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 if they have a physical or learning disability?
A: Yes! Our Diverse Learning Community team is responsible for ensuring that we meet the needs of every child in our school community. We also contract with outside providers, as necessary, for individual services as required. Information regarding your child’s needs, their IEP, or their 504 Plan will not be requested until after your child has been admitted to our school.
Q: Do your students have to take the state’s standardized tests?
A: Yes, charter schools must participate in the state’s annual End-of-Grade (EOG) testing beginning in the 3rd grade.
Q: Will you participate in the free and reduced lunch program?
A: We are excited to announce that Willow Oak Montessori is partnering with the School Nutrition Services of Chatham County Schools to allow all WOM students the opportunity to receive free lunches and afternoon snacks at school during the 2021-2022 school year. There will be no income or other requirements to determine eligibility; the opportunity is open to all students for this school year. We do not yet know what the eligibility requirements may be for future years. Please note that this program requires families to opt in for the school year and is not a program where you can pick and choose only certain days of the week. Note: The opt-in period for 2021-22 has closed for currently enrolled students.
Q: Do you offer transportation to or from school?
A: We wish we could! We have been investigating this, and it is not financially possible at this time. However, we are working out how we might make this a possibility in Willow Oak's future. At the start of the school year, we will do our best to help connect Willow Oak households to one another so that you might form carpools or help with driving for students who live near you or on your way to school. Please reach out if you need help with transportation and we will do our best to help you!
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 reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will connect 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 pursuing their personal interests, interacting with their families, and relaxing. 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 email@example.com