Primary Program

Primary Program

“One test of the correctness of educational procedure is the happiness of the child.

Dr. Maria montessori

The Montessori Approach. Our fully-implemented Montessori Primary classroom offers a three-year program, culminating in the 3rd or kindergarten year. The Primary classroom is a beautiful and joyful environment where children are given one on one and group lessons from the five traditional Montessori curriculum areas, including practical life, sensorial development, language, mathematics. and the cosmic curriculum (which includes geography, science, art and music). The classroom also incorporates areas for movement and a peace corner where children may sit and rest their bodies and minds.

Children are allowed to move freely through the classroom and select materials that interest them. The 3 hour morning work cycle includes formal Montessori lesson presentations, uninterrupted time for choosing and completing work, snack preparation, and group gathering time. Guided by a credentialed Montessorian and teachers in training, children may choose to work alone or with friends, and they are free to respectfully observe other children who are working or receiving lessons. ToTH students enjoy at least an hour of outdoor playtime or neighborhood walks each day, weather permitting. Rest time in the afternoons is part of the daily schedule and allows each child the opportunity to sleep or rest quietly for at least an hour

The ToTH Primary Community. The most successful Primary programs are strong communities in which families view themselves not as patrons, but as partners. ToTH Primary parents are supported with weekly activity reports, student photo albums, parent education sessions, newsletters, parent-teacher conferences, and family events. We welcome families who are passionate about offering their 3-6 year-old an authentic early Montessori experience and who are confident that our Primary program is a good fit.

During the 2022-2023 school year, the Primary program will operate Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Students must arrive no later than 9:30 a.m. and they may be picked up between 3:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Earlier pick up schedules may be arranged for children who prefer to nap at home. *In order to limit disruptions to the Montessori morning work cycle, late drop offs after the designated arrival window are only permitted for essential doctor's and dental appointments or family emergencies. An approved late arrival is only permitted up through 12 p.m. After 12 p.m. the Montessori work cycle and group gathering have ended. *We ask that parents schedule any appointments for their children early in the morning or in the late afternoon as children who are picked up early may not be brought back to school after 12 p.m.
The 2022-2023 school year will begin on August 29, 2022 and will end on July 27, 2023. To view our 2022-2023 school calendar please click here.
Tuition rates for the 2022-23 school year will be updated soon. Tuition for the primary program is $26,424 for the 2021-2022 school year and is billed in three installments.
  • A one time $100 application fee is due at the time of application. This fee is waived for families receiving OSSE child care vouchers.
  • After an enrollment offer has been extended, a nonrefundable tuition deposit (10% of a full year of tuition) is due by the date stated in the enrollment contract.
  • For the 2022-23 school year, tuition will be due in four installments. The first payment is due June 30, 2022 and all subsequent payments are due one month before the start of each quarter. The second quarter begins on November 14, 2022, the third quarter begins on February 20, 2023 and the fourth quarter begins on May 15, 2023.
  • ToTH Montessori is approved to accept child care subsidy vouchers from eligible families. For more information on applying for vouchers, please visit: My Child Care DC.
Submit your application for the Primary Program by clicking here.
  • All complete applications received by February 1, 2022 will be considered for Early Admissions.
  • All applications received after February 1st will be considered on a rolling basis.
  • All complete applications received by February 1, 2022 will be considered for Early Admissions.
  • All applications received after February 1st will be considered on a rolling basis.
  • We will prioritize balance regarding age and gender and currently enrolled children, siblings and alumni families will be given preference.
  • Any families who do not receive an offer during early admissions due to lack of space may remain on our waitlist. We cannot guarantee admission and will make every effort to enroll families from our rolling waitlist whenever a spot is available.
  • Once accepted, families must submit up-to-date immunization records and other forms as required by ToTH to participate, for the safety of all children involved, by June 1, 2022.
  • ToTH does not discriminate in its admissions policies or in the administration of its educational policies on the basis of race, gender, national or ethnic origin, disability, religion, or sexual orientation.
At ToTH, we slowly integrate, or "phase in" new children who have never been a part of our community before. This means, if you are just starting with ToTH and your child has never attended any of our programs before, your child will have a special start date and it will not be the first day of school. We do not prorate tuition for this delayed start. The new child might start the very first week of school or she may be phased in as many as two to three weeks from the start of school. She may come on a day that no other new children are coming or she may come on a day when one or more new children are coming. ToTH plans a precise and personalized start for each and every new child who joins us and we take many factors into account when we build this unique calendar for all new children, in all three programs, which is quite a laborious process. Phase in takes a lot of time and planning on our part and it requires a team spirit from our parents. There are three important reasons we do this: The first reason addresses the importance of your child’s first impression of school. In the first plane of development (0-6), children are absorbing every person, place, routine, and ritual and creating impressions about them, literally forming their very personality around them. It’s important that on your child’s very first day of Montessori school the teachers can welcome your child in a focused way that honors and addresses their needs to feel safe and welcomed with one on one attention. When we take a few days or a week to settle returning children coming back from their summer break, we can give your new child the special attention she requires on her first day, and offer her the most normalized environment possible, setting her up for the best start possible, which will reap benefits for your child and your family all year. The second reason is to protect the start for our returning students. They have been away for four weeks and have missed their friends, their teachers, and their favorite activities. A few days or even a week of a normalized environment in a calm space with no new children is an important part of their start, and sets the stage for new children to come into a space where returners are helpful, serene, and functioning with poise and purpose (essential modeling for your new child). The third reason has to do with our commitment to run ToTH in such a way that all of our systems and procedures maintain and preserve the quality of our Montessori environment. There is value gained for all of the children when we are proactive and careful, beginning with the end in mind in all that we do. A school year is not a sprint, it’s a marathon, and we want to remove points of friction, tension, and stress for teachers and children so that the quality we offer at the end of the year is just as vibrant as it was on day one. Phase in is one of the many ways we do this. Montessorians think in terms of “removing obstacles”. By taking a slower start and phasing in new children over the course of weeks, children receive the consistency and quality ToTH parents are paying for. By beginning with the end in mind we preserve the stamina and grace of our teachers and we preserve the normalization of our returners, meaning, each and every year new children join our community without any dramatic interruptions in normalization.

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