
Tuesday, March 20th: Spring Festival
Sunday, March 11th: Daylight Saving Time begins
April (Fundraiser: Annual UMS Auction)
Friday, April 6th: HOLIDAY (Good Friday)
Monday, April 9th: HOLIDAY (Easter Monday)
Sunday, April 22nd: End of the Year Ceremony, 10:00am
Luncheon & Auction, 11:00am-1:00pm
Monday, May 28th: HOLIDAY (Memorial Day)
Monday, July 4th (Fourth of July)
Monday, September 5th (Labor Day)
Wednesday, November 23rd
Thursday, November 24th (Thanksgiving)
Friday, November 25th
Thursday, December 22nd
Friday, December 23rd
Thursday, December 29th
Friday, December 30th
Monday, January 2nd
Monday, January 16th (Martin Luther King, Jr. Day)
Monday, February 20th
Tuesday, February 21st (Mardi Gras)
Friday, April 6th (Good Friday)
Monday, April 9th (Easter Monday)
Monday, May 28th (Memorial Day)
Rooted in the Montessori philosophy, University Montessori School offers
small ratios of children to staff and prepares our environments with
materials that are well constructed and inviting to all the senses.
Montessori environments are designed to entice the child’s innate sense of
wonder about his/her rapidly expanding little world. They are also designed
to set the child up for success and self-correction.
As we prepare the areas of each house and offer individual and small group
lessons, we invite the child to explore the endless possibilities for learning
and growing. Montessori environments are designed to promote peace, order
and responsible independence.
Also, through modeling, role play, conversation and practice, the children are
encouraged to develop positive life skills and embrace a virtuous life path.
Some life skills we encourage are:
Concentration, sequencing, coordination, appropriate indoor voice and
movement, articulation of thoughts and feelings, positive conflict resolution,
social and solitary comfort levels, self confidence, manners and an
appreciation for rest and composure.
Some virtues we encourage are:
Accountability, consideration, contentment, cooperation, courage, courtesy,
creativity, determination, diligence, enthusiasm, excellence, flexibility,
generosity, gentleness, gratitude, helpfulness, honesty, hospitality,
joyfulness, justice, kindness, loyalty, orderliness, patience, peacefulness,
perseverance, reliability, responsibility, self control, self discipline, service,
tact and tolerance.
Practical Life and Sensorial Environments
(connecting with our internal world)
The materials in these areas provide the child with opportunities to practice
everyday activities such as pouring, scooping, sorting, transferring, etc.,
while equally offering practice in developing concentration, coordination,
independence and order. The children refine their senses by practicing with
materials that demonstrate differentiating gradations of color, size,
texture, shape, etc.
(connecting with our external world)
History, Geography, Botany, Zoology, Art
The materials in these areas provide the child with opportunities to explore
the vastness of the natural world, the richness of diversity among people
and respect for the gifts of creation. They present countless avenues
through which the child can connect with all that surrounds him/her.
The Language sequence of lessons offers opportunities for ;
sounding out and tracing the shapes of the letters
matching small objects with their beginning sounds
building words by putting letter sounds together
building phrases by putting words together
building sentences by putting words/phrases together
building stories by putting sentences together
researching, discussing, comprehending, communicating, connecting
The child is open to all this and more through exploration of the manipulative
language materials in a Montessori house. Letter formation, precision,
concentration and production are all practiced in this environment.
The materials in this area provide the child with opportunities to manipulate
concretely those representations of abstract concepts such as quantity,
numeral, the decimal system, adding, subtracting, multiplying, dividing,
geometry, fractions and algebraic equations.
Typical Daily Schedule
7:30am – 10:15am
Indoor work time
Individual and small group lessons
First bathroom / diaper check (if app.)
10:15am – 11:20am
Circle time; large group lesson
Outdoor play time
11:20am – 11:30am
Second bathroom / diaper check (if app.)
Half day children are picked up
11:30am – 12:00pm
Wash up / bathroom / diaper check (if necessary)
12:00pm – 2:00pm
2:00pm – 2:30pm
Third bathroom / diaper check (if app.)
2:30pm – 3:30pm
3:30pm – 4:00pm
4:00pm – 5:30pm
Outdoor play or indoor work time
Hours of Operation
Full Day Attendance Options
7:30am – 5:30pm
7:30am – 3:30pm
8:30am – 3:30pm
Half Day Attendance Option
7:30am – 11:30am
All children should arrive by 8:30am. No child should remain past 5:30pm.
Parents, family members and persons interested in learning more
about our offerings are encouraged and welcomed to arrange an
observation hour during which they are provided a “front row
seat” from which to observe and enjoy a typical morning in our
Montessori houses. All guests must set an appointment and sign in
and out on their appointed day.
If your call to the office line (985-345-4676) is answered by a
recording, please leave a message and your call will be returned as
quickly as possible. If an emergency arises and you prefer not to
leave a message, call Bonnie’s cell (985-264-0307.)
Tuition / Fees
There are four enrollment options from which a family can choose:
7:30am-5:30pm @ $650.00 per month
7:30am-3:30pm @ $560.00 per month
8:30am-3:30pm @ $525.00 per month
7:30am-11:30am @$400.00 per month
Invoices are sent out approximately 2 weeks before each due date. Due
dates are the 15th of the month prior to the month in which child care
services are provided.
(For example, August’s monthly payment is due on July 15th.)
Children should not arrive earlier than or depart later than the times
selected on the Enrollment/Financial Agreement Forms, which are signed by
each parent before a child’s starting date. Should a child attend longer than
the times selected, an $8.00 per hour extended care fee will be assessed
Fundraiser Lunch Option Orders
These optional order forms must be completed and handed in before each
child’s starting date.
Fees will be invoiced according to the orders specified on the forms.
Because UMS is a tuition-based private pre-school, fundraising is a
necessary component of our budget if we hope to continue to offer
reasonable tuition rates. UMS does not receive any state or federal
Though no one is required to participate in fundraising efforts, everyone will
be notified regarding the details of all fundraisers. As well, “wish lists” are
often posted prior to various special events. Your donations, though not
required, are always welcomed and do help to keep down the cost of events.
Please assist us if you have any suggestions for fundraising efforts,
especially those that draw from outside of the UMS family!
Parents are asked to park their car and turn off the engine.
Please encourage your child to walk to their school house vs.
carrying him/her, then say goodbye at the door.
We ask that parents not enter the school houses at drop off
Upon entering, each child will be greeted and signed in by the
Staff Assistant. Then, they will hang their bags, jackets and
lunch boxes and choose from the indoor work options.
During the various arrival times, both individual and small group
lessons are being shared. Keeping the house as quiet as possible is
critical to these lessons and to the focus and concentration of
the child/children engaging in them. Keeping a calm and steady
energy in the house feeds the young child’s need for order. Too
much activity at the front door distracts the lessons and the flow
of the peaceful learning environment that we try to promote here
It is preferred that any special requests, information, concerns,
etc., be communicated with a House Coordinator or Bonnie via a
note attached to your child’s school bag, a text or a phone call.
But, if you need to speak personally with one of us at drop off, we
just ask that this be done quietly and outside of the front door.
If you have a sibling in your car who will not be entering, call your
child’s House Coordinator and she will come to the car to get your
child rather than your other child being left unattended in a car
while you bring your UMS child to his/her house.
Children will be allowed to be picked up only by those
persons listed on their Master Card.
FAMILIES ARE ENCOURAGED TO WRITE DOWN THE
NAMES OF ANY POSSIBLE PERSON WHO MAY BE
AUTHORIZED TO PICK UP THEIR CHILD.
These persons will be asked to show us a driver’s license
if we do not recognize them. Any names you wish to add
to the list must be written in, dated and initialed on your
child’s original Master Card. Permission for pick up via a
phone call, e mail or fax regarding anyone not listed on
the Master Card will not be accepted.
There will be no exceptions to this policy.
Diapers and Rest Time
If your child is not yet potty trained, you are asked to provide
diapers and wet wipes. Please send an unopened case of each on
your child’s first day.
Your child’s name must be clearly printed on the outside of the
case of diapers and box of wet wipes. These will be stored for
easy access, and you will be notified when replacements are
(When your child begins showing signs of readiness, he/she will
be encouraged to, “take a turn on the potty!”)
Rest Time Policy
Rest time at University Montessori School is from 12 noon til
Each full day child needs to bring in a cloth nap mat, preferably
the roll up type with pillow and blanket attached. (no character
prints, please) We will provide a one inch vinyl foam mat to place
After lunch, the children scrape their plates, wash up then lie
down on their nap mats.
A book is read and/or soft music is played. Everyone must lie still
and rest their bodies. Disturbing the room with sounds or wiggles
during nap time is not allowed. (“No words. No wiggles!”) Staff
members will sit next to any child in need of assistance.
Please prepare your child for this special, restful time of day. It
is really quite peaceful.
The cloth nap mats are sent home each Friday for laundering and
should return each Monday.
If you must pick up your child during rest time, please let us know
in advance so we can have him/her ready to leave.
Behavior and Discipline
In order to encourage the development of self-respect and respect for
others, University Montessori School employs three rules:
1. No child or adult may hurt another in any way.
2. No child or adult may disturb the work of another.
3. Every child and adult will bring “a best effort” to each new day.
At UMS, teachers correct inappropriate behavior by using directional
statements that treat the behavior as the subject of the instruction. In
addition, these statements frequently offer redirection to the child and
suggest more appropriate behavioral responses.
Some examples of UMS discipline statements are listed on the next page.
The “time out” concept is not labeled as such, but we do provide a space in
each house and in the yards where a child can “rest themselves” or “find
Corporal punishment is never used.
In the event that a child’s behavior requires one-on-one supervision or
restraint, we reserve the right to call the parent and have the child removed
until a parent/school conference can be arranged and some intervention
possibilities decided upon.
Derogatory remarks about a child or adult are not made in the presence of
the children. Children are not allowed to discipline other children. Children
are in the sight of a staff member at all times. Children are never deprived
of a meal or snack as a disciplinary measure.
We do not use terms such as “good girl / bad girl or good boy / bad boy.” We
do not threaten, shame or engage in offering rewards for “good behavior.”
Instead, we have “expectations.” We attempt to lead the children into
experiencing that truth and responsible living offer their own rewards! We
model and encourage the practice of virtues.
Examples of some directional statements used at UMS:
“Hitting is not okay. Hitting hurts. Hitting is not allowed.”
“Biting is NEVER okay.”
“Unkind words hurt feelings. Can you give your message in a kinder way?”
“Name calling is not allowed.”
“Teasing sometimes hurts feelings.”
“Friends take turns.”
“Friends are kind.”
“Please try to tell ___ how that made you feel.”
“Choose another friend for today if you and ___ are not getting along.”
“Working and playing on your own is good to do sometimes.”
“Come and sit down (over here, on the bench, on the porch swing, etc.) and
calm your body.”
“Find your self control.”
“Do you need me to help you walk away?”
“Do what is right.”
“Choose another game.”
“Stay where a teacher can see you.”
“I can only keep you safe if you listen to my instructions. Mom and Dad
expect me to keep you safe.”
“Listen to my instructions or there will have to be a consequence.”
“I feel sad (frustrated) that you are not able to cooperate this morning.”
“Is something upsetting you right now? Would you like to talk about it?”
The Language of Limits
(Source: The Hidden Image, Packard)
A. Try to be consistent without being illogical, rigid, or irrelevant.
1. Be objective, not personal, in your instructions: “Books go in this
bookcase,” rather than, “I want you to be sure to keep your books in
2. Be positive, not negative: “Use the tricycle; it is your size,” rather
than, “You are too little to ride the bicycle.”
3. Give the social reason for rules rather that flat authority: “Hang the
coat up before the baby steps on it and wrinkles it,” rather than,
“Hang it up.”
4. Give a solution to a problem rather than mere prohibitions: “Please
move to this side of the table, John, so that Mary will be able to see,”
rather than, “Don’t stand in Mary’s way, John.”
5. Be specific. Give concrete information using concrete names and
commands: “If you hold the card by its edge, it will stay clean,”
rather than, “Don’t mess up the cards.”
6. Match objects and actions to your words: “Trays (pause and show) are
held in the middle (pause and show) near your waist (pause and show),”
rather than, “Do it this way.”
7. Give awareness of consequences: “Hitting hurts Peter,” rather than,
“Don’t hit Peter.”
8. Act as an individual to defend the common law in specific instances:
“I will not let you hurt John with the stick,” rather than, “We don’t
9. Recognize the validity of emotions when you limit destructive actions:
“I know you are angry, but you may not hurt Mary,” rather than, “Why
did you hurt Mary? She is your friend.”
“I know you are afraid, but you must have the scratch cleaned,”
rather than, “You are a big girl and a little scratch doesn’t hurt.”
“I know you don’t want to wear your shoes, but you must protect your
feet when you walk on city sidewalks,” rather than, “You don’t want to
get your feet all dirty and hurt, do you?”
10. Use simple and scrupulously courteous manners to children and other
adults: “Good morning, John. I am glad to see you (hand offered but
withdrawn if not taken),” rather than, “Can you say ‘Good Morning,’ to
me, John, and shake my hand?”
“Thank you, Aunt Jane, for remembering Susan’s birthday,” rather
than, “What do you say to Aunt Jane, Susan?”
B. Phrases That Cover A Number of Situations
1. “That’s Anna’s work. Where is your work?”
2. “Please walk quietly to keep it peaceful.”
3. “Please speak softly to keep it peaceful.”
4. “Please put the work back to get it ready for the next friend.”
5. “Handle the work (be specific if possible) carefully (be specific if
to keep it in good condition (be specific if possible) for the next
6. “Sam would like to do this alone right now. Perhaps he will invite you
to join him another time.”
7. “Would you like to be by yourself now or have company?”
8. “If you can’t agree, put the work away and do other things.”
B. Useful Techniques
1. Cross the room, if necessary, to speak to a child.
2. Speak to the child directly and privately.
3. Stoop down and speak quietly.
4. Do not urge or ask or imply that he should succeed by word or
deed or tone; imply rather that each member of the family
(school house) is there to help each other with the severe
demands each makes on himself.
5. Do not give a child a choice when you care which choice he
makes. Only use the words, “Would you like to…” when you are
willing to have him say, “No.”
Otherwise, say, “Please do this now.” This will give you a chance
to see whether you care appropriately.
6. Give one verbal instruction at a time to a child. The youngest
cannot follow a sequence of commands.
7. Isolate the particular motions in your actions with pauses to
emphasize sequence and define parts of the whole.
walk around the gardens
draw with chalk on the red stepping stones only
keep rocks and bark on the ground
plants, insects and animals can be observed but not disturbed
chasing games are not allowed in the Bike Yard
play safely, not roughly
shooting games can not be played at school
include each other in games
swing on your bottom, never your belly
slide on your bottom, feet first
wait at the bottom of the ladder until the person in front of you takes
stay in view of the teachers on duty at all times
ride bikes and scooters in a clockwise direction on the “roadway”
ONLY; follow the arrows
return bikes and scooters to the bike shed when you are finished
enter and exit the play house through the doorway only
play house benches are for sitting on
tree climbing and fence climbing are not allowed at school
bikes are not allowed in the play house
only teachers open gates and doors
take turns watering the plants and flowers
take turns feeding the turtles
handle insects and plants gently
ask a teacher before going inside to use the bathroom
push swings responsibly and safely; never push an empty swing
three friends on the porch swing
no child may pick up another child
the two person bike is for two at a time
stay off of the ramp
Discrimination / Abuse & Neglect Policy
University Montessori School does not discriminate on
the basis of race, color, creed, sex, national origin,
handicapping condition or ancestry.
University Montessori School reports any suspected
abuse and/or neglect of a child in accordance with
Louisiana Revised Statutes 14:403.
The Tangipahoa Office of Community Services’ phone
number is: 985-748-2001.
The younger children are served snack communally at
The older children serve their own snack. Two children at
a time can enjoy snack at the designated snack table
throughout morning work time.
Each child is asked to bring in particular snacks according
to the monthly Snack Duty Calendars which are
distributed at the end of each month for the next month.
The child whose name is posted on the calendar also
serves as the flag holder, line leader and helper of the
Snack Duty selections include at least two items from a
variety of fruits, vegetables, grains and proteins that we
have noticed the children preferring.
Juice is offered with each snack.
Milk is offered with the lunch meal.
Water is encouraged throughout the day.
We prefer not to offer sugary snacks to the children,
but do allow cupcakes and ice cream for a child’s
Lunch time in both school houses is a communal affair. The tables
are set, hands are washed, the meals are blessed then we all eat
together. The older children practice table etiquette and pass
around a 2 inch “conversation bear” to assist in mannerly table
conversation! The bear sits in front of the speaker’s plate while
everyone else listens attentively. When each speaker is finished,
he/she passes the bear to the next child to have a turn. Not
interrupting requires much self control for the young child. The
conversation bear helps as we practice attentive listening and
appropriate table conversation.
Milk is offered to the children with lunch unless the parent has
specified otherwise on the Milk Order Form.
Juice or water can be offered as an alternative (or soy milk can
be sent from home.)
Lunches brought from home should:
*be packed in an insulated lunch bag, labeled with your child’s
*be ready to eat vs. in need of preparation
*include at least two – three items from the following categories:
fruit, vegetable, grain, protein or any other “growing food”
*NOT include a dessert or drink
Beginning in August 2011, we will be offering Daily Fundraiser
Lunches Monday through Friday. The cost of each lunch is $3.00
and is optional.
Each month, simply check off the days you want to order and
return the order form. You will be invoiced for the amount due.
Refunds or credits will not be applied for days absent.
We do not have a nurse on staff. Allergic reactions and liability
issues, being what they are today, warrant careful consideration
regarding dispensing medication to children.
While it is our first preference that a parent make arrangements
to come to the center to personally administer medication to
their child, we understand that certain situations may arise in
which a dosage of medicine needs to be given during the day and a
parent may not be able to be present.
Should this be the case, please see Bonnie Nicaud first.
After completing a Medication Dispensing Request Form, a
decision will be made regarding the request. If any medication is
to be dispensed during center hours, it will be given by Bonnie,
documented and a copy of the documentation sent home.
No other staff person is allowed to dispense medication to the
Though it may cause inconvenience to a parent, we must reserve
the right to refuse to dispense medication in the event that we
are uncomfortable with the request.
A child who is not feeling well or who has obvious symptoms of
illness should not be brought to school.
A child who develops fever or shows signs of illness will be
isolated from the other children and their parent will be
contacted. Children who become ill at school must be picked up
within one hour. Please be sure that the emergency contact
numbers you give us are up-to-date. It is especially important
that parents who work outside of the home develop a plan for
their child’s emergency pick-up in the event of an illness.
Do not send your child to school when any of the following
fever within the previous 24 hours
vomiting and/or diarrhea within the previous 24 hours
common cold or allergy with signs of possible infections
any unexplained rash or possible skin infections
possible eye infections
any symptom of the usual childhood diseases
The most important thing about the clothes your child
wears to school is that they are comfortable and easy to
put on and take off. For example, pants with elastic waist
bands are so much easier to handle than those having
snaps or buttons. Overalls are especially time consuming
We try to have diaper changing times and potty breaks
move as swiftly and smoothly as possible. Elastic waist
bands are most preferred!
Also, we prefer that the children not wear character
clothing. It is preferred that their lunch bags and nap
mats not have characters on them, either.
Closed toe shoes with smooth soles are required as they
are the safest for outdoor play.
Sandals, light up shoes, Crocs and backless shoes are not
Order forms for University Montessori School tee
shirts, sweat shirts and school bags will be available in
July. These have our oak tree / rainbow logo. Purchasing
them is encouraged but not mandatory.
Home and School Communication
UMS “communigrams” are utilized for daily communication the
school may wish to send. Please check your child’s school bag at
pick up time, and we will check each child’s bag every morning.
While you are always welcome to call the school with any
questions or messages you may have, using communigrams has
proven to be a very helpful vehicle of clear communication.
Texting has become quite useful as well for daily messages. Staff
cell phone numbers will be sent home in the first newsletter in
Each Monday, a UMS Weekly Newsletter is e mailed. Newsletters
include information about upcoming events, exciting activities,
notices, requests and calendar changes.
A smaller paper copy is sent home along with any paper work,
The UMS Weekly Newsletter is THE primary mode of
communication from school to home.
Please read each Monday newsletter in its entirety.
Lastly, our office phone number is 985-345-4676.
If a person does not answer, a message can be left on voice mail.
Messages are checked regularly and calls returned in a timely
If your call is urgent, please call Bonnie’s cell number:
Parent Booster Club
My vision of these two complimentary associations is that they
will assist in fostering family connections and the richness of a
three-generational experience for the pre-school children of
University Montessori School.
I, myself, was fortunate to have grown up in a three generation
home in New Orleans in the 1950’s. Many of my friends, as well,
enjoyed the security of neighborhoods filled with such
connections. My parents, grandparents and neighbors contributed
endless positive memories to my childhood. Their love and
appreciation for me was the basis upon which I found my world to
be safe and secure.
As a grandparent of 22 (23 by Christmas!) grandchildren, I count
it a privilege to be an active part of their young lives. They bring
a richness to mine, for sure!
Many families today live away from each other. In my own family,
this is a reality. For the children of my UMS family, I hope to
offer a sense of positive familial connection, through activities,
events and celebrations, where all ages come together for the
benefit of the children who are looking on and defining their
place in our great big world.
While I see UMS as the next best thing to Grandmother, I know
that we can never replace her!! So, let the fun begin! Bring
Grandmother to the campus!!
These two associations will be explained in full at the mandatory
parent meetings in July. With your assistance and participation,
they will become an integral facet of UMS campus life.
The front, side and back doors of each house are locked at all
times. All of the gates are secured. Our child to staff ratios are
small, promoting vigilant supervision of the children.
Fire drills take place monthly. Evacuation routes are posted by
each door of both houses. Also, severe weather locations have
been noted for each house. The UMS Staff has been briefed on
emergency procedures and drill locations.
Families are called whenever the National Weather Service issues
a weather WARNING (not a weather watch) for this area. These
calls are made so that parents who may be unaware of the
warning can be alerted and make decisions regarding picking up
their child. It is our preference that children be picked up as
soon as possible in these situations, both for their safety and so
that staff members may be offered the option of leaving early. A
minimum of two staff persons would remain until all children are
Also, in the event of an emergency “lock down,” phone calls will be
made to each UMS family regarding the details.
The children’s Master Card Forms with pertinent contact
information are kept in portable file boxes for easy accessibility.
Both the Hammond Police and the SLU Police frequently patrol
the streets around our school. These departments have always
responded immediately regarding any security concerns.
UMS strives to provide a safe environment.
Candle Snuffing Rite
Candle Snuffing is a silencing exercise that we practice
on Fridays at UMS. It is a time for the children to
concentrate on being very quiet and still. We listen to
peaceful music or the subtle sounds of nature as each
child takes a turn to snuff out the “peace candle.”
Candle Snuffing has become our traditional way to say,
“Good Bye,” whether for the weekend, a holiday or at our
End of the Year Ceremony.
It is a very special and inspiring time for the children and
Birthday Celebration of Life Ceremony
During this very special ceremony, a candle is lit and placed in the
center of the meeting rug. The lit candle represents the sun. The
children form the shape of an ellipse which represents the orbital
path of planet Earth around the sun. The child whose birthday it
is holds the continent globe which represents our planet Earth.
The children know that it takes one year for the Earth to travel
around the sun. So, the birthday child walks one “orbit” per year
of his/her life! After each orbit, a little tid bit about each year
is shared about the child. (For example, “When John was two
years old, he learned how to ride a tricycle.”) Parents and
relatives are invited to join for the ceremony so they can share
tid bits and photos and celebrate the birthday with us.
After all of the orbits have been walked by the birthday child,
everyone present gives a “Hip Hip Hooray” for each year the child
has lived on Earth. Then, we all sing the “Happy Birthday” song
and the birthday child receives a blessing. (Num. 6:24-26)
Snack time on this day is provided by the birthday child. It may
include cup cakes & ice cream.
Families are encouraged to make a photo collage of their child at
birth, age one, age two, etc., that can be posted and enjoyed
throughout the day. The children giggle at how much they have
changed through the years!
Recommendations from University Montessori School to Home…
A must read for all adults is, “Last Child in the Woods,” by Richard Louv. In
this timely and prophetic book, Louv warns about what he has coined as
“nature deficit disorder” in children. Backed by modern research, Louv
shares the “dangers” of too much technology… television, computers, etc… in
regard to the healthy development of the young child. Both intriguing and
disturbing, the book urges its readers to connect children with the natural
world as much as possible. Such connections, Louv claims and Montessorians
believe, will assist the young child in delevoping empathy for all living things,
and the responsibilities of stewardship on behalf of all living things and the
planet we call home.
And, so, University Montessori School urges parents to restrict the time the
children spend watching television, playing computer games and engaging with
fantasy figures. Rather, we encourage those interactions which are
connective such as, sitting down to dinner as often as possible and using this
time to dialogue among family members, playing board games or constructing
puzzles, taking walks, bike riding, swimming, playing outdoor ball games,
reading books at bedtime, snuggling, sharing a prayer of gratitude for the
day that has passed and the day that is to come. Filling their memory banks
with the aromas and music of family life, whatever size or shape a family is,
and providing times for eye contact and positive touch, provide benefits in
the life of a young child that are everlasting.
There is much to explore and celebrate about the natural world. With our
guidance and encouragement, children will not find it “boring” to play outside!
They will welcome it and will use their instinctive imaginations instead of
being inundated by the marketing messages of media which recognize that
“children are a multi-billion dollar audience for their products.” (pg. 44,
“Can’t Buy My Love,” by Jean Kilbourne, another must read book.)
And, so, these recommendations…
The research is in.
For purposes of the federal child and dependent care credit, the taxpayer is
responsible for maintaining all documentation required to figure and support
the credit. University Montessori School does not ordinarily supply any type
of year-end documentation of the amount paid. UMS is, however, willing to
produce a report upon request for a fee of $10.00.
For more information on the child and dependent care credit, go to the IRS’
website at www.irs.gov. Then search for the current year’s Publication 503.
Our federal tax identification number is 72-1202378
Throughout the year, we find wonderful uses for the following items that are often
thrown away. Please join us in recycling these items for craft projects and other
Empty, cleaned and dried baby food jars and their lids
Empty, cleaned and dried plastic baby food containers
Empty toilet tissue rolls
Plastic grocery bags
Throughout the year, we use many consumable products. While totally optional,
please feel free to send in any of the items listed below. We use these up rather
5 oz. paper cups
Zip Loc bags (all sizes)
Tear-free bath time liquid soap (lavender scented is our favorite)
Also, WE RECYCLE plastic, glass and aluminum! You are welcome to send these items to
school with your child so they may be placed in our recycle bins. We also water the plants
with rain water collected in our rain barrels! WE LOVE OUR EARTH!