News Type: Upcoming Professional Development Events

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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.

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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.

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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/.

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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.

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Montessori’s Framework: Reshaping Education for All Children

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

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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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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!

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

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

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Upcoming Professional Development Events

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

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MPPI State Advocacy Retreat

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

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Montessori for Social Justice Conference

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

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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. […]

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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.

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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 […]

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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.

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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.

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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 […]

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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.

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Refresher Course CEUs Available

AMI/USA, in conjunction with Loyola University, is pleased to offer Continuing Education Units for this year’s Refresher Course.  CEUs are offered in addition to college credit from Eastern Washington University. Please click the letter below to learn more, or email montessori@loyola.edu or montessori@amiusa.org for additional questions. Letter to Participants

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Refresher Course Scholarships!

AMI/USA is thrilled to announce that up to fourteen scholarships are available for teachers and administrators to attend the 2020 The Montessori Experience: Refresher Course and Workshops. The scholarship will allow teachers and administrators to attend who may not otherwise have the financial resources to do so.  Up to fourteen recipients will be chosen, with a representative number attending each workshop (i.e., 2 Assistants, 2 Administrative, 2 Equity Intensive Workshop, 2 A to I, 2 Primary, 2 Elementary, 2 Adolescent). Please click here to apply!  The application will close November 20. The fine print: Scholarships will take the form of waived registration for Saturday and Sunday sessions only. Supplemental Friday and Monday workshops may be purchased separately. Recipients must meet the criteria listed below and will be chosen by random lottery. Recipients must attend the entire conference; scholarships may not be transferred or postponed. A $100 refundable deposit will be required at time of registration and will be refunded after full attendance at The Montessori Experience: Refresher Course and Workshops. Each recipient must procure travel, lodging, and AMI and EAA (if required) membership, independently. Criteria for Acceptance +Hold an AMI diploma at the necessary level +Be an AMI, and/or EAA member if necessary for attendance or be willing to join +Currently work in a Montessori classroom or school +Is from a school with limited funds and would not be able to attend without additional financial assistance

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Refresher Course Workshops

We are excited to bring a lineup of engaging workshops to the Refresher Course again this year! Open to both AMI trained professionals and the general public, these workshops offer insight into various topics related to this year’s theme: The Complete Classroom. Scroll below to learn more. 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. FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 16 Mindfulness & Montessori: A Focus on Teacher Well-being and Stress Relief Presented by: Breon Michel, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Teachers are pulled in a million directions in order to meet the ever-changing needs of children and their families. The mind can feel like a sandstorm at the end of a jam-packed school day. This is where mindfulness comes in. Learn how mindfulness can quiet a busy mind, help teachers respond to challenging situations with greater ease, and serve as an energy boost throughout the day. The class will include an overview of what mindfulness is and how it relates to teacher well-being + classroom behavior. Teachers will take home research-based, practical tools, including short guided mindfulness meditations, that help them incorporate mindful breaks at work and home. Support Services and Interventions for Children in AMI Elementary Environments Presented by: Liesl Taylor, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Increasingly high percentages of children are experiencing levels of challenge and crisis significantly detrimental to their ability to access all that our environments have to offer. How do we approach supporting all children in the AMI school setting? With whom do we collaborate? How do we better prepare our selves and our environments for this essential work? Grounded in the context of Montessori pedagogy and contemporary research, we’ll delve into case studies as we consider these questions. By doing so, our point of departure in responding to a child in crisis or with significant challenges is from a place of deeper knowledge, understanding, and compassion, affording every child increased access to a richer and more meaningful education. Advocacy Training for Montessori Public Policy Presented by: Ashley LiBetti Mitchel, 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. This workshop will provide information for advocates for excellence in Montessori education. You will learn about legislative and regulatory processes germane to the education policy world, and how to build strong coalitions for action. You will also learn about the Montessori Public Policy Initiative—a collaboration between AMS and the Association Montessori International/USA—and the exciting progress the organization is making to support effective policies to protect authentic Montessori implementation. Introduction to Montessori for Ageing and Dementia Presented by: Jennifer Brush, 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Montessori for Ageing and Dementia is an innovative approach to dementia care that can be adopted for individuals or groups as a philosophy of care. The goal of the Montessori program is to support older adults and people living with dementia by creating a prepared environment, filled with cues and memory supports, that enables individuals to care for themselves, others, […]

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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 McAlister is […]

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Refresher Course Hotel Open for Booking

The Arizona Grand Resort is open for booking!  Join us for The Complete Classroom:  Preparing the Intangible Environment at the 2018 Refresher Course in sunny Phoenix, Arizona, February 16-19. 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.   The group rate is available until January 20 or until the room block is fully booked.  We can’t wait to see you in Phoenix!

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Refresher Course 2018 Keynote Speaker

AMI/USA is thrilled to announce the 2018 Refresher Course Keynote Address will be delivered by Alice Waters! Over the course of 40 years, Alice Waters has created and passionately supported a culinary philosophy that maintains that food should be organic, sustainable and locally sourced. Opening her restaurant Chez Panisse in Berkeley in 1971, which has ranked among the “World’s 50 Best Restaurants” for the last four decades, her commitment to finding the highest-quality, seasonal ingredients has created a network of local farmers and purveyors dedicated to sustainable agriculture. Her focus on education further led to the creation of the Edible Schoolyard Project in 1996, which is committed to transforming public education and supports projects that incorporate gardening and preparing healthy meals into the school curriculum. Waters’ influence is extensive: she is vice president of Slow Food International, a nonprofit organization that promotes and celebrates local artisanal food traditions and has more than 100,000 members in over 130 countries. Her other numerous honors include being co-recipient, with Kofi Annan, of the Global Environmental Citizen Award from Harvard Medical School in 2008, and being named to the French Legion of Honor in 2009. Her speaking engagements include, among others, lecture series and university talks related to food ethics and values, just and sustainable agriculture, and the transformative power of growing, cooking, and sharing food. Alice Waters is the author of ten books, including The Art of Simple Food: Notes and Recipes from a Delicious Revolution, In the Green Kitchen, 40 Years of Chez Panisse: The Power of Gathering, and her most recent book, The Art of Simple Food II: Recipes, Flavor, and Inspiration from the New Kitchen Garden. Alice Waters is also a trained Montessori teacher. Click here to read a recent interview in which she discusses how Montessori affects her cooking. For more information on Alice Waters, please visit http://www.prhspeakers.com/speaker/alice-waters.

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Refresher Course 2018: Phoenix

Mark your calendars! We are thrilled to announce that the 2018 Refresher Course and Workshops will be held in Phoenix, Arizona!  The Refresher Course will take place Presidents’ Day weekend, February 16-19, 2018.  Phoenix is home to a vibrant Montessori community, with more than 10 AMI schools and the Southwest Institute of Montessori Studies, offering AMI primary and assistants teacher training.  The Refresher Course will be held at the Grand Arizona Resort, where attendees can swim, hike, and enjoy the beautiful desert environment.  The last time the Refresher Course took place in Arizona was in 1997, also the first year that a course was offered for Assistants to Infancy practitioners.  It has been far too long and we can’t wait to return!  More information about the hotel and speakers will be available next summer.

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2017 Workshop Presenters

Announcing the Workshop Presenters for the 2017 Refresher Course & Workshops!  We are pleased to announce the workshops presenters for The Calculating Mind: Cultivating Discovery, Persistence, Problem Solving, which will take place in Austin, Texas from February 17-20, 2017. To book a hotel room, please visit our hotel information page. Stay tuned for more information about additional workshops and special events. PARENTS’ WORKSHOP Life after Montessori – What Parents Can Expect Beyond the Classroom Saturday, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Alison Sherrill Alison Sherrill has served as an AMI guide and administrator for over twenty years. She is currently the Elementary Coordinator for AMI recognized Arbor Montessori School in Decatur, Georgia (18months – 14 years). Alison earned a BS in Early Childhood Education from The University of Georgia as well as a diploma from Association Montessori Internationale at the Elementary (6-12) level. She is also certified by the Children and Adults with ADHD Disorder (CHADD) organization to lead parenting classes. Alison is the past president and current Board member of the Montessori Institute of Atlanta, an AMI teacher training program. In addition to Alison’s work with families in a school setting, she serves as an officer with her national sorority, Sigma Kappa, in the mentoring of college age women at both the University of Texas at San Antonio and the University of North Georgia . Alison is the proud parent of two Montessori daughters. FRIDAY SPECIAL INTEREST WORKSHOPS We are pleased to be offering two long-format special interest workshops on Friday, February 17 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Our expert presenters will cover important topics in depth in these interactive sessions, and professional development certificates will be offered for full attendance. Workshop A: Supporting the Dyslexic Child in the Montessori Prepared Environment Alison Awes Alison Awes holds Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) diplomas at the primary (ages 3–6) and elementary (ages 6–12) levels, a bachelor of arts in art history from Smith College, a master of arts in Latin American studies from Tulane University, and a master of education in Montessori education from Loyola University Maryland. Extensively knowledgeable, Awes has served as an elementary guide (teacher) in both lower elementary (ages 6–9) and upper elementary (ages 9–12) classrooms. Following many years of studying and working with children, Awes completed the rigorous AMI Training of Trainers Programme to become a teacher trainer. She is director of elementary training at the Montessori Center of Minnesota as well as co-director of elementary training at the Maria Montessori Institute, London. She further uses her expertise in her role as external examiner on AMI courses at other institutes and as an AMI consultant. Awes works to advance the philosophy and spirit of Montessori as a board member for both private and charter Montessori schools, as well as other organizations including the AMI Elementary Alumni Association. An international lecturer, she has given numerous workshops on a wide variety of topics including dyslexia, the psychological and physical prepared environment, and inspiring meaningful work in the elementary child.   Awes attended Montessori school until the age of twelve. […]

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Exciting New Events at the Refresher Course

We are excited to be offering some new activities at the 2017 Refresher Course & Workshops that will offer participants unique opportunities for networking, getting involved in advocacy efforts, and taking care of mental and physical health during this busy and productive weekend! More details will be available in the digital brochure, to be released next month. Morning Yoga Classes Primary teacher and certified Yoga instructor, Sarah Dosmann, will be leading early morning Yoga sessions from 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. State Advocacy Gathering Join Montessori advocates from around the country at the bar for an informal discussion and gathering.  Leaders from the Montessori Public Policy Initiative and representatives of state advocacy groups will be on hand to share insights and stories from their important work protecting authentic Montessori. Friday, from 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. Parent-Infant Class For the first time, a parent-infant class will be offered Saturday morning from 8:00 – 9:00 a.m. Come observe a parent-infant class in session and have an opportunity to speak with A to I trained guides about how to organize parent-infant classes and the benefits for your school School Tours We are happy to announce that local school tours are back this year. We will be touring local AMI schools from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. on Saturday.

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2017 Refresher Course Speakers

Announcing the Speakers for the 2017 Refresher Course & Workshops!  We are pleased to announce the speakers for The Calculating Mind: Cultivating Discovery, Persistence, Problem Solving, which will take place in Austin, Texas from February 17-20, 2017. To book a hotel room, please visit our hotel information page. Stay tuned for more information about additional speakers and workshop content. KEYNOTE Ross Greene Ross W. Greene, Ph.D., is the originator of the innovative, empirically-supported approach now known as Collaborative & Proactive Solutions (CPS), as described in his influential books The Explosive Child, Lost at School, and Lost & Found, and in his forthcoming book Raising Human Beings. Dr. Greene served on the teaching faculty at Harvard Medical School for over 20 years, and is currently adjunct associate professor in the Department of Psychology at Virginia Tech. He is also the Founding Director of the non-profit Lives in the Balance, which provides vast, free, web-based resources on the CPS model; provides support and advocacy for behaviorally challenging kids and their caregivers; takes a strong stand against the use of corporal punishment at home and school, the use of restraint and seclusion in schools and restrictive therapeutic facilities, and the use of detention, suspension, and expulsion in schools, preschools, and daycare settings; and advocates for interventions that are non-punitive and non-adversarial for all kids.  Dr. Greene lectures and provides consultation to families, schools, and restrictive therapeutic facilities throughout the world and lives in Portland, Maine, with his wife and two kids. ASSISTANTS TO INFANCY Sara Brady Sara Brady holds AMI diplomas at both Assistants to Infancy and Children’s House levels. She has a Masters in Education from Loyola College in Maryland. Since 1999 Sara has worked extensively in a variety of Montessori settings: long-day care, pre-school and Montessori in the home. She has enjoyed working in Nido and Infant Communities as well as parent-infant classes. Sara lives in Sydney, Australia with her husband and three children. Sara is qualified as an AMI Assistants to Infancy trainer. PRIMARY Uma Ramani Uma Ramani is AMI trained at the Primary (India) and Elementary (Hartford) levels.  She is a Director of Training at the Montessori Institute of North Texas (MINT) in Dallas, Texas. In addition, she enjoys consulting with schools, coaching and mentoring guides in their classroom practice. She has several years experience working in private, public and charter schools in the US. She enjoys bringing Montessori principles to parents and to adults working with children in Montessori and non-Montessori settings. ELEMENTARY Phyllis Pottish-Lewis Ms. Phyllis Pottish-Lewis holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Zoology from UCLA and a Master’s Degree in Education from Loyola College in Maryland.  Also, she holds both primary and elementary diplomas from the Association Montessori Internationale.  She received her AMI primary diploma with Francesca Claremont from the Montessori Institute of Los Angeles in 1971 and her AMI elementary diploma with Margaret Stephenson from the Washington Montessori Institute in 1977.  She has over 37 years of teaching experience with children and 36 years of lecturing on AMI elementary courses.  To complement her years in the classroom, she also has two years […]

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IMC Call for Abstracts

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

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Second Annual MPPI Retreat

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

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Save the Date for the 2017 Refresher Course!

AMI/USA is thrilled to announce the setting of next year’s Refresher Course and Workshops. Join us President’s Day weekend 2017 (February 17-20) in Austin, Texas! Austin, Texas’ state capital, is also the world’s live music capital. It is a vibrant city with incredible music, food, outdoor activities, as well as high quality AMI schools. Take some time during your stay to visit one of Austin’s more than 250 live music venues, enjoy Tex-Mex along the lake, or visit the home of the Longhorns at UT-Austin. We look forward to offering an exceptional weekend to refresh your practice, along with school tours and other offerings. Keep an eye on our website for updates and hotel booking information!

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2016-2017 Inclusive Education Course

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

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Refresher Course Transportation Deadline February 5th

Please click here to submit your travel information to 360 Destination Group to reserve transportation to and from the airport for the Refresher Course.  The link is very straightforward and provides complete airport instructions for ensuring that your trip goes smoothly.  Please note that your information must be submitted to them by February 5th, 2016 in order to reserve your transportation.  Once you’ve submitted your travel plans, please click here to find information about what to do upon arrival in LA. We’re looking forward to a fantastic Refresher Course in the New Year!

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Announcing the 2016 Advocacy Workshop

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

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Parents’ Workshop in Long Beach!

AMI/USA is currently accepting registrations for the Parents’ Workshop, a part of the annual Refresher Course & Workshops!  This one-day workshop offers an opportunity for parents to learn from an experienced Montessorian about how they can support their children at home.  Please click on the flyer for more information and click here to register!

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2016 AMI/USA Refresher Course Brochure

The 2016 AMI/USA Refresher Course brochure is finally here! Download a copy of the PDF to learn more about course descriptions and workshops for the upcoming Refresher Course in Long Beach, February 12-15, 2016. Hard copies of the brochure will be mailed out soon. Download the brochure. Remember, you can always register for the 2016 AMI/USA Refresher course ONLINE. We look forward to seeing you in Long Beach!

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Online Registration for 2016 Refresher Course Now Open!

Register Online for the 2016 AMI/USA Refresher Course! We are excited to announce that online registration for the 2016 AMI/USA Refresher Course in Los Angeles February 12-15, 2016 is now open! Follow the link below to register. Printed brochures with full course descriptions will be available soon. Register here.

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2016 Refresher Course Presenters

The 2016 Refresher Course and Workshops are approaching quickly!  Beyond the Pink Tower encourages us to think about our practice holistically, and not just through the materials we present. Assistants to Infancy Karey M. Lontz, M.A., Trainer for Assistants to Infancy, holds AMI diplomas for the 0-3 and 3-6 levels. She has a Bachelor’s degree from The University of Georgia and a Masters in Education from Loyola College. Karey has been working in the Montessori community since 1998. Her Montessori teaching and administration experience includes private schools, early head start, and AMI teacher training. She also works nationally and internationally with teachers, assistants, parents and administration offering trainings, workshops and evaluations. Karey will present to A to I diploma holders on the topic of  The Prepared Environment: Thinking Outside of the Cube. Primary Sandra Girlato, Director of Training at the Foundation for Montessori Education in Toronto, and Gretchen Hall, Director of Training at the Montessori Training Center of New England, will present together on Exploring the Pathways of Culture. Sandra Girlato is currently the Primary Director of Training of the Foundation for Montessori Education in Toronto, Canada. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology, English and fine art history from the University of Toronto, a Master’s Degree in Education from Loyola College, as well as an Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) diploma at the Primary level. Sandra has been active in the Montessori community, working with children, parents, educators and administrators for over 30 years. Sandra is a past member of the AMI Scientific Pedagogical, Materials and Translation Committees, an AMI examiner, as well as a consultant, lecturer and parent educator. She has also served as an adjunct professor at Loyola College in Baltimore, Maryland. Sandra is currently the President of AMI Canada. Sandra was trained by Renilde Montessori, Dr. Montessori’s youngest granddaughter. Gretchen Hall serves as the director of training at the Montessori Training Center of New England (MTCNE) located in Hartford, Connecticut. Within that role she is responsible for the organization and pedagogical delivery of the AMI primary training course. In conjunction with her position at MTCNE, Gretchen is the director of Montessori Magnet School, an urban public Montessori school, where she has continually worked to improve the quality of the AMI Montessori program for the past ten years.
 Gretchen holds a B.S. in electrical engineering from Michigan State University. She received her AMI primary diploma from Washington Montessori Institute and an M.Ed. from Loyola University Maryland. Elementary The Elementary Refresher Course, Songs in the Key of ABC: Writing in Cosmic Education, will be led by Elise Huneke-Stone. Elise is Director of Elementary Training at Montessori Northwest in Portland, Oregon and also leads a satellite course in Spokane, Washington. Her husband and daughters are Montessorians; it’s the family business. She received her elementary training in 1987 at Washington Montessori Institute with Miss Stephenson, and her primary training in 2010 at Montessori Northwest. Elise spent 21 joyful years in Montessori communities (14 years with elementary children, and 7 years with adolescents). Her summer work […]

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Montessori Schools of Connecticut Conference

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

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Refresher Course Design Contest

AMI/USA invites you to use your creative expression to help design the artwork for our next Refresher Course. Submit your InDesign and PDF files to montessori@amiusa.org by July 1 for a chance to win free registration to the 2016 Refresher Course in Los Angeles!

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Register for the 2015 Public Montessori Unconference

Montessori for Social Justice, an independent group of Montessorians dedicated to public Montessori education, will be hosting its second Public Montessori Unconference in Salt Lake City this June.  The gathering, held June 26-27, will be an opportunity for those involved in and interested in Montessori in the public sector to network, strategize, and share the successes and challenges of working in a diverse area of education. Also during the Unconference, the National Center for Montessori in the Public Sector (NCMPS) will present a new workshop on Assessment and Montessori. Thanks to the generosity of the Trust for Learning, participation in the NCMPS workshop will cost a mere $15 (originally a $135 fee).  Please click here to learn more about the 2015 Public Montessori Unconference, and click here to register.

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Refresher Course Registration Closed

Advanced registration has closed for the 2015 Refresher Course and Workshops. We are so excited to see you all in Atlanta on February 13-16! On-site registration will be available for the weekend’s events, including Friday’s Keynote Address with Dr. Alison Gopnik. For more information, please email the AMI/USA office.

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Refresher Course Brochure Available!

We are happy to present the official brochure for the 2015 Refresher Course and Workshops! Click here for a complete overview of the weekend’s events and click here to register! The Early Bird deadline is January 5. For hotel information, please click here.  We look forward to seeing you all in Atlanta!

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Announcing the 2015 Refresher Course Speakers

Featured Speakers Assistants to Infancy Judi Orion, Director of Training at The Montessori Institute, will speak on Indirect Preparations for Exploration. Primary Trainer at Montessori Northwest, Sarah Werner Andrews, will lead the Primary Level attendees in considering Exploration and Self-Construction. Elementary Greg MacDonald and Kay Baker, Trainers together at the Montessori Institute of San Diego, will address Cosmic Education Behind the Scenes. Administrators Workshop Michael Thompson, Ph.D. is a consultant, author and psychologist specializing in children and families.  He will work with the Administrators on understanding parents and understanding teachers.

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Save the Date: 2015 Refresher Course

Join us in Atlanta, Georgia, February 13-16, for the 2015 Refresher Course and Workshops! This year’s theme, Exploration: Re-Examining the Adult’s Role in the Child’s Discovery, is designed to encourage attendees to reflect on how the adult provides the spark and the context for the child to make his own discoveries in the world. Our presenters will urge us toward an embrace of fluidity in our practice and an examination of our roles behind the scenes.

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