For Parents

Grab a refreshment and get ready for the new school year.
The School You Choose With Your Head and Your Heart
Summer 2017

Dear Wonderful ECMCS Parents,

For new and returning parents, welcome to East Cooper Montessori Charter School, the school that is truly chosen with your head your heart. Grab a cup of coffee and get ready to check off your back to school list. We are busily preparing for an amazing school year. While we are already planning and designing summer of 2018 building renovations, we are happy to report in one more year every student will have a renovated and enlarged classroom environment! 

We are excited to announce, you can get linked with us this very minute by going to your app store to download the new ECMCS app. Search East Cooper Montessori Charter School and download the FREE app. The app is updated with the latest calendar dates, payment systems, nutrition information, social media links, directory of faculty and much more. Parents will also be able to change dismissal plans and log their own arrival in the carpool line by downloading the Silent Dismissal App parent version. We are still working on the solution for the parent directory and a carpooling connection capability. We also look forward to new blended learning tools for students such as Reflex mathematics for grades 1st-4th. These tools will be available at home and at school wherever possible. There is a new technology fee of $20.00 per student in grades Kindergarten-8th to make great technology tools available to our students. More information on accessing the new tools will be available on back to school night. It is also recommended that students in 4th-8th grades have their own device to use at school in addition to the school’s technology. 

In order to simplify and reduce the cost of school supplies for parents, we are testing a system of using bulk ordering resulting in a cost of $35.00 per child. In our research, parents usually spend approximately $50.00 per child so we hope parents are excited about the savings and not traveling to multiple stores to get everything on the list.

Practical Life activities are an integral part of a Montessori environment, and for our Primary age 3 and 4 year old students there is a $20 fee to cover consumable materials which include food preparation works, flower arranging works, consumable sensory works, and so on. 

Back by popular demand, parents have asked to be able to contribute an optional annual fee of $60.00 per student to cover teacher appreciation, holiday gifts, class pet, monthly staff appreciation breakfast and other ways parents show the love to their ECMCS teachers and staff instead of being asked for a donation per event. This is an optional contribution as some parents like to purchase gifts on their own as well. Payments will be made to the Head Room Parent in one or two increments. Information will be shared at Back to School Parent Night.

In addition to amazing new additions for parents there are many new curriculum enrichments coming for students. The teachers ended the year with rich professional development in the Phonics course from Project Read.  Many teachers have also begun and are excited about completing professional development on the On-going Assessment Project (OGAP) for mathematics. The OGAP Framework explores a set of instructional strategies that both enhance the formative assessment process and build teacher content knowledge, curricular knowledge and pedagogical knowledge. Nikki Hollander is also joining other specially invited teachers from CCSD to become a district trainer of OGAP!

To ensure that you and your children are prepared for the first week of school, please carefully review the enclosed information.  Please pay close attention to the date for our Welcome Back Meet and Greet Event and Back to School Night.  Additionally, it is critical that each family, new and returning, familiarize themselves with the Parent Handbook and the Student Code of Conduct including the sections regarding: attendance, volunteer hours, dress code, peace projects, and the Parent Teacher Network (PTN). 

 As always, please let us know if you have any questions.

Jody Swanigan, Principal

Start of School Information

This letter serves as a summary of some of the most important information for the first days of the school year.  Please be sure to read the entire Parent Handbook and Code of Conduct to be fully informed of all the procedures and opportunities at East Cooper Montessori Charter School.
Parents can click on each heading below to directly link to the form that is due.  Forms are also available on the homepage of our website under “Back to School Forms.” 
Please fill out the Emergency and Health Information Form for each of your children enrolled at ECMCS. This provides us the most up-to-date contact and health information for your children.
Emergency and Health Information Form
Registration Fee - $45 (all students)
Registration fees are used for consumable materials such as personalized student dictionaries, educational magazines, homework needs, science equipment, art supplies, supplemental reading materials, class reference books, math manipulatives, etc.

School Supply Bulk Order - $35 (all students)
This year we are piloting a new approach to school supplies, which is meant to be both a cost-savings and a convenience to parents and teachers. ECMCS will order all necessary students school supplies in bulk, including community supplies typically listed on the supply list (tissues, hand sanitizer, classroom cleaning wipes, etc.).

Note: ECMCS is not providing a tote bag for Primary students or a backpack elementary and middle school students. Backpacks should NOT have wheels.
Technology Fee - $20 (students in Kindergarten - 8th grades)
This fee covers instructional software and programs that students can use at school, and in many cases at home. Information regarding specific learning programs that students will have access to for home and school will be shared at Back to School Parent Information Night. This fee does NOT cover the cost of a personal device which is recommended for students in 4th grade and up.

Preschool Practical Life Fee - $20 ( 3 and 4 year old students)
This fee covers our preschool practical life consumable activities, including food preparation works, flower arranging works, consumable sensory works, and so on. 

If you qualify for free or reduced priced lunch and are unable to pay the registration fee, please contact Joel Sandstrom in the business office.
Click Here to Pay Fees
Parent Agreement Form - must be filled out for each student.
Parent Agreement Form
Dismissal Plan - must be filled out for each family. 
Dismissal Plan


Important Dates

Please note ECMCS is closed August 10-16th to families and students so we can fully prepare for the start of school - attending the Meet and Greet afternoon Event on August 16th is highly recommended!

Welcome Back Meet and Greet Event,
Wednesday, August 16th- 2:00-4:00pm

At the Meet and Greet event, student and parents will:
  1. Pick up your carpool tag in your child’s class
  2. Verify your address in PowerSchool
  3. Meet your child’s teachers & peers
  4. Tour the school
  5. Drop off medications and forms
  6. All families should bring 2 proofs of residency
Valid forms of proof of residency include: a mortgage or lease statement, utility bills, property tax statement.
The following are NOT valid to prove residency: driver's license, voter registration, cell phone bill.


Class Lists

 Class lists will be shared with families by July 31st.

New Primary Students - Start of School date

In order to support a Montessori gradual opening, all students new to the Primary Program in Pre-K (ages 3 and 4) will begin school on the CCSD first day of school for Early Childhood students -- Thursday August 24th. This is in an effort to allow the class to normalize and adjust with a smaller group of returning students, prior to having newer students join. Montessori Gradual openings are designed in support of new students because returning students are prepped to be role models, leaders, and supportive friends to new students on their first day.
ECMCS is not adhering to the CCSD last day of school for Early Childhood students (May 18th) and instead will have all preschool classrooms open for all students until the scheduled last date of school for elementary students (Friday June 1st).

Back to School Parent Information Nights 

Come to learn specifics about the school year from your child’s teacher.  This event is for parents only and it is strongly recommended that both parents attend, if possible. Volunteer opportunities will be shared as well.
Lower Elementary & Middle School Families:
Tuesday, August 29th - 5:30-7:00
Upper Elementary & Primary Families
Thursday, August 31st - 5:30-7:00
School Pictures
Photographer Stephen Wright with Stephen Wright Portraits will take individual pictures of all students September 5th-8th.  The exact schedule outlining which class is photographed which day, as well as the make-up day, will be provided via Office Notes.  A proof will be returned in approximately 3 weeks.  Package prices range from $27-$65.
School Calendar
ECMCS follows the CCSD calendar for holidays, professional development and report cards. We also adhere to CCSD weather related closings and makeup days.
List of Important ECMCS Dates

Arrival and Dismissal


On Time Arrival vs. Tardy

School begins at 8:00 am. Students can arrive as early as 7:30 am and should be inside the building by 7:55 am. Any student arriving through the front door at 8:00am or later will be tardy.  Students arriving at 8:00 am or after must be escorted by a parent to the front office (Rifle Range Rd entrance) to sign in.  Complete “Attendance and Tardy” information is located in the Parent Handbook and Student Code of Conduct.

Morning Drop-Off

Parents may drop off at the roundabout facing Rifle Range Road -OR- the school entrance facing Myrick Road.  Both locations will be utilized for morning arrival.  To expedite the flow of traffic, parents may only make a RIGHT HAND TURN when exiting back onto Rifle Range Rd or Myrick Rd when exiting the morning drop-off circle.

A staff member will be in the carpool line to greet families from 7:30-8:00.
Should you need to enter the school, please park in the designated parking lots (not in the carpool lane).

Afternoon Dismissal

There are two dismissal locations (Myrick Rd and Rifle Range Rd) which are designated by the color of your carpool tag. The cars assigned to the Rifle Range location are parents of primary aged children and larger carpools (which are assigned by contacting the front office).

All other families use the Myrick Road location, entering from Chuck Dawley Blvd.  Families may not access Myrick Road from Rifle Range Rd.  This is to ensure that cars only make a left hand turn into the school entrance on Myrick Rd.  Right hand turns into the school entrance on Myrick Rd will not be permitted during afternoon dismissal.
When exiting afternoon dismissal, families must turn RIGHT onto Myrick Road heading back towards Chuck Dawley Blvd. Making a left hand turn out of the carpool lane onto Myrick Road heading towards Rifle Range Rd is not permitted.
As a reminder, ECMCS is not permitted to back up traffic onto Rifle Range Road at any time. Please be a courteous carpool driver and do not block driveways or pull over into the grass of our neighbors.  Note: Do not arrive for afternoon pick up before 2:55 PM.

Silent Dismissal System

Carpool will begin at 2:55 and end promptly at 3:15. Each family will receive two “Carpool Tags” at the Welcome Back Meet and Greet to place on rear view mirror of your car. This tag has a number linked to each student, and as the numbers are entered by an ECMCS staff member, students are dismissed to their afternoon carpool location.

Lunch Choices

Lunch box: If students choose to bring a packed lunch, they should practice opportunities for independence by packing their own lunch. A microwave is not available for heating up lunches. Candy, sodas and fast food delivery lunches are NOT permitted in lunches.
Middle School Student Pizza Business: The middle school students organize, collect orders, and manage the pizza lunch offering every Friday. Pizza comes with a veggie and drink. The cost and start date will be announced in Office Notes.  Cash only.
School Lunch:  ECMCS serves CCSD lunches every day. Please refer to the CCSD website for the cost of school lunch and menu. There is a salad bar, hot lunch choice and a chicken sandwich daily. Please use the “Lunch Prepay” system to supply funds in an account and replenish via the Internet.
Create Meal Payment Account
**Please keep in mind that if your student forgets his or her lunch, our philosophy of fostering independence supports having the student order a hot lunch that day.
Do you qualify for Free or Reduced Price Meals? Click below to apply online.
Free and Reduced Meal Application

Afterschool Enrichment Programs – begin the week of August 22nd

Please note that some programs are available per semester (18 weeks) or per quarter (9 weeks). However, some programs may fall on holidays or other school closings and that is taken into consideration when planning the class.  Therefore, there may or may not be 18 sessions in a semester or 9 sessions in the quarter. Parents enroll in Enrichments on the ECMCS “Afterschool Tab” of the website once they are available. Sample enrichment classes can include Karate, Yoga, Theater, Chess, Robotics, Archery, Science, etc. Other opportunities may become available and parents will be notified through school wide Office Notes.

Local Field Trips & Overnight Trips

Local field trips will be announced and paid individually throughout the school year. Every student in grades 1-8 has the opportunity to participate in an off-campus overnight trip.  Deposits for each trip should be paid on the Shopping Cart.

Overnight Trips

Every school aged student every year has the opportunity to participate in an overnight experience.

Middle School Camping Trip 
When: August 24 - 25
Cost: TBD - $50 deposit is due on August 1st
Campers will go to Barrier Island for a camping and bonding trip.
Middle School Local Government & Economic Studies Trip
When: April 25 - 27
Cost: TBD
Additional information: Students will travel through the state with visits to the State Capitol, Duke power and upstate ecological sights.
6th Grade Montessori Model United Nations (MMUN)
When: February 20 – 24
Cost: Approximately $1,500 (Each family is expected to bring in a $500 business sponsorship to offset the student cost for the trip)
Non-refundable $250 Deposit Due August 1st
Additional Information will be shared at the MMUN Parent Meeting.
4th& 5th Grades Camp Earthshine
When: September 11 - 13
Cost: TBD - $100 deposit is due August 1st
Additional Information: More information will be shared at Back to School Parent Information Night
Lower Elementary Camp St. Christopher
When: October 11 – 13
Cost: TBD - $100 Deposit is due August 1st
Additional Information will be shared at Back to School Night and the Parent Camping Trip meeting.  

We're looking forward to an amazing year!!
The ECMCS Team
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