There often needs to be more clarity surrounding the vaccination policies of Montessori schools. Some people believe that Montessori schools are exempt from state vaccination requirements, while others think that all Montessori schools require vaccinations. The best way to determine a particular school’s vaccine policy is to contact the school directly and ask.
What is Montessori?
Montessori is a type of educational philosophy and teaching method developed by Italian physician and educator Maria Montessori in the early 1900s. The Montessori approach is based on the belief that children are naturally curious and have an inherent desire to learn. This method emphasizes hands-on, experiential learning and allows students to move at their own pace.
There are approximately 22,000 Montessori schools in over 110 countries worldwide. There are around 4,000 Montessori schools in the United States, both private and public.
So, do Montessori schools require vaccination? While no hard-and-fast rule exists, most Montessori schools need students to be up-to-date on their vaccinations. This is primarily for the safety of the students and the community at large.
Do Montessori Schools Require Immunization?
Vaccination Policy for Montessori schools varies from country to country and are not exempted from the vaccination policies that may be applicable in that country.
Generally speaking, Montessori schools do not require vaccination for admission. However, many Montessori schools strongly encourage vaccinating students to help protect the general health and safety of the school community.
Children who do not get immunized are at increased risk of disease and may be removed from school during a disease outbreak. Some Montessori schools may even require proof of vaccination for certain diseases, such as
- Meningitis (Meningococcal disease)
- Whooping cough (Pertussis)
- Chickenpox (Varicella) – required for children born in 2010 or later
- Haemophilus B (Hib)
In the United States, some states have now passed a law that requires all kids going to public, private, and religious schools, pre-K, and daycare must get all required vaccinations unless they have a valid medical exemption.
NOTE: Some states have immunization exemptions for conscience or religious beliefs in the United States.
School Vaccination Requirements
Children attending day care and pre-K through 12th grade in New York State must receive all required doses of vaccines on the recommended schedule in order to attend or remain in school. This is true unless they have a valid medical exemption to immunization. This includes all public, private, and religious schools. A medical exemption is allowed when a child has a medical condition that prevents them from receiving a vaccine. There are no nonmedical exemptions to school vaccine requirements in NYS.
As a parent, keeping your kids safe and healthy is your number one priority. All children attending school between ages 4 to 17 need to be immunized according to Ontario’s Immunization Schedule. Immunization protects children from many serious diseases that are easily spread in schools. Under the Immunization of School Pupils Act, children need to have proof of immunization against diphtheria, tetanus, polio, measles, mumps, rubella, meningococcal disease, whooping cough, and – for children born in 2010 or later – chickenpox to attend school. Children who are not fully immunized may not be allowed to attend school.
Montessori and Vaccines – The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that there is no simple answer to whether or not Montessori schools require vaccines. Various factors come into play, including the school’s setting, the country it is located in, and the Montessori educational philosophy being followed. Ultimately, it is up to each school to decide what policy is best for its students and community.