Parent – School Partnership Agreement
Greenspring Montessori School is a community committed to aiding the full development of the child through the Montessori method. Our students thrive when their homes and school operate in harmony and alignment with each other. To best serve the child, these environments must share educational values and expectations.
To facilitate this process, this Agreement aims to:
- Offer clarity as to what the school and parents can and should expect from one another
- Pave the way for a strong partnership based on these shared expectations guided by a unified vision
What does the school expect from parents?
Q: What is the most basic expectation the school has of parents?
A: To understand and trust the Montessori model of education so that we can support one another in the care and nurturance of the child.
- Devote real and sincere effort to learning Montessori principles, and to bring these concepts into the home environment and your parenting. Principles include:
- Never doing something for your child that he can do for himself. Allow even the youngest child to engage in real life activities, building independence, confidence and skills, and ensure that older children contribute to home life by participating in household tasks.
- Not stepping in to rescue your child. Allow your child to overcome challenges, thus building self-esteem, a sense of purpose, and the determination to master life skills.
- Using positive discipline techniques with your child.
- Attend all regularly scheduled Parent/Guide Conferences and required or strongly encouraged parent education events.
- Familiarize yourself annually with our Parent Handbook, your classroom’s expectations, and the role of the active and supportive parent in our community.
Q: How can parents positively support the school community?
A: Demonstrate respect for all adults and children in our community, the school, and the school’s programs and policies.
- Model respect for your child. Speak of the school and every member of the GMS community in positive terms when your child, or any GMS student, is present.
- Always work to resolve misunderstandings and conflicts respectfully and graciously.
- Engage in our culture of giving. Sharing your time, talent, and resources all support the school community in providing the best education possible for our students.
Q: What are my responsibilities regarding communication between home and school?
A: Maintain respectful, direct, and active communication with the school.
- Communicate in a timely manner about all significant events in your child’s life.
- Share observations and concerns about your child or classroom experience directly with the child’s lead guide. Doing so allows the guides to be responsive to your and the child’s needs in a timely manner.
- Read all school generated communications in a timely fashion. This includes bulletins, newsletters, emails, and calendars that are sent home.
- Communicate questions and concerns promptly and directly. Bring classroom concerns directly to the child’s lead guide. School concerns can be brought to the administrative team.
What can parents expect from the school?
Q: What can I expect from the school academically?
A: We are first, and foremost, a Montessori school, with a deep commitment to best practices of Montessori education.
- Our focus is always on the formation of your whole child. By nurturing curiosity and initiative, the child develops strong work habits, a clear sense of purpose, and the will to learn and grow.
- We recognize your child as a unique individual. Therefore, our Montessori guides create lesson plans based on meeting each student’s specific needs.
- We support students’ self-construction as thinkers who persevere. We accomplish this through a deeper exploration and internalization of concepts rather than mere memorization of facts.
- Students are given real choice in the name of liberty—freedom with responsibility. The opportunity to practice responsible independence gives rise to self-formation and the emergence of character. Through this work, the Montessori child develops a healthy respect for self, others, and the environment.
- All students are encouraged to take on works and projects that feel out of their reach – and require them to stretch. Though they may fail occasionally, they must not shy away from big and challenging work. Simply engaging in the struggle forges perseverance and patience as well as self-knowledge and self-esteem.
Q: What can I expect in terms of communication from the school?
A: We will always communicate as partners, working hard to provide open, timely, respectful information and insight about your child and the school community.
- All communications are approached from a place of partnership in the best interests of our students.
- We work diligently to communicate the beauty, nuance, and growth that transpire each day in the life of your child. Absent a daily diet of worksheets and grades to mark progress, we must rely on parent/guide communication to transmit evidence of growth gained through direct exploration with ideas, materials, research, the natural world, and creative means.
- We offer numerous opportunities to support your own ongoing Montessori education, including observations in your child’s classroom and workshops focused on the structure, curriculum, and activity in the Montessori environment.
- We will listen when you speak and respond with respect, always communicating in a timely, professional, and confidential manner.
- We will contact you directly in the event of special concerns about your child. Should you have difficulty resolving any issue, our administrative staff will facilitate efforts to reach a solution.
- We inform you consistently about school-wide events through bulletins, emails, and newsletters, as well as our website, blog, and social media.
Q: What can I expect of the school environment?
A: We strive to ensure an environment that is physically and emotionally safe and supportive, as well as aesthetically beautiful.
- We provide materials and activities in each classroom, which directly correspond to the developmental characteristics of your child. The materials are challenging and inspiring and the learning environments are well tended to and inviting.
- We maintain buildings and grounds that are physically safe, secure, and well maintained. We are actively engaged in enhancing and updating our facilities and grounds.
- Adults, students, and environments form the whole of our Montessori community and culture. All play a vital role in your child’s experience. We strive to make the learning environment supportive and safe for every child in every way.
Q: What can I expect from the school staff?
A: We focus on the needs and well being of the individual child in harmony with the life and well being of the community. We make mission-driven decisions, focused on good stewardship and responsible management. We offer an open door to your questions or concerns.
- You can always expect the GMS staff to be professional and courteous, providing mutually respectful communication with all our constituents. We strive to be a model of the grace and courtesy that guides Montessori curriculum and culture.
- We work to balance the individual needs of the child with the needs of the classroom or school community as a whole.
We look forward to a working partnership with you to provide both an outstanding educational experience and warm, welcoming community for both you and your child.
Versions & Download
This version was updated on 1/28/2014. Please note that this document will be updated periodically, and that when significant changes to it are made, we will let parents know through our Bulletin newsletter or a dedicated email. The school may revise this agreement whenever the need arises – so please keep yourself up-to-date as new versions come out!