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School Membership

For Montessori schools, AMS membership is a way to endorse and engage with the world’s foremost proponent of quality Montessori education.

Member schools also benefit from a host of support services, from discounts on professional development events to prominent listings on our Web site.

School membership is available to any Montessori school that agrees to comply with the AMS Code of Ethics.

Join or Renew Now

You may join or renew:

AMS membership runs from July 1 to June 30. For more information, e-mail Brittany Emilio or call her at 212-358-1250 x301.

Levels of Membership

AMS offers 3 levels of membership for schools:

Full Level Membership

This is the highest level of school membership. Only schools at this level are eligible to apply for AMS accreditation, a widely accepted validation of quality Montessori education.

Below are the current requirements for full member schools, along with new requirements that will go into effect on July 1, 2020. If you have questions about the requirements, contact Shannon Rogers.


Currently, all classroom lead teachers must hold Montessori credentials for the level(s) they are teaching, with the exception of those working with students ages 12 – 18.

Effective July 1, 2020, lead teaching faculty in the subjects of math, English, history or humanities, and sciences who work with students ages 12 – 18 will be required to have the appropriate Montessori credential, i.e., Secondary I or I-II. The credential must be issued by a teacher education program accredited by the Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (MACTE). Currently AMS is the only organization with MACTE-accredited teacher education programs that offer Secondary credentials.

Heads of Schools

Currently, heads of full-member schools are not required to have a bachelor’s degree.

Effective July 1, 2020, heads of full member schools will be required to hold a bachelor's degree (or higher) and either:

  • Hold a Montessori credential and score a requisite number of points for professional development and related work experience as detailed on the Head of School Requirements Verification Form.The credential must have been issued by AMS, AMI, NCME, or any other teacher education program accredited by MACTE. It can be either an administrator credential or a teacher credential.
  • Score a requisite number of points (higher than the above) for professional development and related work experience as detailed in the Heads of Schools Portfolio Variance Form.

Associate Level Membership

The lead teacher in some, but not all, of the school’s classrooms must hold credentials from a teacher education program affiliated with AMS, AMI, NCME, or any other teacher education program accredited by MACTE, and be teaching at the level or which they were trained. Associate member schools are not eligible for AMS accreditation.

Initiate Level Membership

Schools that are just forming or are new to the American Montessori Society may join at this level. Initiate membership is limited to 3 years; during this period the school is expected to work toward full or associate membership.

A school with satellites (in the United States, additional school sites located in the same state but not immediately adjacent to the site serving the largest number of students) must submit separate applications for all of its sites at the same time. Each site will be assigned initiate, associate, or full membership status as appropriate.


AMS school membership includes the following services and opportunities:

Effective Management Tools

  • Heads of Schools ListServer – an easy way to reach colleagues with questions, comments, ideas.
  • AMS Prism– an e-mail newsletter delivered right to your inbox.
  • Salary & Tuition Surveys – valuable data from surveys of teachers and administrators in AMS member schools.

Exposure to a Broad Audience

  • Inclusion in our online school directory – a valuable resource for parents.
  • Complimentary employment listings on our Web site and at our conferences.
  • Opportunities to have your school featured in our quarterly magazine Montessori Life, as well as in our e-newsletter and on our Facebook page.
  • Representation by AMS at regional meetings and educational conferences throughout the U.S.

Professional & Educational Development

  • AMS Webinars, conferences, and retreats provide valuable training, plus opportunities to earn continuing education units and professional development hours.
  • Members may collaborate with teacher education programs through sponsorship and internships.
  • Member schools are eligible for AMS accreditation, a hallmark of quality Montessori instruction.

Leadership on behalf of the Montessori Community

  • Representation at the United Nations, Council for American Private Education (CAPE), National Council for Private School Accreditation (NCPSA), Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (MACTE), and other coalitions that advocate for children and education.
  • Active support of Montessori research, including resources, grants, and opportunities for disseminating research results.

Additional Benefits

  • Voting rights in AMS elections to help shape the future of Montessori education. (Initiate schools may not vote).
  • A subscription to our quarterly magazine, Montessori Life.
  • Discounts on AMS brochures and other publications.
  • 5% discount on purchases from Nienhuis Montessori USA, the world’s leading supplier of Montessori materials and furniture.
  • Discounted rates for participation in Simple Simon, an online payment processing program designed specifically for schools.
  • 25% discount from Gardener's Supply Company. E-mail your order and mention code YCDS1012.
  • Access for school employees to insurance plans specially designed for educators, including professional liability insurance, auto & home coverage, term life and disability insurance, and individual and group health plans.

School Membership Dues

Dues amounts vary depending upon a school's membership level.

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