What is Accreditation?
Accreditation is a voluntary process undertaken by schools that are committed to continuous improvement. Accreditation is a mark of excellence—one that is achieved by very few schools.
Twin Parks Montessori Schools schools are accredited by the American Montessori Society and the Middle States Commission on Elementary Schools (MSCES), a regional agency whose standards reflect the best teaching practices nationwide. This dual accreditation means we meet a standard of excellence in implementing Montessori education that is recognized by the entire AMS community, as well as by the standard-bearers of the educational community at large. Parents choosing either of our accredited schools are assured of a quality experience for their children.
How is Accreditation Achieved?
Accreditation is achieved through a process of rigorous self-study and documentation, in which a school frankly examines both its strengths and areas that need improvement. Because its central purpose is to affirm that a school is what is says it is, and does what it says it does, the process invariably results in ongoing pedagogic improvement and professional development.
In fact, the self-study process is one of discovery and empowerment. Each school’s self-study focuses on its philosophy and its constituents, resulting in strong self-evaluation and a strategic plan that fosters continuing school improvement. The self-study process results in a strategic plan to guide the school in achieving its self-identified goals. A plan becomes fully strategic when it includes timelines, resources (both human and financial), and tools to measure success.
Schools seeking accreditation model themselves on Standards for American Montessori Schools, and adhere to six essential qualities that are established by research and consensus as embodying the essence of the Montessori educational philosophy.
These essential qualities are:
• Creating a Montessori Learning Environment: a child centered environment that is responsive and adaptive, with individually construed competences.
• Fostering Montessori’s Learning Activities: relying on proper materials for engendering spontaneous activity, active and self-directed learning, freedom within limits, and intrinsic motivation.
• Nurturing Montessori Learning Relationships: mixing age groupings, creating a social and cooperative community setting, and encouraging collaboration rather than competition.
• Cultivating Montessori Spirituality: placing the child at the center, as a spiritual and moral being.
• Identifying with being a Montessori Teacher: being an authoritative presence, an active observer, and reliable resource, consultant, and role model.
• Embodying the Montessori Principles: respectfully engaging with learners, matching learners with knowledge and materials, designing salutary environments, organizing and preparing.
These qualities and their attributes are described in more detail on pages 38-40 of The Authentic American Montessori School.
For more information on the Middle States Commission on Elementary Schools (MSCES), visit http://www.ces-msa.org/