International Montessori School Accreditation
An MEPI declaring to all stakeholders and the community at large that the MEPI-accredited Montessori school meets or exceeds clearly established measures of quality and had demonstrated a commitment to the betterment of a genuine Montessori institution.
How the Program works
- Become a school member of MEPI (at Silver Level)
- Receive confirmation of membership from MEPI office
- Apply using Application Form (submitted with $150)
- Receive confirmation of receipt of application from MEPI
- Complete and submit self-study
- Discuss and resolve questions with Commission
- Receive confirmation of completion of self-study
- Send request for On-Site to arrange visit of Commissioner
- Complete accreditation On-Site visit
- Accreditation Commission informs school of results, sends certificate
Dr. Daniel Jutras, Chair
Dr. Sheryl Sweet-Miller
What is the International Montessori School Accreditation Program?
- The goal of The MEPI International Montessori School Accreditation Program is to permit an in-depth assessment by a school community of its quality and to affirm to the local and Montessori communities that the school holding its accreditation meets internationally-accepted standards of Montessori education.
- The MEPI International Montessori School Accreditation is both a Process and a Declaration:
- a process of internal review and external evaluation.
- a declaration of organizational characteristics confirming the competency of a Montessori school to serve as a model for best practices.
- The accreditation process consists of:
- a self-evaluation reviewed by members of the Accreditation Commission
- an On-site visit by a qualified Visitor designated by the MEPI International School Accreditation Commission. The outcome of
- a public declaration that the accredited school has fulfilled all elements of the protocol laid out by the Commission.
As there is neither a single authorized accountability nor restricted international rights in the Montessori community, it is crucial that the MEPI-accredited school confirms publicly that it demonstrates and promotes authentic Montessori philosophy and educational practice for the benefit of children, families, and the global professional community. Through the completion of an accreditation process, the Commission provides any Montessori school the essential confirmation, affirmation and endorsement that the school in question has completed and obtained the MEPI international School Accreditation standard, and is now an MEPI Accredited School.
Who can be accredited?
Any Montessori school or setting offering a Montessori program can apply to become accredited and be awarded the MEPI International School Accreditation. It must become an MEPI member as part of the process.
How often must MEPI accreditation be renewed?
The International School Accreditation by MEPI is valid for a period of four years. In addition accredited schools provide annual reports until the accreditation renewal process begins. Annual reporting insures that the publicly available information regarding the accredited school accurately reflects the school. A renewal of accreditation is initiated through another process consisting of the assessment of annual reports and confirmed through a renewal visit by an On-site Visitor designated by the Commission.
How long is the validity of the international accreditation?
The International School Accreditation by MEPI is valid for a period of four years. Accredited Montessori schools by MEPI and accredited settings offering a Montessori program are required to provide annual reporting till the expiration of the accreditation. Annual reporting insures that the publicly available information regarding the accredited school or setting is maintained accurately. A renewal of accreditation is initiated through another process consisting of the assessment of annual reports and confirmed through a Renewal visit by an On-site Visitor designated by the Commission.
What are the criteria to be granted a MEPI International School Accreditation?
- Be approved (licensed, permitted, etc.) by and follow regulatory requirements of local authorities such as Ministries, Police, Fire, Health, and Education
- Be a school member of MEPI
- Be established for more than 2 years
- Be committed to the delivery of high quality Montessori education for children from one or more age groups such as Infants, Toddlers, Early Childhood, Lower Elementary and Upper Elementary
- Have a certified Montessori Principal or Montessori inspired leadership for the school
- Have qualified Montessori teachers leading the learning
- Have a child centered environment prepared to facilitate free-flow opportunities in all avenues of learning
- Have faith, trust and respect towards children’s need to learn and develop during a substantial work cycle
- Be committed to working and communicating productively with families
- Be prepared to commit to the accreditation as a means of ongoing professional development to which the whole school community contributes
- Be able to contribute to and share with a dynamic international organization and global family, with materials, ideas, thoughts, files and information that promote and raise the quality of Montessori in the best interest of the children, the family, the community and other schools.
What are the fees for MEPI International School Accreditation?
- Schools must first become MEPI members. While the membership fee is not technically a cost of accreditation, schools not already members of MEPI should consider it in budgeting for accreditation.
- $150 non-refundable fee to cover administrative costs. Upon receipt the Commission assigns a Commissioner to support you through the process of accreditation.
- Once the application has been reviewed and all questions resolved, a fee of $250 is due prior to the On-Site Visit.
- The school pays all costs of the On-Site visit, which can vary considerably depending on cost of meals, lodging, and travel, and a $100 honorarium paid directly to the On-Site Visitor.
- Quadrennial renewal consists of assessment of annual reports and an additional On-Site visit.
How do we communicate with the Commission?
Schools entering the accreditation process receive the self-study link to the e-Montessori web site and are assigned a Commissioner to assist with the process.
Receive from your On-site Visitor electronic confirmation that your whole document “Condition of our Montessori School or our setting providing a Montessori program” along with the school’s profile and appendices has been received and is currently under review by the designated Commissioner, who then:
a.provides you feedback with regards to the completion of your self-evaluation document
b.either requests for a possible re-submission or notifies you about the planning and the timing of the On-site visit.
Once the self-study has been reviewed the Commission contacts the school to give feedback and recommends an On-site visit or postponement of this visit until changes have been made to the domains that need attention and improvement.
What is the Self-Study like?
The self-evaluation exercise allows in-depth self-assessment and correction of weak aspects of a program through participation by the entire school community.
The school community assesses itself in five domains, each with numerous elements:
- The Child (7 elements)
- The Community (8 elements)
- The Environment (19 elements)
- School Management (19 elements)
- The Teacher Guide (24 elements)
Each elements consists of a question asking the school community how it addresses the various aspects of the school in the five domains, and requires a narrative response.
The Self-Study also requires documents that support the domain aspects to be submitted as well.
The self-study is exhaustive, requires considerable collaboration among the various stakeholders in the school community, and can take more than a year to complete.
What is the On-Site like?
It consists of a full day of review of documents and observations in the campus and in the classroom, as well as interviews with parents, governing bodies (as appropriate) and teachers.
It is not an inspection; rather, it is a confirmation that the documents submitted, reviewed, and accepted are an accurate reflection of conditions on the campus.
Is the accreditation decision of the Commission final?
The Commission reports its recommendation for accreditation to the MEPI Board of Directors. If the school seeking accreditation disagrees with the report of the Commission, it may appeal in writing within thirty days to the MEPI Board of Directors of the official announcement of the decision of the Commission. The appeal must address only factual errors in the self-assessment or the On-site Visitor’s report. The decision of the MEPI Board of Directors is final.
How does the Commission select On-site visitors?
- On-site Visitors are chosen by the Commission on International School Accreditation called “the Commission”. The MEPI Board of Directors has initially selected some Board Members to chair the Commission; each of them works in the Montessori field.
- MEPI groups accredited school members from many countries into a continental societies. The Commission consists of Montessori leaders in each continent who have successfully undergone the International Montessori School Accreditation process.
- The Commission selects one of its members to act as the liaison to review documentation and accomplish an On-site visit within a radius of minimum 30 miles (50 Km) of their own Accredited School.
- Each designated On-site Visitor is mentored by the Commission to evaluate and analyze the information presented in the submitted documentation and correlate it with what is actually being practiced at the school.
What is the role of the On-site Visitor?
- Reviews documentation thoroughly while comparing the school’s narrative regarding the prospective school’s strengths in their self-evaluation with the documentation on the schools Montessori practices.
- Advises school leadership during the self-study process.
- Plans and conducting an On-site Visit evaluating the Montessori practices in the school.
- Uses On-line technology before, during and after the On-site Visit to make the process effective and efficient.
- Gives verbal feedback to the school community and prepares an electronic report with a recommendation for accreditation or review to the Commission (which delivers a final confirmation to the school within 30 days of the On-Site visit).