Key Policies


Sporadic attendance or periods of long absence will make it more difficult for your child to be a part of the school community. Please make every effort to ensure their regular attendance. To achieve this goal we request that you:

  • Schedule family vacations and trips to coincide with school holidays.
  • Schedule appointments with doctor, dentist, or other professionals outside of classroom hours.

As a practical matter, the administration requests that the school be notified as soon as possible on or before the day of the absence. Students who are absent for more than 3 days due to illness, must present a doctor’s note in order to return to school. Regardless of the duration of the absence, students must be free from fever or vomiting for a minimum of 24 hours prior to returning to school.

All planned absences in excess of 3 days require advanced approval from the administration of the school at least 10 days prior to the intended absence. After a student is absent for more than 9 days in a calendar year, additional excused absences will be limited to those due to a death in the family, a mandated court appearance, observance of a religious holiday, a lack of school provided transportation (i.e. busses are not running due to snow), or to allow the student to participate in an extraordinary educational opportunity.

Family vacations are not considered extraordinary educational opportunities if they do not involve deliberate activities designed to promote learning on the part of the child. Upon return from an approved absence due to an extraordinary educational opportunity, students will be required to share what they have learned with their class. For students ages 5-18 inclusive, Elm City Montessori will follow all state regulations pertaining to excused and unexcused absences and/or truancy.

Bringing Food From Home

Please help us make all meals interesting, satisfying, and above all, healthy by adhering to the following guidelines:

  • Nuts – ECMS is a nut free facility. We respectfully request that you do not send any foods containing peanuts or other nuts in your child’s food. This includes all foods prepared with peanut oil as well as peanut butter.
  • Processed Foods – We strive to prepare only non-processed foods. Please do not send prepackaged foods or microwave meals, such as Lunchables or Chef Boyardee pastas since they often have additives and extra salt. Please do not bring or send fast food/carry-out meals for your child. Sandwiches, cheese and crackers, and rolled sandwich meat (even cold pizza) are healthy alternatives. Fresh vegetables and a hummus dip are great additions. We also recommend fresh fruit and vegetables.
  • Beverages – Milk and filtered water will be provided. Please do not send other drinks.
  • Portion Sizes – We will return the uneaten portion of your child’s food so that you know what your child consumed and can make appropriate adjustments.
  • Cold Packs and Thermoses – Please include either a cold pack or thermos for items that must be kept cold.
  • Food Preparation in the Classroom – Please pack food that does not require refrigeration or microwaving as this can cause a distraction while preparing for meal time. Microwaves and refrigerators are for classroom work only.

Celebration Food

Your child’s guide will contact you a week or two before your child’s birthday in order to make plans for a small, in-school celebration. If you have other ideas for classroom celebrations, please share them with your child’s guide. Preparations with your child’s guide will include a decision about any food that will be served as well as other ways to contribute.

Please respect all allergies when providing food for celebration. In some cases, they are a matter of life and death. Also, please avoid sweet snacks or junk food (cookies, cupcakes, etc.) for birthdays or other holiday celebrations. Whole grain banana bread or fresh berries and whipped cream are two examples of healthy celebration food.

Uniform Policy

We ask children to wear the following to school each day:

  • Shirt: solid green polo or t-shirt, short or long-sleeved (any shade)
  • Pants: solid blue long pants or shorts, skirts or jumpers (any shade, no jeans please)
  • Indoor footwear: hard-soled slippers or shoes that can be taken on and off by your child independently    
  • Outdoor footwear: rubber-soled, closed-toe shoes or boots that fit securely and can be taken on and off by your child independently

Indoor and outdoor shoes must be two separate pairs of shoes, it is helpful to label them.

Required Outerwear

In addition, each child should bring outerwear appropriate for the weather. We will go outside on all days when the temperature is above 25º F and below 95º F, rain or shine (with the exception of heavy precipitation). We do not have the staff capacity to accommodate indoor recess for some children due to illness or injury. If your child is not able to spend time outside they should not be in school. Please refer to the following guidelines when choosing outerwear for your child each morning.

Required Recess Wear (all temperatures include wind chill):

    • Below 25º F: Indoor recess
    • 25º F – 30º F: down or heavily lined coat; hat; waterproof gloves or mittens; snow pants and insulated boots.
  • 30º F – 40º F: down or heavily lined coat; hat; gloves or mittens; snow pants and boots if ground is snow covered or wet.
  • 40º F – 50º F: coat; hat; gloves or mittens; boots if ground is wet.
  • 50º F – 60º F: coat, polar fleece, sweatshirt, or sweater with one layer underneath; if running outside and hot, top layer may be removed.

Appropriate Dress

To encourage independence, clothing worn to school should be free of any belt, buckle, snap, button, or other element that the child cannot fasten and unfasten with ease. Clothing, including outerwear, may be any brand, but should be free of all:

  • Logos (small and discreet logos are acceptable)
  • Licensed Characters (such as Spiderman or Hello Kitty)
  • Pictures
  • Written Messages

Extra Clothing

On their first day of school, please send your child with two complete sets of indoor clothing (top, bottom, underwear, socks). If your child is developing toileting independence, extra pairs of underwear, socks, bottoms, and possibly shoes may also be a good idea. If your child brings home a bag with soiled or wet clothing, please send replacements for the items in the bag the next morning. Your child’s guild will let you know with a note if your child’s supply of extra clothing is running low. If providing extra clothes is a hardship for your family, please let your child’s guide know.