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Prospective Parent FAQ

How Do I Enroll?

Parkside is a magnet program which means that interested families must first enroll in their neighborhood school and then request a transfer through the district. Details about the transfer process can be on the TK-7th or Preschool enrollment page.

Is Montessori Right for my Child?

Yes! We believe in Montessori for ALL!

For many years Montessori programs have only been available to families that could afford a private school option. As a public Montessori school we are proud to offer our program to all students. Dr. Montessori explored education through the lens of a scientist and her study of child development led to the Montessori philosophy that we embrace today. 

Our goal is to provide our students with a strong academic foundation through a Montessori whole-child approach. Importantly, we hope to instill the attitudes and skills needed to navigate and problem solve as global citizens in an ever-changing world.

What are the Biggest Differences Between a Montessori School vs. a Traditional School?

Please check out our Montessori vs. Traditional chart and Features of a Montessori classroom page for more information including a video that gives you an inside look in a Montessori classroom.

What is our Teacher-to-Student Ratio?

All San Mateo-Foster City Schools have a TK-3rd grade student:teacher ratio of 24:1, and a 4th-6th grade student:teacher ratio of 30:1. Currently, Parkside's student:teacher ratio is lower than the districts. For example, our three current TK/K classes have an average of student:teacher ratio of 19:1. This does not include additional support staff or student teachers that will push in to support these rooms.

Will my Students Still Learn the Common Core Standards?

Yes! Parkside is a public school and is part of the San Mateo-Foster City School District. Our district's goals for all students are social-emotional development and mastery of the Common Core standards. The way we talk about our school's outcomes compared to other district's schools is: "The WHAT we are trying to accomplish is the same: Social-Emotional Development and Common Core mastery.  The HOW is where we differ". We believe that a Montessori approach to education will support our students to meet those outcomes with the added benefit of developing intellectual curiosity and executive functioning skills needed to develop into motivated learners, problem solvers, and global citizens

How Do you Support Social-Emotional Learning?

Supporting each child's social and emotional growth is a top responsibility for all Parkside staff.  An adult's ability to listen, provide guidance and nurture children is a core criterion that we use in our hiring process and is an ongoing conversation within our team.

In the classroom, Parkside teachers support students by focusing on Montessori Grace and Courtesy lessons while supplementing them with the district’s 2nd Step Curriculum. All teachers give students lessons on goal setting, emotion management, empathy/kindness, and problem-solving. 

Because the Enrollment Process Involves a Lottery, Do I Even Have a Chance to Get In?

Yes, you have a very good chance! Since our school is expanding, we can add a 4th TK/K class next year and due to an increasing number of families moving out of state during the last few years, we have space open at all grade levels (TK-7th grade) next year. During the last two years, over 85% of families that indicated Parkside as the first choice on their transfers were offered a seat at the school.