Frequently Asked Questions
about Daycroft Montessori School

Click on any question to get the answer. If you have further questions, please call 734.930.0333 or email admissions@daycroft.org

The Daycroft Difference

Public schools are mandated to teach to the group and meet group goals. Independent schools in general, and Daycroft Montessori School in particular, teach to the individual and meet the individual’s goals.

Daycroft Montessori School is a non-sectarian school. We do address religion within the context of culture – for example, celebrations during the winter season – or explaining where the annotation A.D. came from while learning about timelines of ancient history. We are fortunate to have students and families from a broad spectrum of cultures and religious beliefs.

Daycroft has two teachers in each classroom. We have a 10:1 student-to-teacher ratio in preschool (20 students maximum per classroom), 12:1 ratio in kindergarten (24 maximum), and 13:1 ratio in elementary school (26 maximum). The ratio does not include the specials teachers (art, music, Spanish, physical education, library/technology), which makes the ratio even lower, nor does it account for a less than maximum classroom.

A Daycroft education blends the distinctive student-centered approach of Maria Montessori with traditional and progressive teaching methods. Most Daycroft classrooms have two teachers credentialed to teach at the appropriate level by a Montessori teacher training center approved by the Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (MACTE); all Daycroft classrooms have at least one Montessori-certified teacher. (Several Daycroft teachers are in Montessori training.) Montessori credentials are multi-year in scope – for example, they may cover ages 3 to 6, or 6 to 9. Daycroft teachers are also certified by the State of Michigan to teach at the appropriate levels.

The Montessori materials are so well developed and so attractive to children that textbooks are not needed. The concrete, hands-on, manipulative materials help children form very abstract concepts at an early age, and form a strong foundation for future abstract learning. For example, children as young as kindergarten-age work with addition, subtraction, and multiplication with four-digit numbers, using the Golden Bead Material. When students are ready for abstract learning, textbooks are introduced. For example, MacMillan-McGraw Hill math texts are introduced in fourth grade.

A Typical Day at Daycroft

Each Daycroft classroom has as much uninterrupted class time as possible. Special classes are scheduled at the beginning or end of “work time” as much as possible to allow the students to develop extended concentration.

Each Daycroft classroom is arranged and materials are displayed to meet the needs of the individual children. Materials are selected for their attractiveness and appeal for each student, and also for the content. Teachers create an individual work plan for each student that includes work/tasks to practice and proceed with as students take the next step in developing comprehension in each core subject. Students are also allowed “free choice” shelf work as part of their weekly work plan. Independence in completing the plans and in selecting their own work is one of the major goals for each individual child.

Daycroft teachers observe and assess the needs of each student in their class. To meet these needs, teachers prepare the environment of the classroom – including the materials on the shelves, the groupings of tables and children, and the routine and special lessons of each day. Group and individual lessons prepared and presented by the teachers occur throughout each day, and large group lessons often start off the day.

Daycroft generally has:

  • Three physical education classes each week (45 minutes each);
  • 90 minutes of Art Studio back to back with 90 minutes of library/technology once per week;
  • Spanish and general music class twice each week for elementary (with class length steadily increasing as children progress); and
  • Encore for 2nd grade, recorder lessons for 3rd grade, and band and instrument classes for middle and upper elementary.

Applying to Daycroft

Typically, the admissions process will proceed as follows. You will:

  • Submit an inquiry online or by phone;
  • Schedule a tour of either Daycroft campus (preprimary on Oakbrook Drive, elementary on Zeeb Road) or attend a Daycroft open house;
  • Apply to the school online through the “Admissions” link on our website;
  • Schedule a visit for your child in the classroom; and
  • Submit all required paperwork.

If Daycroft is determined to be a good fit for your child, we will extend a contract with a two-week deadline, during which your child’s space at Daycroft will be held.

Daycroft’s application fee is $50. This is non-refundable.

The last month students may enroll at the kindergarten through 8th grade level is January. The last month to enroll in preschool is March of the current school year. Up until then, Daycroft has a rolling admissions policy if space is available.

Daycroft follows the same cutoff dates as public schools for kindergarten. Children must be 5 by November 1 for the 2013-14 school year, by October 1 for the 2014-15 school year, and September 1 for the 2015-16 school year. After 2015-16, the cutoff date will remain September 1.

A child may apply for Daycroft’s Young 5’s program if they turn 5 by the cutoff dates above – or very soon after – and thus benefit from one more year before entering kindergarten, whether for social or academic reasons.

No, Daycroft does not require an admissions test. We do, however, require a visit in the classroom by the prospective student, during which time the teacher will administer some assessments to determine the developmental level of the child. This enables us to see if the child is able to meet the expectations of the classroom. It also helps ensure success within our learning environment.

A child needs to be 33 months of age and potty-trained to enroll in preschool at Daycroft.

“As parents who believe strongly in the Montessori method, we feel we cannot do better for our children.”

—Terri and Mark Fisher, parents of Andrew and Brooke

Tuition, Fees, and Financial Aid

Tuition at Daycroft is based on a school year, September to June. Tuition can be paid all at once, bi-monthly, or in 10 payments. Daycroft uses a tuition management company called FAST (Financial Aid for School Tuition) for all payments other than the one-time payment option.

Daycroft is mindful to keep the tuition increase to a minimum every year. Typically the increase is no more than 3%. See “Tuition and Fees” under “Admissions” tab for details.

Included in tuition are all supplies needed for the classroom. Extra costs include, but are not limited to, before-care (at the elementary campus) and after-care (at both campuses), after-school enrichment classes, our hot lunch program, and summer day camps.

Yes, we do. There is a $2,000 discount for the third sibling enrolled at Daycroft.

The tuition assistance deadline for first-round decisions typically occurs in February. After that, decisions are made as applications come in, if there is money left in the fund.

Daycroft uses FAST (Financial Aid for School Tuition) to collect all tuition assistance information. Learn more at FAST’s website.

Tuition assistance is available for students entering our Young 5’s program or kindergarten through 8th grade.

Currently, 15% of Daycroft students receive tuition assistance. Award amounts range from 20% to 80% of the child’s tuition. The average award amount is 50%.

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