What does this mean to you and your child?
It means that Arbor’s curriculum is the authentic Montessori program designed by Maria Montessori and taught by teachers who have completed the authentic Montessori training. Any school can call itself a Montessori, but only an AMI-accredited school delivers the Montessori education based on the philosophy of Maria Montessori.
The SAIS-SACS accreditation means that Arbor is an active member of the larger independent school community. As a member of that community, we have the opportunity to learn, brainstorm, and share best practices with the top schools in the Southeast. For our children and families, that means we are a vibrant community striving for continuous improvement.
Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) was founded in 1929 by Maria Montessori to ensure the integrity of her pedagogical legacy. Because the word or name “Montessori” is not a trademark or franchise, any institution can call itself a Montessori school with impunity. Therefore, AMI provides schools that wish to offer an authentic Montessori program a set of internationally recognized standards of quality. Parents are assured that schools that are AMI-accredited follow Montessori’s principles and practices in their original integrity and completeness.
To receive AMI recognition, each classroom in the school must have:
- A fully-trained teacher who has completed both a college undergraduate degree and AMI’s year-long training program;
- A complete set of authorized Montessori classroom materials;
- A three-year range of ages within the single classroom;
- An uninterrupted three-hour work cycle each morning.
Schools apply to become an AMI-Montessori school annually. The recognition status is based upon the training of their teachers as well as their compliance with the pedagogical standards.
To verify that these requirements are met, trained consultants evaluate AMI schools every three years.
Read more about Southern Association of Independent Schools (SAIS) and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS)
Accreditation means that a school has complied with quality standards, was evaluated by an outside group of peer professionals, has implemented a school plan focused on strategic improvement and student performance, and has garnered the recognition of both the The voluntary accreditation process requires:
- compliance with a set of formal standards, covering the school’s
- vision and purpose
- governance and leadership
- teaching and learning
- documentation and use of results
- resources and support systems
- stakeholder communication and relationships
- commitment to continuous improvement
- an in-depth self-study conducted by the school
- a visit from a committee of trained peers to review the self-study and the school’s answers to the accreditation standards
- the creation of a written visit report by the visiting team, including commendations and recommendations regarding all aspects of the school’s functioning
- Re-accreditation must occur every five years
The chair of the Peer Review Committee shared portions of her recommendations. Her comments included the words “absolutely phenomenal” and “extraordinary!”
She went on to write:
“Arbor Montessori has a spirit that pervades the entire school. The mission is lived by every member of the Arbor family that we met. Without exception, every person we spoke with understands and is committed to the mission of this school. The entire population feels proud of the incredible progress they have made in becoming the school it is today. There is a tremendous collaboration between faculty, staff, parents, and administrators.
“The peer review team wishes to thank the entire school population for extending each of us such a warm welcome. It has been a joy for us to be part of Arbor Montessori’s initial SAIS-SACS accreditation. From the first moment, we felt the spirit of excitement that pervades throughout Arbor.”