1) What is Montessori ?
The term Montessori embodies both a philosophy and a method of education. Take a look at Our Programs page to learn more about Montessori.
2) Does my child need to be toilet trained to attend CHMS?
Children in diapers are welcome in our Saplings program. Parents are responsible for having an ample supply of disposable diapers at CHMS for their child. Cloth diapers are not allowed at CHMS.
Our Primary Program requrest that children are able to take care of all aspects of toileting independently without adult reminders or assistance (children may not be in diapers or pull-up diapers for any part of their day).
3) Can I observe in a classroom prior to enrolling my child?
One parent of each new primary student should observe in the Montessori classroom and speak with one of the Primary teachers and the Administrator prior to starting at CHMS. Please plan to observe for at least 30 minutes in the classroom without your child. After the parent-only observation, an observation with your child can be scheduled.
4) Is CHMS more expensive than other schools?
CHMS prides itself on having highly experienced and educated teachers and support staff, while remaining competitive in price with other preschools/childcares in Whitefish. Please stop by or call to get our rates.
5) Does CHMS require immunizations?
CHMS is fully licensed and certified by the State of Montana as a childcare center. State regulations require that CHMS have a current immunization record on file for each child attending.
6) What are the hours at CHMS?
CHMS provides early morning care as well as a nutritious breakfast starting at 7:30 a.m. Our afterschool enrichment program is available for children who attend regularly scheduled programs at CHMS. We are open until 5:30 but may close earlier depending on student enrollment.
7) Does my family need to volunteer?
The Montessori philosophy of education stresses the importance of having parents fully involved in their child’s school. We believe the quality of education is directly related to the amount of parental involvement in their child’s education. This policy was developed as a way to strengthen our community’s bonds and also to utilize the talents of our parents. Furthermore, by instituting a policy for community hours, we can assure that high-quality Montessori education remains affordable and continues in Whitefish. We require at least 18 community hours each school year for all enrolled families.
8) Why does CHMS hold fundraisers?
Fundraising is a very important aspect of all CHMS programs since tuition does not cover all our operating expenses. Parent participation in fundraising activities is vital, and these hours count as part of your yearly community hours requirement. Our main fundraisers are:
- Pumpkin Patch Festival, October
- Wildlife Film Festival, January
- Spring Auction, March/April
9) Are scholarships available?
CHMS puts aside approximately 10% of all monies raised through fundraisers to use as scholarship aid each year. This aid is available for families that need assistance meeting their tuition payments, either for the entire year, or on a temporary basis. Scholarships are awarded based on need and at the discretion of the Scholarship Committee. We also accept Best Beginnings scholarship aid offered through the state of Montana.
10) Does CHMS close for holidays?
All CHMS programs follow the Whitefish School District calendar and are closed when Whitefish schools are not open. This includes early release or conference/PIR days. When regularly scheduled CHMS programs are not in session, supplementary childcare may be offered.
11) Do we need to bring snack?
Children consider it a very special day when they have brought snack for their classmates. Primary class parents are asked to provide snack for their child’s class approximately once a month. Saplings parents are asked to provide a non perishable snack item for their child’s class approximately once a month. We highly encourage parents to send peanut-free snacks, as some children have severe peanut allergies. Other allergy information may be shared and we encourage you to avoid these items as well. If your child has food allergies you are welcome to bring a snack box full of suitable snacks for them to choose from.
12) Do we need to bring lunch?
Mealtime provides the opportunity for us to reinforce manners and proper behavior at the lunch table. If you child is in the Primary Program or signed up for lunch with their Saplings class, you will need to provide a lunch. We stress good nutrition, so please send a healthy lunch for your child. CHMS will provide water and organic milk.