To all members

Dear Member,

I hope that you all continue to remain safe and well despite the continuing unsettling times in which we live. Over the past few weeks since my message of April 6th, I have been constantly amazed and proud of the extraordinary efforts that you all are making to adapt to the current circumstances.

The collaborative efforts made to find creative solutions to the challenges for trainers, trainees and training courses, simply reinforces what I said then, that it is at times like this we feel honoured to be part of the Montessori global community. The gradual re-opening of children’s houses and schools will bring with it a further wave of challenges, and I have no doubt that these too will be addressed and resolved with similar creativity and collaboration.

I am writing to let you know of two key decisions that the Board of AMI made at its meeting on Thursday May 14th.

First, based on the recommendation from our Affiliate in Thailand, the Montessori Association of Thailand, supported by the Congress Planning Committee, the event organisers and the AMI Board, agreed to the postponement of the 2021 Congress until 27 – 30 July 2022. It was proving difficult for sponsors and speakers to make a firm commitment to the 2021 dates and the Thai Affiliate and Planning Committee were at a point where non-returnable deposits were required were the Congress to go ahead. While this delay is regrettable, given the circumstances it is probably the only, and certainly the safest, course of action. 

Beyond 2022 we plan to hold the subsequent congress in 2025 and the following one in 2029 – as this year marks the birthday of the founding of AMI.

Second, in my message of April 6th, I explained that we were unable to hold an in-person Annual General Meeting and that our statutes did not allow for a virtual one. The Board at its meeting on March 26th made the decision to postpone the AGM until an in-person meeting might be possible later in the year.   

However, last week the Government of the Netherlands issued new Covid-19 related guidance for foundations and associations, allowing them to hold meetings digitally even if this is not normally allowed for in their statutes. At its meeting on May 14th the Board of AMI reviewed this guidance and agreed to schedule the 2020 Annual General Meeting in an online format.  In coming to this decision, the Board also considered that it was increasingly unlikely that we would have the opportunity for a meaningful in-person meeting during this year.

We now plan to hold the AGM digitally on Friday July 10th at 15.00 Amsterdam time.

This message therefore serves as the convening notice for the 2020 AGM. 

The agenda for the meeting will consist of

  1. Approval of the minutes of the 2019 AGM.
  2. Ratification of the Annual Report and Financial Statements for 2019.
  3. Approval of the Board recommendation of an extension for a 2nd term for 3 board members whose 1st term expires and who have agreed to stand for a 2nd term. These are Ian Stockdale, Patricia Miller and Christine Harrison.
  4. Current situation updates from the Executive Director.

Participation is open to all members, subject only to the limits of technology.  We ask that members planning to participate register by Friday June 19th. This is important to ensure we have the necessary capacity to hold an on-line meeting. Registration by email must include your membership number and should be sent to:

Online-AGM-2020@montessori-ami.org

Once registration has been received and confirmed, a meeting invitation and access to the relevant documents will be sent to each registered member.

We propose that any decisions to be reached be done by consensus on a no objection basis during the course of the meeting. This is the manner in which all of our AGM decisions have been taken previously. While the Financial and Annual report remain draft documents until approved by the AGM, once approved, they will be posted on the AMI website and available to all members.

In line with the guidance from the government we would ask that members email any questions or comments they have prior to the meeting. These should be sent to the above email address and be received by AMI before 15.00 on Tuesday July 7th. The questions received will be answered during the meeting. Subsequently, questions and answers will be posted on the website in a summary of the proceedings. The full formal minutes will be prepared as usual and approved at our AGM in 2021 in Amsterdam.

I look forward to seeing many of you virtually on July 10th, and in the meantime, we celebrate the work that you are doing, at this moment, at this time, in all parts of the world. It is at times like this that we recognise the wise words of Maria Montessori spoken in 1949, in San Remo, in a lecture entitled Human Solidarity in Time and Space, “Solidarity among human beings is very beautiful, arising from antiquity and projecting itself as it does into the future, binding the past to the present and the present to the future, for all eternity”.

Warm regards,

Philip O’Brien
President AMI

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