Choosing The Right School

Not all Montessori programs are created equal. There is presently no regulation within our state’s realm of education that defines what schools are allowed to call themselves a "Montessori" school. The following is a brief checklist to assist you in finding a Montessori program with a genuine approach. Additional, in-depth resources are linked at the bottom of this list:

  1. Are all of the lead teachers Montessori educated and certified?
  2. Is the campus and classroom environment clean, organized and calm?
  3. Is the school administration available and informative?
  4. Does each classroom represent a 3-6 year mixed age group?
  5. Are the children focused on their work and do they look interested and engaged?
  6. Are all of the classrooms fully equipped with all of the traditional Montessori materials?
  7. Are the materials made of natural elements such as wood, glass and cloth, with very limited amounts of plastic?
  8. Do the classrooms contain Sensorial, Practical Life and Academic areas?
  9. Is art and music incorporated into the curriculum?
  10. Do the instructors support the "follow the child" philosophy of children working at their individual pace?
  11. Is there a long, uninterrupted work cycle twice daily?
  12. Are children permitted to repeat work as many times as they would like?
  13. Are the children exposed to character and environment education?
  14. Are parents encouraged to become involved, not just in the school's activities, but in the education style and learning of their children?

For additional information, please see these Montessori Essentials prepared by the Montessori Public Policy Initiative (MPPI). Also, the Maryland State Department of Education has created this checklist with more details to help families identify high-quality Montessori schools.