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Middle School (Ages 12-15)
The movement for Montessori middle schools has been growing across the United States for several years. In September 2009, after more than a year of preparation, Maria Montessori School initiated our own middle school program which includes grades 6, 7 and 8. The 6th grade curriculum completes the 9-12 Montessori program for 4th-6th grades. The 7th and 8th grade curriculum is our Montessori Secondary Program. These three grades make up our Montessori middle school community.
The mission of our middle school program is to provide opportunities for our pre-adolescent and adolescent students to be self-confident in their academic, social, and developmental abilities and in their knowledge of self. These competencies come from belonging to a community, learning to be adaptable, accepting the challenge of going beyond the minimum academic requirements, and by creating a vision for their personal future; in summary, our goal is to empower these early adolescents.
There are opportunities for cross-level work in which all or a combination of the three grades participate such as morning community meetings, the beginning of the year R.O.P.E.S course for team building, Math, Spanish, Mandarin, cultural studies, public speaking and debate, field trips, P.E. and, of course, socializing. In addition to cross-level studies, each grade level works on specific subjects in their core curriculum.
The Parent-Child-School triad is especially important in these early teen years, and parents are encouraged and expected to support their middle school children in various ways, while allowing the strengthening of independence and identity. This approach leads to a stronger collaboration within the student-parent-teacher partnership.
A "holistic"approach is prevalent throughout Montessori philosophy which places a focus on the whole child for maximum growth and development. The learning environment must encompass and meet all the needs of the child, not just those of an academic nature, but also the physical and psychosocial needs as well. A theme of “connectedness” is also seen throughout the Montessori method. This enables the child to understand the inter-connections of life.