Alpharetta International Academy is "Accredited with Quality" for K-5th grade with the Georgia Accrediting Commission.
by Dixie Oliver
In the 1980s almost all the Montessori schools in Atlanta were affiliated with American Montessori Internationale (AMI), the most recognized international Montessori training authority in the world. With branches and training centers in many countries, AMI considered themselves the elite, the epitome of an organization representing their founder (Maria Montessori) in educational philosophy, methodology, and curriculum. To maintain this distinctiveness, AMI's interaction with other legitimate Montessori training entities has been strained at times.
In contrast, American Montessori Society (AMS) has been more open to variations in curriculum and methodology that fit the American cultural and traditional educational styles as long as the essence of Montessori learning-objectives and curriculum are strictly followed. Like AMI schools, however, AMS expect their schools to hire staff that have graduated from their training programs.
I am a graduate of AMI and have hired excellent AMI and AMS graduates over the past 32 years. However, I have found AMI and AMS policies to be restrictive and limiting when it comes to hiring and training good Montessori graduates from other programs. AIA is accredited by the Pan American Montessori Society. www.montessori-pams.org However, we are an independent international academy with the freedom to hire the best teachers available - choosing not to be restricted by one particular Montessori entity.
We strive for excellence in our school and are committed to providing a quality Montessori educational environment for each child. Our teachers are experienced and have excellent Montessori training. We hope to nurture each child's innate desire to learn in a kind and supportive way. We embrace diversity, welcome new ideas, and encourage creativity. Over the years, we have been blessed with teachers, aides, students, and administrators from many different countries, language groups, and cultures - including the continents of Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, South America, and North America. This combination of educational and cultural diversity has brought a special richness and inestimable value to our school.
The mission of the Pan American Montessori Society is to offer teacher education courses of high quality that provide an in-depth study of the Montessori Concept of Education and the ways in which it can be implemented. The goal of each course is not just to give lessons on the didactic materials, but to provide candidates with an understanding of the secret of childhood, to give them new insights into the nature of child development, and to demonstrate how respect for the child's inner teacher serves as the integrating principle for effective childhood education.
Some other Montessori links:
American Montessori Internationale (AMI) - www.montessori-ami.org
American Montessori Society (AMS) - www.amshq.org
Montessori Educational Programs Internaitonal (MEPI) - www.mepiforum.org