News Type: Montessori Community Updates

Social Justice Webinar Series

AMI/USA is excited to learn alongside our community through a series of four free webinars focusing on issues of race, bias and injustice through a Montessori lens. Listen, learn, share and connect with experts and peers as we work to make Montessori spaces more inclusive and accessible.  All funds raised will support the work of the Black Montessori Education Fund (BMEF). Donate Today: US $50 US $100 US $150 Other Amount Mark your calendars! Monday, September 21 • 7-9pm EDT: De-Centering Whiteness in Montessori Spaces Speakers: Katie Kitchens, Mara Matteson, and Colleen Wilkinson White community members are invited to attend this event prior to attending the rest of the events in the series. Webinars will be recorded for later viewing. Sunday, September 27 • 4-6pm EDT: Remembering Indigenous Voices in the Classroom Speaker: Trisha Moquino Monday, November 2 • 7pm EST: The Anti-Bias & Anti-Racist Administrator  Speaker: Amelia Allen Sherwood Sunday, November 15 • 4pm EST: Preparing Ourselves Spiritually and Mentally for Revolutionary Social Change  Speaker: Sheri Bishop

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Fall 2020 Online Conference

Montessori Leadership for Tumultuous Times: Embracing Our Cosmic Task in Support of Universal Solidarity OCT 9 – 11, 2020 INTRODUCTION “Human Solidarity in Time and Space” (San Remo Lecture II, 1949) is a rallying call for Montessori school leaders, administrators and educators to pursue a vision of inclusivity, interdependence and the common good. Dr Montessori reminds us that we can draw on the timeless nature of “human solidarity, rooted in a distant past and extending its branches towards eternity” to provide leadership in a polarized and unequal society. This weekend of virtual sessions will provide expert guidance on issues of identity, diversity and culture, and provide new insights for those who are committed to building schools and communities where all feel welcome. To register, click here!

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MPPI Conference Registration

Montessori Public Policy Initiative Through the Montessori Public Policy Initiative(MPPI), AMI/USA and the American Montessori Society are working collaboratively to communicate, influence, and participate in policy developments. We believe that by sharing a common voice with our AMS colleagues, the entire Montessori Movement will be strengthened.  Registration for the annual MPPI Advocacy Conference is now open. Click the image below for details.

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AMI Administrators Course

AMI will be offering an Administrators Certificate for the first time in the United States July 7-12 in Houston, Texas! Click here to be directed to the Houston Montessori Institute for more information.

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Seattle Affiliates Conference

Montessori Guidance for Adapting to the Global Digital Culture April 4-7, 2019 Greater Tacoma Convention Center, Tacoma Washington The acceleration of technology and the complexity of changes in our current society will define the future for today’s children. Montessori educators will partner with leaders in the newly emerging field of “human technology” to examine technology’s impact on the lives of children and families. The balance to the acceleration of technology is explored through the power of story, nature, and self-expression. The call for a humane technology is also a call to explore the forces that ground us and help us to understand ourselves. As Montessorians we have the knowledge and practice that addresses the development of the “whole person.” A Montessori education develops critical thinking, problem solving, and creativity all within a microcosm of a respectful, harmonious society, thus preparing each individual to adapt to their own time, place, and culture. Follow-up lectures and discussions will include: • Guiding students through the turbulence of social media; • Technology and creativity in math, science, and the arts; • Working with parents to develop realistic guidelines for the right use of technology; • Storytelling as teaching; • The power of nature to inspire and guide development; and • The role of creativity and self-expression across the planes. View the conference flyer. View the evening events flyer. Visit the NAMTA website to view the conference brochure and schedule, register, and book lodging.

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AMI Announces Piloting of New Training Formats

As a way of creating greater access to AMI principles and training, two new courses with distance learning components are being piloted through the Montessori Institute of North Texas (MINT).  The Montessori Core Principles course will explore human development over the lifespan as well as take a deep dive into Montessori theory and philosophy.  The Blended Learning AMI Primary Course will use a new format comprised of alternating blocks of distance and face-to-face learning providing more flexibility for potential students.  Both courses will be led by AMI Trainers and will begin this summer. Blended Learning AMI Primary Course at the Montessori Institute of North Texas (MINT) Have you been waiting for a chance to take AMI teacher training, but did your life or distance get in the way? We are now introducing a format that will fit your life! At MINT, AMI is going to start its first blended learning course: you will engage in a balanced course of study that combines alternating blocks of face-to-face and distance learning. This will be perfectly suited for students who can’t attend a course in the traditional full-time format. Click here to view the flyer. 9 July 2019 Montessori Core Principles: new certificate course at the Montessori Institute of North Texas (MINT) A deep dive into Montessori theory and philosophy and a comprehensive study of human development with AMI Trainers at all levels for a focus on Montessori principles throughout life. Click here to view the flyer.

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Diversity Forum Scholarships

AMI/USA would like to announce an additional scholarship opportunity for those interested in attending the Diversity Forum on Friday, February 15th, 2019 at the AMI Refresher Course in New Orleans. To be considered for financial assistance for the Diversity Forum, you must complete the following steps: – Submit a completed application to AMI/USA no later than January 23rd, 2019. – Register for the Diversity Forum within one week of receiving notification of a successful application. – Be able to and attend the Diversity Forum in its entirety, 2:00 – 5:00 pm, Friday, February 15. Five applicant names will be chosen by Embracing Equity for attendance at the Diversity Forum.Awardees will be notified on January 25th. Scholarship grantees must register for the Diversity Forum workshop. The workshop does not require either an AMI diploma or an AMI membership though the latter is strongly encouraged. The scholarship will provide waived registration fees for the Diversity Forum only. Additional Friday or Monday workshop fees, the Refresher Course fee, hotel, and travel are not included. Hotel reservations must be made independently. A $25 refundable deposit will be required at time of registration. A full refund will be made upon completion of the workshop by Diversity Forum attendance sheets. The Diversity Forum scholarships are being supported by the AMI/USA. Go to the application form.

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AMI Marketing Webinar for Schools

AMI Marketing Webinar for Schools More than 60 individuals interested in learning more about how to market Montessori schools listened in on an AMI Marketing 101 Webinar for Schools earlier today (Tuesday, November 6th).  If you listened in then we hope that you learned something useful to your mission of providing Montessori education to as many children as possible.  If you missed the webinar, never fear, click on the following link which will take you to a number of ready-made resources as well as comprehensive research results from the Neimand Collaborative on how to communicate effectively about Montessori education.  Should you have any questions, please, don’t hesitate to reach out to Debby Riordan, Executive Director of AMI/USA (debby@amiusa.org) or Lynne Lawrence, Executive Director of AMI global in Amsterdam (lynne.lawrence@montessori-ami.org). https://montessori-ami.org/resource-library

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Global School Accreditation (GSA) Update:

Global School Accreditation (GSA) Update: AMI’s Global School Accreditation committee, with the support of teachers, administrators, and trainers, completed five pilot visits in the United States and Canada last year.  These visits were tremendously helpful in refining the documentation and paperwork to be used for the program.  This fall we are planning pilot visits to schools in Morocco, India, Australia, and the United Kingdom.  At the conclusion of these pilot visits, revisions will be made and reviewed with all participating schools.  We intend a third round of pilots to take place in the spring, to finalize the rubric used in determining a school’s status.  GSA is set to launch in some countries in the fall of 2019; the program will begin in subsequent years in countries with an existing accreditation/recognition program. If you have any questions about the Global School Accreditation program, please contact Ginni Sackett, AMI Director of Pedagogy, or Alyssa Schwartz, GSA Committee Chair, or Debby Riordan, Executive Director of AMI/USA

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Montessori’s Framework: Reshaping Education for All Children

Montessori’s Framework: Reshaping Education for All Children November 8-11, 2018 Doubletree Dallas Campbell Centre, Dallas, TX School superintendents, administrators, trainers, researchers, teachers, and social service providers will join to create a comprehensive education model with Montessori at the center. Montessori education will be examined alongside trauma-informed practice and anti-bias awareness while results of research will guide our work to expand access for all children to quality Montessori education. Lynne Lawrence, executive director of AMI, and John Merrow, author (Addicted to Reform) and education journalist, will launch a discussion of a Montessori global strategic plan that can serve as a lasting model for public and private consideration. Key presentations will guide the discussions, study, and reflections that will define the framework for bringing Montessori into the center of reshaping education. Follow-up lectures and roundtable discussions will serve as stimuli for action to guide the implementation of Montessori in diverse settings and communities. Topics will include early childhood development, assessment and Montessori outcomes, the impact of stress and trauma, integrated services in a community, public policy, and leadership in the public sector. View the full program to see the full schedule, keynote titles and descriptions, breakout offerings, and speakers. Online registration is fast and simple, or a registration form can be printed from the program. Conference events take place at the Doubletree Dallas Campbell Centre, telephone: 1-214-691-8700. Please be sure to mention the NAMTA room block when making your room reservation.

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Building Partnerships in Support of the Child, Teacher, and Parents

AMI/USA is excited to announce that registration for the first AMI Affiliate Conference in the United States is now open!  As a reminder, AMI/USA, EAA, MAA and NAMTA have committed to three joint professional development conferences throughout 2018 and 2019.  The first conference will be held in Baltimore, Maryland in October of 2018.  Please, see the attached brochure for more information and click on the registration link to register for this event.  Click here for information about the November conference in Dallas, Texas and stay tuned for information about the April 2019 conference in Seattle. Click here to register for Building Partnerships in Support of the Child, Teacher and Parents. Click here to view the conference brochure. Reserve your room at the Sheraton Columbia Town Center by September 18, 2018 to receive the special NAMTA rate of $126 (lodge) or $144 (tower). Call 1-888-627-8318 and state that you are reserving under the NAMTA room block.

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Upcoming Professional Development Events

Upcoming Affiliate Events Just a reminder about this year’s professional development events, coordinated by the North American Montessori Teachers’ Association (NAMTA) in partnership with AMI/USA, the Elementary Alumni Association, and the Montessori Administrators’ Association. The events will take place October 11-14 in Baltimore, MD, November 8-11 in Dallas, TX, and April 4-7 in Seattle, WA. Click here to learn more. Click here to download the flyer.

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MPPI State Advocacy Retreat

MPPI State Advocacy Representatives, MPPI is thrilled to announce our Fall 2018 State Advocacy Retreat, to be held at the Crown Plaza Old Town Alexandria, September 30th-October 2nd. This third MPPI retreat will once again bring our Montessori advocates from all over the country together to participate in valuable advocacy training and share successes and challenges in our work. This year’s retreat will feature introduction of the new MPPI/MACTE Montessori Teacher Credential Recognition Toolkit through our credential recognition bootcamp. MPPI is excited to unveil our new Montessori/ECERS-3 and Montessori/CLASS Crosswalks, developed through dialogue with the ECERS authors and collaboration with Teachstone. Retreat attendees will have the opportunity for in-depth training on the development and use of these valuable tools. Hotel reservations for the MPPI State Advocacy Retreat are now available at this link, or by calling the hotel directly at 866-732-4555 or 703-683-6000 and identifying your reservation as MPPI, or Group Code WOT. Retreat registration will open in the coming weeks, first for MPPI State Representatives, then for all other interested advocates. We are excited to share all of the new supports we have to offer all of you and to have the chance to catch up on everyone’s work! For questions, contact Denise Monnier at denise@montessoriadvocacy.org.

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Montessori Parents Research Released

As Montessori educators, we have a unique offering to children, supporting their natural development. But we haven’t always been successful communicating our message to families and the non-Montessori world. With that in mind, AMI recently sponsored a research initiative to better understand parents’ perceptions of Montessori and their wishes for the early learning years for their children. AMI engaged the Neimand Collaborative to direct the research, with supporting grants from the Trust for Learning and the James Walton Foundation. Montessori organizations in the United States have set a goal to deliver a clear message about the value of a Montessori education, speaking with one voice.  With that goal in mind, AMI, supported by the Montessori Leaders Collaborative, is sharing this work with ALL Montessorians so that more schools and programs can more clearly articulate what Montessori is and does. Researchers interviewed nearly two thousand families from across the United States representing a range of  races, cultures and economic areas. The results will not be surprising: Parents wish their children to develop into strong, capable and morally responsible individuals, who are lifelong learners and doers, through a partnership with teachers in achieving this goal. This desire aligns perfectly with Montessori principles and practice of providing a richly prepared  environment so that children can develop a love of learning in a peaceful community, yet we have often not communicated this clearly. Please click here to view a summary of these findings. All Montessorians are encouraged to use and share this research to promote greater access to Montessori for more children. A collaboration among: Association Montessori Internationale Association Montessori International—USA The Montessori Foundation and International Montessori Council National Center for Montessori in the Public Sector American Montessori Society North American Montessori Teachers’ Association Montessori Administrators Association Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education Montessori Public Policy Initiative Montessori for Social Justice

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Massachusetts Recognizes Montessori Teacher Credentials

The Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care has approved the recognition of Montessori credentials from teacher education programs accredited by the Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (MACTE). Montessori teachers in Massachusetts will need only to submit a transcript from their training program and credential verification from MACTE to receive verification of their credential.  Please click here to learn more about the process.  Congratulations to the Montessori Schools of Massachusetts Advocacy Committee for their work on this effort!

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Georgia Adopts New Montessori Teaching Certificate

The state of Georgia has created a Montessori teaching certificate, thanks to the hard work of Montessori Partnerships for Georgia. The new certificate is open to anyone who holds a Montessori credential from a program accredited by the Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (MACTE), passes the appropriate subject-area tests, and meets Georgia’s additional special requirements. Read Montessori Partnerships for Georgia’s FAQs for more information.

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Montessori for Social Justice Conference

AMI/USA is a proud sponsor of the 2018 Montessori for Social Justice conference, to be held in St. Paul, MN, June 27-July 1. Montessori for Social Justice (MSJ) is dedicated to promoting anti-bias, anti-racist Montessori education. They bring together Montessorians of all trainings to work towards educational equity and the success of all children. At this year’s conference, AMI/USA is thrilled to support the keynote address, presented by Lorena and Roberto Germán, as well as scholarships for attendees. Click here to register and click here to learn more about MSJ.

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2018 Refresher Course Recap

The 2018 Refresher Course & Workshops in Phoenix, Arizona was the event’s most successful year yet! Including NAMTA’s Adolescent Workshop, the Refresher Course received 1,200+ participants who enjoyed, as one participant put it, “true” refreshers at every level from a diverse and experienced group of presenters. We were excited to have trainers from México presenting at the Assistant, A to I, and Adolescent levels and were energized by Korean-American presenter Daisy Han’s Monday morning discussion on “Embracing Equity.” Some highlights from the event included AMI/USA Board President Gretchen Hall’s inspiring call to action at Friday night’s opening keynote, and keynote speaker Alice Waters’ speech emphasizing the holistic connection between Montessori education and school gardens. We were honored to have Ms. Waters sign copies of her latest book, Coming to My Senses, following her keynote address. We were also happy to welcome the inclusion of Montessori for Dementia and Ageing (MAGDA) presenters in our Friday workshop lineup. The MAGDA advisory board is doing wonderful work in this area across the globe, and their workshop and materials drew a lot of interest from Refresher Course attendees. We are beyond thrilled to bring this annual gathering to New Orleans next year and are looking forward to keeping the momentum going! We hope you’ll join us there. In the meantime, please take a moment to complete an evaluation of the event so that we can continue to improve this important professional development opportunity for our members. Please contact our office if you did not receive one by email or you did not complete one in Phoenix. See you in New Orleans, February 15-18, 2019!

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Indiana Montessori Endorsement

Thanks to the efforts of United Montessori Schools of Indiana in conjunction with Indiana Department of Education, early education and elementary teachers that have received Montessori training at a MACTE accredited institution will be able to add a Montessori endorsement to their Indiana teaching licenses. Learn more by visiting the UMSI website: https://www.umsindiana.org/credential-recognition

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MPPI News and Updates

October 17, 2014 The establishment of the MPPF has always been a high priority of the Council. It is designed in an effort to both share the work and issues being addressed at the state level, as well as to glean advice and input from other Montessori associations. Combined we represent the largest sectors of Montessorians, and the organizations are able to efficiently communicate information to their constituents and provide valuable perspective “from the field”. We are thrilled to have an overwhelming response to this first conference call, with representatives from over 20 different affiliations participating. We view this inaugural call as an exciting opportunity to openly demonstrate the value we know we can derive from strengthening our collaboration with the broader Montessori community, and the significance it will have for the grassroots advocates in each of the states. September 18, 2014 As the Montessori Public Policy Initiative gears up for another busy academic year, we want to keep the state groups and advocacy coalitions abreast of the work that’s been done and our organizational structure moving forward. Through the significant work that was undertaken by MPPI consultants Christine Lowry and Kimberlee Belcher-Badal on behalf of the initiative last year, we were successful in supporting many states with their advocacy goals.  We want to express our gratitude for their hard work and dedication as they move on to other endeavors now that their contract period with MPPI has ended. In the coming months, the MPPI will undertake a needs-assessment of the initiative in an effort to identify and prioritize the issues in the states; identify how the MPPI council can help support the work of the states working at a grassroots level; determine how to best use shared resources with the two national organizations to support the states; and continue to examine the best structure for providing a high-level of legislative and policy guidance to ensure that Montessori is well represented in each state. We will continue to update the state groups and advocacy coalitions via the listserve and respond to inquiries and concerns as we undertake the needs-assessment process.  The vision of the MPPI is that “through coordination and collaboration with national organizations and state coalitions, the MPPI will support and advance the implementation of high quality Montessori through advocacy action.” Please feel free to direct questions or concerns to any of the founding members of the MPPI Council. Bonnie Beste, AMI/USA Rich Ungerer, AMS Sharon Damore, AIMS August 28, 2014 We are pleased to welcome several new members who will be a part of helping this initiative continue to grow. Mary Ellen Kordas joins the Council as an additional AMS representative.  Mary Ellen lives in California and has been actively involved in Montessori advocacy and practice there in both Northern and Southern CA.  She is the former head of Valley Montessori School, is on the AMS Board and is the treasurer for the California Montessori Council. Wendy Schenk-Evans joins the council as an AMI/USA representative as the Head […]

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SIMS Receives MACTE Accreditation

AMI primary training at the Southwest Institute of Montessori Studies (SIMS) is now accredited by the Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education! MACTE is recognized by the US Department of Education as the sole accreditor of Montessori teacher training programs. We are delighted to congratulate Ann Velasco, Director of Training, and SIMS on this accomplishment.

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Update: Building the Pink Tower

Building the Pink Tower Coming Soon to the IMC in Prague As the AMI community knows, schools throughout the country are bound by the common vision of offering a high-quality, Montessori-based education that is designed to allow children to achieve their full human potential. These schools are transformative environments for children, their families, and even their communities. The documentary film project Building the Pink Tower (working title) will shine a light on how Montessori schools demonstrate what is working in education right now. Through the power of storytelling, our film will invite viewers to enter a range of Montessori classrooms designed for toddlers through high school seniors to experience and be inspired by ideal learning in action. Viewers will hear from experts leading education innovation across the country and learn how Montessori education is leading innovation in a broader context, addressing issues relating to poverty, racial justice, and social justice. The school communities featured in the film include: – Lumin Education in Dallas, where starting early with home visits to families with infants and offering education through third grade has transformed a community and resulted in long-term school success. – Cornerstone Montessori and the Montessori Center of Minnesota in St. Paul, where a culturally grounded and community focused school works in partnership with a  Montessori training program. Both are catalysts for expansion of Montessori throughout the Twin Cities. – City Garden Montessori School in St. Louis, where a school community’s commitment to ending racism intersects with Montessori education through grace, courtesy,  and development of executive function skills. – Lake Country School (Minneapolis) and the Lake Country Land School (Glenwood City, Wisconsin) where students, including adolescents, are immersed in a  comprehensive Montessori program and experiences like working on a farm and 100-mile bike trip that foster development and independence. – Milwaukee Public Schools which is home to the largest district Montessori program in the country, with seven schools serving students from pre-school through high  school. The MPS district illustrates how Montessori education can become part of a district-wide strategy, including leading in making early childhood education more  widely available. Co-Producers and Co-Directors Vina Kay and Jan Selby have shared a directors’ vision in a short video available here. See an example of a story at Lumin Education here. Jan and Vina hope members of the AMI-USA community will join them in Prague for the opening night of the International Montessori Congress, where they will share a rough cut of the film for the first time. Look for more news about other ways to see the film in the coming months.

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MPPI Receives Implementation Grant

The American Montessori Society and the Association Montessori International/USA are excited to announce that the James Walton Fund of the Walton Family Foundation has awarded a three year implementation grant to the Montessori Public Policy Initiative (MPPI). MPPI is a collaborative project of AMS and AMI/USA which strives to promote policies that protect authentic Montessori implementation.  The initiative works to build on a groundswell of activism through the establishment and support of state advocacy groups and coalitions, working together toward the shared goal of advancing Montessori by shifting the public policy landscape. Since this joint advocacy initiative began, MPPI’s state advocate network has grown from 13 states to nearly 40. The implementation grant will provide funding for full time staff and organizational support to further strengthen our state advocacy groups and equip them with the resources and training they need to successfully advocate for public policy that will allow Montessori education to flourish and provide high quality Montessori opportunities for all children. MPPI’s work over the next 3 years will be driven by its Strategic Plan, which has 4 areas of concentration: Empowering and equipping MPPI state advocacy groups Effectively communicating a universal definition of Montessori education for use in policy work Establishing a seat at the table for national policy conversations Solidifying MPPI’s future by ensuring the organization has sustainable funding, structure, and staffing. We are equally thrilled to announce that Wendy Shenk-Evans has agreed to be MPPI’s Interim Executive Director. Wendy has been a part of the MPPI Council for three and a half years and has capably led the Council as chair for much of that time. She brings the diverse skill set the position requires along with a deep passion and commitment for MPPI’s work. She will assume her responsibilities on a part-time basis  in the new year, transitioning to full-time once her responsibilities in her current school conclude. You can read a message from Wendy here.

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Wisconsin Passes Montessori Teaching License Bill

The state of Wisconsin has approved the AMI Diploma as a pathway to a state teaching credential!  Under new legislation, AMI Diploma holders who pass the state teaching license exams will be eligible to qualify for a state Montessori teaching license.  Congratulations to the Wisconsin Montessori Association for their hard work in having this bill passed!  State Representative Joel Kitchens released the following statement, after the Montessori Teacher’s License bill was signed into law: “I am very pleased that the Montessori Teacher’s License Bill has been signed into law by Governor Walker. Wisconsin has been struggling with a teacher shortage over the last few years, especially in rural areas, and this bill is another great step in addressing this situation. This bipartisan bill will allow for additional qualified teachers to obtain their initial teaching license without compromising the standards we hold for educators in Wisconsin. “I would like to thank the Wisconsin Montessori Association, who played a crucial role in crafting this bill and getting it through the legislative process. I would also like to thank Sen. Luther Olsen (R- Ripon) for co-authoring this important bill, which plays a small but vital role in tackling our teacher shortage and will send a message that Wisconsin is actively working to address the needs of our schools and our children.

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2017 Salary Survey Results

This year, 94 schools responded to the survey questions as compared with 92 schools from 2015.  The information gathered represents a cross-section of schools from various geographic regions as well as different types of school communities.  As always, in addition to presenting comparisons of salaries for teachers, administrators and classroom aides, the report also breaks down pertinent information regarding benefits offerings for employees and child tuition assistance plans. Thank you to those schools and individuals who dedicated themselves to this process.  We hope the information will be beneficial as you continue your work.  View the 2017 Salary Survey.

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Hurricane Recovery Funds Distributed

The Relief Fund established in the name of the four United States AMI affiliates to help schools who were located in the path of the recent hurricanes officially closed Sunday, October 15th.  Since that time the fund has received checks for over $3000 more in donations.  Notably, one of those was from a school fundraising effort championed by the students that netted over $3000.  There were several other donations received as a result of student fundraising – Montessori kids know how to get it done! The current amount in the relief fund is over $20,000.  Congratulations to your organization and its members for supporting such a worthwhile effort.  I will be able to distribute significant amounts to schools that were hit very hard by the storms.  At least one is still working to get back in their space having also lost most of their materials.  Probably the hardest hit was the school in the Virgin Islands.  Happily when I last spoke to them they were getting ready to re-open.  The remainder of the schools either lost materials and furniture or had damage to their buildings. At least one was hoping to be able to support some families so that they can remain in school.  The schools that will be receiving a check from the fund are (in no order):  Bay Colony Montessori, Nederlands Montessori, St Catherine’s Montessori, the Islamic Academy, South Florida Montessori Academy, Clearlake Montessori, and the Virgin Islands Montessori School. They are very grateful for the support. In addition, I worked closely with Dr. Betsy Coe in Houston to help connect many schools with other schools, individuals and businesses to get them help.  Dr. Coe collected both materials and care kits (put together by schools) and distributed them as we learned about their needs.  It was so gratifying to hear from the many schools who couldn’t give a cash donation but perhaps had materials or furniture they were willing to share. We also heard from companies willing to help either with donations or discounts.  Those companies were Maitri Learning, Miss Ronda’s Readers, and Montessori Woods (furniture).  I have thanked them all for their generosity. I have just recently received a contact from Puerto Rico who works with public schools there who are working to become Montessori programs.  Anticipating that schools there would need help, I put aside funds so that we could help when we were finally able to connect.  There are 50 public schools who are working towards implementing Montessori in their schools. I am in contact with a representative of an organization that supports these schools to work out a plan to get funds to them. This was a great effort on so many fronts and brought together not only the US Affiliates but also both AMI and AMS.  It was a pleasure working with Dr. Coe and I appreciate all her efforts.  As we stated originally, the criteria for receiving assistance was need, not affiliation.  Thank you all for your support. Warm Regards, Jan Deason […]

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Montessori preschool boosts academic results

According to a study published in Frontiers, “children in Montessori preschools show improved academic performance and social understanding, while enjoying their school work more. Strikingly, children from low-income families, who typically don’t perform as well at school, show similar academic performance as children from high-income families. Children with low executive function also benefit from Montessori preschools.” Read more.

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Helping Montessori Schools in Hurricane Areas

Over this past weekend, many of our Montessori schools, members, and families were impacted by Hurricane Irma in Florida, the US Virgin Islands, and along the Southeast coast.   This comes just weeks after Hurricane Harvey devastated the SE Texas region.  In order to provide financial support to the entire Montessori community affected by these recent disasters, the AMI Affiliates are expanding the Montessori Harvey Relief Fund to coordinate funds and resources. The PayPal account established following Hurricane Harvey is still open.  We thank those of you who have donated already, and hope that those of you yet to donate will help us to support those schools and community members now rebuilding following Hurricane Irma.  You may donate using the link below. Montessori Hurricane Relief Fund MAA continues to coordinate the collection of funds into this designated account to be distributed to schools once the storm passes and the damage is assessed.  The AMI Affiliates will act in good faith to use these funds to provide substantive support to as many Montessori school communities as possible. Specific amounts will be determined based on funds available, individual school needs and the larger identified needs of Montessori schools in the Houston area, Florida, the USVI, and other states affected by the hurricane.  We will continue to update you once we determine the process of how and to whom funds will be distributed. If you are aware of schools impacted by the storms, please contact Jan Deason.  She is a past MAA board member and will be coordinating our efforts. Please contact Michele Shane if you have any questions.     AMI/USA                  AMI-EAA                    MAA                      NAMTA Alyssa Schwartz        Allyson Creel            Michele Shane            David Kahn Gretchen Hall            Wendy Tye               James Moudry           Jacquie Maughan

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AMI Affiliates in the United States

During the recent International Montessori Congress in Prague, representatives from AMI affiliate organizations in the United States met to discuss their ongoing collaborative work. Click: Letter to Membership to read the complete update.

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Request for Proposals to Research Montessori Impact

The Brady Education Foundation is requesting proposals for funding to conduct research on the impact of Montessori education in under-resourced communities. BEF has committed $3 million over five years to support this important work. Please click here to read the complete press release and learn how to submit an RFP.

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Missouri Montessori Early Childhood Curriculum Approved

The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has approved the Montessori early childhood curriculum!  A crosswalk mapping the Montessori primary and A to I curriculum to Missouri’s early childhood state standards was submitted on behalf of AMI and the American Montessori Society.  The curriculum is approved for AMI-recognized schools and AMS-accredited schools only, ensuring that the quality of the Montessori name is protected.  The Montessori curriculum will soon be listed on the DESE website and in the Missouri Preschool Program Administrative Manual.

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AMI Training Center Receives Major Grant

The Walton Family Foundation has awarded a grant of $4.8 million to the University of Hartford and Montessori Training Center Northeast (MTCNE) to establish an undergraduate Montessori education program at the University. The new bachelor’s degree program will launch this fall for early childhood and elementary education with a Montessori concentration. The goal is for the Montessori bachelor’s degree to become a tuition-based, self-sustaining program by 2022. The award is one of the largest educational grants in the University’s history and recognizes the decades-long partnership between the University and MTCNE. Read the full press release. To learn more about the bachelor’s degree with a Montessori education concentration program, download the brochure.

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2017 Refresher Course Recap!

The 2017 Refresher Course and Workshops took place February 17-20 in Austin, Texas. We were delighted to welcome nearly 1,000 teachers, administrators, parents, and assistants, along with the 130 participants of the NAMTA Adolescent Workshop. Participants at this year’s Refresher Course focused on The Calculating Mind: Cultivating Discovery, Persistence, Problem Solving. Among the weekend’s many highlights was the Keynote Address with Dr. Ross Greene, who provided a poignant yet humorous talk on his collaborative approach to addressing behavior problems. We also heard from AMI Executive Director Lynne Lawrence and AMI Board President Philip O’Brien about some of AMI’s new and ongoing initiatives, including the Bold Goal of tripling the impact of AMI Montessori in the United States by 2021. The Friday workshops were very well-attended and our presenters, Alison Awes on Dyslexia and Debbie LeeKeenan on Anti-Bias Education, both provided meaningful, hands-on information for teachers and administrators to take back to their school communities. Saturday morning, we kicked off the 2017 Refresher Course with new opportunities for participants, including an early morning yoga class and a Parent-Infant class demonstration.  The Refresher Course and Workshops speakers – Sara Brady, Uma Ramani, Phyllis Pottish-Lewis, Ann Velasco, Ben Moudry, Connie Black, Liza Davis, and Jen Cort – all exemplified the commitment Montessorians share to thinking deeply about our practice and our work with children. The Refresher Course concluded on Monday with a diversity of topics for attendees to explore.  The morning began with an exploration of Educateurs sans Frontières projects around the world (with more than twice as many attending as RSVPed!).  The Special Interest Workshops, which were introduced last year in Long Beach, continue to offer an opportunity for participants to delve into a topic briefly and intensely, with their fellow teachers from other planes of development. Our varied set of workshops this year included: music, parent communication, and the role of the adolescent program in a whole school vision. Special thanks to the AMI-EAA Board, NAMTA, and all the amazing local volunteers who made the Refresher Course a success. AMI/USA hopes you had a wonderful time in Austin, and we look forward to seeing everyone next year in Phoenix, Arizona!

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New Training Courses in Boston, NYC, & Seattle

Montessori schools are growing and expanding in both the Boston Area and New York City, yet AMI teacher training in these populous United States cities has always been minimal. The demand for Montessori teachers in both locations is very high. As various states begin to expand Montessori programs, the shortage of teachers also grows, making it very difficult to operate quality AMI schools with local resident employees. AMI training center satellite locations are one way that AMI is addressing this need expressed by larger Montessori communities. Satellite locations have occurred before in our AMI history; however, they are now taking firmer strength on both coasts of our country. Montessori Northwest has expanded to offer programs in both Seattle and San Francisco and now Montessori Training Center Northeast (MTCNE), located in Hartford, Connecticut, plans to address the needs of both New York City and the greater Boston Area. Satellite options from established training centers offer operational experience, financial stability and can leverage existing training talent and expertise needed to launch successful new AMI courses. Working with advisory teams in both locations, MTCNE has submitted feasibility studies to establish satellite locations starting this summer 2017. A new three summer AMI Primary Course will begin in Winchester, Massachusetts using the well-established Children’s Own School as its location with Ms. Connie Black as the AMI Primary Director of Training. MTCNE is also proposing a recently renovated NYC building, Montessori School SoHo, be the home to a new 2-summer AMI Assistants to Infancy Course to begin in June of 2017. This course is still currently in the final stages of review. Details about either of these two new offerings can be found on the MTCNE website. AMI-USA is pleased to welcome these greatly needed satellite locations and looks forward to a stronger presence in both Boston and New York City.

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AMI Announces Chief of Staff Position

AMI is pleased to announce a new career opportunity for professionals ready to step up and meet the global challenges that will impact Montessori education and AMI’s growth, based at Headquarters, in Amsterdam. Click on the below link to view the position description. View Recruitment Information.

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MPPI Receives Major Grant

AMI/USA and the American Montessori Society recently secured funding to move ahead vigorously on new initiatives of the Montessori Public Policy Initiative, thanks to a generous grant from the Walton Family Foundation. The MPPI is a collaboration of AMS and AMI/USA, with a mission to create a groundswell of activism through the establishment and support of grassroots advocacy. Specifically, the grant will enable the MPPI to work with Bellwether Education Partners on a survey of approximately 30 states to determine each state’s “policy landscape” with respect to issues particular to the practice of Montessori. The scope will encompass Early Childhood and K – 12 and focus on issues such as teacher credential recognition, licensing challenges, and Quality Rating Improvement System instruments. It is anticipated that the State Policy Landscape Analysis will yield a wealth of helpful information for Montessori state groups involved in affecting policy. Many representatives of these groups have expressed that having a clearinghouse of other states’ successes and obstacles would give them more informed strategies in their own efforts, and support collaborative efforts such as the sharing of resources, ideas, language, and lessons learned. The results will also provide MPPI with a clearer picture of where to focus the energy of the MPPI council and staff in providing support and guidance. This will be particularly useful as the transition to a new administration is sure to bring about significant shifts in federal policies. We are grateful to the Walton Family Foundation for their support and look forward to working with them and with Bellwether Education Partners, and with all of our colleagues at the MPPI.

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AMI Training Centers to Receive MACTE Accreditation

AMI/USA is pleased to announce that two additional Training Centers have been approved for full MACTE accreditation.  Congratulations to the Montessori Training Center of St. Louis on its accomplishment at the Early Childhood level, and to The Montessori Institute of Denver for accreditation at the Infant and Toddler level.  MACTE accreditation is a significant achievement that takes dedication of time and resources by the Training Centers, and in turn offers trainees and graduates benefits and quality assurance.

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MPPI Holds 2nd State Advocacy Retreat

The Montessori Public Policy Initiative, a joint collaboration of AMI/USA and the American Montessori Society, conducted its second State Advocacy Retreat in Washington DC this past month. Seventy-five Montessorians from 27 states and 8 national organizations, including the National Center for Montessori in the Public Sector, Montessori Educational Programs International, Montessori for Social Justice, and the Montessori Administrators Association among others, came together to network and share resources and ideas. Participants focused on a wide range of policy issues including QRIS and rating instruments, curriculum alignment, and teacher credentialing at both early childhood and K-12 levels, and gained skills in strategic planning, lobbying, and publicity. In addition to working together on these topics, Retreat attendees heard from Secretary John King of the US Department of Education (click here to see his video!) and Danny Carlson, from the National Governors Association. As the Montessori Public Policy Initiative begins initiating its strategic plan, under the leadership of Interim Director Charis Sharp, opportunities to work together in person underscore the importance of this work.

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Update: AMI Bold Goal Initiative

AMI’s Bold Goal Initiative, Update Dear AMI Community, As you all prepare for the intensity of the final weeks and days of the school year, we are pleased to report that the work groups for AMI’s Bold Goal Initiative have been busy. Following is a summary of the Bold Goal activities that are underway by the three work groups as well as by Kate Hastings, our project manager. Before I turn to that summary, however, I would like to thank everyone who has responded to the framing questions that we posed in our last communique and at the AGM in Amsterdam.   Your responses have been thoughtful, insightful and informative. We appreciate your taking the time to reflect on: How did you discover AMI? Why did you choose AMI training over traditional education or another Montessori training? How can we strengthen the AMI community? How can we triple our impact by 2020? I’d like to share a brief summary of some of your responses: To question one, the most frequent responses were through a personal connection, through an employer or through research in finding a school for a child. AMI was chosen because of its authenticity, quality, and international scope. Many who responded had not intended to go into teaching but the discovery of Montessori changed their minds. Suggestions for strengthening the AMI community and tripling our impact include: more support for teachers after training, networking among all of the AMI constituents – teachers, parents and schools, and better and more widespread communication and publishing, and of course more training centers, more trainers! We will continue to gather the responses to these framing questions, so please continue to distribute the questions and send the responses to me at Jacquie.maughan@gmail.com. And now to the progress of the work groups for our Bold Goal Initiative. Surveys have been distributed to training center alumni and current students and training center executive directors/administrators. The results from these surveys will provide data on demographics and trends in AMI training centers and details on AMI trainees and teachers regarding their career choices, employment history and career support. To date, over 300 responses have been received. AMI has compiled a detailed list of current training formats that are approved or being tested globally. A survey of administrators and teachers was distributed by the Montessori Leaders Collaborative through the US training and professional organizations and the results have been made available to the Bold Goal Steering Committee. Attached is a summary of several surveys that have been conducted across the Montessori movement over the past several months. The reports and data from these surveys will be added to the data that the Bold Goal work groups are compiling in order to gather as much information as possible to inform our next steps. In addition, the Scientific Pedagogy Group commenced preliminary discussions, in April, on the subject of online learning in order to develop a better understanding of the topic and the potential opportunities and challenges that it presents.  This was […]

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IMC Call for Abstracts

The theme of the 28th International Montessori Congress, which will take place in Prague from July 27-30, 2017, is “Pathway to Peace: Montessori Education for Social Change.” The International Montessori Congress is looking for teachers, educators, trainers, school leaders, and assistants to share techniques, practices, success stories, and real examples which helped make positive changes in their respective social communities. Learn how to submit an abstract here.

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New AMI/USA Consultants

AMI/USA is delighted to announce that two AMI trainers have completed the process for becoming Consultants! Guadalupe Borbolla, a primary trainer, and Jamie Rue, an elementary trainer, will join the pool of AMI consultants starting in the 2016-17 school year. We are so excited to have such accomplished and experienced pedagogues working with AMI schools! Guadalupe Borbolla-Martini with a dual nationality (México/Spain) has been involved in Montessori education since 1977, first as a mother and then as a practitioner. She has all three AMI Diplomas, 0-3, 3-6 and 6-12, and is an AMI Trainer at the 3 to 6 level. In addition she has participated in the Adolescent Orientation Studies offered by NAMTA. She operates two schools in Cuernavaca and Querétaro, México, including a farm-school project and a high school. She has been actively involved in parent education since 1990. She directs courses in Mexico and Spain. Guadalupe holds an M.Ed. from Loyola University and degrees in Political Science and Special Education. She is an international speaker. Jamie Rue is a Director of Elementary Training at Washington Montessori Institute at Loyola University Maryland. She began her Montessori career as an assistant in an elementary classroom. During her ten years teaching in Montessori elementary classrooms, she served as a guide for children aged 6-9, 9-12, and 6-12. She holds AMI Primary and Elementary diplomas, and earned a B.A. in English and Religion from Augustana College (Sioux Falls, S.D.) and an M.Ed. from Loyola University Maryland. Jamie currently serves as treasurer on the AMI/USA Board of Directors. Jamie presents at workshops and conferences around the world, but is happiest when at home with her husband and two teenage daughters.

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Second Annual MPPI Retreat

The Montessori Public Policy Initiative is thrilled to announce that it has received a grant from Trust for Learning to hold its second annual MPPI State Advocacy Retreat. The first Retreat was held last October in Washington DC and was attended by 80 state representatives from 26 states. This second Retreat will be again held in Washington, just blocks from the United States Capitol, in late September. MPPI is eager to have even more state representation, as the important work of Montessori advocacy at the state level continues to grow. The annual Retreat gives participants the opportunity to network with one another and learn from each other’s experiences, as well as to hear from federal and state policymakers on successful strategies for engaging in effective policy work. For more information on the Montessori Public Policy Initiative, please visit www.montessoripublicpolicy.org.

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2016 Refresher Course Recap!

The 2016 Refresher Course and Workshops took place Presidents’ Day weekend last month in warm and sunny Long Beach, California. We were delighted to welcome 989 teachers, administrators, parents, and assistants, along with the 125 participants of the NAMTA Adolescent Workshop. Participants at this year’s Refresher Course indeed went Beyond the Pink Tower. Among the weekend’s many highlights were the Keynote Address with Dr. Travis Wright, who provided both laughter and tears in his talk on childhood trauma; a closing ceremony with AMI Executive Director Lynne Lawrence about the important work of Educateurs sans Frontières; an Assistants’ Workshop that allowed assistants at all three levels to learn from AMI trainers; and much more. The Friday workshops continued to be well-attended and to receive high praise, as Una Barry, Dr. Silvia Dubovoy, and the Montessori Public Policy Initiative provided hands-on opportunities. The format was adjusted this year, to allow for workshops on special topics to be held on Monday morning. Workshops on public Montessori, bilingual education, and the work of the adolescent allowed participants to go deeper into their practice and to think further about how the work we do extends beyond the materials in our albums. Special thanks are in order to the AMI-EAA Board, NAMTA, Lynne Lawrence, and all the amazing volunteers who made the Refresher Course a success. AMI/USA hopes you had a wonderful time in Long Beach, and looks forward to seeing everyone next year in Austin, Texas!

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2016-2017 Inclusive Education Course

The Montessori Institute of San Diego will be offering an AMI Inclusive Education Course for ages birth through 12 years in summer 2016! This supplemental course for AMI diploma holders was created to empower Montessori teachers with unique strategies to serve children who have behavioral, learning, and physical differences. For more information, download the brochure. Space is limited: Priority application deadline 2/25/16. Apply now!

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Announcing the 2016 Advocacy Workshop

On Friday, February 12, please join us in Long Beach for the 2016 Advocacy Workshop. Presented by the Montessori Public Policy Initiative, the Advocacy Workshop is an opportunity to learn about the MPPI’s work and to practice your own advocacy skills. This year’s workshop has three components: Rich Ungerer, Executive Director of the American Montessori Society, and Bonnie Beste will share updates on the MPPI’s State Advocacy Retreat this past fall and provide exciting information on the group’s strategic planning process. Rebecca Pelton, President of the Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (MACTE), will provide a short overview of the Association’s work on teacher licensure, and how MACTE and the national organizations are working to support Montessori teacher education nationwide through their outreach in the various states. Following Rebecca’s presentation, RB Fast, vice president of the Colorado Montessori Association and an AMI representative to the MPPI Council, will lead a session on Advocating for Montessori to legislators, providing participants an opportunity to learn from her expertise as well as from each other. RB’s extensive experience with state advocacy will help guide this workshop, as she takes attendees through the steps of contacting policymakers, lobbying, and advocating for Montessori thoughtfully and effectively. The Workshop will be held 3:30-5pm on February 12; it is free and open to all. Click here to register and click here to read about the rest of the weekend’s offerings.

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New AMI Training Courses in the United States

Great Work, an organization that promotes and supports Montessori education near Denver, Colorado, is proud to be a permanent host of AMI primary training. Its first academic course, to be offered annually, will begin in the fall of 2016. Mary Raudonis Loew is to be the Primary Director of Training. Great Work hopes to offer elementary training courses beginning in 2017. The Montessori Institute of North Texas will be offering a two-summer Assistants to Infancy course with Director of Training Sara Brady, during the summers of 2016 and 2017. MINT is excited to bring A to I training back to the Dallas area. In addition, MINT has joined with Southern Methodist University to offer a Master’s in Education with Specialization in Montessori Education for its primary and elementary students. Congratulations to both Great Work and MINT on their new courses and the work they have done to expand access to AMI training.

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Montessori Northwest Now MACTE Accredited at Elementary Level

  Montessori Northwest is now fully accredited by the Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education at the Elementary Level!   MACTE, a Department of Education accrediting body, has granted full accreditation to the Elementary training program at Montessori Northwest.  MNW is the first AMI training center in the United States to be fully accredited at all three levels.  AMI teacher trainees at MNW will now have access to increased opportunities for federal financial aid, and in many states, a more seamless pathway to teacher licensure for working in the public school system.  Congratulations on this achievement!

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2015 Salary Survey Results

This year, 92 schools responded to the survey questions as compared with 87 schools from 2013.  The information gathered represents a cross-section of schools from various geographic regions as well as different types of school communities.  As always, in addition to presenting comparisons of salaries for teachers, administrators and classroom aides, the report also breaks down pertinent information regarding benefits offerings for employees and child tuition assistance plans. Thank you to those schools and individuals who dedicated themselves to this process.  We hope the information will be beneficial as you continue your work. 

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MPPI Holds First Ever State Advocacy Retreat

The Montessori Public Policy Initiative, a joint collaboration of AMI/USA and the American Montessori Society, brought together 80 Montessorians from 26 states for the first ever MPPI State Advocacy Retreat this October 25-27 in Washington, DC.  The Retreat participants learned from national education figures, learned from each other’s successes and challenges, and had an opportunity to make a commitment to continued work in their states. For more information, or to share this with others in your community, please click here.

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MPPI Website Launch

The Montessori Public Policy Initiative (MPPI) is pleased to announces the launch of its NEW WEBSITE!  Please visit http://www.montessoripublicpolicy.org to learn more about the MPPI, Montessori advocacy and how you can get involved!  For questions about the Montessori Public Policy Initiative, please email Alyssa Schwartz, MPPI Administrator.

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MACTE Accreditation for AMI Training Centers

The Montessori Institute of San Diego and Montessori Northwest have received MACTE accreditation!  The Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education has granted full accreditation to the Montessori Institute of San Diego at the primary and elementary levels; Montessori Northwest has held primary accreditation since 1997, and is now accredited at the Assistants to Infancy level as well. This initial accreditation cycle lasts for 7 years—AMI teacher trainees at both training centers will now have access to increased opportunities for federal financial aid, and in many states, a more seamless pathway to teacher licensure for working in the public school system. Please join us in congratulating MNW and MISD on completing this important milestone.

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MACTE Accredited Training Approved for Wisconsin State Teacher Licensure

The Wisconsin Montessori Association, WMA, has successfully secured an alternative Montessori teacher-licensing track. WMA sponsored this legislation by hiring a lobbyist, Sarah Archibald, former legislative aide to Senator Luther Olsen. Sarah, along with Phil Dosmann, former WMA Board Treasurer and Montessori consultant for WMA, met with key legislators to advance this legislation. Wisconsin becomes one of a handful of states, including Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Ohio and South Carolina, that recognize a credential from a MACTE-accredited Montessori teacher training for a state-licensing pathway. The Wisconsin legislation allows a graduate from a program accredited by the Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education, MACTE, to apply for a Wisconsin state teaching license to teach in a public or charter Montessori school. Montessori trained teachers who complete a rigorous MACTE-accredited teacher training program that includes lectures, practicums, and student teaching will be eligible. Trained Montessori teachers will need to complete the following requirements: a.) hold a bachelor’s degree, b.) complete a three credit course in special education, c.) earn a passing score on any standardized examinations required by the State Superintendent for a license to teach the same education levels and subjects issued in accordance with existing state law regarding teacher license, including an examination identical to the foundations for reading test administered in 2012 as part of the Massachusetts tests for educator licensures. These tests will include the Praxis I and II.  Candidates will also be assigned a mentor teacher who is an experienced Montessori trained teacher during their first year in order to support their professional development in preparation for meeting the requirements for a professional educator license. Additional details will be forthcoming once WMA and DPI representatives meet to define the requirements stipulated in this legislation. For more information regarding MACTE and MACTE accredited teacher education programs, please contact www.macte.org. –Phil Dosmann On behalf of the Wisconsin Montessori Association

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Montessori Schools of Connecticut Conference

Montessori Schools of Connecticut, an association of AMI and AMS independent and public schools, announces its annual professional development conference for Friday, October 30, 2015 at the University of Hartford located on 200 Bloomfield Ave. in West Hartford CT. Sandra Girlato, Primary Director of Training of the Foundation for Montessori Education in Toronto, Canada, will be the key note presenter. This year’s topic will be ‘Freedom and Responsibility~ Liberties, Limits and the Development of Self-Discipline’.  Heads of Schools, Administrative, teaching and support faculty, student teachers, teacher trainers and consultants are invited to attend this event and this timely topic.  Professional Development validation hours will be available for AMS certified teachers. Updates will be posted on the new MSC web site in late July. Questions​?- please contact Anne-Marie Fenn, MSC Administrative Consultant

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Montessori Guide A to I Launch

It is with great excitement that I announce the Assistants to Infancy section on MontessoriGuide.org! A good deal of work and dedication have gone into preparing each clip and article to inform viewers; to help deepen the practice of adults working in these environments; and to help educate visitors about the true nature of the developing child. As with the primary and elementary sections, Assistants to Infancy is replete with remarkable images of the child at work, and captures the relationship of the trained adult and child in harmony together in the prepared environment. It is also supplemented with detailed articles and extraordinary interviews of the AMI Teacher Trainers, sharing their wisdom and knowledge of the child’s mental and physical growth from birth to three years of age. The launch of this new addition to the site provides the viewer with a complete picture of the child through the first three planes of development, from birth through twelve years of age, thus helping enrich the understanding of all adults working with children at any age. It creates a visual bridge of the changing needs and abilities, and most critically, beautifully dispels common misunderstandings about the immense capabilities of human beings from the moment they come into this world. Let us know what you think!  Please share your feedback with us about these new additions; about the site in general and how you use it in your daily life; and about ways it may have changed your thinking or how it can continue to support your professional growth. Bonnie Beste Executive Director

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Visit the New MPPI Website

The Montessori Public Policy Initiative (MPPI), a joint initiative of AMI/USA and AMS, is pleased to launch its new website, hosted by AMI/USA.  Read about recent advances in Montessori advocacy, find out more about your home state advocacy group, and sign up to join the MPPI discussion group.  Questions?  Email our administrator to find out more.

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New MPPI State Liaison!

The Montessori Public Policy Initiative (MPPI) is delighted to announce that Anna Lovejoy will be taking the position of State Liaison. Anna is a Montessori parent in Washington, DC, and an independent early childhood policy consultant. Her areas of expertise include state and federal policies that impact the well being of young children and their families. As the State Liaison, Anna will be coordinating with the AMI/USA and AMS representatives for the state advocacy groups nationwide and will work to connect these groups with each other and with MPPI. Prior to consulting, Ms. Lovejoy served as program director for early childhood at the National Governors Association (NGA) where she advised the nation’s governors and their policy staff to advance a comprehensive early childhood agenda. She also directed the gubernatorial Task Force on School Readiness and authored its final report, Building the Foundation for Bright Futures. Ms. Lovejoy also has extensive experience as a policy researcher, strategic consultant and grant writer for many national early childhood and education policy organizations including the Alliance for Early Success, Child Trends, the BUILD Initiative, the Center for Law and Social Policy and the National Alliance of Children’s Trust and Prevention Funds. She has a BA degree in politics from Princeton University. MPPI is thrilled to have Anna Lovejoy join its work—her knowledge and connections will be invaluable as it broadens its impact in Montessori advocacy across the country. For more information on the State Advocacy Groups and MPPI’s work, please visit our website or email Alyssa Schwartz.

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Successful Refresher Course Completed!

A record 1047 AMI teachers, administrators, parents, and assistants gathered in Atlanta, Georgia, Presidents’ Day weekend for the 2015 Refresher Course and Workshops.  With the addition of the 143 attendees at the NAMTA Adolescent Workshop, this made for an incredible 1190 Montessorians all in one place! The weekend was kicked off by a fascinating Keynote Lecture by Dr. Alison Gopnik, who shared her research and insights into early childhood development.  She was preceded by the first addresses to the AMI/USA membership by AMI President Philip O’Brien and AMI/USA Executive Director Bonnie Beste. Over the course of the three days spent together, participants sang and danced, learned and drew inspiration from the course lecturers and from each other.  The closing ceremony on Monday morning featured special guest John Snyder, who Skyped in from Texas to talk about his new book Tending the Light: Essays on Montessori Education.  All agreed this was a meaningful way to close out the 2015 Refresher Course. Check back often for new photos! We look forward to seeing you next year in Los Angeles!

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Common Core Mappings Now Available for Download

Mappings of representative AMI curricula in math and geometry and language to the Common Core State Standards are now available for download from the AMI/USA website. Previously distributed only to AMI members who joined through AMI/USA, the mappings are now available to the Montessori community at large. AMI elementary trainer Phyllis Pottish-Lewis’s white paper on implementation guidelines is also available for download. Each mapping shows for every standard in the Common Core those lessons and materials in the AMI curriculum that address that standard. The mappings were produced over an eighteen-month period by a team of close to fifty AMI-trained teachers, consultants, administrators, and trainers. The AMI/USA CCSS page also includes links for communicating feedback and questions to the Implementation Support Team that has ongoing responsibility for administering and maintaining the mappings

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Support AMI Teacher Training!

In 1960, Margaret Elizabeth Stephenson was commissioned to initiate teacher training in the United States on behalf of AMI. She conducted training courses in this country for nearly 40 years. The MES Fund, Inc., was established in her name to provide scholarship money to deserving AMI teacher training candidates. This year, AMI/USA is proud to celebrate the fund’s 15th anniversary. Please join us in supporting the MES Fund and its dedication to AMI training across the country. Donate here  and by check at 206 N. Washington St., Suite 330, Alexandria, VA 22314.

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CCSS Mapping Complete

COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS MAPPING COMPLETE The CCSS Mapping Project has successfully completed its project, building comprehensive maps of the Montessori elementary curriculum.  These maps directly complement the Common Core standards for English Language Arts and Mathematics and Geometry. The mappings have been distributed to all AMI/USA members. A special webpage on the AMI/USA website features other CCSS resources and provide a form to ask questions and offer feedback about the mapping.

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Montessori Guide Assistant to Infancy Level Coming Soon

Keep an eye out for a new addition to AMI/USA’s professional development website, MontessoriGuide.org! The creative team has been filming, and they are working to prepare the assistant to infancy section for its debut. New videos and a fresh set of articles will help foster further inquiry for practitioners looking to learn about and/or deepen their practice with the youngest of our children.  MontessoriGuide.org users will soon be able to access a new feature on the site: a subject archive. Organized by topics, the subject archive is an index that will enable viewers to look up a topic and find  the exact locations(s) inside the many videos and articles that each topic is addressed. This new feature will facilitate user navigation of the site. We look forward to introducing these new additions later this summer to deepen your professional inquiry. In the meantime, we encourage you to dip in and explore!

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New Booklet! Negotiating the Minefield: Obstacles that Endanger Cosmic Education

In her latest booklet Negotiating The Minefield: Obstacles That Endanger Cosmic Education, Phyllis Pottish-Lewis writes in her introduction: Done right, Montessori education is a truly wondrous thing for all concerned: the child, the teacher, the family, and society. But because its principles are so seamlessly integrated, it also is fragile. The slightest departure from its faithful implementation can fatally disrupt its operation. And the Montessori teacher is faced with a horde of such evils, sometimes of her own making, sometimes imposed on her. The purpose of this paper is to inspire teachers to recognize and confront such threats with the confidence that staunchly resisting them is worth the battle. Click here for more information on this booklet.

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Are you a Montessori Alum?

Help us tell the world about Montessori education. The We Are Montessori Project aims to celebrate Montessori alumni and bring more awareness to the benefits of Montessori education. We are collecting information to visually showcase successful alumni and the schools that fostered their education. These profiles will be used in a variety of locations to celebrate and raise more awareness.

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