Students receive an individualized curriculum that is taught through a year-round educational program. With the benefit of such a curriculum, a student can enroll any time. Before enrolling at Sugar Mill Montessori School, a student is interviewed by a highly qualified staff member. During the student’s visit, he or she also tours the school and is introduced to a classroom.
Younger students, ages three through six years old, also take part in a classroom observation. These students spend approximately thirty minutes in a classroom while a Montessori teacher evaluates his or her school-readiness. A school-readiness assessment is an important step to take prior to the child’s kindergarten year.
The Reasoning Behind Evaluating Young Children for School-Readiness
According to The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), there are many purposes for administering school-readiness assessments before young children enter kindergarten or even at the beginning of their kindergarten year:
To identify ways to strengthen teaching and learning:
A readiness assessment will help educators pinpoint the strengths and weaknesses of each student. Educators can then utilize the data gathered from the assessment to drive their instruction, creating an individualized curriculum around the child’s specific needs.
To determine if a young child might have special learning needs:
Though a readiness screener cannot positively identify a child with special needs, it can indicate if a child’s development is within the scope of what is generally expected for students of that same age. A readiness screener may also indicate to educators, specialists and parents that a child needs a referral for further evaluation.
To provide the community with data to help determine community programs’ effectiveness:
The importance of early childhood education is being noted across the country by individual communities and states. Many of them are using the data from readiness assessments to assess trends in the education of young children. For example, a community might look at the readiness assessments from a group of kindergarten students in 2010 and compare them to the assessments from the group of 2015 to determine if pre-kindergarten programs in the community have shown gains in preparing students for kindergarten.