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, AMI Recognition provides an assurance to families, prospective staff and the community at large of adherence to AMI standards. In addition, the recognition consultation visit supports teachers and administrators by providing program mentoring. Participating programs receive the benefit of being listed on the AMI/USA website and receiving the AMI/USA Member School seal for marketing purposes. Informative articles published in the AMI/USA E-news and Fall and Spring AMI/USA Journals increase accessibility and distribution of main Montessori topics. AMI/USA Individual Members enjoy group insurance rates and 401K retirement rates, in addition to the other AMI/USA 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 Schools 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***
*In the Nido and Toddler Community, this number refers to the ratio of adults to children. In a class of 10 children, for example, there should be one trained adult and one non-teaching assistant (one adult per 5 children).
**AMI advocates for large numbers of children per class whenever possible as part of an ideal Montessori Prepared Environment but recognizes that schools may not always be able to achieve the recommended minimum number in each environment. In these circumstances full recognition may still be granted if the Recognition Consultation determines that the expected outcomes are present, and the environment is otherwise functioning in ways which warrant recognition.
***Elementary Work Periods: At the elementary level, prolonged uninterrupted work periods are required every morning and afternoon, with the exception being one work cycle each week which may be left free to accommodate additional specialty experiences. Out of a possible ten work periods per week, nine must be reserved for Montessori work. Other specialty experiences can be scheduled in such a way that there is still an uninterrupted work period.
****Includes all older children as well as 3- and 4-year-olds not napping who remain in the afternoon.
Due to COVID-19, certain allowances are being made for currently recognized schools who are unable to meet all of the standards this year.
A school submits an annual Application for AMI Recognition Status for one or more program levels. 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.
Recognition status is assigned on the basis of the AMI standards as documented in the school’s 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.
A program entering the recognition process for the first time in 2020-21 has “Provisional” after the recognition status. This confirms that the program documentation submitted meets the standards for recognition but that it may be operating under local constraints due to the pandemic.
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 these 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.
The 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
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.
2020-21 AMI Recognition Fees
- $80 non-refundable application fee
- $99 per AMI/USA Membership. Each lead teacher and the administrator must be AMI/USA members. For Affiliated and Associated programs: AMI/USA membership is required for all lead teachers, even if they are not AMI trained.
- Effective October 31, 2020: $21/child for the first 190 children, $12/child over 190 children
- Public Schools: $135/100 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.
- All fees are prepaid.
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 submit a yearly application.
Programs applying for an AMI Recognition Status must complete the Application for Recognition and Request for Consultation forms by clicking on the button below. The request for consultation form is only needed every 3 years.
New programs and those with a consultation needed: Please submit the application by September 25, 2020. If a consultation is not needed, the application should be submitted by October 16, 2020.
Applications outside the deadline may be considered at the discretion of the Executive Director.
Following the review of completed forms and upon the written recommendation of the consultant, AMI/USA will finalize the status of each program level and complete the process with the issuance of the program’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 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.
We appreciate your interest in the AMI Recognition program!