When your child attends Coastal Montessori Charter School you can expect a warm and nurturing environment that fosters a love of learning with a dedicated community of teachers and staff, volunteers and families.
CMCS is a charter school temporarily situated in a wing of Waccamaw Middle School as we await the construction of our new facility. Sharing this space creates a few unique logistical procedures that you can read about below (particularly drop-off/pick-up and food and the cafeteria).
From the way we eat and care for the environment, to our hands-on approach to learning, CMCS engages the whole child with love, patience and respect promoting social, physical, and intellectual growth.
- Grace and Courtesy
- Prepared Environment
- Daily Jobs
- Food and the Cafeteria
- Parent – School Communications
- Uniforms and School Store
Grace and Courtesy
As a community we spend a significant amount of time cultivating grace and courtesy skills with your children. Knowing how to be gracious and courteous goes a long way in our world. Developing high-quality communication skills takes time and practice. The children must first watch the adults in our community to see good grace and courtesy skills in action. Modeling how to act and react is an essential visceral experience for children. It shows them what they should do when faced with a similar situation and, trust us, each child is watching.
Grace and courtesy lessons include making eye contact when speaking to another, greeting someone with a handshake, moving calmly around the room so as not to disturb those working on the floor, and knowing how to approach a group of students working together in order ask if it is okay to join in.
Dr. Montessori introduced lessons in grace and courtesy in response to the child’s need for order. The child has a need to know and to absorb the social structures in order to be more at ease in his or her environment. Grace and courtesy lessons give the child the vocabulary, actions, and steps required to build his or her awareness and responsiveness to those around him or her. This in turn gives the child a better sense of orientation in his social structure, which makes for a greater comfort level with the adults and peers in the room. Learning risks are more apt to take place in an environment filled with respect, order, and kindness.
Teachers carefully prepare the environment of each classroom because in a Montessori classroom everything has a place and a specific purpose. Each item on the shelf must be displayed for ease of use meaning students must be able to access the materials without the help of the teacher. Developing independence allows your child to engage in developmentally appropriate works. Independence allows the child to progress at his or her own pace. Creating an environment free from obstacles is our goal. A prepared environment is designed to call on the child’s natural curiosities and entice the child to practice the works repeatedly.
Each child is asked to participate in daily jobs in the classroom. These jobs include vacuuming, washing windows and tables, watering plants, feeding the classroom animals, and even helping to plan, shop, or prepare snack. Daily jobs teach children the importance of keeping an environment organized, simple, and beautiful.
While CMCS does have daily homework, it is intentionally kept as minimal as possible. Homework is a controversial subject for Montessori schools because Dr. Maria Montessori believed children should do their work at school. She placed a high value on children developing their relationships with their family and members of their community when they were not at school. Today parents are constantly trying to model a healthy balance between work and family and Montessori encourages children early on to understand that a well lived life involves more then just disciplined work. It also involves time spent caring for the people and environments where you live and having time to relax and rejuvenate and reflect and meditate.
While keeping the good habits of balance at the forefront, our intentions with homework are two-fold:
- To allow the child to question, wonder, collaborate, observe, and work outside of school, and
- To allow the child to develop responsibility by completing and returning homework daily.
Homework is assigned appropriately for each grade level (younger students should spend less time on homework than older students). The general rule at CMCS is for 3rd graders to perform about 30 minutes of nightly homework and 6th graders 40 minutes. Remember this is focused, on task time.
At times your teacher may ask you to participate in your child’s homework. Questioning and sharing an experience adds to the learning potential of a child.
Food and the Cafeteria
1) Reduce waste – pack healthful foods in reusable containers; use a thermos to contain liquids instead of throwaway boxes and bottles.
2) When possible, allow your child to participate in his/her food selection and preparation.
3) We encourage healthful snacks for students to enjoy. Just this year. the South Carolina Department of Education shared a Healthier Snacks initiative with its schools, requiring all school snacks to have fewer than 200 calories, contain less than or equal to 35% sugar by volume, as well as less than or equal to 35% fat. Healthy habits are apart of the Montessori curriculum. Learning to discern what type of food will make your body grow and which will reduce energy and health is an essential function of life.
4) Students may bring a check made out to Waccamaw Middle School or cash to pay for school breakfast and lunch. Parents are encouraged to pay in advance for the number of meals you expect your child to eat throughout the year. You can pay for all 190 days of school at any time all at once! If you owe lunch money after school lets out, you will receive a letter from CMCS with the amount you owe. Please get a check to CMCS 30 days after you receive the bill. The breakfast and lunch calendar will be on the website and in the newsletter. We encourage you to review the calendar with your child, weekly. You may even wish to print the monthly food calendar and place it at the child’s level, so he or she can check it daily before making a decision to either enjoy breakfast and lunch at school or select foods from home, instead.
5) Each classroom at CMCS has a snack routine. Each classroom will prepare a snack at least once a month. Partaking in creating a purchasing order, traveling to the grocer, reading food labels, and practices healthful food selections will increase a child’s understanding of how to keep his or her body growing and strong.
6) Lunch at CMCS is within the Waccamaw Middle School cafeteria at 1:00 p.m. Parents may dine with their child, occasionally starting October 1st. At the beginning of the year it is essential teachers foster the development of a healthful, function, positive school community. This requires time and practice. Once parents may join students for lunch, each will bring his or her state license and check-in via the computer, which will print a sticker visitor’s pass. At this time you may wait in my office, room 409, until your child’s classroom is lined up for lunch. Join your child in the hallway and proceed to the cafeteria with him or her.
While dining with your child, please keep your cell phone on silent. There are approximately 155 students dining in the cafeteria each day. The sheer volume of people makes it challenging to have a conversation. Each teaching assistant is working diligently to assist students in the practicing of grace and courtesy. They ask each parent visitor to also abide by the rules of the cafeteria, while dining with their child. Occasionally, this means sitting silent. Dr. Montessori talks a lot about practicing silence and its place in a peaceful person and world. It is okay to be silent. This is a great time for personal reflection and visualizations. *If you are expecting a call please step outside of the cafeteria. Please be mindful that middle school students are engaged in learning at this time.
Please make sure to check yourself out using the computer in the public office after your lunch visit. This is for safety reasons. If you do not check out and there is an emergency we want to know who is on campus and who has left.
7) Holidays and Celebrations: During a time of celebration we ask that you bring healthful snacks to share with classmates. We understand the desire to bring handheld treats and this is okay, just please be mindful of the portion as well as contents. The goal is to always introduce students to new foods and food groups through world foods. Often times when students research the world they learn about the economy, people, and culture of this land. What can be cultivated in a region and the foods people eat are apart of the cultural experience of a community. We encourage students to make and share foods from around the world.
8) Birthdays: Each lower elementary classroom will celebrate birthdays by sharing photos or stories from each year of the child’s life. This is a time of community and a time to think about his or her footprint and memorable moments. Classmates listen and clap as each year progresses. Parents may ask each teacher if a snack would be appropriate. Parents are always welcome to share in this walk down memory lane. Some even choose to capture it on film, so they may revisit it again, later.
Parent – School Communications
1) You will receive a weekly newsletter from Coastal Montessori Charter School. In this newsletter there will be a note from your Director, as well as information about the CMCS team, upcoming events, and other important information. Please ensure we have a good email for you because you will not want to miss the opportunity to stay connection with the school. If you prefer to have us give you a print copy please of the weekly newsletter let us know as soon as possible. Your print copy will go home in a white envelope labeled weekly newsletter with your child.
2) The CMCS website is a great source of information and is updated frequently, so be sure to visit often. Here you’ll find the latest school news, videos, and photos, as well as a Classroom Updates (link to section) section where each lead teacher posts what’s going on in their classroom including their own calendar of events, classroom expectations and curriculum.
3) Three times a year you will receive an invitation from your child’s teacher for a parent-teacher-student conference. At this time your child and your child’s teacher will share work from each trimester at CMCS. Please be prompt for conferences. This will allow each family optimal time to learn about his or her child’s work, progress, and goals. During each conference please share your child’s homework habits and learning behaviors at home and in the community. Also, come prepared to share personal educational goals you have for your child at this meeting. We truly want your child’s education experience to be continuous and meaning both within and outside of the school’s walls. In order to do so we must be open communicators and always look to the child for guidance.
4) Coastal Montessori Charter School sends home MAP scores twice a year, once in the fall and once in the spring. The MAP test is a normative assessment several states, including the state of SC participate in at least twice a year. The goal of the MAP test is to better understand what your child can do as an independent learner in each of three content areas: 1) English language arts, 2) mathematics, and 3) reading. Each CMCS teacher uses this information to make educational decisions about which work your child needs more practice with. If you ever have any questions about what the scores mean you may always go to the Evaluation and Testing section of CMCS’s website or Google NWEA, the company we contract with to administer the test.
5) Individual student PASS score reports are sent home once a year, usually in late September, on the same day as every other school in Georgetown County. PASS scores are released to the director by July 1st. If you would like to know the outcome of your child’s testing you may either phone the director after July 1st or make an appointment to meet with her in person. Print scores are not available until late September, since test scores are embargoed by the state department of education.
6) Field trips: When your child’s classroom or the school are going on a field trip you MUST fill out a permission slip releasing your child to our care, while outside of the building. Please always make sure to have an emergency contact cell phone number on your parent permission slip. This year we are going to ask for $20 per child for all school field trips. This money will be used to supplement field trip costs for admissions fees to natural preserves, parks, museums, theatrical performances, etc. Please bring $20 cash or check made out to CMCS to the public office on or before September 30th.
7) Lead teachers are encouraged to email families when a situation arises that requires transparent communication. Throughout the year students are faced with several challenges as a community and at times these challenges persist and we, as a team, must come together to create an action plan to address the challenging situation. All emails from lead teachers about discipline with be copied to the director. The goal of emailing families is our commitment to the child and helping to cultivate healthy relationships and communication with him or herself and the school community. We are a team educating the child to become his or her best self at all times.
Students who go to school progress socially, emotionally, and academically. The act of participating in a community dedicated to healthy learning behaviors and community development will impact the rate of growth in your child’s educational trajectory. The Montessori methodology is designed to allow students opportunities to work their hands and mind together. To build, create, problem-solve, and manipulate materials that promote skills and concept development. If your child is not in the classroom regularly than he or she is missing out on the opportunity to learn new skills and concepts as well as practice those introduced to. Please contact the director directly if your child has a unique health condition requiring him or her to miss school chronically.
If your child acquires 5 unexcused absences you will receive a letter from the school requesting your presence at an attendance meeting. This notice will support the school’s mission to ensure that every child in its care receives an optimal education.
1) Hours – Doors open at 7:30 a.m. If your child arrives via bus he or she may arrive before 7:30 a.m. Please contact Ms. Tia at the office at 843-235-0413.
2) Drop-Off – Morning drop-off is from 7:30 – 7:55 a.m. Between 7:30 and 7:55 a.m. Dr. Hunt will greet students as will one member of the CMCS team. Please drive carefully and avoid using your cell phone while in the school parking lot. Remind your child to bring his/her water bottle and other belongings for a successful day at school, and don’t forget to smile and wave!
3) Pick-Up – After school pick-up begins at 3 p.m., line-up begins no earlier than 2:45 p.m. There is no parking or walk-ups during this time; all must use the carpool line. All cars must enter through our entrance on Barony Place (the Allston Plantation entrance), south of the school; NOT Old Plantation Drive. Cars will exit the school on Old Plantation Drive. Plenty of staff are on site during pick-up and help direct traffic.
4) Placards – You must have a numbered placard for your child and any other children you are picking up to ensure all children’s safety. Your first placard is free and each additional one is $5 (for trusted friends and family members who will be picking up your child). Additional placards can be purchased in the office by parents or legal guardians.
5) Silent Dismissal – This process is designed to make afternoon carpool calm and safe by keeping students in the classroom until parents come through our entrance on Barony Place. At this time the student’s placard number will be communicated to the appropriate teacher and the student will be released to walk down the hallway to the front door of the school. Our goal is to pace this process so that as students come out of the building they are immediately loaded into vehicles, eliminating the need to wait outside.
6) Early Release – The latest time a student may be picked up for medical appointments, after-school activities, etc. is 2:25 p.m. The Parking Lot will be closed at 2:30 p.m.
7) Tardy Policy – Each year we work with families to ensure that each student is ready to begin their day in the classroom by the 8 a.m. start time. The doors to the school will lock at 8 a.m. Families arriving after 8 a.m., will be required to walk students into the building and check-in at the front office computer. Thank you for working hard to set your student up for success by getting him/her to school on time each day.
CMCS has a uniform and dress code policy. The uniform t-shirts are sold out of the school office and are available for purchase with cash or check. Please try to have exact change when paying cash.
The PTO is in the process of setting up a school store that would be open for business on specific days and hours. In addition to uniform t-shirts, we hope to expand the merchandise offered in the school store this year. If you would like to volunteer to help with the school store please contact Martha Propps. When possible, t-shirts will also be for sale during Family Nights and other community events. Upper elementary students will be asked to work the school store in order to learn about merchandizing as well as to practice their mathematical abstraction with money. Please be patient and make sure you receive a receipt for every purchase.
|Youth||Long sleeve tie dye|
|Short sleeve tie dye||15.00|
|Long sleeve colors||12.00|
|Short sleeve colors||10.00|
|Adult||Long sleeve tie dye|
|Short sleeve tie dye||15.00|
|Long sleeve colors||12.00|
|Short sleeve colors||10.00|