Utah Montessori Council
USA: UtahThe Utah Montessori Council was founded in 2004 with the intent of creating a support network for Utah Montessorians. The Montessori movement has been growing in Utah since the early 1980’s and today there are about 40 schools in the state. Most of these schools are small and find it difficult to send teachers out of state to training programs and professional conferences. The UMC set out to provide support accessible to every Montessorian in the state beginning by offering an annual professional conference.
In establishing an annual conference the objective was to keep costs low so that every director, administrator, teacher, assistant and parent could afford to attend. The first conference offered a variety of workshops presented by local talent and was attended by 100 enthusiastic fans of Montessori. Registration was kept at $50 per person which included an evening of registration, appetizers and a school tour as well as a full day of workshop options, lunch and snacks. In February the UMC held its 6th annual conference featuring keynote speaker Catherine McTamaney, author of The Tao of Montessori. This was attended by 200 participants including some from neighboring states. Because of members volunteering their labor registration remains at $50 per person.
New to the UMC this year is a website with links to all member schools and services (www.utahmontessori.org). The group is also offering consulting services and a UMC school certification program that meets or exceeds local state daycare standards. UMC Treasurer, Bruce King, spent long hours testifying before the state legislature and committees over the past year to speak up for the self-regulation of private schools. He was successful in establishing an exemption for Utah Montessori schools. He took the idea a step further and created a series of certification programs demonstrating the health, safety and environmental consciousness of qualifying schools. “The next time this subject comes up before the legislature,” King says, “we’ll have our own certification programs in place which will demonstrate our ability to remain self-regulating.”
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Last Updated (Thursday, 22 July 2010 09:03)