MSL’s Middle School environment supports children ages 12 to 15 years old, with two lead Montessori or state certified teachers.
Overview of Program
Our goal in the middle school is to prepare the students to be 21st century learners. With the birth of Google, educators have realized their role has shifted from memorization to guiding students to mastering their own learning and creativity. Through socratic teaching, middle school students develop strong critical thinking skills, collaboration, communication skills both written and oral, problem solving, and perseverance. Building on the foundations of their elementary experiences, we design our adolescent environment to inspire collaboration and innovation among our students. Our program integrates current education research and the unique characteristics of adolescents to help students to become successful, creative, confident, lifelong learners.
Middle school students work from a contract that includes lessons and project-based learning. Learning is integrated to maintain the Montessori philosophy and to show the students the connections between subject areas. Arts and physical education are integrated within the students’ weekly schedule. Technology use is presented as an extension of a student’s ability to communicate. Students are immersed in the use of technology as a collaboration and research tool, shifting the power of learning directly into the hands of students.
Relationships are key to learning at the middle school level. With smaller class sizes, students and their teacher develop a relationship of trust and respect, which provides students a supportive environment as they move through this sensitive stage of development.
The Secondary Montessori environment is designed for a community of learners. The classroom is equipped with group and individual tables, a variety of chairs (exercise ball, student chairs, office chairs), comfortable seating area, and a computer lab. The computer system is server based, which allows for interactive lessons to be taught from the Smart Board. The space is designed to meet the physical, social, and academic needs of the student.
The Secondary level cultural curriculum rotates on a two year cycle. During the first year cycle, students are presented lessons in Life Science and World History. The second year cycle, students are presented lessons in Physical Science and American History. Math and language area lessons are presented to the students on a grade level basis. The curriculum has been purposefully designed to meet the learning expectations of the student. Students are provided study guides and grading rubrics.
The curriculum guides outline the lessons that will be taught and the work assignments required. Personal growth and accountability are emphasized at this level and demonstrated by the students. Group discussions are led through Socratic dialogues, and every member of the community is encouraged to participate. As partners, students share with their teacher the responsibility of monitoring their academic progress, and parents are kept aware through an interactive record keeping system. Through the use of End of Cycle Summary forms and individual conference reports, parents are invited twice a year to be a part of student led conferences.
MAP assessments are administered three times a year and Study Island is strongly encouraged for at home practice.