Elementary School Overview

Montessori Program

In the Montessori Program, children develop independence, determination and concentration as they interact with materials designed to stimulate the “inner urge” of the child to learn. Socially, they develop the respect and discipline to share materials and to help each other as they learn side by side. Each teacher is a certified Montessori instructor and brings to the program the traditional Montessori philosophies enhanced with current educational practices that advance the goals of the Sunset Mesa Preschool and Pre-K program.

Early Childhood Program

In the Early Childhood Program, our teachers design activities which foster healthy social skills and encourage academic success through developmentally appropriate challenges. The importance of children learning through play is carefully designed into the program. Under the guidance of nurturing, positive teachers, children are given numerous opportunities to construct their learning through a combination of teacher-directed and open-ended activities. One of the goals is to help the children develop the discipline to learn, mature and enjoy.

Montessori & Early Childhood

We make school an engaging and fun place to learn.  A student teacher ratio of 8:1. and no more than 16 in a class, allows each child to receive personal attention.

Instilling a Love of Learning

Preschool is a time of discovery and wonder – and we’ve structured learning and skill development around this goal for a lifelong love of learning.

…Character is Cultivated

Our school reinforces and models the values taught at home – kindness, respect, caring, and cooperation.

…Play is Intentional

Through play, children experiment and understand their world.  Our play is purposeful, incorporating skill development within each activity.

…Early Literacy is Fostered

Even before kindergarten, we focus in children a love of reading and writing with group and individual activities tailored to each child.

Preschool and Pre-K

South Campus Arrival Classes Begin Half Day Dismissal Full Day Dismissal
Morning Preschool EC4 & Montessori 8:10-8:20 AM 8:25 AM 12:15 PM 2:50 PM
Morning Preschool EC3 & Little Bits 8:20-8:30 AM 8:35 AM 12:15 PM 2:50 PM

Daycare Hours

South Campus:
Drop-off Before Classes  7:00 AM
After Classes   3:00 – 6:00PM

Office Hours

South Campus:
Open: 8:00AM – 4:00PM

Questions to Ask

How do I know if this school is a match for my child and my family?

You need to know your child, know yourself, and know the school. ere are some key facts about Sunset Mesa that
can help you decide your answer to this question. Two of the traditional values instilled at Sunset Mesa are respect and
cooperating with friends. These combine to create an enjoyable and orderly learning environment. In the preschool
years, we work in earnest to help children achieve these goals.

At Sunset Mesa, healthy early childhood development is important. Academics are also important. We blend the two
so that learning happens through activities that are engaging, intentional, and developmentally appropriate. We will
make the most of each day with your child.

Families also must be willing to invest their time in order to maximize the opportunities at Sunset Mesa. We partner
with our families in the way we share information and ask for participation in the goals set for the children. We ask
families to help the children become independent, develop positive behavior, and support our activities by helping with
occasional projects, volunteering for special events, attending programs and activities, and by participating in meetings and conferences.

What is the maximum class size for each grade level?
Preschool 16 with one teacher and one assistant
Kindergarten 16 with one teacher and one assistant
Grade 1 16
Grade 2 18
Grades 3, 4, and 5 20


What is the school’s expectation for students’ behavior and how is discipline implemented?

Sunset Mesa makes every effort to maintain a standard of respect, kindness, morality, and honesty.  The basic method of accomplishing this is by creating a positive learning environment in which students are respectful of authority and responsible for their actions. The Sunset Mesa discipline philosophy encourages self-respect, self-discipline, cooperation, good behavior, and development of problem-solving skills.

All staff members who work directly with children are required to complete the assigned reading and attend trainings on Positive Discipline (Nelsen, 2007).

How do I know my child will be physically and emotionally safe?

The preschool campus has a single building with a walled playground and entry points which are only unlocked at dismissal and arrival times.  During school hours, visitors are screened before allowed into the building.

Students are dismissed directly from a teacher to a parent or someone authorized by a parent. Children are always supervised.

Adults model and teach that people should respect and care for one another. Administrators and faculty devote significant time and energy to developing a sense of community and friendship among students; as a result, students can feel physically and emotionally safe among their peers.

Staff is professionally trained to respond to a variety of emergency situations.

What sets your school’s use of curriculum apart from that of other schools?

Early Childhood teachers have degrees. Montessori teachers are AMS certifed. Whether Early Childhood or
Montessori, each student will receive the same opportunities for learning and growth in language arts, math, STEM,
physical education, music, fine motor, and much more.

High quality curriculum is developed to provide foundational skills, as well as, opportunities for teachers to challenge
students The school makes a significant investment in curriculum training for teachers to enhance their skills.

Teachers and administrators work diligently to have a continuity of curricular implementation from preschool through
5th grade.

Teachers provide classroom environments and experiences that recognize and utilize each child’s unique learning style
through the methods of differentiated instruction. All staff have been trained using Carol Tomlinson’s Practice of
Differentiated Instruction.

How is the curriculum enriched?

Play and exercise are key to great education and childhood is not sacri5ced. Our children have plenty of recess time on
our beautiful, well-equipped playground.

Children receive Spanish, Music, and Get Fit throughout the week.

STEAM is an area of focus where teachers provide multiple cross-curricular opportunities for learning and emphasize
higher-level thinking skills. The Garden of Tomorrow becomes the backdrop for many STEM activities as well as
developing a love of nature.

How can families be involved and informed?

We have an open-door policy and welcome your questions and thoughts. Each preschool teacher uses Microsoft Teams to post daily events
and curriculum goals for the classroom. Additionally, teachers post newsletters, events, pictures of your child's day.

Our school website is a wealth of information and the school offices send parent alerts, email announcements and reminders.

Parents are welcomed to join the Sunset Mesa Parent Association, an organization designed by parents to support the school in
providing their children with a quality education along with helping to foster a community network for the school’s

Parents can volunteer in classrooms for special projects, community events, and to make special presentations in their
5elds of expertise.

How does the preschool assess students?

On a daily basis, teachers use an array of standard-based assessment techniques that give them a broad understanding of
each child’s strengths, challenges, and interests. The Director meets regularly with the teachers to review student
assessments and determine best strategies as needed.

Parents receive report cards at the end of each trimester, attend two parent-teacher conferences, and are encouraged to
communicate regularly with the teacher. Additional conferences may be scheduled by parents or the teacher if additional communication is needed between conferences.

How can I be confident that my child will be ready for Kindergarten?

The preschool director and teachers work closely with the elementary principal and kindergarten teachers to set ideal
expectations for incoming Sunset Mesa kindergarten students, known as one of the highest caliber kindergarten
programs in the city. Our Pre-K students are exceptionally well prepared emotionally, socially, and academically for the transition to elementary school.

In both the Early Childhood and Montessori programs,  our preschool teachers introduce kindergarten-style activities during
the last trimester.

Pre-K and kindergarten teachers meet prior to the fall semester to discuss each student so that the transition is smooth and enjoyable for each student.

What is the financial cost of attendiing preschool? What fundrasing does your school do?

The tuition that families pay covers all academic all costs is tuition is set based how often your child attends, for instance full day, 3 days a week, etc.   Sunset Mesa makes no separate charges for instructional materials, activity fees, technology fees, yearbook, or gross receipts tax. Families do purchase their own school supplies and are occasionally asked to pay a small amount for a classroom or school activity.

Optional expenses include hot lunch, milk, summer programs, and extended before and after care.

Families are NOT asked to fund raise at any point during the school year to contribute to the operation of the school.
Annual fund drives, capital campaigns, and wrapping paper sales do not happen at Sunset Mesa. No one will ask you
to name the school as a beneficiary in your will.


Preschool Campus

Phone: 505.298.7626
Fax: 505.298.6132

Kateland North, Director of Admission

Alan Mask, President
Deborah Mask, Executive Director
Nicole Maxwell, Preschool Director
Kim Leifeste, Director of Marketing

2900 Morris St NE
Albuquerque, NM 87111