Middle School

11 Years Old to 14 Years Old (Grades 6–8)

Our progressive middle school supports the sensitive age of early adolescents by offering a program designed specifically for their academic, social, and emotional needs. Learning is organized through eight International Baccalaureate (IB) subject areas that promote interdisciplinary study. Students analyze complex, real-world issues and develop the habits of mind they need to thrive in our increasingly interconnected world. Through these dynamic experiences, students become knowledgeable, critical thinkers; articulate communicators; and open-minded, principled, and caring young people who are positioned to do their best in high school and beyond.

Only schools authorized by the IB Organization can offer any of its four academic programmes: the Primary Years Programme (PYP), the Middle Years Programme (MYP), the Diploma Programme or the Career-related Programme (CP). Find out more about IB ›

Overview

Students Connect, Collaborate, and Create in shaping their own understanding and in developing the person they will become.

Our Middle School program is designed for children between 11-14 years and is a unique educational experience based on the developmental needs of early adolescents. Our graduates are prepared to take on higher education with the tools they need to succeed while maintaining a passion for learning and a drive to explore, create, and collaborate. A Montessori middle school education offers an experiential, dynamic approach to each subject area; integrated studies between programs; and a focus on character development and self-exploration. We extend the learning environment to the larger world through international and local trips, Montessori Model UN, and other unique offerings designed to engage, excite, and educate the middle school-aged child.

Schedules

Full Day Session
8:30 AM to 4:00 PM, M–F

Before Care
8:00–8:30 AM

After Care

“But, above all, it is the education of adolescents that is important because adolescence is the time when the child enters on the brink of adulthood and becomes a member of society.”
(From Childhood to Adolescence, p. 60)

Developmental Milestones

Early adolescence is a time of great change, intellectually, psychologically, and physically. Except for the first three years of life, there is no other time where growth is so noticeable, varied, and significant. There is a new awareness of self in relation to community, a need to find one’s place in the world, the ability to reflect on educational experiences, and a desire to make a personal connection to what is learned. This stage can be a ‘fragile’ phase in a child’s life with the child often alternating between feeling vulnerable and feeling secure. Our Middle School program supports the student in this stage of development as the process of self-construction occurs—socially, emotionally, and intellectually. We emphasize, model, and teach core values of respect, responsibility, and resilience.

Program Highlights

Curriculum
The Middle School curriculum cycles through three years of dynamic studies. Learning becomes meaningful when students see connections across disciplines and can relate their learning to real-world situations and personal experiences. Core and enrichment content is taught in a way that ignites curiosity and wonder. Through guided reading of such literature as Gilgamesh, Canterbury Tales, Shakespeare, Dickinson, Douglass, and Thoreau, students enter high school ready to further explore these important works. By experiencing history through experiential activities; science through experimenting, hypothesizing, and researching; and mathematics through stress-free exploration, practice, and collaboration, students keep their love of learning and confidence intact.

The team of teachers set consistent, age-appropriate expectations academically. Guiding questions allow for discussion of the larger themes of study relevant to this stage of development. Teachers collaborate and coordinate on assignments and expectations, and check in with students regularly in order to promote individual growth and self-awareness. Students work toward mastery of each subject with the focus on developing intrinsic motivation.

Travel Experiences
Each year, the seventh and eighth-grade students take a trip designed to expand their understanding of culture and their place in the world. They alternate between a trip to New York City to participate in the Montessori Model UN and a trip to the Andalucia region of Spain, where they reside with host families, led by Chill Expeditions.

Skill Development
Middle School students need guidance and supervision with organization and time management. Our program recognizes this developmental need and supports it with specific instruction, modeling, and oversight. Core skills are taught that prepare students for high school, including critical and creative thinking and effective collaboration; self-management of time, materials, and responsibilities; and study and test-taking techniques.  Feedback about expectations and deadlines is given to students to help support their growth in self-management.

Assessment
Assessments serve the purpose of giving students and teachers meaningful feedback so that reflection, improvement, and growth can occur. Assessments may take the form of academic prompts, performance tasks, traditional tests and quizzes, informal checks for understanding, observations and dialogue, self-reflection, and peer feedback.  Students graduate from middle school distinctly attuned to the workings of traditional assessment while understanding the many measures needed to determine their own mastery and progress.

Middle School students participate in a Farm-to-School experience with Cherry Valley Coop.

Find our more about our recent grant from the USDA

Our Graduates Thrive

We prepare children for an unpredictable world by facilitating the development of self-confidence, life skills, and independence. We support self-motivation over peer competitiveness as a much more effective tool of personal accomplishment. As a result, our graduates enter and succeed at the most-demanding high schools and colleges. The world-class education received at Princeton Montessori School equips students with the tools needed to lead successful and fulfilling lives.

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What Parents Are Saying

Our child previously attended a reputable public elementary school. During that time, she often complained that she was bored at school. I was concerned that the school's 'one-size-fits-all' education model was gradually dimming her thirst for knowledge. I wanted the flames of her engagement and curiosity to be fanned, not extinguished. She is now back at Princeton Montessori and I am happy to report that she is no longer bored. In fact, her inner flame has never been stronger!

Our Primary student is learning remotely this year due to the pandemic. He is really is enjoying all the works that come home to him. He tells me things like 'I love my Montessori works' and 'my works are beautiful.' My husband and I see him growing and learning so much even amidst our virtual constraints. Having tailored materials for him to work with makes all the difference in the world and we're grateful for the thought and care you put into curating them.

The other day I came downstairs and my 4-year-old son was listening to 'Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart' on Alexa. He told me that Mozart's dad was named Leopold and his sister was Nannerl (it took him a second to remember her name and it sounded made up, so my husband and I googled it. Sure enough he was right). We asked what else he had been learning and he rattled off Antonio Lucio Vivaldi’s full name and referenced The Four Seasons. I think my jaw is still on the floor. It turns out that the Primary children have been learning about composers this fall and listening to their music. What incredible exposure for these young children!

Princeton Montessori is the very epitome of the principles of Maria Montessori. The School offers a nurturing, creative, academic, and well-rounded development for each child. As a parent, we cannot offer our daughter a more valuable first gift.

The faculty are, bar none, the absolute best. The teachers are very knowledge both about the Montessori philosophy and the best ways to work with children. I ask for their advice and insight for any issues we’re having at home, quite often. They’re also incredibly warm and nurturing with the children in a way I have not seen at any other school.

I’m struck by how much better the Montessori toddlers are at playing and working peacefully with their peers than toddlers in other nursery school programs. I credit the gifted PMonts teachers, and the Princeton Montessori educational approach, for how confident, happy, and collaborative toddlers in the PMonts program seem.

Our son is so proud of being a third-year Primary. He has attended this incredible school since he was one year old. He had absolutely wonderful Toddler teachers and flourished under their care. Now, he is a third-year Primary and we know he will be more than ready for Lower Elementary. Thank you to all the Teachers & Staff!

The school runs with one philosophy and so every faculty member and admin personnel share the same vision for the child. This consistency is unique in our area to Princeton Montessori. Combined with the integration of the teacher training program, we can proudly say that the spirit of Dr. Montessori’s principles permeates every aspect of our school. That’s what I value the most about our school!

Education is both a gift and a right. I feel the teachers at PMonts help our children to appreciate the value of their education. Understanding the value involves looking beyond school and appreciating how education is a tool that will allow them to explore challenging goals, to grow as individuals and most importantly, chase their dreams.

I will never cease to be amazed at the capabilities of the young child. In the Montessori environment, the very youngest students show incredible independence and competence. At Princeton Montessori School the teachers truly help the children to “help me do it myself”.

When I think about my personal philosophy on education I can check all the boxes with regards to the education my daughter is receiving at Princeton Montessori. I feel the teachers motivate the students by focusing on appreciating the value of education and the diversities of peoples around the world while stressing and leveraging the power of the uniqueness in each individual student. Ultimately, the role of an educator is to shape a new generation that will create a safer and better world for the future.

Princeton Montessori School is a school that exceeds any expectations imaginable. The school follows each and every child on an individual basis and nourishes each child’s academic, social, and emotional needs. It is a school where teachers appreciate all unique qualities each child brings.

Princeton Montessori School turned out to be the best investment ever. We made some sacrifices in our lifestyle in order to be able to afford sending both children all the way through 8th grade, but now we are proud to note that we have two capable, confident, well-mannered young adults who are a pleasure to be around and who continue to love to work hard in their studies.