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    A quality school is always dynamic. It is a work in progress, because the highest levels of educational excellence require constant attention and commitment. Modern accreditation is also dynamic, and is considered by the educational community to be an activity, not a status. Every accredited school is expected to be an excellent yet improving institution worthy of trust and confidence. The Montessori School Accreditation Commission's (MSAC) accreditation procedures are meant to facilitate this process and to enhance and focus the school's efforts to maintain a top quality institution.

    MSAC accreditation is open to all Montessori schools that choose to embark on the journey of school accreditation. There are many benefits: First and foremost is the opportunity to involve the entire school in a process of team building. With accreditation as the catalyst, administration and faculty will work together to answer such important questions as, "What makes us a Montessori school?" "How does our implementation of Montessori pedagogy measure up to our ideals and values?" And, most importantly, "How is our work on a day-to-day basis furthering the inner needs, social/emotional development and the general education of the child?"

    Second is an increased public recognition of the high standards by which the school operates, bringing with it greater opportunities for keeping currently enrolled families and opportunities for enrolling new ones. Parents looking for quality education want schools that are safe, nurturing environments where learning is flourishing. They seek schools that have been through an assessment process, and will appreciate that MSAC accredited schools are recognized for their excellence.

    Third is the potential for outside funding. Through MSAC's membership with the National Council for Private School Accreditation, our accredited schools will be recognized by the federal and state agencies involved with placement of public funds through programs such as vouchers, universal preschool, and charter schools. Many private corporations also place a strong emphasis on a school's accreditation status when offering school tuition as an option in employee cafeteria plans.

    The MSAC accreditation handbook is designed to give schools step-by- step guidelines through the process. We understand that administrators, teachers and parents are busy people and for this reason we have designed an accreditation process that reflects the essence of Montessori, promotes the process of self improvement, focuses the efforts of the school, and eliminates as much paper work as possible.

    MSAC looks forward to working with the Montessori school community. Schools that provide quality education to their students should be recognized.

© 2003 Montessori School Accreditation Commission