There are many options for a Montessori school in Etobicoke, representing the vast diversity of Toronto’s westernmost (former) borough: in-home Casa programs, small and large Toddler and Casa preschool programs, and larger Casa and Elementary schools.
It can be challenging to know where to begin when evaluating the different Montessori options available to families.
The most important thing to keep in mind is how the school fits with your child and family. At the heart of a Montessori programme is the provision of a social environment that supports the unique developmental needs of each child. Within one classroom, each child may be uniquely supported by different aspects of the programme, thus many different parents may select a single school for very different reasons. However, in some cases, there may be very specific characteristics in your child or family that are best supported by particular specific program offerings. For example, one child may benefit more strongly from a very small community, whereas another would benefit from a larger social group.
By considering your expectations and values about school, you can be more confident when you make a choice of school. Would you feel most comfortable if your child were in a home-care setting with only a few other children? Would you prefer to have an option to remain in the same school community for many years, reducing transitions? Are “special” or additional curricular aspects important to you, such as French, music, art, or physical education? What about teacher credentials and experience? Or the engagement of the parents? Simply put, there is no single school that fits all children or families and you are the expert on your child. Your child’s success in school will certainly be related to your satisfaction with your choice.
The Canadian Council of Montessori Administrators (www.ccma.ca) recommends that parents look for certain aspects present in authentic Montessori schools including a range of ages in the classes, genuine respect and responsiveness from the teachers towards the children, and a presentation of an environment that is accessible to the children and consisting of a variety of Montessori materials representing the five content areas. For parents new to Montessori, these recommendations can help to highlight questions appropriate to every environment available in the range of Etobicoke Montessori schools. When researching a school there are many important aspects to consider related to it being the best fit for your child and your family, and a school should always be able to not only answer your questions, but welcome them. We encourage you to spend time in the classrooms observing the flow of the children, the interactions between child and teacher, the independence and joy of children engaged in activity. If one school isn’t the best match for you, keep looking for one that might be more suitable.
The Mildenhall School is an accredited Montessori school in the southeast end of Etobicoke, providing a Montessori education to children between 30 months and 12 years.