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We added a Middle School Program in the fall of 2005. The program serves students in 7th and 8th grades in a small, close-knit community. Students arrive between 8:00 - 8:15 a.m. and their school day lasts until 3:30 p.m., with an optional Study Hall until 5:00 p.m.
Just as Maria Montessori believed the elementary student entered a new plane of development at age six, the adolescent is beginning a new developmental phase around age 12. We provide our young people with a developmentally appropriate environment in which to grow and learn. The Montessori Middle School provides a more structured weekly schedule than a Montessori Upper Elementary environment, including scheduled meetings for some classes and large blocks of work time.
The Middle School curriculum accommodates the academic, physical, and social challenges of adolescence. Each student is expected to contribute large and small acts of leadership. Each student is called upon to identify meaningful research projects that spin off from the two cultural areas - history and science. Students also participate in weekly reading, writing, Spanish or French, research skills, and other lessons. The Montessori Middle School believes in the central importance of social and emotional development, so there is also time devoted to meaningful reflection, creative self-expression, debate, and hands-on connections to the land, the surrounding community, and the world.
Middle School students begin their year with a five to seven day Odyssey overnight trip, visiting historic sites that will set the stage for their studies during the year. In addition to increasing students’ academic understanding, the journey provides a community-building experience for the group and allows each student to magnify his or her own independence as well as realize meaningful interdependence on friends, family, the greater community, and the natural world.