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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Montessori?In essence, a Montessori philosophy is a way of observing each child individually to discover their unique abilities, learning styles, interests, and talents so that each child can be assisted in acquiring the skills and self-confidence needed to fulfill his/her potential.  Please refer to our website or your information packet for more detailed information.
How much is tuition?Please refer to your handout in your folder for tuition and also a price comparison to local private schools as well as other Montessori schools in Southwestern PA.
Does VMS offer tuition assistance?Tuition assistance can be found through various programs such as Central Pennsylvania Scholarship Fund (EITC), Community Foundation of Fayette County, and our Script program.  
Is there a multiple child discount?VMS offers a 15% discount for families for the 3rd child and 25% for the 4th child.  
Is busing available?We currently have bus transportation from the following school districts:  
Mt. Pleasant, Southmoreland, Connellsville, Yough, Hempfield, Uniontown and Frazier.
How can parents get involved?We have our Verna Montessori Parents Auxiliary and various committees where you can volunteer your time as your schedule permits.  
Facebook – Private VMS Parents GroupWe have a Parents Only Private Facebook group where we share important information and different things going in the classrooms or field trips, etc.  We respect your privacy and will only post photos of your child IF you give permission.  
Facebook – PublicWe post various events on our Public Facebook Page.  We respect your privacy and will only post photos of your child IF you give permission via the Photo Form.
Is there a dress code?Dr. Maria Montessori does not advocate a dress code because it would stifle the efforts for individual growth in esthetics and responsibility.  However, it is the role of the parents to foster and direct children toward cleanliness, neatness, good taste,modesty and a positive self-image.
Do you provide lunch? 
What about allergies?
Students at VMS bring their own lunches.  Due to constraints of time and space, as well as to limited faculty availability, we do not heat or refrigerate any food.  We suggest the use of lunch boxes supplied with reusable and resealable containers which are environmentally sound and give the children the opportunity to save their food.  A thermos can also be used.  
Newly enrolled students and transitioning academic levelsAll newly enrolled students, all first graders, all fourth graders and all seventhgraders will have the opportunity to attend three days of orientation, typically 9:30 am – 11:00 am, prior to the first school day.  
Important Communication/
We use the REMIND app for communications. If you don’t have the app, you can still get messages via text.  We also use email for non-urgent matters.  We may send a remind app message directing you to your email.
Communication regarding your childIn order to establish a positive and trusting relationship between families and teachers, it is vital that any question concerning your child first be brought to the attention of one of your child’s teachers immediately and if not resolved, may bring to the attention of the Principal.  Teachers are available to receive telephone calls at the school from 3:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., and the principal from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a m, 11:30 a m to 4:00 p m, and 7:00 p m to 9:00 pm.  The school secretary will be in the office to take your calls Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to3:00 p.m. Teachers may not receive calls during school hours, except in cases of emergencies, as their responsibility is toward every one of their students during this period.  If a parent wishes to speak at length with a teacher or the principal, a conference may be scheduled at any time. You can also call the convent between the hours of 7:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.  We must stress, however, that these hours are to be respected.  Please, honor especially the Sisters’ prayer time which occurs between 4:30 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.
Safety of studentsFor the safety of the school population, a security system is installedat the Elementary main door, and at the Children’s House Good Shepherd entrances. The two main entrances will be promptly locked at 8:30 a.m.  There will be a greeter at the Children’s House entrance to welcome each student daily.
After 8:30 a.m., in case of an emergency, parents should use the mainentrance door. This is requested not only for safety reasons, but also to avoid distractions and interruptions in the students’ work cycles.
We also have periodic fire drills which we will notify you of so you can prepare the children in advance.
How will I know what my child is doing?You may view your child’s binder, where their daily completed works reside, at any time through the school year.  You may call or schedule a conference with your teacher.  
We have sample student binders set out for you to view.
Is there a handbook?Yes.  Upon registration, you will receive a school handbook which will answer any additional questions you may have regarding our policies.