Thank you for your interest in Trinity Montessori School!
You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers!
There’s a lot to know about admissions here at Trinity: on this page, we’ve endeavored to answer as many of the most frequent inquiries that we receive about enrolling a child in our programs. Please read through the following carefully!
If you find you still have lingering questions about our admissions process, please feel free to call the TMS office at (843) 556-6686.
Q: At what age can my child begin attending Trinity?
A: Trinity Montessori School welcomes children ages 12 Weeks to 12 Years, across four different programs: Infant (3 to 18 months) Toddler (18 months to 3 years) Casa (3 to 6 years) and Elementary (6 to 12 years old).
Q: Do you accept new students on a “rolling” basis?
A: TMS operates on a traditional academic calendar, which means the bulk of our students begin in August of any given year.
Q: How long is your waitlist?
A: It varies, based on the age of your child.
Our waitlist for the Infant Class (12 weeks – 18 months) is very long. We give priority enrollment to siblings of currently enrolled TMS students: therefore, that community is often composed mostly of little brothers and sisters of older children.
For children between 18 months and 6 years, the waitlist is still long, but far more dynamic. Please feel free to call or email us to get the most up-to-date information on the status of the wait for those programs, but be aware that based on the time of year, we may not have much new information to report.
The waitlist for our Elementary population is currently shortest, so if you have a child 6 and older, please submit an application at your earliest convenience. Upon receipt of your application, one of our administrative or Elementary teaching staff will reach out to you with information about evaluating your child and setting up a school visit.
Q: How many children get accepted into each program?
A: As per SCDSS (South Carolina Department of Social Services) there are very specific child-to-staff ratios we must observe. Therefore, we enroll 10 Infants, 24 Toddlers in two separate classes, roughly 50 Casa-aged children in three separate classes, and 20 or more children in our Elementary class, depending on their abilities and needs. There is a Lead Montessori Guide and an Assistant Teacher in every classroom.
Q: How much does it cost to apply to Trinity Montessori School?
A: Currently, nothing! If we can find an enrollment spot for your child, we’ll collect a non-refundable $200 Registration Fee and a $200 Tuition Deposit, which is applied to the last month’s tuition of your child’s contracted month. (If you withdraw before the end of your enrollment agreement, that deposit is forfeited.)
Trinity Montessori School utilizes Blackbaud Tuition Management for all electronic payments of tuition, fees, and other optional items. Registering with Blackbaud Tuition Management is a requirement of having a student enrolled at Trinity Montessori School.
Q: What is our number on the waitlist, and what does that mean for when we’re “getting in?”
A: In reality, your relative position on the waitlist is only one piece of consideration for enrollment. Perhaps you noticed that all of our classrooms have a relatively large age span: this is by design, and in accordance with Dr. Maria Montessori’s theories surrounding a healthy, thriving classroom community.
When it comes time to fill openings in our programs, we take a holistic view of each classroom in order to best serve each student community, and by extension, each individual child. This is done by asking three questions, in the following order:
· Does this classroom need a current leader (ie, and older child relative to the other students) or a future leader (ie, a younger child relative to the other students)?
· Does this classroom need more boys, or more girls, to have an equal gender balance?
· Is there a child on the waitlist that satisfies both of the above criteria, and if there is more than one, which has the oldest dated application?
Based on this formula, we can keep our classrooms as conducive to best Montessori practices as possible. It also means that, given the demographics of our current population, some children wait much longer on the list than others.
Q: Do I have to reapply for your programs if my child is eligible for a different class now, relative to when I first applied?
A: No! If you’ve applied for the Infant Room, for instance, and we cannot place your child right away, there’s a chance we could find a spot in our Toddler Community in the future, when s/he turns 18 months old. We keep all applications on file for this very reason, and do not remove children from our list unless specifically asked to do so. An application to Trinity is an application for any or all of our classrooms.
Q: I am looking for 3K/4K for my child. What are your offerings?
A: Children that are toilet-trained and are (or are almost) 3 years old in August of a given year are eligible for what we call Casa. This environment is where children who are 3, 4, 5, and even 6 years old are enrolled.
A Casa classroom is a wonderful, multi-age environment where the children are given great freedom to explore the work around them, and thus, may be imbued with an incredible academic and emotional skillset from a very young age.
It is critical to be aware that the children get the most out of Casa when they stay in this program for THREE FULL YEARS; and yes, that means what traditional schools call 3K, 4K, and 5K, or Kindergarten. Children that remain in Casa for a full 3 years have the opportunity to tie all of their experiences together in a profound way. This gives each child an expansive understanding of the work and experiences of Casa, and also sets the tone for the incredible learning that happens in an Elementary class.
The benefits gained from being in a Montessori school may not be fully realized if a child misses this 3rd Casa year: when a 5-year-old child is withdrawn from Trinity and placed in traditional Kindergarten, there is a very high likelihood that he or she will not make those aforementioned great leaps of understanding. The reality is, this opportunity only happens once a lifetime.
We call the third year in a Casa classroom the “L.E.A.P. Year,” which stands for Leadership, Enrichment, Academics, and Preparation: these are tentpole qualities of a 3rd Year Casa student. For further information on how traditional kindergarten differs from the L.E.A.P Year at Trinity Montessori School, please feel free to reach out to our admissions staff.
Q: When will I know if my child can be enrolled at Trinity Montessori School?
A: For the most part, our class lists are settled in August by the time the academic year begins, meaning the waitlist experience very little movement in the fall and winter.
We begin to have a sense of how many vacancies our programs will have, and therefore how many children we can accept into our programs, in the Spring of a given year. You are more than welcome to email or call us at any time to inquire as to the state of our waitlist, but please be aware that we may not have a realistic sense of how the coming academic year will look until March or April.
Q: Can I tour Trinity?
A: Of course! Once an application is submitted, someone will be in touch to confirm that your application has been processed, your child has been added to our waitlist, and to set up an in-person meeting, where you will be shown our facilities and given the chance to ask more questions.
We look forward to speaking further about the educational aspirations you have for your child! Thank you for your interest in Trinity Montessori School!
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