Uniforms are appearing in Montessori schools across the globe. In 2016, The Springs began to test pilot a school uniform for our students. The current uniform program requires all Elementary House students to wear the school uniform, while the uniform is encouraged but optional for students in the Toddler and Children’s House classes.
In its Strategic Plan, The Springs identified full implementation of the uniform as a future goal. Therefore, The Springs will be phasing in the uniform over the coming years. All children enrolling for the 2018-2019 school year will be required to wear the uniform at all levels except in the Infant House. Children who enrolled prior to 2018-2019, may continue to wear “street clothes” until matriculating to the next House Level.
Many parents may be surprised to consider uniforms at such a young age, but uniforms are helpful not just to the students, but parents and teachers as well. Most importantly, uniforms eliminate distractions and competition in the classroom. This frees the child to focus on their classroom activities and develop their inner self. The uniform places children in a “school” frame of mind. Families who have taken advantage of the uniforms report stress-free mornings and relief from unnecessary clothing negotiations with their children. Children are encouraged to show their individuality not through what they wear, but rather their actions, efforts, and personality.
How do uniforms support the Montessori curriculum?
As mentioned above, uniforms eliminate competition between students, promote concentration by minimizing classroom distractions, and perhaps most importantly, uniforms encourage independence both at school and at home. Children who wear uniforms know exactly what to wear each day. Children can retrieve their clothes without discussion, make the choices allowed within the confines of the uniform policy and dress themselves. The beauty of the uniform is that they are simple in design and construction so children can manage on their own, both at home and at school. This is especially helpful for children who are toilet learning as these students benefit from simple, easy-to-manage clothing. Lastly, uniforms promote the concepts of beauty and order, which are fundamental elements of the Montessori philosophy as uniforms are appealing to the eye and create an expected order in the child’s dress. Overall, uniforms provide children another opportunity to experience “freedom within limits,” a defining characteristic of Montessori education.
Where do I get The Springs’ uniform?
Uniforms are available for purchase through French Toast Uniforms at http://www.frenchtoast.com/. The Springs’ school code is QS5ESAK as well as through Lands’ End School at http://landsend.com/. The school code is 900183054. French Toast uniforms offer a more affordable option. However, we have found that French Toast’s products are more prone to shrinkage and less durable. Lands’ End, while slightly more expensive, provide stronger quality and a guaranteed return (even on embroidered products). Please see the Parent Handbook and/or website for a full explanation of the uniform dress code. Additionally, The Springs will host uniform exchanges twice per year (July and January) at which time families may sell back and/or trade outgrown uniforms.
What if I cannot afford the uniform?
One of the reasons we chose French Toast as our uniform supplier is the affordability of their products. They are no more expensive than clothing from Target, Carter’s, or Kohl’s and are comparable in quality. French Toast routinely offer discounts and sales as does Lands’ End, especially during the summer months. And since uniforms can be re-worn each day, you don’t need to order too many. Parents who have tried out the uniform have reported that their clothing budget for their children actually decreased. If the cost still seems prohibitive, we will assist you in finding gently used uniforms through our uniform exchange.
For more information on our uniform policy please see the Parent Handbook or click here.