We maintain a ratio of eight children to one teacher with a maximum group size of 28 children..
School Founder and Director
Ticia Berube founded the Casco Bay Montessori School in 1988 and she currently serves as the Teacher/Director of the school. Ticia completed her training in the American Montessori Society Early Primary Teacher Training hosted by the North East Montessori Institute at Endicott College in Beverly, Massachusetts. Prior to her teacher training, Ticia majored in Ceramics at the Maine College of Art and Yavapai College in Arizona.
Ticia has worked for over thirty years with young children through art and pottery workshops and visiting artist programs. Currently, she continues to work in the class with the children, as director of the school and mentor for students completing their training in Early Childhood Education from Southern Maine Community College in South Portland, Maine. When time allows she continues to work in ceramics showing work at the Umbrella Gallery in Portland, Maine.
She currently lives in Portland with her husband. Her three sons are married and live in the greater Portland area.
The Montessori Method
The Montessori classroom is a world suited to the interests of the three to five year old child. Activities proceed from simple to complex, allowing the child to choose materials that compliment his current interests and abilities. The Montessori environment is divided into these main groups:
- Practical Life
- Activities involve care of the person. Physical skills as well as grace and courtesy are designed to aid the child in the development of order, concentration, coordination and independence. A positive self-concept develops through self-mastery.
- This area helps the child's ability to discriminate and find solutions through their senses. The beautiful Montessori materials allow your child to learn how to distinguish, categorize and acquire new information.
- Language Arts
- Activities include the introduction of letters through visual and sound recognition. The use of songs, stories and poems enlighten your child to the joy he can experience through the written word. Children are given age appropriate activities to introduce concepts such as rhyming, sound recognition,and letter formation.
- Lessons are sequenced with concrete experiences leading to more abstract concepts through manipulation of varied materials. Your child will gain the satisfaction of learning number skills through self-discovery. Children are encouraged to work independently or in small groups guided by the teacher. We give instruction in number recognition, sequential counting, quantity amounts and higher math concepts as the child appears ready.
There are additional learning areas in the Montessori environment which include Science, Geography, Cultural Studies, Peace Education and Art.
The teachers guide the children to care for and help one another. By creating a setting with mixed ages, we teach through our actions how an older child can help a younger child. When the younger child returns for his second or third year, he can now provide help to new classmates. Creating a caring and respectful community is a key component of the Montessori environment.
When problems do arise, we assist the child through conflict resolution. The adult acts as an active listener to reach a solution agreeable to both children. Consistency among the staff provides a reassuring model for children to learn safety and social boundaries.
Please give prescription medication to the teacher. It will be kept in the refrigerator or the medicine closet. The parent must provide in writing the amount and time of dosage.
We regret that state law prohibits us from giving children over-the-counter medications such as fever reducers, cough or cold medicines, etc,
The prescription bottle must show the name of the child, prescription number, name of the doctor and dosage schedule.
Medicine and Illness
State regulations require us to maintain an immunization record and emergency card for each child. Please return these completed forms before your child begins school.
If you have chosen not to immunize your child because of religious, philosophical or medical reasons or if you have a chosen time line for the immunizations please include a written statement which includes your reason and include this in your child's registration paperwork.
During a contagious illness outbreak such as measles or chicken pox, we will follow the guidlines provided by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention to protect our school community.
For the protection of all the children, staff and parents, your child should be kept home (we cannot accept him or her at school) if any of the following symptoms have occurred in the past 24 hours or are currently present:
- temperature over 100 degrees
- diarrhea or vomiting
- a rash
- discharge from the nose, eyes or ears
- any sign of pink or red in the eye
Parents should exercise every caution and keep their child home should other symptoms occur. If your child is exposed to a contagious disease, please keep him at home and report the condition to the school.
Some of the more highly contagious conditions are: strep throat, pin worm, viral infection, infected ears and/or glands, measles, mumps, chicken pox, scarlet fever, head lice, etc.
Photographs, Internet and Publicity
Photographs of the children participating in our program may be taken on occasion and may appear in newspapers, magazines, brochures and other publicity materials. Please direct any objections to the school,
During the morning session, the children will be able to enjoy a variety of healthy foods shared from the home of one of our classmates. We will rotate a snack basket among our families. The rotation time to provide a snack is about once a month, depending on the number of families enrolled.
The schedule for the snack basket will be available at the start of each month along with the newsletter. The average group snack might include a box of crackers, cheese or peanut butter and a fruit or vegetables. We encourage serving the children water or milk to drink. Serving unprocessed low sugar snack is our choice for the well being of the children.
Over the years our families have created a recipe book with some favorite snack suggestions that will be included in the snack basket. Please add a recipe of your own as a keepsake.
Children with special diets will be served allowed foods either supplied from home or from school with parental approval.
Transportation is the responsibility of the parents. If someone other than an approved driver is to transport your child, please send a note to school. We will ask to see a driver's license to confirm the identity of new drivers.
A parking area has been established on the school grounds. Please park your car and enter through the front gate. For safety sake, do not allow your child to run to or from your car unescorted.
On winter days, we will post a sign on the gate asking for you to enter from the front porch. The Art Room becomes cold if the door is continuously opening and closing.
To enter the school grounds, please come in from Parrot Street and exit onto Ocean Street (Route 77).
If needed, you can park on Parrot Street but not on Ocean Street.
Classroom Observations, Presentations, Conferences and Evaluations
After the sixth week of school, parents are welcome to come and observe. Your child will now have enough exposure to our environment so he will not be distracted by the presence of another adult. We will be happy to arrange a time for you to sit in during a class.
If you have a special presentation that you can share with the class, eg: reading a book,sharing a particular event or custom of your culture, artifacts or music from your travels or even a puppet show, please feel welcome. We would be very happy and grateful for your time.
Parent and teacher conferences are scheduled twice a year. We will make an effort to plan a time that agrees with your schedules.
Written evaluations will be available during the spring conferences. These will show the progress your child has made in each learning area.
If you wish to talk to the teacher, please feel welcome. If a significant change has occurred in your family, please inform the school as soon as possible. We will respect your judgment regarding the kind of changes we may expect to see in your child's behavior, security and general well-being.
Common causes of distress include: a new person living in the home, illness or hospitalization of a loved one, accident or death in the family, military duties, moving to new home, death of a pet or if a parent needs to travel out of town.
ALL COMMUNICATIONS AT ALL TIMES ARE KEPT CONFIDENTIAL.
School clothing should be easy for the child to manage independently as well as comfortable and appropriate for the weather.
Crocs, sandals and loose fitting shoes are not allowed at school. The children stumble and fall trying to run on the ground covering we have on the playground. For your child's safety both in and out doors please choose footwear that fits and has either laces, zippers or straps to keeps the shoes tied.
Please label boots, slippers and outdoor wear.
We will ask for a complete set of spare clothes that we will store individually for each child at school.
Birthdays and Special Occasions
Parents are welcome to send a nutritious snack to share with the children on birthdays and special occasions.
Please consider sending in a photo for each year of your child's life to show at Circle Time. This is a wonderful example of a time-line of your child's life.
All photos will be returned the same day.
Toys and Candy
Children who are celebrating their Special Day are allowed to bring a toy for show and tell. We discourage children from bringing toys to school daily as it distracts from our activities. Encourage your child to leave his toys on the car seat for him to find at the end of the day.
Candy and gum are also discouraged during school.
A rest time is scheduled for one hour beginning at 12:30 pm. Children may bring slumber bags or blankets from home. Pillows or stuffed animals that do not make noise are encouraged. Individual resting mats are provided for the children.
Our policy is to help your child develop self-discipline since discipline forced by another person is not lasting. The learning environment is designed to encourage discipline from within. The child is asked to choose materials that are of interest to him, work with it and return the items to the shelf. He is also taught how to take turns and how to share. Older children are given the opportunity to help the younger children and in turn the younger children feel supported by others. These acts of respect and kindness set the foundation for our caring environment and provide the child a living model of the cooperation that can be achieved through participation and self discipline.
Our school year runs from September to June with closure on legal holidays and school vacation weeks. A complete calendar will be presented at the start of each year and a detailed monthly events calendar will be included with each newsletter.
If the South Portland School Department has canceled school we will be closed as well. The announcements are made on the local morning news programs, news websites or radio stations. When school is closed for weather related issues, payment is still required.
Federal Tax Identification Number
For tax purposes the federal tax identification number for Casco Bay Montessori, Inc. is 01-0440750.
Receipts for payments are available on request.
At the time of your visit, you will be given a packet of registration information that we will need for your child's file. Included will be the application, an emergency card with contact information, a copy of your child's immunization record or a letter stating your choice not to immunize or to change the immunization schedule and a tuition agreement. The following is an example of the tuition agreement.
Completion of this form constitutes an agreement between the parent or guardian of your child and the Casco Bay Montessori School, for child care services from the Wednesday after Labor Day to the second Friday in June.
The Casco Bay Montessori School agrees to provide child-care services for your child during the enrollment period. Your child's schedule will be: (days and time listed)
Your fee will be (amount) monthly, payable the first of each month. A total of ten payments are due during the school year. The first payment to secure September's placement is due on or before July 1st. We cannot guarantee enrollment unless tuition is received prior to July 1st. Second payment is due no later than September 1st. The tenth and final payment is due May 1st. Payments can be dropped off in the tuition basket or the mailbox on the front porch or mailed to 440 ocean Street, South Portland, Maine 04106,
Penalty for late payments is an additional $2.50 per day that the payment is late. A service fee of $25.00 will be charged for each check returned for insufficient funds. If timely payments are not maintained, Casco Bay Montessori School may terminate care for your child and seek restitution for the outstanding balances.
Holiday closings have been built into our annual child-care fee. Therefore, parents are expected to pay regular fees during the weeks when a holiday occurs. When school is closed due to poor weather conditions, payment will be required. Please consult our year long calendar for planned days closed.
Before Care Program: Children may arrive for school starting at 7:30 am . The cost for the morning before care is $7.00 per day. If your child is not registered for this time, he or she may join us with 24 hour notice either in person or a message on the school's answering machine, 207-799-2400.
Because our program and license requirements force us to engage staff based on the number of children enrolled, we cannot give tuition refunds for the days your child is absent.
Four weeks written notice is required prior to withdrawing of your child from the program, or the Casco Bay Montessori School reserves the right to charge the fee for four additional weeks.
The parent or guardian agrees to become familiar with and abide by all the policies and regulations pertaining to participation in the Casco Bay Montessori School program. Please consult the parent handbook included in your registration packet or on our web site.
We serve children who are able to function successfully in a group setting. Children with special needs may be accepted on a case-by-case basis. If in the judgment of our professional staff the Casco Bay Montessori School is not able to meet the special needs of a particular child, the family may be asked to withdraw their child.
Having read and understood the terms, I hereby enroll my child to the Casco Bay Montessori School for the upcoming school year.
Special Days and Snack Basket
When your child is to celebrate his “Special Day”, the snack basket will be sent home the day before. Please bring it back on the assigned day with enough snacks for all the children. The number of children will be written on the snack basket; also bring an item for show and tell.
Please remember our policy on keeping violent or action figure toys at home. We would rather that your child bring in an object found from nature, an appropriate toy or a story book. Photographs are wonderful and can spark great conversation. Whatever the choice please keep it limited to one item. If a family member would like to join us, just let us know.
Snacks should consist of a fruit juice or milk or we also serve water. When choosing a juice please avoid ones with artificial colors or flavors. One quart of juice or milk is plenty.
When choosing snack items please keep healthy foods in mind . A few suggestions: small muffins or bagels, hummus and vegetables, cheese and crackers, hard boiled eggs, all types of fruit. We try to serve a protein and either fruit or vegetable at snack time.
BIRTHDAYS: We will schedule your child's special day as close to or on their birthday. A birthday snack should continue to be healthy and we would prefer not to have cupcakes or cake. Muffins are a good alternative.
We do not light birthday candles but with your child's permission we will sing “Happy Birthday” (we respect that not all children enjoy the song so we always ask). If possible, please send in photos to represent each year of your child's life. We display these on a table and encourage the children to share their interpretation during show and tell. Birthday photos and an item for show and tell is ideal.
MISSED SPECIAL DAY BECAUSE OF BAD WEATHER OR ILLNESS will be re-scheduled for the beginning of the following month. It is difficult for us to re-schedule immediately with out interrupting the snack calendar. Your understanding is appreciated.
Year Long Themes
This is an example of the topics we will be covering during our school year. Each month, we will let you know in our newsletter which themes we have planned as well as the words to the songs we are learning.
January Solar System
February Chinese New Year
May Mother's Day Tea Party
June Graduation and Sprinkler Parties
Some Thoughts on Separation
We want to reassure you that we are here to help you with support and reassurance when you and/or your child have a hard time saying “goodbye”. Talk to your child in simple and honest terms about their school. Recall a favorite activity and how happy the teachers and other children are to have this time to play together. You are welcome to come into the room at the end of your child's session and ask about the games they played or just to stop and watch the fish. This will help your child create memories that will ease the morning transitions.
When time comes to say goodbye, try to sound cheerful and positive and then leave promptly. If you prolong your stay at the beginning of the year, your child may sense doubt, making the transition more difficult.
All children have different reactions saying good bye during our first weeks together, Some feel sad at first and may even cry or scream. The teachers are here to help ease the separation by providing love and support. We are very experienced helping children and parents. We will call after your child has become calmer and let you know how he is doing.
Each child has his own period of adjustment and we will respect his needs. Establishing a goodbye routine from the first day and continuing to honor that routine will establish a sense of order and security for the child. A routine may be to choose a window and wave good bye. In the Fall when we can start our mornings with outside play, a goodbye routine can be walking to the gate and saying goodbye. Giving a push on the swing is not the best choice for a good bye routine since there may not always be a swing available and on bad weather days we may not be able to go outside. If you are unsure what the best routine would be, do ask the staff and we will be happy to make suggestions.
Finally, a family picture will go a long way to help ease the transition. This photo will be kept in your child's cubby and can be viewed as needed. Children may begin the year without any issues and then the following month begin to experience hesitation upon returning to school. This is very common and we suggest that you listen to your child's concerns and remain positive. When family members travel or you have house guests, the changes at home may impact your child's morning transition. No matter what the reason, trust that the staff is able to care for and support your child.
**Letter that we send you after we receive phone call asking for information
Thank you for your interest in the Casco Bay Montessori School. Our school was founded in 1988 by Ticia Berube who continues to serve as teacher and administrator. Our preschool is designed to meet the child care licensing requirements by the State of Maine for children between the ages of three to five years. We offer a program based on the Montessori approach with a curriculum and an environment that are developmentally appropriate for the young child.
The Casco Bay Montessori School (CBMS) is licensed for 28 children with a ratio of eight children to one adult. Our program is open each morning at 7:30 am for before-care. The remaining children arrive at 8:30 am. Pick up time for the half day program is 11:30 am and full day is 3:30 pm.
We are opened from September to June and we follow a public school calendar for closing on holidays and snow days. Children can attend two, three, four or five days.
To schedule a visit please call 799-2400, weekdays. We will arrange a thirty minute visit during the morning session so you and your child can see how the Montessori environment works. At the time of your visit you will be given the registration information and meet the staff.
Thank you for your interest in the Casco Bay Montessori School.
**Letter explaining registration procedure given on the day of the parents visit.
Thank you for visiting the Casco Bay Montessori School. This letter will answer questions you may have about registering for our program.
At the time of your visit you will receive a program handbook, an application for registration and an emergency card. There is a $30.00 one time registration fee that is non-refundable. Please complete all the questions and mail the application and emergency card to: Casco Bay Montessori School, 440 Ocean Street, South Portland, Maine 04106.
Once we have received your application, we will mail you a tuition agreement. We also request a copy of your child's immunization record or a letter stating your choice not to have your child immunized.
The first month's tuition is due no later than July 1st, This will secure your child's placement for the upcoming school year starting in September. There will be nine additional payments due from September to May; a total of ten payments for the year.
Enrollment is on a first come first serve basis. To guarantee registration, the first month's payment must be received by July 1st.
An updated school calendar will be sent to you listing the schedule for the coming school year. A typical year includes the following:
Open House for the children the Tuesday after Labor Day from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm
Closed Columbus Day
Closed Veteran's Day
Closed three days for Thanksgiving
Closed two weeks in December
Closed Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
Closed one week in February
Closed one week in April
Closed Memorial day
Last day the second Friday in June
If you have any questions please call 799-2400 and we will be happy to help.
I would like to welcome you and your family to the Casco Bay Montessori School. The following details will help finalize the enrollment process for your child.
To complete the file for your child, the following additional information is needed. You will find one of the following documents enclosed:
Emergency card (double sided)
Immunization record from your pediatrician or a letter stating your choice not to immunize
To secure your child's enrollment please send the completed forms on or before July 1st. The first payment is due at this time. Enrollment will not by held for any child whose tuition is not received by this date.
The tuition schedule will be for ten payments throughout the course of the year, with the second payment due on or before September 1st. The last payment will be May 1st.
Please mark your calendar for the Tuesday after Labor Day from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm for our Open House. This is the time for children and their parents to visit the school, meet the teachers and find their cubbies and mailboxes.
The first day of school will be the Wednesday following Labor Day. The arrival times are 7:30 am for children who need before-care and 8:30 am for the remaining children. The morning session is over at 11:30 am. The full day session is over at 3:30 pm. The final day of school will be the second Friday in June.
If you have any questions please call the school at 799-2400.
We are looking forward to the start of a new year. Thank you for joining the Casco Bay Montessori School.