MMS reopened in-person five days a week on September 9. Learn about our Covid-19 Response here.

Frequently Asked Questions

How are new students introduced to the classroom?

There is a lot of care that goes into transitioning a student into the classroom. As a school, we recognize that each child and family is unique and has different needs.
Regardless of age, we want to ensure that the child feels safe & connected to the classroom environment. At each level, we begin with transition visits where the student gets to meet the teachers for about an hour in the classroom without any students. This typically happens before their first official day. The purpose of this visit is to familiarize the child with the classroom and teachers. They get their undivided attention and establish a rapport.
*At the Stepping Stones level, the students also receive a home visit.

How does MMS prepare students for ongoing schools?

MMS graduates attend highly selective public and independent high schools in New York City and go on to graduate from excellent colleges, universities, and professional schools. Known for their social and emotional resilience, responsible work habits, and inner confidence, our alumni are adaptable, having learned to work successfully on their own, in groups, and alongside their teachers. They are active in their school communities, pursuing a range of academic interests, extra-curricular activities, community service projects, and hobbies.

What are the key differences between MMS and a traditional preschool-12th grade model?

We are entirely devoted to the educational needs of children ages 2-12. One hundred percent of resources flow to these students, rather than supporting upper grades with expensive extracurricular and college-oriented programming. Our school is a small, nourishing environment where teachers and parents partner for a child’s growth.  As your child’s strengths and interests emerge, our Placement Director and teachers work with your family to determine where they will thrive in their next school.

What is Montessori education?

Italian physician Maria Montessori began developing her educational philosophy in a preschool in Rome in 1907. Following the release of her book The Montessori Method in 1909, her pedagogy became a phenomenon, spreading throughout Europe and to the United States. Today, Montessori is an internationally recognized philosophy with more than 100 years of research, development, and student outcomes behind it. Here are some aspects of the philosophy:

Mixed Age Environments
Montessori Materials that promote hands-on learning
Individualized Learning
Independence Building
The Prepared Classroom
You can learn more about Montessori’s philosophy here.

If children work at their own pace, don't they fall behind?

Although students are free to work at their own pace, they’re not going it alone. The Montessori teacher closely observes each child and provides materials and activities that advance his learning by building on skills and knowledge already gained. This gentle guidance helps him master the challenge at hand—and protects him from moving on before he’s ready, which is what actually causes children to “fall behind.”

Is Montessori right for every child?

The Montessori method sees every child as unique and valued with their own way of learning, interests, & timeline of development. Montessori suits children who learn in different ways (kinesthetic, visual, auditory), and the materials can be used in all these ways.

It is not just for children who can sit still and do their own thing. It is also great for children who need movement as class time and activities are set up in a way that gives children the freedom to move around the classroom. Children can follow their own rhythm.
It suits children who learn through their own repetition. And equally, those that learn by observing others. Or any combination of the two.

Can children do whatever they want in a Montessori classroom?

It is sometimes a common belief that children in Montessori schools are allowed to do whatever they like and that there are no rules. It can appear that way when we say the children are free to choose.
However, there are indeed rules in Montessori classrooms. The teacher and the students make agreements to ensure that everyone has a right to work in a classroom where all are safe and respected. However, there are also not so many rules that the environment feels strictly controlled by the teacher. The Montessori approach allows freedom within these limits.

Are Montessori schools very strict and are children not allowed to play?

There are indeed rules in Montessori classrooms, however, there are just enough rules so everyone can work well and know what the expectations are, and not too many that children feel inhibited.
All the materials and activities in a Montessori classroom have been carefully designed for the children to master a specific skill. There can be a common misconception that since everything has a specific purpose, children are not allowed to play. However, there are times when the child is exploring a material in another way and they are deeply engaged. The Montessori teacher can observe and make a note to choose another time to teach this particular skill (rather than correcting them). The teacher does not want to stop the creative exploration, they actually learn more about the child through it.

“We fell in love with the facility, the faculty, and the politeness of the students. When we originally toured the school, we were amazed at how well mannered the students were. They said thank you, held the doors for us, smiled when walking past us ... No school we toured came even close to MMS with this and our choice was easy about where we wanted to send our child.”

An MMS parent
Connect with our Admissions Office

Learn more about Montessori education at MMS. Connect directly with our Enrollment Director this Spring.