AMI/USA administers the AMI Recognition Program for Montessori schools in the USA. Among the many benefits of AMI Recognition, the most significant is the association with AMI, the organization founded by Maria Montessori in 1929. AMI Recognition provides assurance to families, prospective staff and the community at large of adherence to AMI Standards. The consultation visit supports teachers and administrators with program mentoring. Participating programs are listed on the School Locator and receive the Member School Seal for marketing purposes. A recognition certificate is issued by AMI/USA that is suitable for framing and confirms each program’s dedication to AMI standards.
In becoming recognized by AMI, your program is participating in the vitality of our organization and helping to continue the legacy of Montessori education that was created over a century ago.
The Application for AMI Recognition Status is submitted for one or more program levels each year. Program levels currently include: Assistants to Infancy for ages 0 to 3, Primary for ages 3 to 6, and Elementary for ages 6 to 12. Each program level receives a distinct status, which may or may not be the same as the other levels at the school.
The recognition status is assigned to each program on the basis of the Standards for AMI Montessori Classrooms as documented in the yearly application.
A recognition consultation visit is required at the program level in the first year of recognition, and every three years thereafter, to confirm the status documented in the application. The status of a program may be updated by the Executive Director of AMI/USA at any time on submission of documentation confirming all AMI standards for a new status have been met.
There are three different status levels:
To receive the AMI certificate of recognition indicating that a level is fully recognized, 100% of teachers at that level are AMI trained and all of the AMI standards must be achieved.
For schools that do not meet all of the standards, AMI/USA offers these alternatives:
To qualify for the Affiliated status, between 50% to 100% of classes are led by AMI teachers. The level meets all other AMI standards.
To qualify for the Associated status, 50% of teachers at that level must hold an AMI diploma. The Associated status is also a transitional category for schools that are in the process of developing programs that meet all of the AMI standards.
2023-24 AMI Recognition Fees
- $80 non-refundable application fee.
- $22/child for the first 190 children, $15/child over 190 children.
- Public Schools: $200/100 children. Public School districts may submit a purchase order by the due date with payment terms of Net 30 to receive pricing in effect that date.
- Public Charter Schools: Tuition based for ages 0 – 4 pays regular recognition fees, public charter for 5+ pays public fees.
- $99 per AMI/USA Membership. The administrator and each classroom teacher must have current AMI/USA memberships through June 30, 2024. For Affiliated and Associated programs: AMI/USA membership is required for all lead teachers, even if they are not AMI trained.
- $100 airfare/transportation flat fee per level seeking recognition.
- $99 additional fee for applications submitted after deadlines.
All fees are prepaid.
A school visit by a trained AMI consultant is required every 3 years as a part of the AMI Recognition process. The purpose of the consultation is to assess the school’s compliance with AMI pedagogical standards and to assist the school and its teachers in providing the best Montessori education possible. The consultant observes the classes and other relevant aspects of the school, and meets with each teacher and the administrator. A level report and individual teacher reports are written and include recommendations as well as requirements for the program level to come into full compliance with AMI standards. Occasionally, revisits may be required for the following year to assure implementation of the requirements noted.
Limitations of Recognition
AMI Recognition concerns pedagogical matters within classrooms and does not assess aspects of school operations such as state licensing requirements, financial or administrative matters.
AMI was founded by Dr. Maria Montessori in 1929 to maintain the integrity of her life’s work, and continues with the purpose of preserving that legacy. AMI’s activities include empowering teachers and communities with Montessori education through the AMI Scientific Pedagogy Group, promoting and continuing the study, research, and reflection of Maria Montessori’s work, through the Global Research Committee, collecting, studying, and disseminating current and relevant scientific literature on child development and education research, and promoting the continuous exchange of ideas, perspectives, and practices through such events as the AMI International Montessori Congress.
As the primary AMI affiliate in the USA, AMI/USA is a national non-profit organization that upholds Dr. Maria Montessori’s original vision and 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.
Code of Ethics
AMI and AMI/USA are organizations whose regulation of conduct is limited to pedagogical matters. All those connected with AMI and AMI/USA are expected to conduct themselves lawfully and in a manner that both exemplifies and supports the propagation and furtherance of the ideas and principles of Dr. Maria Montessori for the full development of the human being.
Use of the AMI and AMI/USA Logos
Please note that the AMI and AMI/USA logos are copyrighted and their use is reserved for the head office, AMI affiliate organizations, and AMI training centers. Schools are asked not to use the AMI nor the AMI/USA logos.
Once a school gains Recognized, Affiliated or Associated status, the AMI/USA Member School Seal will be provided for the school’s website and communication materials. This seal provides visual acknowledgement of a school’s AMI/USA membership. Schools are encouraged to link to the AMI and AMI/USA websites from their websites.
We appreciate your interest in the AMI Recognition program –