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

Welcome Back to School and MSM Membership

Dear Colleagues,

It is mid-August, a time when we, as school leaders, are intensely preparing for the launching of a new school year. Regardless of your school's size: enrollment of 200+ including toddlers through middle schoolers or a more intimate early childhood setting, you are doing the same things. You are finalizing calendars, working toward last-minute enrollment and hiring, putting finishing touches on the budget, completing building and maintenance projects, and preparing to greet new and returning staff, students, and families. It is at once both a demanding and exhilarating time during which the promise of a new school year takes full form.

The MSM Board solutes your essential work as school leaders. Congratulations on your success in creating examples of Montessori excellence in your communities; thank you for supporting the Montessori movement in our region! The Montessori Schools of MA exists as an organization to support you in your leadership work by offering opportunities for networking and professional development, broadcasting the unique benefits of Montessori education to a broad public audience, and advocating for Montessori schools in relation to public policy.

The purpose of this letter is to encourage you (if you have not already done so) to renew your school's membership with the Montessori Schools of MA for the 2018-19 school year. Accompanying this communication, you will find a link to our membership renewal process which we have recently streamlined for your convenience.

As you consider the importance of your school's participation in MSM, let me take a moment to share some examples of the value added that this volunteer organization brings to you and to all other Montessori schools in the region.

Montessori Schools of Massachusetts:

               •Offers an outstanding regional Annual Conference each January that includes professional development opportunities for novice and experienced teachers and administrators, as well as the opportunity for networking with colleagues. Recent keynote speakers have included Sandra Girlato, Dr. Joyce Pickering, Sarah Ward, Dr. Stephen Hughes, and environmental educator David Sobel. The MSM conference, attended last year by over 400 area Montessorians, also includes high quality breakout sessions led by area teachers, administrators, and specialists.

               •Over the past three falls MSM has offered a Heads of Schools Retreat on the Cape in order to support Heads in networking, gaining leading edge knowledge about school administration, and renewing our energies. This year's Head's Retreat is planned for November 28-30 at the Ocean Edge Resort and Spa in Brewster. Its theme, "Leadership in Challenging Times", resonates with all of us. We welcome new and veteran Heads to join us in order to network, gain new information, and unwind!

               •MSM continues to offer yearly workshops for Admissions Directors and other marketing personnel who are seeking tips on techniques of admissions and enrollment management. Our most recent session, in April 2018, was hosted by the Oak Meadow School and featured Geordie Mitchell, Director of Admissions at BB&N, who led a lively conversation on the difference between "features" and "benefits" of Montessori education. We plan another such session for this coming spring.

               •Several years ago. we became aware of many of our members' concerns regarding EEC licensure regulations, QRIS standards, and the impact of each of these on our Montessori schools, particularly smaller schools with largely early childhood populations. With the support of a consultant who has a track record of success in supporting other state Montessori organizations toward advocacy in licensing issues, we have achieved some important results:

                               • Montessori early childhood teaching credentials issued by MACTE accredited teacher education programs are now accepted with full credit toward receipt of a MA EEC teaching credential.

                              • Our consultant Christine Lowry and the MSM Advocacy Committee, are now working closely and collaboratively with key EEC officials. Our discussions include topics such as the implementation of the ECERS-3 in Montessori settings, and licensing regulations as they impact Montessori programs.

                              • This work is slow-going, but steadily moving forward. In an effort to connect with Montessori advocates from all parts of the country, three members of the MSM Advocacy Committee will attend the MPPI (Montessori Public Policy Initiative) conference in Washington, DC this fall.

               •Every other year we conduct a salary survey in which participation is open to all of our member schools.

               •We plan, also every year, to survey our membership regarding your needs, concerns, and ideas for our further action. We analyzed and discussed the results of the 2017-18 survey at our MSM Board Retreat, held in June. Responding members offered kudos for work well done and guidance for future direction. Among topics that you raised and that are being addressed is the deliberate inclusion of Heads of smaller, early childhood-only schools in our board deliberations.

On behalf of the MSM board, I sincerely hope that you will take the opportunity to join the thrust and momentum of the Montessori movement in Massachusetts and surrounding states by renewing your membership in MSM today!

We are honored to serve you, and look forward to our continued collaboration.

Best regards,
Martha Torrence
Board President, Montessori Schools of MA
Head of School, Summit Montessori School

MSM Mission

The mission of the Montessori Schools of Massachusetts is to promote knowledge and understanding of the Montessori methods of education in Massachusetts and to provide a framework for communication and cooperation among Montessori schools within Massachusetts and other New England states, and between these school and other private and public schools, government agencies and organizations concerned with education.

MSM Membership

Membership is open to any public or private Montessori school or teacher training program in Massachusetts or New England that agrees to abide by the standards and code of ethics of AMI and/or AMS. MSM currently has 89 members in Massachusetts, Vermont, and Rhode Island. Student enrollment at member schools range from 6-550. Annual membership dues are based on student enrollment.

New Member Schools interested in becoming MSM members must agree to abide by the standards and code of ethics of AMI and/or AMS. New member applications will be reviewed and voted on at the MSM Board of Directors meeting following the receipt of membership application (typically meetings occur monthly). New members will not be added to the website or be able to post positions until a vote has been. Interested schools should contact Todd Covert, MSM Membership Committee Chair, at to discuss member benefits and receive a new member application.

Renewing Schools - Please log into your school's account via the MSM website here.

When you log in you will see Modify School Info on the right hand side. Click on this link and towards the bottom you will see Renewal Page. This will take you to our new renewal page.

Schools should then update their information in their account to ensure that the most up-to-date information is found on our website.

Membership renewals are due to October 31st. Membership renewals received after that date will be charged an additional 20%.

If you have questions about renewing your memberships, feel free to contact Todd Covert, MSM Membership Committee Chair, at to discuss.

Member Benefits

• School listing on MSM website with links to individual schools and other Montessori organizations

• Job postings on MSM's website

• Annual Conference

• Networking meetings for teachers

• Scholarships for teacher training

• Non-Discrimination Ad with school listings published

• Head of School Retreat

• QRIS Advocacy

• Montessori Advocacy