The Montessori School is more than a place to send children; it’s a community. In addition to our deep roots with the Montessori Method, we are also committed to transparency and sustainable financial decisions The following information is reprinted from our school newsletter. I hope you will find this information helpful and insightful. Additional markers of stability will be shared in future blog posts.

A few of our parents have asked recently about the school’s finances.  This helped us realize that we should do more to keep families informed of these matters!  We’re very proud of the work we do.  Over the next several weeks, I will include a report on various aspects of the business of The Montessori School.  If you have suggestions for topics that you’d like to hear about, please reach out to me.  We will begin the series with a report on the strength of the school’s balance sheet; an important stability marker.

Stability Marker Number One: Debt to Equity

One of the strongest measures of an organization’s health is its debt to equity ratio.  Too much debt adds expense and risk.  We are very proud of the fact that The Montessori School has NO DEBT.  This means that more of the fees you pay go to programing.

Stability Marker Number Two:  Asset Protection

The care and beauty of the environment is especially important at a Montessori school.  Maria Montessori identified six principles of the prepared environment; 1) freedom, 2) structure and order, 3) social environment, 4) intellectual environment, 5) beauty, and 6) nature.  Our entire staff thoughtfully attends to the prepared environment, each in our respective roles.  This year, we reinvested in repairs and improvements to our Richland and Kalamazoo campuses.  This ensures that the facility will be here to serve future generations of children.

On Earth Day, our entire community of parents, staff and students worked together to spruce up our grounds.  Our generous donors provided more than $1,000 worth of new trees and plants to beautify our grounds.  Fun was had by all! This may be the start of a new tradition for the school.

We hope our efforts show and that Maria would approve of our collective efforts.

Stability Marker Number Three:  Cash Reserves

Lastly, the school maintains a healthy cash reserve.  For additional protection, we keep a line of credit.  Thankfully, we have never had to draw on this line.  These are strong stability markers which ensure we have the capacity to withstand an unexpected challenge.

I’ll share more about our other stability markers soon.  Please reach out to me with any questions or suggestions.  Though I don’t get out of my office as often as I would like to, I welcome your weigh-in.  My door is (almost) always open.


Susan Atkinson serves as The Montessori School’s Business Manager. Susan joined the school in 1988. She earned a master’s degree in business administration from Western Michigan University and has more than 30 years’ experience in business management/school operations.