FAQ for Current Families

If your question isn’t below, please ask us.

1. How are birthdays celebrated in the classroom?

We love celebrating the birthdays of our students and we encourage parents to help make the day feel an extra bit special for their child!

  • Cycle 1 classes
    Your child may like to bring in plate of their favourite fruit or vegetables to share at group time. We ask parent to please not bring in cakes or other sweet treats, both to support our healthy food policy in Cycle 1, and also because managing dietary requirements amongst our younger students can be more challenging. Your child may also like to bring in some photos of themselves as a baby or toddler.
  • Cycle 2 & 3 classes
    As the children get older, bringing in some other healthy birthday treat is much easier to manage, although the fruit and vegetable plate is still most welcome! If you do choose to bring in a cake or something similar, we always appreciate you providing a list of ingredients so we can help children with dietary needs make responsible choices. However, please be aware that CMS is an allergy aware school and we discourage peanuts in particular from being brought to school at all times, even on birthdays! It is also possible that, depending on the specific dietary needs of a child in a class, your Classroom Director may request certain restrictions on what is brought into the class, so please do check with your Class Parent if that is applicable to your child’s class.

2. What qualifications should my child’s teacher have and how do you select new teaching staff for the school?

The school has specific minimum requirements for all our staff, as well as a framework in place to provide continual professional development opportunities to classroom and administrative staff alike. Please visit our page on ‘Montessori and other Educational Qualifications’ for more information.

3. What are the drop off and pick up procedures for students?

  • Drop Off
    Students should arrive at school to be in the classroom between 8:30 and 8:45. All Cycle 1 students must be signed in at the classroom by a parent or carer. Cycle 2 & 3 children do not need to be signed in. If your child is arriving after 8:45, they must visit Reception first to complete a late note.
  • Pick Up
    Cycle 1 children must be signed out at the classroom by a parent or carer at pick up. Cycle 1 children attending the morning session may be collected at 12pm. Cycle 1 children in Extended Day and Cycle 2 and 3 children may be collected at 3pm. If your child is to make their own way home, or is to be picked up by someone other than their parents/guardian, please let your Director know and provide authorisation via the Office.  If you are running late, please phone the office. Children not picked up within 10 minutes will be taken to Gumnut and cared for there until you arrive, and you may be billed for any time your child spends at Gumnut.

4. What are the expectations or requirements regarding volunteering and community hours?

Being part of our school activities is not just a great way to support the school and increase the range of opportunities for our students and the broader community, it’s also fantastic on a personal level.  It’s an excellent way to meet the other parents, share your skills and demonstrate excellent community values to your children.  And, of course, the school just isn’t the same without volunteers.  Whether you want to take a leading role, or simply help out with classroom washing or the odd working bee, every hour helps.  You can find out more on our Community page.  We also ask all families to contribute to the Fair by volunteering time on the day and donating materials or goods to sell, or sponsoring a stall.

5. Does Canberra Montessori School offer any scholarships?

While we don’t offer scholarships to the general public, Canberra Montessori is pleased to work with Karinya House to provide a full scholarship to a child via our Bursary program. This program commenced in 2016 and we hope to be able to expand it in coming years.

6. Is any assistance available for families who may be struggling with their school fees?

Our first priority is to help all our students complete their Montessori education. Our Bursary program is designed to provide short ­term assistance to families who find themselves under financial pressure and perhaps unable to pay some or all of their school fees. The length of time the assistance is provided, as well as the value of the assistance, is determined on a case ­by­ case basis. If you would like more information on our Bursary Program, please contact our Business Manager.

7. What should my child bring to school each day?

Except for a short period in winter, your child should always bring a hat and clothing appropriate to the weather.  Younger children may also wish to pack a change of clothes.  Cycle 1 Extended Day  and Cycle 2 and 3 children will need to pack lunch, and Cycle 2 and 3 students will also need to pack a snack.  We encourage all families to help their child choose healthy choices for their lunchbox.  Your Class Parent will distribute other packing lists, such as stationary requirements, at the start of each year.

8. Should my child bring toys or other possessions from home to school?

Please keep all toys, merchandising and other games at home.  Children may wish to bring an item in to show at group time or for a presentation, but these should be related to the work they do in class or something interesting the child has discovered and wishes to share.  If in doubt, please contact your Director using the email format firstname.lastname@cms.act.edu.au.

9. If I have comments or feedback on activities, policies, procedures or anything else at the school, how should I raise this?

Our Communication Path guide will show you the best person to raise any issue with.

10. When are the fees for next year announced?

Generally we will announce the fees for the following year in the middle of Term 4. Staff contracts or enterprise bargaining agreements are usually renewed in early Term 4, so once those have been finalised, we are able to confirm the operating budget for the following year, and thus set the fees. You will receive the fee information for the following year via email.

11. Does the annual membership to the Canberra Montessori Society belong to the family or just one of the adults?

Membership, as well as how members can be involved in the governance of the school, is covered on our Governance page

12. What are the rules about photos, videos, social media and the school?

Our school does have a Facebook account, which we use to communicate events and articles of interest to our community. We will never post photos or videos in which a child is recognisable in any public forum unless we have been given prior permission by the parent/guardians of the child. We ask all our community to respect the privacy of others by following the same guidelines ­- please don’t publish any photo or video that you’ve taken at the school unless you have confirmed the parents of any children included are happy for you to do.

13. How does the school communicate with parents?

The school will use a combination of our school app, email, printed correspondence and SMS to communicate to parents. We will generally distribute information as follows:

  • General updates, class information, permission notes, invitations and reminders will be published via our website and our Schoolstream App, which is available for download from the AppStore and GooglePlay.
  • Newsletters will be emailed to parents and also published via the Schoolstream app.
  • Accounts and other personal correspondence will be emailed to parents.
  • Fliers or information regarding Spring Fair, Learnscapes or other community events may also be put in class pockets as well as published via the Schoolstream app.
  • Emergency information will be sent via our SMS service, if required.

You may select one or both parents to receive emails or SMS messages, and you may even add other guardians if required. If you haven’t received information you were expecting, we may not have the latest information for you on file. Please contact us to update your details.

14. If I am unable to attend a parent or community event, how can I keep up to date with what happened?

We do our best to have information on all events available on the website and the Schoolstream App.  If you feel that something is missing, please let us know.

15. Does Canberra Montessori have a uniform or dress code?

We don’t have a compulsory uniform, but you may choose to purchase CMS clothing. Just return your form to the office and it will go with the next order. Otherwise we encourage parents to help their child choose clothing that is easy to move in, sunsmart and preferably free of logos and merchandising. Please provide closed-­toe flat shoes or sandals that are easy to run and play in for physical activity, and avoid high boots. Broad­brimmed hats are required for outside play.

16. How do you identify and support special needs children in the school?

We work with the individual Class Directors to help identify and support any children with special needs and they will raise this with you either at parent-teacher interviews or earlier, if required.  And, of course, if you identify that your child needs additional support, then we will work with you to achieve the best outcome for your child.  Please contact your Class Director if you would like to discuss your child’s learning by using the email format, firstname.lastname@cms.act.edu.au.