FAQs

 

Frequently Asked Questions

CdN_4565
How do your bilingual classrooms work?
What is the best age to introduce a child to a second language?
I want my child to learn English first (or primarily) instead of Spanish. Is that possible?
What is Montessori?
How do I know what my child does all day?
Do you have an outdoor environment?
Do you do testing in your classes?
Do you offer a 3-day program for Primary students (3 – 6 years)?
What is your discipline policy?
What activities do you offer in addition to the daily classroom routine?
Does my child need to be potty-trained to attend?
Can my child take naps during the day? Can they nap if they’re in Primary?
What can I pack in my child’s lunch? Is there anything that’s not allowed?
Do you accept children with allergies?
What security and safety features do you have in place?
Is there a dress code?
What are your policies regarding sun safety and the AZ heat?
What happens if my child gets hurt at school?
When does your school year begin and end?
Do you offer Extended Care over breaks?
Do you celebrate birthdays and holidays in the classes?
Do you have any discounts available on tuition?
Can I get a discount or refund for vacation time or long absences for my child?
I can’t afford tuition. Do you have a scholarship program?
Can I pay hourly for Extended Care?
Is there a registration fee and/or deposit? If so, how much, and when is it due?
Are your teachers Montessori certified?
What is your teacher turnover rate?
Do you require fingerprint clearance cards and background checks on all of your staff?
Can I observe in a classroom?
What opportunities are there for parent involvement?

 

 

How do your bilingual classrooms work?

Our Primary I and Primary II classes are both bilingual classrooms (both English and Spanish are spoken and taught throughout the day) while the Junior Elementary class is a full immersion class (half day in Spanish, half day in English). The Primary I class emphasis in Spanish is developing comprehension and familiarity with the language in daily conversation, instructions and learning across all subject areas. The Primary II class emphasis in Spanish is teaching the children vocabulary in preparation for speaking, writing and reading, and continuing to foster confidence communicating in Spanish. The Junior Elementary emphasis in Spanish is teaching the children to speak, write, and read fluently in all subject areas. There are native speaking teachers in both English and Spanish in each class, and our philosophy is that teachers teach primarily in their native language. See Our Bilingual Classrooms page for more details. Back to top

What is the best age to introduce a child to a second language?

The earlier a child learns a new language, the better. Ideally, children should begin learning a second language before the age of five. Studies have shown that children who learn a new language before the age of five use the same part of their brain as when they learned their native language. Younger children do not have inhibitions and can speak a second language naturally, and with native pronunciation. Back to top

I want my child to learn English first (or primarily) instead of Spanish. Is that possible?

If parents request that their child learn primarily in English first, our teachers are happy to accommodate that request (our Primary I teachers are fully bilingual, and our Primary II and Jr. El classes each have a native English speaking teacher and a native Spanish speaking teacher). Back to top

What is Montessori?

The Montessori Method is a way of educating that respects the individuality of each child. Dr. Maria Montessori believed in the worthiness, value, and importance of children. Montessori takes to heart the needs, talents, gifts, and individuality of each child. It is a process that helps children learn in their own way and at their own pace. See our page All About Montessori for more information. Back to top

How do I know what my child does all day?

All of our lead teachers provide a weekly class report that shows what the children are working on throughout the week as well as other information that may be important to share with parents. If there are any concerns during the week, the teachers will communicate with parents through conversation, notes, phone calls or conferences if necessary. Parents are always welcome to call during the day to ask how their child is doing. Back to top

Do you have an outdoor environment?

Yes! When weather permits, each class has its own individual outdoor environment outside of the classroom in our community courtyard where children can work outdoors on a daily basis. In addition, we have a sandbox, balance beam and activities for the children to play with on our outdoor playground including: bikes, scooters, basketball hoop, hula hoops, balls, jump ropes, etc. We are very excited about building a new garden for the children to take care of as well this fall. Back to top

Do you do testing in your classes?

Our Primary I and Primary II classes do not do testing. The Junior Elementary class does some basic verbal and written testing from time to time to help see where each child is academically and to introduce basic test-taking skills. Casa del Niño does not administer standardized tests. Back to top

Do you offer a 3-day program for Primary students (3 – 6 years)?

No, we do not offer a 3-day program for Primary students. We offer a 5-day program, either half day (8:30am – 12:30pm) or full day (8:30am -2:30pm). It is important for the Primary students to attend 5 days a week in order to develop consistency, routine and normalization. Normalization is the repetition of a 3-step cycle: 1. preparation for an activity, 2. deep concentration while doing the activity, and 3. rest and satisfaction. The building of character and the formation of personality that we call normalization comes about when children follow this cycle of work for 5 days in a row. This routine supports independence, self-reliance and confidence. Back to top

What is your discipline policy?

Any child who is behaving in a disruptive or destructive manner is calmly removed from the situation. The child is then given a simple explanation (away from peers) of why his/her behavior is unacceptable. The child’s choice/action is discussed with the child in terms of bad/good choices and how their choices/actions affect their friends and environment. If needed, the child may be asked to spend a short time in the Peace Corner to calm him or herself. The child is allowed to select another activity once he/she feels ready to act in an acceptable manner. Throughout this procedure, the child is made aware of the consequences of his/her actions. Back to top

What activities do you offer in addition to the daily classroom routine?

Music Together (or musical instrument lessons for Elementary), P.E. and Show and Tell are all part of our weekly routine. In addition, we occasionally have experts come in and present about specific topics to the children. Back to top

Does my child need to be potty-trained to attend?

In order for a child to attend Casa del Nino, he or she DOES need to be using the potty independently. Back to top

Can my child take naps during the day? Can they nap if they’re in Primary?

Yes, all children attending full day (8:30am – 2:30pm) the Primary I classes take naps from 12:30 – 2:30pm every day. Primary II students are welcome to join the Primary I for naps during that time if needed. Back to top

What can I pack in my child’s lunch? Is there anything that’s not allowed?

Please provide your child with a healthy balanced lunch. No fruit snacks (unless 100% fruit) and no fast food/TV dinners. We ask that highly processed foods that contain a large amount of sugar or contain high fructose corn syrup be kept home. Water and plain milk are the only beverages permitted at school. Back to top

Do you accept children with allergies?

Yes, we accept children with allergies. We have an allergy list in every classroom that shows the name of each child with allergies and what he or she is allergic to. Our teachers are very conscious of providing snack foods that are allergy-free and maintaining strict cleaning policies in order to keep all our children safe. Back to top

What security and safety features do you have in place?

For security purposes we have a camera that shows the front gate on a monitor by the front desk so those at the front desk can see exactly who is at the locked gate. We only allow those we know onto the school premises by pushing a button allowing them to come in. For others that we don’t know, we ask them directly who they are and ask for ID. There is a lock on all gates that lead outside of the school. We also have a monthly fire drill and quarterly lock down drill in order to prepare our staff and students in the case of an emergency. Back to top

Is there a dress code?

Children are free to dress how they choose. However we do ask that you help them follow these guidelines so they may have the best experience at school: clothing that fits properly, shorts under dresses and skirts, and no flip flops. Primary I will benefit from having clothing that is easy for them to take on and off themselves. Back to top

What are your policies regarding sun safety and the AZ heat?

During the hotter months in summer we have limited outdoor time (no more than 30 minutes at a time, not during the hottest times of day), and we provide more active indoor activities. We value and understand how important it is for children to live active lives outdoors, but we also realize weather does not always allow for that. We ask children to wear or bring their own sunblock in order to protect their skin. Hats and sunglasses are allowed and encouraged outside; we also provide plenty of shade on our playground. In addition, every child is required to bring his or her own water bottle each day, and these are taken out with the children every time they go outside to recess. Back to top

What happens if my child gets hurt at school?

We provide first aid and ouch reports (a detailed report of what happened) for all children who get hurt at school. All of our staff members are CPR/First Aid certified. In case of injury or sudden illness we call parents immediately to alert them of a situation that may require immediate attention or pick-up from school. Back to top

When does your school year begin and end?

Our 2017/2018 school year began on July 24th and ends on May 25th. For the most part, we follow the Chandler School District calendar. We also offer weekly summer sessions during June and July. Please refer to our What’s Going On page for the full calendar.  Back to top

Do you offer Extended Care over breaks?

Yes, Extended Care is offered 8:30am – 4:30pm over school breaks (fall, winter and spring). Children who are enrolled in Extended Care for the entire year have priority. Please check with the office to find out if there is space available for a specific break. See our What’s Going On page for exact dates. Back to top

Do you celebrate birthdays and holidays in the classes?

Yes, we celebrate birthdays and some holidays in classes. Children have a Celebration of Life on their birthday to have a chance to be creative and tell the story of their lives. Due to our students’ diverse nationalities and creeds, we do not celebrate any particular religious holidays in our Montessori Classes. We do make it a point, however, to incorporate our students’ unique differences into learning opportunities. Parents are welcome to let us know if there are cultural days or events that are important to your family. Back to top

Do you have any discounts available on tuition?

Yes. We offer a sibling discount of 10% off tuition for the sibling of a currently enrolled student. In addition, we have a scholarship fund that all Kindergarten and Elementary students are welcome to apply for. We encourage all parents to donate and ask for donations to our scholarship fund on a regular basis in order to help keep the cost of tuition for Kindergarten and Elementary students down. Back to top

Can I get a discount or refund for vacation time or long absences for my child?

No, we do not offer any discounts or refunds for absences. Monthly tuition payment installments count towards tuition for the entire school year; they do not pay for a particular month. Back to top

I can’t afford tuition. Do you have a scholarship program?

Yes, we have a scholarship program available for Kindergarten and Junior Elementary students. All students entering Kindergarten and Junior Elementary are welcome to apply. Primary students can start recruiting donations to the scholarship fund as well in order to build the fund so it is available once they are in Kindergarten and Junior Elementary. For more information, see our AZ Tuition Connection page. Back to top

Can I pay hourly for Extended Care?

Yes, if Extended Care is only needed on certain days/weeks the drop-in rate is $10/hour. However, children who are enrolled in Extended Care for the entire year have priority, so drop-ins are only allowed as long as there is space available. We do ask for at least a week’s notice for drop-ins so that we can plan ahead and notify you if we do not have room. Back to top

Is there a registration fee and/or deposit? If so, how much, and when is it due?

There is a $200 non-refundable annual registration fee and 1/2 one months tuition security deposit (refundable upon proper withdrawal) due at the time of registration. A child is not considered registered until these fees are paid. They must be paid on or before the child’s first day enrolled at the school. Back to top

Are your teachers Montessori certified?

Our lead teachers are all Montessori certified by either AMS or AMI. Some teacher’s assistants are in the process of getting their Montessori certification, but we do not require our assistants to be Montessori certified. Back to top

What is your teacher turnover rate?

All of our lead teachers have been with us 3 years or more. As the school grows, we will continue to hire qualified and dedicated staff members. Back to top

Do you require fingerprint clearance cards and background checks on all of your staff?

Yes, all of our staff members are required to have fingerprint clearance cards and background checks prior to their start date. Back to top

Can I observe in a classroom?

Yes, current and prospective parents are encouraged to observe classes to see how the classes work and what the children are accomplishing. If you are interested in the school, the first step is to take a tour, then if you like, you may schedule an observation. Please contact us to schedule a time to observe. Back to top

What opportunities are there for parent involvement?

Our school provides multiple activities and occasions for parents to get involved. There are two Parent Workdays, both on Saturdays, during the school year, where parents help with a school improvement project. We also have a Casa Kids Family Organization in which parents can get involved in various school events and fundraisers throughout the year. In addition, each class has its own volunteer requests based on specific needs. We welcome and greatly appreciate your involvement and support! Back to top