Frequently Asked Questions


What is the difference between Montessori and Traditional education?

The Montessori approach to education has influenced countless families to raise children who are confident, caring and hungry to learn.  Our approach differs from traditional education in a number of ways including:


Emphasison: cognitive, social and emotional development Emphasis on social development
Environment and method encourage self discipline Teacher acts as primary disciplinarian
Individualized instruction with time to learn concepts to mastery Specific time allotted for work, pace set by the group
Use of self-correcting materials Errors are pointed out by the teacher, if work is corrected
Child reinforces own learning by repetition of work and internal feelings of success Learning is reinforced externally by repetition and rewards

What is the role of the Directress (Teacher)?

The role of the Directress is to facilitate the natural process of learning in every child.  Children are naturally eager to learn.  The Directress’ responsibility is to support each child and prepare the environment for the child to flourish.  Montessori allows each child to be active owners of their own education.

What ages do you serve?

We serve children accompanied by a parent from ages 1.5 years to 2.5 years and unaccompanied from ages 2.5 years to 6 years.

Do you offer before and after care?

We offer Before and After Care during the school year for students enrolled in our Primary program.


Must my child be potty trained to come to school?

Children in the Parent Toddler and Toddler programs need not be potty trained. However, to be enrolled in the Primary program, children must be potty trained and be able to use the bathroom independently before entry.

Can you explain the dress code?

We ask that children dress in clothing that is easy for them to put on and take off independently. Our parent handbook details specific guidelines regarding plain shirts (no logos, etc.), pants with elastic waistbands (buttons and zippers are OK, if the child can manage them independently). Tennis shoes without lights or platforms are preferred. The purpose of our dress code is to avoid unnecessary distractions from lessons, to minimize the number of “accidents” resulting from clothing that the child cannot manage independently and to make things easier for parents readying the child for school.

Tuition & Fees

Do you offer a payment plan?

Yes. We have a tuition payment plan option administered by FACTS Tuition Management, which allows you to spread your payments over 10 months (from July through April) for a fee of $100.

Do you offer scholarships/financial aid?

We have a limited pool of scholarship funds available due to the generous support of The Cleveland Foundation’s Marie Richardson Memorial Fund.

Parent Expectations & Opportunities

Do you offer parent learning opportunities?

Parent education opportunities are provided throughout the year. Programming may focus on specific areas of the curriculum (such as Montessori Math and/or Language), specific age groups, celebrations and other topics. These learning sessions are typically offered in the evening and provide an opportunity for you to get to know other parents, teachers and administrators.

What opportunities are available for me to observe and/or interact with my child in the classroom?

Many opportunities to observe your child are available to all parents.

  • Classroom Observation
  • Classroom Celebrations
  • Parent Nights
  • Volunteering in the classroom or at the school
  • School Celebrations

Do you offer other social opportunities for parents/families?

We typically host a start of school and end of year picnic for families. Fundraising events also offer opportunity for social interaction, as does our annual meeting.

Is participation in fundraising required?

Participation in fundraisers is strongly encouraged but is not required.  Like most independent schools Westshore Montessori runs solely on tuition, fees and proceeds from fundraising to run operating expenses.  Nevertheless, an important ingredient in Westshore Montessori's mission is to maintain tuition at a level that is affordable to a diverse population.