Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Do you charge tuition?
A: No, the charter school is a tuition-free public school serving grades K through 8. The existing Willow Oak Montessori Children’s House program serving preschool-kindergarten will remain a tuition-based private school operated by a separate non-profit entity. There is no priority given to Children’s House students in the Charter School lottery.
Q: Who pays for charter schools?
A: Charter schools are supported by federal, state, and local funds, including state and county taxes. Unlike traditional public schools, charter schools do not receive county taxes for constructing facilities. Charter schools often supplement the government funds they receive with grants and community donations.
Q: Can you serve my child with special needs?
A: Yes. Our Diverse Learning Community team is responsible for ensuring that we meet the needs of every child with special needs in our school community. We also contract with outside providers, as necessary, for individual services required. Information regarding your child’s IEP will not be requested until he/she is enrolled in the school after the admissions lottery.
Q: Do your students have to take the state’s standardized tests?
A: Yes, charter schools must participate in the state’s End-of-Grade (EOG) testing beginning in the 3rd grade.
Q: Will you participate in the free and reduced lunch program?
A: We do not have a cafeteria and do not participate in the federal lunch program. Students bring their lunches to school each day. However, Willow Oak Montessori is very committed to ensuring that all students have access to ample healthy food during their school day. As such, we supplement lunches, as necessary, based on individual students’ needs.
Q: What steps are being taken to address equity in your school?
A: After several years of attempting to start off with and then increase diversity, the Board of Directors formed an Equity Team to study what could be keeping us from being a school of choice for families of color, families of limited financial means, families of students with disabilities, and all other populations of families that have not traditionally held power in our society. The work of this team is explicitly beyond viewing equity as "meeting needs," though that is included. Instead, we are focused on studying our culture and shifting power to make our community more aware and welcoming of all. This is hard work and we welcome your involvement. For more information, please contact us and we will direct you to a member of our equity team.
Q: How much homework will my child have?
A: Montessori Schools do not typically assign daily homework. In order to ensure an appetite for work during the school day, we encourage children to spend their time after school to pursue their personal interests, interact with their families and relax. Many activities may constitute homework, including household chores. Responsibilities at home help the child develop language skills and cultural awareness. Making math a real part of the home environment and giving the child a voice in family decisions are important to every child’s growth. Reading with and to your children every day will result in quality family time and confidence building. Older students will take long-term projects home to work on.
Q: What extracurricular activities will be available to my child at your school?
A: Willow Oak Montessori is committed to making meaningful extracurricular activities available to students. Previous activities have included fine arts, music, chess, physical fitness, and sports.The school staff, students, and families will work together to determine interest in any additional clubs and activities.
Q: Can I read your charter application?
A: Of course. You can access our charter here.
If you have any additional questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org