“Montessori” is a term that is used broadly in the public domain. It is often applied as an adjective to describe qualities that a school has incorporated such as learning centers, freedom of choice and hands-on activities. The Montessori form of education is not trademarked, copyrighted or franchised. The only way a parent can ensure that their child is receiving an authentic Montessori education is through enrollment in an accredited school.
Founded in 1965, Richmond Montessori School is the only Montessori school in the Richmond area and surrounding counties that is fully accredited by two external organizations – the American Montessori Society and Virginia Association of Independent Schools.
These agencies establish and oversee standards of excellence for Montessori and independent schools. Accreditation is a voluntary and rigorous process that demonstrates an unparalleled level of excellence in the implementation of Montessori education and continuous improvement.
Many schools indicate their level of involvement (full, associate, satellite, initiate, et. al.) with AMS and VAIS. However, unless the school is fully accredited, there is no guarantee that the school practices the authentic educational philosophy and practices of Maria Montessori, nor that it demonstrates compliance with the rigorous standards that have been established by AMS or VAIS.
Since 1991, Richmond Montessori School has been accredited by AMS. In 2002, it achieved VAIS accreditation. Richmond Montessori School is one of only four AMS accredited schools in the Commonwealth of Virginia and one of just two schools with dual AMS/VAIS accreditation.