7th and 8th Grades

"The object of education is ... becoming a human being. Education should not focus on special functions, faculties, or skills, but on the whole personality."
- Maria Montessori


The Middle School model is founded on a fundamental principle: The key to development is freedom with responsibility and respect. The middle school design integrates current research in human development with trends and issues in education within Montessori philosophy. The goal of the program is to provide adolescents all the tools they will need for healthy self-construction, to create a vision for their personal future. This includes opportunities to belong to a community, grow self-confidence, learn to be adaptable, gain self-knowledge, set and achieve goals, and demonstrate academic competencies. In short, the goal is to empower early adolescents.



Classroom Work

The school day is divided into two kinds of work: individual work and group work. Individual work is designed to make a match between the skills, abilities, and interests of each student, and there are work choices in every academic area to be completed alone or in small, self-chosen groups. Individual work is assessed with written or oral mastery tests.

Group work is done in teams, which remain in place for that work cycle and are reconfigured each time. These groups work together on academic tasks in the thematic units, which integrate all subject areas. Assessment includes individual written tests, group presentations, and self-assessments of the group process.


Mastery Learning

Mastery learning is a form of personalized learning that gives students the necessary time to master particular skills before progressing to the next level of work. The student takes on the responsibility of learning new information versus merely accepting a low grade and moving on to the next subject. The teacher’s task is to break down the learning steps, offering suggestions for internalizing the knowledge, and providing the time necessary to learn the information. According to research, the advantage of mastery learning is that it offers clear expectations, fosters mastery of a unit of study, is not competitive, and encourages student responsibility.


MIDDLE SCHOOL curriculum

Each year there are five cycles of work. At the beginning of each cycle and week, students receive study guides identifying the work they will accomplish during that cycle. The cycle format is designed to help students develop organizational, decision-making and time-management skills. Students work through five curriculum cycles, each with a specialized focus and in-depth approach featuring group projects, independent research, Socratic dialogue, and experiential activities. Between each cycle, students gain experience participating in the life of the broader community as contributing members through service learning, retreat, externships, leadership development, and internships.