How does Cornerstone Montessori School differ from other Elementary schools?

Cornerstone School is an INDEPENDENT SCHOOL offering an ADVANCED ACADEMIC PROGRAM.  We set high academic standards and expect every student to work at their highest potential.  We incorporate the learning objectives set out by the BC Government and offer additional curriculum to challenge students.  Our curriculum is designed to stimulate the interests of students and set the stage for a meaningful and positive education.


How does Cornerstone School differ from other Montessori schools?

Each class is a “single, stand alone” class, unlike most Montessori schools which have three year age groupings.

  • Students are assigned daily homework.
  • Intermediate students receive letter grades on their report cards.
  • Assessment includes ‘tests’, beginning with simple math and spelling quizzes in Grade 2, and building up to a more formal testing process during the intermediate years.
  • Morning classes are devoted to Language and Math lessons.
  • Our classes are more teacher directed, and students are offered choices with the extension activities and projects in science, social students and fine arts subjects.


What are Cornerstone Montessori School’s core values?    

  • personal academic excellence
  • kindness, respect and good manners
  • strong work ethic
  • a love of learning
  • to “think outside the box”; ask questions; be creative
  • hands on learning materials to help students understand concepts
  • creative projects and activities
  • to produce neat and high quality work
  • to always do our best

These core values are integrated into everything that happens at Cornerstone!  They are incorporated into lessons and discussions, into the students’ daily routines, and into the expectations set for behaviour during class time and on the playground.


I am curious about the Cornerstone program. Is it possible for me to tour the school without applying for admission?

Yes, it is. Cornerstone holds an annual Open House for this exact purpose. The Open House is usually scheduled for late January or early February. If you have missed this year’s Open House, or are too eager to wait for the next, then feel free to phone or drop by the school and speak to our friendly office staff about your interest in our program.


What is Cornerstone School’s admissions process? 

The first step in the admissions process is to schedule a meeting with one of the school administrators. During this meeting, you and your child will be given an opportunity to tour the school, meet the teachers, gain information about Cornerstone’s programs and ask questions. Meetings may be scheduled via email, telephone, or in person at our main office. Just follow the links on our Contact page for more information.


I have toured the school and I like what I see. What are the chances of my child being accepted?

Currently attending students receive first priority admission and re-register annually in February.  Opportunities for new students to enrol are determined in mid March.


As the parent of several children, I am curious about the pricing of your program.  Do you offer discounts for additional students coming from the same family?

Yes, we offer a 10% discount for the second child in a family, and a 50% discount for all subsequent children in a family. For more information regarding our pricing schedule, please visit ADMISSIONS page.


I am interested in the Cornerstone program; however, my child is not a Canadian resident. Will this be a problem?

We welcome international students.  Students who are not Canadian citizens are required to complete an International Application Form. In addition, international student fees differ from students who are Canadian citizens and BC residents.


Does Cornerstone teach any religion?

Cornerstone School has no religious affiliations.  We do, however, teach about various religions as the topic arises in discussions about culture, history, diversity and/or cultural celebrations.  Cornerstone students enjoy participating in a variety of cultural celebrations.  Teachers, guest speakers or parent volunteers will sometimes teach students about the history of a religious celebration.  Students often enjoy food from another culture and sometimes dress in special clothing for a cultural celebration.


Do students wear uniforms?

All Cornerstone School students from Kindergarten through Grade 7 wear a school uniform. Our uniforms are comfortable and durable.  Parents are responsible for purchasing their child’s uniform through UNIMAX Uniforms, which is located in Cloverdale, B.C.  Cornerstone School does not add an additional fee to the price of uniforms purchased through UNIMAX.


How much communication can a parent expect throughout the school year?

Teachers are readily available on a daily basis for any quick questions from parents. As each class is dismissed by their classroom teacher, parents see their child’s teachers daily.

If a parent would like a more formal time to see a teacher, a meeting can be scheduled.

Our formal means of communication with parents for the school year are as follows:

Parent/Teacher Conference            –          early October

1st term report card                           –         mid-December

Student Led Conference                  –         early February

2nd term report card                          –         mid-March

Year End Report Card                      –         June


Are parents required to volunteer?

As our class sizes are relatively small, we do not require that parents volunteer. We do however invite parents to join in on most of our field trips. If a parent is interested in volunteering, we may schedule set times for them to participate in our “one on one” reading program with the primary students.


What types of Special Events does Cornerstone have throughout the school year?

We arrange several special events that parents and/or guests are invited to. We often change our events from year to year. Also, our events vary depending on the age of our students.  Some of the special events that are generally arranged for the school year:

  • Charity Fundraiser Run
  • Christmas Performance
  • Ice Skating and Swimming
  • Science and/or Social Studies Fair
  • Spring Tea and Musical Performance
  • Year End Family Picnic
  • Year-end outing for intermediate students


Does Cornerstone provide any bus service and/or daycare service? 

We do not provide either bus service or daycare.

It is our belief that when a small organization begins to focus on offering a larger variety of choices, the unfortunate result is that standards are not kept up.

Our number one goal at Cornerstone is to provide an excellent education program and a safe environment. Our teachers work long hours and are very focused and dedicated to every child in their classroom.

For parents who do require transportation, we will try and connect you with other families who may live in your neighbourhood. Should you require before and after school care, we have a great working relationship with a neighbourhood facility.


How does Cornerstone recruit their teachers?

We have teachers from all different backgrounds and Universities. Following are some of the characteristics we look for when hiring teachers:

  • passionate and committed to education
  • strong work ethic
  • willing to adapt to the Montessori method of education


Where and how do students move on to high school?

The school administrators are happy to meet with every grade 7 parent to discuss options for their child’s high school education and discuss the different options available within the Surrey/White Rock/Delta communities.

Some of our students register in their local community school, others continue with post secondary education at an Independent School.

It has been our experience that students graduating from Cornerstone School continue to experience success during their high school years. Because of our high academic standards and small class sizes, they have developed a strong work ethic and a commitment to their education.


How does the school deal with the issue of bullying? 

By definition, bullying is “the use of force, threat, or coercion to abuse, intimidate or aggressively dominate others.  The behaviour is often repeated and habitual.  One essential prerequisite is the perception, by the bully or by others, of an imbalance of social or physical power.”

As a small school with the ability to provide sufficient supervision to our students, bullying is not generally an issue.  This is not to say there are never ‘incidents’ on the playground or the classroom; however, all incidents of inappropriate behaviour are taken seriously by teachers and other Cornerstone staff.  Situations are dealt with promptly and individually, keeping in mind the nature of the incident and the character of the student(s) involved.  Parents are always kept informed of significant issues.

In addition, teachers integrate discussions about social behaviour into the curriculum.  They explore and discuss interpersonal relationships including personality differences, positive and negative friendships, how to communicate with peers and a variety of situations that arise as part of students’ daily living.

School Environment and Safety

The Montessori environment offers its students freedom within clear, age appropriate limits, encouraging both activity and concentration.  Classrooms are neat and orderly with a variety of high quality grade appropriate materials.

The emotional and physical safety of all students is of primary concern at Cornerstone.  The school has a no tolerance policy for inappropriate behaviour, including aggressive conduct and bullying.  Students receive significant supervision, not only in the classroom, but also on the playground and during all school activities.