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

Montessori in the News

We are listening!
Here is what you shared with MSM to help us create a vision for the future.

Dear MSM Members and Fellow Montessorians,

As you likely know, the Montessori Schools of MA is in the process of developing a new 5 year Strategic Plan in order to set the best course forward for our schools and organization in the upcoming years. In January we asked for your input into that process in the form of a survey. We requested input from teachers, non-head administrators, and Heads of Schools for the purpose of informing our board conversations by including as many voices and perspective as possible as we plan for the future.

I am writing this letter to thank those of you who responded to the survey (18 Heads of Schools, 17 administrators, and 57 teachers); to share a brief summary of the survey results; and to update you on our process and progress.

Please click here to access the survey results that has been compiled by the Strategy Innovation Group, our strategic visioning facilitators. As a reminder, we have created the platform to keep you informed about our ongoing process and to periodically gain your input.

The MSM Board met for a full day retreat on February 1. Something that struck us as we reflected on the survey results was the high degree of resonance between the strategic frontiers that board members had identified, and the dreams and aspirations shared by many of you. The surveys expressed enthusiastic appreciation for the annual conference, for the advocacy efforts that MSM has undertaken, as well as encouragement to continue to identify and amplify high fidelity Montessori education in the state and region. Surveys also included many very helpful suggestions for improvement and/or expansion of services and resources.

During a packed and inspiring day on February 1, the board reviewed, discussed, and analyzed membership survey results, then we continued with our work of envisioning and crafting short- and longer-term goals for the organization.

We plan to meet again on March 28; in the interim we are continuing our planning work in small groups. We will keep you apprised of both process and products of our work as we move forward. Again, many thanks for your ongoing interest and support, and particular thanks to those who participated in the survey.

Kind regards,
Martha Torrence, M.Ed.
MSM Board President

Montessori Teachers Gather at Dean College for Annual Conference: 2019

Over 600 Montessori teachers and administrators from across the region gathered at Dean College in Franklin for the annual conference of MSM, Montessori Schools of Massachusetts on the first Saturday of the month. The conference provides an annual opportunity for Montessori professionals to connect with colleagues, keep up with new approaches to learning and teaching, and feel the strength of the Montessori movement in public and independent schools.

This year's conference featured a broad range of professional development workshops for teachers and administrators. These included "Positive Discipline: Promoting Pro-Social Behavior," "Technology, Social Media and Parenting," and "Cell Biology, Mitosis, and Stop-Motion Animation" among the 28 offerings.

Keynote speaker for this year's conference was Dr. Angeline Lillard, professor of psychology at the University of Virginia, who has been studying Montessori's methods for more than two decades. In her best-selling book Montessori: The Science behind the Genius, articles, educational DVD, and speaking engagements, it is clear that Dr. Lillard is an expert on Montessori's theoretical principles, the science research that has followed them, and how they are implemented in a Montessori classroom.

Montessori education has received recent national attention as a 21st Century approach to learning. Creative problem-solving, independence, and social/emotional skills have always been the bedrock of Montessori education, together with specially trained teachers and carefully prepared classroom environments. Educators, as well as employers of Montessori graduates, have seen how this approach has big benefits for students.

There are over 120 Montessori Schools in Massachusetts. For more information visit http://www.msmresources.org

MSM 2018 Annual Conference Press Release

Montessori Conference Draws over 500 to Dean College

Saturday, January 6 more than 500 teachers and administrators from Montessori schools throughout Massachusetts and New England met at Dean College in Franklin for the annual conference of the Montessori Schools of Massachusetts (MSM).

Seen by many as the template for 21st Century Education, the Montessori approach encourages and builds in children independence, creativity, autonomy and peaceful resolution of conflict. Keynote speaker Sandra Girlato, emphasized the essential role observation plays in Montessori classrooms. At its core, a Montessori classroom assumes what is now called differentiated or personalized learning; observations of children as they learn from classroom materials and each other guides teachers on what each child needs. Ms. Girlato is Primary Director of Training at the Foundation for Montessori Education in Toronto, Canada.

The teachers and administrators who attended, most of whom are trained in Montessori education, chose from 28 morning and afternoon workshops. Among these workshops were "Scaffolding and Differentiating STEM," "The Heart's Path: Social Emotional Curriculum," and "Creating an Inclusive Classroom."

There are over 120 Montessori Schools in Massachusetts. For more information visit http://www.msmresources.org

AMS 2018 Living Legacies: D'Neil and Michael Duffy

Join us in Boston for a spirited evening as we celebrate and honor D'Neil & Michael Duffy. The evening will include hors d'oeuvres, wine, networking, and a silent auction. Proceeds will support a cherished AMS practice: the awarding of scholarships to aspiring Montessori educators at AMS-affiliated teacher education programs.

Our 2017 keynote speaker, David Sobel, was so well received that we wanted to share some additional opportunities to extend the learning opportunities on this topic. Antioch University New England hosts three In Bloom east coast conferences this spring; first we're on the road to Kittery, Maine, then back home to Keene, New Hampshire, then on the road again to New Haven, Connecticut. Click here for more details.

Support Critical Montessori Research Through Encouraging Online Survey Participation

Two Montessori Research Panels have been created to connect researchers with the Montessori Community. The Panels allow Montessori educators and parents to volunteer to participate in important online survey projects up to three times per year. Researchers can access panelists for their work in building the body of knowledge supporting Montessori education.

Please share the information about joining the panels with Montessori teachers and parents in your state. We encourage individuals from ALL TRAINING PROGRAMS to participate! All new teachers who join during the month of November will be entered into a drawing for a $50 Amazon gift card!

• Over 700 Parent and Teacher Panelists have already agreed to be invited periodically to participate in online surveys regarding issues related to Montessori education.
• Proposals are reviewed by members of the AMS Research Committee and must be approved by a university Institutional Review Board.
• For more information about participating or accessing the panel for a project contact

Montessori Teacher Panel Enrollment: http://tinyurl.com/MontessoriTeacherPanel
Montessori Parent Panel Enrollment: http://tinyurl.com/MontessoriParentPanel

Angela K. Murray, PhD
Editor, Journal of Montessori Research
Senior Researcher, American Montessori Society
Assistant Research Professor, University of Kansas

The 2016 Montessori for Social Justice Conference - June 23-26Cambridge, MA

The 2016 Montessori for Social Justice Conference, the third national gathering, will be hosted by Tobin Montessori School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. A public Montessori school serving children ages 3-11, Tobin is accredited by the American Montessori Society. For complete details about the conference and organization visit their website at Montessoriforsocialjustice.org

QRIS Informational Meeting link from May webinar can be found by clicking here

Innovators to Education - November 2-3, 2013 - Boston, MA

This workshop is designed in two parts: an in-depth conversation with innovators who will discuss the kind of teaching that inspired their growth as innovators and a practical application of divergent and convergent thinking skills for educators to use with students in problem solving. These include great insight for Montessorians at an affordable price. Join the conversation!
Click here for full information and to register.

MSM Heads of School Luncheon, October 24, 2013

Montessori Schools of Massachusetts, as part of its commitment to member schools, hosts a yearly Heads of School Luncheon. It is an excellent opportunity to meet with other Heads and hear a presentation about a topic relevant to our membership. This year the luncheon will be hosted by Cambridge Montessori School on October 24, 2013. Our guest speaker is Sharon Maxwell who will be discussing, "Adolescents, Sexuality, and Dynamics". RSVP for this event is required, please click here for the registration form.

Posting 8/6/13

Protect Massachusetts Student Pricvacy

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education plans to help corporations profit from schoolchildren's most sensitive and confidential information. Massachusetts is one of five states committed to participate in the development and pilot testing of inBloom, a Gates Foundation initiative. Student information—including your child's name, home address, email address, test scores, racial identity, economic and special education status, and even detailed disciplinary and health records—will be stored on a data "cloud" and shared with for-profit corporations, without any guarantee that the information will be safeguarded. To learn more about this important topic check out http://www.commercialfreechildhood.org/action/massinbloom

Posting 3/1/13

Schools of the Future

Trends in education related to "Schools of the Future" are discussed in relation to Montessori Education by Kevin Clark, Head of School at Bay Farm Montessori Academy and Board Member, Montessori Schools of Massachusetts. Click here for the article and see page 11.

Posting 10/28/12

Are we killing creativity?

The importance of education in the development of children cannot be stated enough. Education leads to the cognitive skills needed later in life. But what about their creativity? Many people have the notion that our kids are creative as ever, but is that the case? If you watch some television with your kids, you'll quickly notice that many of these shows have no point and no story. If you really look at the kind of toys your kids are playing with, you'll see that toys are no longer tools to utilize a child's imagination.

In the 1980s and early 90's, kid TV shows always taught kids a moral and shows like Sesame Street dared kids to imagine. Toys were literally made so children could literally mold their creativity into a tangible object with toys like Legos and Play-Doh. Not anymore. And the studies reflect that. Creativity tests have been on the decline. Are we not teaching our kids how to be creative anymore? The following infographic will explain to you how we are killing our children's creativity.

Link: http://www.earlychildhoodeducation.com/killing-creativity/

DATE: October 11, 2011
TO: Private Non-Profits in the Counties of Worcester, Middlesex, Essex & Suffolk
SUBJECT: Announcement of Federal Funds - FEMA 3330 Tropical Storm Irene

On August 27, 2011, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts received a Pre-Landfall Emergency Disaster Declaration (FEMA 3330-EM) making Federal funding available statewide to all State Agencies, local governments and certain private non-profit organizations. Under the Emergency Declaration, PNP's are eligible for 75% reimbursement for municipal costs associated with emergency protective measures such as overtime, sheltering, and emergency clearing of trees and other debris to open up roadways immediately following the storm.

The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) will conduct three (3) Applicant Briefings (click here for schedule). These briefings will explain the reimbursement process for receiving Federal funds for eligible expenses incurred by your organization as a result of the severe storms and flooding event. Please find attached a briefing schedule, including directions. You may attend any of the listed briefings, within or outside your declared county.

We encourage your organization to send a representative to obtain the necessary forms and gather information since the briefings will explain the reimbursement process in detail. We expect each briefing to last approximately 1½ hours.

If you are aware of another private non-profit in your community that suffered damage, please advise them of the briefing schedule, as they too, may be eligible to receive reimbursement for their eligible expenses. In order for a private non-profit to be eligible for reimbursement, it must meet the FEMA eligibility criteria. To assist you in identifying eligible private non-profits, please refer to the FEMA website www.fema.gov or contact the MEMA Disaster Recovery Department at 508-820-2004.

Should you have any questions regarding these briefings, please contact Gina Valentine at 508-820-2004.

Posting 5/19/11

Montessorians, family, friends and colleagues of Gail Supanich,

The Celebration of Gail Supanich's life will take place at 4pm on May 30, 2011, Memorial Day.

The celebration will be held at Pioneer Valley Montessori School, 1524 Parker St., Springfield, MA 01129

Gail's understanding of children, families, community, and Montessori impacted thousands over the years and we would like to invite all of you who were part of that history to join us in celebrating her life! Help us celebrate a truly wonderful person. Please RSVP to mreynolds@pvms.org. We look forward to seeing you.

If you have photos of Gail please send them to elizslade@gmail.com

Contributions to the scholarship fund in her honor may be made by going to http://www.pvms.org/currentevents/donatetothegailsup

We hope that you can join us for this event and ask that you pass this announcement on to anyone you think appropriate.

Susan Swift, Sandra Wyner, Gretchen Courage, Molly Reynolds, Susan Hershey, Analida Munera, Elizabeth Slade, Julia Volkman

Posting 4/28/11

On April 5, 2011, the Wall Street Journal online published an interesting commentary called The Montessori Mafia which highlights the benefit of a Montessori education to many of today's innovative thinkers. You can link to the article by clicking here

To compliment his article, author Peter Sims will be fielding questions about the Montessori method online, today at 3PM. You can click to this online chat by following the link above.

Posting 3/28/11

Gail Marie Supanich
May 24, 1950- March 17, 2011

Gail Marie Supanich passed away at the age of 60 on 3/17/2001 at her home in Springfield, MA. She lived her final days the same way she lived her entire life, surrounded by family and friends.

Gail was on the board of the Montessori Schools of Massachusetts since its earliest days in the mid 1980's. Gail was instrumental in the development of this organization whose first goal was to bring together Montessori schools of all sizes in the state of Massachusetts. She worked with other heads of schools to ensure our schools/teacher certification were included in DEEC regs, creating a yearly conference that would bring speakers to New England, starting a scholarship fund for teachers to take training and working on ways to help schools pool their resources and expertise whether it be in the area of marketing, development, admissions or philosophy. Gail served in many capacities as president, secretary, membership chair and in the last few years was the driving force with Mary Gale behind the MSM yearly conference held each year in January.

Gail did her primary training at the Michigan Montessori Teacher Training Program. She joined Pioneer Valley Montessori School in Springfield, MA as an intern in 1973 and in 1976 became the Head of School Her first vision was to continue the school through the early elementary years, and she started the elementary program with just first graders in the fall of 1979. Ground was broken for a large addition to the school in 1980, and the elementary program moved into the new building in 1981. Eventually the school added a Upper elementary program under Gail's direction.

Gail's love of science was shared not only in her school but through articles for Montessori Life, her work with CMTE/NY and the AMS traveling symposiums which gave workshops up and down the east coast.

Gail became involved with the Zanetti Public Montessori School in Springfield, MA in 1999, first as a consultant and eventually as a mentor/coach for teachers and curriculum coordinator for their middle school. She organized for the Zanetti choir to open Maya Angelou's keynote address at the AMS 100th year celebratory conference in New York City, she wrote and received funding twice from the Jordan Foundation for projects at the school and she won an Ursula Thrush peace grant for the school that sent middle school students to the Model UN.

Finally, Gail served as an AMS School Accreditation Commissioner from 2005 until Spring 2010. She resigned due to the return of her illness. During that time AMS integrated with NCME and Gail, along with her fellow commissioners, helped guide AMS school accreditation through this transition period. As a commissioner Gail presented Accreditation 101 and Self-Study Writing workshops at our conferences.

Gail was a person of great vision, who had the energy, perseverance and dedication to carry her ideas through to completion. "Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints on your heart." She will be missed.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations made out to the Pioneer Valley Montessori School at 1524 Parker Street, Springfield, MA, 01129 to benefit the Gail Supanich Memorial Fund.

Posting 3/21/11

Words Can Work - Anti-bullying support materials
The recent White House conference on bullying underscores the continued national concern about this vital issue.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls bullying a "major public health problem."

Words Can Work has created a new 20-minute DVD, Bullying: True Stories, where young people describe the harm caused by bullying. Young people and adults who view their stories will better understand bullying behavior and their roles in preventing and stopping it. Our evidence-based DVD was produced with advisors from Harvard Medical School.

More than 400 educators from around the globe attended our recent Webinar about bullying with Harvard-affiliated McLean Hospital. The Webinar features excerpts of Bullying: True Stories. You can listen to the Webinar, which is archived at wordscanwork.com.

You can order Bullying: True Stories to show in the classroom or feature in a community event for parents/caregivers. The guide embedded on the DVD will help you easily lead dynamic discussions with students and with groups of parents/caregivers.

Order at wordscanwork.com. We also accept purchase orders by fax, email or mail. Contact us at Phone: 978.282.1663 or E-mail: kmaclean@wordscanwork.com.