In 1967, Project CHAMP (Central Harlem Association of Montessori Parents) was founded by Roslyn D. Williams to prepare parents to become active participants in their child’s education and to increase the pool of Montessori teachers in New York City. CHAMP was the first AMS Teacher Education Program affiliated in New York City and the first African American established Montessori TEP in the US. WSMS faculty and administrators, along with faculty from other Montessori schools, taught for Project CHAMP in those early years.
In September 1994, the WSMS Board of Trustees voted to move Project CHAMP under the umbrella of WSMS to ensure the legacy of Montessori teacher preparation in NYC. At that time, the name was changed to West Side Montessori School – Teacher Education Program. For many years, WSMS-TEP offered a program to prepare adults to earn the AMS Early Childhood credential. In 2012, the Infant Toddler level was added in response to local needs. Crucially aware of the expanding worldwide need for high-quality Montessori educators over a broader range of ages, WSMS-TEP expanded to add the Elementary I (6-9), I-II (6-12), and II (9-12) levels with classes held at Metropolitan Montessori School. The first cohort of Elementary began in 2016. The Administrator program, which prepares adults for leadership positions in Montessori schools, accepted the inaugural cohort in 2017. WSMS-TEP was one of the first programs in the US to add the Montessori Inclusion Endorsement to prepare credentialed Montessori teachers to serve children with exceptional needs. Additional Locations have been added to support the growth of Montessori teacher preparation in Shanghai, China, and Buffalo, NY.