Montessori Happenings

Montessori schools are academies that follow the academic philosophy and methodology developed by Dr. Maria Montessori. Today, Montessori middle schools are sprinkled across the globe and are incredibly influential in the world of education. Dr. Montessori, who was the first female doctor in Italy, opened the first Children's House in Rome to provide quality education to low-income children in her own country. Rather than employing traditional teaching methods, Dr. Montessori began building and testing her educational theories focused on educating the whole child.

Most if not all Montessori schools fall under two categories: AMS or AMI. AMS and AMI are two separate organizations that give accreditation to schools and educators. AMS, or American Montessori Society, promotes its approach as the most authentic form of Montessori education. AMI, or Association Montessori Internationale, does not require certification, nor do they claim any differences in philosophy or practice among its members. When choosing a Montessori school for your child, it is important to know what your options are. Here are the major differences between an AMS and an AMI Montessori school.

AMS: American Montessori Society

AMS Montessori, with headquarters in New York, was established in 1960. The AMS Montessori was the creation of an AMI-trained teacher named Nancy McCormick Rambusch, who thought the Montessori methodology and schools in the United States should be adjusted to better reflect American Culture. For instance, AMS Montessori was modernized along with the technological boom and believes that children should develop computer skills along with other skills.

The American Montessori Society is the largest Montessori organization in the world, continuing the philosophies of Dr. Maria Montessori in the United States. While AMI also uses Dr. Maria Montessori’s philosophy and educational approach, it differs from the AMS because AMI does not require schools to be accredited or pay dues.

AMI: Association Montessori International

Dr. Montessori and her son Mario set up Association Montessori International in 1929. Today, AMI Montessori's headquarters are located in Amsterdam, operating on the same mission: promoting educational philosophies inspired by Dr. Montessori’s work with children. The AMI also certifies academies that meet Montessori qualifications to become accredited establishments heeding these philosophies.

The purity of the original Montessori methodology is maintained by AMI Montessori since the curriculum is the same as conceived by Maria Montessori. In AMS Montessori, there is a deviation from the original Montessori methodology, with teachers making use of outside materials, ideas, resources, and technology.

Overall, the main difference between AMS and AMI Montessori is that the former requires schools to be accredited while the latter does not. The Association Montessori International also has a wider range of qualifications for schools to become accredited. The American Montessori Society asserts its approach as the most authentic form of Montessori education, while the AMI does not hold these claims.


The Montessori Charter School of Flagstaff was the first school in Arizona to have its application for a charter approved by the Arizona State Board for Charter Schools. We offer an academic program that identifies and encourages each child’s individual social and emotional development. Visit our blog to learn more about our method or reach out today to begin your journey with The Montessori Charter School of Flagstaff.

Montessori Philosophy

Montessori PhilosophyThe Montessori Philosophy encourages children to develop their observation skills through activities that use the five senses, kinetic movement, spatial refinement, small and gross motor skill coordination, and concrete knowledge that leads to later abstraction.

Read More...

Arizona School Tax Credit

Arizona School Tax CreditThe 2015 Arizona School Tax Credit lets your donation go directly to a public school of your choice! A tax credit is a dollar-for-dollar reduction of your tax liability. Any Arizona taxpayer may contribute, regardless of whether your child is attending school.

Donate Now...

Enrichment Programs

Montessori Schools of Flagstaff Enrichment ProgramsTo meet the needs of working parents, we offer a before- and after-school program designed for children 18 months–12 years. The older children can sign up for the many special classes offered after school such as drama, art classes, and music lessons.

Learn More...