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Building a World-Class Montessori School

Registration Fees:

Non-IMC Members: $1,250 US for the first person from a 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 

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 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 make 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.
  • How to find the right person as Head of School.Employment agreement for the Head of School.
  • The 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 the 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.
  • How to market a Montessori school.Define what you are selling and identify your school?s unique selling points.
  • Define what you are selling and identify your school?s unique selling points Marketing strategies: direct mail, brochures, print, radio, TV, guerilla marketing.
  • Marketing strategies: direct mail, brochures, print, radio, TV, guerilla marketing.The admissions process and documentation.
  • The admissions process and documentation.Making admissions decisions.
  • 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.