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Montessori School Verification Project

What is Montessori Verification?

Verification is a process for state regulators to recognize a particular school as a Montessori program. The process is administered by the Pacific Northwest Montessori Association (PNMA) At this time it only applies to Early Childhood programs, although we will be offering the process for Infant/Toddler programs soon.  A Verified Montessori school exhibits the following criteria:

•A credentialed teacher (MACTE, AMS, or AMI affiliated training) in each classroom for the age group served
•A mixed age class based on developmentally appropriate groupings
•An uninterrupted extended work period
•Adequate Montessori materials in each classroom
•Educational philosophy and method consistent with accepted Montessori practice
•Some level of Montessori training or experience for at least one member of the administrative team.

What Does it Mean?

At this time, Montessori Verification only applies to Early Childhood programs because these are the programs that have perceived a need for verification in their relationship with the state. 

How Can a School Achieve Verification?

Click Here to start!The applicant school must:

•Pay a $100 administration fee. You will be emailed the Verification Handbook and Self‐Study form.
•Receive and submit the PNMA Montessori Verification Self‐Study.
•Schedule a Verifier visit (we anticipate a 60‐90 minute visit).*

PNMA Verification Committee Chairperson: mary Moore - verification@pnma.org

•Assigns a qualified Verifier to visit the school site
•Receives the Verifier Report and presents it to the Verification Committee. The committee sends its recommendations to the  PNMA Board for approval at monthly meetings.
•Sends a Verified Program Certificate to the approved school and to DEL.

* AMS Accredited and AMI/USA recognized schools are waived from the requirement for a Verifier visit due to the extensive work on meeting standards that exceeds those of Verification.

What is the Benefit to Becoming a Verified Montessori School?

 Verified Montessori schools will be able to apply for an exception to the current DEL maximum group size of 20 children in early childhood classrooms. DEL has agreed to allow Verified Montessori schools to apply to have class sizes up to 26 children, so long as the required ratios (1 adult per 10 children) and classroom space requirements (35 square feet of usable space per child) are maintained. 

Once a school has received Verification status from PNMA, they may submit a Childcare Licensing Exception Request Form to DEL to request an exception from WAC 170-295-2090 which currently stipulates a maximum group size of 20 in early childhood classrooms. DEL will then notify the school directly to approve or deny their request. 

How Can I Become a PNMA Verifier?

To become a PNMA Verifier, you need to:

•Be a current member of PNMA
•Provide a copy (pdf is fine) of your AMS, AMI, or MACTE accredited training program credential in Early Childhood
•Attend a 1-hour training with PNMA Verification Trainer

We will be conducting regular Verifier Trainings throughout the year. We will post the dates of upcoming trainings. If you are interested in being on the email list for notification of future Verifier Trainings, please contact the Committee Chair.

Committee Members:  Chelle Downey-Magee, Mary Moore, Gracie Martinez, Sarah Harper, Elizabeth Truman, and Mary O’Brien, chair


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