FAQs

What is PRINTS?

Founded in 1989, Pacific Rim International School is an independent school offering a comprehensive bilingual multicultural Montessori education. (See History.)

What makes PRINTS unique?

PRINTS' San Mateo is the only Bay Area school to provide a dual immersion Montessori program that integrates two languages within a comprehensive Montessori curriculum for children from 3 months to 12 years, and that also offers an International Baccalaureate Diploma program at the high school level. Our goal is to guide children from 3 months to 18 years towards fluency in two languages within a setting where they are fully immersed in the language.

How is PRINTS different from traditional schools?

It is our goal to develop the child's intellectual curiosity and guide him/her to independence. We provide one of the best dual immersion environments in which children can develop fluency in English and Mandarin or Japanese (the Japanese Program is currently available only on the San Mateo campus). (See Traditional Curriculum versus PRINTS.)

What if my child does not make appropriate choices?

We guide children to make choices that fulfill their own individual needs. Traditional schools focus on punishments and rewards; children, however, intrinsically want to learn how to make choices that are beneficial for themselves and the community. When their choices prove otherwise, a guide stands ready to provide redirection (through suggestions and/or diagnostic conversations).

What about grading and evaluation?

Montessori Education does not involve specific grading and evaluation; however, we use aptitude assessment for elementary evaluation at specific times of the year. On-going observation of the students enables the guides to see in what ways each child has grown and developed, then to proceed to offer further support. At Elementary level and up, we use nationally administered online standardized testing through NWEA.ORG to access student attainment.

How do students leaving PRINTS adjust to other schools?

Students leaving PRINTS are well-prepared for wherever they go. They have independent study skills, a love of learning, self-confidence and social competence to collaborate with people of all ages. Steps are taken to assure that all grade-level requirements are met, although students usually excel and exceed the minimum requirements.

Who are the faculty?

Our international staff community brings to PRINTS - above and beyond AMI certification - a remarkable spectrum of experience, qualifications, and expertise, all of which contributes to a rich and stimulating learning environment. (See Faculty & Staff Community.)

What role do parents play?

The collaboration between the home and the school offers a consistent environment in which the students will thrive. Parents attend information nights focusing on a particular aspect of Montessori philosophy and second language acquisition. They benefit from dialogues with the staff and other parents. This close collaboration in turns helps create a cohesive community for the students. Parents also contribute to our school community in a variety of ways by sharing their expertise with the students.

When can my child begin attending PRINTS?

A child's successful beginning in our dual immersion Montessori program (starting at 3 months) is entirely dependent upon his/her parents' receptiveness and trust in Montessori philosophy. Enrollment is year-round (and dependent upon available openings).

What is the application procedure?

The whole application process consists of the following key elements: an application (which includes a non-refundable $75 fee), a parent orientation tour, a parent observation of children in the chosen environment, a school orientation for the child, and a notice of acceptance from the administration. (For more details, please see Admissions.)