MONTESSORI IN THE CAPITOL
Montessori in the Capitol was an annual event organized by OMA in partnership with local Montessori schools to provide a model classroom in the Galleria of the Oregon State Capitol. The date of the event coincided with a Governor-proclaimed Oregon Montessori Education Day during the annual International Montessori Education week. The goal was to increase awareness of Montessori education and better serve the needs of Oregon’s children. Montessori in the Capitol provided lawmakers, officials, and the general public an opportunity to see Montessori education in action.
OMA launched The ASQ Trailblazers Project in 2019 with an initial goal of training 100 Montessorians in the comprehensive use and implementation of universal developmental screening programs in Montessori schools statewide. Since then, we have far surpassed our original expectations. We continue to offer ASQ (Ages & Stages Questionnaires) trainings on an annual basis, as well as ongoing support, consultation, and resources for participating Montessori schools.
The D.R.E.A.M. Project was launched in 2020 in partnership with the International Dyslexia Association (IDA) to support Montessori educators and schools in building their capacity to serve all students. OMA is committed to offering information and resources to help teaching staff understand dyslexia and the science of reading development, as well as supporting schools in developing procedures for identification, intervention, and accommodations for children with reading difficulties. The vision of the D.R.E.A.M. Project is that children experiencing dyslexia will be fully integrated and supported within their Montessori classrooms.
OMA is dedicated to expanding access to Montessori education across the state, and has been an avid supporter of the Preschool Promise initiative, Oregon’s model for a publicly-funded, high quality preschool system. We collaborate with state and local agencies to ensure that Montessori pedagogy is considered within the broader framework of the program, and support Montessori programs with the information and tools they need to successfully participate as Preschool Promise Program partners.
ONGOING ADVOCACY EFFORTS
OMA is proud to have established strong relationships with both state agencies and community partners. We maintain close ties with the Early Learning Division (ELD) and the Office of Child Care (OCC); by attending meetings, participating in workgroups, and engaging in feedback opportunities, we are a voice for the Montessori community and we ensure that Montessori education has a respected seat at the table of our state’s early learning system.
As part of our strategic effort to increase understanding of Montessori pedagogy, we provide regular trainings on the essentials of Montessori for licensing specialists and other state and local partners. We stay apprised of the work of the Early Learning Council, participate in meetings with the Oregon Department of Education (ODE), and are a member of the Early Childhood Coalition, a network of over 40 state and national organizations working to advocate for young children and families.