Among the many benefits of AMI Recognition, the most significant is the association with AMI, the organization founded by Maria Montessori in 1929. In addition to providing an assurance to families, prospective staff and the community at large of adherence to AMI standards, the school consultation visit also supports teachers and administrators by providing program mentoring. A great benefit to each school’s marketing plan is the recognition that participating schools receive by being listed on the AMI/USA website and in the AMI/USA Directory of Training Centers, Schools, and Members. Informative articles published in the AMI/USA E-news and Fall and Spring AMI/USA Journals increase accessibility and distribution of main Montessori topics. The AMI/USA Member Schools enjoy group insurance rates and 401K retirement rates in addition to all of the AMI Member discounts. Finally, a certificate is issued by AMI/USA that is suitable for framing, and confirms each recognized school’s dedication to the AMI standards.
The Association Montessori Internationale (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 Congress.
As the primary operational affiliate in the USA, the Association Montessori International of the United States (AMI/USA) is a national non-profit organization that upholds Dr. Maria Montessori’s original vision.
AMI/USA objectives include:
- Promote global peace, human development, and human rights through the application of Montessori principles.
- Support the activities of our global organization Association Montessori Internationale (AMI).
- Support AMI/USA Member School through the School Recognition and Consultation program.
- Advance the understanding of AMI pedagogical principles and practices with families and communities.
- Promote the development of AMI teacher training to foster the availability of AMI Montessori education.
- Continue outreach and collaboration with AMI affiliates in the United States as well as kindred organizations that share the purpose of service to children.
- Advocate for educational policy that supports AMI Montessori education in the United States.
- Provide professional development opportunities in the United States through national and regional conferences, workshops, webinars and journals.
- Provide opportunities for collegial engagement through membership and discussion forums.
- Substantiate the value of AMI Montessori education through the support of traditional academic research.
- Maintain effective fiscal and organizational strength.
AMI Standards Summary
Assistants to Infancy
0 to 3 years
3 to 6 years
6 to 12 years
|AMI trained teacher||1||1||1|
|Consultation visit once every three years||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Complete set of Montessori materials from an AMI approved manufacturer||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Children of a mixed age group, including a well-balanced division of ages (ages listed are approximate)||
Nido: 2 months to 12/15 months
Toddler: 12/15 months (walking) to 3 years
|3 to 6 years||
6 to 9, 9 to 12
6 to 12 years
|Classes with an appropriate number of children to ensure social development||Toddler: 10 - 14 children||24 - 35 children||24 - 35 children|
|Minimum uninterrupted morning work cycles||
Toddler: 2 hours per day,
4 -5 days per week
3 hours per day,
5 days per week
3 hours per day,
5 days per week
|Minimum uninterrrupted afternoon work cycles||Not required||
2 -3 hours per day,
5 days per week*
2 -3 hours per day,
5 days per week
* Includes all older children as well as 3- and 4-year-olds not napping who remain in the afternoon.
NOTE: At the elementary level, one work cycle per week may be left free to accommodate a subject specialist.
A school applies annually, by level (Assistants to Infancy, Primary and Elementary) for AMI recognition. The recognition status is based upon the compliance with the AMI standards. Each level receives a distinct status, which may or may not be the same as the other levels at the school.
There are three different status levels:
To receive the AMI certificate of recognition indicating that a level is fully recognized, 100% of the lead 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 two alternatives:
To qualify for the Affiliated status, two out of three classrooms or three out of four classrooms at that level or multiples thereof, are led by AMI teachers. The level meets all other AMI standards.
To qualify for the Associated status, 50% of the lead teachers 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.
Affiliated and Associated statuses are granted for levels aspiring to become AMI Recognized. Typically, a three year grace period is given within which the requirements for AMI Recognition should be met.
Limitations of Recognition
AMI recognition concerns pedagogical matters within the classrooms and does not assess other aspects of the school’s operations such as state licensing requirements, financial or administrative matters.
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 lead teachers and the administrator. A school report and individual teachers’ reports are written and include recommendations as well as requirements for a school to come into full compliance with AMI standards. Occasionally, revisits may be required for the following year to assure implementation of the requirements noted.AMI/USA Consultation Program
Manufacturers and Materials
In order to ensure a prepared environment that is consistent with AMI standards, each Montessori classroom must be equipped with a complete set of Montessori materials. These materials should be purchased from an AMI authorized manufacturer. A “complete” set of Montessori materials is all materials needed by AMI trained lead teachers to present the lessons in their albums in the way that their training intended.
Materials beyond the scope of the AMI lead teacher’s training may be considered extraneous with a requirement for them to be removed.
Use of the AMI and AMI/USA Logos
Please note that the use of the AMI and AMI/USA logos are reserved for the head office, AMI affiliate organizations, and training centers. Schools are asked not to use the AMI nor the AMI/USA logos but once a school gains Recognized, Affiliated or Associated status, the AMI/USA Member School seal can be used. 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.
2019-20 AMI Recognition Fees
- $80 non-refundable application fee
- $99/AMI member*
- $19/child for the first 190 students, $10/child over 190** (After application deadline: fees raise to $20/child)
* Each lead teacher and the administrator must be AMI members. For Affiliated and Associated schools: AMI membership is required for all lead teachers, even if they are not AMI trained.
** Public schools: $130/100 students.
Please note: these fees will be updated for the 2020-2021 school year.
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.
How to Apply:
To be eligible for AMI recognition, a school must strive to meet all of the AMI standards. It is the responsibility of the school also to abide by all local, state, and federal ordinances, statutes, rules, and regulations. AMI/USA reserves the right to refuse recognition, or revoke it, whenever the activities of a school are found to be inconsistent with AMI’s aims. Because recognition certificates are valid only for the current school year, schools must reapply annually.
Schools applying for AMI Recognition must complete the Application for Recognition and Request for Consultation forms by clicking on the button above. The request for consultation form is only needed every 3 years.
Following the review of completed forms and upon the written recommendation of the consultant, AMI/USA will finalize the status of each level for the school and complete the process with the issuance of the school’s certificate(s). It is at this time that the school may begin to identify levels of its program as AMI Recognized, Affiliated, or Associated.
In becoming recognized by AMI, your school is participating in the vitality of our organization, and helping to continue the legacy of Montessori education that was created over a century ago.
We appreciate your interest in the AMI Recognition program!