Because we are a relatively young school (founded in 2014), Fort Collins Montessori School does not currently offer a 7-9th grade Middle School Program. Please join our mailing list below for updates on the development of this program.
The Montessori Middle School Program
The themes that govern the educational approach implemented in the Montessori adolescent community are synthesis and integration. Montessori adolescent education integrates concrete and active learning experiences with opportunities for reflective and contemplative study of increasingly abstract concepts and ideas.
Students’ intellectual and ethical development and their creative expression are integrated with their academic disciplines. This gives adolescent students the opportunity to apply self-discipline, knowledge, judgment and creative skills to solve problems in projects that require physical activity, ethical choices, self-expression and abstract application of interdisciplinary knowledge. The focus of the Montessori approach in adolescent education is the adolescent’s civic, ethical and social development as well as the adolescent’s adaptation to the demands of the changing natural and human world.
Montessori secondary schools are divided into two “sub-planes.” The 7–9th grade program is typically a land- or farm-based program with real life scenarios of problem solving. Students combine didactic, academic lessons with real world scenarios. They are daily working with their head and their hands to deeply internalize academic concepts.
Montessori secondary education focuses on the whole child, self-construction, valorization and preparation for adult life. A quality 7-9th grade Montessori program arms students with the academic skills necessary to thrive in an academically advanced high school program, while at the same time having well developed communication, problem solving abilities and strong interpersonal skills.
The Montessori adolescent program (7–9th grade or middle school) has, as a key component, a curriculum called “Occupations.” In the North American Montessori Teacher’s Association’s National Montessori Curriculum Report, “Occupations” is defined as follows:
Through work, the students in the Montessori adolescent community engage with the natural environment and the wider society. The work undertaken within the community which has purposeful problem solving and economic contributions but which draws on necessary academic expertise is called Occupations. Occupations in the adolescent community have the following characteristics: The work is meaningful to the students, the work is both physically and intellectually challenging, the work is valued in the wider community, society and culture, and the work has economic validity. Occupations with these characteristics inspire students to engage in the work with integrity and passion, to develop their own interests and expertise, to gain recognition for their contribution and to experience a sense of ownership and accomplishment.