Ultimate Preschool Guide A Children's Habitat Montessori

A Children’s Habitat Montessori

As Indianapolis’s longest running Montessori school, A Children’s Habitat Montessori provides an excellent educational opportunity for students 18-months through 6th grade in a warm, nurturing environment. Steered by our mission: “Enriching minds and building community, guided by the principles of Dr. Maria Montessori,” A Children’s Habitat Montessori provides a top-rate educational experience that recognizes the unique characteristics and capabilities of each child.

General Info: 

Address: 801 W. 73rd Street Indianapolis, IN 46260

Phone: 317-726-5584

Website: Childrens-Habitat.org


Q&A with A Children’s Habitat Montessori:

What makes A Children’s Habitat Montessori unique?

As Indianapolis’s longest running Montessori school, we are an established and exemplary Montessori program that values community and the individuals it serves. Children can arrive to us as toddlers and graduate as adolescents, and the warm, nurturing environment and relationships among and between pupils, teachers, and families fuel their experiences. We are led by a devoted, highly trained, and veteran staff who see their primary mission as dedication to the development of each of their students’ and families’ well-being. In the spirit of Montessori’s “follow the child,” our curriculum is individualized to meet each student where he or she is, so that the child is neither bored nor anxious. In addition to our stellar staff and the warm environment they create, our 20,000 square foot outdoor classroom and strong sense of community (propelled by active family participation) are commonly cited by families and staff as their favorite parts of Habitat.

What is A Children’s Habitat Montessori’s educational philosophy?

A Children’s Habitat is a Montessori school. The benefits of a Montessori education include:

  • A stimulating, child-oriented environment that allows each child to learn at his or her own pace
  • Providing multi-age classrooms where children can serve as role models and develop leadership qualities
  • Nurturing, non-competitive atmosphere that encourages social interaction for cooperative learning and emotional development
  • Offering opportunities to explore, touch, and learn without fear
  • Promoting independence to increase a child’s confidence

What is A Children’s Habitat Montessori’s age/grade range?

18-months through 6th grade

What is your enrollment policy? Are there any key dates parents should be aware of?

The priority application deadline for admissions for the following school year is January 31. The school begins notifying new parents of admission decisions in March. We do accept applications on a year-round, rolling basis, and use a wait pool when admission has been granted, but a spot is unavailable. During the wait pool, first preference is given to children of staff and currently enrolled and alumni families, and then is open to the wider community.

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What are the standard school day hours? Does A Children’s Habitat Montessori offer flexible day/hour options? Is before/after school care available?

These have been altered for our toddler and preschool programs during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please contact the school for more details.

How many children are in each class? How are children divided up?

In the spirit of Montessori education, children are divided into their programs based on Dr. Montessori’s planes of development—toddlers (18-months to 3-years), primary (3-6 years), lower elementary (6-9 years), and upper elementary (9-12 years). During the 2020-2021 academic year and due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have reduced classroom sizes to eight (8) toddlers per day, 10 primary students per classroom, and 15 elementary students per classroom.

What is the teacher/child ratio?

During this academic year (i.e. COVID-19 pandemic):
4:1 (toddlers)
5:1 (primary 3-6)
15:1 (elementary)

Traditional academic year:
5:1 (toddlers)
10:1 (primary 3-6)
18:1 (elementary)

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What are the teacher’s credentials?

All of our teachers—including our assistant teachers and aides—possess, at minimum, a bachelor’s degree, and nearly half of our staff hold graduate degrees as well. Our lead teachers are all certified Montessori teachers (includes one to three years of additional post-baccalaureate training); our assistant teachers have undergone Montessori paraprofessional or full Montessori certification training. In addition to being Montessori-certified, our elementary teachers are also state-certified K-6 teachers.

Is parental participation required?

All families are asked to either fulfill a minimum number of volunteer hours (50 per year per family) or pay a waiver fee to help compensate for additional expenses. The ongoing involvement of families contributes to our strong sense of community. We offer flexibility in how families can contribute to the school. Participation can be event-based or ongoing and can be completed outside classroom hours. Volunteer hours have been waived in 2020-2021 due to the COVID pandemic.

How do teachers communicate with parents? How often do parents receive updates?

Teachers provide regular weekly communication through classroom newsletters and our online Montessori curricular and communication software (Montessori Compass). An all-school newsletter is issued monthly. Parent-teacher conferences occur on a semi-annual basis and can also be scheduled by appointment.

Does A Children’s Habitat Montessori offer support for students with special needs?

While we celebrate the diversity of individual children and welcome applications from a wide variety of students, we also recognize our limitations in accommodating some specialized learning needs. Our admissions procedure must therefore consider as a factor our ability to accommodate each student’s needs without disruption to our program. Students who have special needs that fall within our ability to address may be accepted on a provisional basis, with additional stipulations (such as requirement for specialized and/or therapist assistance).

How much time do the children spend outside?

Children have time outdoors on a daily basis; the amount of time depends on the length of their program day. In addition to our playground, A Children’s Habitat Montessori enjoys a beautiful 20,000 square foot outdoor classroom, where students enjoy both free time, as well as nature education.

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Are meals and/or snacks provided?

Food preparation is an important part of Montessori’s “practical life” curriculum. Snacks are managed differently by each age group/program. Students who stay for lunch bring their own lunches to school. We are a peanut and tree nut-free facility.

Does my child need to be potty-trained?

Students in our toddler program do not need to be toilet-trained. Students entering our 3-6 program are required to be toilet-trained.

What enrichment programs/activities are offered?

In addition to the full Montessori work cycle, students in 3-6 enjoy Spanish, music, and outdoor education.

Students in our elementary classrooms enjoy Spanish, music, art, chess, and outdoor lab.

What are A Children’s Habitat Montessori’s safety policies? What extra safety measures is A Children’s Habitat Montessori taking during the COVID-19 pandemic?

  • Reduction of all classroom sizes to increase physical-distancing capabilities
  • Mask-wearing for all staff and students ages 3 and up
  • Visitor restriction within the building
  • Increased sanitization and custodial staffing
  • Following of CDC guidelines concerning sick policies, testing, and isolation and quarantining of staff and families, if needed
  • Strict cohorting to avoid mixed groupings

Who should parents contact for more information about A Children’s Habitat Montessori?

Please email [email protected] to begin the admissions process or to pose questions. We look forward to connecting with you!

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