Finding a Montessori School

A common question I hear frequently is “How can I find a Montessori school near me?”. I thought I’d put together all the resources I know about in one helpful post.

Searching for Montessori

montessori_schoolFirst I would recommend doing a Google search for “montessori school ________” with the blank being the city, town, state, or province that you live in. When schools list their addresses at their websites, which most do, Google can return good results that show you the websites for any schools in your area.

Many Montessori schools have Google “Place Pages”, which are pages that are separate from the school’s actual website, but have helpful information like the location and hours of operation.

Place Pages often have reviews left by other people (along with star ratings), so you can read those for the school you’re interested in. Online reviews can be helpful if taken in context with other information, so take the reviews with a grain of salt. You can also ask people in your neighborhood or community if they have any experience with the school in question or if they can provide any helpful info.

AMS and AMI

You can also search at the American Montessori Society (AMS) website, by state or country, to find schools that are affiliated with AMS. Keep in mind that “affiliation” simply means that the school has joined AMS by paying the yearly fee. This designation is not an assurance of school quality. However, if a school is accredited by AMS, then the school has undergone a long process of evaluation and should be a high-quality school.

The AMS website typically tells you the location, hours of operation, and some info about the school, like the ages it serves and programs it offers. They also have the school’s phone number and email address so that you can contact them with questions.

You can do the same kind of search at the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) website, for schools that are approved by AMI. Currently only schools in the US can obtain a “Certificate of Recognition”.

Montessori School Finder App

There is also a Montessori app for smartphones (like iPhones) that you can download that will enable you to search for Montessori schools. You can find it here: Welcome to Montessori App. I haven’t used it, so I can’t speak to its helpfulness, but if any of you have, please share your thoughts!

What to Look For

Finding a school is only a first step. The next step is to make sure the school is high quality and is truly practicing the Montessori method. There is only one way to determine that: by observing the school yourself. All good Montessori schools have an “open door” policy so that prospective parents can come to the school, meet the administrators and staff, and observe a classroom.

If you’re not sure what to look for, here’s a helpful post: Top Ten Things to Look for in a Montessori School.

As much as I’d like to be able, I cannot give any suggestions or recommendations as to the quality of Montessori schools around the US or the rest of the world. So this is something you’ll have to investigate for yourself. Luckily the internet provides lots of resources for finding and evaluating Montessori schools.