Pathway of Continuous School Improvement
AMS is here to support your commitment to a quality Montessori program.
The American Montessori Society’s Pathway of Continuous School Improvement is a program that supports member schools in their ongoing commitment to providing and sustaining quality Montessori programs. Included with your AMS school membership, the Pathway offers guidance, coaching, and encouragement as your school pursues its goals. We strongly encourage all member schools to participate. It is a voluntary means of self-paced self-assessment that will help you set goals for continuous improvement.
The program is divided into 10 easy-to-manage steps: from Step 1, AMS membership, to Step 10, AMS accreditation, a goal for some of our member schools.
As you climb from one step to the next, your school will work first to integrate the core components of Montessori education, then move gradually and deliberately into compliance with some, or all, of AMS Accreditation Standards.
Support for Your School
AMS is here to support you as you move along the Pathway.
In addition to your personalized coaching, you’ll receive a variety of self-assessment tools and sample documents. You’ll receive a Pathway seal to use on your website to signal your work to your parent community. Each time you advance to a new step we will send you a new, updated seal. You may also opt in to have your school’s position on the Pathway recognized on your profile page in our Find a School directory.
All support materials are included in your AMS membership.
Your Pathway coach is a partner in your success.
You’ll receive a variety of self-assessment tools.
Sample documents will showcase best practices.
Market your participation in the Pathway program.
Getting Started on the Pathway
Ready to take your school to new heights? Book an initial consultation with our Pathway consultant, and tell us about your school, by completing the AMS Pathway: Getting Started form. It should take less than 5 minutes. The results will help the consultant determine at which step on the Pathway your school will be starting. This will be one of the things you and the consultant discuss during your consultation.
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 farther along. Step 10 is AMS school accreditation, the most prestigious recognition of Montessori excellence offered by AMS.
Each step of the Pathway builds upon the previous one so that a school meets the requirements of its assigned step level, as well as the requirements of previous steps.
- Step 1: AMS membership.
- Steps 2 – 6: Integrate the core components of quality Montessori.
- Steps 7 – 9: Meet educational and institutional standards.
- Step 10: Meet the highest level of AMS school recognition: AMS accreditation!
Overview of Pathway Steps
Step 1: Your school is a member of AMS and has affirmed its commitment to the AMS Code of Ethics.
Step 2: Your school has a mission statement and a plan for how and when you will incorporate the 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: You have incorporated any 2 of the 5 core components of quality Montessori education into your program. You have a plan for incorporating the other 3.
Step 4: At this step, all of your lead teachers hold Montessori credentials for the level(s) at which they are teaching. You continue to maintain a plan for incorporating the remaining core components of quality Montessori education into your program.
Step 5: You have incorporated 4 out of 5 core components of quality Montessori education into your program, including teachers who are properly credentialed. You have a plan for adding the 5th and final component.
Step 6: You have incorporated the fifth and final component of quality Montessori education into your program. Or, your school has been validated as a Montessori school by a state-recognized Montessori validating organization.
Step 7: Your whole school incorporates the core components of quality Montessori education and at least 1 program level in your school meets AMS School Accreditation Educational Standards: Standard 3 (Educational Nature) and Standard 4 (Learner Outcomes).
Step 8: At least 1 level of your school (starting with your youngest program level) meets all AMS School Accreditation Education Standards and your entire school meets all AMS School Accreditation Institutional Standards.
Step 9: 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: AMS accreditation.