News Type: News Items

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service – January 16, 2023

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service – January 16, 2023 On this day of service, the nation will honor the memory and tireless work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  On this day, and after it passes, all educators, from all backgrounds, will be well served by continuing to critically examine his philosophy regarding the purpose of education in our society, particularly for children of color.  Dr. King’s dream for education was “far grander than integration alone”. He envisioned education to be quantitatively and qualitatively equitable.   “It seems to me that education has a two-fold function to perform in the life of man and in society: the one is utility and the other is culture.  Education must enable a man to become more efficient and to achieve, with increasing facility, the legitimate goals of his life.”  This philosophy and ideology align with the basis of the Montessori movement founder Maria Montessori’s belief that, “This is education, understood as a help to life; an education from birth, which feeds a peaceful revolution and unites all in a common aim, attracting them as to a single center.” Historically, some marginalized communities within the United States, including African American communities, identify with Dr. Montessori’s message of inclusion and hope.  We are on the cusp of Black History Month.  It is the perfect time to explore the question posed by the great African American poet, Langston Hughes, in his historical poem, “What Happens to a Dream Deferred?” and to address if the current Montessori movement has succumbed to gradualism or is intentionally moving toward systematic equity… that complex combination of interrelated elements consciously designed to create, support, and sustain social justice.  Are Montessorians using personal and collective power and privilege, to, as past Montessori parent, advocate and philanthropist Kyle Galbraith expresses, “put our focus on justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion as a logical outgrowth of our spiritual understanding of the Oneness of all life?”  Have Montessorians realized that “all lives are intrinsically interconnected, we cannot create a world that works for ourselves and our loved ones unless it also works for everyone else?” This is service to humanity. In honor of Dr. King and educational philosophy and work to bring equity into all schools, please join a diverse panel of Montessorians as they discuss how power and privilege in the Montessori community can be used to realize the dream of right of entry and justice in all Montessori spaces.   Panel Participants Sheri Bishop, AMI/USA Human Rights and Social Justice Advisor, Moderator Maia Blankenship, Co-CEO, Black Wildflower Funds Jimmy and Kyle Galbraith, Past Montessori Parents, Montessori Advocates, and Philanthropists Fatima Green, Assistant and Montessori Primary Level Trainee, Lee Montessori Public Charter School Sinuda Kapalczynski, Head of School/Guide, Fulton Montessori School BethAnn Slater, Head of School, Middleburg Montessori School and AMI/USA Primary Trainer Alex Brown, Advisory Board member, Black Montessori Education Fund Link to Registration: https://amiusa.org/2023-jedi-series-registration/

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In Memoriam Tribute: Martha Urioste

Dr. Martha Urioste October 2, 1937 – December 8, 2022 Community, With a heavy heart we announce the passing of Dr. Martha Urioste. She transitioned from this world Thursday, December 8, 2022. Dr. Martha was one of the first persons to bring Montessori to the public sector in Colorado. She was among the first Hispanic-American counselors in the Denver Public Schools, established Family Star – a national 0 – 3 Early Head Start Center based on the Montessori research model, and published her book, The Family Star Story in 2016. Her memorial service will be live-streamed December 19th, 2022 at 10:00 am MST the following link. Su servicio conmemorativo estará disponible (en vivo) el 19 de diciembre a las 10 de la mañana MST con este enlace:https://www.warwickproductions.com/memorial-livestream-broadcast/dr-martha-urioste/?fbclid=IwAR0HoKj5RU1Bl5V9vFXMDfpaDD4dbUH_P1cgXnrkFyFqPNHwV7IrY1Cqaco A touching tribute from Denver Public Schools is available and linked below. To read the full tribute, click here. It is also available in Spanish, Arabic, and Vietnamese on the DPS site. Nos entristece profundamente el fallecimiento de nuestra estimada amiga, colega, madrina de la educación Montessori y antigua líder y defensora de la educación bilingüe en las Escuelas Públicas de Denver (DPS, por su sigla en inglés), la Dra. Martha Urioste.  Para leer el homenaje completo en español, haga clic aquí en el sitio de Escuelas Públicas de Denver. También está disponible en inglés, árabe y vietnamita. In lieu of flowers, Urioste’s family is asking people to donate to Family Star, which has a scholarship fund named after Urioste. You may give through the donation link here. En vez de flores, la familia de Urioste está pidiendo a la gente que done a Family Star, que tiene un fondo de becas en honor de Urioste. Pueden donar con este enlace de donaciones.  

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Gratitude for The National Day of Mourning

Gratitude for The National Day of Mourning By: Siobhan Growing Elm Brown, Mashpee Wampanoag As a member of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, my elders taught me that to be Wampanoag is to live in a state of gratitude. To me, walking in gratitude means acknowledging the gifts of Creator; the natural world, my family and community, our homelands, our language, and our children. This time of year is my favorite in the natural world. The photosynthesis, the vibrant colors, the crisp and cool air, which leads us in the Northeast to warm sweaters and hot apple pie. It can also be a challenging time for Indigenous people, particularly for Eastern Woodlands tribes. While we welcome opportunities to share our culture with the world and to educate others of our history with accuracy often missing from the curriculum, we are also confronted with the calls and inquiries that increase during this time. If you are part of an organization that only calls on Indigenous presenters in November, we invite you to interrogate this practice. Indigenous History is History. Indigenous people are also present in the here and now with a vibrant culture and way of living on this land; all of the Americas are Indigenous lands. The history of this land is often overlooked and this couldn’t be more glaring than by the flurry of activity November brings. Again, while we welcome the opportunity to represent our culture, we also remember the importance of living in gratitude. There was this same flurry of activity in the fall of 1970. Wamsutta Frank James, an Aquinnah Wampanoag tribal member, was invited to speak at a prestigious event in Massachusetts to commemorate the 350th anniversary honoring the arrival of the Mayflower on the shores of Wampanoag Land. Several days prior to the gala, James obliged a request to review the speech and was notified a few days later that he would not be allowed to give it. The message was deemed “inflammatory” and “out of place” at the celebratory event. After refusing to give a speech that was written by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts event organizers, James, joined by hundreds of Native activists including Everett Tall Oak Weeden  (Narragansett) and allies, gathered in Plymouth and observed the first National Day of Mourning.1 Every Thanksgiving day, since 1970, James’ speech has been delivered on Cole Hill in Plymouth. Native Americans gather, first with a spirit of gratitude and honor for the land, the ancestors, and the resilience of our voices despite the attempts to silence them. The day is recognized with ceremony, songs and a march. In addition to James’ speech, other messages are offered that represent the importance of centering Native American voices rather than silencing them in the name of perpetuating a myth. “History wants us to believe that the Indian was a savage, illiterate, uncivilized animal. A history that was written by an organized, disciplined people, to expose us as an unorganized and undisciplined entity. Two distinctly different cultures met. One thought […]

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The 2022 JEDI Series

AMI/USA is excited to kick-off our 2022 justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) Webinar Series.  As our 2020 Racial Equity Statement declares, “We acknowledge that building and maintaining an inclusive, racially equitable culture will be never-ending and that ever-lasting transformation requires courage, persistence, unwavering commitment, and individual and collective accountability.  We encourage all members, especially those that identify as an ally, social justice activist, anti-bias/anti-racist educator, social justice healer and/or an artistic and creative storyteller, to lift your voices and together let us all participate in this transformational journey.  “Today an urgent need imposes itself upon society: the reconstruction of methods in education and instruction, and [they] who fight for this cause, fights for human regeneration.”” (Montessori, 2014) Indigenizing Montessori Through Personal Reflection and Intentional Preparation At AMI/USA we are intentional about how we hold space for our collective work.  We recognize that we are on Indigenous land and give gratitude for the original stewards of the land. November is Native American Heritage Month.  It is a celebratory time to acknowledge the unique contributions made by Indigenous Peoples. Yet sadly, cultural erasure is still a reality.  This month offers an opportunity to remember the entirety of our nation’s history — including and especially Native American history, the systemic issues still faced today, and the supportive, uplifting action non-Indigenous people can take to right historical wrongs.  In defiance of this erasure, it is imperative for educators to educate in a way that highlights and affirms the Indigenous lives, culture and tradition prior to what is now America.  It will also serve us well to honor their current and active presence in the struggle to reclaim sacred lands and rightful place in this nation. Join an AMI/USA sponsored virtual discussion to amplify the diverse and rich histories of Indigenous People.  Exploring inspiring stories that come from the source of the culture which we now seek to appreciate and acknowledge can be a foundation for truthful teaching.  This will require us to continuously be students with open minds, open hearts, and hold the intentions of being a guest in someone else’s territory.  Working with Indigenous communities, we can create purposeful and intentionally structured prepared environments.  Sinuda Kapalczynski and Sheri Bishop will guide participants through a conversation that centers important topics from Indigenous land acknowledgements to the Montessori prepared environment, and the prepared classroom cultures that amplify genuine Indigenous narratives.             Thursday, November 10, 2022 at 7pm EDT: Online Location: Zoom – Register Now! Webinar Master:  AMI/USA Registration:  AMI/USA is pleased to offer webinars at little to no cost for participants.  In support of Native American Heritage Month, we highly encourage participants to make an online donation upon registration, during or after the event.  A portion of the proceeds will go to support the work of First Nations Development Institute, a non-profit organization whose mission is “to strengthen American Indian economies to support healthy Native communities.” Sinuda Kapalczynski, M.Ed. Sinuda graduated from St. Catherine’s University with a Primary certification and […]

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The AMI/USA Montessori Experience, Refresher Courses & More!

Announcing the 2023 AMI/USA Montessori Experience, Refresher Courses and More! Join us in Baltimore, MD from February 17 – 20, 2023 for a weekend to focus on the Spiritual Preparation of the guide in service to all children. Each track and offering will provide a unique perspective on this important topic from our vibrant community of presenters and speakers including Dr. Donna Hicks, Sarah Werner Andrews, M.Ed., Koren Clark, M.Ed., Paula Lillard Preschlack, M.Ed. and many more dynamic leaders in our community. Learn more about presenters and speakers here.   Click here to register

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National Study of Montessori Teacher Dispositions: SOFA

Researchers want to hear from you! A research study designed to learn more about what AMI Certified Montessori Teachers with students ages 3 – 6 years in the United States report regarding scientific observation for assessment as a disposition and as a disposition in action. RESEARCH FLYER_National Study of Montessori Teacher Dispositions Scientific Observation for AssessmentV2  

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Exciting Study – Montessori for Neurodivergent Students

AMI/USA wants to understand Montessori teachers’ and administrators’ experiences with supporting students with developmental disabilities or delays. So, you are invited to participate in a research study & take a FREE online course on the Use and Implementation of the Ages and Stages Questionnaires (ASQ) in Montessori settings. Click the link below for details. AMI-USA ASQ Recruitment Flyer (1)

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Indigenous Peoples Day 2022 – Beyond Land Acknowledgements

How do we come to the circle? At AMI/USA we are intentional about how we hold space for our collective work.  On this Indigenous Peoples Day, we recognize that we are on Indigenous land and give gratitude for the original stewards of the land. Moving beyond land acknowledgements is a journey of deep listening and reflection. Today we turn to Human Rights and Social Justice Advisor, Sheri Bishop as she shares her journey with us.  This excerpt is from our recent Montessori Regional Conference in the Missouria Nation, home to the Osage and Niutachi tribes, also known as Kansas City, MO. Indigenous People and Land Acknowledgement AMI/USA Regional Conference Kansas City, MO I thank you for the opportunity to guide you to a disposition of reverence as we honor the Indigenous nations and land now known as Missouri. The two original and most powerful tribes to hold the lands, the Osage tribe and the Niutachi tribe that were a part of the Missouria nation, and about 7 other tribes reigned on millions of acres between the time the Europeans arrived and the 1830 Indigenous Relocation Act. Today and there is not one Native reservation in the state. We know that the land was stolen using intentionally misleading and fraudulent treaties and land deals. We should also recognize that racism, actions that were perpetuated by greed, and the intentional destructive laws in five crucial areas destroyed this Native community. Native economies were devastated, Native cultures were dismantled, Native spiritual practices and worship sites were stamped out, children were separated from their parents and sent to residential boarding schools to be acculturated and assimilated; some to never return. Tribal powers of self-government and self-determination were eradicated. I respect the nations of Indigenous People who presently live on this land and in area…the Chickasaw, Delaware, Illini, Kanza, Ioway, Otoe-Missouria, Quapaw, Sac & Fox, and Shawnee tribes that spent time here protecting and nurturing the land, waters, and all of nature for the generations that were destined to follow. I respect the roughly 26,000 Indigenous people (4% of the population) now living in Missouri that continue to honor the earth. Intellectually, I know that Land Acknowledgements are only a basic, first step on the way to addressing the ongoing inequities, systemic injustice and genocide faced by Indigenous people. The only true justice that follows an acknowledgement is Land Back action. As an individual I do not yet know how I can amplify and support Land Back efforts. I will start by routinely donating even a small amount to Indigenous organizations that drive this cause. Today I ask you to do the same. I also know that all over this country, upon the unyielded lands of the Native people are buildings and great wealth built by the hands, and resting on the backs, of the stolen labor from my people, my African and African American ancestors. The only true justice that can right this reality are fair and equitable reparations. I recognize that as in […]

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Orange Shirt Day, Every Child Matters

Image and beadwork design by Tia Marie Pocknett© Orange Shirt Day – September 30th  This summer, I had the opportunity to meet my biological family in Canada–my Mi’kmaq family.  My homecoming was filled with a spectrum of feelings that I found myself unable to describe to my family, my husband, my coworkers, and my friends.  For the longest time, I have wanted to connect with them and I was finally getting this moment. During my reunification visit, I met Aunts, Uncles, Sisters, Brothers, and most importantly, the Matriarch of my family.  In the beginning, the stories of my mother and grandmother were stories of minor trauma but trickled with happiness and laughter.  Through this happiness, my aunt began to tell me a small account of her experience at a Residential School. I remember as soon as the words “Residential School” left her mouth, my back straightened and my complete focus was upon her.  She told me how much she hated being there and how she needed to get back home.  So, she did what most children who were lucky enough to do, and that was to run back home to her mother. She was a lucky one who made it back; many children who tried to escape these schools either fell victim to inclement weather and natural physical land conditions that made the journey too difficult, or were recaptured and dragged back to these schools. Her return was short-lived, as she was brought back to the residential school.  I could feel her anger, her sadness, but most importantly her strength in her words as she shared a minuscule story.  I knew better than to ask any more questions about her experience; I knew I was meant to listen to her account. “On September 30, 2021, Canada will hold its first-ever statutory holiday observation of Orange Shirt Day, also known as the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, to commemorate the missing and murdered children from residential schools and honor the healing journey of residential school survivors. Orange Shirt Day has been widely observed since 2013 to raise awareness about the residential school system and its impact on Indigenous communities for over a century.” (Garcia). Spirit Walks and calls for recognition around Orange Shirt Day in Canada are growing larger each year.  The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) was organized in 2008.  The commission worked to gather stories (data) from Residential School Survivors and observe the effects these institutions not only had on the individual, but also how this impacted Indigenous Nations and communities throughout Canada. After the conclusion of data collecting that came from this committee’s investigation, it was decided that Residential Schools played a key role in Canada’s complacency in the cultural genocide of First Nations People of Canada. TRC Officials have also made discoveries of large empty graves with children’s remains inside. “In its final report, the TRC has identified 3,200 deaths although it noted that the exact number of students who died at residential schools […]

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Our Response to The New Yorker Article

In response to a March 3  article in The New Yorker, entitled “The Miseducation of Maria Montessori,” our Executive Director, Dr. Ayize Sabater, submitted a response to the magazine for their consideration and publication. Here is a summary of our questions and concerns that were submitted:  

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Hispanic Heritage Month 2021 Spotlights

To celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month 2021, we interviewed a few Latinx Montessorians to hear their unique perspectives on what the month means to them personally and how to respectfully and inclusively incorporate celebrations and reflections into the Montessori classroom. Click on the images below to read the full spotlights.

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Memorial Day Blessings and 100th Tulsa Remembrance

From the Executive Director’s Desk Memorial Day Blessings and 100th Tulsa Remembrance As Executive Director, I am humbled to send blessings on behalf of AMI/USA to all of our nation’s fallen soldiers, on this Memorial Day.* Memorial Day is a time when many within our nation show gratitude and reverence for those who made the ultimate sacrifice. There is not one community in our country who have been spared this pain and heartache. There may be many current AMI/USA members affected by the horrors of war, where too many have lost loved ones, whether sons or daughters or husbands or wives, in conflicts as recent as the Afghanistan or Iraqi conflicts. Additionally, I want to take a moment to make a heartfelt acknowledgement of all of the racially victimized veterans (Black, Indigenous, people of color (BIPOC)) who have lost their lives protecting the United States of America. And, I want to take a special moment to acknowledge the Black WWI veterans who lived in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Some of these veterans did not die overseas fighting for America, but instead these patriots died, 100 years ago, here in the USA fighting to protect their community (please click the link below for the 100th Tulsa remembrance observation). It is interesting to note that the universal carnage of war is proof positive that our country is capable of coming together around a common goal, unfortunately far too often it has been to rally for war, not peace. Hopefully, we, as Montessorians, can nurture our children to be motivated and unified to uphold peace/justice. By following the teachings of Dr. Montessori who called for individual, and societal transformation, peace can follow, as opposed to the continued loss of precious life that happens too often in war. Dr. Montessori teaches “that we mistakenly call the permanent triumph of the aims of a war ‘peace’ [which] causes us to fail to fail to recognize the way to salvation, the path that could lead us to true peace (Montessori, 1949, p.7).” My hope is that those that have experienced the loss of a loved one will find personal comfort in knowing that this nation sets aside this day to remember and thank those, known and unknown, for their service and valor. “The willingness of America’s veterans to sacrifice for our country has earned them our lasting gratitude” (Jeff Miller). Let us remember that Memorial Day is not just a vacation day, but it is an opportunity for us to remember the ways in which all (Indigenous, Asian, Latinx, Black, White, LGBTQIA, etc.) have fought because they truly hoped to realize a “just peace” (Han and Moquino, 2018) that is ultimately rooted in the truth of the humanity of all. Click here to read our 100th Tulsa remembrance observation. References: Brown, D. (2021, May 28). The Devastation of the Tulsa race massacre. Washington Post Online. Retrieved from: https://www.washingtonpost.com/history/interactive/2021/tulsa-race-massacre-centennial-greenwood/ Han, D.  and Moquino, T.  (2018). Moving beyond peace education to social justice education. AMI/USA Journal (Spring). Retrieved from: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5a8266baf14aa1dab6c210a6/t/5b084dfc352f533114091730/1527270909223/Moving+Beyond+Peace+Education+to+Social+Justice+Education.pdf Kramer, R. (1988). Maria Montessori: A Biography. Perseus Publishing, Cambridge, Mass., p. 251. Montessori, M. […]

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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

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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.

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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

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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.

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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.

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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

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Social Justice Webinar Series

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

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Fall 2020 Online Conference

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

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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:

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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:  

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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.

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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.”

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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MPPI Conference Registration

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

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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.

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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.

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AMI Administrators Course

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

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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.

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Seattle Affiliates Conference

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

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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.

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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.**

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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

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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

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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!

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AMI Announces Piloting of New Training Formats

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

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Diversity Forum Scholarships

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

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AMI Marketing Webinar for Schools

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

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