Middle School Program
Ages 12 to 15
Montessori answers the vital needs of adolescents: to develop their intellectual abilities of abstraction, conjecture, prediction, and creation; to be accepted by peers and mentoring adults; to form a personal identity; and to know how one fits into the world. Unlike many adolescents in traditional middle school settings, our students meet these needs through a real community that provides them with meaningful work. Purposeful work challenges both the mind and body. Your Montessori adolescent will integrate academic studies and real work in order to become self-sufficient. Work is real and valued by society as legitimate. Work done with integrity and passion is noble.
The middle school years encompass a time of rapid growth and change in your early adolescent. In response to the developmental needs of this age group, our middle school program that seeks the empowerment of adolescents through the encouragement of both individual responsibility and cooperative skills. Dr. Montessori spoke of a center for study and work where adolescents could safely transform into adults. Our model focuses on helping them find where their talents intersect with the global needs of the world. Our program promotes academic excellence in all core subjects and also gives your student practical experience in a variety of community settings.
Your middle school student’s experience will feature integrated components to address all of their needs during their transition to adulthood: academic, entrepreneurial, service to community, apprenticeship, adventure, and life-strategies. By addressing the social and emotional needs of the adolescent, your student can better focus on academic endeavors.
- Rigorous academics
- Many leadership opportunities
- Small class size/great student-teacher ratios
- Internships and service projects
- Emphasis on community outreach
- Broad spectrum of enrichment and elective classes
- Participation in a class-run business
- Week-long odyssey trip
VALUABLE LIFE LESSONS
Our deliberate approach to educating your adolescent separates us from other middle school programs. Your student will be provided the experiences needed in order to be exposed to many valuable life lessons. They will connect with peers and bond with supportive adult teachers.
LIFE AFTER GLTW
Alumni have attended the following high schools: Catholic Central, Cranbrook, Community High School, Culver Academy (Indiana), Father Gabriel Richard, Greenhills, Huron Valley Catholic, International Academy West, St. Francis of Assisi, and local public high schools. Colleges attended have included: University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Western Michigan University, Northern Michigan University, Wesleyan University, University of Pittsburgh, Indiana University, and Ohio State University.
"But, above all it is the education of adolescents that is important, because adolescence is the time when the child enters on the state of manhood and becomes a member of society."
The Age of Dramatic Change
Your young adult will experience rigorous and enriching academics during their age of dramatic change.
The junior high academic year is divided into five seven-week cycles. Each cycle consists of five weeks of focused study, a week of presentation and assessments, and one week of immersion. The immersion week is typically an off-campus experience.
Students have the opportunity to take on stewardship projects, which ultimately enhance their physical strength and self esteem while supporting environmental and community service organizations. These projects nurture your student’s connection to nature. She or he will establish a sense that they are capable of contributing to the greater good. Immersion weeks may also be dedicated to drama, artistic endeavors, internships, math, or science projects, depending on the material under study and interests of your student.
The academic portion of the cycles allows your student to complete core studies in math, language, writing, science, humanities, and the arts (visual and performing). These studies are presented in an integrated fashion from a historical perspective whenever possible. Spanish language and physical education are important adjuncts to the curriculum.
MASTERY AND PROGRESSION
Mastery of material is an important objective in the multi-age classroom. Your student will demonstrate that they have achieved mastery of skills and content during assessment and presentation weeks, sharing the results of their studies with fellow students and passing tests that ascertain readiness to move on. Should results indicate more support and work is needed, students have opportunities for retests, supplementary studies and additional instruction from their teacher until success is achieved. This ensures that your student is prepared for the next phase of learning, which provides a model for commitment and consistency.
FREEDOM TO FOCUS
Your student will be free to pursue areas of special interest in large blocks of uninterrupted time to a depth that satisfies their curiosity. Individual and group work ensures opportunities for focus and chances at collaboration.
Students have small group lessons from pre-algebra and pre-geometry, through algebra I and geometry based on their individual skills and interest. All levels focus on the development of critical thinking skills, computational thinking, problem solving, and logic. There is also math work related to the thematic projects in social studies and science.
Language arts include the study of vocabulary, literature, grammar, mechanics, and writing. Vocabulary is presented across the curriculum and is formally approached by learning the etymology of words. Literature includes the study of literary elements and the reading of all genres of literature. In addition to writing assignments and work options each cycle, your student will write a research paper every year as part of their independent study.
THE NATURAL WORLD
Our science curriculum alternates between the study of physical science and life science. Your student will participate in independent and group work projects each cycle. The focus is on asking the large questions, discovering the patterns in science, and the integration of science with all disciplines.
THE PERSONAL WORLD
Each year our class develops a mission statement or class constitution that establishes the guiding principles of our community. Your student will practice important soft skills by participating in daily community meetings, class committees, small group projects, and peer collaboration. The development of intra-personal skills through journal writing and personal reflection is a critical part of their weekly schedule. Each year, one carefully chosen work of literature is used as the focus of group dialogue and personal growth.
THE SOCIAL WORLD
Our social studies course includes the study of geography and history. The geography curriculum includes the study of themes of location, place, movements, regions, and interactions of people and their environment. The history curriculum focuses on the progress of people by investigations of the world, the United States, and Michigan state history. Their individual and group work will include projects and presentations.
ART & SCIENCE INTEGRATION
A middle school elective combined art and technology to create a spectacular interactive art piece that was showcased at the Ann Arbor Hands On Museum’s Tech Twilight. Mel Drumm, the director of the Museum was impressed with the exhibit. He said they are looking for student based projects to include at the museum and our students could develop this idea to inspire many others to create. Our students were asked to design an entire room in the museum based on their idea as well as pop up workshops.
TechTwilight is the perfect time to explore your inner scientist. Our school was one of over 40 companies and academic groups share their latest innovations with Museum guests and each other.
Middle school curriculum offers opportunities for practical life and hands-on experiences. Your student will apply their math, negotiation, and problem solving skills in running their own business, raising money for field trips, or other special projects of their choosing. In addition, there are five immersion weeks staggered throughout the school year. These immersion weeks are devoted to a variety of projects that are all designed to bring each student’s work and interests to life.
COMMUNITY BUILDING & LEADERSHIP
Community is very important to your adolescent. Each school day, your young adult will have opportunities for social development and learning. School mornings start with a community meeting. All students rotate through the responsibility of leading the meeting using and agenda for sharing, acknowledging, problem solving, and general announcements. These meetings build an atmosphere of inclusion by fostering group interaction, dialog, and trust. Community building and leadership are further developed through small group work, shared decision making, problem solving throughout the day.
Contact us to learn more about how our school stands apart and how it can support your child during these transitional years.