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Validation Project Overview

There is no trademark on the use of “Montessori” in the public domain. Any school or program can call itself Montessori but be lacking in any of the elements that would be considered necessary to implement the philosophy and curriculum as taught in accredited or nationally recognized Montessori teacher preparation programs. 

The UMSI Validation Project is one answer to the question “What is Montessori?” By determining baseline, threshold components for participating Montessori schools, UMSI has established a Validating Organization to assure state agencies, policy makers, funders, and most importantly, families that the Montessori schools in IN have a measure of quality they can trust.

The UMSI Key Montessori Components

  • A philosophical approach that is consistent with the educational methods and areas of instruction as recommended by the scientific research of Dr. Maria Montessori.

  • A lead teacher in each classroom with a credential from a MACTE accredited program, or an AMI teacher training program, at the level being taught.

  • A multi-aged group of students that is developmentally appropriate.

  • A Montessori curriculum, and instructional materials, to implement the program for each class and age grouping taught.

  • A schedule that provides an un- interrupted work period of 2-3 hours. 

  • An established student group size consistent with the Montessori system of education and as recommended by AMI, AMS, and IMC (when possible).

  • An individual on staff with a Montessori credential who contributes to decision making on administrative issues as they relate to Montessori philosophy and pedagogy.

  • Meet all federal, state and local regulatory and statutory requirements for the health and safety of the students.

Benefits of the UMSI Validation Project

Montessori Schools

  • Assures that a validated school is providing a Montessori program with key components

  • Assures enrolling families that this is a “true” Montessori program

  • The IN Department of Education, IN Family and Social Services (FSSA) have a measure of “quality” that assures the health, and safety in programs they approve.

  • As state policy and rules and regulations change, the criteria for a Montessori school remain stable and protected. With increased trust, requirements can be safely modified to provide for more fully implemented programming.



  • Provides assurance that when a school says it is Montessori, it really is

  • Provides confidence and assurance that their school of choice meets a measure of quality they can trust

 IN DOE and IN Family and Social Services

  • Gives a standard “definition” of what it means to be a Montessori program

  • Builds trust in the system of Montessori education

  • Provides assurance of quality that can lead to full implementation of Montessori education in regulations

  • Provides “consumer protection” that Montessori schools have met key components

Process for participating schools

  • Complete an on-line application

  • Complete the School Questionnaire with needed documentation

  • Have an on-site Verifier Team visit

For more information, contact the Project Coordinator with the button below.


Validation Application

Validation Handbook

Validation Invitation
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