The Montessori School for Shreveport (MSS) is fully accredited by The American Montessori Society (AMS), a non-profit, educational membership organization charged with the responsibility of assuring that standards established by the academic profession for authenticity in Montessori teaching methods, philosophy and educational programs are maintained.
Accreditation represents the highest level of recognition for an AMS school affiliate. Because no copyright is available on the Montessori name, many facilities may incorporate various Montessori methods and materials in their programs without trained teachers and call themselves "Montessori" schools. MSS is the only fully accredited Montessori school in Louisiana.
The purposes of school accreditation are:
To define standards of excellence in the implementation of Montessori education.
To provide a structure for peer evaluation and program review that facilitates the process of self-study and school improvement.
To recognize schools that fulfill these standards of excellence.
To stimulate and support professional development in the field of Montessori education.
The accreditation process begins with an intensive, holistic self-study by the candidate school that may take more than a year to complete. An application detailing the class levels offered, the number of students in each classroom, who the teachers are in each class and what type of certification they hold, is prepared and submitted. It is a requirement that the head teacher in each class have Montessori certification from a program accredited by the Montessori Accreditation Council of Teacher Education. AMS also asks that the school follow the AMS Code of Ethics, maintain a full complement of Montessori materials, maintain an "open door" policy for visitors, and have periodic visits from Montessori specialists.
An on-site visit to the school by an objective team of evaluators named by AMS is the next step towards accreditation. These evaluators review and validate the school's self-study document and other pertinent records. The team will also conduct interviews and other activities necessary for data gathering. The team will offer commendations, recommendations and suggestions to the school and will compile a written report for submission to AMS.
The Accreditation Commission will then examine the self-study report and the report of the evaluation to determine if the school meets standards for accreditation. The Commission then makes its recommendation to the AMS Board of Directors. If appropriate, accreditation is granted for a period of seven years. The accredited school provides annual reports to AMS and begins a process to renew its accreditation towards the conclusion of that seven-year period.
This rigorous self-examination process and the accompanying objective evaluation by professionals benefits MSS in immeasurable ways. It further highlights our commitment to providing students with an individualized educational program of the highest quality.
For more information, visit the American Montessori Society website.