WHAT IS OMA?
OMA is a centralized resource promoting, empowering and advocating for professionals, families and all people interested in all levels of Montessori education. Founded in 1978, the Oregon Montessori Association is a regional organization of Montessori teachers, administrators, parents, and community members who support vibrant Montessori education in Oregon, Southwest Washington, and beyond.
For over 40 years OMA has been serving the needs of and directly contributing to the strength and vitality of Oregon and Southwest Washington’s Montessori community. OMA actively seeks ways to continue to serve its members and increase the vital presence of Montessori education in the Pacific Northwest through our networking opportunities, workshops, lectures, advocacy work, community outreach, strategic relationships, newsletters, a resource library, and more.
OMA was founded in 1978 by Nancy Hildick and Susan Erceg. From the beginning, OMA’s vision has been to be an umbrella organization, maintaining a policy of inclusiveness and respect for the diversity of Montessori training available in the United States. In 2019, the OMA Board voted to endorse MPPI's "Montessori Essentials" as the framework for best practices in Montessori education. High-fidelity Montessori programs can be identified by their alignment with the principles and elements outlined in this document.
COMMUNITY OUTREACH & NETWORK
OMA promotes the welfare of children by helping to develop greater public understanding and support of child development, which is the essence of Montessori philosophy and methods. Our member volunteers offer presentations on child development that can be shared with the general public in places such as public libraries and community centers. For more information contact us.
Through our website, member forums, and locally written Forza Vitale! newsletter, we keep our members connected and updated on the latest happenings in the Montessori community.
Each year we host our spring event, a celebratory gathering to honor exemplary Montessorians in our community and to welcome new graduates of Montessori training programs in the area.
OMA is continually looking for ways to strengthen our ties with other regional child advocacy groups and Montessori Associations-- in particular, our sister group in Washington, the Pacific Northwest Montessori Association (PNMA).
To improve understanding and cooperation among all Montessori practitioners regardless of Montessori affiliation. We are a non-partisan organization.
To provide a voice at a national and state level that advocates for high fidelity implementation of Montessori Education.
To further our understanding of children and their spiritual, intellectual, emotional, and physical needs by offering high quality professional development opportunities.
To support and sustain the mental and emotional well being of educators through our advocacy and policy work.
To develop greater public understanding of and support for the Montessori philosophy and method in collaboration with other organizations and agencies dedicated to the well-being of children.
OMA'S COMMITMENT TO EQUITY
OMA recognizes that biases are inherent in our daily lives on a global scale. These biases are not only related to racial and ethnic backgrounds but include gender expression, sexual orientation, family structures, cognitive or physical abilities, socio-economic class, religion, culture, and language. We recognize that every person, adult and child alike, will experience both privilege and oppression.
We seek to engage our community in annual training to better understand and dismantle our personal biases and privileges. OMA is dedicated to Anti-Bias/Anti-Racism (ABAR) work and acknowledges this process must be consistent, persistent, and constant indefinitely.