News Type: News Items

BMEF 2021 SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATIONS DUE MAY 14

BMEF 2021 SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATION PROCESS IS NOW OPEN 2021 SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATION PROCESS                                   OVERVIEW  The Black Montessori Education Fund is designed to support your independent growth as a culturally competent Montessori student, educator, and administrator. You may propose any use of this scholarship that is relevant and aligned to the mission of the BMEF (see below for details). Receipt of funds is contingent upon approval of your application by the BMEF staff and advisory board.  GRANT USES  The Black Montessori Education Fund is an opportunity to support your personal and professional goals in Montessori. Previous Awardees have used their grants to:  • Obtain Montessori training    • Recruit families of color to attend Montessori school    • Launch a Montessori program or school  Criteria To be eligible:    ▪ Recipients of funding must be of African descent    ▪ Recipients seeking funding for teacher training or tuition assistance must be in good standing as deemed applicable by their training center/Montessori program   ▪ Recipients of funding must be willing to support and promote the advancement of the BMEF  TIMELINE          April 23, 2021           Funding Round Opens  May 14, 2021             Deadline for Applications  May 28, 2021           Anticipated Date for Funding Decisions  June 7, 2021             Confirmed Grantees Receive Funding For any questions about the Black Montessori Education Fund or the application, feel free to contact Latonya Spivey, Program Coordinator at latonya@blackmontessorieducationfund.org APPLY NOW

Read More +

AMI/USA is Hiring! Director of Finance Position Available

Association Montessori International USA (AMI/USA) seeks an experienced Director of Finance (DF) to join our leadership team. Click the link and/or image below to download the position description. To make a confidential application, please submit resume with salary requirements to montessori@amiusa.org. Download the position description.

Read More +

Women’s History Month 2021 “Valiant Women of the Vote: Refusing to Be Silenced”

From the Executive Director’s Desk Guest Essay – Sheri Bishop Women’s History Month 2021 “Valiant Women of the Vote: Refusing to Be Silenced” The presidential proclamation for Women’s History Week in 1982 read, “American women of every race, class, and ethnic background have made historical contributions to the growth and strength of the Nation in countless recorded and unrecorded ways.…Recognizing that the many contributions of American women have at times been overlooked in the annals of American history, I encourage all citizens to observe this important week by participating in appropriate ceremonies and activities planned by individuals, governmental agencies, and private institutions and associations throughout the country.” In 1987, the first presidential proclamation for Women’s History Month, read: “Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim March 1987 as Women’s History Month. I call upon all Americans to mark this month with appropriate observances to honor the achievements of American women.” Susan Scanlan, a long-time expert on public and gender policy and President Emeritus of the Women’s Research & Education Institute (WREI), helped author legislation that established the month of March as Women’s History Month. Congress considered it and passed the legislation, Public Law 100-9. Since 1995, each president has issued an annual proclamation designating March as “Women’s History Month”. The National Women’s History Alliance selects and publishes the yearly theme. Since many of the women’s suffrage centennial celebrations originally scheduled for 2020 were curtailed, the organization is extending the annual theme for 2021 to “Valiant Women of the Vote: Refusing to Be Silenced.” (NWHM) Historically, much blood, sweat and tears have been shed to uphold the notion that every citizen should be able to cast one vote during our US democratic elections.  A common misconception is that every American has always been afforded the right to do so, and that when we do, we can elect a government that represents us. Of course, that wasn’t true in the 19th century, and unfortunately, it’s still not true today. (Free, L) Marginalized people in our country are challenging gerrymandering and voter suppression practices during every election. However, the woman’s right to vote – after a 72-year hard-fought battle that included street speaking on soapboxes, propaganda blitzes, marches on Washington, DC, parades, pageants, protests, and incarcerations – lead to triumph. (PBS) After the 19th Amendment became law on August 26, 1920, tens and now hundreds of millions of women have the agency, the power, and the ability to affect the trajectory of our lives via the ballot box. In many arenas we have earned acquisition of political clout and influence. This idea, exemplified in 2021, is more important than ever. As with many other historical issues in America, during this monumental effort to gain women’s voting rights, our country’s people were operating under the idea that one group’s narrative was interfering with another’s. (Hooker, DA) The women’s suffrage movement came on the heels of the social and political fight for Black men to gain their right to vote. The leaders of the early suffrage movement thought that white women should have […]

Read More +

Black History is Not Optional

 Black History Is Not Optional  We, the undersigned Montessori leadership organizations in the United States of America, are responding to the recent actions of the leadership of the Maria Montessori Academy in North Ogden, Utah, which allowed parents to make the decision regarding their children’s participation in Black History month activities, as well as the entitlement of the parents who demanded such an option be given.  We Name  The contributions, experiences, and history of Black people in the United States have consistently been whitewashed, overlooked, forgotten, discounted, and erased. Black history must break out of the confinements of Black History month and be fully integrated into literature, art, science, music, history, and other disciplines. Allowing parents to opt out sets the clear and dangerous precedent that the rich and robust history of Black Americans (and by extension other marginalized Americans) can continue to be ignored.  While the decision has since been rescinded, the fact that parents felt entitled to opt out of Black History Month content is yet another painful reminder that Black voices are consistently silenced by White voices and that White privilege often manifests in threats, bullying, and intimidation.  We Confess and Commit  When events such as this expose the prevalence of racism and White privilege, it is easy to call it out. It is harder to acknowledge that the situation in Utah is a mere reflection of the daily happenings within each and every one of our national Montessori organizations. We owe it to ourselves and our communities to be transparent about that and commit to liberatory change. While our organizations have taken on a number of initiatives around diversity, equity, and inclusion, it remains far too easy for our members and stakeholders to opt-out of anti-bias anti-racism training, examination of our materials and practices through an anti-bias lens, and engagement with and inclusion of BIPOC individuals and perspectives within our Montessori community.  We Invite  It is tempting to simply vilify the parents and leaders at this school in Utah, but similar situations happen at schools that are not committed to an anti-bias anti-racist learning environment. Such a commitment means White people must do the continuous work to understand how their biases manifest and how they participate in racist systems. This work cannot be sidelined any longer and it never ends. We invite you to reach out to any of the undersigned organizations for assistance and collaboration as we ourselves continue to undertake this work. It is incumbent upon us as leaders and educators not only to educate children about the history, accomplishments, perspectives, and experiences of Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and other marginalized people, but to walk with and educate parents as well when they request policy and practices that do not align with the educational goals and philosophy of Montessori education.  Montessori Public Policy Initiative (MPPI)  American Montessori Society (AMS)  Association Montessori International/USA (AMI/USA)  International Montessori Council (IMC)  Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (MACTE)  Montessori Educational Programs International (MEPI)  Montessori for Social Justice (MSJ)  National […]

Read More +

AMI/USA Equity Statement

Dear AMI/USA Colleagues, Members, Collaborators and Montessorian Community Members At-Large, Since the first day of the 2020 AMI/USA Refresher Course in Seattle, many of you have been speaking to issues of equity and have called for organizational analysis and transformation.  After months of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion training received by AMI/USA leaders and after building our foundational anti-bias/anti-racist knowledge, we embarked on the task of formulating an equity statement for publication in October 2020.   There were numerous meetings and after several iterations of the statement, a broad-based group that included representatives from the AMI/USA Montessori Experience, the Executive Director, the members of the Board of Directors, the organizational staff (view Board and staff here), the Human Rights and Social Justice (HRSJ) Committee (view the committee members here), the HRSJ Advisor (Sheri L. Bishop, M.Ed.), and at-large Montessorians, was convened. Rachel Feres, the moderator of the Equity 2020 Group, Cierra Littlejohn and Betsy Romero from Lee Montessori School Public Charter School,  and Sinuda Kapalczynski from Fulton Montessori School were very willing participants. This ad-hoc committee reflected who we are as an organization…AMI/USA leaders, school level leaders, guides, public and independent school Montessorians, colleagues working at wealthy schools and those working at schools that charge sliding scale fees. Most importantly, all of us, with our own many diverse identities were able to agree on this one most important value that is now held by AMI/USA…   “We value the lives, lived experiences, contributions, and talents of Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) with whom we work and serve and are striving to establish an organizational ethos that prioritizes humanity.” With this in mind, we as the Executive Director and the Chair of the Board of Directors of Association of Montessori International of the United States (AMI/USA), submit this to you, and to all those with whom we collaborate, our living and forever evolving equity statement. Sincerely, Ayize Sabater, Ed.D. AMI/USA Executive Director Mary Levy Chair, AMI/USA Board of Directors

Read More +

AMI/USA Welcomes New Board Members

Dear AMI/USA Community: The AMI/USA Board of Directors would like to announce the selection of Dallas Nelson, Jacqui Miller, and Barbara Williams to serve on the Board of Directors. We had a robust response to our call for nominations and these individuals were selected from a pool of excellent candidates. Dallas, Jacqui and Barbara’s personal strengths, breadth of experience and diverse perspectives strengthen and widen our AMI/USA leadership. Dallas, Jacqui and Barbara are deeply connected to the communities they serve and bring their thoughtful, active and steadfast leadership to AMI/USA at a time great change and transition for our organization. Please read about Dallas, Jacqui and Barbara below and join us in welcoming them to the AMIUSA board of directors.

Read More +

From the desk of AMI/USA Executive Director Ayize Sabater, Ed.D.

“As I arose this morning I had deep thoughts about the American political upheaval which recently transpired on January 6, 2021 in Washington, D.C. My primary question and concern as a father, educator, and educational leader is, “How are we addressing the #AttemptedCoup on the #USCapitol” not only with our own children, but with those students and adults whom we face each day, both inside and outside of our classrooms, our schools, and/or our homes?” Continue reading.

Read More +

In Memoriam Estela Palmeri

The following was shared by John Page – Good Afternoon, I had an extended conversation with Queta Harlan this afternoon, Estela Palmeri’s sister, who informed me that Estela passed away on November 5. I was a former student of Estela’s in Los Angeles for the school year 1971-1972. At that time she was unmarried with the last name Colmenero. Years later, after Estela closed the center in Los Angeles, she wanted to start up Montessori training again, using a summers format, and she requested to do so at our school, Meher Montessori school in Monterey Park. So Estela used our school to house her training center for a number of years. It was our dear pleasure to have such a wonderful dedicated Montessorian use our facility to train so many people who traveled from all over the world to train with her. Estela was also a consultant for AMI and worked closely with many schools from all over the world. I cherish my memories of her, her intelligence, warmth and 100% dedication to the Child! Thank you, John Page Click here for more detail about Estela’s life and work. Also see below from Brenda Striegel-Fox November 12, 2020 Estela was appointed to the Sponsoring Committee by Mario Montessori in 1977 and served until her retirement in 1997. From 1979, I worked as secretary to that committee and came to know Estela both as a colleague and a friend. Her deep-seated interest in the Montessori Method and her commitment to the work of the Sponsoring Committee in the running of the Training of Trainers Programme were valued and respected. It was my privilege to have known and worked with Estela. Please accept my deepest sympathy. May she rest in peace. Brenda Striegel-Fox

Read More +

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

Read More +

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!

Read More +

AMI/USA Human Rights & Social Justice Adviser

Association Montessori International of the United States (AMI/USA) is dedicated to bringing the principles of Dr. Maria Montessori to the education of children through its support and advancement of the AMI Montessori community in the United States. AMI/USA has committed to strategically examining and dismantling institutional racism and other social justice issues in its operation, through the lens of anti-bias, anti-racism (ABAR), equity, inclusion and social justice.  To support that work we seek to appoint a Human Rights and Social Justice Adviser to work with the Board, office team and the Human Rights and Social Justice Committee. Continue reading:

Read More +

Applications Open for 20-21 AMI Recognition Process

Applications for AMI Recognition Status and Recognition Consultations 2020-21 are open! The program will take place wholly online and provides opportunities for supportive discussions with Montessori experts. Consultations will be relevant to the conditions currently affecting schools and focused on ensuring schools maintain the recognition status their hard work and dedication to serving children deserves. Applications for new programs and those with the recognition consultation required will close on August 21. Applications for current schools that do not have a recognition consultation required will close on October 16. Updated 8/19/2020 For new programs and those that are due for a recognition consultation, the deadline for the 20-21 Application for AMI Recognition Status has been extended to September 25, 2020. Recognition consultation visits will be scheduled beginning in October, 2020.   Learn more:  

Read More +

AMI/USA Announces Human Rights and Social Justice Committee

AMI/USA recently established Human Rights and Social Justice Committee provides insights, guidance and recommendations to the AMI/USA Board.  A diverse group of advisers to the Committee provide a voice for the wider Montessori community in establishing goals and strategies as well as offering direct input into developing areas of equity, diversity and inclusion. Advisers to the Committee are: Dr. Paige Bray Myesha Green Britt Hawthorne Danielle James Jacqui Miller Dallas Nelson Charity Rodriguez Stukenborg Dr. Ayize Sabater Wendy Shenk-Evans Erin Smith Lisa Vega AMI/USA Board members on the Committee are KaLinda Bass-Barlow as Chair and Connie Black as Secretary. The Committee has held two meeting since early June as it establishes its short and long-term goals.  Early decisions driven by the Committee’s agenda include commitments to fund the appointment of an Equity Inclusion position to the AMI/USA operational team and the development of a series of free online events focusing on social justice.

Read More +

AMI/USA Announces New Chair and Board Expansion

AMI/USA is pleased to announce that Mary Levy has become Chair of its Board with immediate effect.  Previous Chair, Gretchen Hall, has accepted the position of Vice Chair. Further changes at the recent Board meeting included a resolution to extend the number of Board seats from eight to ten persons.  The expansion will enable the Board to reflect the diversity of the Montessori community more adequately and bring in new views and skills to engage with AMI/USA’s developing agenda on equity, diversity and inclusion.  “Our community has told us very clearly that we need to respond more effectively to issues of social justice and underserved communities.  We will be intentional in bringing new members onto the Board who can help us make progress,” said Mary Levy. As part of its commitment, AMI/USA has recently introduced a Human Rights and Social Justice Committee supported by an advisory group offering perspectives and insights from all parts of the community.  It is also a lead supporter of the recently launched Black Montessori Education Fund.  Further plans include a series of webinars focusing on issues of race, bias and injustice. The first session of the meeting brought the Board and staff members of AMI/USA together in a facilitated session on Leading in the 21st Century: A Social Justice and Racial Equity Mindset.  Mary Levy commented, “Our Board meeting was an opportunity to take stock of the extraordinary challenges that are facing our schools, our community and the society in which we live.  We paused for a moment of silence to remember George Floyd and the many others who have been victims of brutality, injustice and systemic racism.  It was a somber reminder that we have a great deal of work to do if we are to play our part in Maria Montessori’s vision of laying ‘the foundation for peace ourselves, by working for the social world of the child’.” Paying tribute to her predecessor, Mary Levy, commented, “Gretchen has served AMI/USA with grace, skill and humility as Chair and I am delighted that she has agreed to provide support and continuity over the coming year.  We have ambitious plans to develop our capacity and capability to respond to the needs of the Montessori community and her experience will be invaluable.”

Read More +

BBC StoryWorks Features Montessori Education

We would like to share with you two beautiful, short documentaries, which have been produced by BBC StoryWorks. BBC StoryWorks is part of BBC Global News. They specialize in producing short documentary style films, focusing on creating beautiful stories to inspire and educate audiences. AMI had the opportunity to work with BBC StoryWorks at the beginning of this year, and they consulted with the BBC to choose a suitable location where they could create two films, one showing Montessori Education in action and one focusing on AMI teacher training. The USA was the focus as these films were planned as part of the continuing work around the Bold Goal initiative, which aims to increase the number of AMI trained teachers within the USA. The audiences these short films are among to target are both parents and educators who are not currently within the Montessori community, but who would benefit from learning more about the education and its opportunities. We would be delighted if you would share these films with your communities, as they set out to answer and present on topics such as why would you choose Montessori education for your child; and why would you become a Montessori teacher? Why Choose Montessori Education for Your Child? Why Become a Montessori Teacher?

Read More +

The Circle of Distinction Nominations & Call for Abstracts

The Circle of Distinction The Circle of Distinction acknowledges an individual’s lifelong dedication, inspiration, creativity, resilience and passion within the AMI/USA community. We share a sense of commitment to the continuation of Dr. Montessori’s work and there is deep appreciation for the efforts of every individual. The Circle of Distinction offers an opportunity to provide thanks to those whose exceptional personal and professional contribution deserves special recognition. 2020 Honorees Joen Bettmann Barbara Gordon David Kahn Molly O’Shaughnessy Judi Orion Phyllis Pottish-Lewis Submit a nominee for 20201! Call for Abstracts In preparation for the AMI/USA The Montessori Experience 2021 in Orlando February 12-15, we are inviting submissions of presentation abstracts for workshop consideration (Friday, February 12 and Monday, February 15). Topics geared both towards seasoned Montessorians as well as those new to Montessori are welcomed and encouraged. The deadline for abstract submission is June 5, 2020. Submissions should be emailed to our office and should include: A brief bio of the presenter(s); A brief workshop presentation abstract including the proposed length of the workshop (workshops are generally 2-3 hours in length); Any requirements of AMI/USA; Contact information. Please indicate whether, if circumstances dictate, your workshop can be adapted for virtual programming and if you would be willing to present on that basis. Workshop presenters will be notified by June 30, 2020.

Read More +

Webinar recording available & bonus audio!

If you missed our March 26 webinar with Jesse McCarthy and Karin Ann, the recording is available for purchase, including bonus audio in which both presenters answer additional questions that were posed by attendees during the live webinar. Jesse and Karin took the opportunity to augment the parent communication focus of the original webinar by specifically addressing school concerns during this difficult time. Karin shared how The International Montessori School has been providing distance learning opportunities for their students in Hong Kong.

Read More +

2020 Administrators Retreat Update

It was with great difficulty that the decision was made to cancel the upcoming AMI/USA Administrators Retreat originally scheduled to take place in July in Traverse City, Michigan. We understand, however, that administrators may have been especially looking forward to this year’s retreat as a respite from the challenges of today, therefore, alternate plans are under consideration in support of this need. Please watch for more details as plans become firmer. Questions? Feel free to contact either Debby Riordan, Consultant to AMI/USA or Sam Levine, AMI/USA Event Manager.

Read More +

COVID-19 Resources

With the spread of COVID-19 impacting our communities, AMI/USA is sharing resources (below) to ensure that everyone is supported during this unique crisis. We understand that the situation, challenges, and questions are changing with what seems like each passing moment, so we are learning with the rest of the country about how to move forward together. Much of what you see below is a result of collaborative work being done with other organizations, schools, and training centers. Our commitment is to mutual support and information sharing. As Canadian film director, Deborah Day once said: “Encourage, lift and strengthen one another. For the positive energy spread to one will be felt by us all. For we are connected, one and all.” School update: Due to the continued uncertainty around COVID-19, all remaining AMI/USA school consultations scheduled for the 19-20 school year have been cancelled. We look forward to serving those schools during the 20-21 school year. We will continually be updating this page, but please don’t hesitate to contact our office if you don’t see what you need or if you have found a resource that might be useful to others. Check our Facebook page for upcoming distance learning opportunities for school staff and parents. Visit our COVID-19 Resources Page

Read More +

2020 Administrators Retreat

We are closely monitoring the situation surrounding COVID-19 and will communicate if the event is postponed or cancelled with as much advance notice as possible. At this point in time, we are still moving forward with the July dates listed below. We greatly appreciate your understanding during this unprecedented time and will continue to provide updates as they become available. AMI/USA Administrators Retreat July 12-14, 2020 · Traverse City, MI We are thrilled to be offering the next Administrators Retreat in beautiful Traverse City, Michigan! For details, click here.

Read More +

Seattle Overflow Hotel

Overflow Hotel for “The Montessori Experience” Additional sleeping rooms for “The Montessori Experience: Refresher Course & Workshops” 2020 in Seattle are now available at The Westin Bellevue, just a quick 6-7 minute walk from the Hyatt Regency Bellevue, where the event is taking place. Click here to make a room reservation using the AMI group rate.

Read More +

Upcoming Consultant Training – June 2020

Consultant Training Yes, the time has come to announce the opening of applications for the Primary and Elementary consultant training THIS JUNE (2020)! We couldn’t be more excited that the Consultation Committee in partnership with the AMI/USA office is conducting this much needed training. Click here for more information and application materials. Please use this payment link to pay the $50 application fee after submitting your materials. Application materials, along with the $50 application fee, are due by January 31, 2020. A HUGE thank you to Arbor Montessori School in Atlanta for hosting the training for us!

Read More +

Seattle 2020 Brochure and Registration

The Montessori Experience 2020 Refresher Course & Workshops Seattle, Washington, Feb. 14-17, 2020 Get our official conference app iOS Android For Blackberry or Windows Phone, Click here For feature details, visit Whova >> Registration is now closed for The Montessori Experience: Refresher Course & Workshops in Seattle! Please take a moment to review our digital brochure to learn more about the speakers and workshops we will be offering this year. >> Check out our Facebook event page to connect with other conference goers and find people who may want a room share or room transfer! >> Order your 2020 Montessori Experience and 150th Montessori birthday t-shirts here!   Make your reservations at the Hyatt Regency Bellevue on Seattle’s East Side. If you need assistance, please contact 877-803-7534 or click here to find contact information by Region. If the group rate is no longer available, prevailing rates may be offered for some or all of your dates.

Read More +

Baltimore/Columbia Workshop Brochure

Baltimore/Columbia Workshop Montessori: Learning for All  October 11-12, 2019 Join us in Columbia, Maryland, for our first of two regional workshops in 2019-2020. We look forward to partnering with NAMTA for what will be their final regional workshop as well as with EAA, our continuing partner for major professional development events. Advanced registration is now closed. On-site registration will be available. If you have already registered, download the Whova app to create your personalized agenda and connect with other attendees! Get Whova Now >> Download the full conference brochure to learn more about our speakers and their presentations.

Read More +

Webinar: Supporting the Natural Development of the Will

Webinar Description: Supporting the Natural Development of the Will Live Event: September 19, 7:00 p.m. ET  The will is a psychic power that humans are not born with, but one that develops over time through experience following natural laws.  The child’s development of will; therefore, is a gradual process that is dependent upon an environment that supports its growth.  Unfortunately, misunderstandings abound regarding how best to support the will in children. It is widely believed that one must break the will in order to strengthen it, using various forms of controlling behaviors.  Montessori offers another approach that is respectful to the child and that is grounded in an atmosphere of free choice.  This webinar will discuss the necessary supports in the child’s environment to allow the will to develop naturally.  The influence of the adult, the physical environment and the community of children will be explored in detail. The live event has concluded. Click here to purchase a recording of the webinar.

Read More +

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.

Read More +

Children at Our Borders: One Year Later

A little over a year ago today, AMI/USA issued a statement on the detrimental effects of separating children from their parents in response to the United States’ practice of removing children from their families and placing them in custody at the U.S./Mexico border. A little over a year later, and things are unconscionably worse with little hope for improvement in sight. A little over a year later, and our concern at AMI/USA remains with the children. Read the full statement.

Read More +

New 401(k) Benefit Now Available!

AMI/USA is proud to announce the availability of a new 401(k) plan designed to be affordable and easy to administer.  Please, see the attached informational flier with a link to more information or contact Brian Prasifka directly at 972-567-4012 or bp@rsi2.com. For additional collateral materials that might be helpful for your use, click below. Flyer Collateral Materials

Read More +

In Memoriam Kay Baker PhD

On April 20, Kay Baker died peacefully after a short illness. AMI wishes to pay tribute to our friend and colleague Kay Baker. Please see AMI’s tribute here.

Read More +

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.

Read More +

AMI/USA Administrators Retreat

Registration for this year’s AMI/USA Administrators Retreat, formerly held by the Montessori Administrators Association (MAA), is now open!  The retreat will follow the opportunity to add knowledge gained through the first AMI Administrators certificate course in the United States.  The certificate course and retreat will be held in Houston, Texas this July.  For more information about the certificate course, please, call the Houston Montessori Institute at 281.822.8028, and for information and to register for the retreat, please, click here: https://maa2.wildapricot.org/event-3301383.

Read More +

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.

Read More +

Refresher Course Certificates

Refresher Course certificates of attendance are available by email (free) or regular mail (incurs a $5 processing fee). To request your own certificate, please click here. If you are requesting a number of certificates for a school, please download this certificate request form to your desktop and return it completed to the AMI/USA office. Please note Adobe Acrobat Pro or later is required to complete this form. If you do not have Adobe Acrobat Pro, please email us to request an Excel version.

Read More +

AMI/USA and MAA Merger

  On Friday, February 15th at the opening of the 2019 Refresher Course, AMI/USA Board President, Gretchen Hall, and MAA Board President, John Churn, announced plans to consolidate into one organization. Read their joint statement here. Questions? See below: AMI/USA and MAA Consolidation FAQ Following years of active collaboration to consider more opportunities for improved services and efficiencies among the affiliates of AMI in the United States’, MAA and AMI/USA have reached an agreement to enhance support for administrators through a consolidation of activity within one organization. On 1 March 2019 the functions of MAA will be transferred to AMI/USA. MAA will close all operations as of the transition date. AMI/USA will provide a continuity and amplification of the existing supports for school administrators, previously provided by MAA. This consolidation will also increase the focus of the work of AMI affiliates in the United States to support all Montessori schools, teachers, and parents. This document aims to answer some anticipated questions about the consolidation. If you have other questions, please reach out to AMI/USA at montessori@amiusa.org. What will happen to my current MAA memberships? Current MAA members will become members of AMI/USA; the dues amount that they pay will stay the same at $99/year. Current MAA members will renew with with AMI/USA as AMI/USA Administrator Members. AMI/USA will take over planning and running the Summer Administrators Retreat in partnership with former MAA trustees. How will this affect my current and future dues payment with MAA? There are no planned changes to the membership dues with MAA. Your current member dues cover your membership through the end of your membership period. When your membership is due to renew, your will renew through AMI/USA. What if I am an administrator who is already a member of AMI through AMI/USA, but not a member of MAA? All members of AMI/USA will have an option to change their AMI/USA membership status to Administrator Member and gain access to the additional benefits including the online forum and the administrators document vault. The AMI/USA Administrator Member rate is $99/year. To make this change in your membership, send an email to Director of Membership, Denise Wanits (denise@amiusa.org). What if I am a member of both MAA and AMS? AMS members who are currently members of MAA become members of AMI/USA on March 1, 2019.  Membership in AMI-USA provides Administrator Members with all of the benefits currently available to MAA members plus benefits provided to AMI-USA members such as newsletters, member rates at events, and publications. How does AMI/USA include, connect with, and support members who are not AMI trained? AMI/USA is an organization for everyone interested in Montessori. AMI/USA, NAMTA, and MAA have been open to everyone to join! Having earned an AMI diploma is not a requirement for being a member of AMI, nor is it a requirement for attending most of AMI/USA’s current annual professional development offerings. How will administrators benefit from this consolidation? Simpler memberships: the consolidation of MAA with AMI/USA will provide all of the resources now available within both organizations to be available within […]

Read More +

AMI/USA and MAA Merger

On Friday, February 15th at the opening of the 2019 Refresher Course, AMI/USA Board President, Gretchen Hall, and MAA Board President, John Churn, announced plans to consolidate into one organization. Read their joint statement here. Questions? See below: AMI/USA and MAA Consolidation FAQ Following years of active collaboration to consider more opportunities for improved services and efficiencies among the affiliates of AMI in the United States’, MAA and AMI/USA have reached an agreement to enhance support for administrators through a consolidation of activity within one organization. On 1 March 2019 the functions of MAA will be transferred to AMI/USA. MAA will close all operations as of the transition date. AMI/USA will provide a continuity and amplification of the existing supports for school administrators, previously provided by MAA. This consolidation will also increase the focus of the work of AMI affiliates in the United States to support all Montessori schools, teachers, and parents. This document aims to answer some anticipated questions about the consolidation. If you have other questions, please reach out to AMI/USA at montessori@amiusa.org. What will happen to my current MAA memberships? Current MAA members will become members of AMI/USA; the dues amount that they pay will stay the same at $99/year. Current MAA members will renew with with AMI/USA as AMI/USA Administrator Members. AMI/USA will take over planning and running the Summer Administrators Retreat in partnership with former MAA trustees. How will this affect my current and future dues payment with MAA? There are no planned changes to the membership dues with MAA. Your current member dues cover your membership through the end of your membership period. When your membership is due to renew, your will renew through AMI/USA. What if I am an administrator who is already a member of AMI through AMI/USA, but not a member of MAA? All members of AMI/USA will have an option to change their AMI/USA membership status to Administrator Member and gain access to the additional benefits including the online forum and the administrators document vault. The AMI/USA Administrator Member rate is $99/year. To make this change in your membership, send an email to Director of Membership, Denise Wanits (denise@amiusa.org). What if I am a member of both MAA and AMS? AMS members who are currently members of MAA become members of AMI/USA on March 1, 2019.  Membership in AMI-USA provides Administrator Members with all of the benefits currently available to MAA members plus benefits provided to AMI-USA members such as newsletters, member rates at events, and publications. How does AMI/USA include, connect with, and support members who are not AMI trained? AMI/USA is an organization for everyone interested in Montessori. AMI/USA, NAMTA, and MAA have been open to everyone to join! Having earned an AMI diploma is not a requirement for being a member of AMI, nor is it a requirement for attending most of AMI/USA’s current annual professional development offerings. How will administrators benefit from this consolidation? Simpler memberships: the consolidation of MAA with AMI/USA will provide all of […]

Read More +

Refresher Course Information

2019 REFRESHER COURSE The 2019 Refresher Course & Workshops will take place February 15-18th at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel in New Orleans, Louisiana. SPEAKERS Keynote Speaker Refresher Course Speakers BROCHURE 2019 Refresher Course Brochure REGISTRATION Forgot to register for next week’s Refresher Course & Workshops? Just decided you’ll be joining us? Get a head start on your on-site registration: > Register here by Thursday, 2/14 at 5 p.m. CST; > Stop by Central Registration (Grand Foyer, 5th Floor) at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel to finalize the process. Registration Times: Friday, 2/15: 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Saturday, 2/16: 7:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. SCHEDULES Friday 2-15-19 Saturday 2-16-19 Sunday 2-17-19 Monday 2-18-19 HOTEL LAYOUT First Floor Third Floor Fourth Floor Fifth Floor Eighth Floor **Bookstore orders made online from February 14-18 will be shipped on Tuesday, February 19.**

Read More +

Onsite Registration Available

Forgot to register for next week’s Refresher Course & Workshops? Just decided you’ll be joining us? Get a head start on your on-site registration: Register here by Thursday, 2/14 at 5 p.m. CST Stop by Central Registration at the Sheraton New Orleans to finalize the process Registration TimesFriday, 2/15: 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.Saturday, 2/16: 7:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. See you in New Orleans! AMI/USA The Child’s Place in TimeRefresher Course & WorkshopsNew Orleans, LouisianaFebruary 15-18, 2019

Read More +

Update from the AMI/USA Board

Greetings from your AMI/USA Board! In an effort to better communicate and connect our membership with the work of the board, we will be including brief quarterly meeting updates in this and future newsletters. We hope that they serve you as intended. Our July board meeting was held in Simsbury, Connecticut. The location served as the perfect place for review of our past fiscal year, and great discussion regarding the future for AMI/USA. Challenges and opportunities within our Core Programs and Strategic Initiatives, as well as the Affiliates Meeting which has since been held at the IMC in Prague, served as the bulk of our agenda. A highlight of the meeting was our time with Tom Sevigny, President of the MES Fund, with regard to our work together. It was a productive weekend. We wish those starting the 2017-2018 school year much inspiration and discovery ahead! Respectfully, Your AMI/USA Board

Read More +

2019 Refresher Course Keynote Speaker

We are excited to announce the keynote address for the 2019 Refresher Course & Workshops in New Orleans!  Challenges  and  Opportunities:  Why  Poverty  Matters  and  Why  Schools  Can  Matter  More  Tammy Pawloski, Ph.D.Life  with  limited  resources  can  negatively  impact  achievement  and  life  success,  but  the  good news  is  that  schools  and  teachers  can  matter  more! The  latest  research  from  neuroscience provides  direction  for  intentional  school  and  teacher  moves  that  can  dramatically  and  positively shift  the  trajectory  for  all  students. Learn  how  to  reframe  the  challenges  faced  by  teachers  in high-poverty  schools  as  opportunities  for  revealing  the  often-hidden  potential  of  every  learner every day. Tammy Pawloski is Professor of Education and Director of the Center of Excellence to Prepare Teachers of Children of Poverty at Francis Marion University.  She holds a Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina, and prior to joining the faculty of FMU in 2000, she served on the faculties of USC in South Carolina, and Ventura College and Pepperdine University in Southern California. — The theme for the 2019 Refresher Course & Workshops will be: The Child’s Place in Time. The Refresher Course will take place at the Sheraton New Orleans hotel February 15-18, 2019. More information about workshops and presenters will be available on the website soon! Early bird registration will open in October. If you have yet to book a room at the Sheraton New Orleans hotel, please click here to reserve a room as part of the AMI/USA group block. Alternatively, you may call 888-627-7033 and ask for Association Montessori International group rate. We look forward to seeing you in February!

Read More +

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.

Read More +

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.

Read More +

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

Read More +

Second Overflow Hotel for New Orleans

We are happy to announce that we have secured rooms at a second overflow hotel, just four minutes walk from the Sheraton, where the Refresher Course will be taking place. To make room reservations at the Wyndham New Orleans – French Quarter, please visit: https://www.wyndhamhotels.com/groups/hr/ami-usa-refresher-course1.

Read More +

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

Read More +

Refresher Course Overflow Hotel

We know that for some the reservation process at the Sheraton New Orleans has been a challenge. It has been a challenge for the AMI/USA office as well, but we are glad that we were able to help nearly everyone who reached out to us. The Sheraton New Orleans, however, has informed us that we are now officially sold out. Our overflow hotel is the Intercontinental New Orleans which is a 7-minute walk from our home-base at the Sheraton New Orleans. Prices are $189 for single and double rooms, $219 for triple rooms and $249 for quad rooms. For reservations, please contact the hotel by calling 1-800-439-4745, or go online to https://book.passkey.com/event/49805430/owner/110/home.

Read More +

2019 Refresher Course Brochure

We are excited to release the brochure for the 2019 Refresher Course & Workshops in New Orleans, February 15-18, 2019. Download the brochure. You have the option of printing the brochure and cutting out the registration form and mailing it to: AMI/USA 206 N Washington St, Ste 330 Alexandria, VA 22314 Alternatively, you can register online (recommended). To view updates about the 2019 Refresher Course & Workshops, visit https://amiusa.org/2019-refresher-course/.

Read More +

2019 Refresher Course Speakers

We are excited to announce the 2019 Refresher Course speakers! Our annual Refresher Course & Workshops will take place in New Orleans, February 15-18. 2019. We are looking forward to the energy that this historic city will lend to our gathering of Montessorians from across the country (and beyond!) and hope our participants come away from the event feeling energized and enthusiastic! The Child’s Place in Time is the theme for the 2019 Refresher Course. We can’t wait to see what kind of discussions are generated around this topic. The venue for the 2019 Refresher Course & Workshops will be the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel. Please click here to reserve a room as part of the AMI/USA group block. Alternatively, you may call 888-627-7033 and ask for Association Montessori International group rate. Stay tuned for information about alternative accommodations in New Orleans. Registration, along with our full digital brochure, will be coming in October. Please continue checking the website for additional updates about our speakers. We can’t wait to see you in February! Assistants to Infancy The Child’s Place in Time: Adaptation and the Spiritual Value  of Work Sharlyn Smith, international trainer, presenter, and AMI examiner. Sharlyn holds AMI diplomas at the 0-3 and 3-6 levels and has more than 25 years of classroom experience as well as experience as head of school. She is the 0-3 Director of Training at the Montessori Training Center of St. Louis. Primary “Unperverted by Prejudice and Undistorted by Fear” The Universal Child’s Sensorial Journey to Cultural Human Ginni Sackett, Director of Pedagogy at AMI, is an AMI trainer at the 3-6 level, as well as a lecturer, consultant, and examiner, with over 35 years of experience in Montessori education. Elementary A Deep Dive into Deep Time: The Goldmine of Story in the Timeline  of Life and the Timelines of Humans Carla Foster, Director of Elementary Training at the Montessori Training Center Northeast and the Montessori Institute of Prague. She holds AMI diplomas at the 3-6 and 6-12 levels and has been an elementary trainer since 2011. She was a keynote speaker at the 2017 International Congress.

Read More +

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.

Read More +

Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos’ Announcement

Dear AMI/USA Community, Do you feel the energy? Have you heard the buzz? If you haven’t then you certainly will soon as Montessorians in the United States learn about the $2 billion committed by Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos, and his wife MacKenzie to fund non-profit work supporting homeless families and to create “Montessori-inspired” preschools in low income areas. It is exciting to think that our desire to make Montessori education more accessible will receive support on this scale, and you can be certain that AMI/USA and AMI global will be working collaboratively with other Montessori organizations to ensure that our offer of support to Mr. Bezos and his team is heard. Our collective expertise in child development and Montessori education practiced with integrity could be invaluable to this effort. Here is Mr. Bezos statement excerpted from BusinessInsider.com: — I talk often about the importance of maintaining a Day 1 mentality. It’s always Day 1, and I work hard to apply that mindset to everything I do. It was a Day 1 outlook that made me reach out to ask for suggestions on approaches to philanthropy last year. By so many important measures the world keeps getting better, and it’s one of the fantastic aspects of human nature that we humans never stop looking for (and finding!) ways to improve things. Our lives are better than our great grandparents’ lives, and their lives were better than their great grandparents’ lives before them. If our own great grandchildren don’t have lives better than ours, something has gone very wrong. Where’s the good in the world, and how can we spread it? Where are the opportunities to make things better?These are exciting questions. MacKenzie and I share a belief in the potential for hard work from anyone to serve others. We all have that capacity. Business innovators who invent products that empower, authors who write books that inspire, government officials who serve their communities, teachers, doctors, carpenters, entertainers who make us laugh and cry, parents who raise children who go on to live lives of compassion, and many more. In addition to Amazon my areas of focus so far have included investment in the future of our planet and civilization through the development of foundational space infrastructure, support of American democracy through stewardship of the Washington Post, and financial contributions to the dedicated and innovative champions of a variety of causes, from cancer research, to marriage equality, to college scholarships for immigrant students, to decreasing political polarization through cross-partisan support of principled, next-generation military vets running for Congress. We’re excited today to announce the Bezos Day One Fund. It will begin with a commitment of $2 billion and focus on two areas: funding existing non-profits that help homeless families, and creating a network of new, non-profit, tier-one preschools in low-income communities. The Day 1 Families Fund will issue annual leadership awards to organizations and civic groups doing compassionate, needle-moving work to provide shelter and hunger support to address the immediate needs of young families. […]

Read More +

2019 Refresher Course Keynote Speaker

We are excited to announce the keynote address for the 2019 Refresher Course & Workshops in New Orleans!  Challenges  and  Opportunities:  Why  Poverty  Matters  and  Why  Schools  Can  Matter  More  Tammy Pawloski, Ph.D. Life  with  limited  resources  can  negatively  impact  achievement  and  life  success,  but  the  good news  is  that  schools  and  teachers  can  matter  more! The  latest  research  from  neuroscience provides  direction  for  intentional  school  and  teacher  moves  that  can  dramatically  and  positively shift  the  trajectory  for  all  students. Learn  how  to  reframe  the  challenges  faced  by  teachers  in high-poverty  schools  as  opportunities  for  revealing  the  often-hidden  potential  of  every  learner every day. Tammy Pawloski is Professor of Education and Director of the Center of Excellence to Prepare Teachers of Children of Poverty at Francis Marion University.  She holds a Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina, and prior to joining the faculty of FMU in 2000, she served on the faculties of USC in South Carolina, and Ventura College and Pepperdine University in Southern California. — The theme for the 2019 Refresher Course & Workshops will be: The Child’s Place in Time. The Refresher Course will take place at the Sheraton New Orleans hotel February 15-18, 2019. More information about workshops and presenters will be available on the website soon! Early bird registration will open in October. If you have yet to book a room at the Sheraton New Orleans hotel, please click here to reserve a room as part of the AMI/USA group block. Alternatively, you may call 888-627-7033 and ask for Association Montessori International group rate. We look forward to seeing you in February!

Read More +

Refresher Course 2019 Hotel

We are excited to announce that the hotel for the 2019 Refresher Course and Workshops – The Sheraton New Orleans Hotel – is ready to accept your room reservations! Please click here to reserve a room as part of the AMI/USA group block. Alternatively, you may call 888-627-7033 and ask for Association Montessori International group rate. We look forward to seeing you in February!

Read More +

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.

Read More +

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.

Read More +

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.

Read More +

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

Read More +

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!

Read More +

Remembering Elizabeth Hall

Elizabeth Gardner Hall of Denver, Colorado, a longtime trainer of teachers at the primary and assistants to infancy level, died after a brief illness on May 19, 2018. Ms. Hall, 83, was a staple in the Montessori community in Denver and around the globe. Ms. Hall was trained by the Association Montessori International from birth to three years (Dr. Silvana Montanaro), three to six (Margaret Elizabeth Stephenson) and six to twelve (Camillo Grazzini). Her Montessori legacy is The Montessori Institute which she founded with Judith Orion in Denver, Colorado in 1989. Ms. Hall was a piano teacher prior to discovering Montessori. She began her Montessori career as a teacher in 1964. She co-founded several Montessori schools and was a leading figure in Montessori school administration. After teaching for about 10 years, she began her teacher training career in the Washington, DC area at The Washington Montessori Institute. Over her lifetime she also trained in the Philippines, Australia, and Denver, Colorado. Additionally, Ms. Hall was an examiner and consultant nationally as well as internationally at the 0-3 and 3-6 levels. Outside of her life as an educator, Ms. Hall followed her passion for music. She attended Westminster Choir College and earned a degree in music. She regularly participated in concerts as a contralto and was a member of the Sweet Adelines, her church choir and the Windcrest chorus. Ms. Hall especially enjoyed singing with the Colorado Symphony in the holiday performance “Too Hot to Handel,” conducted by Marin Alsop, for several seasons. A memorial is scheduled for June 23, 2018 at The Montessori Institute from 4:00-5:00. Donations can be made to The Montessori Institute or the Sweet Adelines International.

Read More +

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.

Read More +

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.

Read More +

Remembering Dr. Silvana Montanaro

Dr. Silvana Quattrocchi Montanaro, AMI Trainer and author passed on March 30, 2018. Dr. Montanaro was instrumental in the revitalisation of AMI’s 0-3 course and in training many of AMI’s leading 0-3 trainers and practitioners. Her work embodied the vision and spirit of Maria Montessori and lives on in all the children and adults with whom she both directly and indirectly interacted. Please see the tribute to her contribution which Karin Salzmann created in 2010.

Read More +

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!

Read More +

Keynote Address from Gretchen Hall

If you are one of the 1200 people that attended the 2018 Refresher Course & Workshops in Phoenix, AZ and were able to attend the Friday night Keynote Address, you know how inspiring AMI/USA Board President Gretchen Hall’s speech was. In addition to the brilliant Alice Waters, who was the main speaker, we heard from Alyssa Schwartz, Interim Executive Director of AMI/USA, Gretchen Hall, Board President, and Phillip O’Brien, AMI Board President. Many have asked for Gretchen’s speech, and we are happy to make it available here for all to enjoy and share. Very best, The AMI/USA Team Download a PDF of the speech here. Keynote Address – Gretchen Hall AMI/USA Refresher Course Phoenix, AZ  February 16, 2018 Sixteen years ago I attended my first refresher course, on the advice of a consultant.  I was at once, awed and intimidated by the greater community and yet felt a connection to something bigger than my isolated work as a teacher.  Since that day, I have attended every refresher course and my roles in the AMI community have evolved from teacher to administrator, consultant, trainer, presenter and as President of AMI/USA.   From my experiences, I stand here today with a very different perspective of our community than from that naive teacher of 16 years ago. It is from this perspective that tonight I would like to share with you a vision and an appeal. From where I stand, the AMI movement in the USA is standing at a precipice – with beautiful vistas on the horizon and a terrifying view of the chasm below.  How did we get here and how do we move forward is what we need to reflect on today. At the core of AMI’s mission is to preserve the legacy of Dr. Maria Montessori.  We have worked hard to preserve that legacy and today we enjoy a reputation of quality implementation and high standards.  Yet we have paid a price for this recognition.  In preserving, we became protective.  We fervently held onto the past and protected it from those who threatened it.   Just as a mother protects her baby, the protection originated from a source of love and devotion.  But as we know, too much protection is an obstacle to growth and over time we got in our own way.  We became exclusive and were critical and judgmental of those who thought differently.  Our movement became divided and fractured, even amongst ourselves.  Individual needs were placed above the needs of the community.  In protecting the past, we put the present and the future in jeopardy and we created chasms.  A culture of “them ” vs “us” evolved, a sentiment which is disturbingly reflected in our politics today.   We began to measure others on how “Montessori” they are and we used the term “Montesomething” to discredit and devalue others.  Classifying ourselves as “trained” and “non-trained” divided us further.  We boast that our pedagogy lays the foundation for social cohesion, yet we have failed to achieve cohesion in our own community. Dr. […]

Read More +

Refresher Course Certificate Requests

Refresher Course certificates of attendance are available by email or mail (with a $5 processing fee). To request your own certificate, please click here. If you are requesting a number of certificates for a school, please download this certificate request form to your desktop and return it completed to the AMI/USA office. Please note Adobe Acrobat Pro or later is required to complete this form. If you do not have Adobe Acrobat Pro, please email us to request an Excel version.

Read More +

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

Read More +

AMI/USA Welcomes New Board Members

The AMI/USA Board would like to announce the selection of KaLinda Bass-Barlow and Connie Black to serve on the Board of Directors. KaLinda and Connie were selected from a pool of excellent candidates and bring both a wealth of experience and a diversity of perspective to the governance of AMI/USA. The Board looks forward to the contributions of KaLinda and Connie as we serve our mission of bringing the principles of Dr. Maria Montessori to the education of children through its support and advancement of the AMI Montessori community in the United States. KaLinda Bass-Barlow is mother of four remarkable young men and a passionate Montessori educator. She currently serves as the Principal of Harold Holliday Montessori School, a public Montessori School in Kansas City, Missouri. KaLinda has been dedicated to the field of education for 13 years, and has served in urban school districts in Houston, Texas and Kansas City and overseas in Abu Dhabi, UAE. As an administrator, KaLinda has been shaped by the successful school leaders that have influenced and molded who she is as a leader. While relatively new to Montessori, KaLinda is committed to providing access to quality Montessori education to all children. She is currently working towards her AMI Primary Teacher Training at the Montessori Institute of North Texas. She is honored to work in collaboration with the AMI/USA Board to serve the AMI Montessori community. An AMI 3-6 Trainer, Connie Black currently serves as Director of Outreach programs at the Montessori Center of Minnesota. In that role, she oversees their AMI EsF recognized Montessori Partners Serving All Children initiative, whose mission is to provide exceptional, quality early childhood education experiences for underserved communities. Connie also serves as Director of Training for the Montessori Training Center Northeast satellite three-summer course, offered in Boston 2017-2019. She also serves as an AMI consultant and examiner. Connie holds a B.A. in English and Theatre from the University of Tennessee Martin and a M.Ed. from Loyola University of Maryland. She has 15 years of experience in Montessori Children’s Houses, as well as 8 years in public school settings working with children with special needs. With over ten years of experience implementing “Montessori Year Round” as well as “Montessori All Day,” Connie is interested in seeing Montessori education being made more broadly available to all children. Her three children are now grown, and she finds great joy in being “Grand” to four grandchildren. Connie lives with her husband, Lynn, in Duluth, Minnesota.

Read More +

AMI/USA Bookstore Schedule

The AMI/USA Bookstore will be closed February 15-19 while our staff works to make the 2018 Refresher Course a successful and productive event. Please place orders before Wednesday at 12 noon ET or wait until Tuesday, February 20. We look forward to seeing everyone in Phoenix!

Read More +

Refresher Course 2018 Speakers

We are excited to announce the speakers for the 2018 Refresher Course! Learn more about our speakers below. The 2018 Refresher Course & Workshops will take place at the Arizona Grand Resort in Phoenix, AZ. Click here to make a room reservation using the AMI group rate. Assistants to Infancy Maria Teresa (Chacha) Vidales is an AMI Director of Training at the Assistants to Infancy Level at the Montessori Training Centre of British Columbia. She has directed courses in Dallas, Texas, China and Australia. She also co-directed the Assistants to Infancy Course in Japan and San Diego, and collaborated with the course in Denver. Maria Teresa serves as AMI examiner, consultant, lecturer, and workshop leader. Maria Teresa also holds the AMI Primary diploma. She has operated a school in Mexico since 1989, and has been working with children close to thirty years. Chacha also served on the AMI Board of Directors. Primary Jennifer Shields is a director of AMI primary training for the Washington Montessori Institute at Loyola University Maryland. Jennifer holds both the AMI Primary and Assistants to Infancy diplomas. She earned a B.A. in English Literature from Georgetown University and an M.Ed. from Cleveland State University. Since her lucky start as an assistant in an AMI class in 1990, Jennifer has participated in the Montessori community in a variety of roles. She is an examiner and consultant for AMI. Jennifer loves observing in classrooms, coaching teachers and teacher trainees, working with parents, and spreading the insights made by Dr. Montessori to anyone willing to listen, most recently to primary teacher trainees in Geneva, Switzerland. Jennifer delights in her three young-adult children, and in her wonderful husband. She relishes a daily ramble (especially with her German shepherd), reads novels and newspapers religiously, and cooks vegetarian meals in her free time. Elementary Jamie Rue is the Director of Elementary Training at Washington Montessori Institute at Loyola University Maryland. 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 and is a past vice-chair/treasurer of the AMI Elementary Alumni Association. Jamie presents at workshops and conferences around the world, but is happiest when at home with her husband and two teenage daughters. Assistants Maria del Coral Ruiz received her AMI primary diploma from the Centro Internazionale Maria Montessori, Perugia, Italy. She is a primary trainer, examiner and lecturer with AMI, and has over 25 years of Montessori experience as head of school in Puebla, and Monterrey, México. She has had training responsibilities in Puebla, México, Hang Zhou, China, Houston, Texas, U.S.A, San José, Costa Rica, Quito, Ecuador, Murcia, Spain and Montpellier, France. She spent many years working with abandoned and living in the street children in Puebla by providing Montessori experiences on different environment sets. Parents Kristi […]

Read More +

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 […]

Read More +

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.

Read More +

Refresher Course Diversity Forum

The entire AMI community is invited to come together at the 2018 Refresher Course in Phoenix to discuss what actions we can take to welcome the diverse future ahead. This open conversation will take place 5:00-6:00pm on Friday, February 16. For more information or to RSVP, please email Alyssa Schwartz.

Read More +

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.

Read More +

Register for the 2018 Refresher Course

Registration is now open for the 2018 Refresher Course & Workshops. We are excited to offer a full slate of workshops in addition to the main lecture sessions, all related to the 2018 theme: The Complete Classroom: Preparing the Intangible Environment. Look through the digital brochure (below) to view speaker info, workshop and session descriptions, registration info, hotel info, and more. Register online here. Please note: Monday’s Workshop A is now about AMI’s Bold Goal. Please visit our special events page to learn more. The NAMTA Adolescent Workshop will once again be held concurrently with the Refresher Course.  Please click here to learn more and click here to register. Make sure to book your hotel room at The Arizona Grand Resort soon in order to secure a room at the AMI group rate. Click here to book your room or call the on-site reservations department at 877.800.4888 to make your reservation with the AMI group rate. **AMI/USA’s room block at the Arizona Grand Resort is already completely booked.  Click here to view our overflow hotel options.**  View the digital brochure.

Read More +

New Refresher Course Events

Several special events will take place at this year’s Refresher Course and Workshops!  Details on locations will be available in your registration folder when you arrive in Phoenix. Friday Diversity Forum Gather to discuss what actions we, the AMI community, can take to welcome the diverse future ahead.  This open conversation will take place 5:00-6:00pm. It Takes a Village During the Keynote Address on Friday night, AMI/USA and NAMTA will present NAMTA’s newest film.  “It Takes a Village” is a short documentary demonstrating Lynedoch Sustainability Institute’s Ecovillage. Lynedoch Ecovillage is a small community approximately 12 km outside Stellenbosch, South Africa. Located midway between two very different environments, Lynedoch navigates a progressive approach to socially, racially, and economically integrated and inclusive community living. Gardens, woodlands, and home landscapes are surrounded by a small mountain range and creek to create a living and learning community of beauty and sustainability. The ecovillage includes a Montessori school for children to age 6. Book Signing Please join us immediately following the Keynote Address for a book signing with Alice Waters.  Copies of her new book, Coming to My Senses, will be available for purchase at the AMI/USA Bookstore. Saturday Yoga AMI Primary teacher and yogi Sarah Dosmann will once again offer early morning yoga sessions 7:00–8:00 a.m. in the hotel on Saturday & Sunday to help fellow participants become focused and centered in anticipation of the busy day ahead. School Tours School tours will be held at four AMI-recognized schools in the Phoenix area, beginning at 6:00pm: Keystone Montessori: Charter School. Toddler, Children’s House, Lower Elementary, Upper Elementary, Adolescents Creo Montessori Community: Private School. Toddler, Children’s House, Lower Elementary, Upper Elementary Tempe Montessori School: Private School. Nido, Toddler House, Children’s House, Lower Elementary Augustus H. Shaw Jr. Montessori: Public Montessori School. Children’s House, Lower Elementary, Upper Elementary, Adolescent Sign up to reserve your spot for School Tour Transportation.  The ticket will include round-trip transportation to two AMI schools and back to the Arizona Grand Resort and Spa. Please contact Lauren Franchek with questions specific to School Tours. Sunday EAA Business Meeting At AMI-EAA’s annual business meeting, held Sunday morning 7:30-8:45am, we meet with members at the Refresher Course to: update members on events of the last year, discuss past and future summer conferences, inform membership about board transitions/introduce new additions, discuss outreach to Elementary teachers both domestic and international, introduce current pedagogues, look for ways to strengthen and serve mission – supporting elementary teachers in their work, answer member questions/queries At our upcoming meeting in Phoenix, we will be welcoming Melinda Nielsen and Regina Cyvas onto the board as Allyson Creel (Chair) and Wendy Tye (Outreach Coordinator) cycle off.  We are grateful for all of Allyson and Wendy’s years of dedication to AMI-EAA and we look forward to working with Melinda and Regina. This year’s Annual Summer Conference will be on July 17-22, 2018 at the University of Colorado-Boulder.  To submit a proposal to present, please click here. Yoga AMI Primary teacher and yogi Sarah Dosmann will once again offer early morning yoga sessions 7:00–8:00 a.m. in the hotel on Saturday & Sunday to help fellow participants […]

Read More +

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.

Read More +

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.

Read More +

Bookstore Holiday Schedule

The AMI/USA Bookstore will be closed for business during the week of Thanksgiving (November 20-24, 2017) and from December 25, 2017 through January 1, 2018. You will still be able to place orders online, but they will not be processed until the bookstore has reopened for business. Anyone urgently needing books before these dates should place their orders BEFORE 12:00 P.M. (Eastern Time) on Friday, November 17 and Friday, December 22. Please keep in mind that the AMI/USA Bookstore can only process orders during regular business hours (M-F, 8:30 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.) and therefore does not process orders on weekends. We look forward to fulfilling your orders. If you have any questions or concerns, you may contact sarah@amiusa.org.

Read More +

Overflow Hotel for 2018 Refresher Course

Additional sleeping rooms for 2018 Refresher Course participants are available at the Best Western Plus Tempe by the Mall. +free parking and wifi +hot breakfast +free airport shuttle +free shuttle to/from the Arizona Grand Resort. **Guests must reserve shuttle service to the Arizona Grand Resort when they check in at the front desk.** To make a room reservation at the Best Western Plus Tempe by the Mall for the special rate of $149/night, please call 480-820-7500 and refer to the Association Montessori International/USA rate. Room reservations must be made by February 2, 2018 in order to take advantage of AMI/USA’s special rate.

Read More +

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.

Read More +

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 […]

Read More +

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.

Read More +