Leadership Institute

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Practical Insights, Strategies, and Skills




The Montessori Foundation's Montessori Leadership Institute has developed strong leaders of Montessori schools around the world since 1992.

In 2006 we pioneered online learning in Montessori leadership development, using streaming video and audio presentations, libraries of resources, dynamic online discussions, conference call-ins, and a network of fellow Montessori school administrators.

Our online courses offer:

  • practical information and resources
  • a fellowship of professional colleagues
  • individual counsel from our faculty
  • and the convenience of working from your school

They offer invaluable insights and skills used by successful Montessori schools around the world. Our Montessori Leadership courses are designed for:

  • Heads of Schools
  • Curriculum Coordinators
  • Admissions Directors
  • Development Directors
  • Board Members
  • Parent Leaders

Important Notes about Our Leadership Courses

These courses are professional development programs that are offered online. They are intensive, and collaborative learning experiences. While individual course certificates of completion are offered, they do not, at this time, represent a formal credential in Montessori school leadership.

Participants are encouraged to explore issues that they are currently working on at their schools. Many have described the experience as individual school consultation for a much lower cost, with the added advantage of the shared perspectives and experience of the other leaders participating in the course.

Although the course runs for a specific number of weeks, you can set your own schedule. Do you have a trip or specific time during this period when you will not be available? No problem! While it is best to participate with the entire group in ongoing discussions. You can catch up when you return.

The first week is orientation. The last is for reading, reflection, and wrap up. Plus you will have access to the entire course online classroom and resource collection, the video talks, and ongoing discussions with the instructor and your fellow students, for an entire year after the course ends!

During the course, you will be working on weekly learning activities and projects that will directly benefit your school. You should expect to invest at least five hours a week reading the extensive course materials, viewing online video presentations, or listening to audios, collaborating with fellow students and Tim Seldin, and working on PR, marketing, and recruitment strategies.


Final Note:
None of our leadership courses are preparation to teach a Montessori class. Workshops are for school leaders, who may or may not have Montessori training. These workshops are not intended as a substitute for Montessori teacher education at any level.

Feedback from Previous Participants



"This has been one of the best learning experiences in which I have been involved. Every aspect of school organization and development has been addressed. All the information has been essential to the work I am establishing in our community. Because of its authenticity (tried and tested), I consider it my roadmap to a successful Montessori program. I thank all of the Montessori Foundation staff and associates for their assistance and support."


Dr. Limmie Flowers
Who is organizing a new school in Mississippi



"I would totally recommend this kind of online course, I found that it was very helpful and interesting for me, considering I live too far away to attend to one of the conferences. And I think just like me there are other very interested people that do not attend to such because of distance or economical issues.

I think now I will be more prepared to open my preschool and to make things right from the beginning. Maria Montessori and this Leadership Course have given me the right tools to create a small community in the lands of San Pedro Sula, Honduras.

I look forward to your next online course. It is definitely worthwhile!"


Gabriela Gonzalez
Who is organizing a new school in San Pedro Sula, Cortes, Honduras


"This having been my first course on line, I felt less than competent in using a computer to communicate with a group of people. Talk about contextual learning! I had to learn computer skills while learning the material for the class.

As far as the technical aspect, once I got the hang of it the course started to move faster. I liked the assignments because they went along with the things I was already planning to put into practice with the school. For example, during the week of defining you identity, I was dealing with a parent who was not sure whether to keep her child at our school. This was a catalyst for me to begin a list of what our school had to offer and what made us special. The head presented this document to the parent, let her compare it to the other school she was considering and then let her decide. When she decided to send her child to the other school strictly on the basis of convenience (her older children attend there) I did not feel one bit of regret. Thanks to this course I realized that she was really not interested in quality, only cost and convenience. I did not see it as an insult to our school and was glad she made a space available to someone who was delighted to have her child in our program and plans to stay through kindergarten.

The confidence the school has gained by the knowledge gained in this course was evident at our latest parent meeting. We were able to answer the parents' questions with more affirmation and I could see that our confidence gave them confidence in us. Interesting, I just took my first born child off to college this weekend. My daughter and I were required to attend a 2 1/2 day orientation session. The speakers spoke of many things that I have learned in this course. They spoke of being partners in the child's education, allowing the child to things for herself, understanding that tears are normal. They addressed the same parental concerns that you told us about; parents want to know that their children are safe, that someone cares about their whole well being (emotional, physical, and spiritual), as well as if they will get a high quality education. They also gave several talks selling the unique qualities of the school and what makes it special, (why you would want to send your child there). I thought to myself, "did they take Tim's course,too?"


Shawn Ross M.D., Board Chair
Nativity Montessori
Maysville Kentucky


"Being a participant of Tim Seldin's on-line course "Finding the Perfect Match" has given our school a lot of new insights and a clear understanding of the importance of the total enrolment process. The course was full-on (definitely "... like drinking water from a fire-hose" as Tim warned in the first week) but the background knowledge, the examples given and the sharing of information with fellow students from all around the world was well worth the costs. Highly recommended!"


Annemarie Hogenbirk
Volunteer for Montessori At Long Bay Primary School
North Shore, Auckland, New Zealand


"I definitely would recommend this experience to other school administrators. I have met some wonderful people in this course as well as learned a lot about the importance of taking the time and spending the money to advertise your school. To stop "apologizing" to parents because of the high tuition cost, to be confident in my position as a director.


I found what I hoped for, and then some!!! I was hoping to find ways in which to advertise a brand new elementary school and get enrollment. The classes made me realize that this is more involved than just having a quick "open house" and waiting to sign everyone up. I was/am still a bit overwhelmed with the amount of time that the course takes however I have enjoyed the experience.


I don't think that you can put a price tag on the knowledge and information that you, Tim, possess and have shared with us. As far as I'm concerned this course is worth far more than the Foundation charged! Would I ever want to take a similar course again? Absolutely!"


Kelly Brunelle
Director
Green Valley Montessori School
Southbridge, Massachusetts USA

Building A World-Class Montessori School


Registration Fee


NOTE: This is a self-paced online course. Registration is open and you may register at any point in the year. We guarantee registrants at least a full year to complete it. Some people have been able to complete the course in 12 weeks with an investment of approximately 5 hours a week to read the materials, watch the videos, and complete the assignments. Class participation in the discussion forums is essential to take advantage of not only the prepared content, but to explore your prospective project, ask questions, and interact with other students. Additionally, the Montessori Foundation offers a series of optional weekly webinars on Wednesdays at 1 PM East Coast time in the United States. Many of these live sessions make be of interest and value to participants in the course. Questions are encouraged.

Course Description
Building a World-Class Montessori School has been our most popular course for almost 25 years.

World-class Montessori schools are schools that have achieved a level of excellence, stability, and widespread public appeal that makes them highly attractive to prospective parents and teachers. So often though schools struggle, primarily because they continue to compromise their programs and principles in hope of becoming more attractive to parents. The Montessori Foundation helps you makes the case for courage, conviction, and consistency. Our premise is that there is a Montessori way that we can and must follow to produce, time and time again, the results that made Montessori schools famous around the world. We will sketch out the specific elements of best practice that can lead your school to greater success in everything it does.

The Montessori Foundation has worked with hundreds of Montessori schools around the world, helping them to clarify their philosophy and develop the highest levels of Montessori curriculum and practice. This course will give both an incredibly in-depth overview of all of the Montessori Foundation's other courses in Montessori school leadership, along with a host of specific strategies and tools that you need to chart the best course for your school's future.

We don't provide a precise syllabus because we customize the course to a large extent to respond to the interests, needs, and concerns of the students enrolled. Topics covered typically include:

UNIT 1: Introduction to World Class Montessori Schools

• Introduction to the concept of a World-Class Montessori School.
• A historical perspective of Montessori education.
• Clarifying what it means to be a Montessori school.
• How a school differs from other businesses.
• How a Montessori school differs from other schools.
• Perspective: Abundance vs. Scarcity.
• The Nine Areas of School Operation.
• Starting a new school: rationale; steps; legal & financial structures; business plan

UNIT 2: Defining Your Identity

What are core values, vision, mission, and aims and why are they important?
Achieving clarity regarding core values, mission, vision, and aims.
• How some Montessori schools lose their way (missions and market forces).
• Defining a school's identity based on core values.
• Creating a 'Blueprint' for the school.
• Using a Best Practice process to guide decisions.

UNIT 3: Ownership of the School / Governance by the Board

• The role of Boards in the management of Montessori schools.
• Creating Boards that function efficiently and effectively.
• How boards work with the head (recruit, support and evaluate the head).
• Effective board meetings.

UNIT 4: School Leadership / Administration

• Defining the role of the School Head: administrative and leadership functions.
• How to find the right person as Head of School.
• Employment agreement for the Head of School.
• Sustainable School Leadership: Assessing and supporting the Head

UNIT 5: The Educational Program

• The fundamental principles underpinning an authentic Montessori program.
• Establishing continuity and cohesion across all levels in a school.
• Designing and implementing a cohesive and integrated Montessori curriculum.
• Implementing a studio program to enhance and extend the Montessori program.
• Program assessment.
• Student assessment, recording and reporting.
• Aspects of Best Practice in a Montessori educational program.

UNIT 6: Faculty & Staff

• Staffing a Montessori school - important principles and ethical issues.
• Recruiting the right staff.
• Choosing the right candidates.
• Interview techniques and questions.
• Evaluating effectiveness of faculty.
• Job descriptions.
• Staff Handbooks.
• Salaries and legalities.
• Staff development and retention.
• Characteristics of Master Teachers.

UNIT 7: Facilities

• Aspects of architecture and grounds layout.
• Designing an aesthetic and effective Montessori classroom.
• Assessing the efficacy of school facilities.

UNIT 8: Finances

• Setting tuition.
• Enrollment agreements.
• Refund insurance.
• Tuition increases.
• Financial aid.
• Collecting past-due tuition.
• Other aspects of finances.
• Assessing the health of your school's financial position.

UNIT 9: Recruitment and Admissions

• An introduction to the process of 'Finding the Perfect Match.'
• How to market a Montessori school.
• Define what you are selling and identify your school?s unique selling points.
• Marketing strategies: direct mail, brochures, print, radio, TV, guerilla marketing.
• The admissions process and documentation.
• Making admissions decisions.
• Retaining families once they are enrolled.

UNIT 10: Building School Community

• Building strong school communities.
• Community meetings.
• Involving parents productively in the school.
• The family-friendly school.
• Customer service.
• Parent Education.

UNIT 11: Gathering Additional Resources

• Fundraising, bonds, and/or financing.

Registration Fees: $1,250 US for the first person from a school / $1,000 US for each additional person enrolling from the same school.

Members of the International Montessori Council (IMC): Individual IMC members, or participants sponsored by a school that is a member of the International Montessori Council, receive a substantial discount: $1,050 US.

If you would like to become an IMC member, either join as part of your course registration or CLICK HERE.


Registration Fee



How To Start a New Montessori School


Registration Fee


In response to numerous requests from the community, we have written a new course: How to Start a New World Class Montessori School. Anyone who wants to start a new Montessori school or convert an existing child-care center into a Montessori school will find this course invaluable.

Course Description

This course is designed for people who are just beginning to work on developing a new Montessori school or converting an existing day-care to Montessori. If you are looking to extend an existing school to higher levels or take your existing school to a whole new level of excellence, then your needs would be better served by our Building a World Class Montessori School course.

Note: This is a course presented online. It requires an investment of approximately 5 hours a week to read the materials, watch the videos, and complete the assignments. Class participation in the discussion forums is essential to truly take advantage of not only the prepared content, but to explore your prospective project, ask questions, and interact with other students. Additionally, the Montessori Foundation offers a series of optional weekly webinars on Wednesdays at 1 PM East Coast time in the United States. Many of these live sessions make be of interest and value to participants in the course. Questions are encouraged.

PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS NOT PREPARATION TO TEACH A MONTESSORI CLASS - IT IS AIMED AT SCHOOL LEADERS AND OWNERS, WITH THE ASSUMPTION THAT YOU WILL BE HIRING MONTESSORI TEACHERS IF YOU DO NOT HAVE MONTESSORI TRAINING YOURSELF.


To succeed, Montessori schools need to achieve a level of excellence, stability, and wide-spread public appeal, which makes them highly attractive to prospective parents and teachers. So often, though, schools struggle, primarily because they continue to compromise their programs and principles in hope of becoming more attractive to parents. This course makes the case for courage, conviction, and consistency. The premise is that there is a Montessori way that we can (and must) follow to produce, time and time again, the results that made Montessori schools famous around the world. We will sketch out the specific elements of best practice that can lead your school to greater success in everything it does.

The Montessori Foundation has worked with hundreds of Montessori schools around the world, helping them to clarify their philosophy and develop the highest levels of Montessori curriculum and practice. This course will also provide an incredibly in-depth overview of all of the Montessori Foundation's other courses in Montessori school leadership, along with a host of specific strategies and tools that will help chart the best course for your school's future.

We do not provide a precise syllabus because we customize the course to a large extent to respond to the interests, needs, and concerns of the students enrolled. Topics covered typically include:

Understanding Montessori Education
Why start a Montessori school?
What is a World-Class Montessori School?
Abundance Thinking
The Nine Areas of School Operation
Clarity is the Key to Success
Prioritizing and sequencing what you need to do
A community of support and inspiration.
Legal Structures
Your Business Plan
Ownership and Governance
The Importance of Environment
Facilities
Equipping your classroom(s)
Curriculum design and systems to record student progress and report it to parents
Staffing your school - important principles and ethical issues
Administration/School Leadership
Marketing and Recruiting - Finding the Perfect Match

Registration Fees:

Non-IMC Members: $750 US for the first person from a school / $600 US for each additional person enrolling from the same school.

Members of the International Montessori Council (IMC): Individual IMC members, or participants sponsored by a school that is a member of the International Montessori Council, receive a substantial discount: $700 US for the first person enrolled from an IMC-affiliated school / $500 US for each additional participant enrolling from the same IMC member school.

If you would like to become an IMC member, either join as part of your course registration or CLICK HERE.


Registration Fee

Finding The Perfect Match: Recruiting and Retaining Your Ideal Enrollment

Registration Fee


Note: This is a course presented online. It requires an investment of approximately 5 hours a week to read the materials, watch the videos, and complete the assignments. Class participation in the discussion forums is essential to truly take advantage of not only the prepared content, but to explore your prospective project, ask questions, and interact with other students. Additionally, the Montessori Foundation offers a series of optional weekly webinars on Wednesdays at 1 PM East Coast time in the United States. Many of these live sessions make be of interest and value to participants in the course. Questions are encouraged..

Course Description


Note: This is a course presented online. It requires an investment of approximately five hours a week to read the materials, watch the videos, and complete the assignments. Class participation in the discussion forums is essential to truly take advantage of not only the prepared content, but to explore your prospective project, ask questions, and interact with other students. Additionally, the Montessori Foundation offers a series of optional weekly webinars on Wednesdays at 1 PM East Coast time in the United States. Many of these live sessions make be of interest and value to participants in the course. Questions are encouraged.

A school is nothing but people. It lives in their hearts and minds. A great school is group of people acting in accordance with a common set of beliefs and values, who feel a sense of commitment to each other and to the institution.


So often, schools agonize over the difficulty of attracting and retaining enough students to meet their budget, and every time a Montessori child leaves before graduation, our classes and school communities suffer.

The Montessori Foundation believes that this endless cycle can, and must, be broken. We can build our schools with children who will blossom in Montessori and with parents who will value and remain committed to Montessori. This highly practical and hands-on course will show students how to organize their admissions / recruitment program to identify and attract the perfect families for your school.

Does this sound familiar?

"We worry about our enrollment every year."

"My teachers get tired and discouraged when we hold parent education nights, and only the same five really committed families show up."

"I wish that our parents were really supportive! What does it take to get parents to understand that we sometimes feel as if we?ve all taken a vow of poverty just so their tuition will stay low"

"I am really tired of defending Montessori to parents who think that we?re involved with a cult."

A Montessori child can never be replaced!

This course will help you to attract not only children who will blossom in your school, but parents whose values and commitments are in line with your school?s vision.


This course will help you to:

  • consider how to make the most of the currently weak economy that many schools face.
  • define your school?s unique identity
  • build a stronger school community
  • get the most out of your promotional dollars
  • learn how to get positive PR on a shoestring
  • understand the recruitment secrets of the most successful schools
  • turn your school?s ?limitations? into assets
  • develop highly effective school brochures
  • make direct mail strategies work for your school
  • develop and effectively use direct mail pieces
  • get free publicity for your school
  • use slide shows and videos
  • make your school newsletter your single most effective PR tool
  • organize effective open houses and special events
  • motivate your present families to help
  • find the perfect match between family, child, staff, and school
  • keep your vision alive
  • develop effective parent education programs
  • organize monthly community and class meetings
  • work with parent volunteers
  • make new families feel at home
  • give children ?bragging rights? through a strong extracurricular program
  • organize a Financial Aid Program
  • develop a more family-friendly school

Registration Fees:

Non-IMC Members: $1,250 US for the first person from a school / $1,000 US for each additional person enrolling from the same school.


Members of the International Montessori Council (IMC): Individual IMC members, or participants sponsored by a school that is a member of the International Montessori Council, receive a substantial discount: $1,050 US for the first person enrolled from an IMC-affiliated school / $800 US for each additional participant enrolling from the same IMC member school.

If you would like to become an IMC member, CLICK HERE.

Registration Fee

An Overview of Montessori Principles and Curriculum: Infant-Toddler Through High School

Registration Fee


Course Description


Note: This is a course presented online. It requires an investment of approximately 5 hours a week to read the materials, watch the videos, and complete the assignments. Class participation in the discussion forums is essential to truly take advantage of not only the prepared content, but to explore your prospective project, ask questions, and interact with other students. Additionally, the Montessori Foundation offers a series of optional weekly webinars on Wednesdays at 1 PM East Coast time in the United States. Many of these live sessions make be of interest and value to participants in the course. Questions are encouraged.

This is a course designed for present and prospective Montessori teachers, Heads of Schools (especially those who are not formally trained as Montessori educators), and very interested parents. It is also popular with certified Montessori teachers who would like a fresh perspective, as well as teachers in conventional classrooms who would like to gain a deeper understanding of Montessori education.


RATIONALE


This course has been developed for a number of reasons. Over the years, it has become clear that there are many people who would like to know more about Montessori education than can be easily gleaned from their own reading.

The first group for which this course has been developed f non-teaching administrators of Montessori Schools who do not have formal Montessori training. While often highly qualified in regular or conventional education, these school leaders may find the classroom practices of their staff somewhat strange and, frankly, often inconsistent with their own understanding or commonly held notions of good educational practice. Similarly, school administrative and support staff often only have a cursory understanding of the principles on which the approach is based, but they are nonetheless, regularly in a position where they need to promote or support practices which confound them. This course is intended to provide insight for non-teaching and support staff as well as assistants.

Parents, attracted to some aspects of Montessori, are confused by others. Sometimes, parents want deeper understanding of Montessori and are looking for a reliable, neutral source.

The abundance of information available on the internet is both an asset and a challenge. It is virtually impossible for someone new to Montessori to sift through what is genuine and useful Montessori information from that which is confused, misleading, or simply one individual?s opinion.

The attempt to arrive at some clear, universal understanding of exactly what ?Montessori? actually means (and the associated discord resulting from that) has plagued the development of the Montessori approach from the outset. Even in Montessori?s day, people applied certain aspects of her work, amended some aspects, and completely omitted others. Various Montessori associations and training organizations have presented different approaches. Sometimes, the differences have been significant; sometimes, they are merely nuances for principles that are fundamentally the same.

These variations can be seen positively as a source of strength, as the means by which the system can be developed, strengthened, and new ideas and discoveries incorporated into what could, potentially, become a stagnant and dated approach. On the other hand, diversity can lead to discord and confrontation, as proponents of different interpretations lobby for one or the other approach to be recognised as the one and only truth.

This course does not seek to convince anyone that one approach to Montessori is the correct one. We will not recognize or uphold any interpretation as gospel; however, we will examine what Dr. Montessori wrote, said, and did in an attempt to fully understand how Montessori is practised today. This will require that we fully unpack the assumptions that filter our understanding. Even if we revert to Dr. Montessori?s own writings, as we will do often in the course of the coming weeks, it quickly becomes clear that her own views evolved over time. To make a definitive statement on how Dr. Montessori would have approached any topic is fraught with difficulty, not least of which is the fact that, unless one is able to read the original Italian, we are dealing with translations. A possibly less easy to recognize challenge is that everything passes through a sieve of their own existing knowledge and bias (and this has already happened at least once in the process of translation - not only in terms of language but in terms of conceptual and contextual interpretation).

This is quite a lofty goal. The rationale is that, by unraveling those aspects of popular understanding and daily practice of Montessori, which originated in her own works, from the overlays of other paradigms, it will become easier to understand what is actually happening in Montessori schools and to express our experiences and views in ways that are unambiguous and faithful to the original vision, yet understandable by those who do not have a detailed knowledge of Montessori. What, really, is the place of Montessori in the current educational milieu, and does it have a meaningful contribution to make in education reform and transformation?

This course is, then, an attempt at finding clarity and harmony in diversity, while recognizing the value of the tension between purity of vision and the complexity inherent in the application thereof.

More simply put, we will look at what makes what we do ?Montessori? (as opposed to something else). We ask, "What are the fundamental principles that cannot be changed?" We will also examine variations on that, in a non-partisan way, so that those associated with schools from different positions on the Montessori spectrum will be able to recognize what is and what isn?t best practice. It will then be easier to clearly see the implications of the various ?analytical lenses? through which the rest of the world views our schools.

With this in mind, we have identified a third potential interest group: Montessori educators, who would like to explore explore aspects of Montessori which they may not have encountered in their own training. This will give them the opportunity to look at familiar issues from a different perspective or simply find new inspiration.

Course Design & Implementation

The course is designed to be a prepared learning environment for self-directed adults. Using a wide range of different resources, pitched at different levels, and chosen to stimulate discussion and enquiry rather than simply delivering information, we offer a syllabus that is both broad in its sweep, while allowing participants to delve more deeply into those areas that are most relevant and interesting to them. Content is chosen to provide a balance of simple and clear explanations on one hand and challenging, somewhat controversial, interpretations on the other. We can guarantee one thing: It won't be boring, and every participant will be challenged to confront his or her own understanding of Dr. Montessori's work

The course is designed to be flexible in order to accommodate the needs of still other cohorts with different backgrounds and needs:

  • Non-Montessori trained staff of Montessori schools
  • Parents of children in Montessori schools
  • Teachers in non-Montessori schools
  • Faculty members of university Schools of Education who want a deeper understanding of Montessori
  • Staff of alternative schools interested in exploring Montessori
  • Homeschoolers

Registration Fees:


Non-IMC Members: $1,250 US for the first person from a school / $1,000 US for each additional person enrolling from the same school.

Members of the International Montessori Council (IMC): Individual IMC members, or participants sponsored by a school that is a member of the International Montessori Council, receive a substantial discount: $700 US for the first person enrolled from an IMC-affiliated school / $500 US for each additional participant enrolling from the same IMC member school.

If you would like to become an IMC member, CLICK HERE.

Registration Fee

Building an Effective Board for Your Montessori School


6 Week or customized to meet your board's schedule

Instructor: Tim Seldin

This course is a special program that is customized and run for the entire board and leadership of individual Montessori schools. It includes a series of six live online seminars with Montessori Foundation President, Tim Seldin.

This program can make a tremendous difference for your school's future. It is designed for both board members and administrators. It considers the unique nature of independent/private Montessori schools, and the Montessori principles that should guide every discussion and decision that we make. We will cover the fundamental principles of serving on a nonprofit board, the roles of board members in an effective school, the Montessori way to run meetings and make decisions, and the cycles of sustaining an effective board and administrative team, budgeting, setting policy, relating to the staff and parent community, the board's role in evaluation, and serving as ambassadors of the school in the larger community. We will also touch on fundraising, setting tuition and fees, committees, officers of the board, accreditation, and how the board can ensure the integrity of the school's Montessori program.

This course can be followed by a second customized program on organizing for the process of self-study, accreditation, and strategic planning.

Topics

Week 1 Clarity is the key to success as a school

1. Introduction to the concept of a World Class Montessori School

2. A historical perspective of Montessori Education

3. Clarifying what it means to be a Montessori School

a. How a school differs from other businesses

b. How a Montessori School differs from other schools

c. Perspective - Abundance vs. Scarcity

4. The Nine Areas of School Operation - an overview of the nine areas covered in this course

5. Defining your school's identity

a. What are core values, vision, mission and aims and why are they important?

b. Achieving clarity regarding core values, mission, vision and aims.

c. How some Montessori schools lose their way - missions and market forces.

d. Defining a schools identity based on core values.

e. Drawing up a Blueprint for your school.

f. Using a Best Practice process to guide decisions.

Assignment: Is your school a highly effective Montessori community or a shopping mall of independent business operators (the classroom)? How consistent are the programs and experience that parents and children have from class to class, and from one level to the next? What percentage of families tend to leave mid-year, and why? How many people leave at the end of a school year before graduation? Why?

Week 2: What does it mean to be nonprofit? What is the role of the board?

1. What does non-profit status really mean?

a. Your articles of incorporation and bylaws

b. Your legal duties to the government as board members

c. Who “owns” the school? Parents? Teachers? Students? The community?

2. The various types of non-profit boards

a. Boards that Boards whose members are actively engaged in administrative roles as the school is first organized

b. Boards that see their role as supporting the founding head

c. Boards made up of present parents, who focus on short-term issues.

d. Boards that tend to think strategically and are capable of capital fund raising

e. Board whose primary function is to raise money

3. Roles and responsibilities of trusteeship

a. Fiduciary responsibility

b. Establish the school's vision and mission (they are guardians of a trust)

c. Hire the Head of School

d. Set policy

e. Supervise and evaluate the Head of School’s performance, and participate in ongoing evaluation of the program as a whole

f. Monitor the finances and approve the budget

g. Look at the long-range vision and plan for the future

h. Serve as good will ambassadors in the community

i. Lead fund raising efforts

4. Because Montessori schools have a fundamentally different ethos than most bodies governed by boards it should be governed in a different way—a way consistent with Montessori philosophy and beliefs.

a. Montessori Philosophy as it applies to Governance

b. Key aspects of Montessori philosophy that a Board member would need to grasp in as a basis upon which to understand the remainder of the suggestions.

Assignment: How much do you and your fellow board members understand about Montessori now? How well does your board and administration operate in ways that are fairly consistent with Montessori principles?

 

Week 3 The Organization and Make-up of a Montessori Board to ensure clarity, consistency, and institutional memory

1. Roles and functions of members of a Montessori Board.

a. Differentiated role between board and Head of School

b. Relationship to faculty and staff

c. Relationship to parents

2. The makeup and roles of a Montessori board

a. Size of effective boards

b. Terms of office

c. Term limits

d. How are members chosen?

e. Who make the best board members?

Present parents?

Past parents?

Teacher members or representatives?

Should the Head serve on the board?

Outside community members?

People of great wealth and community influence?

3. What any good board does

a. “Cradle” the vision

b. Explicitly address fundamental values

c. Force an external focus on the marketplace and how well we are serving our “customers”

d. Enable an outcome-driven organizing system - mission framed in terms of outcomes

e. Separate larger issues from small

f. Force forward thinking

g. Enable proactivity

h. Facilitate diversity and unity

i. Be accountable to constituencies without simply reacting to them in a knee-jerk manner

j. Define a common basis for discipline to reinforce board roles and operation

k. Delineate the board role in given day-to-day and extraordinary situations

l. Determine what information is needed to govern responsibly

m. Balance under-control and over-control

n. Use board time efficiently

4. What an effective board avoids

a. Time spent on the trivial

b. Short-term bias

c. Reactive stance

d. Reviewing, rehashing, redoing

e. Leaky accountability - Board bypassing the CEO to deal directly with staff

f. Diffuse authority - Everyday staff and administrative decisions made at board level

5. How board typically try to correct their roles

a. More involvement - Hands-on governance

b. Less involvement

c. Board as watch dog - keeps a “wary eye” on staff performance

d. Board as cheerleader

e. Board as manager

f. Board as planners

g. Board improves communication with staff

6. Why these 'prescriptions' often lead to disappointing results unless fundamental changes are made in the school culture

Week 4: Managing an Effective Montessori board process - Board Ethics

1. The Montessori Way of Meeting - The process of running an empowering and effective meeting

2. Officers of the Board

3. Committees and task forces

4. The role of the board in a strong Montessori community

5. Characteristics of effective members of a Montessori board

6. How to choose new board members and orient them into their new role.

7.The responsibility of the Board to establish high ethical standards for the school.

8. Conflicts of interest

9. Seeing oneself as representing a specific constituency or point of view

10. Making decisions based on one’s personal experience or situation, not looking at this in terms of the best interest of school as a whole institution and thinking in terms of the long run

11. Aggressive, dominating behavior and attitudes in meetings.

12. Keeping certain things confidential

13. Speaking to the stakeholders with one voice.

14. Board self-evaluation

15. Annual board professional development: Board and administration workshops, retreats? Should faculty and staff participate?

16. What do you do if a board member is either a source of dissention, fails to perform his or her commitments, or otherwise violates the ethics of board membership?

Assignment: How is your board made up now, and how effectively is it currently working to serve the needs of your Montessori education program, not as a business per se.

 

Week 5 Developing an Effective Working Relationship Between The Board and Administration, and the larger school community

1. How the head of school can and should inform, consult, and support the Board.

2. How the Board can coach, guide, and support the Head of School.

3. Everyday relationships between Board members and the faculty and staff

4. Ways to allow the school’s stakeholders to feel heard, understood, and develop confidence in the Board and Administration:

a. Community meetings

b. Open Forums – Coffees

c. Surveys

d. Ongoing Self-study and program evaluation

e. Developing a grievance process

Assignment: Describe how this works now in your school.

Assignment: Describe and explore one or more situations that you have seen or heard about where a Board became embroiled in issues of conflict, breaches of confidentiality, or lack of time and follow through to meet the basic expectations that the board had for members.


Week 6 Open Discussion of Issues That Face Your School and/or Board

Numerous contributors with experience as board members and heads of school recount challenges they have had concerning boards and how they met those challenges.

Assignment: An written wrap-up and reflection on essential issues needing further attention, your challenges, and opportunities


Coming up: The next course will look at strategic planning and preparing for school accreditation.

 

Registration Fee: $4,000 for the entire board and administration of one school

Member Schools of the International Montessori Council (IMC): $3,750

To discuss the possibility of arranging this program for your board:

Contact Tim Seldin at 1-941-729-9565 or email timseldin@montessori.org

Guiding Teachers to be More Reflective and Proactive About Montessori Practice Improvement From Year To Year

3 Part Live Online Workshop: New Dates to Follow


What Happened?
What's Happening?
What Needs to Happen Next?

Guiding Teachers to be More Reflective and Proactive About Montessori Practice Improvement From Year To Year

A 3-part live online end-of-year leadership course for Montessori School Heads and Instructional Leaders

Presented by Andrew Kutt and Jonathan Wolff * Hosted by Tim Seldin and The Montessori Foundation's Montessori Leadership Institute



Registration Fee: $500/$450 for current IMC members

Most Montessori schools go through the school year without providing teachers with the opportunity to review and improve their teaching practices and professional relationship skills.

Teachers who don't take the time to reflect on "what happened" and "what needs to happen next" tend to repeat the same patterns or habits, some of which are not best for students or "best" Montessori practice.

Schools that do provide teachers with a platform for review and re-vision exhibit a culture of continuous improvement that leads to better student outcomes, higher staff morale, and increased parent satisfaction and retention.


Have you experienced any of these "end-of-the-year" thoughts?

___ I have some teachers whose successes and skills have gone largely unnoticed by those who could benefit the most from them.

___ I still see some bad habits of Montessori teaching and classroom management that need to be weeded out of our program BEFORE next school year.

___ What do I do with the teachers who are brilliant with children but abysmal with adults, who frustrate fellow staff and upset parents?

___ How do I shore up the inconsistencies I see between classrooms - differences that are not good for students and cause parents to compare classrooms and criticize teachers?

___ I'm tired of asking the same teachers to change their practices and behavior!

If you have ever been plagued by such thoughts we invite you to join of a select group of Montessori school leaders in learning a new model for end-of-the-year teacher reflection - that leads to better program quality and enhanced parent satisfaction.

This live online end of year leadership course will be conducted in three 90-minute sessions using the outstanding Zoom.com Small Group Video Meeting System. See system requirements below.

You will come away with insight, resources, and a practical plan that you can use this year as we wrap things up or as you and your team come together to kick off next year.
Registration is limited to 22 school leaders
Sessions will be highly interactive
If you miss a session,each session will be recorded.

Live sessions will be held


On Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday June 17th, 18th, and 19th
3:00 to 4:30 pm Eastern Daylight Savings Time
2:00 to 3:30 pm Central Daylight Savings Time
1:00 to 2:30 pm Mountain Daylight Savings Time
12:00 to 1:30 pm Pacific Daylight Savings Time



Register Now



Some highlights of the course:

The 3 primary areas of the school year that will we focus on in terms of a review process will be:
Events
Program
People

Session One:

Discover what gave us life this last year? What was successful and meaningful?
Dream: How we can build on what was achieved so far? How can we make it better?

Session Two:
Determine which things we want to focus on building up and why? (Review and identify our criteria for choosing goals)
What goals do we want to set for next year.
What are the criteria for choosing those goals? The criteria should be in line with the mission & vision of the school as as school strategic plan.
Does it fit within our definition of Montessori best practice?
Will the goal meet the educational / student outcomes our school / class has identified?
Are there external factors (marketing, admissions etc. ) that need to consider?
How will this affect or impact the different classes and parent constituencies at the school?

Session Three:
Design the plans for achieving the goals we have set.
Once we have vetted and identified our goals the next step is to design a plan for successfully implementing the goals.
We will use Montessori's three period lesson approach in the implementation process of our goals.
We will also look at important questions that need to be answered such as - what needs to occur over the summer prior to the start school?
Who do we need information from?
Who might this impact?
Who needs to be communicated to or included in the planning?




Computer System requirements to participate in the live Zoom sessions:

A stable internet connection - broadband wired or wireless (3G or 4G/LTE)
Speakers and a microphone - built-in or USB plug-in or wireless Bluetooth
A webcam or HD webcam - built-in or USB plug-in
Or, a HD cam or HD camcorder with video capture card
Supported Operating Systems
Mac OS X with MacOS 10.6.8 /(Snow Leopard) or later
Windows 8 or 8.1
Windows 7
Windows Vista with SP1 or later
Windows XP with SP3 or later
Supported Tablet and Mobile Devices
Surface PRO 2 running Win 8.1
iOS and Android devices
Supported Browsers
Windows: IE7+, Firefox, Chrome, Safari5+, Opera12+
Mac: Safari5+, Firefox, Chrome
Processor Requirements
Any 1 Ghz single core processor or better

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