Desert Garden Montessori is an accredited member of the International Montessori Council. Look below to learn more about DGM’s accreditation summary and about what it takes to become an accredited IMC school.
Desert Garden is also a member of the American Montessori Society (Member# 37716) and serves as a training facility for Montessori teacher certification.
Desert Garden holds a Certificate of Good Standing from Arizona’s Office of the Corporation Commission. You can view this information at the Arizona Corporation Commision.
On March 3, 2014, Desert Garden Montessori (DGM) was officially approved as an International Montessori Council (IMC) accredited school!
Being accredited means a Montessori school is worthy of public trust, is clear in what it says it offers and actually does what it says, and actually follows the criteria of authentic Montessori best practice.
From IMC’s website: “The primary purpose of the IMC accreditation program is to ensure best practices of Montessori leadership and education, and to evaluate the world’s most respected and successful Montessori schools. Schools that are authentically Montessori in their practice are effective in their work with children and are worthy of public trust and confidence. The Best Practices standards to achieve the title of “accredited” places particular emphasis on the administration of key aspects of school operation, particularly those related to the quality and integrity of the school’s educational program and the health and safety of students and staff members. Standards establish guidelines for policies, procedures, and practices in the school, and the schools is responsible for demonstrating that it implements those policies in a manner consistent with IMC standards on an ongoing basis.
A secondary purpose of the accreditation program is to provide the public with information that can assist them in selecting a school that meets internationally recognized standards of excellence in Montessori educational practice. Going through an accrediting process demonstrates to the public that a school has voluntarily permitted its programs, facilities, policies, and procedures to be evaluated against the Best Practice standards and to be re-evaluated every 10 years after achieving accreditation.”
The accreditation process involves putting together a team within the school community to conduct a “Self-Study” – carefully examining and evaluating every aspect of the school’s health according to 500+ pages of IMC standards, including educational program quality, instructional effectiveness, operational and financial health, facilities and site utilization, and future growth potential.
On top of the work put in to the accrediting process, schools applying for accreditation must pay an application fee of $5 per enrolled student and must pay every expense of the on-site visit, including airfare, accommodations, some meals, and transportation.
With all of this required to achieve accreditation, you can see why not many schools try it and only 7 schools in the world have become accredited schools!
Thank you to everyone who worked tirelessly to make the site-team’s visit an outstanding experience. The site-team took detailed artifacts of the visit, including photos, stories, facts, notes, and impressions. In general, the site-team agreed with our Self-Study that we met or exceeded almost every standard! Attached is the Summary of Major Strengths from their formal evaluation, presented to the IMC review board (some quotes below):