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  • February 13, 2014 4:42 PM | Dee Hirsch (Administrator)

    Make Your Voice Heard

    Dear Colleagues,

    The United States Departments of Education and Health and Human Services have just announced a new competition to “Build, Develop and Expand High-Quality Preschool Programs.” The two departments are soliciting public input on the competition until 5pm EST on February 26.

    We urge you to add your voice – and the collective voice of Montessori – to the conversation.

    This is a crucial opportunity for federal legislators and policymakers to learn about the strengths of an early childhood Montessori education and, most importantly, what hinders or facilitates its success in the public sector.

    For those of you who would like to submit comment, and we hope there are many, here is a link to the comment site at the DOE’s Homeroom Blog. There are a number of comments already posted that offer an idea of what kind of input various constituencies are offering.

    In addition, the National Center for Montessori in the Public Sector (NCMPS) will be submitting comment and will incorporate input received through the contact form on the NCMPS homepage. The deadline for this is next Wednesday, February 19.

    Whether through the DOE’s website or NCMPS’s website, thank you for your participation in this process. It is an exciting and long overdue time in early education/preschool education, and NCMPS is committed to promoting high quality, fully implemented Montessori programming as a standard of care.

    Warmest Regards,
    Keith Whitescarver, Director
  • February 05, 2014 10:21 PM | Dee Hirsch (Administrator)
    Open our News about the Montessori Community and pass it along to your colleagues.
    Use this information and the links to websites that prepare you for our Winter Forum!

  • January 09, 2014 6:08 PM | Dee Hirsch (Administrator)

    Margo Rossano, founding director of Bellevue Montessori School and of Montessori Teacher College Northwest, a teacher-training course, died on December 24, 2013.

    Mrs. Rossano led a very full life and Montessori education was a large part of it.  In the mid-1960’s she was looking for a pre-school for her child.  After attending a series of lectures given at Seattle University by E.M. Standing, a biographer of Maria Montessori, Mrs. Rossano decided that she would open a Montessori school.

    Bellevue Montessori School opened in 1966 as the first Montessori school on Seattle’s Eastside.  Nine years later, in 1975, an elementary program was begun.  Both programs continue today.

    In the early 1980’s, Mrs. Rossano, along with Dorothy Carlson, began Montessori Teacher College Northwest, a teacher-training course.  Educating students and future Montessori teachers was a calling and a passion until her retirement in 1992. 

    Mrs. Rossano was also active in regional and national Montessori organizations.  She was involved in NCME, the National Center for Montessori Education, which has now merged into the American Montessori Society.  Mrs. Rossano was instrumental in the formation of MACTE, an organization which instituted standards and oversees teacher-training courses throughout the country. She was also involved in the early years of PNMA.

    Margo and Russ settled in Bellevue after moving around the country for Russ's work with the Public Health Service.  When their youngest daughter Teresa was about three, Margo searched for a good preschool in the area and didn't find anything that resonated with her.  She immersed herself in studies of the Montessori methodology and brought trainers over from England to train Montessori teachers and began a little school in downtown Bellevue.  The school later grew and Margo and Russ planned a new school at its present location.  Margo later started an NCME teacher education program to meet the needs of her growing school and over the years mentored many Montessori students and families.  AMS honored Margo for inspiring so many schools in the Greater Seattle area.  Margo left a beautiful legacy of professionalism in our Montessori community in Washington State and worked on many boards and committees at the national level.

    Mrs. Rossano’s legacy will forever live on in the school she founded and in the lives of the students, families and teachers she touched.  

    Jeannine Hanson

    "The child should love everything he learns. Whatever is presented to him must be made beautiful and clear."
    - Maria Montessori

  • January 02, 2014 9:16 PM | Dee Hirsch (Administrator)
    The largest effort ever to collect data on Montessori programs in the United States is underway. The 2013-2014 USA Montessori Census is a collaborative effort between all major Montessori associations in the USA.  

    The Montessori School Census will, for the first time, provide authoritative information on the size, location and organization of Montessori education in the USA.   We need your help so that we can answer key questions such as:

    How many….
    • Montessori schools are there really in the United States?
    • Montessori schools in the USA are private and how many operate in the public sector?
    • Students do our schools currently serve?
    • Montessori teachers are practicing in the USA?
    • Montessori schools offer programs at infant-toddler, early childhood, elementary, middle school, and high school?

    Then view the map state by state.
  • December 06, 2013 3:18 PM | Nancy NDCWebDesign (Administrator)
    Contact: Mary Moore

    Montessori Forward is a new website supported by AMS and AMI to keep
    everyone informed about happenings in each state regarding the Quality
    Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS).

    If you want to get updates on the blog go to

    Here is a portion of the latest posting:

    Montessori Forward
    Ready or Not, Here it Comes
    Posted: 04 Dec 2013 03:12 PM PST

    Why should we continue to care about QRIS? It's voluntary, right? It's only
    for public schools, right? It's only about schools that want government
    funding, right?

    Wrong on all counts! What it is, ultimately, is about the definition and
    assessment of "high quality."
  • November 21, 2013 5:42 PM | Dee Hirsch (Administrator)
    Montessori educators in WA state will want to watch our progress as we begin meetings with the DEL community outreach to offer our advice and raise our issues of licensing and professional development. 
    This meeting is starting with those who responded to the invitation and should generate a series of meetings to raise the Montessori voice.
    This is the first major opening in our work since we added Montessori credentials to the Career Lattice.  The meeting will be reported on this website and PNMA will follow up with outreach to our members.
    You may send your input to us at
  • November 17, 2013 10:20 PM | Nancy NDCWebDesign (Administrator)
    Contact: Mary Moore

    Lakshmi Kripalani, one of Maria Montessori's last remaining direct students and a dedicated leader in the Montessori community, has died. She always focused on the children and exhorted adults to improve their own practice rather than tear down the efforts of others. She will be sorely missed.
    In the Fall 2011 issue of Public School Montessorian she urged collaboration of AMI and AMS to reflect the cooperative nature of teachers and schools.  Her column has always been a source of thought about the Montessori community and practices.  Her writing can be seen in archived issues of the PSM edited by Dennis Schapiro and in compilations recently issued.
  • October 16, 2013 3:06 PM | Nancy NDCWebDesign (Administrator)
    Contact: Castle O'Neill

    Location: Seattle University - Wyckoff Auditorium
    MEIPN is pleased to sponsor John Chatttin McNichols, the AMS 2014 Living Legacy* in a benefit for the AMS Teacher Education Scholarship Fund. All proceeds will go directly to the Scholarship Fund in his honor.

    Morning Session 9 am -11 am $50.00

    "Human Needs and Montessori Environments"

    This two hour talk, with additional time for questions, will take a look at the ways in which our Montessori environments meet the needs of children. The main focus will be on using Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, and other theorists as well. This presentation will use slides from Dr. Chattin-McNichols' visits to Montessori schools outside of the U.S.

    Lunch on your own

    Aternoon Session 1 pm -3 pm $50.00

    "Cosmic Education and Advanced Math in Early Childhood : Presentations in 3-6 That Your Elementary Montessori Colleagues Really Hope You Get To"

    The focus will be on two main areas, Cultural subjects and Math. This two hour presentation, with time for questions afterwards, will include demonstrations of less common Montessori materials."

    Register for both Sessions $75, additional donations welcome

    Click below to register or copy into your browser

    *The American Montessori Society Living Legacy is an annual tribute to an individual whose dedication and leadership has made a lasting impact on the AMS community. Your donation in honor of the Living Legacy supports a cherished AMS practice: the awarding of scholarships to aspiring Montessori educators at AMS-affiliated teacher education programs.

  • September 24, 2013 5:19 PM | Dee Hirsch (Administrator)
    Private schools in WA state are the constituency for the Washington Federation of Independent Schools.  I was appointed by WFIS last year to a seat on the ELAC.  Next week we have our 1st organizational retreat on Monday and regular meeting on Tuesday.  The easiest way to share all the content of the meeting and ask for your input is to post the agenda with the listed documents as link:

    I will endeavor to ask for input of educators in private school settings regarding the issues under discussion at each meeting this year.  Please have a look and write to me at if you wish to comment. Dee Hirsch

    The primary purpose of ELAC is to advise the Director of DEL on policy.  The State-Local Coordination Project has a goal of increasing communication between State agencies and Local constituencies through the representatives on ELAC.  Watch for surveys in the private school community that will gather more of your ideas and questions.  ELAC meetings are open to the public and notices are posted at
  • September 19, 2013 2:36 PM | Dee Hirsch (Administrator)

    Thursday, September 26, 2013, 7 – 8:30 PM (ET)

    Presenters: Christine Lowry
    For: Early Childhood teachers and teacher educators, and heads of schools 
    WEBINAR REGISTRATION is on the AMS Website
    A complimentary (no-fee) webinar for all our Montessori friends and colleagues, brought to you by the AMS Public Policy Committee.

    Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (“QRIS”) are impacting Montessori Early Childhood programs in almost every state. These systems give a grade to every Early Childhood program based on criteria such as the number of plush animals, blocks, and toy figures that are available in the classes, as well as environmental elements including how well teachers interact with children, according to QRIS criteria. The result is that while play-based day care centers may score well, Montessori schools do not.

    You can help protect Montessori education! In this webinar, learn about QRISundefinedthe myths, the truths, the potential threats to Montessori schoolsundefinedand discover how we can work together to advocate for our schools and our children.

    Christine Lowry, MEd, is a member of the AMS Public Policy Committee and a consultant to AMS, offering technical assistance related to AMS’s QRIS special project. A Montessori educator for 20 years, Christine has taught at the Early Childhood level and has owned and administered 2 Montessori schools. She is currently assistant head of school at Willow Oak Montessori, a new charter in NC, as well as the program and educational director and exceptional children's coordinator. In 2012, Christine helped found the Colorado Montessori Association.


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PNMA is a membership organization and non-profit in the State of Washington.  Our membership is inclusive of anyone who chooses to join us and we welcome Montessori Professionals of any certification.  Our roots of pedagogy and Montessori principles are the foundation of our professional community.  Membership is open at all times and renewed each year in September.  See our Membership page for more details.

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