We’ll share our school news, joys, concerns, etc., and allow time for “open agenda.” Our focus for the majority of the meeting time will be as follows:
IMPORTANT Meeting to discuss emerging State policy issues affecting our schools (mostly Primary programs).
Are you interested in licensing standards, staff qualification and Oregon Registry step-rating criteria, and the likely-mandatory QRIS process and standards for Montessori schools?
OMA has been closely monitoring these and other developments in the public sector that are likely to have significant impact on most Montessori programs in Oregon and Washington. It has become clear that rather than finding ourselves in a reactive mode after rules and policies are already enacted, it’s vital that we play a role in the process so that the Montessori world does not “accidentally” find itself handicapped by mandatory regulations and publicized standards that work against our philosophy and practices.
The effort to do this has been very successful here in Oregon and the Pacific NW, thanks in large part to ongoing engagement by several of our stalwart leaders and volunteers over the past few years. Relationships have been formed, our needs projected, and a pathway envisioned that appears to be a great opportunity for Montessori to gain recognition and status as one of the largest and most accomplished sectors in the early childhood education field—a model for what policymakers on every level would like to see offered to more and more families in American society.
It’s critical that the broader Montessori community become more familiar with what’s happening, provide guidance, and ultimately be involved where possible—beginning with school administrators. If we can maintain and expand upon what’s already underway, we can more likely turn a potential threat from “outside” into an opportunity with positive outcomes for us as a community. Areas, for example, such as licensing standards, staff qualification and Oregon Registry step-rating criteria, and the likely-mandatory QRIS process and standards for Montessori schools are among those we need to keep working on now as an influential advocacy agent, and this needs your support!
— At the meeting June 4, a specific report on this by our President and executive director will be followed by discussion among those present.
— We’ll also outline OMA’s own 5-yr. development plan worked out at a recent board retreat and seek administrators’ input and discussion about where and how to focus our resources.