Southwest Montessori Academy Receives Validation Certificate

Southwest Montessori Academy has become the first Montessori school in Indiana to be validated by United Montessori Schools of Indiana or UMSI.

To be validated by UMSI means that the school has demonstrated that they meet basic threshold standards of a fully-implemented Montessori school. These standards are as follows: demonstrating an understanding of the Montessori philosophy, credentialed teachers from accredited programs, authentic classroom materials, uninterrupted work periods, and multi-age classrooms. 

Vyju Kadambi, Director, said, “I feel so honored and it gives me a sense of pride to know that other qualified Montessori-trained professionals in Indiana see the quality Montessori experience that we offer.” Southwest Montessori Academy chose to go through the UMSI Validation project because, “We wanted to demonstrate to ourselves, our parents, and our community that we provide an authentic Montessori experience for our students,” Vyju Kadambi, Director, said.

Evangelos Tozakoglou, Board Member, said, “We are very excited to be validated by UMSI. This is a very important milestone and a testament to the rigorous work performed at SMA since it was founded four years ago. This independent verification that we adhere to the Montessori standards is one more quality indicator for the school’s high standards.”

UMSI was founded in 2008 by Montessori teachers for advocating all sectors of Montessori education in Indiana.

Brenda Huth, UMSI Board Secretary, said of Southwest Montessori Academy and the UMSI Validation Project, “There is no trademark on the use of the term “Montessori” in the public domain. Any school or program can call itself Montessori but actually be lacking in any of the elements that would be considered necessary to implement the philosophy and curriculum as taught in accredited or nationally recognized Montessori schools and teacher preparation programs. There are programs that market themselves as Montessori which do not have a commitment to the philosophy, do not have credentialed teachers from accredited teacher preparation programs, do not have the materials needed to fully implement the curriculum, and are lacking in those elements of the prepared environments, such as an extended work period and developmentally appropriate mixed age groups, which are the foundation of high quality Montessori education. Southwest Montessori Academy has shown, through a peer review process, a commitment to implementing high quality authentic Montessori education. The Board of Directors and Validation Committee of the United Montessori Schools of Indiana are proud to call Southwest Montessori Academy our very first UMSI Validated School.” 

For more information about the UMSI Validation Project, please visit their website