Frequently asked questions





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frequently asked questions 


If I sign up for partial week for Toddler/Pre-Primary, either TTH or MWF, can you extend the number of days after the school year begins?

Our classrooms have been full annually. We balance schedules with a mix of part-time and full-time students. By the beginning of the year, it becomes hard to extend the number of days your child attends school after the school year has begun as there generally is no availability.

Can you choose your 2 and 3 day schedule in the Toddler/Pre-Primary program or does it have to be consistent?

For our younger children in the Toddler and Pre-Primary programs we offer the flexibility to choose a 2, 3, or 5 day schedule for school. The 2 day schedule is consistently T/Th and the 3 day schedule is consistently M/W/F.

Can you extend a child’s length of day?

Yes, generally families can generally extend their child’s length of day at any point during the school year, space permitting. However, once you lengthen the day you can not shorten the day.

Can you use Before Care or After Care as needed or do you need to enroll for the year? Does it have to be everyday?

Families are also able to contract for either Extended Day (BC and AC), or contract for either program, either two, three or five times per week. Families are also able to use both Before Care and After Care on an as needed basis, charged hourly. See tuition for details.

When will HMS notify us with an admissions decision?

Early Decision: The early decision program is intended for families who would like to secure their spot early in our program. There are two rounds of decision acceptance notifications. First round of acceptances will be announced on or about February 1 and the second round will be on or about March 1. If you do not want to take part in the early decision program, the regular acceptance notifications will be released on March 1 based upon availability.

What is your admissions process?

Due to COVID-19, we will be conducting school tours virtually. We invite prospective families to tour our school, learn more about our authentic curriculum and teaching philosophy, and meet our staff. This allows our prospective families who have applied to further experience our classrooms in session and speak more personally with our Admissions team. Click here for our admissions process and to schedule a tour.

What is your withdrawal policy?

Our Voluntary Withdrawal date for the 2021-2022 school year is noon on March 26, 2021 for all our families (current and incoming). Should you decide to withdraw, the tuition deposit, enrollment fee, and TADS tuition processing fees (if applicable) are non-refundable/non-transferable. Parents will not be responsible for the balance of the school year tuition if we receive a Voluntary Withdrawal Form by March 26, 2021 at noon.

Any refundable tuition payments made prior to March 26, 2021 will be refunded via TADS or Company check within 30 days of receiving the Withdrawal Form. After March 26, 2021, full tuition for the school year is due.

If you decide to enroll after March 26, 2021, and there is a spot available, your non-refundable charges would be reapplied and the contracts are binding.

How do I secure a place in your program (non-refundable/non-transferrable deposit and fees)?

For all our families (incoming and reenrolled), HMS requires a non-refundable/non-transferable tuition deposit and enrollment fee to hold your child's spot and schedule in our program for the following school year. The deposit allows families the ability to secure a guaranteed spot for an extended period of time, prior to us accepting applications off the wait pool.

  • Re-enrolled families are able to secure a spot in Dec/Jan until the voluntary withdrawal date.

  • New families are able to secure a spot on Feb/March until the voluntary withdrawal date.

What are the terms of the school year contract?

HMS uses TADS (, a tuition management services company, to process enrollment contracts and payments for our families. Hoboken Montessori School requires a commitment for the academic school year from September to June as the school commits to staff and resources based on contracted schedules. There will be no refund, credit, adjustment, or remission of fees or tuition for any reason, including but not limited to absence, withdrawal, or dismissal of the student from Hoboken Montessori School except as provided in the Voluntary Withdrawal provision of the tuition agreement. Securing your spot For new and returning students, a tuition deposit of $1,500 and the enrollment (registraiton) fee is due with the enrollment contract in order to secure your child’s spot. These fees are non- refundable and non-transferable. We ask parents to take this commitment seriously before enrolling, as these fees secure your child’s spot in the program and are not refundable under any circumstance. All payment plans begin on April 1. Students that enroll after May 31 for the upcoming school year, will be required to pay a 20% non-refundable tuition deposit and fees with the enrollment agreement.


Are all teachers trained in CPR & First Aid?

Directors and Head Teachers receive formal CPR and First Aid training on a regular basis.

Are all staff backgrounds checked?

Yes, all of our staff go through two background checks. We run a background check via Trionaid prior to hire. In addition, the NJ Department of Children and Families requires a fingerprint background check and a Child Abuse Record check.

What is your discipline policy?

At HMS, we use Positive Discipline, which is based on the idea that there are no bad children, just good and bad behaviors, and focus on the positive points of behavior. We always use positive language when addressing the children. This open-ended model promotes positive decision making, teaches expectations to children early, and encourages positive behaviors. We keep open communication with parents in order to work together as necessary.

Does my child need to be toilet trained to attend HMS?

Toddler/Pre-Primary students do not need to be toilet trained. Our teachers help promote toileting independence and self-care throughout the school year. In our Primary program, we highly encourage children to be toilet trained, or very close to it, by the beginning of the school year.

What food is provided? Do you heat/refrigerate?

HMS provides a daily healthy snack, which includes a fruit or vegetable and a cracker. Parents are welcome to send in snacks from home as well. Parents have the option of enrolling in our lunch program directly through our catering service, Daily Delicious. Daily Delicious delivers warm and healthy lunches to HMS daily. Alternately, parents may send in a nut-free lunch from home, however we are unable to heat or refrigerate children’s food.

How do you handle allergies?

HMS is a nut restricted environment. We make sure all the food shared with children are checked for any allergy concerns. If a child has a specific allergy, we ask the parent informs administration of an action plan if the child comes in contact with the allergen.

Are there cameras in the classrooms? If so, can we view them?

Safety is a big part of our promise to our families. We have cameras in each classroom and hallways for safety purposes. We do not allow families to have access.

Do you offer coverage for days when the school is closed and summer camp?

Yes, HMS is very mindful of our working parents and offer care during many of our school breaks. We currently offer Vacation Care coverage for February break and April break. We also offer additional care for Parent/Teacher Conference days and Professional Development days. Please refer to the tuition schedule for details. We offer three different summer camps. - Three Week Mini Camp - 9 WeekTraditional Camp - 4 Week Specialty Camp For incoming Pre-Primary students, we offer a three week Mini-Camp in August which gives the children and families an opportunity to get acclimated and comfortable with the school, while introducing them to the materials, environment and teaching methods at HMS. We also offer Summer Camp for current students and incoming Primary students from June-August as well as a Specialty Camp for our older campers. Summer 2020 options will be posted in January annually. Click here for summer information.

How long do the children nap for?

Children under the age of 4 years old are required to rest for 30 minutes. Younger children generally nap for 60+ minutes. Parents may request their child nap for a longer period.

Do children ever change classrooms from year to year?

Typically, no. Montessori programs are created to address the developmental characteristics normal to children in that particular stage. Primary classes are organized to encompass a multi-year age span, which allows younger students the stimulation of older children, who in turn benefit from serving as role models. With many of the students returning each year, the classroom culture remains quite stable. Working in the same class for three years allows students to develop a strong sense of community with classmates and teachers.

Why stay for Kindergarten?

Children turning 5 years old by October 1 are Kindergarteners in our Primary program. This is a magical year when all the learning that has taken place in the previous years reaches fruition and a child’s knowledge begins to fall into place. Children build upon what they have learned, experience rapid academic and social growth and their skill level dramatically increases when they are given the opportunity to consolidate their knowledge within the Montessori classroom. Our Kindergartners are ready to explode into more complex learning and discovery and they delve into a wealth of new and interesting materials. They are guided to take on more and more complex work, begin to learn time management skills and have an increased set of expectations and privileges in the classroom.

Do you have a Phase-In Period for new students?

Prior to school beginning, we offer a three week Mini-Camp in August for our Pre-Primary students which has proven to be extremely helpful to overcome separation. We also have a Meet & Greet day for all students before the first day of school where the children can visit their classroom and meet their teachers and peers. This helps the children orient to the new environment. Most children adapt quickly to the school day.

What is the school calendar?

HMS follows a school calendar with the school year beginning just after Labor Day and ends shortly before the end of June. HMS offers more effective school days during the school year – more than most other prominent independent schools in the area. With working parents in mind, we also provide additional coverage during February and April breaks, parent/teacher conference days, and professional development day(s). HMS offers a 8-9 week summer program depending upon the calendar each year for incoming Primary students and a 3 week summer program held in August for incoming Pre-Primary students. Click here for the school calendar.

How accessible are your Directors and Teaching staff?

We’re completely transparent at HMS and believe that parents and children are part of the same community. Our culture is inclusive and we are always available to any parent with questions or concerns about their child. This includes:

  • Regular email communications from head teachers
  • One Call system text messages for emergencies and classroom happenings
  • Access to Directors and Teachers via email, phone calls, meetings
  • Access to Parent Portal which welcomes you to school news, calendars, administrative forms, photos and newsletters
  • Two Parent Teacher conferences annually with detailed Progress Reports

How do you handle snow days?

HMS follows Hoboken Public Schools for guidance on school closures.

What are your age cut offs and schedules available?

For the 2022-2023 school year, the following age requirements apply: Toddler Program: 18 mths by Oct 1 Pre-Primary Program: 2 yrs by Oct 1 Primary Program: 3 by Dec 1 Click here for schedules and tuition rates.

Do you have a school video?

Yes, click here to view a day in the life of a HMS student.

Why Montessori?

Why choose Montessori Educaton?

Montessori offers a sensible structured system that allows children to develop at their own pace, using their own abilities, with the positive guidance of a teacher and the use of specially designed Montessori materials. Children develop inner discipline, cooperation, independence, responsibility and self-confidence. As the children work and play the foundation for the love of learning is being formed for life.

What makes a  Montessori education unique?

Children learn by exploring and discovering concepts with "hands-on" manipulative equipment. Individualized learning allows students to progress at their own pace. Logical and creative thinking are developed and problem solving skills encouraged. Lessons in grace and courtesy teach respect for self and others and promote positive social interaction and development. A noncompetitive environment encourages children to learn to work and achieve intrinsic rewards rather than for external reinforcement or to please others. The Montessori Method develops the whole personality of the child, not merely his intellectual faculties but also his powers of deliberation, initiative and independent choice, with their emotional complements. By living as a free member of a real social community, the child is trained in those fundamental social qualities which form the basis of good citizenship.

Is Montessori a franchise?

Since “Montessori” is a person’s name it cannot be copyrighted. Anyone is free to use the name whether or not their program includes Montessori techniques, equipment or certified staff. The test of a true Montessori school includes asking for American Montessori Society (AMS), International Montessori Council (IMC) or Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) credentials for staff members and for the school as a whole. Parents should be welcome to observe classes and will notice a happy, harmonious atmosphere, respect of teachers for children, respect of children for teachers, and a full complement of well-cared for, authentic Montessori materials in each class.

Who accredits or oversees Montessori schools?

Unfortunately, there is no way to limit the use of the name "Montessori." Parents must carefully research, and observe a classroom in operation, in order to choose a real Montessori school for their child. The two major ones operating in the United States are the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI, with a U.S. branch office called AMI-USA) and the American Montessori Society (AMS). Parents considering placing a child in a Montessori school should ask about the school's accreditations and affiliations. Hoboken Montessori School is a member of the American Montessori Society, an international organization dedicated to promoting Montessori education worldwide through teacher training, continuing education, research and public policy work. AMS was founded in 1960 and is headquartered in New York City. Additional information can be found at

How can I know if I've found a 'real' Montessori School?

Dr. Nancy McCormick Rambush, founder of the American Montessori Society and co-founder of the Montessori Foundation, identified the following characteristics of an “authentic” Montessori school:* The following ideas are excerpted from The Authentic American Montessori School: A Guide to the Self-Study, Evaluation, and Accreditation of American Schools Committed to Montessori Education, by Dr. Nancy McCormick Rambush and Dr. John Stoops, published in1992 by the Commission on Elementary Schools of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and the American Montessori Society. Read Characteristics of an Authentic Montessori School

What special training do Montessori teachers have?

As with the choice of a Montessori school for children, an adult must also exercise wisdom in choosing a teacher training course. Anyone can legally use the name "Montessori" in describing their teacher training organization. One must be sure that the certification earned is recognized by the school where one desires to teach. The two major organizations offering Montessori training in the United States are the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI, with a U.S. branch office called AMI-USA) and the American Montessori Society (AMS). Most training centers require a bachelor's degree for admission. Training ranges from 200 to 600 pre-service contact hours, and covers principles of child development and Montessori philosophy, as well as specific uses of the Montessori classroom materials. Montessori training centers can be found across North American and around the world. Hoboken Montessori School employs head teachers that are Montessori trained and certified. We maintain documented proof of our Montessori teacher's credentials on file.

What is the best way to choose a Montessori school for my child?

Ask if the school is affiliated with any Montessori organization. Ask what kind of training the teachers have. Visit the school, observe the classroom in action, and later ask the teacher or director to explain the theory behind the activities you saw. Most of all, talk to your child’s prospective school faculty about their philosophy of child development and education to see if it is compatible with your own.

What is the difference between Montessori and traditional education?

Montessori emphasizes learning through all five sense, not just listening, watching, or reading. Children in Montessori classes 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. Montessori classes place children in a three-year age group (3-6, 6-9, 9-12, and so on), forming communities in which the older children spontaneously share their knowledge with the younger ones. Montessori represents an entirely different approach to education. A Montessori classroom is in many ways different from a standard classroom. The prepared environment is suited to the child's need for order. Every material in a Montessori classroom has its own place and is kept in good working condition. The materials are also self-correcting, allowing the child to find his/her own mistakes. The activities in a Montessori classroom are constructive. The emphasis of the room is on the children; they learn concentration, self-confidence, and self-reliance. Children choose their own work for low, open, easy accessible shelves, enabling them to gain independence. The class is child directed, not teacher dominated. Children are engaged and concentrating on their work. The room is like a home for them - it's "their" place. In addition, storytelling, art, music, singing, and movement are a part of everyday life at Hoboken Montessori School. View a Comparison of Montessori vs. Traditional Preschools

Why are three, four, and five year olds mixed together?

Children learn from each other. When children are grouped by age, the range of capabilities is considerably smaller than when several ages are grouped together. The young children learn academic and social skills from observing their older classmates. The older children learn patience, tolerance and leadership skills from their younger classmates. Our society is not segmented into age groups. As adults we have friends and acquaintances of many different ages. The Montessori classroom reflects our society with a mixture of ages.

Do Montessori students do well later in life?

Research shows that Montessori children retain key academic and social strengths that support a balanced and successful life. Montessori kids are known for their knowledge base, poise and enthusiasm for learning. They also score well on standardized tests at the elementary level and up. There is a growing list of prominent Montessori alumni including Larry Page and Sergei Brin, co-founders of Google, Jeffrey Bezos, genius behind Amazon, Julia Childs, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, NBA basketball player, Stephen Curry, and several actors like Helen Hunt and Melissa Gilbert.

Why HMS?

Is HMS a licensed and regulated school by the NJ Department of Children & Families?

Yes. HMS is a licensed by the State of NJ through the NJ Department of Children & Families. You may check our licensing status at Random inspections occur 3-4 times per year and our license is reviewed and renewed every two years. Enrolling your child at a licensed facility ensures state regulations are met which include but not limited to class size per classroom, student to teacher minimum ratios, mandatory child abuse and criminal background checks are conducted for every staff member, staff education criteria are met, and safety procedures are regularly reviewed and tested.

What sets you apart from other Montessori schools?

We are the only Montessori school in Hoboken that is a member of the American Montessori Society and licensed by the State of New Jersey Department of Children and Families. We pride ourselves on being a school focused on the early ages, and offer a truly authentic Montessori experience. We have a highly trained, professional administrative and head teaching staff who are trained and understand the Montessori philosophy. We also have an open door policy allowing for direct communications with our staff. Our long standing staff and low teacher turnover provides your children and our families with consistency. We are also proud of our close knit school culture as well.

Why choose an American Montessori Society (AMS) member school?

Hoboken Montessori School has been a member of the AMS since inception in 2011. Our school is required to meet the criteria set forth by the American Montessori Society in order for acceptance. The American Montessori Society recognizes 5 components as essential to quality programs: properly trained Montessori teachers, multi-age classrooms, use of specially designed Montessori learning materials, child-directed work, and uninterrupted work periods. About the American Montessori Society The American Montessori Society is the leading member advocacy organization, research forum, and resource collaborative for the global community of Montessori educators. Membership in the American Montessori Society—the world’s leading Montessori advocate—is a powerful way to become a part of the collective Montessori Movement. Visit the American Montessori Society website for more information.

What are the qualifications of your Head Teachers?

HMS Directors and Head Teachers have undergone a demanding training course which typically takes two years to complete. The course involves a year long academic phase, followed by a year long practicum (internship) under a Montessori Certified teacher. HMS only hires teachers that have graduated from programs recognized by the American Montessori Society. HMS has supported many staff members in obtaining certification in order to become Head Teachers. Our staff typically attends Westside Montessori School in NYC. A description of each phase of training is described below: Westside Montessori School Teacher Education Program Academic Phase The Academic Phase consists of 300+ hours of coursework in Montessori theory and practice completed at West Side Montessori School on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Practicum Phase: Student Teaching In the Practicum Phase, students apply the knowledge they have gained from the Academic Phase in a supervised student teaching placement. The student teacher must work for a minimum of a half-day classroom schedule from September to June in an approved Montessori school under the supervision of an approved supervising teacher. For more details, visit


What happens if a child or staff member develops symptons of COVID-19?

Children or staff members who develop symptoms of COVID-19 while at the facility If a child or staff member develops symptoms of COVID-19 while at the facility (e.g. fever of 100.4 or higher, cough, shortness of breath), the person will be separated from the well people until the ill person can leave the facility. If the child has symptoms of COVID-19 (e.g. fever, cough, shortness of breath), the caregiver waiting with the child shall remain as far away as safely possible from the child. If symptoms persist or worsen, they should call a health care provider for further guidance. Advise the employee or child’s parent or caregiver to inform the facility immediately if the person is diagnosed with COVID-19. Returning to Child Care After COVID-19 Diagnosis or Exposure If a staff member or child contracts or is exposed to COVID-19, they cannot be admitted to a center again until the criteria for lifting transmission based precautions and home isolation have been met. Those criteria are included in the Department of Health’s guidance available here. Cleaning and Disinfecting after a Suspected or Confirmed COVID-19 Case We will be following CDC 2019 Environmental Cleaning & Disinfection Recommendation in order to clean and disinfect rooms or areas that those with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 have visited.

What is your Distance Learning Platform?

Our Distance Learning Platform (DLP) program is a work in progress and we plan to continue to refine our offerings during the summer and into the Fall 2021. In addition, we will have materials and workbooks ready to go for our families in the event we need to revert to DLP next year. The documents below detail the following:

  • Learning from a Montessori Perspective
  • Expectations by Program
  • Distance Learning Overview
  • Supplies, Technology & Materials
  • Weekly Offerings
  • Activities in the Home
Pre-Primary Distance Learning Program Primary Distance Learning Program

Educational Links & Resources

As the COVID-19 crisis continues to unfold, many parents are wondering how to talk to children about the impacts of the virus in a way that will be reassuring and not make kids more worried than they already may be. Here is some advice from the experts at the Child Mind Institute, Talking to your Child about the Coronovirus. 16 Everyday Activities that Count as Learning Amazing Montessori Podcast Children’s books are read online by actors/actresses
How to talk to Kids about Coronavirus- NY Times