About The School

Thank you for your interest in Blue Spruce Montessori School. We are pleased to welcome you to the classroom and invite you to read on and discover what a Montessori education can offer your child."

Blue Spruce Montessori school was established in September 1997 and offers a Primary Montessori program (3-6 yr.) that closely follows the philosophy as set out by the A.M.I. (Association Montessori International). The school is housed in a beautiful large hall belonging to St. Edwards Anglican Church. The school leases the hall from the church, but is operated independently.

classroom pic

The Montessori Primary program is a three-year program consisting of a full day for the five-year-olds called the Extended Day. In order for a child to complete the curriculum attendance for the three to four years is necessary.

When you enroll your child, you become a member of Blue Spruce Montessori School and enter into a special “partnership” with the school. In order to provide your child with the best possible care it is essential that we work together to establish open communication and a trusting relationship. We offer a nurturing environment where we encourage parents to approach us to discuss any issues that may arise or to ask for clarification or assistance.

Classes that can accommodate 25 children per session run from 8:45 - 11:45 in the morning and 1:00- 3:45 in the afternoon. The extended day program begins at 8:45 a.m. and ends at 3:45 p.m. children stay for lunch. Fees are $410 per month, for the AM session, $395 per month, for the PM session or $725 for the extended day program. Tuition fees are payable by monthly post dated cheques. A $75 registration fee and a deposit of one month's tuition are required at the time of enrolment. The deposit is a portion of the year's total tuition and signifies the parents'/guardians' commitment to have their child complete the upcoming school year.

In order for registration to be accepted, the following are required:

Please contact us to set up an appointment to view a class in session. We will be happy to give you a tour of the class and answer any questions you may have.

Program Purpose

Blue Spruce Montessori School provides a Montessori Primary Program for children aged 30 months to 6 years, within the Richmond and Vancouver Community.

Philosophy

At Blue Spruce Montessori, we believe that:

Children are entitled to a developmentally appropriate environment and a wide range of opportunities that fosters the growth of their emotional, social, cognitive and physical needs and allows for the individuals own constructive self-development.

Families are entitled to be involved in the experience of their child's education in a purposeful way and that multiculturalism, diversity and the dignity of all families are inclusively recognized and respected.

Staff has the right to work in an environment that appreciates their professionalism, skills, dedication and integrity. Staff are entitled to opportunities for ongoing professional development and are valued as part of a team.

Blue Spruce Montessori School believes in enhancing awareness in the community by providing support, information and opportunities for involvement between families and community services.

Location

Blue Spruce Montessori School is located in St. Edwards Hall, at 10111 Bird Road, Richmond, the cross roads being St. Edwards (between Shell & No. 4) and Bird Road. View a map

Enrollment

Each class is set up to accommodate approximately 25 children, from the ages of 30 months to six years.

Academic Year

Our school year coincides closely with the public school schedule. However, classes in the fall may start a few days later than the public schools. March mid term break will be an additional week longer and all statutory holidays are observed.

Arrival

Upon arrival, please use the entrance at the East Side of the hall. An adult must accompany children to the door; and car park safety must be practiced at all times. Upon arrival to school please say good-byes at the classroom door. Children will remove their own jackets and boots inside the cloakroom.

Dismissal

For a safe dismissal, parents are asked to please wait at the classroom door. The Directress will dismiss children, when she sees the parent or guardian has arrived. Please note that we absolutely will not release your child to any unauthorized persons. It is necessary to send written permission should anyone other than a parent pick up your child. Please be concerned about the safety of your child in the car park on his/her departure from the school.

Class Tours

All new children will have scheduled classroom tours in September/January. We ask the children to bring Mom and Dad, but please make other arrangements for siblings. These tours should take an average of twenty minutes. Parents' and Students' Handbooks will be handed out at this time and other pertinent information.

Gradual Entry

A gradual entry process that will best meet the needs of your child, will be arranged prior to the beginning of the school year. A three-week orientation period, consisting of smaller groups and shorter periods of time is necessary upon entry to the school. This is to allow your child to adapt to his/her new environment, new friends and the concept of school. Dates and times that your child will attend school will be handed out before school begins. After this period, normal school hours will be observed.

Snacks

Parents are asked to take turns in providing a healthy and nutritious snack, which will be shared with the class. Suggested foods and a sign-up sheet will be posted on the bulletin board. Snack is available for your child as needed and is eaten at the snack table.

Clothing

In addition to being practical and comfortable, clothing worn to school should be easy for children to manage by themselves. Please bring a complete change of “clearly labeled” indoor clothing for your child. A bag is provided for clothing and kept at school in a cubby. All children should have a pair of labeled, plane, non-skid, soft-soled indoor shoes to be left at school.

Birthdays

Birthday celebrations are a welcome event in the classroom. You may send a special snack that day. Nutritious cupcakes, carrot cakes or fruit bars are preferable. A special book or photographs of your child growing up is another consideration to be shared with the class. You may wish to present a book or artifact on nature, science, or history to the classroom that will be part of the permanent library collection. Please write on the inside of the book cover: “Presented to Blue Spruce Montessori school on the occasion of John's 5th Birthday.”

Communication

The children will bring home periodic newsletters and notices regarding various events and or changes that may come up during the school year. This information will also be posted on the classroom bulletin board. Please read these and inform nannies, sitters or carpool drivers to do the same.

Observations and Conferences

Twice yearly, parents will have an opportunity to observe the classroom. This provides you with a first-hand experience of your child's interactions with peers and with the materials in the classroom. Schedules will be posted on the bulletin board, for parents to sign.

Formal Parent/Teacher Conferences to discuss your child's progress are also scheduled twice a year. However if you feel a need for an additional conference during the year, the directress will be more than happy to arrange a time.

Parent Evenings

Orientation evenings are held for new families attending the school. The purpose of these evenings is to allow families to interact with the materials in the classroom, answer questions you may have relating to the program, meet the staff and other families. New families are encouraged to attend these evenings. Additional educational evenings are organized on various topics and will include guest speakers.

Montessori At A Glance

Montessori education has achieved worldwide recognition and success. This condensed explanation will acquaint you with the many advantages that Montessori offers your child.

The Montessori method has been time-tested for 75 years and has achieved success throughout the world with children.

Montessori is a totally positive environment for children.

In the scientifically prepared environment of the true Montessori school, the child develops the prime elements of character: freedom, concentration, independence, self-discipline, industry, and sense of reality in an atmosphere of co-operation.

Each child is taught individually.

The child's natural development of language is utilized in the process of learning to read.

Children work at their own pace and at their own level.

Children have the unique opportunity to fulfil their potential.

Habits and skills developed in a Montessori classroom remain for a lifetime.

The Montessori classroom is a land of opportunity for the child as well as a truly joyful place to be.

Though much has been said about the academic achievements of Montessori children, the true value lies in the self-discipline, self-mastery and love of learning that children achieve.

Recommended Reading List

The Secret of Childhood - by Dr. Maria Montessori

Dr. Montessori explains her ideas on the newborn, free choice, rewards and punishments, discipline, deviations from normal behavior, the conflict between the adult and the child, and much more.

The Discovery of the Child - by Dr. Maria Montessori

Dr. Montessori deals more with the application of Montessori's discoveries in the school - teaching methods, nature in education, movement in education, the Montessori materials and exercises in various subjects. It is also very important for parents to read for help in understanding children and aiding their complete development.

The Child in the Family - by Dr. Maria Montessori

Here Dr. Montessori discusses some of her basic principles and shows why it is so important for adults to "follow attentively all the spiritual expressions of a child". She stresses the importance of adult respect and support for “all reasonable forms of activity in which the child engages” and emphasizes the value of understanding rather than interfering with such activity. Adults should not wait on children but educate them to be independent while at the same time fully appreciating how sensitive children are to external influences.

Maria Montessori Her Life and Work - by E.M. Standing

The author was born of Quaker missionaries in Madagascar in 1889 and educated in Finland in Quaker schools and at Cambridge University. A student of philosophy and a teacher of wide experience, he first met Maria Montessori in 1923, and for the next thirty years worked in close collaboration with her. This book was written in response to her urging that he prepare s systematic presentation of her principles and practice.

The Absorbent Mind - by Dr. Maria Montessori

This book is the very cornerstone of the Montessori Philosophy. Here Dr. Montessori gives penetrating insight into the development, from birth, of personality, language, intelligence, and character and spells out how to create an environment responsive to a child's inner needs and to provide a method of education that teaches success, not failure.

What You Should Know About Your Child - by Dr. Maria Montessori

The Montessori Method is scientific education based on a sound knowledge of childhood. In this volume, Dr. Montessori examines the physical and mental development of the child in its early years and discusses what she considers to be the basic truths underlying the child's nature, growth, and development.

The Child, Society, and the World - by Dr. Maria Montessori

This speeches and writings were originally published in German in 1979, translated and published in England in 1989. These texts on educational theory and practices show “Maria Montessori at work” and they present thoughts and approaches formulated late in her life, some previously unknown, others scarcely acknowledged, with a refreshing immediacy.

To Educate the Human Potential - by Dr. Maria Montessori

Here Dr. Montessori writes about, for example, the six-year-old confronted with the Cosmic Plan, the universe presented to the child's imagination, the drama of the ocean, early man, nomad versus settler, Egypt through the ages, the Hellenic spirit and “Man-Whither Bound”.

Education and Peace - by Dr. Maria Montessori

During the 1930's as war clouds gathered over Europe, Maria Montessori became profoundly concerned with the question of peace. The problem of war caused her to engage in a passionate search of new human truths. This collection of speeches vividly reveals why she was proposed as a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize. Her philosophy of peace is even more valuable in today's unstable world.

Education for a New World - by Dr. Maria Montessori

The purpose of this book is to expound and defend the great powers of the child, and to help teachers to a new outlook which will change their task from drudgery to joy, from repression to collaboration with nature. Already the psychic life in the new-born has aroused great interest, scientists and psychologists having made observations of babes from hours to days after birth. The conclusion of these is that the first two years of life are the most important. So here begins a new path, wherein it will not be the professor who teaches the child, but the child who teaches the professor.

Montessori: A Modern Approach - by Paula Polk Lillard

“The best introduction to the Montessori movement in education” - John Holt. This book has been called the single best book for anyone seeking answers to the questions: What is the Montessori Method? Are its revolutionary ideas about early childhood education relevant to today's world? And most important, especially for today's dual-career couples, is Montessori education right for my child? We recommend it highly for public school teachers and administrators.

Montessori Today - by Paula Polk Lillard

“Paula Lillard is an excellent guide to Maria Montessori's key ideas and to the place of Montessori education in contemporary society” - Howard Gardner, author of Frames of Mind. Many parents are familiar with Montessori preschools and their unique approach to the education of young children. But what happens after the primary years? In the last decade, Montessori elementary and middle schools have sprung up all over the country. Paula Lillard, director of a Montessori school for children ranging in age from eighteen months to fifteen years, provides a clear and cogent introduction to the Montessori program for the elementary and later years.

Education for Human Development - by Mario Montessori Jr.

In this fully revised volume, Mario Montessori provides a fascinating insight into his grandmother's personality, her role as a feminist, her philosophy of education and child growth and development, and her ideas concerning the value of work in school and the correct use of educational materials. He also explores her views on the role of education in the formation of human personality and the relationship of the individual to the cosmos.