For all you parents looking for a preschool that suits your kids, we’re hoping to add a little something to aid in your search. Parents of children who attend various preschools on island have filled out a series of questions about the schools for the benefit of the rest of us. We welcome more than one voice on each school since everyone has a different experience, so please feel free to add in your two cents in the comments.
If your child attends a school that has not been reviewed on this site, please contact our Submissions Manager for the template.
CONTRIBUTED BY LINDSEY
Name of School: Sunshine Montessori School
Address: 1 Chome-9-10 Kitamae, Chatan, Nakagami District
Phone: 098-936-9968 (Japanese number) OR 904-371-99070 (US number)
Ages Accepted: birth to 6 years
Ages of Your Kid(s) in this School: My child is 3
What is the maximum number of students that your school has? 80
What is the current number of students? 69
Is enrollment open/year-round enrollment or per semester? year round
Does my child have to be potty-trained to attend? Ages 3 and up do need to be potty trained. If they are under 3 they will help to potty train them.
Can I bring my child in for a pre-enrollment visit? Yes
Days and hours:
What are the school’s hours? Monday through Friday 6:30am to 5:30pm for under 3 years old and 6:00am to 6:00pm for 3-6 years old
Is the school on a Japanese or American schedule? American Schedule
How flexible is the school with pickup and drop-off times? Very flexible
What are the registration fees? $100.00
What are the tuition fees? 2009-2010 school year prices are yet to be announced, currently $400.00 per month for 9 to 3
If any, what are the assessment and school supplies fees? Activity fees $280.00 (3-6) $150.00 (2years) these include field trips, food and class materials.
Is there a late-pickup fee? Yes
How and when does the school require payment (in yen, dollars, etc.)? Payment is due by the 5th of the month and Dollars and Yen are both accepted.
Parent Involvement and Interaction
Does the school encourage spontaneous visits from parents? Yes
How do you communicate with parents? parent/ teacher conferences, regular newsletters, daily communication with the teachers. They are always available to speak to and very friendly and helpful.
Is there a daily report or other process for informing parents of what children did during the day (naps, BMs, snacks, etc.)? yes
Are there parent/teacher conferences? yes
Classroom Structure and Size
How are the kids grouped? Mixed ages / grouped by age? Mixed ages
What’s the teacher-child ratio in each group? Newborn to one year 4:1 Two and older 8:1
How many full-time teachers do you have? How many assistants? Each classroom has full time teachers and assistants the amount varies by classroom and what is needed.
What is the school’s educational philosophy? Is the school program developmentally-based or does it have an academic focus? Montessori based curriculum.
Is there a playground for the children to play on? There is a play park behind the school building where they play weather permitting, as often as possible
What do the children do on any given day? Curriculum involves Language (American and Japanese) Everyday living lessons, Sensorial, Math, Geography, Science (my son’s class dissected a fish. He thought it was amazing. I am never surprised by the wonderful things they expose him to.) and Arts and crafts
Are there extracurricular activities or field trips? Yes
How does the school discipline children? First they receive an eye to eye talk, time outs in the thinking chair follow if the talking alone does not work.
How does the school comfort children? Lots of hugs and eye contact
Final Comments or Observations about the School
I have nothing but wonderful things to say about the entire staff of this school. My son has been attending for 1 year. There is no one else that I would trust to take such good care of him. The meals that are prepared for them daily are wonderful and well balanced, we are not talking sandwiches, more like salmon and rice with a veggie, or Yakisoba! I always go on the field trips and have observed the wonderful relationship that the teachers have with the children. All of the different teachers from other classes know my son by name. It is a very warm and welcoming place that is always very clean. They have put on adorable performances for holidays and do really neat craft projects. I absolutely love this school and recommend it to anyone looking for a safe, educational place for their child.