Starting a Montessori school will require careful planning for at least a year. For example, finding the location and qualified teachers will need consideration. In 1907, the Montessori education program was established by Dr. Maria Montessori, who studied child learning development. The school program includes self-paced learning, three hours of uninterrupted work periods and encourages mixed age group learning among other things. Some program benefits include superior standardized test scores and well-disciplined students. Starting this kind of school should include seeing one in progress.
Find the location for the Montessori school. Decide between lease or purchase options for the location. It must meet building code inspection (i.e., fire department) and be a safe environment for kids. An area to play outside is suggested. Typically, Montessori schools are for young children (i.e., 3 to 6) to young teens (i.e., 13 to 15).
Get licenses and permits to legally operate. This will vary according to the state and local municipality. Check the department of education website locally to get started. Also, background checks should be done on all potential hires. Confirm teaching credentials and other personal history.
Obtain certified teachers. For those without Montessori training, it can be achieved in two ways. The Association Montessori Internationale (AMI, with a U.S. branch office called AMI-USA) or from the American Montessori Society (AMS). Montessori training ranges from 200 to 600 preliminary service contact hours, principles of child development and the philosophy with uses of the Montessori classroom materials.
Establish the curriculum for the students set by the state. Montessori schools teach individually and encourage group learning from different ages. For instance, children within three years of one another work together in the same learning environment. Montessori schools do not have traditional standards and teachers maintain a portfolio of their students' progress in place of grades. To learn more about how Montessori teaching occurs, refer to the reference section.
Order the equipment and tools needed for the school. The idea is to allow students to do real-life activities rather than pretend ones (i.e., simple meal preparation). Instead of students learning pretend cooking, they are given the opportunity to do it themselves with supervision. Therefore, special equipment will be required to effectively give students the Montessori experience.
Start student enrollment and establish the tuition rate. Enrollment should begin no later than late winter to prepare for the school year. Tuition will vary on the economic conditions of the area and the cost of the staff. Create brochures and informational meetings to help parents understand the special learning environment Montessori schools offer.
- Visit an operating Montessori school and ask questions about tips for starting a school.
- Find teaching aids in college programs to assist the certified Montessori teachers.
- Create a business plan, and determine what financial costs are associated with operating this type of school. Find a free template from the (SBA) Small Business Administration to start.
- Equipment (i.e., books, desks, chairs, etc.)
- Background screening checks with finger prints
- Facility Permits
- State Licenses
- Monkey Business Images/Stockbroker/Monkey Business/Getty Images