AMI President's Message 2020

Monday 6th April 2020

I hope that all of you are staying safe and well in these turbulent unsettling times, and our thoughts are with those who know people suffering from the virus or indeed, from its harsh economic impact which is causing hard times for so many. We will, together, have to face these troubles with fortitude and creativity.

It is at times like this that we feel honoured to be part of the Montessori global community. A community that strives to support the wellbeing of humanity, no matter the circumstances or obstacles that it may encounter. Everyone has an important role to play at this time and together we can make a difference in the lives of our loved ones, our families, our communities and beyond.

I am also writing to let you know that, as you are probably all aware, our annual 3-day April gathering in Amsterdam has already been cancelled for this year. Equally, as you know, during the course of these AMI Global meetings there is always a formal official meeting of the Association, to which all members can come, strictly speaking, this is the AGM. The statutory responsibility of that meeting is to approve the Annual Report and the Audited Financial statements of the organisation. The meeting is also is responsible for electing members to the AMI Board. We always expand this limited formal function with presentations by the Executive Director on the work of the organisation over the previous year and presentations from other guest speakers. 

The remainder of this message addresses the statutory requirement for AMI to hold an AGM. 

The Board of AMI met on Thursday 26th March, for its regular on-line meeting, and considered the implications of the current troubling times and the restrictions imposed as a result of the pandemic.  

In the light of current circumstances, the Board decided unanimously to postpone the Annual General Meeting of the Association until a time later in the year. The annual report and financial statements will be submitted for approval to this rescheduled meeting. The Board will also recommend to that meeting the renewal of Board terms for three members who are at the end of their first term and have agreed to stand for a second term.  
The Board is aware that the Articles of Association of AMI state that the annual report and financial statements need to be presented to a General Meeting of members within 6 months of the end of the financial year. The Board looked at all the options for this.  Clearly, at this time there is no possibility of having even the minimum number of persons at an in-person meeting.  Our Articles do not allow for an online meeting, a point made by our auditors. Indeed it is likely that online technology would not allow for the opportunity for ALL members to participate in the way that they would wish, and member’s participation is felt to be important. 
Our hope is to be able to arrange an in-person AGM, perhaps linked to one of the celebratory events planned around the 150th anniversary of Maria Montessori's birth. However, given how uncertain the next few months are likely to be, we cannot now definitely confirm that. 
The Board approved the formal annual report and audited accounts at its meeting and while these cannot be made generally available until formally approved by the AGM,  in order to keep members informed of the work of the Association, Lynne and her team will work on the production of our usual narrative report and when completed will post this on our website. 
I hope you understand and concur with the Board's decision. Should you require any further clarification please do get in touch with me. 
Please stay safe and well till this turbulence passes on, as it will. 

Warm regards,

President AMI