Montessori Private Academy (MPA) has been a pillar of the Rockford region since 1983, when a group of dedicated parents determined to create the first Montessori school in the Rock River valley. Since that time, we have expanded our school, educating children from ages two to fifteen, with a total enrollment in 2018 of 183 students.
In May of 2018, MPA received word from the American Montessori Society (AMS) that it is now officially accredited by AMS. Rising to this level of excellence was very demanding and took 2 1/2 years of self-study, refinement, and AMS onsite review to accomplish. The accreditation application itself often prevents many schools from even applying, as the standards are very high. Take California for example. Aside from satellite campuses, there are only three AMS accredited schools in the entire state. Next door, there are none in Arizona. Illinois, which has had a long Montessori tradition, has 25 accredited schools, the greatest concentration in the U.S. Of those, 23 abide within Chicago or its suburbs. Of the remaining two, MPA is the farthest from downtown Chicago. There are none downstate.
What does AMS accreditation guarantee to parents and children? To remain accredited, MPA must annually meet certain standards. Staff development is an example and a critical one. All lead teachers at MPA must be Montessori certified to teach the ages of the children in their classroom. Accreditation also affirms that MPA meets a standard of excellence recognized by the American Montessori community and by educators worldwide. It also assures parents that MPA is of the highest quality and remains accountable to a larger body. In addition, AMS accreditation is recognized by Illinois policymakers, which grants MPA significant advantages at the legislative level.
While MPA is on a waiting list for the fall, the administration encourages all interested families to take a personal tour of the school, to see for themselves what makes MPA so unique and special. Enrollment for each school year begins in January and is usually complete by February 1st. However, there are many instances of spaces opening throughout the year, and in those cases the next family on the waiting list is offered immediate enrollment.