"Montessori" is not a trademark or a franchise: any institution can hang a shingle over its door and claim to offer a Montessori education.
So how can parents tell whether a Montessori school is authentic?
Doctors have the AMA; architects the AIA; engineers the IEEE. Surely there's an organization for Montessori teachers who combine a doctor's awareness of neural development, an architect's careful artistry in construction (albeit for children rather than buildings), and an engineer's keen, logical approach to problem-solving.
There is: AMI, the Association Montessori Internationale. Founded by Dr. Montessori herself in 1929, AMI is the most diligent of the various Montessori organizations in ensuring that Montessori schools and teachers are both well-grounded in the basic principles of the method and ready to carry those principles forward in the modern educational world.
Post Oak demonstrates its commitment to its AMI heritage through the training of its faculty and staff. Our head of school, four academic division directors and admission director are all AMI trained. Twenty-two of twenty-four lead teachers in infant community, primary, elementary, middle school and high school have completed AMI training for at least one level; and as we look to the development of future faculty, 60% of our classroom assistants are currently enrolled in AMI training courses or have earned their AMI credential. Post Oak has also made an extraordinary commitment to AMI teacher training, housing the Houston Montessori Institute (HMI) which trains Montessori primary teachers under the auspices of AMI.