What to expect from a parent interview at a Quaker or Montessori school?
May 27, 2009 11:02 AM   Subscribe

What sorts of questions will a Quaker or Montessori school ask me, the parent of a prospective student?

I'm looking at schools for my 4-year-old, and part of the admissions process is an interview of the parents. What sorts of things can I expect to be asked by a (fairly secular) Quaker school and a Montessori school? I have a naturally curious learner and would like to find a school that's a good fit (that is, I'm not interested in trying to deduce the "right" answers to get in), but never having done this before I'm unsure what to expect.
posted by cocoagirl to Education (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Some years ago I wrote a letter of recommendation for my cousin and his wife who were hoping to send their kid to a Quaker school. I emphasized what the family could contribute to the school, that they did a lot volunteer and paid work with poor people. (He was an ESOL teacher and she was a librarian in a ghetto library.) I also mentioned that, although they were not Quakers, they had similar values.
posted by mareli at 11:35 AM on May 27, 2009

My kids went to a Montessori school for preschool. The only question they asked was would i be paying by cash or check. We looked at a Quaker middle and HS for our kids in the event we moved (we didn't) and they were just chatty conversations about us and the kids. Nothing I could have prepared for.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 11:48 AM on May 27, 2009

cash or check

Just what I was going to say. They are probably more interested in presenting their school to you, and allowing you to ask them questions. Unless it is a very selective school, this is probably not designed to get information about you, but to give you information about them. They can do that best in a one-on-one situation, so they present it as a required interview to ensure you show up.
posted by Rock Steady at 11:52 AM on May 27, 2009

A Montessori education is significantly enhanced through participation with parents outside of school (helping to re-enforce the lessons at home, especially the practical coursework). So you might prepare to address those kinds of questions (parental involvement), even though you might not be asked about it specifically.
posted by Gorgik at 12:14 PM on May 27, 2009

Best answer: My son goes to Montessori. He loves it, as do we. Unless it's a really hard to get into school all they'll really care about is whether or not you can pay them.

They'll ask you why you're choosing the school, where you heard about it, what kind of learner your son is, what you know about Montessori, why you're interested in Montessori, things like that.

"I have a naturally curious learner and would like to find a school that's a good fit" is going to be the answer to most of the questions.

I think you should be more concerned about what questions you'll be asking them.
posted by bondcliff at 12:17 PM on May 27, 2009

My kid attends Montessori school. Most of our parent interview was about our daughter but we were asked what attracted us to Montessori education and how we applied (or planned to apply) Montessori principles in our day-to-day life.
posted by atropos at 12:22 PM on May 27, 2009

Best answer: Nthing what's been stated here, we have one kid in Montessori, and one in a Quaker school. Most of the admissions discussion focused on our our kids perceived needs, interests, values etc.
posted by Scoo at 12:57 PM on May 27, 2009

My daughter went to a Montessori preschool. The only "interview" consisted of sitting on the floor with the teacher and visiting about the school while my daughter explored the space. Unless you're looking at rigidly exclusive schools, I don't think there's anything they'll ask you that will be a dealbreaker as far as your child being accepted.
posted by amyms at 1:13 PM on May 27, 2009

The Amrican Montessori Society and its list of schools.

In my experience there is a big difference between nonprofit Montessori schools, and for-profit montessori schools - as far as the "cash or check" thing goes.
posted by R. Mutt at 1:44 PM on May 27, 2009

I taught at a Montessori school for a couple of years. Prospective parents generally had far more questions for me than I had for them. I was most interested in their understanding of the Montessori method and what they could tell me about their child. We also required parents to volunteer a certain number of hours per year (10? 20? can't remember). Other than that, there weren't any requirements or any right or wrong answers.
posted by curie at 5:06 PM on May 27, 2009

I've worked at a charter (non-profit) Montessori school, Downtown Montessori Academy, for the past four years. In my experience the principle is most interested in how much previous Montessori experience the child has, unless of course the child is starting in the kindergarten or pre-k program. If that is the case she mostly just cares that the child is potty trained.

Hope that helps

posted by SummerRose86 at 7:47 PM on May 3, 2010

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