AMS School Accreditation

The gold standard of Montessori school excellence.

Accreditation by the American Montessori Society provides guidance, empowerment, and high ideals to help your school community implement and sustain the rigorous standards of quality Montessori education.

Accreditation by the American Montessori Society is the gold standard of Montessori school excellence—the highest level of recognition your Montessori school can achieve, and a highly visible indicator of your school’s quality.

Currently, about 15% of our member schools are AMS-accredited.

AMS accreditation is a process available to eligible schools that are committed to ongoing school improvement and are seeking validation of their high-quality Montessori programs.

Benefits

When you achieve accreditation:

  • Members of your school community will experience deepened levels of commitment to the institution and to each another.
  • You will be confident that your school meets and can sustain the rigorous standards of excellence recognized by Montessori educators worldwide.
  • You will gain an internationally recognized credential to leverage as you market your school as one that exemplifies Montessori education at its best.
  • You will serve as a model for others in the Montessori community who aspire to reach the same level of excellence for their schools.
  • You will be set solidly on a path of ongoing self-evaluation, professional development, improvement, and quality assurance.

You will also benefit from:

Opportunities for Co-Accreditation

AMS is recognized by the National Council for Private School Accreditation, a national organization that serves as a review panel for the standards and review procedures of private-school accrediting agencies.  Every school that is accredited by AMS gains automatic recognition by NCPSA.

In addition, AMS partners with more than 20 other national and regional accrediting associations, enabling you to participate in cooperative accreditation. The cooperative accreditation process is seamless and results in 2 valuable accreditations. You complete 1 self-study and host 1 onsite visit with representatives from both associations. Cooperative accreditation demonstrates compliance with both Montessori-specific standards and with school standards that apply to non-Montessori schools. You can find a listing of the accrediting agencies with which AMS partners in the AMS Accreditation Handbook, included as part of the AMS Accreditation Information Packet.

Recognition by State Policymakers

At AMS, we proactively advocate with state-level policymakers on behalf of our accredited schools. The result? AMS accreditation is increasingly recognized nationwide, granting our accredited schools significant advantages that may include:

  • Recognition at the highest level of their state’s Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS), a systemic approach to assessing, improving, and communicating the level of quality in early and school-age childcare and education programs. 
  • Possible exemption from state child-care licensing requirements
  • Access to exclusive state funding sources available only to accredited schools.

Your Journey

The accreditation process is a powerful learning opportunity for your school. Here is what you can expect as you journey through the multi-year undertaking:

  • You will strengthen bonds with your staff and families as you engage in the collaborative process of a self-study.
  • You will welcome other Montessori leaders on your visiting team into your school and gain valuable insights from them.
  • You will make significant discoveries about your program, including its strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for improvement.
  • You will be modeling the Montessori ideal of a lifelong learner—one who voluntarily engages in self-reflection, ongoing pursuit of knowledge, and improvement.

And, once you have achieved accreditation, the journey will continue as you follow the protocol for maintaining it, bringing your community ever closer. We outline some of the basics about this on our Maintaining Your AMS Accreditation webpage; you can find full details in our School Accreditation Handbook, available for purchase from Shop AMS.

A Teacher's Perspective

Melanie Thiesse

AMS Director of School Accreditation

From Our Director

Accrediting your school with AMS validates your commitment to delivering high-quality Montessori education and provides you with a partnership with the world’s leading Montessori organization. We are here to support your school through the accreditation process and beyond by providing the resources, professional development, advocacy, and personal service you need to ensure that you are meeting your goals.

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How do you maintain your accreditation?