Accreditation is a service provided to full-member schools by the American Montessori Society. It is a voluntary process that takes 1 to 2 years to complete. Accreditation begins with an intensive self-study, by the school, involving the school’s entire community—students, staff, faculty, administration, board members, and parents.
During the application process, every aspect of the school is examined and documented, including governance, curriculum, fiscal and personnel policies, facilities, health and safety practices, teacher preparation, and learner outcomes.
At the end of the self-study period, a thorough onsite peer review is conducted. In addition to determining whether the school meets AMS standards, the review team evaluates the school to see how well it is achieving its own mission and goals—whether the school is what it says it is and does what it says it does. After identifying both strengths and areas to strengthen, the school commits to a strategic plan for improvement which incorporates the recommendations of its peer review team.
All AMS accredited schools must maintain compliance with school accreditation standards and work toward continuous improvement. Each accredited school submits a yearly report outlining progress toward the objectives in its strategic plan.