Many families wonder what the next steps will be after their child completes the cycle of Montessori Elementary. While choosing a school comes down to very personal preferences, the steps to prepare for the transition to a conventional program are the same.
Here are some of the key items to cover as you start the process of moving to a new program:
- Conference with your Montessori teachers—By letting your teachers know which programs you’re considering, they can help start preparing your student for the move. For example, if the new program has a heavy homework load, the teachers can start working with your child on organization skills and practicing taking work home. Your teachers will most likely need to fill out portions of the application or write a letter of recommendation, so it would also be helpful to let them know which schools you’re exploring.
- Make sure all medical, dental, and optical checkups are up to date and that you have copies of your screening results (vision, hearing, etc.). Many programs will need these documents, and having them at the ready will prevent delays in the process.
- Schedule a tour and shadow days for your child. Giving your student an opportunity to see and/or experience the daily life at a potential new school can ease anxiety for both you and your child, and help to determine if your family is comfortable with that program.
- Find out what evaluations and records the schools need for your child. Montessori does not provide standardized testing. So, if the new school requires a standardized test score, you will need to find an open testing opportunity. Also, if your new school has tests for their incoming students, it’s a good idea to cover them early in the summer while school work is still fresh in their minds, rather than waiting until your child has been on break.
By making sure all of the administrative basics are covered, the process of looking at new schools can be much less stressful. It gives your family the freedom to focus on the schools themselves, rather than worrying about paperwork, scores or applications.