Except for the first three years of life, there is no other time when growth is so noticeable, varied, and significant.
Between childhood and adolescence, the “middle school” is a unique educational experience geared towards students who are undergoing great change. Intellectual and psychological changes are occurring as well as physical ones. During these years, the brain develops formal operational thinking or abstract thinking abilities. This allows for a new awareness of self in relation to community, a need to find one’s place in the world, and a desire to make a personal connection to what is learned. Socialization is the central focus for the child as well as understanding the world. This stage can be a “fragile” phase in a child’s life with the child often rotating between feeling vulnerable and feeling secure.
Our program is designed to meet these developmental needs. Middle School students explore an interdisciplinary and integrated curriculum in a multiage setting, as they prepare themselves to make the transition into high school. Teachers serve as guides, role models, and advisors as the students investigate history and literature, composition, and vocabulary development; mathematics, science, language, communication, health; time management, study and research skills; performing arts, physical education, technology instruction, and fine arts.
The course of study is an experiential approach that focuses on reflection of study habits and learning style. A combination of teaching methods are used including hands-on activities, learning to use a textbook, internet research, fieldtrips, group and individual projects, lecture and group discussion and dramatic performances. Testing is used for students to reflect, revise, and grow. Portfolio assessments and student-led conferences ensure meaningful reflection and goal setting. Teachers and peer-study sessions are available to ensure success.
The Middle School students also participate in a wealth of extracurricular activities that allow for learning new life skills. They include time management, money management, independence, critical thinking, cooperation, and communication, character growth, mentoring younger students and socialization, including a student-run business, multiple leadership jobs, performing arts, reading buddies program, community service and much more.
“The teachers did such a wonderful job in preparing our daughter for high school. She and two other students from her class who are now attending a local independent high school achieved high honors for their recently-completed first half of their freshman year. We both share in praising the teachers throughout her time at Princeton Montessori for a job well done. Keep up the good work.” — Diana Seiler, Alumni Parent