Blue River Montessori School   I  484 Temple Street, Duxbury, MA 02332   I   (781) 834-4480

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 

Choosing the right preschool for your child is one of the most important decisions you will make.  This is, after all, your child's first school experience.  We are confident that the education offered at Blue River will instill in your child social and academic confidence, and a sense of wonder, joy, and humor.  The curriculum balances a strong focus on science, math, and language with an appreciation for the arts and nature.

Why Blue River?
  • We have a three-to-one student-to-teacher ratio, with a maximum of ten children per class;

  • Our lead teacher holds a master's degree in education and was trained by Maria Montessori's training institute;

  • We offer a modified-Montessori approach to meet the needs of your child and to prepare him or her for the demands of today;

  • We recognize that when choosing a preschool, the curriculum is only half of the equation; the teacher's personality and credentials make up the other half.  When you visit us, you will know exactly who will be teaching your child before making your choice of a preschool;

  • We never underestimate the ability of the preschool child's mind to grasp concepts.  We emphasize science concepts because they teach the child to wonder and seek knowledge.  And through her experience teaching first through third grade, Ms. Kelly has adapted more advanced science, math, language, and art concepts to teach to your preschooler.  We also use the works of great artists, scientists, and musicians to inspire us in the classroom;

  • Since healthy living is a part of our curriculum, we regularly teach yoga, and we provide healthy snacks and/or homemade meals, which are included in tuition;

  • 90% of produce, milk, and eggs served in our program are organic and/or locally-sourced!

  • We offer Spanish classes to our five-day students, included in tuition.

 

There are less expensive schools.  Why Blue River?
  • Our ratio is unique.  In our classroom, we have half the students and more teachers than other preschools.  Our school is a wonderful stepping stone for children before they go to a larger facility for the elementary years.  Your child will get to know us well in our small family-style atmosphere, and we, in turn, will get to know each student and family.  This is what we believe promotes feelings of confidence in our students and families.  For us to lower tuition costs, we would have to increase our class size and decrease the number of teachers;

  • Our teachers hold bachelor's degrees and/or master's degrees;

  • Our school calendar has more school days than most preschools; we start earlier in the fall and end later in the spring with fewer holidays in between.  To meet the needs of our families, we very closely follow the Duxbury Public Schools' calendar;

  • Unlike most schools, we do not have any fees and we never ask for donations.  Tuition covers everything for your child for the entire year!

  • Healthy snacks and homemade meals are included in tuition fees, and 90% of our produce is organic and/or locally-sourced.  You just need to bring in a labeled water bottle each day!

How much do you increase your tuition annually?

Our tuition increases have averaged less than 3 percent per year, less than most area preschools, and for a few of our recent school years, there were no increases!

Do you have a playground?
We subscribe to the concept of a natural playscape.  Our play area is completely fenced and provides children with over an acre-and-a-half of woods, gardens, and a meadow.  We have paths carved through nature where children can feel free to explore and connect with all nature has to offer.  It has been scientifically proven that a deeper connection with nature increases self-esteem, generosity, brain activity, creativity, and happiness, and decreases anxiety, stress, and symptoms of ADHD.
Do you take the children on field trips?

For the safety of your child, we do not take children off of the school property.  Instead, we have monthly in-house field trips.  Our visitors have included health care professionals, firefighters, storytellers, marine biologists, librarians, musicians, authors, entomologists, naturalists, and local farmers!

What are Sonia Kelly's credentials?
  • has twenty years of lead teaching experience;

  • holds a Master of Education degree and a Department of Education Certificate to teach preschool through third grade;

  • remains current with the latest educational research through continuing education and her role as an education textbook reviewer for Corwin Press Sage Publications;

  • is a regular guest lecturer at Bridgewater State University School of Education;

  • is a council member of Duxbury's Community Partnership for Children, a partner of the Chandler Elementary School.

  • is Certified in Child Nutrition;

  • is a formally-trained Child Yoga Instructor for children under 12 years of age.

 

Sonia Kelly is AMI trained.  What is the difference between AMI and AMS?

AMI is the one and only training program approved by Maria Montessori.  In fact, Ms. Kelly's professor's professor was trained directly by Mario Montessori, Maria Montessori's son.  Since the term Montessori was never trademarked, other training institutes, such as AMS, have emerged. The major difference between AMI and AMS is the length of training required to become certified.  While AMI is an intensive one full year of full-time study, studying educational theory and psychology, AMS requires six months or less of part-time training.  Most AMI programs require a four-year college degree as a prerequisite, whereas many Montessori teachers who are not trained by AMI do not hold any sort of college degree.  Although Blue River applies a modified-Montessori approach, the rigorous training and graduate course work requirements of the AMI program have equipped Ms. Kelly with a thorough knowledge of how the young child's brain learns.  For this reason, she is able to tailor a curriculum which works for today's child, utilizing a best-practices approach.  It is important to know the credentials of the teacher when making decisions regarding your child's education.

Who will be working with my child?

No single factor will be more important for your child’s development than having the right teacher.  When deciding on a preschool for your child, the most important question you should ask is who will be teaching my child.  At Blue River, your child will be taught by Ms. Kelly.  Before deciding on the right preschool for your child, we encourage you to visit Blue River and observe our classroom.  We’re confident that during your visit you will see the wonderful interaction between our students and adults–the people that will be educating your child.  

Why do you provide food for your students?
We are excited to provide all snacks and/or meals for children during the school day.  Part of our mission is to educate children in healthy food choices, as recommended by USDA, and to expose them to cooking and a variety of different flavors and foods.  We feel that the growing, preparing, and sharing of food is a cultural experience, and we endeavor to impart the ability to appreciate this experience to our students!  Our homemade meals cover each of the food groups (fruits and vegetables, grains, proteins, dairy) and milk is provided with each meal.  USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.
Do you have a summer program?

Our Backyard Detectives Summer Program runs from 9 am to noon, generally during the first full week of July and the first full week of August, Monday through Friday.  This camp is open to children of all ages, current students and non-students of Blue River, from preschool through elementary.  The class cap remains at ten students.  We will have brief reading and math lessons to keep skills sharp, and we will take part in science and nature exploration (i.e. daily walks on our nature trails).  We will also have plenty of water play and science experiments involving water!