"Never let a child risk failure until he has a reasonable chance of success."
     - Maria Montessori

MSM Advocacy Support for Montessori Schools and Teachers in MA



Advocacy Update – December 2017

The Montessori Schools of Massachusetts is proud to share our latest advocacy initiatives with you. Our Advocacy Committee has worked diligently on your behalf to support Montessori education and schools in our state.

Over the past several months, we have continued our work with our consultant, Christine Lowry of Montessori-Now. Our focus has been on gaining recognition of the Montessori credential within the Professional Registry. Although the Montessori credential is mentioned in the documents from Professional Registry, the information regarding hours and requirements is incorrect. We have created a document with the correct information and have been able to share this information with MA EEC Commissioner Tom Weber, and members of his staff. We continue to have ongoing communication with the Commissioner's office with the assistance offered by Christine.

As the MA EEC QRIS is changed, we continue to monitor the impacts this program might have on Montessori programs. Members of our committee are attending regional workshops, and participated in a department webinar on October 20. We sent out suggestions for responses to the QRIS survey to all our member schools in November. We will communicate with you as we have updates and action items for you to participate in.

Advocacy is a slow, steady process of hard work that requires patience, flexibility, and good old grace and courtesy. Your MSM board is committed to this process and is proud to be the one voice for all Montessori in our state. Thank you for your support, your feedback, and continued involvement with the Montessori Schools of Massachusetts.

We hope that you will join our panel discussion during the MSM conference in January!

The MSM Advocacy Committee

The Montessori Schools of Massachusetts Advocacy Committee continues its work to support Montessori education and programs on behalf of all Montessori schools in the state.

With our consultant, Christine Lowry*, we have engaged in ongoing conversation with MA EEC Commissioner, Tom Weber, and members of his department, with the goal of gaining recognition of the Montessori credential in the MA Professional Registry. We are also closely monitoring the changes and latest developments with the state QRIS. We will communicate with you regularly with updates and any Action Items.

Our goal is to have a unified voice representing all Montessori schools of Massachusetts when advocating to the state for the QRIS rating of Montessori schools and teachers. While we encourage schools and teachers to pursue QRIS qualifications with their state licensor, we ask that any advocacy for the recognition of Montessori schools and/or teacher qualifications be coordinated through the MSM Advocacy Committee.

The MSM Advocacy Committee is a group of volunteers who are working with the MSM Board of Directors and Christine to support the values, and philosophy of Montessori education and the rigor of the Montessori teacher credential in the context of MA EEC QRIS. Our committee members include:

Members:

Laurel Zolfonoon – committee chair, MSM board member, Head of School Concord Montessori School
Debbie Jernegan - MSM board member, Head of School Vineyard Montessori School
Martha Torrence - MSM Board President, Head of School Summit Montessori School
Consultant: Christine Lowry, co-founder of Montessori –Now. She is engaged in numerous advocacy projects impacting Montessori Education at state levels.




QRIS Updated January 2017

Brief Summary:

The Montessori Schools of Massachusetts has initiated action to advocate for Massachusetts Montessori schools in regards to the QRIS ratings and teacher qualification recognition. The MSM Board has contracted the help of Christine Lowry who has successfully accomplished such advocacy in several states. The MSM QRIS Taskforce is a group of volunteers who are working with the MSM Board of Directors and Christine for to advocate the recognition of Montessori schools and teacher credentials by the state in consideration of its QRIS ratings.

Our goal is to have a unified voice representing all Montessori schools of Massachusetts when advocating to the state for the QRIS rating of Montessori schools and teachers. While we encourage schools and teachers to pursue QRIS qualifications with their state licensor, we ask that any advocacy for the recognition of Montessori schools and/or teacher qualifications be coordinated with us.

The details:

The Montessori Schools of Massachusetts has initiated action to advocate for all Montessori schools in Massachusetts in regards to the QRIS (Quality Rating and Improvement System) and teacher qualification recognition and licensure program in our state. To assist us with this process, the MSM Board has recently contracted the experienced support and guidance of Christine Lowry. Christine Lowry, MEd, is the co-founder and head writer of Montessori -Now. She is engaged in numerous advocacy projects impacting Montessori Education at the national and state levels. She has worked with the national Montessori Public Policy Committee, and has consulted for AMS on several projects focused on public policy. Christine holds an AMS credential in Early Childhood. Christine's efforts in assisting other states' organizations, similar to MSM, to advocate for policy changes at the state level have been very successful. We look forward to her work with our MSM QRIS Taskforce.

The MSM QRIS Taskforce is a group of volunteers who are working with the MSM Board of Directors and Christine. The Taskforce will be working with Christine Lowry to support the values, ideals and philosophy of Montessori as they together review the impact of the QRIS national rating systems on our schools, and to provide advocacy that will recognize the value of Montessori teacher certifications within the state credentialing system.

Our goal is to have a unified voice representing the Montessori schools of Massachusetts when advocating to the state for the QRIS rating of Montessori schools and teachers. The MSM QRIS Taskforce's first communication will be asking all Montessori schools in Massachusetts to assist us in the collection of demographic information about our schools. These specific details from all schools will inform our future discussions with state QRIS personnel. By providing them with our collective data about of the number of Montessori schools, families, children, programs, and faculty, we provide them with important information about the impact of a Montessori education on children throughout Massachusetts. While we encourage schools and teachers to pursue QRIS qualifications with their state licensor, we ask that any advocacy for the recognition of Montessori schools and/or teacher qualifications to be coordinated with us.

The Taskforce looks forward to the work with Christine Lowry over the upcoming months and will keep you informed of our progress through the MSM website. The following is a quote from Montessori–Now.com that speaks to the Taskforce's upcoming efforts on behalf of all Montessori schools in Massachusetts.

"Our work is to present ourselves as unified, thoughtful, professionals who share the goals of high quality, safe and healthy, educational experiences for all children." Montessori-Now