Does your school have a mission statement?
Does your school incorporate the following Core Components of Quality Montessori Education at all levels of its educational program:
Montessori teachers have Montessori credentials for the age level at which they teach. AMS recognizes Montessori teaching credentials issued by AMS, NCME, or AMI, or by Montessori teacher education programs that are accredited by MACTE. (For further information about Montessori teacher credentials, please see here.)
Multi-age groupings are a hallmark of the Montessori Method. A Montessori class is composed of students whose ages typically span 3 years. (AMS requires a 3-year age grouping at the Early Childhood and Elementary age levels in AMS-accredited schools. For further information on multi-age grouping in AMS-accredited schools, please see here.)
Traditional Montessori Age Groupings:
Ages 0 - 3
Typical configuration is, Infants: birth to 15/18 months (or when mobile) Toddlers: 15/18 months up to age 2.5 - 3
A hallmark of Montessori education is its hands-on approach to learning and the use of specially-designed didactic materials. In the Practical Life area, authentic and appropriately-sized tools and equipment foster the child’s growing independence and abilities in the areas of self-care and care of the environment. (Please see here for a list of suggested learning materials for each program level.)
Montessori education is child-directed, meaning that the carefully prepared environment is designed to arouse each child’s interest and provides the opportunity and freedom for the child to choose meaningful and challenging activity which leads to engagement, intrinsic motivation, sustained attention, and concentration.
Uninterrupted work cycles:
The uninterrupted work period is fundamental to the Montessori approach. During the uninterrupted work cycle, students are given time to work through various tasks and responsibilities at their own pace without interruption or intervention. (AMS requires, at minimum, a 2-3 hour work period, 4 days per week at the Early Childhood level and above in AMS-accredited schools. For further information on multi-age grouping in AMS-accredited schools, please refer to the Montessori Uninterrupted Work Period.)
AMS School Accreditation Educational Standards
STANDARD 3: TEACHING AND LEARNING – Educational Nature
3.4 Please read the following information then answer the questions below.
Curriculum Design and Implementation of Instructional Programs
The school provides a comprehensive Montessori educational curriculum based on the Montessori planes of development and implemented by Montessori-credentialed instructional staff as outlined in Standard 5. The school uses supplementary programs and materials that are deemed necessary to enhance the basic core curriculum for their student population. Activities in peace and cosmic education reflect the Montessori philosophy of peace and harmonious coexistence based on mutual respect that should be evident at all levels. The Montessori curriculum at all levels includes opportunities for community service within and beyond the school community, outdoor exploration and education, and experiences outside the classroom to expand learning (“going out”). To address the needs of the whole child, the curriculum promotes the students’ cognitive, physical, social-emotional, spiritual, and psychological development. Activities provide purpose, procedure, closure, and opportunity for success. Schools are expected to demonstrate the following curriculum planning and implementation indicators:
3.4.1 Infant/Toddler (Birth-3)
Curriculum planning at the 0 - 36 month level is dependent upon developmental characteristics. The teacher plans the daily activities and general program goals based on the capabilities and interests of the child. Learning cannot be separated from motor development at this age. The structure of the curriculum is based on six developmental areas: sensory and perceptual, cognitive, physical, gross and fine motor, self-help skills, and social/emotional development. Materials allow children to explore, absorb, and experience their environment through their senses and kinesthetically.
3.4.2 Early Childhood (2.5 – 6)
Curriculum planning at the 2.5 – 6 year level integrates Montessori’s fundamental philosophy of the child with the core areas of Practical Life (including grace and courtesy and care of self, others, and the environment), Sensorial, Math, Language, Peace and Cosmic Education, and Cultural Subjects (including Geography, History, Botany, Zoology, Physical Science, Art, and Music). The learning environment is student-centered and designed to promote the development of order, coordination, concentration, independence, cooperation, collaboration, inner discipline, self-motivation, self-regulation, and respect for self, others, and the environment. Self-directed learning includes choice, learning from built-in controls of error, and completing cycles of work by choosing, completing, and returning materials.
3.4.3 Elementary I (6-9) and Elementary II (9-12)
Curriculum planning at the elementary level considers that the student is entering a new plane of development characterized by tremendous imagination, critical thinking, critical questioning, a strong sense of morality and justice, and a strong need for peer relationships. Individually-paced academic progress allows students to explore their interests and acquire the mastery of basic skills and knowledge, including basics such as: numeracy and math facts, spelling, vocabulary, grammar, sentence analysis, creative and expository writing, and using technology for research and communication.
In addition, the Montessori elementary learning environment offers activities that provide deeper educational experiences in the areas of: Mathematics (including Geometry and Algebra), Biological and Physical Sciences, Technology, Language Arts and Literature, History, Physical and Political World Geography, Civics, Economics, Anthropology, Peace and Cosmic Education, and areas of Art, Music, Additional/World Language, and Physical Education. Students have opportunities to plan, monitor and assess their own work, thereby enhancing their independence and responsibility for their own actions. The learning environment is student-centered and designed to promote the development of organizational and time management skills, conflict resolution skills, concentration, independence, cooperation, and collaboration.
3.4.4 Secondary I (12-15) and Secondary II (15 – 18)
Curriculum planning at the secondary level is a continuation of the Montessori curriculum at a deeper level. The curriculum at the secondary level increases students’ development in decision-making, problem-solving, community building, and applying this learning to their lives and the larger community. Students expand on their cumulative experiences in the creation and care of the environment. Students have opportunities to plan, monitor, and assess their own work, thereby further developing their independence and responsibility for their own actions. The Montessori secondary curriculum includes opportunities for community service and career exploration, economic exploration, technology, activities in the humanities, peace and cosmic education, physical education, creative arts, outdoor education, and field studies. The secondary II (high school) curriculum continues to support the adolescent in the valorization of the personality and stewardship of the Earth and humanity. These are essential aspects of a program for the older adolescent. This includes field experience and service opportunities. The curriculum expands on the work and elements in the Secondary I program and prepares students for post-secondary education or careers through self-construction, extensive self-reflection, and opportunities for leadership and personal responsibility.
3.5 AMS defines multi-age groupings as follows:
The lowest ratio required by licensing or other accrediting agency supersedes AMS requirements for ratios and maximum group size. Where licensure or other accreditation standards do not specify ratios or group size, the following applies:
The ratios of students to teaching staff, both Montessori-credentialed and assistant teacher/aide/paraprofessional, is appropriate for the age level:
The school assigns no more than the maximum number of students to each Montessori credentialed teacher that is appropriate to the age level:
3.13.2 Your school's Physical Environment:
3.13.5 The teacher exhibits the following characteristics and abilities:
3.13.6 The exhibits the following characteristics and abilities related to professionalism:
The quality Montessori school enacts a comprehensive assessment system that monitors and documents outcomes and uses these results to improve learner outcomes and school effectiveness.
Does the school comply with the following teacher/administrator qualifications at all program levels?
Thank you for indicating your compliance with the AMS Educational Standards! Please continue to the verify your compliance with the AMS School Accreditation Institutional Standards.
AMS School Accreditation Institutional Standards
The quality Montessori school establishes and communicates a shared purpose and direction for enhancing the development of students and the effectiveness of the school. The school’s vision is consistent with the Montessori philosophy of facilitating the student’s development of full potential.
AMS School Accreditation Institutional Standards, Page 2
STANDARD 2: GOVERNANCE, LEADERSHIP, AND CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT—Strategic Plan
The quality Montessori school promotes student learning and school effectiveness through strong governance and leadership and establishes, implements, monitors, and refines a strategic planning process to demonstrate continuous improvement.
Note: If the school is exempt from licensing or compliance, written exemption of current issue (within the last five years) verifying exemption from the appropriate federal, state, and/or local agency is necessary to show compliance. It is the school’s responsibility to be aware of all these laws and regulations and to take steps to be and remain in compliance.
CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT – Strategic Plan
2.12 AMS expects that your school will regularly engage all constituents in a continuous process of improvement that:
...as outlined in a written 3- to 5-year Strategic Plan.
The quality Montessori school provides for ethical, fair, and non-discriminatory practices for all employees, teaching and non-teaching.
5.8.1 Administrative leader (head of school/principal/executive director) has professional qualifications that meet state and local regulations, as applicable.
Effective July 1, 2020, heads of full member schools will be required to hold a bachelor's degree (or higher) and either:
Infants (Birth to 18 months): 4:1
Toddler (18-36 months): 8:1
Early Childhood (2.5-6 years): 15:1
Elementary (ages 6-12 years): 20:1
Secondary (ages 12-18 years): 20:1
Infants (Birth to 18 months): 8
Toddler (18-36 months): 16
Early Childhood (2.5-6 years): 30
Elementary (ages 6-12 years): 30
Secondary (ages 12-18 years): 30
The quality Montessori school provides facilities, sites, and equipment that are functional, safe, and fully support the school’s mission and beliefs.
AMS School Accreditation Institutional Standards, Page 7
The quality Montessori school fosters effective communications and relationships with and among its stakeholders.
Thank you for your interest in the AMS Pathway of Continuous School Improvement!
Engagement in the Pathway affirms your commitment to quality Montessori education and continuous school improvement.
AMS school membership is the place to begin on the Pathway of Continuous School Improvement. If your school is not already a member, please join us!
Thank you for your interest in the AMS Pathway of Continuous School Improvement! Engagement in the Pathway affirms your commitment to quality Montessori education and continuous school improvement.AMS staff will review your responses and confirm your placement. Please complete the information below and click ‘Submit’ to send this information to AMS to review.
Thank you for your interest in the AMS Pathway of Continuous School Improvement! Engagement in the Pathway affirms your commitment to quality Montessori education and continuous school improvement.
AMS staff will review your responses and confirm your placement. Please complete the information below and click ‘Submit’ to send this information to AMS to review.
I verify that the information submitted in this report is true and correct to the best of my knowledge.