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Thursday, March 22


AMS Teacher Educators Section Annual Meeting & Professional Development Day (Invite Only)
Directors and faculty of AMS-affiliated teacher education programs are invited to this full-day event, which offers networking and professional development and is held in conjunction with the American Montessori Society’s Annual Conference. Representatives from applicant teacher education programs are welcome to attend. You can find more details here.

Program details and registration will be available this fall.

Thursday March 22, 2018 7:15am - 4:15pm
Majestic Tower Majestic Level


Tour 1: St. Vrain Community Montessori School
Approximate one-way travel time: 1 hour

Price: $90

Interpreters for this school tour and workshop are available in Spanish. Request before booking by contacting Carla Hofland.

St. Vrain Community Montessori School
Longmont, CO
Head of School: Katie Torres
250 students, ages 3–15 years
AMS Associate-Member School

Established in 2009, St. Vrain Community Montessori School is a thriving public charter program making creative use of a modest facility in a mixed-use industrial area. Its 9 welcoming, joyful classrooms, serving students Early Childhood through Secondary I, are a testament to the community’s resourcefulness while saving for the purchase of a “forever” campus. Notable features include a middle school aquaponics system and, 2 miles away, an agricultural program featuring a dwarf apple orchard and pumpkin patch (with apologies, not part of the tour).

Workshop: Student-Run Store

After a tour of the facilities and lunch, visit and learn about the operations of the SVCMS Upper Elementary Student-Run Store, which will be open for business when you visit.

This unique, nonprofit school store was designed and is run entirely by SVCMS students, who donate all profits to the United Nations in support of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. This service learning initiative allows SVCMS students to live their values; each year, the students choose a sustainability focus and an area in the world where they hope to make a difference.

After touring the store, you’ll learn about its entirely student-created management systems, including tracking inventory, creating artistic displays, and learning customer-service skills. See how they mentor each other through decimal and money work and role-play sales as they earn their “business licenses” to perform cashier duties before ultimately becoming business managers with oversight and governance responsibilities. You’ll learn how you can build a similar program to empower your students with relevant, values-aligned work of the head, hands, and heart.

Kate Goss is Upper Elementary curriculum coordinator and level leader/coach at SVCMS. AMS-credentialed (Elementary I–II).
Katie Torres is the founding head of SVCMS. AMS-credentialed (Administrator).

Thursday March 22, 2018 7:30am - 3:30pm
Plaza Court 1 Plaza Concourse Level


Tour 2: Jarrow Montessori School
Approximate one-way travel time: 1 hour

Price: $90

Interpreters for this school tour and workshops are available in Spanish. Request before booking by contacting Carla Hofland.

Jarrow Montessori School
Boulder, CO
Interim Executive Director: Mary Zeman
160 students, ages 18 months–12 years
AMS-Accredited Member School

Established in 1964, Jarrow is Colorado’s oldest Montessori school. Its 2 Toddler, 4 Early Childhood, 2 Lower Elementary, and 1 Upper Elementary classrooms, are housed in freestanding cottages nestled among a beautiful, tree-filled 3-acre campus. Close to the Rocky Mountain foothills and a lake used by the older students, the campus itself boasts a discovery trail, inviting outdoor exploration, and reflects the active, outdoor lifestyle popular in the Boulder community.

After a tour of the facilities and lunch at Jarrow, you will take a 20-minute bus ride to the Montessori Education Center of the Rockies (MECR), where you may choose to attend either a Parent/Infant “Glass Classroom” Demonstration or a Mindfulness Workshop.

Workshop: Parent/Infant “Glass Classroom” Demonstration

This workshop takes place at the Montessori Education Center of the Rockies.

This live demonstration of a Parent/Infant class, where you’ll witness parents and their very young children being guided through respectful and nurturing interactions by an experienced Montessori teacher, will be combined with a conversation about the benefits of Parent/Infant programs to children, parents, schools, and society. You’ll learn how Montessori Parent/Infant programs teach and help parents to observe their children and reflect on their observations in a weekly support group discussion. Discover how to nurture parenting with a Montessori perspective and cultivate parents who are committed to Montessori education.


Susan Tracy McDaniel, MEd, is an international workshop presenter and director of Learning Together Education, a Montessori parent-coaching and education organization in Barrington, IL. AMS-credentialed (Infant & Toddler). AMI-credentialed (Assistants to Infancy).

Workshop: Mindfulness

This workshop takes place at the Montessori Education Center of the Rockies.

Mindfulness is the practice of being fully present in every moment, with a sense of complete openness, acceptance, bravery, and compassion. In this workshop, you will be guided through some of the tools of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and offered an overview of how mindfulness can be applied both personally and professionally. You are invited to bring your curiosity, questions, and insights into the role of mindfulness in education to this interactive, inspiring seminar.

Janet Solyntjes, MA, is a certified Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction teacher and a senior teacher in the Shambhala tradition. She is a faculty member of the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Boston, MA, and an adjunct professor at Naropa University, in Boulder, CO.

Thursday March 22, 2018 7:30am - 3:30pm
Plaza Court 2 Plaza Concourse Level


Tour 3: Montessori School of Evergreen
Approximate one-way travel time: 50 minutes

Price: $90

Interpreters for this school tour and workshop are available in Spanish, French, and Mandarin. Request before booking by contacting Carla Hofland.

Montessori School of Evergreen
Evergreen, CO
Head of School: Bill Schuver
205 students, ages toddler–14 years
AMS-Accredited Member School

Founded in 1977, Montessori School of Evergreen celebrated its 40th anniversary last year. Its 205 students are spread between 2 campuses that include former private homes, creating untraditional, welcoming spaces for the following classrooms: 1 Toddler, 3 Early Childhood, 3 Lower Elementary, 1 Upper Elementary, and 1 Middle School. Both campuses feature greenhouses and small outdoor classroom areas; the school also boasts a multiuse gym/theater space. Middle school students can choose to study Spanish, Italian, French, or Mandarin—studies augmented through international trips to Central America, Europe, Canada, and China.

Workshop: Experiential & Service Learning Programs

After a tour of the facilities and lunch, learn about MSE’s Montessori-based experiential and service learning programs. This workshop will teach you how to scaffold service learning for optimal outcomes, including appropriate experiential field studies from Early Childhood through Secondary I, and the classroom-based Practical Life activities that support experiential learning at all levels.

You’ll meet student presenters to hear about several sample projects and learn how they’ve come to understand, integrate, and apply their knowledge from this program to improve their communities.


Chris Lafferty, MS, is the eighth-year core middle school and science teacher at Montessori School of Evergreen.

Thursday March 22, 2018 7:45am - 3:30pm
Plaza Court 3 Plaza Concourse Level


Tour 4: Compass Montessori School
Approximate one-way travel time: 30 minutes

Price: $90

Interpreters for this school tour and workshop are available in Spanish, Japanese, and German. Request before booking by contacting Carla Hofland.
Compass Montessori School
Golden, CO
Principal (Golden campus): Seth D. Webb
Principal (What Ridge campus): Cameron Gehlen
700 students, ages 3–18 years
AMS Initiate-Member School

Established in 1997 as a public charter program, Compass Montessori School serves approximately 700 students across 2 campuses in 5 Early Childhood, 5 Lower Elementary, 5 Upper Elementary, and 3 middle school classrooms, as well as a combined Secondary I and II high school program. Compass’s Golden campus includes a working farm, and high school students have an open schedule so that they can enroll concurrently in career and technical education centers or community colleges. Compass students at all ages help prepare and serve meals and snacks, and middle school students participate in occupations that serve the school community and maintain a micro-economy. High school students spend one day a week working in internships or community service projects that support the broader community.

Workshop: The Spiritual Development of the Adult

After your tour and lunch, participate in a reflective and thought-provoking afternoon asking big questions about the need for and the way to nurture our own spiritual development. What calls us to our Montessori work, and how can we transform habits and transcend consciousness so we can shepherd into being the evolution of a new human?

Our task is no small one: to create intentional experiences that develop in children the skills to meet the demands of the times as well as the moral compass to engage with the world in ways that are at once sound and sacrosanct, progressive and adaptable. To do so with fidelity first requires deep personal work, self-study, and reflection, as well as an ethnographic exploration of the communities we serve. In this workshop, we will explore the spiritual preparation of the teacher, rooting and expanding our capacity for profound and long-lasting service to the students in our care.


Seth Webb, MAEd, is the principal of the Golden campus of Compass Montessori School. A writer who blogs about Montessori education at “Finding Our Center – Reaching Out,” Seth’s Montessori experiences have included being lead teacher, department chair, instructional leader, dean of students, field consultant, and teacher educator. AMS-credentialed (Elementary I–II). AMI-credentialed (Secondary I–II).

Thursday March 22, 2018 8:05am - 3:30pm
Plaza Court 4 Plaza Concourse Level


Tour 5: Montessori School of Denver
Approximate one-way travel time: 20 minutes

Price: $90

Interpreters for this school tour and workshop are available in Spanish and Korean. Request before booking by contacting Carla Hofland.

Montessori School of Denver
Denver, CO
Head of School: Stephanie Flanigan
337 students, ages 2–14 years
AMS-Accredited Member School

Established in 1964, Montessori School of Denver sits on almost 7 acres, in the middle of urban Denver, and serves 345 students, in 3 Toddler, 5 Early Childhood, 3 Lower Elementary, and 2 Upper Elementary classrooms, as well as 1 Secondary I classroom.

Among many notable elements throughout the campus are Toddler-size doors in the Toddler Village, garage doors that open to the outdoors in a Science Tower, an Art Barn, a theater, a gymnasium that includes a climbing wall, and a teaching kitchen. Outside areas feature a tree house, a peace garden, large playgrounds for each program level, and multifaceted urban farming facilities.

Workshop: Urban Farming

After your tour and lunch, learn how MSD started an innovative urban farm program that includes an exciting variety of opportunities for student learning, through initiatives such as raising tilapia in aquaponic tanks, soil gardening, hydroponic vertical farming, seed collecting and cataloging, seedling sales, farmers’ markets, and farm-to-table dinners.

You’ll leave with inspired strategies for starting and growing your own farming enterprise that ties directly into your school’s unique culture and mission. MSD farm faculty will share ideas for strategic partnerships, traditional funding and alternative revenue streams, coordinating with service-learning priorities, and using your farm projects to give to the community outside your school.

Stephanie Flanigan, JD, is head of Montessori School of Denver and president of the Association of Colorado Independent Schools.

Lexi Fickenscher, MPH, is the urban farm manager at Montessori School of Denver.

Ginny Bishop, MS, is director of advancement at Montessori School of Denver.

Thursday March 22, 2018 8:15am - 3:30pm
Plaza Court 5 Plaza Concourse Level


Introduction to AMS School Accreditation
For those considering AMS school accreditation or preparing to begin the process, this workshop will provide vital information about goals, protocol, budgets, timelines, and expectations.

avatar for Sara S. Wilson

Sara S. Wilson

Senior Director of School Accreditation & School Improvement, American Montessori Society
Sara S. Wilson, MEd, is AMS senior director of school accreditation & school improvement. AMS-credentialed (Early Childhood).

Thursday March 22, 2018 8:30am - 10:00am
Director's Row J Plaza Lobby Level


Strategic Admission & Enrollment Management
This presentation will teach you how to establish a current admission and enrollment management baseline from which you can begin to plan strategically for the future. We’ll review Independent School Management’s “Admission and Enrollment Management Assessment” instrument—whose questions themselves can guide you to best practices—as well as a framework for measuring and reporting progress to the head of school, the board, and the school community. You’ll leave having created a personal 3-step plan to help you drive enrollment demand beyond your needs.

avatar for Amy Riley

Amy Riley

Enrollment Management Consultant, Independent School Management
Amy Riley, EdS, is a consultant and the academic dean of the International Advancement Certification Program at Independent School Management, in Wilmington, DE.

Thursday March 22, 2018 8:30am - 11:30am
Director's Row I Plaza Lobby Level


Day of Service: Denver Parks & Rec
The AMS Day of Service is an annual event that offers you the opportunity to deepen your conference experience and live your Montessori values by partnering with non-profit organizations to give back to the host city through meaningful service.

This year, spend a day outdoors in Centennial Gardens, where we will be working with Denver Parks & Recreation to help clean and maintain the site—a serene, 5-acre sanctuary patterned after the Gardens of Versailles, but with a twist: the plants are all drought-resistant.

You will also have the opportunity to learn about plants native to the area and xeriscaping—landscaping that requires little or no irrigation—along with interesting tidbits about the history of Denver.

No gardening or outdoor-maintenance experience is necessary.

Please wear closed shoes and whatever else you’ll need for a day spent working in the beautiful fresh air. Work gloves, while not required, would be a welcome addition.

We will depart from the conference hotel (Sheraton Downtown Denver, 1550 Court Place) at 8:30 AM and return by 3:00 PM. Transportation will be via city bus on or on foot—your choice. The gardens are in downtown Denver, approximately 1.5 miles (a 30-minute walk) from the Sheraton.

Price: $20 (lunch)

Thursday March 22, 2018 8:30am - 3:00pm
AMS Central Plaza Concourse Level


Eco Lab: A Complete Montessori Elementary Science Curriculum
This workshop will lead Elementary teachers through the Eco Lab program, an enriching, nature-focused curriculum encompassing earth science, physics, chemistry, biology, agriculture, astronomy, and zoology, for both Lower and Upper Elementary programs. We’ll review two 3-year rotating curriculum structures, one for Lower Elementary and one for Upper, replete with hundreds of engaging indoor activities and outdoor experiences guided by specific directions for teachers. You’ll also learn how to adapt these curricula when creating your own album for your specific school environment and limitations.
The morning session will demonstrate classes and practical activities that enhance the understanding of ecological concepts, from how to conduct a nature hike to presenting class materials in an outdoor setting. After lunch (on your own), the afternoon segment will explore the Eco Lab program holistically. You’ll receive an Eco Lab skeleton album and curriculum resource guide to adapt and take home. Please note: Attendance is required for both morning and afternoon sessions.

avatar for Geoffrey Bishop

Geoffrey Bishop

Executive Director, Nature’s Classroom Institute
Geoffrey Bishop hails from the bush in North West NSW, Australia. After his childhood spent on the sheep station he went to an agricultural boarding school for five years then to University in both Sydney and Melbourne where he Studied Horticulture and Landscape Architecture. For... Read More →
avatar for Mirko Sever

Mirko Sever

Director of Outreach - California, Nature's Classroom Institute, Inc.
Mirko Sever, MS, is director of California outreach for Nature’s Classroom Institute and Environmental Education, Inc., based in Angelus Oaks and the Napa and Sonoma Valleys.

Thursday March 22, 2018 8:30am - 3:30pm
Tower Court C Tower Building Second Level


Introduction to Anti-bias Education
This workshop will invite educators of all levels to take part in a thoughtful, provocative, and participatory day of professional development:

• Discussing the development of social group identities (e.g., race, gender, class, etc.) and their relationship to bias and prejudice.
• Gaining insight into how children and adults internalize and act out of these biases.
• Exploring how bias and race prejudice develop, and how they become structured into institutions.
• Learning about the 4 Goals of Anti-bias Education and discover ways to apply them to educational settings.

It will be led by Crossroads Antiracism Organizing & Training, founded in 1986 to find new directions in understanding root causes of racism and developing effective strategies for dismantling systemic racism in institutions. Crossroads leads institutions in identifying organizational barriers that prevent just, accountable, authentic multicultural diversity. A primary focus is the development of institutional anti-racism teams that receive training designed to help them create and implement long-range, strategic antiracism planning for their institutions.

avatar for Jo Ann Mundy

Jo Ann Mundy

Organizer/Trainer, Crossroads AntiRacism Organizing and Training
Antiracism community organizer and trainer; Non-profit executive; Anti-Bias, Antiracism Education Organizing; Pre-K thru 12 School organizing; Philanthropy Organizing; City and Governmental Organizing; Implicit bias and Internalization of Racism; Institutional Organizing

Thursday March 22, 2018 8:30am - 3:30pm
Tower Court D Tower Building Second Level
  • Target Audience ALL


Nurturing Our Inner Lives for Peace
Come examine what having a peaceful inner life really means and how maintaining yours is the foundation for gracefully nurturing the inner lives of children and others. This workshop is designed like a mini-retreat: You will be guided through peace practices, including mindfulness and awareness exercises as well as active multicultural songs and dances—a range of experiences that engage your whole body, mind, and spirit. We hope to inspire your inner life by offering a menu of daily habits that promote deeper peace within yourself and a greater capacity to help spread peace in the world.


Sonnie McFarland

Shining Mountains Press
Sonnie McFarland was the AMS 2011 Living Legacy and is a former member of the AMS Board of Directors and a former chair of the AMS Peace Committee. She is an author and the executive director of Shining Mountains Press, in Buena Vista, CO. AMS-credentialed (Early Childhood).
avatar for Tajali Tolan

Tajali Tolan

Peace Educator, Rock Prairie Montessori School
Tajali Tolan, MS, is a peace and mindfulness educator at Rock Prairie Montessori School, in Janesville, WI, and the founder of both the Children’s Global Peace Project and the Consciousness Project, LLC.

Thursday March 22, 2018 8:30am - 3:30pm
Director's Row E Plaza Lobby Level
  • Target Audience ALL


Understanding the AMS School Accreditation Self-Study Process
You have submitted your application for AMS school accreditation, received your letter of candidacy, and are beginning to prepare for the self-study process. Now you’re ready for this workshop, in which you’ll examine the next steps: planning a timetable, structuring committees, verifying compliance with the standards, and completing the self-study template as you write this important document.

avatar for Sara S. Wilson

Sara S. Wilson

Senior Director of School Accreditation & School Improvement, American Montessori Society
Sara S. Wilson, MEd, is AMS senior director of school accreditation & school improvement. AMS-credentialed (Early Childhood).

Thursday March 22, 2018 10:30am - 12:00pm
Director's Row J Plaza Lobby Level


A Framework for Analyzing Your School’s Enrollment Story
Explore a framework for analyzing your school’s enrollment outcomes by considering some essential questions: How are you positioned in the marketplace? How well are you articulating who you are as a school? What does it mean to be an influencer in your immediate market? Does your faculty have an accurate impression of the student experience? Is everyone serving the same mission narrative? Do parents believe what they pay in tuition is worth it? Bring at least 3 years of your school’s enrollment data for guided analysis of what they’re really telling you; you’ll create a plan to take home and establish essential neworking connections for ongoing coaching and strategy work.

avatar for Amy Riley

Amy Riley

Enrollment Management Consultant, Independent School Management
Amy Riley, EdS, is a consultant and the academic dean of the International Advancement Certification Program at Independent School Management, in Wilmington, DE.

Thursday March 22, 2018 12:30pm - 3:30pm
Director's Row I Plaza Lobby Level


Advocacy Training for Montessori Public Policy
This workshop will provide information about advocating for excellence in Montessori education. You will learn about legislative and regulatory processes germane to the education policy world, and how to build strong coalitions for action. You will also learn about the Montessori Public Policy Initiative—a collaboration between AMS and the Association Montessori International/USA—and the exciting progress the group is making to support effective policies to protect authentic Montessori implementation.

avatar for Metro Consulting

Metro Consulting

Montessori Consultant
As Adjunct Professor at DePaul University, Dr. Damore teaches courses in Educational Leadership. She is the immediate past Executive Director, Association of Illinois Montessori Schools (AIMS) and consultant to numerous Montessori schools and teacher education programs across the... Read More →
avatar for Ashley LiBetti Mitchel

Ashley LiBetti Mitchel

Associate Partner, Bellwether Education Partners
Ashley LiBetti Mitchel, MPP, conducts research and policy analysis, specializing in early childhood education, teacher preparation, and charter schools, for Bellwether Education Partners, in Washington, D.C. Her work has been featured by C-SPAN, U.S. News & World Report, the Huffington... Read More →
avatar for Denise Monnier

Denise Monnier

Director of State advocacy, Montessori Public Policy Initiative
Denise Monnier is a Montessori parent, advocate, and advocacy coach, striving for public policy that supports universal access to Montessori education. More than 15 years of teaching in and leading Montessori schools made her deeply aware of the need for equity in and access to high... Read More →

Wendy Shenk-Evans

Wendy Schenk-Evans is director of Christian Family Montessori School, in Washington, D.C., and chair of the Montessori Public Policy Initiative.

Thursday March 22, 2018 12:30pm - 3:30pm
Tower Court B Tower Building Second Level
  • Target Audience ALL


Aligning Public School Standards with the Montessori Curriculum
This workshop will guide you through a structured framework of alignment exercises to match Common Core Standards or state guidelines to the Montessori curriculum. We’ll explore methods to patch holes where coordination is difficult and discuss how to communicate alignment details to parents. No one wants to re-create the wheel—we’ll share resources where mapping has already been completed, and we’ll establish professional connections for ongoing support and idea sharing after the conference.
This workshop is for you if:
  • Your school has not completed and is interested in creating a correlation of your state standards to the Montessori lessons.
  • You want to see how other schools have correlated their state standards to Montessori lessons.
  • You want to be part of a community of support between other public school leaders as we balance our state standards and Montessori philosophy.
Feel free to bring copies of curriculum standards from your state or correlation documents that you are in process of completing!


Melinda Harris

Principal, Community Montessori
Melinda Harris, EdD, is principal of Community Montessori School in Jackson, TN. AMS-credentialed (Elementary I–II).
avatar for Marilyn Horan

Marilyn Horan

Principal, Carroll Creek Montessori Public Charter School
Marilyn Horan, MS, is principal at Carroll Creek Montessori Public Charter School, in Frederick, MD. A board member of Montessori Schools of Maryland, she is a former member of the AMS Board of Directors. AMS-credentialed (Administrator).

Thursday March 22, 2018 12:30pm - 3:30pm
Director's Row H Plaza Lobby Level
Saturday, March 24


Springtime Fancy: Lights! Camera! Fashion!
This year, our annual Springtime Fancy takes a turn on the catwalk—and we want you there to join in the fashionable festivities.

You and your Montessori entourage will feel like New York Fashion Week A-Listers when a surprise cadre of models comes sauntering down the runway dressed in … well, that’s a surprise, too!

You’ll enjoy a night of “classroom couture,” dancing to live music; sampling plentiful hors d’oeuvres, sipping Cosmos, and taking in a dazzling fashion show sure to keep you on trend.

All this glitz and glam is for a good cause—you’ll be raising funds to support the AMS Emerging Leaders Fellowship Program, an intensive professional development initiative designed to prepare future Montessori leaders.

Tickets: $225 per person; $200 per person when purchasing 10 or more tickets

For information, contact Kristine Cooper, AMS director of development

Saturday March 24, 2018 7:00pm - 11:30pm
The Ritz-Carlton Denver 1881 Curtis Street Denver, CO 80202

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