Title 17. Education

Chapter 27. Montessori Schools and Teachers


17:3402      Minimum requirements for school certification; admission policies; environment; program


The minimum requirements for certification as a Montessori school shall be as follows:


A. Admission policies


All admissions in a Montessori school shall be open to all persons of all races, creeds, or color, and to all persons with disabilities as defined in R.S. 51:2232(11).


B. Physical plant


The physical plant must comply with state and local fire and health regulations and with applicable building codes.


C. Environment


(1) The environment shall be prepared, arranged and equipped to structure the child’s free movement and responsibility. There shall be space so each child can move freely without interrupting activities of others. The school shall be attractive, cheerful, orderly, clean and in good repair to evoke in the children a positive response to beauty and to life, and to satisfy their need for order. It shall be free of health and safety hazards.


(2) There shall be furnishings and arrangements to encourage the children to become more self reliant and independent in caring for their own needs. There shall be lightweight, movable, child-sized furnishings. The equipment shall be arranged on low, easy-to-reach shelves in an orderly way, with materials of the same general classification placed together.


(3) Each child shall have a special place to keep his personal belongings and school work. Freedom with responsibility leading to independent self direction shall be a basic consideration.


(4) An outdoor play area shall be easily accessible.


(5) General requirements indoors are:


(a) Low child accessible shelving in neutral or light colors for placement of materials with adequate space for placement without crowding.


(b) Walls in light or neutral colors to adequately emphasize the materials.


(c) Child-sized furniture, tables and chairs.


(d) Each child shall have a special place for his personal belongings and school work.


(e) Flooring shall be of a type that can be kept clean and safe.


(f) Rugs and mats shall be available and accessible to the children and shall have orderly storage.


(g) Adequate lighting--if possible, one hundred sixty watts fluorescent for every one hundred square feet of floor space.


(h) There shall be thirty square feet of working space per child or thirty-five square feet per child of total usable facilities.


(i) Every school should have child accessible toilet facilities adequate to the number of children. They should be clean and have adequate hand washing facilities.


(6) General requirements outdoors are:


(a) Seventy-five square feet of outdoor space for each child in the group at any one time.


(b) Outdoor space shall be easily accessible, safe and protected, and shall be fenced.


(c) Outdoor equipment shall be safe and provide adequate opportunities for a variety of large muscle activities.


(d) The outdoor area shall be pleasant and attractive with some gardening opportunities available.


D. The program


The requirements for the program are:


(1) Montessori Junior School begins at six years of age and continues through the age of eighteen years, approximately. Thus, the junior school encompasses the child’s learning experience from kindergarten through high school.


(2) Early enrollment shall be encouraged, starting between the ages of two and one-half to three and one-half years or earlier, to take advantage of early sensitive periods for learning.


(3) Placement at the primary or junior level shall be determined by the child’s achievement and level of development.


(4) The classroom shall have, if possible, a mixed age group spanning at least three years so that the children will have a variety of models from which to learn. Attendance through kindergarten age shall be encouraged for maximum benefit of the program.


(5) The class shall meet five days a week for a minimum of three hours a day to provide the necessary learning continuity in classes for students below six years of age. Montessori junior classes of students six years of age and above shall meet a minimum of one hundred and eighty days per year, five days a week, a minimum of twenty-eight hours per week, excluding lunch and recess.


(6) Parents shall be allowed to observe the children at work.


(7) The school shall have a full range of Montessori equipment for all age groups; basically: practical life--activities that cultivate ability to care for self and environment; sensorial--activities that sharpen the senses in preparation for accurate observation of the physical world; academic and cultural--activities that develop ability in such subjects as language, reading, writing, mathematics, geography, history, life science, art, music, dance, dramatics, construction, and a second language.


(8) The materials shall be self teaching so children can learn from them by self discovery and voluntary repetition rather than by rote memorization of what someone tells them about the materials. The children shall work independently once the materials are introduced.


(9) The materials shall require active participation of the children so that the major part of their learning comes from concrete sensorial experience.


(10) The materials shall reflect reality and nature so that children can organize their perceptions of the world accurately.


(11) The materials shall be open ended so that it is possible for children to learn more than one concept from each piece.


(12) The materials shall isolate only one factor of difference to emphasize the particular attribute or concept.


(13) The art materials shall be basically structured to allow the children to freely create their own ideas after the teacher has initially demonstrated their use.


(14) The Montessori materials shall be introduced sequentially.


(15) The materials shall be attractive and of the best quality affordable to provide stimulation for new exploration or imagination. They shall be clean, orderly, and in good repair.


(16) The program shall provide annual standardized testing for Montessori junior students six years of age and above.


E. (1) Each Montessori school shall have at least one Class A Montessori teacher, and each class shall have at least one Class B Montessori teacher with an assistant possessing a baccalaureate degree.


(2) Each Montessori junior school and junior class with students six years of age and above shall have at least one teacher certified in Montessori for the age level which he serves, and possessing a baccalaureate degree.


F. (1) Provisional accreditation may be granted for a school with a Class B certified teacher who is working toward a baccalaureate degree taking a minimum of six hours per year.


(2) Provisional accreditation may be granted for a Montessori junior school for three years, provided each teacher of a junior school class possessing a baccalaureate degree is working toward Montessori junior certification.


Added by Acts 1976, No. 290, § 1. Amended by Acts 1982, No. 400, § 1, eff. July 20, 1982; Acts 1993, No. 820, § 3; Acts 2014, No. 34, § 1.