ISMS welcomes children of all backgrounds and abilities and in the spirit of Maria Montessori, provides child relevant programs to meet diversity, need and stage of development.
Enrolment is accepted on the assumption that the parent(s) will be supportive of the School management team and the philosophical foundations of the School and will follow appropriate pathways when following up on concerns relating to their child.
The Registrar processes all enrolments. The Registrar has the responsibility of reviewing applications for enrolment in line with the principles expressed in this abridged policy.
Most children start at ISMS when they turn three and join a Pre Primary (Stage 1) class. Participation in the Parent & Child Programs can help children prepare for Stage 1, and whilst this is not a prerequisite, it is highly endorsed.
As demand for Stage 1 places often exceeds supply, the School unfortunately has to decline some applications. For this reason, ISMS maintains a waitlist and advises that the earlier the application process is completed, the better the chances of achieving a placement.
Applications are considered on a case-by-case basis.
The key selection criteria are:
- A demonstrated interest in and knowledge of Montessori education, for example through attendance at information evenings and open days and the meeting with the School Principal. Attendance in the Parent & Child Programs is also regarded as an indication of interest.
- The date of receipt of the application forms and payments, and the child’s age at that date.
- Whether a sibling of the child is or has been a student at ISMS beyond Stage 1. For this to apply, the younger sibling needs to have been registered on the waitlist prior to turning one and the parents or guardians need to have been participating in the life of the school.
- Commitment to the full Montessori program to the end of Stage 3.
- The needs of the classrooms in terms of maintaining a balance of children by age and by sex.
- If the parent(s) was a Montessori student, either at ISMS or another Montessori School.
Conditions of Acceptance
First Child Entering the School
Offers of place must be accepted within 10 working days by returning the Acceptance Form which lists the following conditions:
- A non-refundable placement fee (per child) is payable on acceptance of the offer.
- Each child is expected to attend the School for the entire nine year program. Withdrawing a child before the completion of the Program may upset the child’s educational development and disturb the balance in the class, creating a gap which is often impossible to fill.
- Inner Sydney Montessori Association (ISMA) membership must be kept current for the duration of the child’s attendance at the School.
- Parents are requested to support and participate in the school community in a variety of ways and are encouraged to attend parent education evenings organised by the teaching staff to deepen their knowledge of Montessori education at ISMS.
- Parents are asked to participate in fundraising activities and working bees or to pay levies.
Conditions of acceptance for siblings are similar to those for the first child. Sibling priority is only applied if the older sibling has completed or has the intention of completing the full School program i.e. Pre Primary and Primary.
Timing of Entry
The School follows the Montessori principle of staggered entry to enable maximum attention to be given to each new child in the class and to assist each child in adjusting to their new environment. Commencement dates in any one term are determined and notified by the Directors once the Registrar indicates places have been offered.
A child may transition to Primary at the beginning of any term per the School Transition Policy.
Requests by parents for deferred entry are generally not granted but each case will be considered on its merits. Requests for deferred entry must be made in writing to the Principal.
The School may also advise a deferred start, in which case a place will be held, without fees being charged, until the entry date given by the class Director.
Confidentiality and Privacy
The School respects the privacy of the families and staff who make up the School community. It is the School policy to ensure that all information obtained by the School in relation to personal circumstances of children and their families will be kept confidential unless:
- The family concerned authorises disclosure of the information; or
- The School is obliged to disclose the information pursuant to health regulations or other Commonwealth, State or Local Government laws or regulations.