Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is Oak Farm Montessori School accredited?
- Yes, Oak Farm has dual accreditation from AMS (American Montessori Society) and ISACS (Independent Schools of the Central States).
Q: What is the difference between Montessori and traditional education?
A: Montessori emphasizes discovery learning through all five senses, not just listening, reading or watching. Montessori students learn at their own, individual pace and according to their own choice of activities from hundreds of possibilities. Learning is an exciting process of discovery, leading to concentration, motivation, self discipline and a love of learning. Oak Farm Montessori School’s classes place children and young adults in multi age groupings (6 weeks-18 months, 18 months-3, 3-6, 6-9. 9-12, 12-14, and 14-18) forming strong communities in which the older students share their knowledge with younger students.
Q: Why does Montessori education have multi age classrooms?
A: Students are grouped in multi age classrooms (6 weeks-18 months, 18 months-3, 3-6, 6-9. 9-12, 12-14, and 14-18). This allows for constant interaction, problem solving, peer to peer teaching and socialization. Students are challenged at their ability and this increased engagement.
Q: Is Montessori education good for children with learning disabilities? What about children with high abilities?
A: Montessori curriculum is designed to help all children reach their full potential at their own unique pace. Oak Farm Montessori School’s classrooms have students with varying abilities in which everyone learns from one another and everyone contributes. Additionally, multi age groupings allow students to find their own place without feeling “behind” or ahead”.
At Oak Farm Montessori School, while we do not have a Special Education Department, we partner with the East Noble Community School system to provide Individualized Service Plans for students that qualify for Special Education. These services include 30 minutes of consultation each month, Speech and Occupational Therapy services for those who qualify. Oak Farm Montessori School also has a Reading Specialist and Speech Therapist on faculty to support students. The Director of Curriculum and Student Services collaborates with teachers to create individual Action Plans when necessary. Enrichment activities and plans are also created for students with specific interests and talents.
Q: What is a “work cycle”?
A: A work cycle is an uninterrupted 2-3 hour block of time that students are able to choose work and lessons independently. Teachers and students respect concentration and do not interrupt someone who is busy at a task. Elementary and Secondary students schedule meetings, lessons and study groups during this time.
Q: Are Montessori students successful later in life?
A: Research shows that Montessori students are well prepared for life academically, socially and emotionally. In addition to scoring well on standardized tests, Montessori students rank above average on such criteria as following directions, turning in high quality work, active listening, demonstrating responsibility, showing enthusiasm for learning, asking critical questions, and adapting to new situations.
Q: Montessori classrooms don’t look like regular classrooms. Where are the rows of desks? Where does the teacher stand?
A: Work environments are arranged according to subject area and students are free to move about the classroom instead of staying in desks. Teachers give individual and small group lessons in the subject areas with the students on the floor or at students’ tables.
Q: What training do Montessori teachers have?
A: All Oak Farm Montessori Lead Teachers are credentialed by the American Montessori Society (AMS) or Association Montessori Internationale (AMI). Training includes 200-600 pre service contact hours, principles of child development, Montessori philosophy, Montessori curriculum as well as specific uses of Montessori materials in the classroom.
Q: Do Oak Farm Montessori students take standardized tests?
A: Starting in Kindergarten through the 5th year, students are given OFMS created math and reading assessment at the beginning and end of the year. Students 6th-9th years participate in the NWEA MAP testing twice a year to measure academic growth. 10th and 11th years participate in the PSAT. 10th-12th years are supported through College and Career Counseling and Naviance to take the ACT and SAT along with any other Post Secondary testing needed.
Q: Does Oak Farm Montessori School offer tuition assistance?
A: Yes, Oak Farm Montessori School offers our own tuition assistance program for qualifying families. Families complete an online application to be reviewed by our Tuition Assistance Committee. Over one-third of students receive tuition assistance.
Q: Are Montessori schools religious?
A: Most Montessori Schools are independent; however, Oak Farm Montessori School does not have any religious affiliation and has a Non-discrimination Policy:
“Oak Farm Montessori School admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its education policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.”
Q: Do students have homework?
A: Opportunities for work outside the school day increases as the students get older. Typically, outside of larger projects, Kindergarten through Elementary students are able to complete their work plan during the work cycle. The responsibility of homework becomes an expectation at the Secondary level (Middle and High School).
Q: What is Dual Language Immersion (DLI) at Oak Farm Montessori School?
A: The focus of DLI is to promote biliteracy and positive cross-cultural actions in our community and the world through a Montessori environment. Students will receive instruction in English and Spanish throughout the school day. Learn more about DLI at our school.
Q: Are sports offered to students at Oak Farm?
A: Oak Farm offers organized sports to our students as age appropriate. Currently we offer soccer, cross country, basketball, golf, and track.
Q: Does Oak Farm offer bus transportation?
A: Yes, morning and afternoon bus routes to the Fort Wayne area are available. Please contact the school for more information, including age restrictions.