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Frequently Asked Questions


What is Montessori? 

Montessori is a hands-on, individualized approach to learning that is success-oriented and builds responsibility and independence.  Instruction is offered in a multi-aged setting: Primary (ages 3, 4, 5), Lower Elementary (grades 1- 3), and upper Elementary (grades 4 - 6).  Montessori is NOT - just for gifted or special needs student; a religious program; only for middle or upper class families; or unstructured, with kids running around.  Montessori schools follow state assessments and standards. For more information, select the Montessori Information tab from our home page.  

Are all classes Montessori?  This year the school has one class of fourth through sixth grade that offers a traditional approach to education.  The traditional program will phase out yearly, until the school is full Montessori.    

What is a typical day like at a Montessori school? Students have three uninterrupted hours for the Montessori morning block and two hours in an afternoon block.  Students will have special activities like music, physical education, art, outdoor time, etc.  Lunch and recess are included in the schedule.  Each class will have an individualized schedule.

Will there be half-days available for 3 year olds?
Yes.  Half days are 8:00 a.m. - 11:15 a.m.

How are classrooms set up? The school has three levels of Montessori classrooms: Primary (ages 3, 4, and 5), Lower Elementary (Grades 1st, 2nd, 3rd), and Upper Elementary (Grades 4th, 5th, and 6th), and will be the home for a middle school Montessori program (Grades 7th and 8th) in the future. All classrooms are large enough for group and independent work.  All are equipped with bathrooms and sinks.  SmartBoards and iPads are regularly used in instruction.  

What are transportation arrangements for students? Car riders will be dropped off in the circular drive.  This is located in the rear of the building off Huger Street. Please take Huger Street to Shand Street and use the driveway on the south side of the school, then circle around (students are dropped off at the cafeteria).  Walkers and bikers will use the entrance off of Moultrie Street, in the parking lot.  A bike rack is located at this entrance. 

Where are school crossing guards located? Crossing guards are stationed at the corners of King Street and Moultrie Street, and also Rutledge Avenue and Moultrie Street. If I need to park my car, where should I park? Please park on Moultrie Street and walk your child to the main entrance on King Street.

Can parents enter the school on the Moultrie Street side of the building?
No, this is an exit only.

What are arrival and dismissal times? Students may arrive no earlier than 7:30 and should be in their classrooms ready to learn by 8:00.    Breakfast is served at 7:30.  Staff will supervise the carpool and all other entrances until 8:00.  Students arriving after 8:00 are required to go to the office and pick up a tardy slip.  All students including car riders, will be dismissed at 2:45 p.m. Dismissal continues until 3:00 p.m.

What kind of after school programs do you offer?  Kaleidoscope is our after school program.  Please contact the school for more information.

What are the school colors? The James Simons school colors are gold and burgundy.  Our mascot is the Jaguar.  ROAR!   

What related arts are offered at James Simons?  Is there school chorus? Currently our students attend PE, Music, Art, and Yoga. Students visit the Media Center every week.  We also have a state of the art computer lab.  Our certified Music teacher exposes students to many forms of music.  There are several choral performances throughout the year.   

Why was the Montessori Program moved from Mitchell Elementary School? The program did not remain at Mitchell because there is no space at Mitchell to grow the program.  The Mitchell building is not designed for Montessori an there was no space for a dual program.  

Does your school have a PTA? Yes, our PTA is very active at James Simons and offers many volunteer opportunities.

What is the Parent Advisory? Parent Advisory is part of the School Improvement Council that is required for Title 1 schools. The panel consists of stakeholders in our school community.  

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