What is a Public Montessori?

“All our handling of the child will bear fruit, not only at the moment, but in the adult they are destined to become.”
Dr. Maria Montessori


Public School

Schooling is mandatory for all children in the United States, but no single instructional approach fits all children. Parents value school choice—they want to select an educational program that meets the learning needs of their child. Public Montessori allows families in any income bracket to choose Montessori for their children.

More than 400 public schools nationwide offer Montessori programs. For these schools—as with private Montessori schools—membership in AMS is optional. We are pleased to include a growing number of public Montessori programs as part of the AMS “family.”

Public Montessori education is a popular option for preschool through high school students attending all types of publicly funded schools—neighborhood, magnet, and charter.

Public Montessori programs range in size from single early childhood classrooms to school-wide elementary or high school programs. Some operate as a “school-within-a-school,” sharing a building with other classrooms that have a different instructional approach.

Are Public Montessori Programs Really “Montessori”?

Yes! While all Montessori classes should in essence be the same, some differences do exist among them. However, elements essential to a quality public Montessori program have been identified by these leading Montessori organizations:

American Montessori Society (AMS)
Association Montessori Internationale (AMI)
North American Montessori Teachers’ Association (NAMTA)
Montessori Education Programs International (MEPI)
Southwestern Montessori Training Center (IND).

These organizations agree that quality Montessori public programs must include:

  • Mixed-age classes
  • Teachers with credentials from an accredited Montessori program
  • Full complement of developmentally appropriate Montessori learning materials
  • Montessori instructional approach throughout the program

You can read the complete recommendations in “Essential Elements of Successful Montessori Schools in the Public School Sector.”


Because they are publicly funded, public Montessori schools are open to all children in the district of the school.

Students outside of the district but still in the Kingston School District are admitted to the public Montessori program by lottery because there tend to be more applicants than openings. In making admission decisions, schools try to maintain an age and gender balance of students in the classroom.

Once a student is enrolled, he or she is not required to reapply in subsequent years. Siblings of current students are usually admitted automatically.

State and National Standards

Montessori public schools must meet the same standards as other public schools: they receive a state “report card,” are accountable for their students achieving adequate yearly progress, and comply with other federal education regulations.

Public Montessori school students are required to take the same standardized tests as students in traditional public schools.

Teacher Certification

Public Montessori schools guarantee that Montessori classroom teachers are licensed by the state at the level they are teaching in addition to being certified by an accredited Montessori teacher education program.

Taken from the “American Montessori Society”. To learn more, visit this LINK