Checklist for Choosing a Montessori School
Choosing the right Montessori school can be a daunting task, particularly when there are so many Montessori schools to choose from. As almost any school can call itself a "Montessori school", it is very important to find the right Montessori school to ensure your child will receive the best quality education. The following checklist contains guidelines which will help you determine/evaluate each school you may be considering. The checklist is also available in a printable, PDF format here.
- Are all Primary Directresses certified by at least one of the following?
- American Montessori Society (AMS)
- Association Montessori Internationale (AMI)
- A training center recognized by the Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education Commission (MACTE)
- The quality of Montessori education that your child will experience is directly related to the knowledge, understanding, and inherent ability of the classroom Directress to effectively create a rich and comprehensive environment. Directresses who have been certified by any of the above have undergone an extensive and thorough training program whereby they have made an extraordinary commitment in time, effort, and finances to become certified. These dedicated professionals are trained to recognize and meet each child’s individual needs using the Montessori philosophical principles and techniques. Schools that commit to assembling a Faculty of AMS, AMI accredited Directresses are dedicated to the creation of a premier atmosphere which allows their students to reach personal and academic success throughout life. At all Castle Montessori schools, you will find each Primary Directress’ certificate posted in the hallway outside their classroom.
- Is the school a current member in good standing with either the AMS or AMI organization?
- Is the Director or Head of School helpful and available to address your questions/concerns?
- Are the classrooms bright, cheery and inviting?
- Is each classroom equipped with a full complement of age appropriate Montessori materials for the following areas?
Sensorial, Practical Life, Mathematics, Language, Geography, Botany, and Science
- Are Enrichment Programs included in the tuition or an extra charge? (i.e. Spanish, Music, Mandarin Chinese, Computer Lab, etc.) Typically, these are included in the tuition.
- Are classrooms conducted in a calm and orderly manner? (Do children seem happy, focused and engaged in their work?)
- Is the school clean and well maintained?
- Do classrooms/bathrooms/hallways smell clean?
- Is classroom furniture (i.e. tables/chairs/shelves) in good condition?
- Are play areas properly equipped and the landscaping maintained regularly?
- Is the heating/cooling comfortable throughout the facility?
- Are kitchen/food prep areas tidy and orderly?
- Does the facility generally look like its being maintained both inside and out?
- Is the school designed with the safety, security and growth of your child in mind?
- Is there an indoor gymnasium (for days when weather is severe, i.e. too hot or too cold)
- Is there a Library with enough learning material?
- Is there a Music Room with appropriate instruments (piano, bells, etc.)
- Are there enough computers equipped with learning software for each age group?
- Is there a secure, door access system to gain entry into the facility?
- Are there camera monitors so you can observe classrooms without distracting students?