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Become a Member

Your AMS membership supports our vital mission and includes valuable opportunities and benefits.

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Steps on the AMS Pathway of Continuous School Improvement

There are 10 steps on the AMS Pathway of Continuous School Improvement. Step 1 is an entry point for any AMS member school—though some will begin their journey further along the pathway. Step 10 is AMS school accreditation, the highest level of recognition granted by the Montessori community. Each step builds upon the previous one.

Schools complete a questionnaire to help AMS assess at which step they will begin their journey of school improvement; then set goals for advancing to subsequent steps. Throughout the process, AMS supports schools in achieving their goals.

Overview of the Steps

Step 1: AMS membership is the place to start
Steps 2 – 5: Integrate the core components of quality Montessori
Steps 6 – 9: Meet educational and institutional standards
Step 10: Meet the highest level of AMS school recognition: AMS accreditation!

The Steps

Step 1

Your school is a member of AMS (at any level) and has affirmed its commitment to the AMS Code of Ethics.

Step 2

All of the above and:
Your school has a mission statement and a plan for how and when you will incorporate these 5 core components of quality Montessori education into your program: properly trained Montessori teachers, multi-age classrooms, use of Montessori materials, child-directed work, and uninterrupted work periods.

Step 3

All of the above and:
You have incorporated 2 of the core components of Montessori education into your program (see Step 2). You have a plan for incorporating the other 3.

Step 4

All of the above and:
Your school is a full member of AMS and you incorporate 1 of the remaining 3 core components of quality Montessori education (See Step 2).

Step 5

All of the above and:
You have incorporated a total of 4 out of 5 core components of quality Montessori education into your program (See Step 2). Just 1 more to go!

Step 6

All of the above and:
You have incorporated the 5th and final component of quality Montessori education into your program.

Step 7

All of the above and:
At least 1 program level in your school meets AMS School Accreditation Educational Standards. That is, Standard 3 (Educational Nature of the School) and Standard 4 (Learner Outcomes).

Step 8

All of the above and:
Your entire school meets all AMS School Accreditation Institutional Standards. That is, Standard 1 (Mission & Vision), Standard 2 (Governance, Leadership, & Continuous Improvement), Standard 5 (Personnel), Standard 6 (Facility Resources), Standard 7 (Finances), Standard 8 (Records, Resources, & Support Systems), and Standard 9 (Stakeholder Communication & Relationships).

Step 9

All of the above and:
Your entire school meets all AMS School Accreditation Standards, with the exception of criteria with which you are unable to comply due to state and/or local licensing requirements or other regulations.

Step 10

Your school is accredited by AMS—the “gold standard” of Montessori school excellence.

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