Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What are your classroom ratios?
A: We follow the DSS state guidelines for Virginia. For toddler, we have a ratio of 1 : 5, primary 1 : 14, and elementary 1 : 20.
Q: What is the advantage of the multi-age Classrooms?
A: Multi-age classrooms afford guides the luxury of adapting the curriculum to the individual child. Each child can work at his or her own pace, while remaining in community with their peers. Spending multiple years in the classroom community allows guides to know each child more deeply and allows the children to experience a full range of roles in the community. As the child’s interests and needs change, the range of available materials allows the child to move from one level of complexity to another with ease. Mixed ages allows the children to work with others who are older and younger than themselves. The older students serve as role models and tutors for the younger students, and in the process they gain confidence in their own abilities and self-esteem regarding their skill level and expertise. The younger ones watch the older ones, and in the process they gain a clear vision of what’s expected of them, and have the benefit of working with and learning from their peers as well as the teacher. The classroom community is a direct preparation for life in the family and in the workplace. Communicating and working well with others are important life skills.
Q: How do Montessori students transition into more traditional schools?
A: In general, children transitioning into traditional education from a Montessori environment experience a smooth transition, Montessori Education prepares the child for the world, growing their social skills and confidence. Children are prepared to ask questions, problem solve, and confidently interact with peers and adults.
We strongly recommend that children transition at the completion of their three-year cycle. It is also our hope that each child at Fiore stays to complete our elementary program before transitioning to traditional middle school.
Q : If children are free to choose their own work, how do you ensure that they receive a well-rounded education?
A: Montessori children are free to choose within limits, and have only as much freedom as they can handle with appropriate responsibility. The guide creates daily and weekly lesson plans and tracks every lesson for each child, observing for repetition and signs of readiness for the next lesson. The guide maintains detailed individualized records of each child’s progress. If the guide observes that a child has not been practicing or pursuing a particular area of learning, they will help to guide the child back to this work.
Q: How does Montessori use computers/technology in the classroom and in the curriculum?
A: We do not introduce computers into the classroom until children reach our elementary program. Not because Montessori schools don’t believe in technology, but because of what we know about child development. The young child learns best through experience in the concrete, tactile reality of the three-dimensional world rather than through two-dimensional simulation of an electronic, virtual reality. When children develop discipline, conceptual thinking skills and social emotional balance, they adopt technology with ease as they grow older.
Q: Is Fiore a daycare?
A: No, Fiore is not a daycare. At Fiore, we focus on the child's education, socialization, emotional growth, and physical development. Our guides have AMI certifications and Master's Degrees in Education. We prioritize the child's need for consistency in their day by requiring families to arrive on time and choose one dismissal time for the full school year. We also close for breaks throughout the year.
Q: Is Fiore nut free?
A: Fiore is "nut aware". This means that we do not serve or prepare any foods containing nuts. We also ask that families do not use nuts and nut products in their children's lunches for school. However, there is always a risk of cross-contamination, etc. that we are unable to prevent.